E46 Fanatics Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I am turning 16 in October and have $5,000 in hand right now. I want to spend a maximum of $6,000 on the car itself. I am looking for a 325i from 02'-04', but I need some advice on maintenance costs. I know BMW's are very expensive to maintain as my dad has an 07' 750i and my mom has a 09' X5. So... What are the maintenance costs and why are they so expensive?

Thanks,
Brad
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,386 Posts
Just to give you a perspective on cost of things***8230; Whenever you purchase anything from Germany, France, etc the cost is more. I'm a musician and it cost more to buy an instrument from France than it does from Japan. It's that way with lots of things. As far as repairs, you are looking to repair a car that over 10years old. Oh and 7 series repair cost are higher than 3 series. Good luck.

The first year of owning my second bimmer I spent under $200 for repairs. This year I've spent 10x that much because of the age of the car and mileage.

Here is a webpage that list those repairs and info.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php?title=BMW_E46
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,385 Posts
OP it sounds like you are at least aware of what it costs to maintain a BMW so that's a start, but I have to say that $5k to $6k isn't enough to buy a nice e46 and handle maintenance issues. Good rule of thumb is you need about $10k to $12k to put together a decent e46. Sure you can buy a beater example and keep your fingers crossed that nothing breaks, but to actually own a "nice" e46 that looks and drives as a BMW should you need at least $10k. You should be able to pickup a decent one for $7k and then have a few thousand dollars left to handle items that will need done. I don't recommend an e46 as a teenagers car because of the amount of money it costs to properly keep them up, but if sounds like your parents have an idea of what to expect and will help you when you need it. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,385 Posts
Okay, thanks guys... I guess an e46 will have to be my second car after I have some more money in the bank!

Wow, very responsible decision for such a young person. Most come here asking the same question and end up arguing and getting upset because they don't hear what they want to hear. You would have a much more enjoyable BMW ownership experience if you wait and do it right when you can really afford to own a nice one. Glad you don't want to just settle for some $5k POS. keep the good decisions up and you will go far in life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,369 Posts
Kind of off topic, but not really; when I was a teenager, I was a Corvette freak. I bought two of them in the span from high school through college. Neither one of them were licensed, as they were project cars (cheap). I sold both for more than I paid, but not more than I invested.

I always had a good, inexpensive car as a DD during this time. If you want an E46 because you love the model, then get one as a second car.

If you want an E46 to drive for a few months and then sell it, this forum is not for you.
 

·
// Quandt AG (Retired) //
Joined
·
3,611 Posts
Wow, very responsible decision for such a young person. Most come here asking the same question and end up arguing and getting upset because they don't hear what they want to hear. You would have a much more enjoyable BMW ownership experience if you wait and do it right when you can really afford to own a nice one. Glad you don't want to just settle for some $5k POS. keep the good decisions up and you will go far in life.
I agree that the young lad seems very responsible but I disagree that you can't find a good e46 for $5k.

That's the exact amount I sold my 330Xi for 2 days ago to a local young lad. Within the last 4 months this car has had:

Brakes all round (Zimmerman) - & fluid flush
Replaced all cooling components except rad (+ flush)
Replaced front axles with Cardone reman
New sway bar links (Front & back)
Sway bar bushings (front & back)
New VCG
New CCV
New OFHG
New Cabin filter
New Air filter
New FSR
Tranny fluid & filter flush

Also the car included original owners manual, 2 remote keys
Maintenance manual - in MS Excel format
4 new Hankook all seasons on summer rims
4 Average winter tires on BMW OE rims
LED tailights/Clears all round
Umnitza AE wired into komfort system.


The car also had to pass a government safety inspection and emission test before I can sell it - which it did. I printed off a full vehicle scan and there was not a single error reported by any modules.

I'd put my own kid in this car. I told the kid that he would need to budget about $1500/annually for PM stuff and years he was less would catch up when something big needed changed.

I also told him to come back in 800 miles for the next oil change and I would show him how. I pointed him to this website as his go-to place.

So there are e46's that can be had for $5k that might be in better shape than many on this forum

(Actually $5k CDN is only about $4100 USD so it was considerably less than $5k)

Edit forgot the details of the car:

Year: 2004
Mileage: 113,000 (miles)
Color: Titanium Silber Metallic

Here's some pics a couple of days before the kid bought it.






 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,385 Posts
I agree that the young lad seems very responsible but I disagree that you can't find a good e46 for $5k.

That's the exact amount I sold my 330Xi for 2 days ago to a local young lad. Within the last 4 months this car has had:

Brakes all round (Zimmerman) - & fluid flush
Replaced all cooling components except rad (+ flush)
Replaced front axles with Cardone reman
New sway bar links (Front & back)
Sway bar bushings (front & back)
New VCG
New CCV
New OFHG
New Cabin filter
New Air filter
New FSR
Tranny fluid & filter flush

Also the car included original owners manual, 2 remote keys
Maintenance manual - in MS Excel format
4 new Hankook all seasons on summer rims
4 Average winter tires on BMW OE rims
LED tailights/Clears all round
Umnitza AE wired into komfort system.


The car also had to pass a government safety inspection and emission test before I can sell it - which it did. I printed off a full vehicle scan and there was not a single error reported by any modules.

I'd put my own kid in this car. I told the kid that he would need to budget about $1500/annually for PM stuff and years he was less would catch up when something big needed changed.

I also told him to come back in 800 miles for the next oil change and I would show him how. I pointed him to this website as his go-to place.

So there are e46's that can be had for $5k that might be in better shape than many on this forum

(Actually $5k CDN is only about $4100 USD so it was considerably less than $5k)

Edit forgot the details of the car:

Year: 2004
Mileage: 113,000 (miles)
Color: Titanium Silber Metallic

Here's some pics a couple of days before the kid bought it.







For a car with maintenance history you sold it pretty cheap. If you look around for what you get in that price range you won't find too many nice examples that don't need work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,369 Posts
For a car with maintenance history you sold it pretty cheap. If you look around for what you get in that price range you won't find too many nice examples that don't need work.

It's an "old guy" thing. I understand completely. Be thankful for us.
 

·
// Quandt AG (Retired) //
Joined
·
3,611 Posts
For a car with maintenance history you sold it pretty cheap. If you look around for what you get in that price range you won't find too many nice examples that don't need work.

Yep - I probably could have got more. But I didn't want to. The buyer is an eager young lad (a lot like the OP) that wants to learn how to maintain his own vehicle. He is an acquaintance of one of my daughters - this is his first car so I wanted it to be a good experience for him.

Like was mentioned, must be an old guy thing. If the buyer had been my age - $7500 firm.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,385 Posts
Yep - I probably could have got more. But I didn't want to. The buyer is an eager young lad (a lot like the OP) that wants to learn how to maintain his own vehicle. He is an acquaintance of one of my daughters - this is his first car so I wanted it to be a good experience for him.



Like was mentioned, must be an old guy thing. If the buyer had been my age - $7500 firm.:D

You just pretty much agreed with what I said above then. Lol. As I always say, it takes at least $10k to put together a decent e46 that won't "shouldn't" give you many issues and cosmetically is in good shape.

I have to honestly say that the e46 is becoming a unicorn, at least clean, well kept examples are. When I do see one now a days it's usually beat to death. Keep in mind that even in a photo you can hide a lot, so when pictures look good the car is usually not even close to that condition of seen in person. Interiors are worn and leather is cracked, faded, and torn. Plastic dash and center console pieces are usually in bad shape. Paint is never as good in person, and especially in the northern states they are covered with rust and corrosion on the underside. To me I'm glad because my clean example that I worked so hard to restore is a rare site and that makes it special. These cars are no longer a dime a dozen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,369 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
I recently sold my 2000 328Ci that I bought new and owned for 15 years.
The guy who bought it couldn't believe what a great deal I gave him especially given that it was low mileage, always garaged, never dented, etc.
You get the drift.

I did all the maintenance on that car.
And I sold it because I new exactly what was going to be needed to keep it running for the next five years.

If you've got $5-$6K in your hand to buy an old E46, you're going to need another $5k to keep it running for the next five years.
You don't have to believe me, just ask the guy I sold my car to.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top