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  1. BMW E46 advice 
    #1
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    Hi Guys.

    Im a complete newbie to BMW's and was wondering if I could get some advice from all you experts out there. I have managed to save up a fair bit of money and looking to buy my first BMW 3 series E46. Engine size, I have been looking at around 2 to 2.5 litre petrol. Have around £3000-£4000 to spend and I have gone to see a number of cars already. Was wondering what the major issues/ things I should be looking for? And does it really matter if the car has done over 100,000 miles?

    Any advice would be great!!
     
     

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    Plenty for sale in a petrol, I would consider the 3.0l more power and same running costs unless you live in a bad post code for insurance. Not sure about what to look for though apart from service history.
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by leemate View Post
    Plenty for sale in a petrol, I would consider the 3.0l more power and same running costs unless you live in a bad post code for insurance. Not sure about what to look for though apart from service history.
    Cheers mate. I have been looking into a 3litre but living in Bristol, the insurance is a bit high for my liking. Was thinking of a Diesel but I have never really been a fan of the engine and sound isn't as good..
     
     

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    Only buy one thats had plenty of money spent on it or you will be spending.Only buy a fsh car and check the suspension before buying and the cooling system. Don't buy an auto shite on fuel and more likely to go wrong.
     
     

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    They can be prone to oil leaks, which then drip onto exhaust and give burning oil smell, very noticeable if the fresh air control is open. So beware of a car running on recirc and with those fragranced fir tree things hanging everywhere. Not a problem to sort usually.... but a good haggling point. Mine has 80.000 and has quiet suspension and engine. Enjoy the choosing, and welcome to the forum. Mine was within your budget and is a facelift model, as has been written already, lots to choose from, but I came across some apalling ones before I found a good one. Often spoiled by damaged rims, not just kerb scrapes, tyres under spec, damaged panels, loose boom box in the boot. Only 1 in six reached the test drive , Check EVERYTHING works, you may feel a fool twiddling climate control knobs, ALL electric windows, but do it, make sure all fan speeds work, the controller (hedgehog) is not the finest feature. If this is your first 3 series you will be impressed.. everything is perfection, so make sure you drive a few
    318 ci manual 2003
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1 View Post
    Only buy one thats had plenty of money spent on it or you will be spending.Only buy a fsh car and check the suspension before buying and the cooling system. Don't buy an auto shite on fuel and more likely to go wrong.
    Thanks. With the cooling system what sort of test could I do to check if its alright and not leaking?
     
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by VARSITY View Post
    They can be prone to oil leaks, which then drip onto exhaust and give burning oil smell, very noticeable if the fresh air control is open. So beware of a car running on recirc and with those fragranced fir tree things hanging everywhere. Not a problem to sort usually.... but a good haggling point. Mine has 80.000 and has quiet suspension and engine. Enjoy the choosing, and welcome to the forum. Mine was within your budget and is a facelift model, as has been written already, lots to choose from, but I came across some apalling ones before I found a good one. Often spoiled by damaged rims, not just kerb scrapes, tyres under spec, damaged panels, loose boom box in the boot. Only 1 in six reached the test drive , Check EVERYTHING works, you may feel a fool twiddling climate control knobs, ALL electric windows, but do it, make sure all fan speeds work, the controller (hedgehog) is not the finest feature. If this is your first 3 series you will be impressed.. everything is perfection, so make sure you drive a few
    Cheers mate. I'll definitely be fidling with all the bits and bobs in the car such as climate control etc to see if they are working. apart from under the engine, where could the oil leak from? I normally check the oil seal to see if yellow custard material has formed..
     
     

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    Oil leak symptoms could simply be from careless topping up. But if pressure builds up due to a clogged part in the breather/recirc system then you could find leaks at the filler cap and the gasket of the cam cover. Yes good point about the yellow custard, although in my part of the country we call it mayonaise, can be found in filler cap and on dip stick, could just be low mileage in cold weather, but then it could be coolant getting into oil. My "company " cars were changed at 100,000 for petrol, and 120,000 for diesel 4 cylinders. Mechanics at my local garage jokingly say that a 2'5 litre six is just run in at 120,000. For your budget you are well into facelift '53 plate coupes, and could keep well under 100,000 miles
    318 ci manual 2003
     
     

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