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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

We are currently looking for an E46 330d. An awful lot of the ones we have found in our price range have very high mileage. Is this anything to worry about with the 330d?

Also, what is the best gearbox for that engine? Manual or Auto? The vast majority seem to be Autos, is there a reason for this? Does this engine suit the Auto box more?

Sorry for all the questions. I'm new to BMWs & need all the advice I can get!

Cheers :D
 

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If the engine has had new oil and filter every year I wouldn't be put off by the high mileage. As long as you keep servicing it regularly it will be fine.

Just make sure of the usual things as far as you can, it hasn't been 'ragged' by an idiot, just a general look and feel will tell you if it has been looked after.

As for the auto/manual thing I'm not sure. I know the 330d puts out a lot of torque but I see no reason to go for an auto over a manual other than personal preference. If you drive it sensibly the extra torque wouldn't put any more wear on the clutch.

HTH.
 

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The 330ds have an obscene amount of torque, seems to defy odds that the auto box withstands it (sometimes it doesn't!) but I am quite pleased with mine so far. FSH a must. Not necessarily all BMW either. Some dealerships are total rookies.
 

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159200ish miles and counting on mine can see 200k being a walk in the park.

Scott has given very sound advice above of what you need to check/look for:thumbsup

They do work well with autos as there so tourqe, but it's a double edge sword because the auto gearbox BMW fitted is at is maximum tourqe limit.
So if the cars ragged or been remapped dont expect the auto box to be happy with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. I've always had manuals before, but they seem very few & far between.
It makes sense to be wary of a re-mapped example. Is there any way of telling if it's had a re-map? With my ST it's easy to see as she boosts to the max on the gauge, where a standard one will only boost just past half way. There are bound to be examples for sale that have no mention of a re-map.

It sounds like the high miles are not a huge minus point, as long as there is good history.

Thanks for your help!! :D
 

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Manual will give better MPG and the autos can be troublesome past the 100k mile point. Never heard of a manual failing, but suffered 2 auto failures myself, then again the clutch on a manual will need replacing at some point + the dual mass flywheel, but cheaper than an auto box. I'd go manual myself
 

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Thanks. I've always had manuals before, but they seem very few & far between.
It makes sense to be wary of a re-mapped example. Is there any way of telling if it's had a re-map? With my ST it's easy to see as she boosts to the max on the gauge, where a standard one will only boost just past half way. There are bound to be examples for sale that have no mention of a re-map.

It sounds like the high miles are not a huge minus point, as long as there is good history.

Thanks for your help!! :D
Generally speaking if it's had a remap it will be mentioned in the ad as sellers usually consider them a good selling point with it being faster than a standard example. If there's no mention of it then you can be reasonably safe that it isn't remapped.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all your help & advice. :thumbsup

We are now proud owners of a 2003(53) 330d Sport with a manual box.

I'm very impressed with her, bags of power as she's had a remap. She had a new clutch & flywheel fitted last year.

Thanks again, this forum is a mine of information! :cool
 

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Sorry to resurrect this thread, but didn't think my question deserved a whole new one, as may be a bit noobish!

So I too am looking at a 330d Sport, totally in love with the Imola red, it will be mine, and I will be getting the swirl flaps removed as soon as I buy it (if it has them).

But, my main question, do ALL 330D Sport Auto's have the Steptronic gearbox? - I've driven one before and despite not liking Auto's (well it's more that I LOVE a manual!) it was AWESOME!

So I'm considering Auto, as it would be easier to find the exact car in the right colour in Auto, even though I read about less MPG, but if I have to find a specific one with the Steptronic it will make life harder.

TL;DR - Do all 330d AUTO Sport's (2001 - 2003 ish - that's an E46 right?) have the Steptronic gearbox, or is it an "extra" that I'll only find on certain cars?

Thanks guys.
 

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After seeing the state of various mechanical parts in my engine, I would be very very wary of buying a high miler again! I have a 320d with 175k. Before buying it I asked the same questions and the general concensus is that they are fine if looked after, full service history! My engine has suffered some serious damage due the the sprocket on the fuel pump being so worn that the chain had slipped causing the timing to go out! Upon getting a recon cylinder head, the mechanic checked all other parts such as the chains and other sprockets and most had to be replaced as they were very very worn! As with any mechnical part, how ever well oiled it will always wear out and now I wouldnt buy anything with this high mileage, all i have to do now is wait for the HPP pump top give up the ghost and the steptronic box:) cheery i know!!
 

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After seeing the state of various mechanical parts in my engine, I would be very very wary of buying a high miler again! I have a 320d with 175k. Before buying it I asked the same questions and the general concensus is that they are fine if looked after, full service history! My engine has suffered some serious damage due the the sprocket on the fuel pump being so worn that the chain had slipped causing the timing to go out! Upon getting a recon cylinder head, the mechanic checked all other parts such as the chains and other sprockets and most had to be replaced as they were very very worn! As with any mechnical part, how ever well oiled it will always wear out and now I wouldnt buy anything with this high mileage, all i have to do now is wait for the HPP pump top give up the ghost and the steptronic box:) cheery i know!!
Oh man that doesn't fill me with confidence. Still to be fair any car I get is gonna have near enough 100k (diesels at least) on the clock, and I'd rather have a "Well run in" BMW than a "Well run in" Ford or something.

Sucks about your problems man, Just gotta cross my fingers that buying at 100k will give me at least another 50k motoring without too many major issues.
 

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100k on a looked after bimmer, sludger or not, is NOTHING!
Phew, that was what I was hoping, will be my first "sludger" as have always been a petrol man - reckon I'm gonna miss the roar of the petrol but going from a 1.6 petrol to a 2.9 diesel should give me plenty to take my mind off it. lol.

Thanks.
 

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Phew, that was what I was hoping, will be my first "sludger" as have always been a petrol man - reckon I'm gonna miss the roar of the petrol but going from a 1.6 petrol to a 2.9 diesel should give me plenty to take my mind off it. lol.

Thanks.
Yes it should ;)

Don't think there all steptronic in the auto 330d's? but stand to be corrected.

If I where you I'd wait/hunt down for a manual in your preferred colour/spec. The autos are worse on fuel (much worse around town and still abit less on a run), and they are costly to fix when they fail :frown

The auto box in the 330ds is right at the limit handling the tourqe the engine produces, seen quite a few faliures of them on here but no manual boxes.

162+k on my manual 330d going well :cool
 

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154K on ours, manual. Had to do a clutch and flywheel a few months back. General maintenance as with any other car.

It's been chipped though, oil change every 5k miles.

I THINK the turbo might be leaking though.
 

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Yes it should ;)

Don't think there all steptronic in the auto 330d's? but stand to be corrected.

If I where you I'd wait/hunt down for a manual in your preferred colour/spec. The autos are worse on fuel (much worse around town and still abit less on a run), and they are costly to fix when they fail :frown

The auto box in the 330ds is right at the limit handling the tourqe the engine produces, seen quite a few faliures of them on here but no manual boxes.

162+k on my manual 330d going well :cool
Nice one, thanks for the heads up!

I am leaning towards a manual, while I did enjoy driving the Steptronic, I'm sure I would miss proper gears.
 

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My experience of high mileage cars is it's generally not the engine that's the worry as long as it's been serviced. It's everything else, bushes, shocks, brakes, wheel bearings etc unless they have been replaced they will need doing.
My car has 102k miles and runs and feels like a car with 20k miles, everything is nice and 'tight', the clutch, gearbox and so on but, i've replaced so many parts like bushes and suspension though.

Shrekster.
 
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