Bonjour from Montreal !
This is now my e46 coupé, a pretty well maintained 325 CI with a roaring 2.5 M54 engine. Examined it, checks out, nice suspension firm feel, engine purrs and roars, and on the whole the interior is well kept with no major tears except I noticed one today on the side bolster. Not bad though for a 2001. The rust is not major so far, just what you see up front here on the driver's door and front quarter panel. It has about 215 000 kms (150 000 miles ?).
No squeaks. The previous owner assured me the bushings were changed, as well as the wheel bearings, and I was happy to find a 2019 Behr expansion tank in it with decent tubes. But it leaks a bit of refrigerant at the expansion tank all the same, and I rather suspect that there ought to be a seal or gasket in the cap of that tank which I think is missing. Pretty silly, but I'll take a pic to make sure. Sure enough, I added some coolant, which is green and I'd rather see OEM in there, so I'll flush it and see about the cap.
The previous owner did not drive it much, so the battery was weak and I had to boost it a couple of times on the day we did the registration exchange, and after that was all done, I drove it harder to feed the battery, for more prolonged times, and so far the car has started on its own battery power. Still, I already had a portable battery that is now at the ready in the trunk should I require it. I may buy a battery charger as well, but first I should check how old the battery really is. It looked kind of recent when we jumped it from the back.
Another tiny issue was the front right turn signal not working, but it did at times. So the bulb was not blown, I thought, something else was awry. Poking or moving wire did nothing, except one time.
Well, enough faffing around, I pulled out the bulb. The filament was fine though, as I correctly assessed, but its center terminal was charred a bit, and the center metal contact tab in the socket it goes into was a weird shape, like it fused or blew. It was still a nice metal color as it should. I should have taken a pic. Anyhow, put a fresh bulb in, checked conductivity before putting it back into the car, and low and behold, I have a working flasher. Probably should change the socket, but works for now.
Another issue I'll get to is the right wiper. It works, though the wiper skips, which gave me a hint. And once I raised the right arm to clean the windshield when I gased her up... wibble, wobble, just a bit, the arm needs a fixing.
Other than that, it's a blast to drive. The stock stereo system sounds really good, which I did not expect. What must the Harmon Kardon be like? No air con, it's empty, so I ought to have it filled up for the sake of preserving its functionnality, if it still works.
I might have it painted at some point, or DIY. I'd at least like to fix the rust so it doesn't get much worse like ruining the door.
It's a beautiful dream for me that is now come true. I used to have an e34 525i that I had kept for 9 years and enjoyed it a lot. This one is more nimble and more to my taste, though e30 and e90 are up my alley as well, as I really like coupes. Even considered 128i, but this e46 is more in my budget, includes summer and winter tires, and the previous owner really loved it too, which is a good sign.
I look forward to hanging about the forums among other passionate e46 owners.