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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • 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?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    I don't want to say... It really doesn't matter now, does it?


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  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,324
    Doesn't matter now, just enjoy your car.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • 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?

  • squirtdadsquirtdad Posts: 22
    Any input on whether fhe following 325i goodies are best done by BMW or after market (performance/price)?

    Roof Racks (BMW or Thule)
    Car Cover (BMW or ???)

    any other suggest great accessories?

  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    I went with Thule... I think their other components (bike carriers) are more stable.
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    I just bought a full Thule rack, model 735 (I think) for my 325i. I have an appreciation for products that are well-engineered, and I think that the combo of this rack and Thule's 599XTR bike mounting rails is pretty impressive -- perfect fit and all that. I have no idea what BMW charges for their branded racks, but I would be that it's significantly more than what you can get the Thule components for via the 'net.
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    I also have the Thule mount specific to the BMW. I like it because I can mount/unmount it to the car in 5 minutes. I was actually leaning towards a wagon before the salesman pointed out the mount points in the roof of the sedan.

    I saw an E46 the other day with a generic roof rack (pads sitting on the roof, clamps on the door sills). I cringed thinking of the damage it was doing to the paint!

  • beemerbabebeemerbabe Posts: 2
    My husband and I are empty nesters, car fanatics, motorcycle fanatics, and we just got our first BMW 325i, with sport package. I have wanted one for over 20 years, and I have to tell you, I haven't come down to earth yet!
    We decided on the Titanium silver with the grey leather interior, sunroof (which is open ALL THE TIME in nice weather!!!).
    This car handles the 'twisties' better than any vehicle we've owned in the last 28 years. (About 50 at least!).
    Has anyone experienced the sensation of actually wanting to accelerate thru the turns. I have raced dirt bikes in the past, (and i'm planning on doing it again at 47 hee hee) and i know that you brake before the turn, and accelerate out, and man does our Beemer perform!!!! I just love "Dominic" ha ha I haven't named a car since my 1973 White Mustang Melvin!!!
    Us car fanatics are something, huh? :)
  • mbojilovmbojilov Posts: 7
    I have a 2003 325i and a few short weeks after I bought it last year I began to feel that the slant/mounting of the steering wheel is not comfortable at all for me. It is too horizontal and reminiscent of the positioning of a minivan's steering wheel. It must be just me since I have not read anyone else complain about this which is more than amazing, given that cars with a sporty character are supposed to allow for a more vertical positioning of the wheel (similar to F-1 or other race cars). If I had noticed this during the test drive, I would have never ever bought this car. Unfortunately, I was too impressed with the overall driving characteristics (steering, cornering, etc.) that I did not notice this at all for the first few weeks.

    Is there a way a BMW shop or some other after-market custom shop could work with the steering wheel column to bring it down or otherwise to allow for the wheel to become more vertical? The tilt/telescoping feature is virtually worthless. Although I can't figure out what BMW designers could have possibly been thinking (since prior 3-series as well as 5-series models also have the same issue), I noticed that on the new 2006 3-series this feature seems to have been significantly improved, if not perfected. I don't want to spend the extra money for the new one though, and I hope someone might be able to propose a solution (although I doubt such exists). Thank you very much.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, I'm not trying to sound sarcastic or anything, but I do think that it's just you. I've been monitoring and contributing on the 3-Series discussions for nearly eight years, and drove an E46 for over three of those years, and in that entire time, you are the only person that I can remember who has voiced any dissatisfaction regarding the position and angle of the steering wheel.

    FWIW, I also drive a mini-van, and I'm afraid I don't see the connection between its steering wheel and the steering wheel of any BMW (E46 or otherwise) that I've ever driven.

    Best Regards,
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    I put mine in the full down position, while my wife drives it in the full up position.. Do I wish it came down a little farther? Yes.. but, compared to our FWD Hondas, it is a race car steering wheel vs. a bus steering wheel..

    I don't see it as being "near horizontal" either..

    Maybe try putting the seat up higher?



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  • mbojilovmbojilov Posts: 7
    Shipo and Kyfdx,

    Of course I did exaggerate about the near-horizontal or minivan-like positioning of the steering wheel but it was just to illustrate the point. I do have mine in the full down position while my seat at its full high but still no good. Meanwhile when I look at other cars including the A4, the G35 and C-class they all seem to offer the more vertical positioning. I am not sure why BMW did it they way they did but it seems like the E90 has improved on it (although I am judging just from the outside; have not yet taken it for a test drive).

    All in all, it doesn't seem like there is a solution other than getting rid of it and getting something else :( . Thanks for your comments nevertheless.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I'm flat out speechless regarding the steering wheel thing.
  • amt7565amt7565 Posts: 165
    It sure is exciting! Good luck and hope you enjoy the car for years to come ;)
  • jamesspotjamesspot Posts: 57
    This surprised me, too. With my legs, I need to drive with the wheel up and out in order to have room underneath to properly actuate the brake. I'm surprised that the wheel isn't low enough for someone.
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    I'm flat out speechless regarding the steering wheel thing.

    Blueguy speechless? Now that renders me speechless! :D
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Congrats on the car! Just remember that making a turn by slamming it off a berm isn't as effective in a BMW as on a CR/YZ/KX/RM. :)
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    Blueguy speechless? Now that renders me speechless!

  • beemerbabebeemerbabe Posts: 2
    hee hee hee YA GOT THAT RIGHT!!!! : O )
    Kind of like comparing apples and oranges!!!!

    The only thing i HATE about the new BMW is that i'm so obsessive/compulsive about clean, that i try to dodge the bugs and dust and gravel and pollution ha ha...................i use Meguiars to "bathe" it - you don't wash a car like ours ha ha and i bought thier latest 'generation Xtreme' wax and i've put on two coats already.........extra heavy on the hood and front cos that gets the brunt of the flying debris.........................Anyway, we got to drive it on a WONDERFUL trip this last weekend, and it performed is a bit rough, but the sports package makes it that way............hence the beautiful cornering!!!! : 0 )

    Happy Beeming!!!
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Bimmer= BMW Automobile
    Beemer= BMW Motorcycle
  • 330blast330blast Posts: 49
    I need to replace my brakes (pads and rotors, both front and rear). Dealer quotes are all around $1000 (may get 20% discount from CCA membership), which is quite clear a rip-off as I recall that Shipo (or someone else) DIY for only $250.
    Can someone recommend a good independent shop in SF bay area (south bay to mid peninsula)? I hope to either get some significant savings or with similar money, get higher grade parts.

  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    I've haven't had to get anything done yet, except oil changes but someone recommended Palo Alto Bimmer (on Alma St, I believe). I had my last oil change there and they seemed to be okay.

    There's also Ray's Ultimate in Mtn. View [], and Phaedrus in SF.

    Also, check out supposed to be a list of reputable shops.

    Please let us know where you end up and your experience.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    Awww... div2.. you had to go and blow it for her.. she already has the screen name and everything...

    I wasn't going to say anything, but I knew it was coming...


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