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Thread: Car for my daughter to learn to drive

                  
   
  1. #1
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    Car for my daughter to learn to drive

    My 15.5 year old is getting ready to start learning to drive and I am looking for a good, manual transmission car on which she can start. Am I crazy to consider an early 2000s 323 or 325? Want to keep it well under $10k and I am not familiar enough with the E46s to know if they are reliable enough for her. Assuming the car has been taken care of and maintained properly, any reason to avoid these? Any other suggested BMWs? Or should I just buy her a Honda Civic?

    P.S. If anyone is selling a car they think might be a good match, let me know. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1996 328ti's Avatar
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    318ti
    You can find them for $3,000. Budget $1000 in maintenance and replacing worn out parts and you have a good dependable, practical car.
    And personally unless you know who the previous owner was, I'd budget close to $1000 on any used BMW to bring it up to spec.
    Of course I'm bias.
    ...steven
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    318ti.org | bmwcca.org/forum

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    You selling yours? ;-)

    Are they pretty bullet-proof otherwise? I'd be happy to find one for 3-4 and then put 1-2 into it to get it into shape.

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    Senior Member John in VA's Avatar
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    An E46 could be a good choice. They all will need something. Don't discount the 328i. Here's some highlights:
    http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php/BMW_E46
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_3_Series_(E46)
    John in VA

    '74 2002tii
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    Member razorrod65's Avatar
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    I agree with John in VA . the E46 is a great car I bought my daughter a 2001 325xi for her first car and she loves it !! I bought it from BMW of Fairfax found it on their website under preowned cars then cars under $15,000 . They have a 2003 325i on there right now for $3700
    Last edited by razorrod65; 02-07-2014 at 08:52 PM.

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    Member razorrod65's Avatar
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    It needs a steering rack!! found one at rockauto.com $171.00-$365.00. Motor Mount about $20.00-$50.00 sway bar end links $15.00 each at eeuroparts.com

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    Senior Member 1996 328ti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psi5 View Post
    You selling yours? ;-)

    Are they pretty bullet-proof otherwise? I'd be happy to find one for 3-4 and then put 1-2 into it to get it into shape.
    Never sell mine. I have 2 now. I'd get another but am running out of room.

    It's as built proof as any other BMW.
    Like all BMWs, you can't let them overheat.
    Like most E36s, sagging headliner and door regulator problems.

    But they are fun underpowered cars.
    Do you want your daughter to have more than 138hp?
    ...steven
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    318ti.org | bmwcca.org/forum

  9. #9
    Senior Member John in VA's Avatar
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    There's a 2000 BMW 323i currently for sale in the classifieds here with much recent service:
    http://classifieds.nccbmwcca.org/sho...p?product=1028
    John in VA

    '74 2002tii
    '85 535i
    '86 535i
    '00 328i
    '02 325xi
    '03 530i
    '06 330ci ZHP
    '15 228i M Sport

  10. #10
    Member razorrod65's Avatar
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    Other common problems with the E46 , power steering lines (leak),window regulators(silicon spray on the tracks helps sometimes ) and expansion tank, Not all of them have this problem but with that being said they are a very solid platform, They handle very good and not real complicated to work on if you have average mechanical skills . buy an ODBII scanner . Part sources I use for mine www.eeuroparts.com , www.pelicanparts.com , www.rockauto.com and http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com southatlantabmw you can get parts for bimmers all the way back to the 1960's .

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    Junior Member BOOBEAR's Avatar
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    I'm 18 and I bought my '98 540i for 2 grand, but make sure that you have it inspected before you buy it. It costed me close to 3 grand to get it through inspection and registered for ridiculous things. I had to pull out perfectly good sway links and control arms as well as replace an entire windshield because safelite had shot that silicone stuff into it from the PO. At 166k miles the only things that only had to be replaced is the radiator/expansion tank/ fan shroud/ hoses and the clutch slave cylinder which was a defective part. I think a grand is a little low for a repair budget, but then again I'm sure you'll find a healthier car than I did.
    E39 540i/6
    BC Racing coil overs
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    Quote Originally Posted by razorrod65 View Post
    Thanks. I'd consider something like that and then put the $ into to it to get it into shape but it has got to be a manual. I want her to learn to drive a manual plus she cannot text and drive and cannot loan it to anyone else because they won't be able to drive it either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BOOBEAR View Post
    I'm 18 and I bought my '98 540i for 2 grand
    I had a 98 E39 540 as well but sold it when the cats started going bad ($1500/per at the time). It ate valve cover seals, water pumps, and radiators like they were snack food. Loved the car but put a lot of $ into to it - enough to buy a decent E46...

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the feedback. I'll keep my eyes open for a decent E36/E46 and if anyone comes across one or has one to sell, send them my way. I'd certainly feel safer having her in a BMW than most other cars (plus it'd be fun for me) but I don't want to get into my E39's territory where I am dropping multiples of the car's cost on maintenance every year.

  15. #15
    Member razorrod65's Avatar
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    check their site from time to time they always add E46's updated almost every week !! Here you go I found 21 E46's with manual trans under 7 grand within 100 miles of DC . Not to mention a sweet M3 in New Jersey with 60k but it 15 grand !! http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...odes=MAN&Log=0

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