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      07-12-2018, 02:34 PM   #1
Sjacks
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Question 2000 E46 318i - Repair or Sell?

Hi,
This is regarding a 2002 model E46 BMW 318i which I purchased about 6 months ago for 950. It has 81k on the clock, no engine problems.

Initial inspection
I have a trusted mechanic that I have been going to for years and sent the car down to him for a check as there was a rattling noise emanating from the rear of the vehicle on the driver's side. I was told I needed new shockers and paid 150 to have 2 fitted.
Unfortunately the problem still exists so I sent the car back in today and paid another 80 for anti roll bar links (one had snapped, the other was on its way out) and steam cleaning the engine as there is an oil leak and they had to detect where it was coming from. After the job was done I had a test drive and the rattling is still there so the mechanic put the car on the ramp while I was there and we both had a look, still no joy as to what the problem is. The sound is like a metallic rattle, light metal, definitely not plastic.

Further inspection
As I had the car in for repair I asked the garage to give it a good look over and let me know of anything that needs correcting and the general condition of the vehicle. At the end of the inspection I was presented with a list as follows;
All brake pipes, brake fluid and hoses 235
Bulbs 10
SRS light on 40
Aircon faulty 65
Rocker cover gasket (source of oil leak) 130
Total 480

Additional
As the car was suspended on the ramp I noticed (I am not a mechanic) a structural part which was corroded, asked the mechanic what he thought and he was a bit sheepish and said it will probably last a few years. Not exactly filling me with confidence. The parts around the wheels looked quite rusty and worn, not horrific but not good.

What should I do, sell the car or get the repair work done?
Many thanks
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      07-12-2018, 09:28 PM   #2
last1left
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjacks View Post
Hi,
This is regarding a 2002 model E46 BMW 318i which I purchased about 6 months ago for 950. It has 81k on the clock, no engine problems.

Initial inspection
I have a trusted mechanic that I have been going to for years and sent the car down to him for a check as there was a rattling noise emanating from the rear of the vehicle on the driver's side. I was told I needed new shockers and paid 150 to have 2 fitted.
Unfortunately the problem still exists so I sent the car back in today and paid another 80 for anti roll bar links (one had snapped, the other was on its way out) and steam cleaning the engine as there is an oil leak and they had to detect where it was coming from. After the job was done I had a test drive and the rattling is still there so the mechanic put the car on the ramp while I was there and we both had a look, still no joy as to what the problem is. The sound is like a metallic rattle, light metal, definitely not plastic.

Further inspection
As I had the car in for repair I asked the garage to give it a good look over and let me know of anything that needs correcting and the general condition of the vehicle. At the end of the inspection I was presented with a list as follows;
All brake pipes, brake fluid and hoses 235
Bulbs 10
SRS light on 40
Aircon faulty 65
Rocker cover gasket (source of oil leak) 130
Total 480

Additional
As the car was suspended on the ramp I noticed (I am not a mechanic) a structural part which was corroded, asked the mechanic what he thought and he was a bit sheepish and said it will probably last a few years. Not exactly filling me with confidence. The parts around the wheels looked quite rusty and worn, not horrific but not good.

What should I do, sell the car or get the repair work done?
Many thanks
Fix it and keep
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      07-16-2018, 11:12 PM   #3
rak299
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So, you paid 150 for shocks and 80 for anti roll bar links, and you are talking about another 480. That's 710 on a car that you spent 950 for 6 months ago. I think the trick to owning old cars where you are not the original owner is not worrying about little noises or replacing parts that look worn. The car is 16 years old and has 81k on the odometer. Everything is a little worn and there will be noises. If you try to fix everything that is worn and cure every rattle, you will buy the whole car, one piece at a time. You could spend 250 per week for life. There are lots of parts. There is a difference between a small, stable rattle and the noise made when the wheel is ready to fall off. Your noise might be serious, but it might be something simple like a muffler hanger. (If I have a rear-end noise, I always try pushing and pulling on the exhaust system.)
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      07-17-2018, 12:33 AM   #4
Emilime75
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There's also the question as to why you bought this car in the first place, and why you're paying a mechanic to diagnose and fix your complaint, but it isn't getting fixed. You took it to him twice for the same rattle, he diagnosed it and had you pay him both times to fix it...it's still not fixed. Yet, you go back and ask how much more money you can give him.

As to what to do with it, it's hard to say. A 2002 318i is basically worthless in the US...did we even have the E46 318s here? Think the 325 was the bottom of the E46 line here, but I could be wrong. Either way, you mention rust in structural parts of the car, and brake "pipes"...assume these are "lines" that need replacing...so rust is a definite problem with the car. I don't think I'd be dumping much money into it.
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      07-17-2018, 12:38 AM   #5
mk1-fan
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In 2012 I bought a 2002 E46 318i as a daily driver.

I bought it for R77000, with 120k km on the clock with a FSH, mostly from BMW.

Within the first 4 months I had to spend over R20000 on small things that went bang, from window regulators, Vanos controller, radiator and even the radio.

I later found out that the E46 318i was the most unreliable E46 made, with the N42 engine being the worst aspect of all.

I drove it for about a year, and then sold it.

If I were in your position, I'd sell it asap.
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      07-17-2018, 04:05 AM   #6
DerEisbaer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjacks View Post
... After the job was done I had a test drive and the rattling is still there so the mechanic put the car on the ramp while I was there and we both had a look, still no joy as to what the problem is. The sound is like a metallic rattle, light metal, definitely not plastic.

Further inspection
As I had the car in for repair I asked the garage to give it a good look over and let me know of anything that needs correcting and the general condition of the vehicle. At the end of the inspection I was presented with a list as follows;
All brake pipes, brake fluid and hoses 235
Bulbs 10
SRS light on 40
Aircon faulty 65
Rocker cover gasket (source of oil leak) 130
Total 480

....
I don't see, which one of these would address the rattling noise? Did you find the culprit for the same?

If the car is structurally in good condition, is accident-free and well equipped - why not keep it? Don't think the N42 is that bad ... In general, a 318i is rather cheap to repair, E46 parts are not very costly and a lot of mechanics can meanwhile work on them rather well.
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      07-17-2018, 08:18 AM   #7
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81k miles is nothing. Fix the issues and you'll still have a great car for not much money...
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don't read this. too late...
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      07-17-2018, 09:52 AM   #8
ScottSinger
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Like to see some posted pics of the rust and metal brake lines.
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      07-18-2018, 10:26 AM   #9
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Whats the goal for this car? To be a singular daily driver, backup car second or third car? Based on that goal I would personally set a $ limit as to how much I'd be willing to spend before moving on if acquiring a more reliable and less costly car were possible. When buying cars at this price one has to always ask if the total cost spent at the end of the day would have been better allocated to buying a newer, more sorted car.
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