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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 02-05-2013, 09:21 PM   #21
bmdubalicious
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I've done 80% of everything SamDoe1 mentioned and I just crossed 150k. I know you want to mod, but I modded and maintained simultaneously (expensive, dont recommend it lol) and I dont regret spending a penny. Both necessary and worth it.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:06 AM   #22
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow 2 View Post
Agree with you. Too much ragging on people who want ideas on mods, not a lecture on maintenance.
What is 'mods' anyway? Plastic stuff that you stick on the car? Are they to make other people know how cool you really are? Or you want to go faster?

There are only a few common 'mods' that will make you faster. Diffs or tranny swap, motor work/SC, headers/race cats and suspension. The rest is maintenance/repair or plastic stuff that you stick on the car.

If the car doesn't need any maintenance, start with lightweight wheels and top rated tires. Then the rest of the suspension and exhaust. Then you can actually say the car is faster and handles better than before it was ragged on by a stranger for 130k miles with 15k mile oil changes.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:45 AM   #23
NukeMiller
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If you have a car with 130K and you have only done oil changes at 15K intervals, I'm calling BS! These engines (or any engine at that) will not last that long with that kind of upkeep...Notice how before BMW came out with the "Free" maintanence program, they recomended every 3-5K, but now its 15K? everything would be gunked up by now and VANOS would not even work...As far as mods go, you can mod and maintain at the same time...he said stuff about suspension and whatnot....So replace shocks and springs with some nice bilstien ones...this will help performance in the turns and make it look good as it is lowered...definately change out the control arm bushings...use polyurathane or at the min the heavy duty ones...they go quickly...about your o2 sensors; buy a K+DCAN cable for 35 bucks, download BMW Standard tools, and then buy headers....you can delete your after cat O2 sensors...may still need to replace before cats though...You get the picture now
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:45 AM   #24
SamDoe1
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^ I agree with you...but OP asked for inexpensive mods.

OP, no offense but are you in high school? If so, take some advice from someone not that old (I'm 27) and don't mod your car unless you are going to get some performance out of it. I modded the hell out of my Accord in high school and I now feel like a total dumbass because of it and I assure you I'm not the only one with that feeling.

Like Kubica said, start with some good tires and light wheels. That will basically add some free performance. Then when it's time to replace suspension (don't throw away a working suspension...), go with upgraded parts.

No one is saying don't mod, just do the important stuff first so you don't end up with no money and a broken car.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:50 PM   #25
White_Knuckles
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I change oil around the 5-6K mark for my reasons but believe the extended life oil does work. BMW didn't trick us with their specification and recommended interval to weasel out of servicing the car free or not. Gas powered fleet services (cabs trucks) are using the same 15K marker and not sludging up or destroying engines.

It's hard to accept but is believable someone could run 130K on factory recommended intervals and have a tight engine. The VANOS issue is related to the seals not oil breaking down. Perhaps the "free maintenance program" was before LL rated synthetics were born?
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:08 AM   #26
Kubica
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Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
start with some good tires and light wheels
Then sign up for a DE at www.motorsportreg.com and post photos to facebook. High school panties will be dropping everywhere.

Last edited by Kubica; 02-07-2013 at 08:25 AM. Reason: Link
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:35 AM   #27
officer140
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You guys are jumping off topic. It's an xi meaning that it requires more maintenance than the 2wd counterparts. Your mileage isn't crazy but it is over 100k which means lots of parts are reaching their limits & should be changed as preventative maintenance. If you'd rather wait for the part to fail, so be it. Like someone else posted, I mod & maintain simultaneously but highly advise against it. It does get expensive (even though I do all my own work).
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:09 AM   #28
SamDoe1
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Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
It's hard to accept but is believable someone could run 130K on factory recommended intervals and have a tight engine. The VANOS issue is related to the seals not oil breaking down. Perhaps the "free maintenance program" was before LL rated synthetics were born?
I totally think it's plausible if not even likely, that a car could run for 130k on factory service intervals without the engine imploding. BMW aren't morons and they don't want their reputation scored by grenaded engines and failing drive trains.

The thing I don't find plausible is that nothing requiring work has happened in 130k miles... In addition, the water pump and thermostat should be changed out at ~100k or 110k at the most simply for peace of mind. Not to mention the supposed "lifetime" driveline fluids which, for the record, I don't believe.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:04 PM   #29
Kubica
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I bet 80-90% of BMWs only ever get 15k mile oil changes these days. It's a business decision for BMW, not a miracle of engineering.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:56 PM   #30
White_Knuckles
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I bet 80-90% of BMWs only ever get 15k mile oil changes these days. It's a business decision for BMW, not a miracle of engineering.
^^ Yes, and definitely in its first few months of life under the warranty service period. You can't deny "miracle" oil is legit?

The MINI Cooper (BMW) crowd runs 'em out to 15K and swaps filters at 7K. Their forums are contrary to this one where they are believers. Me? Not so much.

Sorry, off topic for sure.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:01 PM   #31
Elsamo
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I'm sure many people would not agree but depending on the exterior color I think the OEM mudflaps can look really cool on an xi sedan:



But be sure to change the flap fluid every 7k miles.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:22 AM   #32
o3BMW325xi
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It seems like people are too much into the "prevention" maintenance than the "required" maintenance. To me a required maintenance is what the manual says...an yes some of you call it a bS but i call it as is...seen plenty of 3 and 5 series with original t-case fluids, trans fluids and diff fluids as high as 250k miles...all this talk but I yet have to see some kind of result or investigation of these life time fluids after they have been drained? Anyone has done this? Its easy to say ohh yeah its bad becsaue its BLACK..really? Oil turning black has nothing to do with it being good or bad, but these are signs that the motor oil is doing its job of keeping dirt, and other combustion contaminants in suspension...
IMO e46 powertrain is pretty solid and thats all it matters other small stuff why fix it if its not broke...

To the OP making this cars fast would be a waste of money, you want fast car get an M3 if you want to stay in the BMW family or get something else. As far as apperance wise keep it clean with some nice wheels and a nice front lip/spoiler
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:59 AM   #33
SamDoe1
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Originally Posted by o3BMW325xi View Post
It seems like people are too much into the "prevention" maintenance than the "required" maintenance. To me a required maintenance is what the manual says...an yes some of you call it a bS but i call it as is...seen plenty of 3 and 5 series with original t-case fluids, trans fluids and diff fluids as high as 250k miles...all this talk but I yet have to see some kind of result or investigation of these life time fluids after they have been drained? Anyone has done this? Its easy to say ohh yeah its bad becsaue its BLACK..really? Oil turning black has nothing to do with it being good or bad, but these are signs that the motor oil is doing its job of keeping dirt, and other combustion contaminants in suspension...
IMO e46 powertrain is pretty solid and thats all it matters other small stuff why fix it if its not broke...
There have been oil analysis done for the drive line fluids. Google is your friend on that one. Additionally, BMW did change their mind and say that you should change your transmission fluid at ~100k. Additionally, yes the point of oil is to keep contaminants in suspension but there is a saturation point where the oil is now more abrasive due to the contaminants than lubricating. That is why you change it.

As for why fix if it's not broke...because it costs much more than the $30-$50 in fluid to fix a broken diff/TC/transmission.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, these cars are cheap to maintain and very expensive to fix.

Good luck OP, that's where I stand on this issue.
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