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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Are 160K miles on a 330i a lot if the car was taken care of?
We sold our highest miler with a 162K miles, so I have no experience with what will/could happen next???

sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/d/2003-bmw-330ci/6500266925.html
 

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I've got 190k. Still runs fine, starts up the first time, gets me to my destinations just fine. Most likely keeping until the engine gives up, or the fuel pump/filter since I have a SULEV 325i.

Sent from my Pixel XL
 

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2004 ZHP automatic is at 142K, still pushing super hard.....plenty preventative maintenance to get to this point. I also just picked up a 2002 325i 5 speed manual is at 120K, still pushing on. I just did 1,500$ in maintenance (all parts), I did all the labor. I just purchased this neglected vehicle for 1K, nil to no damage on body panels. The key is maintenance, with these bullet proof motor's, if you have to think about a part more than twice, replace it. Always trust your first judgement. This is my 5th e46, so plenty of knowledgable about this certain platform.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, other than tks THROW IT AWAY comment, it appears to me that you guys would therefore not shy away from this high mileage car?

Looks super clean in the pictures, seller would let me have it for 4K.
As I mentioned, we sold our last 330i with 162k miles on clock ad it was still going VERY STRONG, but was always properly maintained.
 

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Search the user kburger, he has 625,000 on his E46 as I recall.

I have personally seen a number of E46 with over 300,000 miles.

It is all about how you take care of the car and drive is. If you want to hit redline at every freeway entrance and drive the car like you stole it, clearly it will not last as long compared to if you just drive the car with an occasional heavy foot.

Oil changes are important, 15k miles is WAY too long. Maintaining the car is critical. Smart PM is suggested if you want a reliable car.

Choose your poison, a newer, lower mileage car with a car payment, expensive insurance and possibly personal property taxes if your area has these or an older, higher mileage car that you spend about 1/2 a years worth of car payments on every few years, have cheaper insurance, no personal property tax and a large availability of good quality aftermarket parts and used parts almost every where you look.
 

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I've noticed a big dropoff in parts failing after 140k or so. Most of the PM I did and parts that went bad happened around 110-130k. 154k now and it's been a super reliable daily driver. To be fair, I spent many hours on PM, but at least it's paying off.
 

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My worry with my two e46s is oil consumption due to the crumby oil scraper ring they used in the e46. That can start as early as 100k miles, or may not show up until after 250k miles. The difference probably depends on the type of oil and change frequency, but we don't know the magic combination that will delay the problem. Oil catch can may delay the inevitable, but changing the rings is the solution, and that is expensive and you run the risk that they may not seat well.

I have an '04 330 with 150k miles that is going through oil like crazy, and an '04 325 that got a junk yard engine at 150k miles due to oil consumption and the replacement engine has 220k miles and burns only about a quart in 6k miles.
 

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once it goes over 150k might as well throw it out
ROTFLMAO! :loco:

While my daughter's 2006 325Ci only has about 110K now, everything is still ok. I am still in the process of gathering parts for the full cooling system refresh but college tuition keeps going up... :censor:

In contrast, my last BMW was a '84 323i gray market sedan that I sold had 384K miles on it (original everything...except timing belts, pulleys and one radiator). I was told by a factory BMW mechanic that while regular maintenance was critical to car longevity (duh), the harder I drove the car, the better it would run.

I didn't go for redline much if at all, close but not up to the limit. I didn't do doughnuts and other juvenile crap but I did drive it like I stole it and it did in fact run better.

I ran plain dino fluids in it, performed regular maintenance and just drove the crap out of it. For a while I had it souped up a bit with a Racemark SC, LS diff and close ratio 5 speed but took those out and put it back to stock before I sold it.


YMMVOC but these cars were designed, engineered and built to be driven by enthusiasts, not soccer moms...although I have seen Mrs. Andretti in her Yukon and boy was she moving...:woot:
 

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At 100k, your car is at the end of its first soft lifetime. Meaning assuming proper driveline oil changes (engine/trans/diff/brakes/steering/ac) you should experience no mechanical hard faults, but you will experience soft faults. Oil lines, sensors, hoses, cooling, etc.

That's your car's first lifetime which is a soft lifetime.

at 200k, you have finished your second lifetime which is a soft lifetime AND a hard lifetime. Not all hard lifetimes are created equal but yes your E46 can and will probably drive fine at 200k if maintained properly, but expect the unexpected with respected to hard components (engine/trans/diff/body) Time, stress, corrosion, hard seals, chains (rings etc) are starting to age... hard. You can go up to 300k... but it's a labored 300k. In other words, 200-300k, assuming proper maintenance, should be treated a bit more gentler and with greater care than when your car was younger.

TL;dr 200k+ very possible but due to greater chance at popping things, be gentle. subframe, timing chain, chain guides, bearings, oil pump nut.
 

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So, other than tks THROW IT AWAY comment, it appears to me that you guys would therefore not shy away from this high mileage car?

Looks super clean in the pictures, seller would let me have it for 4K.
As I mentioned, we sold our last 330i with 162k miles on clock ad it was still going VERY STRONG, but was always properly maintained.
160k will last you up to around 200k easily (with maintenance) and take 5 years to get there. By then, you'll have moved on from this platform. go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you all for your valuable input. Sounds to me like noone is shying away from high miles.

Did you look at the car and the pictures? Any thoughts? 4K seems ok?
 

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Looks like a swell car. The ad shows asking $5500. If he wants Four, so much better. Mein auto (built in Munich in the same month) has the same 10-spoke wheels--if it didn't have those, I'd wash it more than once a month...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
If it didn't have those, I'd wash it more than once a month...
Not sure I follow you?

Yes, after talking with him for a while and using my tactics, he said he would let it go for 4K. Registration was also just paid, which is a bit of savings, right? :)
 

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Assuming the car was loved and taken care of in anything that approaches reasonable care of an automobile, this one has another 200,000 miles left in it. In no universe I am aware of is 162,000 miles on a 20-year old car anywhere near high mileage.
 
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