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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 02-11-2013, 10:45 PM   #21
TT330i
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^this, plus half of those suggestions are preventative maintenance type things. There is nothing your mechanic can do to actually "check" them.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:28 AM   #22
avincent52
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I gather that the cooling system is especially important because it can tend to go spontaneously and the resultant overheating can actually kill your engine.

The other car killing problem: subframe damage. It's more of a problem on earlier cars, but make sure the mechanic looks for it.
If he knows BMWs he will.

Search Mango's preventative maintenance suggestions, including the one about stashing a fuel pump in your trunk.

That said, this sounds like a great deal. It's not preposterous for the previous owners to have followed an old-school maintenance schedule,
using intervals from conventional oil on an E46 that uses synthetic. But not a big deal either way as long as they changed the oil four or five times.
(that's the BMW interval and lots of cars use it, sad to say.)

But carfax or not, get a pre purchase inspection (PPI) from a BMW-savvy independent mechanic.

Last edited by avincent52; 02-12-2013 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:36 AM   #23
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, 03:01 PM   #24
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, 03:26 PM   #25
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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, 03:52 PM   #26
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 03:52 PM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:33 PM   #27
bmwbob89
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Look at the date on the battery. If its 02 or 03 its original. Replace it. If its only a couple of years old keep it. Wait until you have the alt out for something else and then put a regulator in it. Look at the alt and see if it looks like its been replaced as a lot of them have failed. FSR only needs replaced as they fail and the new ones are not much if any better than the old ones.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:06 PM   #28
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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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Old 02-12-2013, 10:31 PM   #29
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See, the issue is that Mango sort of represents the community here. Whether you want it to be like that or not, when you ask a question about an E46, Mango's threads are always linked. I just think a lot of his recommendations are over the top. I've never heard of original parts lasting only 15k miles on any car. Like I said, my friend's mom has an E46 325i. 118k miles. Everything is original, even the battery. Cooling system, everything. Just oil changes every 10-15k miles.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:49 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by 032 View Post
See, the issue is that Mango sort of represents the community here. Whether you want it to be like that or not, when you ask a question about an E46, Mango's threads are always linked. I just think a lot of his recommendations are over the top. I've never heard of original parts lasting only 15k miles on any car. Like I said, my friend's mom has an E46 325i. 118k miles. Everything is original, even the battery. Cooling system, everything. Just oil changes every 10-15k miles.
So then why are you asking us? Mango does not represent the community, but a part of it, like everyone here take what you will of his advise but by no means is his word gospel, unless you talk to some freaks around here who won't buy light bulbs unless he says they are good.

Mango is over the top, but its up to you to determine where the line is and how to deal with it. I will tell you from personal experience a couple things that ARE issues:

- Cooling system overhaul. 2 days after a 1200 miles trip my car was on the lift at the shop having them install a transfer case when the expansion tank blow up. I mean blew up, literally. I replaces thermostat and water pump but didn't do radiator (still haven't) or the tank and if it had happened 2 days prior.....

I know I'm on borrowed time prolly on the radiator, but those "usually" slow leak; if it hasn't gone by next year I'll replace it when I get the system flushed again.

- CV axles; and use good, OEM ones or you'll be sorry.

- VCG, OFHG, Vanos line and DISA. All failed on my 120k car like clockwork.

- TCB is the only thing that holds the tranny on an XI. They wear out and cause all sorts of vibes.

Really from there it's more "normal" things, though others will scream Vanos if they can, though I've not heard or seen many really fail catastrophically (nor has my indy shop) but they do get noisy over time and need new seals. Lots of bushings in the suspension to but again, more as they fail.

Ymmv, but seriously don't overthj I things. And don't under either.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:57 AM   #31
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You had them install a transfer case because the expansion tank blew up?

Mango's advice is a little extremist but the fact that those parts should be replaced is still there. When you replace them is up to you.

FWIW, Honda recommends you replace their water pump at 105k miles, why should your BMW be any different?

Last edited by SamDoe1; 02-13-2013 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:56 PM   #32
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[QUOTE=SamDoe1;15158246]You had them install a transfer case because the expansion tank blew up?[/QUOTE

Yup, cuz that make complete sense......

Read it again: it was in the shop getting the transfer case swapped when the expansion tank, something I neglected to replace, blew up while they were running it on the lift.

Two separate problems, both fixed at the same time, however. My point was literally 2 days prior I was cruising down the interstate on a 1200 mile trip at 75-80 mph; at any point during the werkend it could have blown out a d causing me a huge problem.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:30 PM   #33
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I don't understand why, when I ask for an opinion, people say "you need to know what to do". I'm new to this. You acquire knowledge through inquiry. So, when I ask for an opinion on whether I should follow Mango's advice or not, I just want to know your opinion. You can't blame a person for being ignorant. If I was giving advice, then yeah, I would need to have some qualification. I just didn't know there were qualifications for asking questions. Fix your egos.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:56 AM   #34
miweber929
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Originally Posted by 032 View Post
I don't understand why, when I ask for an opinion, people say "you need to know what to do". I'm new to this. You acquire knowledge through inquiry. So, when I ask for an opinion on whether I should follow Mango's advice or not, I just want to know your opinion. You can't blame a person for being ignorant. If I was giving advice, then yeah, I would need to have some qualification. I just didn't know there were qualifications for asking questions. Fix your egos.
If you want to spend your life listening to what people on the Internet tell you to do then by all means go ahead and do it but you'll lead a poor, sad and pretty dull life without much gained knowledge. And be broke as hell.

Reading is understanding, Mango has chosen to love his car and replace anything and everything that may or may not fail. Again, if you want to spend your life following him and those practices do it. We all deal with things differently and most take a few more "risks" by replacing certain things we KNOW are failure prone and waiting for others, like I outlined above.

Check YOUR ego: you asked for advice, several gave it and now you are getting upset when we say think about it a bit yourself and make your own decisions based on FACT, not some crazy dude who replaces everything that moves on his car because it might fail at some point.

Your call on this: either be a sheep and follow Mango blindly, not even buying lightbulbs unless he approves them for you. Or learn by reading what does and doesn't fail and keep ahead of maintenance. All the while learning.

Last edited by miweber929; 02-14-2013 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:18 AM   #35
SamDoe1
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[QUOTE=miweber929;15160047]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
You had them install a transfer case because the expansion tank blew up?[/QUOTE

Yup, cuz that make complete sense......

Read it again: it was in the shop getting the transfer case swapped when the expansion tank, something I neglected to replace, blew up while they were running it on the lift.

Two separate problems, both fixed at the same time, however. My point was literally 2 days prior I was cruising down the interstate on a 1200 mile trip at 75-80 mph; at any point during the werkend it could have blown out a d causing me a huge problem.
Sorry, my reading comprehension yesterday must have been off. My bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 032 View Post
I don't understand why, when I ask for an opinion, people say "you need to know what to do". I'm new to this. You acquire knowledge through inquiry. So, when I ask for an opinion on whether I should follow Mango's advice or not, I just want to know your opinion. You can't blame a person for being ignorant. If I was giving advice, then yeah, I would need to have some qualification. I just didn't know there were qualifications for asking questions. Fix your egos.
No one said "you need to know what to do". People just said to think about it and make the decision of what you want to do about it. Numerous people have said that Mango's idea of maintenance is a bit extremist and the flip side of people who just do what the manual says is in this thread too with the majority of people falling somewhere in the middle. It's now up to you on who to follow or what advice to take.

My ego is fine, thanks. I've been around the block with stuff on my car and am willing to share my experiences and opinions with anyone who asks. I, however, do not like dumb questions or questions that have been answered eleventy billion times on the first page and that's where I get snarky.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:38 PM   #36
phish032009
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that seems like a really cheap price and a lot of owners for only 55k? maybe its just me...330xi with low miles for 10k...i know its a 2003 but...
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:43 PM   #37
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I guess I'm wrong...i ran a blue book and got 11656
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:44 PM   #38
Tokapeba
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I just got my 235xi yesterday and it has 85k. The oil has been changer every 7500 miles. The BMW mechanic I spoke to said that I don't need to do anything for the next 75k except for an change the oil every 7500 miles and monitor everything that was mentioned above.


When the mechanic did the pre purchase inspection the only things he could find was the coolant bleeder screw and a dirty air filter. The car did have a ball joint and a few other typical repairs.

Did you get a pre purchase inspection? What did the mechanic say?

Andy

Last edited by Tokapeba; 02-25-2013 at 07:45 PM.
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