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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 11-20-2013, 06:06 PM   #21
VishTheFish
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Great work guys and OP saving some money while making a reliable sporty DD. I'd love to know what a dealership would charge for all the work OP has done thus far. May have to have paramedics on standby just in case.

Kind of worries me if I will want to own a newer BMW in the coming years with the emphasis placed on more electrical components and the cost associated with them.
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Originally Posted by ac_2007 View Post
Christ...

I hope you come back in 5 years and read these posts.
You come off as an angry ghetto kid with mental issues.

I'm sure its really a stellar achievement to buy a five thousand dollar car, pimp it out craigslist wheels, and slap on some ebay springs.

Congratulations, your car is a disaster.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:10 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by umpersav View Post
Great work guys and OP saving some money while making a reliable sporty DD. I'd love to know what a dealership would charge for all the work OP has done thus far. May have to have paramedics on standby just in case.

Kind of worries me if I will want to own a newer BMW in the coming years with the emphasis placed on more electrical components and the cost associated with them.
Good point. Yes I shudder to think what a dealer would have charged me to do all this. We have an awesome indy BMW shop here but I'm sure even they would have at least doubled what I have into it.

That is one of the things I like about the E46. Great car, not too dated yet and I can still work on it relatively easily with help from the forum. The more advanced cars get, the harder it is for the shade tree mechanic to fix them.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:12 PM   #23
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If you don't get a PPI chances are your cost of ownership is going to be higher.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:16 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by aarondb4 View Post
That is one of the things I like about the E46. Great car, not too dated yet and I can still work on it relatively easily with help from the forum. The more advanced cars get, the harder it is for the shade tree mechanic to fix them.
I like that my car is pre-TPMS so you don't have to put up with putting the sensors on a new set of wheels, resetting them after tire rotation, dealing with false alarms all the time. Checking my tire pressures is a once-a-week ritual anyway.
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Last edited by bee-em-dougle-u; 11-20-2013 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:20 PM   #25
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I like that my car is pre-TPMS so you don't have to put up with putting the sensors on a new set of wheels, resetting them after tire rotation, dealing with false alarms all the time. Checking my tire pressures is a once-a-week ritual anyway.
Then get an M3, tire pressure is taken from inside the wheel well in lieu of the tire itself. Judging by how fast it spins it calculates if one is low on air. Or at least i think thats how it works


Not sure if any other e46's use this same system.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:22 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by aarondb4 View Post
Good point. Yes I shudder to think what a dealer would have charged me to do all this. We have an awesome indy BMW shop here but I'm sure even they would have at least doubled what I have into it.

That is one of the things I like about the E46. Great car, not too dated yet and I can still work on it relatively easily with help from the forum. The more advanced cars get, the harder it is for the shade tree mechanic to fix them.
I think the rear end is starting to show a bit of age, the front end in facelifted sedans and either pre/post facelift coupes are awesome however. A well kept front end looks just as good as newer BMWs IMO. Having Mtech 1 or 2 definitely helps keep it looking young.

I've lurked around the subaru forums and honda forums and I have not found them to be as helpful as e46fanatics. The DIYs are so helpful and detailed here, along with the youtube videos and support from the vendors. It's nice to know that if I have an issue, someone here is willing to offer advice, or I can search and see possible fixes.
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Originally Posted by ac_2007 View Post
Christ...

I hope you come back in 5 years and read these posts.
You come off as an angry ghetto kid with mental issues.

I'm sure its really a stellar achievement to buy a five thousand dollar car, pimp it out craigslist wheels, and slap on some ebay springs.

Congratulations, your car is a disaster.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:37 PM   #27
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Then get an M3, tire pressure is taken from inside the wheel well in lieu of the tire itself. Judging by how fast it spins it calculates if one is low on air. Or at least i think thats how it works


Not sure if any other e46's use this same system.
Yeah, there are direct and indirect systems. Direct is preferred, but not infallible, where it takes a direct reading from inside the tire via the sensor. Indirect is cheaper, calculates wheel speed differentials to sense when a tire is going flat (flat tire=smaller effective diameter). Indirect is less precise but cheaper, because the wheel speed sensors already exist for ABS, so engineers can write some code, install a warning light and call it a day.
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Old 11-20-2013, 09:00 PM   #28
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You guys are scaring me!

I had a 2001 325Cic for 8 years. Bought it with 30K miles and sold it a few months ago with 78K.
  • Engine repair @35K $0 - MAF or some such thing (don't remember) - 100% covered by transferable extended warranty it came with
  • Brake pads & rotors @45K $0 - 100% covered by extended warranty
  • Wheels & Tires @60K $1000 - flat-spotted original wheels (my fault) and bought used OEM staggered set to replace ($400) & new tires at the same time ($600)
  • Engine repair @77.9K $490 - intake & exhaust parts installed (necessary prep to sell)
  • Leather repair on drivers seat @77.9K $350 - prep'ing to sell
That's it besides gas & oil. $1840 in 8 years! Averages out to $230 per year... or a little less than 4 cents per mile!

Recently bought an '04 330Cic ZHP w/ 67K to replace it. I hope I get so lucky with this one! But you guys really are scaring me a bit. One of the reasons I bought it was that the 325 proved so bullet-proof.

Anyway, the ZHP needed control arms when I bought it, but I sort of consider that expense as part of the purchase price. According to books & records, it has otherwise probably been better cared for than my 325 was.

But, even if this car doesn't hold up as well as my previous one, I have you guys to help me!
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:12 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Bird-Dog View Post
You guys are scaring me!

I had a 2001 325Cic for 8 years. Bought it with 30K miles and sold it a few months ago with 78K.
  • Engine repair @35K $0 - MAF or some such thing (don't remember) - 100% covered by transferable extended warranty it came with
  • Brake pads & rotors @45K $0 - 100% covered by extended warranty
  • Wheels & Tires @60K $1000 - flat-spotted original wheels (my fault) and bought used OEM staggered set to replace ($400) & new tires at the same time ($600)
  • Engine repair @77.9K $490 - intake & exhaust parts installed (necessary prep to sell)
  • Leather repair on drivers seat @77.9K $350 - prep'ing to sell
That's it besides gas & oil. $1840 in 8 years! Averages out to $230 per year... or a little less than 4 cents per mile!

Recently bought an '04 330Cic ZHP w/ 67K to replace it. I hope I get so lucky with this one! But you guys really are scaring me a bit. One of the reasons I bought it was that the 325 proved so bullet-proof.

Anyway, the ZHP needed control arms when I bought it, but I sort of consider that expense as part of the purchase price. According to books & records, it has otherwise probably been better cared for than my 325 was.

But, even if this car doesn't hold up as well as my previous one, I have you guys to help me!
That's nice to hear. The used E46 experience can hinge so much on the PO's treatment of the car, the sort of use it got, whether it was garaged, experienced Midwestern winters versus the SoCal experience, suffered Detroit potholes versus smoother roads in warmer climes. Fanatics here on average drive their cars harder than the typical owner, and that's going to exact a toll too.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:29 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Bird-Dog View Post
You guys are scaring me!

I had a 2001 325Cic for 8 years. Bought it with 30K miles and sold it a few months ago with 78K.
  • Engine repair @35K $0 - MAF or some such thing (don't remember) - 100% covered by transferable extended warranty it came with
  • Brake pads & rotors @45K $0 - 100% covered by extended warranty
  • Wheels & Tires @60K $1000 - flat-spotted original wheels (my fault) and bought used OEM staggered set to replace ($400) & new tires at the same time ($600)
  • Engine repair @77.9K $490 - intake & exhaust parts installed (necessary prep to sell)
  • Leather repair on drivers seat @77.9K $350 - prep'ing to sell
That's it besides gas & oil. $1840 in 8 years! Averages out to $230 per year... or a little less than 4 cents per mile!

Recently bought an '04 330Cic ZHP w/ 67K to replace it. I hope I get so lucky with this one! But you guys really are scaring me a bit. One of the reasons I bought it was that the 325 proved so bullet-proof.

Anyway, the ZHP needed control arms when I bought it, but I sort of consider that expense as part of the purchase price. According to books & records, it has otherwise probably been better cared for than my 325 was.

But, even if this car doesn't hold up as well as my previous one, I have you guys to help me!
These cars aren't as unreliable as everyone wants to make you think. For 3 years I spent about $20,000 keeping 2 early 2000 hondas on the road including the purchase prices of around 6k each, driving the civic 17,800 miles and the cr-v about 25,000 miles before realizing I couldn't keep paying into such a money pit.

For the 64,000 miles i've had my 330i i've had to replace...
-Cooling system ~$500
-Set of 4 new tires ~$500
-Ignition service ~$400
-6x Oil changes ~$400
-Washer pump + Fluid $20

This puts the cost of ownership at $9320 including the purchase price. About $1820 in repairs in around 3 years for the 330i.
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I am going to install M3 fender grill on my 323ci.
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IMO, the euro clear corners looks too aftermarket/ricey.
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This 323 would most likely handle and drive better than a stock e46 m3.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:36 PM   #31
VishTheFish
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Originally Posted by Swater330i View Post
These cars aren't as unreliable as everyone wants to make you think. For 3 years I spent about $20,000 keeping 2 early 2000 hondas on the road including the purchase prices of around 6k each, driving the civic 17,800 miles and the cr-v about 25,000 miles before realizing I couldn't keep paying into such a money pit.

For the 64,000 miles i've had my 330i i've had to replace...
-Cooling system ~$500
-Set of 4 new tires ~$500
-Ignition service ~$400
-6x Oil changes ~$400
-Washer pump + Fluid $20

This puts the cost of ownership at $9320 including the purchase price. About $1820 in repairs in around 3 years for the 330i.
I don't think anyone here is trying to say they are unreliable. Many of the cars you see for sale today are owned by people who did the bare minimum t keep it running- oil changes, routine dealership maintenance etc.

This is a fanatics site! Some people prefer to replace items on their own schedule before they wear.

I wouldn't say my e46 was unreliable, it just needed to be loved.
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Christ...

I hope you come back in 5 years and read these posts.
You come off as an angry ghetto kid with mental issues.

I'm sure its really a stellar achievement to buy a five thousand dollar car, pimp it out craigslist wheels, and slap on some ebay springs.

Congratulations, your car is a disaster.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:42 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by umpersav View Post
I don't think anyone here is trying to say they are unreliable. Many of the cars you see for sale today are owned by people who did the bare minimum t keep it running- oil changes, routine dealership maintenance etc.

This is a fanatics site! Some people prefer to replace items on their own schedule before they wear.

I wouldn't say my e46 was unreliable, it just needed to be loved.
My point is they're built alot better than they're given credit for


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I am going to install M3 fender grill on my 323ci.
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IMO, the euro clear corners looks too aftermarket/ricey.
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This 323 would most likely handle and drive better than a stock e46 m3.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:49 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by umpersav View Post
Great work guys and OP saving some money while making a reliable sporty DD. I'd love to know what a dealership would charge for all the work OP has done thus far. May have to have paramedics on standby just in case.

Kind of worries me if I will want to own a newer BMW in the coming years with the emphasis placed on more electrical components and the cost associated with them.
Take $150/hr for each service and add that to the price of BMW parts D:

A dealer-maintained BMW out of warranty will cost more than the car is worth pretty quickly. They gotta make up costs from $0 maintenance somehow.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:54 PM   #34
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My point is they're built alot better than they're given credit for


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Well many of the parts are designed to fail after the warranty period. All of the engineers know how long each part is going to last before it fails. This is why so many parts go bad just out of warranty. It's all completely designed that way.

The engineers all have the ability to make something last a long time, but there's no incentive. They just want to make sure the car can last through the warranty period as best as it can for minimal cost to the company. From an engineering standpoint, 6 years/100k miles (max. available warranty) is what they'll aim for with certain parts, though I'm sure most parts they make are going to be aimed for 4 years/50k miles since most people do not buy the extended warranty.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:54 PM   #35
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looking at all these price lists, I am pretty happy with mine

changed the coolant, thermostat, water pump
engine oil and transmission oil
new winter tires

so far, everything else is great,

I've done 8000 km on it now
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:05 PM   #36
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Well many of the parts are designed to fail after the warranty period. All of the engineers know how long each part is going to last before it fails. This is why so many parts go bad just out of warranty. It's all completely designed that way.

The engineers all have the ability to make something last a long time, but there's no incentive. They just want to make sure the car can last through the warranty period as best as it can for minimal cost to the company. From an engineering standpoint, 6 years/100k miles (max. available warranty) is what they'll aim for with certain parts, though I'm sure most parts they make are going to be aimed for 4 years/50k miles since most people do not buy the extended warranty.
Completely agree with you. Seems car manufactures are making their cars only repairable from a dealership by making everything impossible to work on at home. I think it is trying to eliminate a used car market because its "cheaper" to just buy a brand new version of the same thing.


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I am going to install M3 fender grill on my 323ci.
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IMO, the euro clear corners looks too aftermarket/ricey.
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This 323 would most likely handle and drive better than a stock e46 m3.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:25 PM   #37
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Well many of the parts are designed to fail after the warranty period. All of the engineers know how long each part is going to last before it fails. This is why so many parts go bad just out of warranty. It's all completely designed that way.
I am totally +1 on this

Plus making a part last 4 yrs as opposed to 12 years is a lot cheaper too
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:59 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
Well many of the parts are designed to fail after the warranty period. All of the engineers know how long each part is going to last before it fails. This is why so many parts go bad just out of warranty. It's all completely designed that way.

The engineers all have the ability to make something last a long time, but there's no incentive. They just want to make sure the car can last through the warranty period as best as it can for minimal cost to the company. From an engineering standpoint, 6 years/100k miles (max. available warranty) is what they'll aim for with certain parts, though I'm sure most parts they make are going to be aimed for 4 years/50k miles since most people do not buy the extended warranty.
+1. Makes good business sense.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:04 AM   #39
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Interesting points on the parts being designed to fail. I can see that being the case for some parts. Other parts, I wonder if they just don't fail because they have to use certain materials to get that nice BMW feel we all want. IE suspension components seem to wear out pretty quick but maybe that is just the price to pay for a nice ride. I also think a lot of our gasket and plastic issues come from the engine producing so much heat. I don't know why this particular engine seems to create so much heat but it is significantly warmer in the engine bay that I am used to with any other cars. Seems like that probably lends a lot to the gasket going completely stiff at 80k miles.

Some good news for me, I managed to pull up the hidden OBC menu last night and was able to verify that my thermostat is in good working condition, so I can cross that part off the list. Doesn't help me with the low MPG however. Might have to reward the car with those clear turns I have been eyeballin.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:23 AM   #40
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Have to wonder...

Designed to fail?
Or, simply not designed to not fail?

The difference being whether the factory's motivation is keeping cost to manufacture lower, or an intentional and premeditated attempt to ensure future profit on parts & repairs out of warranty.

As has been mentioned, most parts could be built to last longer, but there is a cost factor involved in doing so. And this probably applies to any brand... right up though those selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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