Pollitt’s 2003 BMW E46 318i SE…

June 12th

I’ve racked up a shed-load of miles and the old girl is still doing me proud. In fact, the odometer now reads some 115k, making this one very busy BMW indeed. But hey, if you can’t put mega-miles on a BMW, what can you put mega-miles on, eh?

On the whole, my most recent dabble in BMW ownership has so far been enjoyable, but as with any car of this age, I have been subjected to a couple of small issues. Nothing major though, so no big panic. Here they are in a thrilling numerically styled format:

1) Some oxygen thief keyed the bonnet. Thanks for that, pr**k. Luckily the damage isn’t too deep, so when I get chance it should polish out. Turns out my car was the target of the most limp-wristed vandal ever, thankfully. Also in the thankful camp is the fact I now have a driveway to park it on, not a dimly lit public car park. So, unless my neighbours are arsonists, third party damage should remain off the radar.

2) The airbag light has come on. Not a major thing, and I’m assured by those in the know that E46s like to do this. I have a bypass box on the way to stop the sensor in the seat getting all needy and panicky, through which it opts to withdraw the airbag’s ability to stop my face slamming into the steering wheel. I don’t want my face getting all personal with the steering wheel, so the bypass box is a must. More on that when I get it.

3) It needs new springs. Not immediately, just soon. The last MOT points out their crustiness in the advisories section. Add into the mix an E46’s propensity toward snapping its curly pigtails and you’re left with one option – change them. I have some Eibach lowered jobbies winging their way to me. Problem (soon to be) solved.

And that’s about it for now. I’ll update in a few weeks when, hopefully, things will have progressed a bit more.

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A familiar visit. Stupid 80-mile-away workplace.

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Oh yeah, and it’s also made its debut in BMW Car magazine. FAME!

So that Vectra is dead. We had the old girl from a mere 2000 miles old, but at 179,500 miles she cashed her chips in and, well, then engine fell out. Not ideal.

Still, the death of one car is a surefire way to ensure there’s space for a new one, and that means something Germanic and swish in this particular instance. Enter stage left my 2003 BMW E46 318i SE 2.0. Quite the mouthful.

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German. Yes. 

So it’s not an estate, not diesel and it doesn’t have a tow bar. Ergo, it’s a world away from my old Vectra. Still, I can sacrifice the absent features of the Vectra because, well, this car is a whole lot nicer. Plus, I can also address those three points here, in an official bullet point style of sorts…

* I don’t really need an estate. I’m 31. My dogging days have yet to begin, plus I found having an estate just gave me a place to hide crap I couldn’t be bothered to take to the tip. One might say it was always IN a state. Arf.

* Yes, it’s petrol, but that’s okay. I drive like an old lady (60mph on the cruise control for the economical win). In the tired Vectra this frugal approach to getting places earned me 48mpg approx. In the Beemer? 46mpg approx. Plus, when you factor in petrol is roughly 7p a litre less than diesel, it actually makes sense. Plus, it’s really smooth.

* As I passed my test after 1996 I can only legally tow 5kg (okay, 750kg), this is not a manly amount. It doesn’t let me tow anything cool or dangerous like a Chieftain Tank that’s on fire or something. If you can’t tow stuff like that, then why bother?

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It came from a local garage after I went to look at a Peugeot. No, I don’t know what I was thinking either.

Luckily (or should that be thankfully), the 407 was a bit of a wreck. After reaching that conclusion, my eye was drawn to this little honey. It’s got 110k on the clock, FSH and it’s absolutely mint. And it has bluetooth, which is cutting edge for me – I get giddy if a new car purchase has windows.

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I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t include the obligatory tool kit shot.

Going forward, the plan is to simply enjoy it, look after it and prove that a cheap BMW can be a reliable, dependable, enjoyable car to own and drive. And I’m going to really put my money where my mouth is with this car, because not only will you see it here on Not £2 Grand, you’ll also be able to read about its progress in BMW Car Magazine every month. You know, because there’s nothing like setting myself up for a big’ol fall.

So, fingers crossed everything goes well. Though knowing my luck the engine will fall out. Or the gearbox will blow up. Or it’ll get stolen. Or it’ll…