Look. I admit it. I am a weak man. Two of my biggest weaknesses are German cars and wagons. Then throw a manual transmission in and I may as well just throw my wallet at it. I’ve fallen in love with a basket case.

My garage looking the other way. Yes, the 2018 Outback gets the driveway.

It’s not rational. My transportation needs are covered. If I need an AWD wagon, I’ve got the Outback. Manual fun car? 911. Soccer team or plywood transport? Odyssey. Sadly my heart falls easily in love.

I’ve solved the CEL. It had a lean code on Bank 1&2, turned out to be a ripped intake boot, which is surprisingly difficult to get at on this. Also stuck thermostat tripping the CEL and a coolant leak, so I replaced the whole cooling system aside from the radiator. It’s good now.

Cigar smell inside is mostly gone. Good cleaning and a week looking like someone held a coke party with everything covered in baking soda really did wonders. A tiny bit lingers but I think I can deal with that.

Tire situation was solved by a nearly new set of General Altima’s Arctic tires on Borbet wheels from another 02 325xi. All that’s left to pass inspection is adjusting the parking brake and replacing the windshield and it should be good to go. Of course I want to deal with the rust on the windshield frame before putting a new windshield in, so I’ll have it pulled and clean things up before they return a week later.


Again, there is 0 reason for me to own this car or even fix it up. Every penny I put into it is less profit when I sell it. I’m up to $870 total invested at this point so at least I’m still way ahead.

My only real justification is that I’m way over the miles on my Outback lease. So I can tell myself that I’m saving money by driving the E46. I’m off until Friday and The next couple days are rainy, so I’ll most likely replace the leaky valve cover gasket, replace the oil level sender and adjust the parking brake. 

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