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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 01-02-2013, 06:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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looking to buy a bmw need info

i am new to the forum and bmw as well. I am looking to buy a used 2001 -2006 3 series for my daughter who is about to turn 16 (wife will drive it until oct) my questions are what are the engine lifespan as well as all other mechanical issues( i know it all comes down to how well the car has been serviced). I have seen a lot with 140-170,000 miles at decent prices less than $10,000 but like i said wasnt for sure about the lifespan or should i consider something with fewer miles and more money thanks for any and all info to help with my decision
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Generally speaking engines last 250k easily if services were done on point besides that things that should be replaced maintenance wise like alternators, belts, pumps, sensors are all routine and are due to the mileage and normal wear.


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Old 01-02-2013, 11:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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the lifespan of engine depends on how you use your car and what efforts you take to maintain your car???? its better to take a good mechanic with you and get advised from him when purchasing any second hand car.......
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Alexx123 your comment has nothing to do with this thread. Please move it into the off topic section.


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Old 01-03-2013, 08:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome to Bimmerwerkz.

The E46 (1999-2005 3 Series) is an excellent model, and their are numerous ones out their. The early ones (1999-2001) had a subframe issue. The problem was it wasn't strong enough and ocassionaly would rip out. This was a costly fix, but the reinforcement peice was cheap. If you are considering a model from this year range, ask if the reinforcement was completed. If not, you will have to have it done yourself.

The best years for the E46 were 2002-2005. The M54 motor in the E46 is exceptionally well built, and an award winning engine. With proper servicing they can last into the 250,000 mile range. As with any vehicle, ensure that their are proper service records to ensure that basic maintenance was completed.

A friend of mine has an 04 320i and we recentley replaced his power steering pump. On the E46, some models came with a different power steering pump (Luk LF20) which has been known to fail due to the impeller becoming jammed and snapping, resulting in loss of power steering. The LF30 pumps did not have this problem. The only way to tell which one is actually on the car is during a PPI. Its not a huge issue, and fairly rare, but it is worth mentioning.

After 2006, BMW (and all manufacturers really) began a change to make their vehicles dealer (or mechanic) servicable only. If your a DIY guy, then stay pre 2006. The E36 and E46 are quite easy to work on and parts are readily available.

Hope this helps. Any other questions, just ask.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I helped my daughter purchase a 2001 325i for college. Great car to drive. The most annoying issues we have had are fluid leaks (Many). Oil, coolant, window washer. Mechanically it has been good with 140k. When you look around I would check for fluid leaks and try and find a dry one to start with. Good news is that I think I have finally stopped the last oil leak. Also I ended up buying the car from daughter because I really enjoy driving this car.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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looking to buy a bmw need info

Take it from the father of 3 girls. Buy the lowest mileage, newest car that you can afford, and this is important, WITH SERVICE RECORDS, hopefully from new. For your peace of mind you do not want your daughter to be driving someone else's p.o.s.


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