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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • The front tires were 225/45ZR 17 and the rear 245/40ZR17. I only had thirteen thousand on them, but the rears were almost shot. I was able to get something in trade for the fronts from Discount Tire. I have two homes, one in Tucson and the other in Minnesota. We leave for Minnesota in a few days and I did not want to take the chance on poor rears. We travel quite heavily packed. The replacements were the same as above only YR's. As I stated earlier, am very satisfied with the Michelin tires.
  • webby1webby1 Posts: 209
    Which tire was it ?

    Standard Touring All-Season

    ContiTouringContact CT95

    Touring Contact AS

    Grand Touring Summer

    Max Performance Summer

    ContiSportContact 2

    ContiSportContact 2 Vmax

    Ultra High Performance Summer


    Ultra High Performance All-Season


    Grand Touring All-Season



    ContiTouringContact CH95

    ContiTouringContact CV95
  • The tires were ContiSportContact. The road noise was unbelievable at low speeds.
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 336
    Well, I had my first service after a year, and it seemed strange to drive a car for a full year before its first oil change. And it was also nice to take it back to the dealer for the first time since picking it up and having nothing to mention other than doing the scheduled service :) .

    Anyway, the X3 3.0 that I got as a loaner for the day was a real eye-opener. I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but I had the following thoughts as I drove it around a bit:

    - It was really weird from the driver's seat since it felt like someone had "morphed" my 325 into something else. Same steering wheel, same radio, same instruments, but a whole different look and feel to the driving experience.

    - I'm sure glad that I didn't follow up on my initial idea of buying my 325i with an automatic trans. I thought that maybe it was time to try one for a change, but fortunately my wife said "Are you crazy? You'll hate it!" and she was right. Nothing against people who go the Selectronic route, but it's just not for me.

    - What is the attraction of these SUVs anyway? There's no way this thing felt or handled like a car (at least a BMW car!). I drove over some rough pavement a couple of times and the car really felt bouncy with sharp pitching movements.

    Anyway, my first experience with service at my dealer was a pleasant one. So far, so good on my E46 experiences!
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I had an x3 6 mt 3.0 for 3 days last jan/feb (04) and boy did I hate that thing. My sister, a converted SUV person thought it was a dream come true. In her eyes it was a sporty, manual SUV with some pretty sharp handling. To each his own.
  • Hi All:

    Recently moved back to the US and bought a 325i to replace the 318 I had to sell when I left Europe. (Could not import it as it not US specifications.) That little 318 had well over 100K miles in four years. Now I am putting a lot on my new 325i and it makes me wonder if there are others on the boards who use their cars a lot i.e. 25,000 miles a year or more. I need to run this one for at least five years, more if possible, and that translates into 125,000 miles or more before I trade it off. Any comments on reliability from owners who use their cars as hard as I do?
  • kyfdx%40Edmundskyfdx%40Edmunds Posts: 25,851
    IMO, time wears on a car just as much as mileage.. So, driving your car 125K in five years will be easier on it than driving it 125K in ten years..

    For the mechanicals, 125K is 125K, but your car will spend less than half the time out in the elements than a ten year old car...

    And, since I see plenty of ten year old BMWs with triple-digit mileage running around, I don't see why your new car won't make that easily.. and will probably be in better shape than most cars with the same mileage..


    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    Make sure your budget includes a set of tires.
  • memphis10memphis10 Posts: 161
    I am putting in a lot of miles on my 03' 325i. I have a long commute to work. I was considering buying another car and driving my BMW only on the weekends. But I Love my car and my commute is infact quite enjoyable because of the car. The fact that I am using is and enjoying it justfies my 35K cash outflow. I dropped the idea of getting a commuter car.
  • kyfdx%40Edmundskyfdx%40Edmunds Posts: 25,851
    I think about this sometimes.. In March, you could lease a Saturn Ion for 39mo/39K for just $139/mo.. with only $300 due at signing.. I think the total outlay with taxes was less than $150/mo.. I started calculating how much longer our 3-series would stay in warranty, if we drove that Saturn to work just four days per week (which would just about use up the mileage allowance).

    In the end, I came to the same conclusion.. I might save money overall, but we'd have to drive a Saturn Ion for 12K of our annual 32K miles of driving per year (between the two of us).

    It just wasn't worth it..


    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I did the commuter angle with a protege es. I bought the car - 17k msrp for 11k - 12.5k out the door. It gets 30 mpg and uses regular gas. I was driving 90 miles roundtrip per day.

    I am about to put the car for sale at 9.5-10k as I now work 7 miles from home.

    By my estimates, even with the 3k loss on the Protege, I've saved thousands. I've put 26k miles on the Protege and replaced only two tires and had 3 oil changes so far. All told for maintenance - less than $250.

    If I'd driven the BMW I would have replaced the tires at least once more (1k - more likely twice). and I would have spent about $2700 on gas v. $2000. And the kicker, my BMW would now be out of warranty and already 7k over my lease limit with 1 more year to go on the lease!
  • ebanaebana Posts: 4
    I'm back...

    We are about to negotiate with BMW.

    Here is the deal.

    325xi 2005

    heated seats
    leather interior

    100 or so miles on the car.

    We are receiving a 1500 rebate to bring it down to 32225. .

    The dealer has stated that an employee hit the car while in the lot. Thay had to replace the hood and paint the from bumper.

    Since they disclosed the fender bender. I still think I can get the price down to 30750. Am I dreaming?
  • grantchstrgrantchstr Posts: 371
    I was told by my dealer that in the N East there are very few 05 325xis around and that I got one of the last three stickshifts in the NE. So I paid sticker (leased) for a car that was flatbedded from a far away location. Was I hosed?
  • kyfdx%40Edmundskyfdx%40Edmunds Posts: 25,851
    I don't want to say... It really doesn't matter now, does it?

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,091
    Doesn't matter now, just enjoy your car.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    with 98,000 miles. Would that qualify as high mileage? :)

  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Fellow BMW enthusiasts,

    In a few days, I and my co-driver Eric S. will be off to our first One Lap of America. As most of you know, One Lap is a direct descendant of the legendary Cannonball speed contests that started out in New York City and ended in Redondo Beach, CA. Over the years, the race has evolved into a series of time trials on road courses and ovals, drag races, autocross, and skidpad events. One Lap is the only opportunity in the world to compete on 10 different racetracks in 8 days while driving a total of over 3,600 miles!

    Our car

    We will be driving my 2001 325i. The car could use an Atlanta Downing supercharger but it does OK at the track even in its current configuration (it laps Watkins Glen in less than 2:30 min on street tires). The car has the BMW factory Sport package and the following mods:

    · UUC sway bars
    This is probably one of the most popular handling mods with E46 owners. The sways reduced body roll significantly without sacrificing ride quality. I have both the front and rear bars set to full stiff. The sways should be huge help especially with the 2 skidpad events that are part of One Lap. I’d be really curious to see how our skidpad number will compare to the ’86 g that most car magazines have quoted for the 325i with SP.

    · TMS fixed front camber plates with -2 degrees camber all around
    The factory alignment specs call for –2 degrees in the rears but only -¾ degree for the fronts. This works well on the street but it is not nearly enough for performance driving. Dialing another 1 - 1.5 degrees of negative camber in the front reduced understeer and increased front-end grip noticeably. I have never had the car plow at the track and even at the autocross where driver inputs tend to be more jerky, it is hard to get the front to slide. When close to the limit, the car rotates nicely into a turn.

    · TMS E46 Rear Subframe Reinforcement Kit

    The E46 front suspension is very strong but the rear hasn’t kept up with it. Torn rear subframe is a common problem with earlier E46 cars and it is wise to reinforce the rear subframe for preventative maintenance. Last thing you’d want is for the rear subframe to tear while exiting a fast corner on the track!

    · R/D front strut brace
    The strut brace tightened up the front nicely and it reduced understeer. Its effect is not nearly as noticeable as the sways or the front camber plates but it is a welcome improvement nonetheless.

    · ECIS CAI
    I have had the CAI in my car for 50K miles and it is easily one of the best and easiest mods I’ve done. It improved throttle response noticeably and it sounds really awesome at WOT. It is also cheaper to clean the cone air filter than having to replace the stock one every 30K miles. In addition, I am getting 5-10% better fuel economy with similar driving, except now I just want to keep the tach needle in the right half at all times!

    · Shark Injector
    The Shark gave my car a go-kart-like throttle response. I have had it installed for over a year and have had zero issues with drivability.

    · Other goodies
    The 325 still has the stock brakes, although we will be running more aggressive ATE Power Discs in the front with Ferodo DS2500 brake pads front and rear. We are using ATE Super Blue brake fluid and Red Line differential and tranny fluids. We chose Michelin PS2 235/40/17 street tires mounted on lightweight O.Z. Superleggera 17x8 wheels. The wheels alone saved us nearly 10 lbs of rotational weight per corner over the stock Star 44 wheels. The end result is better acceleration, handling, and braking.

    Our Competitors

    Here is an incomplete list of the competitors in our Mid-Priced sedan class (vehicles with original purchase price between $20,000 and $40,000, ALL modifications allowed):

    · 4 Subaru WRX STi (one of them pumping 500+ HP)
    · A Mitsubishi Evo
    · an Infiniti G35
    · a Dodge Magnum
    · a heavily modded Mitsubishi Evo
    · 2 heavily modded Chevrolet Impalas
    · a Mercedes-Benz 190E
    · a 1999 328i

    Most of these cars are driven by Lap Dogs (the “official” term for One Lap vets).

    It’s safe to say that our car will be outpowered by at least 100 HP average in our class. Hopefully, our E46 will be much better balanced, better at handling and braking and most important: more predictable and easier to drive at the limit. We also hope to offset some of our car’s horsepower deficiency (at least by One Lap standards) with good event preparation. We have track videos, “hot laps”, and track maps for each racetrack that we will be running on.

    We hope we’ll be able to provide daily updates of our participation in the event on our team’s website Please visit the website regularly once the event starts on April 30. Better yet, if you are anywhere near the 2005 One Lap venues, stop by the track to support the 11 BMWs and 2 Minis that have been entered in the event. Here is a complete event schedule:

    2005 TireRack Cannonball One Lap of America Schedule

    Friday April 29 Registration, Drivers Meeting and Welcoming Party
    Saturday April 30 Tire Rack Wet skidpad challenge.
    Saturday April 30 Indianapolis Raceway Park 2 Time Trials
    Sunday May 1 BeaveRun 2 Time Trials
    Sunday May 1 Lancaster Speedway 1/2 mile oval
    Monday May 2 New Hampshire International Speedway 2 Time Trials
    Tuesday May 3 Summit Point 2 Time Trials
    Tuesday May 3 Mason Dixon Dragway Low ET Drag and Bracket Drag
    Wednesday May 4 Virginia International Raceway 3 Time Trials (minimum)
    Wednesday May 4 Carolina Rod Shop Passage Control
    Thursday May 5 Roebling Road 2 Time Trials
    Friday May 6 Nelson Ledges 2 Time Trials
    Saturday May 7 Tire Rack Dry Skid Pad Shootout
    Finish at Tire Rack

    We hope to see you at the track!
  • guest123guest123 Posts: 27
    Now that the 2006 model is out, there is a 5K or more discount on the 2005
    models. Is it a good idea to get a 2005 model now? Will it not affect
    the trade in value after 4 years heavily? The 2006 is too new and I am afraid
    they are going to have a lot of problems in the first year of the model.
    I do see a lot of new 2005 330s out on the streets so I guess I am not the only
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    If the best you can do is 5k off msrp on an 05, you should never become a bargain hunter.

    There's over 4k in incentives on 330is right now. Same incentives for the past 3 months.
  • amt7565amt7565 Posts: 165
    I don't like the seats on the Sports package of the 2005 330i. So what options do I have if I have to replace them with the other seats which come with the standard models? Any costs with that?

    Another question- The tires seem to be wider on the sports package models, am I correct? Does this add to any road noise? What are the pros and cons of these tires?

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