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Daily driver part 3

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by Touring525i4dawgs, Jul 26, 2017.

    • Member

    Touring525i4dawgs '02 525it M sport

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    Hi E46 owners. I have begun the search for a new daily driver. Currently driving a '97 Honda Civic 405K. Now I know the deal in trading from a Honda to a BMW. I have owned 15 Bimmers over the years. So I have been through different ideas about a fit for this purpose. So I had a chat with one of the service reps at J&F Motors in VA. He said I might look into an E46. I have put 3 on a watch list already. Would like to hear pro's and con's. Thanks
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    MGarrison

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    Well, I've never had an E46, lol - they've been around long enough though I think all their major issues have been fleshed out in the various BMW forums (do a google search for BMW E46 issues, or maybe pros cons, something like that). bimmerforums.com & the like, I think a number of them have posts stickied on the topic.

    From what I recall reading, E46's are pretty solid runners, by and large. They're of the vintage where the cooling systems are subject to replacing @ 50-60k intervals (plastic impeller water pumps, expansion tanks), vanos needs rebuilding after a certain mileage on the M54 (drvanos.com), I think the usual window regulator failures, the well-documented body-tearing issue at the rear-subframe mountings, probably valve-cover & oil-pan gasket leaks, the plastic sunroof guide-cables tray is prone to age-related failure & an expensive fix (ie, unless that tray's been replaced, disconnect the sunroof switch & spare yourself the risk of an $800+ repair, & forego using the sunroof). I'm not sure so much on street cars, I've seen E46's sidelined at track events with ABS brain failure and some very-hairy eyes-wide close-calls with drivers experiencing that on-track. I forget the specifics, I think there was some issue with the S54 M3 engines, rod bearings maybe, at this point, depending, it may have been repaired by BMW. Haven't been paying close attention, but I think it's not untypical to see E46 M3's now between around $12k & running higher for cleaner, lower-mileage ones. If you find one that's been enthusiast-owned with the subframe repair having been done & mentioned in the ad, and other known issues addressed, that might be a good candidate for a maintainable example going forward. That's my 2¢!
    • Member

    Touring525i4dawgs '02 525it M sport

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    Well Well Well...I have been waiting a few days for your reply! I am now totally convinced we are the only 2 members in the forums! That being said once again I value your input and will take some more time to educate myself on the pro's and con's of this car. I have always liked this body style and did not know of it's very good reputation. My local mechanic was also praiseworthy of the E46. so this will be a cool addition to stable. My wife wants me to get hybrid or electric. Those these are lofty ideas at the ripe old age of 62 I want that midlife crisis car! Hey it's not a M4 GTS but it's a cool car. Thanks for always giving me the other side of the argument!
    MGarrison likes this.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    I think manuals are more fun - hybrids, torque, yes, & mpg - but, c'mon, fun factor - if you don't have to deal w/ sitting in stop-n-go traffic too badly, running up & down thru the gears livens things up a bit. :)
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    E46 are great cars, yes they have some issues that garrison said above but are very easy to work on. Also parts are getting quite cheap so that's always nice. I've had 3 over the years and would own another in a heart beat. If your looking for a really cool one get one with the zhp package. Best looking e46 in my opinion!
    • Member

    Touring525i4dawgs '02 525it M sport

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    Thanks. I'm totally sold on this car! I do have to wait until Feb to begin looking. The ZHP the e
    way to go! Hope I van this happen. Need a car I can love everyday going to work! Have loved the Civic but it's time to get a car I love!!
    • Member

    Touring525i4dawgs '02 525it M sport

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    Sorry it's been a while. For sure a manual is the way to go. Nothing like downshifting into some of my favorite local corners!

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