Well I am (almost) back to a 328 after many years. Admittedly this time it's to smoke about in for work rather than be a cherished thing, but I am still looking forward to it. Just made an offer on a 328Ci - coupe is still a real head turner. Fingers crossed in two weeks I'll be driving the little beauty!
Well I did end up buying that 328Ci. It's been a good car to me, and is still in daily use for work.
Since buying it, I have had various issues: crank pulley had some kind of worn rubber, which the belt runs over - had a "lump", which made a horrible rhythmic vibration, which BMW initially told me when they heard it was a crank shaft issue, but turned out to be just something minor.
Aircon needed re-gassing. Then the A/C fan wouldn't turn off with the ignition - some kind of "hedgehog" looking sensor replaced by BMW.
Boot spoiler was broken by a vandal who cracked one side; professionally repaired and sprayed, only to be ripped off by a car wash, so was removed completely and the boot was resprayed - looks much more classy without the big spoiler, which made it look dated.
Suspension mounts replaced, as one was broken up where the suspension joins the body, so now handles very tight again.
Fuel gauge has stopped working, and works intermittently, but I manage this as the cost was Euro 500 to replace.
Airbag light now on, as they are in many of these.
Leather on driver's bolster starting to get thin on its join. However it's still a nice car to drive and I enjoy using it. It's looked after by BMW, and is due for a service in a few months, which I will get them to do.
As for my old 328i SE; I ended up buying it back from the guy I sold it to, as he lost his job - bought it back for half what I sold it for 6 months after I sold it!! However he'd had a dog in it, plus the light controller was faulty, leaving one headlight on, then all brake lights, then head lights flashing. So I sold it on again to another friend, who unfortunately drove it up the motorway, the "steering felt heavy and the temp went up", but decided to keep going for 10 miles... noob. Belt had snapped, meaning no water pump, so it was sold for spares. Shame. It was a nice car.
My own collection still includes the 740 and M5, but now a Porsche 911 X50 Turbo and a Boxster S, so the 328Ci feels much slower than when I first got in one, but I'll hopefully be driving this car for a few more years yet.
Buy one - you won't regret it - but if you can, get a 330Ci instead.
It seems E46's are becoming a bit of a habit - I'm driving back from the UK to Spain next month, and my weapon choice will be another E46. They are now incredible cheap in the UK - if you are looking for a 4 pot, you have a very wide choice. Of course I am looking for a 6 cylinder - and unbelievably for under a grand, I can get a 323i, and for just over i.e. I can offer cash for a grand, I could even scrape a high mileage 328i 4 door. From November I will also be looking for an E60 M5 V10, so all in, I will then own a staggering 6 BMW's - E60 M5, E39 M5, E38 740, E46 328, Z3 and an E46 3??
You gotta love BMW's!!!
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