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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 02-10-2013, 10:40 AM   #1
032
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55k Miles '03 330xi

So I'm looking at an '03 330xi automatic with 55k miles on it. The price is $10,795 from a dealership, and I think I could get them down to $9,800. What are some typical problems that people have in the 50k-100k mileage range? What should I ask the mechanic to look for? Cosmetically, the car looks excellent, which may be a sign of a careful owner. After all, he only drove about 5-6,000 miles annually.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
Bmwdad
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Somewhere around 60k I had to do a ccv job. Then at 70k oil filter housing gasket and oil level sensor. Other than that I knew vanos should most likely be next. Is this a BMW dealership. If not the are all rather easy DIY and I don't like jus anyone working on my car.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:06 AM   #3
032
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Ok, thanks a lot. I've heard that something usually goes with the coolant system around 60-70k. I'm trying to gather a list for what my mechanic should look at. Right now, we're at:

Coolant system
VANOS
Transmission fluid
CCV
Oil filter housing

Anything else that I should have him check out? I'm assuming the battery has been replaced, but maybe I need a third battery, as I'm told they last between 5-7 years.

Last edited by 032; 02-10-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:17 AM   #4
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add Valve cover gasket and brakes.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:45 AM   #5
032
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thanks, anyone else have anything he should check? also, are there any specifics about anything listed that I may need to tell the mechanic? he knows I'm a laymen, but I'd like to provide a detailed request.

Last edited by 032; 02-10-2013 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:56 AM   #6
Dreamliner330
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I'd have him check the front CV joints for sure. 10k isn't a bad price for a well taken care of low mileage one owner. A lot of people overlook condition and blanket statement that every non m should be 6k.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:11 PM   #7
032
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Ok, thanks. Updated list:

Coolant system
VANOS
Transmission fluid
CCV
Oil filter housing
Front CV joints
Valve cover gasket
Brakes

Any other additional things would be much appreciated.

Last edited by 032; 02-10-2013 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:11 PM   #8
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 032 View Post
Ok, thanks. Updated list:

Coolant system
VANOS
Transmission fluid
CCV
Oil filter housing
Front CV joints
Valve cover gasket
Brakes
Diff Fluid (Front and Rear)
Transfer case fluid
O2 Sensors
Oil Change History
Power Steering Fluid
Cabin Filter
Engine Air Filter


Any other additional things would be much appreciated.
See above, that's all I can think of for now.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:20 PM   #9
032
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The cabin air filter and engine air filter were replaced 5,000 miles ago, and the oil has been changed religiously (every 3-4,000 miles). The brake fluid was also changed.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:22 PM   #10
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 032 View Post
The cabin air filter and engine air filter were replaced 5,000 miles ago, and the oil has been changed religiously (every 3-4,000 miles). The brake fluid was also changed.
Who told you the oil was changed every 3-4k miles? If this is the dealer and they are saying so without records, it is a blatant lie. Very few people change E46 oil every 3-4k miles without being supercharged.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:03 PM   #11
Kubica
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Get it on the highway going as fast as possible and check for vibrations.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:11 PM   #12
032
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Thanks! I just checked the CARFAX, strangely there were three owners, but it doesn't seem to be an issue. The oil was changed every 3,500 miles, the front wiper blades were replaced, the "sensor" was replaced (don't know which sensor specifically), the air intake hose was replaced, and so was the cabin air filter. It doesn't say anywhere that the battery was ever replaced, but I've heard they typically only last 5-7 years. As always, does anyone have anything I should add to the list of specifics for the mechanic to check out?
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:29 PM   #13
E46@46
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IMO that sounds like a great deal. I bought my 2003 325xiT with 145k. So 55k miles seems like a pup. If you have documentation of the oils changes then you can deal with anything else that comes up. However, on the other hand sometimes too few miles means a lot of short trips that can cause other problems. I'd rather have 100k miles on all highway than 55k on city driving. Good luck...
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:00 PM   #14
032
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Thanks, and every owner has been from NJ, so I'm assuming very little city driving, and more highway driving.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:58 PM   #15
o3BMW325xi
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all that stuff on your list is hit or miss, the thing is people on forums OVER blow things. There is people that have those issues at 40k miles and there is others, at least the ones i know with 160k miles and never had to do any of those things beside oil changes...so those issues as i said can be hit or miss in other words...at 55k miles that engine has not even been broken in..so for 9k def go for it. good luck

Last edited by o3BMW325xi; 02-11-2013 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:36 AM   #16
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o3BMW325xi View Post
all that stuff on your list is hit or miss, the thing is people on forums OVER blow things. There is people that have those issues at 40k miles and there is others, at least the ones i know with 160k miles and never had to do any of those things beside oil changes...so those issues as i said can be hit or miss in other words...at 55k miles that engine has not even been broken in..so for 9k def go for it. good luck
OP asked the question of what should he have his mechanic look for. All of the things on the list are absolutely able to be checked either physically or through record receipts.

In addition, the recommended preventative stuff is up to the owner to either do or not do. I personally would take the cheap insurance of doing the work rather than have a component fail and cause damage. I do all the work myself so the costs are substantially less.

BMWs are cheap to maintain and expensive to fix.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:01 PM   #17
032
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Yeah, I read Mango's thread and he seems a bit strident when it comes to replacement parts. For example, BMW recommends changing the spark plugs every 100k miles, Mango recommends 60k, and he doesn't give a reason. He also recommends to change the cabin air filter every 15k miles. Really? I know someone with an E46 325 and he hasn't even replaced the cooling system and he's at 118k miles. He's just done regular oil changes. When I get my car, I'm gonna replace the battery, voltage regulator, and the final stage resistor. After that, I'll be looking to replace the cooling system. But, keep in mind, I only drive 5-7,500 miles annually, so I guess these replacements may be less necessary to someone who drives 20k miles a year and takes their car to a track.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:26 PM   #18
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Why are you replacing the battery, voltage regulator, and FSR? Those things are "replace when broken" items as they won't cause damage to your car if/when they go bad.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:52 PM   #19
032
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According to Mango,

On the battery:

"A weak battery is known to cause many problems with the electrical systems in the form of cluster lighting up with warning lights to the car randomly doing other electrical-related things."

As for the VR:

"Basically by around 6-10 years, they start to fail. This will kill a new battery. Replace it."

And for the FSR:

"This must be replaced. It can drain your battery (killing it permanently no matter how new or old it is) and cause your blower to blow inconsistently or not at all."

Last edited by 032; 02-12-2013 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
Why are you replacing the battery, voltage regulator, and FSR? Those things are "replace when broken" items as they won't cause damage to your car if/when they go bad.
+1.

Mango is a paranoid ignoramus.
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