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Is it a good idea to get an older BMW (e46/e36) in 2021?


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Lets assume the car has service records and a pre purchase inspection reveals the bmw is in good working condition. Is it still a good idea to get these older BMWs? 

I checked with Milroy and they say they no long work on these models and there are no spare parts with them (they seem to work on 2010+ models). 

What are your thoughts?

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Well..how much of a motor head are you ? You need to have a certain level of discipline to take care of a Euro and keep it in nice and reliable shape.

There are other independant garages that specialise in BMWs (some who are apparently now preffered over and better than M-y). You might want to check with them as well.

Having said that...there are many E46s and E36s that are used as dailies and some that are in mint condition. Are you sure this wasn't a statement made off the cuff by Milroy or somewhat made in their own best interest (than reality ?) ?.

@Supra_Natural and @VVTi will know better.

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Hi I own 2 E46 cars and both petrols (318i and 320i).  Both are manufactured in 1999 and to-date are maintained at Milroys.  I never had any issues with parts on maintenance of both cars and  have kept them factory fresh with all TLC on time. Find a good specimen with detailed history and records, and where no corners have been cut during maintenance.  They will definitely have better value and would command a bit more than the average market value - but will still be worth it as you will not be spending x number of hours in garages.  

If you are looking for a diesel get a facelift car from the 2002 and after.  Petrols are much more reliable to run and cheaper to maintain than the diesels. I am sure there are more experienced enthusiasts who will share their experience as well. 

 

Good luck ! 

Edited by Rukster
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Both are good and proven models over here. There are couple of other places you can get both repaired at. I used to work with Berline Automobile. As far as E46 is concerned, the diesel model has an inherited issue of damper pulley giving up prematurely and frequently unless otherwise you stick to genuine damper pulley. Apart from that it's a great driving machine in terms of driver pleasure and fuel economy. Also, you don't feel like you're driving a stick shifter :D

 

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On 2/22/2021 at 4:44 PM, iRage said:

Well..how much of a motor head are you ? You need to have a certain level of discipline to take care of a Euro and keep it in nice and reliable shape.

There are other independant garages that specialise in BMWs (some who are apparently now preffered over and better than M-y). You might want to check with them as well.

Having said that...there are many E46s and E36s that are used as dailies and some that are in mint condition. Are you sure this wasn't a statement made off the cuff by Milroy or somewhat made in their own best interest (than reality ?) ?.

@Supra_Natural and @VVTi will know better.

Thanks for your reply. I am pretty obsessive on maintenance so I think I would have the discipline to maintain a Euro vehicle. I understand that these vehicles need more attention than our regular Japanese vehicles (partly that's the charm to it). While I am completely fine with it , my concern is having issues every month for one thing or another. I've seen in many forums that people who are maintaining their cars well, still face issues with their BMWs. 

The guy at M-y made it sound like I was going to make a stupid decision by looking at E46s. He mentioned that there are constant leaks on the n42 engine. However, to be fair he sounded genuine and didn't seem off the cuff.

 

On 2/22/2021 at 8:24 PM, Rukster said:

Hi I own 2 E46 cars and both petrols (318i and 320i).  Both are manufactured in 1999 and to-date are maintained at Milroys.  I never had any issues with parts on maintenance of both cars and  have kept them factory fresh with all TLC on time. Find a good specimen with detailed history and records, and where no corners have been cut during maintenance.  They will definitely have better value and would command a bit more than the average market value - but will still be worth it as you will not be spending x number of hours in garages.  

If you are looking for a diesel get a facelift car from the 2002 and after.  Petrols are much more reliable to run and cheaper to maintain than the diesels. I am sure there are more experienced enthusiasts who will share their experience as well. 

 

Good luck ! 

Thanks for your reply. Any chance you are planning to sell one of your E46s :D ? Would love to get a BMW which has been taken care properly by the previous owner. Its really difficult to find E46s with day one service records. I too was looking at petrols as I read in AL that they are relatively easier to maintain. 

On 2/23/2021 at 4:00 PM, harshansenadhir said:

Both are good and proven models over here. There are couple of other places you can get both repaired at. I used to work with Berline Automobile. As far as E46 is concerned, the diesel model has an inherited issue of damper pulley giving up prematurely and frequently unless otherwise you stick to genuine damper pulley. Apart from that it's a great driving machine in terms of driver pleasure and fuel economy. Also, you don't feel like you're driving a stick shifter :D

 

The E46 I was looking at was actually maintained at Berlin Motor world (i think we are referring to the same place). Is the place reliable?

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12 hours ago, Cruis3r said:

The guy at M-y made it sound like I was going to make a stupid decision by looking at E46s. He mentioned that there are constant leaks on the n42 engine.

Well..that can happen with any car and the key is past maintenances (the typical Japanese car user will not care and just wash the oil off for a quick sale)... 

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