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SmackJackTheCrackerMan

E46 330 ci/i

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Hey,

just checking in here as I’m in the market for a 330i or ci. Not looking for a pristine example (also not looking for a rot box), but something pretty clean as I’m sure it will turn into a project of some kind. 

Happy to have something that “needs a few things sorting” to make it decent, and have a tinker around. 
 

Thanks. 

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I have found an E46 I really like down on the South Island and I’m heading dow there next weekend to have a look/pick up the car. 
it’s a 2002 330i. 

Any things I need to look out for? Any major faults?

The guy who currently owns the car is a mechanic at a euro shop and he said there’s no issues with the car at all. 

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Oil leaks, power steering leaks, abs/dsc ecu.. 

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12 hours ago, SmackJackTheCrackerMan said:

I have found an E46 I really like down on the South Island and I’m heading dow there next weekend to have a look/pick up the car. 
it’s a 2002 330i. 

Any things I need to look out for? Any major faults?

The guy who currently owns the car is a mechanic at a euro shop and he said there’s no issues with the car at all. 

Very unlikely to not have any issues (unless someone has spent lots and lots of money on it in). 

Id say oil leaks and vacuum leaks are most common issue, but its a 20 year old car so lots of parts may not have failed outright but are very tried if they haven't been replaced at some point - Cooling system(thermostats have usually soft failed and you can use OBD to check operating temp), pcv system (vacuum leaks and added oil consumption), intake boots\hoses cracking, worn engine\gearbox mounts, suspension bushings, struts\shocks\mounts\bump stops(very common), DISA valve (vacuum leak or rattling), vanos seals, drivebelt pulleys, brake rotors etc etc. Basically everything at this point in time but depends on what sort of mechanical standard\reliability you are wanting from the car.

You'd want to check all the fluid and filter conditions at the bare min to give you an idea if its been somewhat looked after. These transmissions also have torque convertor faults so ideally it would have had a transmission fluid and filter change at some point. If not you'd want to do one asap if buying it.

You can check the subframe if you really want to. You can get your head under the L\R, clean up and check the crease without jacking the car up iirc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaTYBaMpUtE

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Just my experience . . we bought an '01 for $3k with 213000km. Came with $7k of receipts including rebuilt transmission and front lower arms and all 4 shocks had been replaced with Bilsteins.

I replaced the ENTIRE cooling system, I mean everything including radiator, water pump and the 2 plastic pipes under the inlet manifold. Definitely check where those plastic pipes insert into the head under the intake cam sensor and vanos solenoid.

Replaced entire PCV system. Replaced noisy tensioner pulleys on serpentine belt. Replaced driveshaft guibo. Replaced both rear wheel bearings (notoriously difficult). Replaced all 4 brake rotors and pads.

Admittedly there was a lot I didn't need to do but I don't want to look at it again for another 100,00km as its the daily driver/ sacrificial car. Still to do: noisy FR wheel bearing, purple tag steering rack to install, noisy alternator bearings and noisy aircon clutch bearing before I will consider it fully mechanically sorted.

Oh yeah, as mentioned above, if its an auto, check the torque converter locks up. Should be around 2000 - 2100 rpm at 100km/h. Codes may show on a scan but not bring up a fault light. Also usual oil leaks - oil filter housing gasket and rocker cover - not too bad to do - oil pan gasket - involves lowering front subframe.

I used INPA to scan the car with the laptop. I like to read the codes but also looking at the adaptations can highlight something deteriorating.

All in all, be very hard to find a perfect one - just some things are deal breakers.

 

Edited by BlackAngel

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