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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 06-02-2011, 11:46 PM   #1
e46frvr
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Low mileage service recommendations

Just picked up my first BMW - a 2002 330i 5 speed sedan with 25k miles on it
Yep - just 25k miles!

Here is the service history from last owner
https://spreadsheets1.google.com/spr...=0&output=html

As you can see an oil change is due. I will be reading into what type of oil is best and do it this weekend.

Other than this should I address anything else? Perhaps the common failure items?
The car is 10 years old now so perhaps the cooling system is a good preventative overhaul? (service history shows thermostat and coolant was replaced just last year)

Thanks for any tips!
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:52 PM   #2
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For the oil use 0w-40, and make sure its synthetic. The cooling system would be a normal preventative maintenance but your car doesn't have very many miles thats normally for cars over the 100k mark. Have you checked the filters? (air and cabin). Congrats on the new car, Pics?
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:55 PM   #3
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Congrats on the buy! How much did you pick it up for?

For oil changes you want to go with BMW approved oils.
I would recommend 5w30 from the dealer, I believe it is Castrol that they re-brand as their own. The filter is $20 at the stealership, I'd pick something else up for less, like Mann/Bosch/Mobil 1 (Stay away from Fram)

As for regular maintenance, check the subframe. I can't suggest much else since the car has very low miles. I wouldn't touch anything on the cooling system until problems start to appear.
Even if you are extreme about preventative maintenance, 60k is the earliest when you want to start considering a cooling overhaul.

Good luck! and post pics,
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:01 AM   #4
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Thanks guys! Will post pics soon but car is as stock and boring as it gets (plenty good for me)
I see service records show...
Micro filter - April 2005 - 10k miles
Micro filter - March 2006 - 15k miles
Air filter - march 2006 - 15k miles

I fully expected varying opinions on the oil as with any car/forum. Perhaps I should stick it what the previous owner put in (synthetic at dealership) u til I can read further into it

Generally speaking is there a parts website that anyone can recommend?
I know other forums I've been on there are some dealers on forums that sell oem parts for way cheaper than nearest dealership
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:07 AM   #5
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Here's a quick picture

Last edited by e46frvr; 06-03-2011 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:08 AM   #6
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I like it. Can't say I'm loving the rims, but new ones will come with time Im sure.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:10 AM   #7
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Yeah there are quite a few of them. For your OEM parts here are some good ones: getbmwparts.com, bmwpartsource.com, pelicanparts.com. Would you like any sites for aftermarket mods?? Are you thinking of going that route? I noticed you mentioned stock is good enough for you...
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:16 AM   #8
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I think stock is the way to go for me. Only thing I'm looking into would be rims for winter tires. And replacing driver window and rear glass tint (something wrong with it - too blurry)
Will check out above parts to get an idea of how much bimmer parts costs

I bought the car on a whim because I always wanted a BMW but stories of expensive maintenance kept me away until I learnt that it's not so bad if you DIY
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:23 AM   #9
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get some good tint and get rid of those amber sidemarkers and corners and thats it

ohh and maybe some silver csl 18's
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by e46frvr View Post
I think stock is the way to go for me. Only thing I'm looking into would be rims for winter tires. And replacing driver window and rear glass tint (something wrong with it - too blurry)
Will check out above parts to get an idea of how much bimmer parts costs

I bought the car on a whim because I always wanted a BMW but stories of expensive maintenance kept me away until I learnt that it's not so bad if you DIY
Ha ha we'll see how long this lasts... I thought the same when I picked up my car, then thought maybe I should change out the ambers to clear...mod bug takes over...anyways, check the tire date. They are most likely still the original tires which means they are old. Change the oil and start driving her!
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:24 AM   #11
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Yeah the same went with me. But all the people who were telling me it cost to much to keep up a BMW or that BMW were crap cars, never owned one in there life. So I went for it and bought one. Found out they are easy cars to work on and fun as well. You'll def save a lot of money if you can turn a wrench. But you will love the car, I can't wait to drive mine everyday I wake up haha. You may want to check your power steering fluid and make sure it looks clean and look for leaks as well usually they will come from the hoses under the res. or the ones to the right of the radiator, if not just flush it and add some new ATF, I use Valvoline but like you said people will have different choices. I would also check the brake fluid and brake lines, the fluid may need to be changed.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:26 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by 01330cifirstbmw View Post
Ha ha we'll see how long this lasts... I thought the same when I picked up my car, then thought maybe I should change out the ambers to clear...mod bug takes over...anyways, check the tire date. They are most likely still the original tires which means they are old. Change the oil and start driving her!
Word. Mod-bug is an unfathomable force.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:29 AM   #13
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Tires have been replaced at some point. Not sure when though but will look for date on tires? Will search how to check date of tires ... I didn't know you could do that.

I really hope mod bug doesn't bite but I must admit I have thought about clears - I've got a BMW enthusiast friend and that's the first mod he recommends as well!

Regarding maintenance, I found a great link...
http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=595553
But this is by miles. Is there such a link but by age as well? Perhaps I should assume a translation of 10k miles per year? So if link says air filter every 10k miles should I do it every year? Any thoughts?
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:33 AM   #14
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Yeah the same went with me. But all the people who were telling me it cost to much to keep up a BMW or that BMW were crap cars, never owned one in there life. So I went for it and bought one. Found out they are easy cars to work on and fun as well. You'll def save a lot of money if you can turn a wrench. But you will love the car, I can't wait to drive mine everyday I wake up haha. You may want to check your power steering fluid and make sure it looks clean and look for leaks as well usually they will come from the hoses under the res. or the ones to the right of the radiator, if not just flush it and add some new ATF, I use Valvoline but like you said people will have different choices. I would also check the brake fluid and brake lines, the fluid may need to be changed.
I know what you mean about how fun to drive it is. I just got rid of a first gen Miata so I know the basics of fun to drive... This is just a whole new level and I have a sedan lol. Can only imagine what an m3 feels like...

Brake fluid was flushed at 18.5k miles in august 2007.
Will check it anyway. I should just check to make sure it's not dark and that it's full, right?

Same goes for power steering I imagine?
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:35 AM   #15
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Try getting lightweight rims. CSL's are about 3 to 4 pounds heavier than the M68 which is what your car came with. Unless you're in it for looks by all means get CSL's. For performance, accel, and gas mileage stick with M68's or extremely lightweight 17's wheels. 19 pounds and lower.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:37 AM   #16
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Oh on the topic of mod bug... The black molding on the sides and bumpers bothers me more than the amber corners!
I ran some searches on here... Don't really want to paint it. I'm surprised no one sells a body molding kit!

No idea why BMW went this route! The ones I've seen that were painted look way better!
I guess it does look nice on dark colors but is such an eye sore on light colors such as mine

Btw does anyone know what this color is called? The title says gray which I thought was weird... Looks silver to me!
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:38 AM   #17
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I know what you mean about how fun to drive it is. I just got rid of a first gen Miata so I know the basics of fun to drive... This is just a whole new level and I have a sedan lol. Can only imagine what an m3 feels like...

Brake fluid was flushed at 18.5k miles in august 2007.
Will check it anyway. I should just check to make sure it's not dark and that it's full, right?

Same goes for power steering I imagine?
Yeah Miatas are fun to drive for sure.

And yes, just check the brake fluid for any color change, if its darker than normal than you know its dirty and it won't perform as well. For the power steering just check for proper filling along with color, all ATF is red so you wanna see a nice red when you check it.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:40 AM   #18
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Oh on the topic of mod bug... The black molding on the sides and bumpers bothers me more than the amber corners!
I ran some searches on here... Don't really want to paint it. I'm surprised no one sells a body molding kit!

No idea why BMW went this route!
The ones I've seen that were painted look way better!
I guess it does look nice on dark colors but is such an eye sore on light colors such as mine
Because that plastic molding protects your car from dents, dings, other drivers slamming their doors into you, etc.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:40 AM   #19
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Filters and tire tread. Other than that it sounds like a great deal with only 25K
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:42 AM   #20
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Try getting lightweight rims. CSL's are about 3 to 4 pounds heavier than the M68 which is what your car came with. Unless you're in it for looks by all means get CSL's. For performance, accel, and gas mileage stick with M68's or extremely lightweight 17's wheels. 19 pounds and lower.
Good point. Coming from a 100 hp miata I know full well the importance of lightweight rims.

For winter rims I was thinking of buying a e90/92 17" rims off the 328/335
Where can I find weight specs? I know BMW makes a lot of wheels....

This link was pretty helpful...
http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/wheels/BMWWheels.htm
But no specs on rims... Just pics...

Another quick question why are the rims I have called m68s as opposed to style 68? Are all m sport rims called m+style number. And non m sport rims referred to by just style number? Trying to get the lingo down...
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