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2003 E46 330i Auto M Sport
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've been lurking on all the various BMW forums for the better part of 10 years. My dad bought an E46 318i SE in 2004 (we still have it @ 70k miles) and I've had a soft spot for the E46 ever since. I've wanted my own ever since (to keep forever as a daily - I have 'simple' taste) and finally bit the bullet last week.

I'm now the proud (and stressed) owner of a 2003 E46 330i Auto M Sport in Titanium Silver with 68k miles. I paid £4100 for it which is a lot of money (to me), but it seemed to be a decent price from my searches. I don't know the first thing about cars but have always been interested and want to learn to work on my own, I'm looking forward to picking up some DIY skills. I knew it wasn't going to be all rainbows and sunshine with a 17 year old car, and I'm loving finally owning my dream car but I've never been a big spender and honestly I'm uneasy and not looking forward to project money pit :(

  • Looks great, drives great
  • Seems to be in great condition and evidence of being well looked after e.g. with paintwork and how she sounds/runs/looks under the hood (from a n00b pov)
  • Hasn't really got any spec but personally electric/heated seats/hk etc are of zero importance to me so listing as a positive..

  • My insurance doubled
  • Need to fix a vacuum leak or o2 sensor as I get P0056 (followed by P0171 and P0174)
  • Getting 14mpg no matter how gently I drive probably due to above
  • 5 previous owners
  • Gap in service history from 2015-2019 (at which point it had an inspection 1 and some tlc) during which it was either cared for by an enthusiast or ragged to s**t
  • Bracing myself for cracked RACP as I have creaking when slowly moving off from standstill. Need to park on a kerb and take a look and see if I can beg vines to take it on if so or make room in the budget

Since owning her I've done a couple odds and ends:
  • Fixed loose interior passenger side trim piece with new clip (can see it loose below)
  • Fixed loose rear gutter trim (properly fixed by removing, epoxying/clamping clips, and reinstalling properly seating from the front)
  • Changed a fuse to fix the windscreen washers
  • Heater fans seem to have sorted themselves. Possibly dodgy heater resistor, but seems okay for now.
  • Bought a Veepeak and started using OBDFusion
  • Replaced a faulty fuel cap with a used original and got new seal ordered
  • Replaced fake heated mirror glass with original wide-angle mirror
  • Ordered a replacement shadowline drivers side mirror (the one on the car is off a lower spec E46 and is flat black)
  • Need to fix the drivers side window it started going up slowly/getting stuck
  • Gotten overwhelmed learning about detailing and bought nothing

  • Keeping completely original, with exception of an Eonon and some (reversible/tasteful) audio/bass mods
  • Give it TLC, learn some DIY, and get some peace of mind on the mechanicals and enjoy the car
  • Try not to spend too much money :(

Tl;dr here she is:




2003 E46 330i Auto M Sport
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Have been having nightmares about what I'd find down there but finally plucked up the courage to take a look at the RACP mounts this morning. Don't have a jack or stands yet so parked on a kerb and wiggled my way underneath.

Suffice to say my mood has improved somewhat not being faced with an immediate £2k bill. I know I'll need to reinforce the subframe sooner rather than later, and I'm not out of the woods yet as there could be cracks under the mounts but I was imagining a true mess down there. At least the option of DIY is (hopefully) on the table and (hopefully) a repair is off it.

See some photos of the passenger side mount. Have I missed something?



2003 330i
186 Posts
Welcome! (After a month). I don't usually visit this part of the forums.
This is probably the best bimmer forum in the world, with tons of tips and knowledge and some stupidity, which helps make it entertaining.
Your car looks good (the clean and the dirty sides), to me. And it's at somewhat low miles.The interior of your ride looks like a mirror image of mine (Ilse), build date 10-2002.
I had the advantage of purchasing a car on which the maintenance was kept up, on especially on things like suspension, so I haven't had to do a whole lot to it. I bought it six years ago at 96,000 miles and now it's at 173,000. Still has good power and when I run it over 100 MPH, it drives nicely.
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