Other BMW 3-Series (1998 - 2006) models:

BMW 2001 3-Series Touring

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In their own words

What is the stupid design fault that caused the catastrophic event? Sealed for life automatic gearbox, not a BMW box, but they sourced a GM box instead for this model, an E46 330d auto estate. BMW then decided to seal the box and even remove the ability to dip the box to check the level and condition of the transmission fluid. Prior to this trip the car was fully serviced and all tyres replaced, discs and brakes front and back even wiper blades all round, a small fortune. Up to then I had owned the car nearly 2 years and it had never missed a beat. 100 miles south of Santander ferry port the auto box decided to have a nervous breakdown, first locking in gear then unlocking, kicking down of its own accord,then loosing gears one by one, then accompanied by grinding and knocking and then a lovely smell, this all happened in a short distance. End result, breakdown insurance contacted, cheapest quote for a replacement recon box in Spain 2500 euro plus vat plus labour, car worth £1500,only practical option, I accompanied my car to the nearest scrapyard, completed the legal paperwork for scrapping, received 175 euro for my car, then taken to Madrid to collect a hire car, thank god for breakdown insurance.

How reliable do you find the car?

Not multiple breakdowns, just one catastrophic event due entirely to a stupid design fault.

Does the car do everything you expected it to do?

Car was absolutely fantastic until that fateful evening on a Spanish motorway
  • How they rated it

  • Reliability: 1 out of 5 1.0
  • Meets Expectations: 1 out of 5 1.0
  • Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 1.0
  • Peter Hughes doesn't recommend this car

About their car

  • Fuel type Diesel
  • When purchased June 2017
  • Condition when bought Used
  • Current Mileage 160,000 miles
  • Average MPG 40 mpg