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Old 03-01-2012, 08:32 AM
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Default School Me on Buying a E46 or E90

We are casually starting the search for the next car for Sharon.
Maybe in the next 2-4 months.

She will be leaving behind a '98 Cadillac STS. "The lead sled"
We currently have a great 1997 E36 (328is) that we bought a few years ago for the kids.

Sharon wants manual and is intrested in all wheel drive.
Her color is blue.

I don't read magazines and only know much about the cars I work on.

I want:
Something that is simple that I can fix. (Almost anything)
I don't want to have to rely on the dealer of independant shop to reset the CEL every time there is a hickup.
Will my OBDII reader get me anywhere? (Are there aftermarket dignostics tools to go deeper?)

In this area, I think it's possible to find a clean, low mileage E46 that was well cared for. (There are so many Bimmers on the road.)

What does the E90 have going for it?
Probably looking for an engine on the larger size as opposed to economy.
Are there lots of known problems with the x drive?

I like to benchmark off of others experiences and guidance.

Please let me know what's good and bad as well as any tips to buy and things to look for...

Thanks!
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:49 AM
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Too bad you arent looking for M3. My 01 vert with 34k miles is for sale.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillJ View Post
Too bad you arent looking for M3. My 01 vert with 34k miles is for sale.
Sounds nice. Maybe not for her.
Got a picture or a link?
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Miller View Post
Sounds nice. Maybe not for her.
Got a picture or a link?
here is a lousy pic
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:58 AM
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Is that M3 white, or some odd green color?
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:24 AM
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What's your asking price?
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:23 PM
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Bill M:

Stick with the E46 3 series ('99 to '06) b/c the GT1 (dealer programming software) is readily available and you can run diagnostics, reprogram, code modules, etc...

Software for E90 isn't readily available ... yet.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jase007 View Post
Bill M:

Stick with the E46 3 series ('99 to '06) b/c the GT1 (dealer programming software) is readily available and you can run diagnostics, reprogram, code modules, etc...

Software for E90 isn't readily available ... yet.

Thanks!
What if I can't get her into something that old?
I didn't realize that the E90 went back as far as 06/07?


I'm trying to understand the engine numbers
it seems they have the same engine designation, but some are for a 325, 328 and 330.

330 2 door with a 6 speed looks pretty sweet
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:16 PM
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The numbers "used to mean something" until the BMW marketing department started f-ing with them.

For ages it went like this:

1st digit = body style
2nd & 3rd digit = engine liter displacement
i = fuel injection
s = sport
e - eta or efficiiency / high torque low hp motors, good mileage.
t = can mean touring or hatch-back unles you are talking about 2002s (pre-cursor to 3 series).
x = all wheel drive for sedans and tourings
c = convertible

So, generally, a 325is=

3 series
2.5L engine
fuel injected
sport model

It all started to change when 2.7L eta motors came out in the E30 3 series ('84-'91) ... was sold as a 325e or 325es though ran a 2.7L motor.

Then, marketing needed to create a bigger benefit to sell the E46 328 cars (2.8L motors) so 325 cars got labeled as 323 (even though they still had 2.5L engines).

M, Z and X series really never followed engine displacement nomenclature and the V8 powered sedans (5 series and 7 series) didn't always follow the displacement rules.

E.g. an E39 body 540i ('97 - '03) should have a 4.0L V8 based on the label ... it runs a 4.4L instead...

In the last several years ... it has become more screwed up with turbo motors.

E61 5 series 535xit =
5 series
3.0L turbo
x = AWD
i = injected
t = touring (wagon)

Good luck deciphering ... wiki is pretty good and the Bimmerheads on Dorki can assist as well.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:08 PM
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Additionally, all E90s post 2006 in the US are either 328s or 335s. They both run 3.0l engines - the 328s run a n/a motor and 335s run a turbo motor.
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