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BMW 3 Series (E46) advice


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Anyone on here own/owned one? Looking at the 330ci, and wondering about insurance, fuel economy, performance etc.





330d I can tell you plenty about.... 330ci - nothing :unsure:


Well just that some people are achieving same sort of consumption with the petrol as with the diesel - 35 to 40 mpg. Whilst having 50bhp more. Well, its over 230 kg lighter than an touring...


Problem list with the model is potentially long as your arm - sharkfin leaking, wipers seizing, washer jets cracking, bottom arms knocking, electrics malfunctioning, xenon selfadjusting for the sky, climate control having time off, etc.


That's just what I'm familiar with.


Why don't you look it all up on bimmerfest and bimmerforums like for instance here or on E46zone or E46fanatics ?


Info galore, almost enough to put one off ;)

Edited by DaweV6
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Just bought a 323Ci - great car, not much worse on fuel than my GTi was. Cost me £63 to fill it when the light was on last week (can't remember the price per litre) but I got nearly 400 miles from that with trips down the motorway and some pretty hard driving to get used to the car.


Watch out for airbag lights - usually down to the seat occupancy sensor. There is a cheap fix for this so could be a great bargaining tool.


Door seals are prone to perishing, and cost a bomb to replace.


Look on the net about vanos issues - vanos is the variable valve timing, if it goes wrong, garages will just want to replace the whole thing (megabucks), but you can buy the seals (the bit that dies 9/10 times) for cheap from the states, but they are quite a big job to change.


Don't worry about mileage too much, I test drove loads and there was little difference between a car that had 80k and a car that had 140k.


I could go on, but my main advice is to not worry about getting a 330Ci too much - I wanted one and the cost of insurance etc is similar to the 323Ci I have got now. Fuel economy and performance are not much different either. The main difference is you can get a lower mileage/newer 323/325 for your cash than you can with the 330.


If you can put up with four doors, insurance on a 330i is MUCH cheaper. Insurance companies hate coupes. I hate four doors so paid the extra :)


bimmerforums is the place to go mate, get on there and do some more research. But remember to drive plenty of different models!

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