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Most reliable E46 model?
11-08-2018, 08:47 PM (This post was last modified: 11-08-2018 09:05 PM by MHN.)
Post: #21
RE: Most reliable E46 model?
(11-08-2018 08:27 PM)Tinuva Wrote:  
(11-08-2018 07:32 PM)MHN Wrote:  I'll consider a 325i. I doubt I'd find a 330i, since its extremely rare.
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/ite...4608967947

Looks like a worthy 325i. Need to inspect it first though!

Thanks.
I mainly check on Gumtree, OLX and sometimes Facebook.

(10-08-2018 12:36 PM)Rotinaj Wrote:  Firstly 15-20y old BMW will not be cheap to run maintenance wise.

Secondly anything with a M52/M54 will be a the only place to start.

Autoboxes will fail and cost 20k to repair, a clutch and flywheel replacement will cost slightly less.

If you are intent on this, ensure you have more than the basic DIY skill level and a reasonably equiped toolbox. IE torx/breakerbars,wheel ramps etc etc.

My E46 320i (M52) i believe is now pushing 300 000km with it's 4th owner , me being the 3rd, my mates mom being the 2nd and some fella from KZN the first. It still runs sweet as a 6 last time i spoke to the owner. I rebuilt the cooling system in my time, and the shocks and the PVCC , owner 4 redid the control arms and a few other things. It cost in upkeep over 4 years probably 50k.

It was a well kept and neat example of the Breed. John from Leo Haese looked over it during it's tenure with owner 2. Was even reasonably economical even with the short ratio rear diff. I

How is the 320i compared to a 325i?
If the difference is not very major, I'd consider it, if I find a good one.
How was the fuel consumption when you had it?

(08-08-2018 08:23 PM)kilotango Wrote:  
(08-08-2018 07:56 PM)MHN Wrote:  
(08-08-2018 07:42 PM)kilotango Wrote:  
(08-08-2018 07:04 PM)MHN Wrote:  Which E46 model is the most reliable?
The one with the least problems or that is built very well?
-----

Thanks for the helpful reply

How is the fuel consumption on your 330i?
With 6 cylinder engines, i'm worried about that.

np, btw i have no idea about the E46 diesels, but hopefully someone else can chime in there about those.

around town, im getting between 11-14L/100 km's. i do drive pretty hard, and in a not so economical way. plus mine is an auto, where i have the A/C on most of the time smile bounce

i have read that the smaller straight 6's (320, 323, 325 and 328) are as heavy on fuel, but without the power or torque of a 3.0L engine.

It doesn't sound that bad.
I'd consider a 6 cylinder model then. 330i's are the rarest though.

(10-08-2018 12:56 PM)AdiS Wrote:  I echo the sentiments of M&M and Tinuva.

E46s are all old now, and you should be willing to spend about R20k on the initial catch up of maintenance, and then at least R10k annually thereafter. They are wonderful cars, but you must be realistic about what it will cost to own them.

If you're ok with kind of ownership budget and can afford it, then spend your efforts on buying the cleanest/best/most well maintained example you can find, as you want to the least amount of maintenance backlog possible to deal with. It is always cheaper to spend more on the initial purchase than to try and restore a cheaper offering in the market that has some neglect.

I'm okay with the maintenance.
So, which model would you recommend?
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12-08-2018, 07:56 AM
Post: #22
RE: Most reliable E46 model?
This might be a good base to start from:
https://www.bmwfanatics.co.za/showthread.php?tid=87252

Also came across this:
https://www.gumtree.co.za/a-cars-bakkies...pp_android

Current:

03' BMW 330i Sport (M) - Alpine White III

Exes:
10' BMW 335i Motorsport (A) - Alpine White III
02' Audi A4 1.9TDI (M) - Crystal Blue Metallic

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12-08-2018, 09:22 AM
Post: #23
RE: Most reliable E46 model?
(11-08-2018 08:47 PM)MHN Wrote:  I'm okay with the maintenance.
So, which model would you recommend?

330i, followed by 325i. The 6 cylinder engines are less problematic, and the fuel consumption is similar between the 320i, 325i and 330i. So you may as well get the benefits of the bigger motor. Having said that, it's very difficult to find a good 330i.

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12-08-2018, 09:55 AM
Post: #24
RE: Most reliable E46 model?
Here is a 330d that might be decent:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/44613050...132773274/

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01 BMW E46 330i 5-speed manual
95 Nissan 1400 bakkie
03 BMW E46 318i N42 Manual Sold
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Yesterday, 09:49 AM
Post: #25
RE: Most reliable E46 model?
Have had my 325i 2003 model since 2007. Bought it with 32k kms on the clock, standing on 167k kms now. I LOVE my car to bits, she is my baby. All round looking good as the E46 still has a sexy shape. She drives well, is strong on power, but yet soft spoken when driven light footed.

I do 95% town driving, getting 11.4L/100km to 12.5L/100km constantly. That said, drive like a potato and the fuel consumption will jump to 13.5-14L/100km easily.

On highway going to Uvongo in 2012 I averaged 6.2L/100km, and just 2 weeks ago we went to BelaBela and I was on 6.8L/100km.
The car has no catalytic converters, full 57mm twin free flow.

Maintenance I do is mostly preventative these days, fixing things before they break, as mentioned before in this thread, the E46 is coming of age now.

Last 6 months I have done the following:
Expansion tank, top hose - R1620 including labour.
Oil service - R980 including labour.
DISA valve - R1800 - fitted it myself.
Alternator and 3x tensioner pullies - R1920 including labour.

Now that said, the car smokes a bit, will have to consider doing valve stem seals soon. Oil consumption at the moment is 600ml for every 1000km driven.
I've already mentioned fuel consumption.

Look, the sound of the straight 6 is timeless, and once you've driven one you will be hard pressed to ever drive a 4cylinder ever again. Also the power delivery is smooth with loads of torque available throughout the rev range, and not having to gear back at all to accelerate, except for to hear that straight 6 rev up.

I have also owned before this a 320d E46 2000 model. Never had any issues with this car, and economical beyond belief!! I just couldn't come to terms with the noise of the diesel and the low rpm, having to constantly change gears.

I hope that helps a bit.

Regards

Francois

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Yesterday, 05:24 PM
Post: #26
RE: Most reliable E46 model?
(Yesterday 09:49 AM)Coisman Wrote:  Have had my 325i 2003 model since 2007. Bought it with 32k kms on the clock, standing on 167k kms now. I LOVE my car to bits, she is my baby. All round looking good as the E46 still has a sexy shape. She drives well, is strong on power, but yet soft spoken when driven light footed.

I do 95% town driving, getting 11.4L/100km to 12.5L/100km constantly. That said, drive like a potato and the fuel consumption will jump to 13.5-14L/100km easily.

On highway going to Uvongo in 2012 I averaged 6.2L/100km, and just 2 weeks ago we went to BelaBela and I was on 6.8L/100km.
The car has no catalytic converters, full 57mm twin free flow.

Maintenance I do is mostly preventative these days, fixing things before they break, as mentioned before in this thread, the E46 is coming of age now.

Last 6 months I have done the following:
Expansion tank, top hose - R1620 including labour.
Oil service - R980 including labour.
DISA valve - R1800 - fitted it myself.
Alternator and 3x tensioner pullies - R1920 including labour.

Now that said, the car smokes a bit, will have to consider doing valve stem seals soon. Oil consumption at the moment is 600ml for every 1000km driven.
I've already mentioned fuel consumption.

Look, the sound of the straight 6 is timeless, and once you've driven one you will be hard pressed to ever drive a 4cylinder ever again. Also the power delivery is smooth with loads of torque available throughout the rev range, and not having to gear back at all to accelerate, except for to hear that straight 6 rev up.

I have also owned before this a 320d E46 2000 model. Never had any issues with this car, and economical beyond belief!! I just couldn't come to terms with the noise of the diesel and the low rpm, having to constantly change gears.

I hope that helps a bit.

Regards

Francois

Thanks for the info.

I can only dream of finding one with 30km or even with just 120km or less. The lowest I've come across so far, for sale, is about 140km. Most are 200km and beyond in mileage.

Your consumption on highways sounds great. Town driving sounds okay.
I drive 80% of the time on highways (N1/M5/N2).

I saw this video of a 325i driving constantly at 80km/h getting economy of 5.6l/100km, which is excellent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ylPHiGI...tPKcmQbDow
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Yesterday, 06:08 PM
Post: #27
RE: Most reliable E46 model?
(Yesterday 05:24 PM)MHN Wrote:  Thanks for the info.

I can only dream of finding one with 30km or even with just 120km or less. The lowest I've come across so far, for sale, is about 140km. Most are 200km and beyond in mileage.

Your consumption on highways sounds great. Town driving sounds okay.
I drive 80% of the time on highways (N1/M5/N2).

I saw this video of a 325i driving constantly at 80km/h getting economy of 5.6l/100km, which is excellent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ylPHiGI...tPKcmQbDow

You drive the exact same route I do each day for a commute to work and back. N1 -> M5 -> N2 -> hospital bend -> M3 (De waal, cant remember new name) -> CBD.

With the FL 318i that gave me 7.2L/100KM combined consumption.
With the 330i cars I get 9L/100KM combined.
Both manual.

Thats mostly outside of traffic though, like 5:30 in the morning and 3pm in the afternoon back home.

As for that 325i, 80km is a sweet spot for consumption on the E46s. The 318i sometimes dropped to 2l/100km on the active dial when cruising at 80-100km/h. The 330i I dont get lower than 4L/100KM cruising.

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95 Nissan 1400 bakkie
03 BMW E46 318i N42 Manual Sold
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Yesterday, 06:15 PM
Post: #28
RE: Most reliable E46 model?
I wouldnt be so much as worried about what engine or reliability as I would of finding ANY E46 in half decent condition.

I still love the idea of a E46 as a run-about but every single one I look at has been pulled through its arse, doesnt matter what end of the spectrum its priced at either.

Find a decent one, buy it - 90% of the parts are all the same, all available at several third party sellers where you can save money and all due replacement on 9/10 of the cars you are going to find anyway.

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