Question Of The Day: Should I Blow My Tax Refund On This
March 23rd, 2015 5:33 PM Share
So, let me be clear: I have a very good, brand new car. I have no real need for a second car, no place to park a second car and no desire to take on a project. But god damn it, I want this.
The car in question is a 2003 BMW 325xi Touring. It has a clean CarProof (Canadian version of a CarFax) and it’s a manual. On the other hand, it has 328,000 km (203,000 miles), and since it’s an auction, you don’t exactly have time to contemplate whether this is a good idea or not.
But, I’ve always wanted a BMW manual wagon, and I have a decent tax return on the way. What do you say, B&B?
Published March 24th, 2015 9:30 AM
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7 of 152 comments
As the owner of a RWD '01 325i sedan, I feel compelled to add my voice to the naysayers. Don't do it, it will be a money pit.
As the owner of a 01 330xi I say this; That car has loads of miles but likely major systems are ok. BMW's (at least mine, for me) have loads of stupid issues but they put a smile on your face every time you drive. The problems will be related to some degree to how and where you drive it. Hit speed bumps and pot holes at speed and it's gonna cost ya! Everyone seems to like the Mazda3 example. Take the cost to buy your >$20K (US or Cdn) and then take the 2000 to 2500 US that thing is worth. Buy this https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-10-piece-control-arm-kit-e46-325xi-330xi-e46xi10piececakit-l 16-1700 US installed and you can do better on price - and might not need all this stuff. This is worst case. If you need tie rods they are 120 a side plus an hour to put em in. Rear bushings? https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-suspension-bushing-kit-rear-e46-e46rearbush-l if there is rust or the bolts are stuck this can run into 7 or 8 hrs so 1100 or so. The power steering hoses will leak - Do them while you do the CCV. About 300 bucks with the CCV. The crankcase vent valve and hoses likely need replaced - 5-600 bucks. While they are doing that get the oil filter stand gasket done for like 4 bucks parts and 1/2 extra labor. About a grandish there. The valve cover gasket is likely leaking like a sieve and the oil has deteriorated the lower radiator hose. 250 or so with new antifreeze. That's all worst case. is it exhaustive? No. Likely? Yes, unless the car has received good maintenance and been driven with care. Thats 4500 bucks, and then you have a good driving car with a million miles. You make the call, and to make a good call pay 150 to have a BMW guy check it out. 4500+2000 does buy most of a low miles documented service history E46: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1070839 Perhaps not exactly what you want, but what someone wants to sell for. FWIW FCP Euro is fine I neither endorse or advise against them. They have the typical kits that made this an easier exercise for me.
I haven't read all the comments, but after a quick glance, I'd say wait for one with lower miles, better ownership history, and no AWD. That sort of mileage in RWD and with good ownership history wouldn't be a deal breaker because e46s can run forever when you take care of them (which you don't know if this one has been) and avoid extra stuff (like, say, a front drive system). This looks like a parts car more than anything to me, which is sad. Part of why I was glad to sell my e46 private party instead of trading it in, even though I didn't really make more $ on it. I wanted to see it go to an enthusiastic owner instead of an auction.
I'll sell you my 2010 E91 AWD 6MT Derek, only 27,500 and only 62,000kms :D