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Go Back   Pelican Parts Technical BBS > 2- BMW Forums > BMW Technical Forums > BMW 3-Series E46 (2000-2006)

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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Cleveland, OH
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Pre-owned 330Ci coupe: suggestions?

I am in the market for a pre-owned 330Ci coupe with a manual gearbox. I was thinking of exploring the Certified Pre-Owned program. Does anyone have positive or negative experiences with that program?

Are there any technical problems that I should look for in the car? Maintenance issues?
Old 01-22-2006, 05:46 PM
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The CPO warranty does not cover everything. Most importantly it does not cover electronics and of course wear items. I have CPO 2001 330i and I've use the CPO a couple of times. It is a good thing to have. $50 deductible

Common problems
Sunroof: they all break at some point
Windows: the window regulators all go out after a few years (this is basically a cable and one of the plastic tabs breaks.)
Radiators on most BMW's last about 100k
There are several suspension bushings that need to be replaced every 70-100k.
If they only changed the oil every 15k miles, like the service interval says, then you need to be sure that they never let the car get low on oil. Basically did they at least check the oil level every 3 months.

There isnt anything that I know of that you cant fix cheaply yourself although I think the sunroof repair can be difficult. Oh and some of the bushings can be difficult. The bushing are not covered under CPO but the window regulators are. I think the sunroof is not.

The E46 is a great car I hope I didn't scare you.
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Here: 1997 M3/4 Byzanz/Magma ~ 2001 330i Silver/Grey ~ 1997 R1100RT ~ 1991 Ford F-150 5.8l
Gone: :'( 98 Camry V6 97 Camry I4 97 Mazda 626 I4 :'(93 Sentra SE-R 88 Toyota Truck I4
Old 01-23-2006, 10:23 AM
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Thanks so much for the information. That doesn't scare me off; all cars have known problems. I am more concerned with owning a car that will give lasting driving pleasure.
Glad to hear that the CPO program is useful.

Should I consult any particular reference manuals or books? I looked at a few BMW buyer's guides, but they didn't seem to have much information on the E46 cars.

Any other cars to consider, BMW or otherwise?
Old 01-24-2006, 05:56 AM
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If you want a daily driver and love Porsche I think BMW is the best bet having seen many Porsche owners do the same.

I don't know about buyers guides but you will want a Bently repair manual and when Wayne's book comes out it will be useful even though I think it is E36 specific.

I don't know your budget or habits but you cant go wrong with an E46. The E36 is less refined but lighter and more fun to toss around. The E39 5-series is heavy and seats 4 very comfortably. I like 4-doors but an E46 330i manual is hard to find.
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HPDE Instructor (BMW / PCA / Apex)
Here: 1997 M3/4 Byzanz/Magma ~ 2001 330i Silver/Grey ~ 1997 R1100RT ~ 1991 Ford F-150 5.8l
Gone: :'( 98 Camry V6 97 Camry I4 97 Mazda 626 I4 :'(93 Sentra SE-R 88 Toyota Truck I4
Old 01-24-2006, 07:02 AM
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Old 01-24-2006, 07:02 AM
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