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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 08-22-2009, 03:18 PM   #21
s3th
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:37 PM   #22
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Are you kidding me?

Even following DIYs, working on my 330ci is ****ing waste of time and energy. Every "small easy fix" turns into bullshit upon bullshit and wasted hours.
Hahaha, I agree man. A good rule of thumb is to double any estimated time for any DIY here, except changing the oil probably. Anyone saying this car is easy to work on doesnt gotta deal with that stupid fan clutch, or never changed out their crankcase vent valve, or had to replace their RTAB's. Even replacing that god forsaken guibo requires you to drop the whole damn exhaust to get to 2 bolts. I can go on and on.

Hell I had to replace my alternator a few days ago and that was a P.I.T.Fkin.A. Every time I work on this car, I curse at the engineers that decided to make the simplest things so overcomplicated. Sure the engine bay looks nice, but youre gonna spend twice the time working on it.

I was working on my moms CTS a few weeks ago and its the simplest car ever to work on. Everything comes apart easily, and half the bolts are the same size so youre not constantly swapping sockets like this car.

Really the best thing about these cars is all the documentation for them, you can find a guide for pretty much anything, and I suppose that makes it "easy". Not as easy as people try to make it seem on these forums though.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:42 PM   #23
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Hahaha, I agree man.
Ugh, yeah I had to change the starter on mine last year, that was an entire weekend of nightmares. The only repair so far that I've given up on and sent it to the mechanic was the transmission. The torque converter went bad and broke about one month after I bought the car. I didn't even want to try and service that
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:43 PM   #24
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Well I didn't know how to put in washer fluid or have opened the hood on a car for more than 5 time in my life before I opened up the BMW engine to replace the vanos seals. I would say the BMW is as easy as lego if you are good with lego as a kid. Of course not everyone is good with lego as a kid.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:59 PM   #25
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lol thank god i only have 45k miles and plan on selling it in another 10 lol
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:00 PM   #26
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Ugh, yeah I had to change the starter on mine last year, that was an entire weekend of nightmares. The only repair so far that I've given up on and sent it to the mechanic was the transmission. The torque converter went bad and broke about one month after I bought the car. I didn't even want to try and service that
Yeah, starter / transmission problems are some of the few things that I would actually go to a mechanic for. That and the evaporator core behind the dash, but I sold the car when I found out it went bad.

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Well I didn't know how to put in washer fluid or have opened the hood on a car for more than 5 time in my life before I opened up the BMW engine to replace the vanos seals. I would say the BMW is as easy as lego if you are good with lego as a kid. Of course not everyone is good with lego as a kid.
The vanos seals really arent hard at all. Just somewhat time consuming. Doing the seals on my old car was one of the few DIY's that went really smooth. But you can thank that comprehensive guide for that one.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:55 PM   #27
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+1 on ease of maintenance, -1 on amount of maintenance. Its literally 50 times easier to work on then my last car, an Eclipse. That thing was a frightening endeavor to even replace the spark plugs (the whole intake manifold had to come off). I might hate how often this one breaks (the price you pay I suppose), but at least its been easy as pie, and I have learned a TON.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:01 PM   #28
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You really get on my nerves.
+1 jesus f'ing christ
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:13 PM   #29
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Take a look at realoem, then you will think your car is a big lego set. This is why all the kindergarten aged people want BMW's. They think it's a goddamn toy.
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You really get on my nerves.
+1. Yeah after reading through these posts, i'm really starting to see that this GoingNuts kid is a real jackass... He could ruin a wet dream...
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:14 PM   #30
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Try doing a CCV and you'll know if they're that easy... Nightmare of a job, I mean nightmare man! Probably next worst thing to taking the engine apart! And they do fail on almost everyone in cold climates. So I'm not cherry-picking something rare to make the point, this is **** that happens frequently and is a ***** to fix. Bad design!

I personally like the opennes of old Civic. Tons of room. True, our engines are twice as large, but still...

Nothing like a pick-up truck engine bay. You can fit 5 yards worth of ratchet extensions in there LOL
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:21 PM   #31
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meh, my nissan was easier to work on but bmw isnt so bad i guess.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:22 PM   #32
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I personally like the opennes of old Civic. Tons of room. True, our engines are twice as large, but still...

Nothing like a pick-up truck engine bay. You can fit 5 yards worth of ratchet extensions in there LOL
theres tons of room in there cuz its a 4cyl and the engines so tiny... e46 has 6. same with all other 4cyl cars.. theres always tons of room.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:42 AM   #33
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My only 2 complaints: 1) Expansion tank easily breaking and being physically integrated with the radiator 2) No dipstick for the auto trans. I believe #1 BMW took care of in the E90 by locating the expansion tank away from the radiator like every other car on the road and #2 BMW made worst by taking away the oil stick too!
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:54 AM   #34
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My only 2 complaints: 1) Expansion tank easily breaking and being physically integrated with the radiator 2) No dipstick for the auto trans. I believe #1 BMW took care of in the E90 by locating the expansion tank away from the radiator like every other car on the road and #2 BMW made worst by taking away the oil stick too!
I really miss having a physical dipstick to check oil level. A simple task like topping off oil is such a pain when I have to navigate through the iDrive menu to figure out if the car is low on oil, guess an amount of oil to add, and then wait for the car to get to temperature before the car will show the updated oil level!
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:03 AM   #35
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:03 AM   #36
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I really miss having a physical dipstick to check oil level. A simple task like topping off oil is such a pain when I have to navigate through the iDrive menu to figure out if the car is low on oil, guess an amount of oil to add, and then wait for the car to get to temperature before the car will show the updated oil level!
Some things should never be "improved".
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:10 AM   #37
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:14 AM   #38
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I really miss having a physical dipstick to check oil level. A simple task like topping off oil is such a pain when I have to navigate through the iDrive menu to figure out if the car is low on oil, guess an amount of oil to add, and then wait for the car to get to temperature before the car will show the updated oil level!
You can have my dipstick if you like. I never use mine and just let the light tell me if a top up is necessary. Normally I ignore the light as well until it start showing up while driving.

Last edited by GoingNuts; 08-23-2009 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:16 AM   #39
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The link didn't work for me. What's going on ?
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:44 AM   #40
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I totally agree and actually like working on this car more than any other car I have owned. But I do think there are too many weak parts in the car that fail. I have never heard of simple parts like pulleys needing replacement and how many people / cars do you know that rebuild there cooling system before they have a problem. The front control arm seems a joke of a design and in particular the RTAB. Oh and what about that oil filter housing design that leaks, it's like a $500 job to replace a $5 gasket. I don't believe other cars have these issues.

So if you buy an e46 with 80K you need about $2000 worth of parts to rebuild everything we constantly post about here. Can you imagine how much a dealer or independent would charge for the labor? More than the car is worth. I could never recommend this car to anyone not prepared to spend money on parts and do their own work. It is simply not a good car for the average consumer and most would be better suited with an Accord.
My car has 106k miles on original cooling components.No problem at all.I guess i have a good reliable e46. With almost 5 years of ownership i only had to change the alternator and struts/shocks and CA's.
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