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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 10-28-2012, 04:35 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Allentown, PA
Posts: 150
My Ride: 2002 325xi-sport pkg
making my 2003 XI with 95K new again... against my will

I'm writing this post to share what happened / is happening to me so that other folks can possibly learn (something) from it....whatever that is...

I Picked up my 2002 325xi auto for a good price last month. The body is in great shape and everything appeared all stock (bonus to me). I took it for a test drive and everything drove well (10 minute town / country drive). klunking noise up front though, sounded like a swaybar bushing. Bought the car becasue it was a fair price and my cousins (who drive bmw's) said I would be happy.

Drive it to work for a week (highway driving), noticed a vibration at speed.

After a week I pulled it in for servicing / maintenance and it's been up on stands ever since... almost 3 weeks in my garage and still up.

I needed a stereo with bluetooth, so got that installed.... so far so good....

Then I decided to fix the klunking and do maintenance / fluids while I had it in the shop.

Jacked up the front and looked at the front suspension, needed new swaybar links. Pushed on the front of the car and it was way too bouncy... looked like original struts... so at 95K miles time for new Bilstien's and mounts.. parts ordered

While at it I shook on front suspension to check for balljoint wear. Wayyy too much movement in bushings, camber of tires changed significantly when jacked off the ground.. parts ordered. (upgraded bushings, new suspension arm, new ball jonts).

Started to install new struts in the rear first (now car up on 4 jack stands). Noticed rear brakes are shot (rotors are worn too).... blew that off. Noticed that right rear spring was broken... back to the internet and this site... Eibach's ordered.

Got Eibach's in the mail and I installed rear struts and springs.. looked at brakes again and stopped denying they are shot.. ordering them tomorrow.

Started front suspension drivers side Saturday. Discovered torn CV boot, checked both axles (significant play).. Down to NAPA for rebuilt replacements (they had them in stock). Strut rebuild went OK, Axle replacement sucked until I figured it out.

After this maintenance I'll have essentially a new suspension and brakes. What started as a sway bar mount and struts ( known issues when purchased) has expanded into much more work. ... if that friggan cooling system that everyone complains about goes in the next 10K miles I just might blow more than a head-gasket

So I figure that when a car manufacturer makes a car with a 100K mile warranty and 100K mile major service intervals everything aligns to fail at about the same point... and nobody maintains them because "they don't have to" (except folks here who do preventative maintenance).

motto of the story: Just because it drives well, doesn't mean it is well... a BMW can drive susprisingly well with lots of minor things wrong. If you dont have the ability to do this stuff yourself, please get a good pre-purchase inspection or buy something with lots of new receipts

Looking forward to getting the new Bimmer on the road

Last edited by bikesandcars; 10-28-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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