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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 07-10-2015, 04:19 PM   #1
Ferklee
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Talking New Guy Questions, Concerns, Thoughts, and Hopes...

Okay, here's the low down. I am 20. I make my way rather well at a very large car dealer in Texas, and i just dumped my other car specifically to purchase this 2005 325i. This forum has so much knowledge and I'm literally drooling to learn, I am excited. I know this is probably not the best car to learn on.. changing the oil... doing my own maintence etc. I would rely on my service department, but i really have a love for these cars. I have since i was young. It is literally my favorite body style, and i am learning its not only me.
So the low down on the vehicle.
Last 7 of the VIN; KN98904
Odometer: 118089
I've done a lot of background on this vehicle, and the carfax doesn't specifically bother me, because it was a canadian title and the title transfering nonstop was a giant confusion i checked. I am the third owner, and honestly i cannot complain. The only bothersome issue i have is the tow cap is missing, and i'm sure those are easy to order.

http://www.carfaxonline.com/cfm/Disp...EV33465KN98904

Carfax should pull up for everyone i believe.
The damage on the carfax was based off a pole being hit by an employee of the dealership that smacked the left front end and cracked the left turn signal cover. The left turn signal doesn't work, and i haven't gotten in there because worst case scenario i believe it may be just a socket. I know the trunk light sockets have a tendecy to go out on these things every so often. So i have replaced those already.

I have a few things i would like to do aesthetically to the vehicle. The car is in glorious shape.. like.. Purrfect. I haven't had one of these brought in that ran this well at this milage. My only concern is that since it was a canadain title and Carfax is a bit dodgey and i had to do some digging to discover what i already have. I am not sure what work has already been done on the car.

I want to specifically know if there is a danger to me doing a muffler delete and a single res delete on the vehicle and if that could potentionally cause problems to arise or the CEL to pop on.

The vehicle is rust free surprising for the location is has been most of its life. So hooray for that. Someone took pride in it.
I'm basically looking for a rundown on what i should start with and what i should check off before i start substantially just cleaning this car up, and getting it to where i want it.
I know some people are very impartial to the muffler delete and res delete, but i personally think it's an opinion based matter and it adds a nice purr to the car.

I am here to learn, and hoping y'all could guide me in the right direction.
Thank you.

I am super excited to get into a car that i have aspired to own and turn into a collectors item for myself, and just.. have a car i love.

In addition, i am moving to TN in 3 weeks, and i wasn't sure if the whole BMW CCA thing was worth it. I will be in Greeneville, and being in Houston i see BMW CCA is rather active, but i wasn't sure if it were as prominant in TN as it is here where i am currently located. I may get a cover as well, because it will be mostly outside kept in TN, since i will not have a garage. Also, having nothing to personally work on this car with, what should i be looking to start with?
Once again thanks!

Last edited by Ferklee; 07-10-2015 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:21 PM   #2
Ferklee
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I had one of my techs who worked at BMW run some kind of program on it.
He said the engine is solid, transmission isn't knocking or anything. He said it's a solid car.
Other than the light issues.
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:31 PM   #3
Tbone8ty
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congrats on the new purchase.

this will be your favorite car in terms of the amount of hard work you will put into it and the learning that comes with it and satisfaction you get. however there is a downside, this will be your least favorite car on your wallet and your time.... blood, sweat, and tears my friend. but you will still have a classic in the end...

first piece of advice... don't start with the fun stuff.
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:40 PM   #4
Ferklee
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I'm not worried about the cash behind it. I just wanted something simplistic to learn with. I dreamt of owning one of these at a point in time, because to me they are amazing vehicles.

The muffler delete is something I don't have the means to do myself right now, or down the road, and I can get it down free right now, along with the res delete. I don't want to pay some shotty mechanic in Tennessee to do it either that I don't know. I just was concerned if it were to cause any issues.
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:41 PM   #5
Yewzer B Lewzer
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New Guy Questions, Concerns, Thoughts, and Hopes...

You've chosen a good car to learn to DIY on, and it will give you plenty of opportunity to do so. These are good cars but have some common problems, and they are getting old so keeping them going is a labor of love. Don't go crazy on mods yet, just drive it and see what is wrong with it as is, then fix what needs to be fixed and go from there. I'm on the fence wrt muffler deletes, you may want to wait so you can get a good idea of how the car should sound before you do something to drown out the sounds. You need to get:

A generic OBDII scanner such as ELMScan or Torque pro, or OBDFusion. This is essential for diagnosing these cars, and they are cheap

A basic set of metric tools

A set of torx drivers

The cooling system is perhaps the most fragile and has the worst consequences when it goes bad, and it can go bad quickly.

Don't overfill the cooling system (expansion tank) or it will pop, I usually keep it on the low end. Learn how to tell.

If the temp gauge goes above the middle even a little bit, pull over IMMEDIATELY and see what is going wrong. Overheats lead to warped cylinder heads which leads to the junk yard most of the time.
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:57 PM   #6
Tbone8ty
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if you didn't receive any maintenance records with the car. you have alot to prove to yourself and the car.

don't start with muffler delete and res delete. its ghetto. it may sound okay around town but it drones on the highway and it still is ghetto on a classy bmw such as the e46. but your 20 i get it. no worries. IMO get a proper muffler or do the golf tee mod. if you still want the muffler delete... do it down the road when you have driven the car for at least a year to make sure all maintenance is taken care of and you know where you stand on the how the car performs.

im trying not to come off as an e46ass but new comers such as yourself get all caught up in cosmetic and exhaust upgrades.... and then end up stranded down the road with a much more pressing issue with no money because they neglected key aspects of keeping a car such as this running mint. do your self a favor and do the hard and boring stuff first. it will make the performance parts you want later on that much more enjoyable.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:09 PM   #7
Ferklee
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Yall are ridiculously insightful it's a joy!

I agree, I just figured, I set about 12 grand aside to fix this car just in case. I paid 3 for it. :p it's in wonderful shape to be honest. And the aesthetics are something I are the least expensive part to be honest. But I'm going to invest in some tools, probably get a decent jack. I would assume I need one of those to change the oil.

I can't get over my excitement. Like I just have a million things going in my head. It was a deal I couldn't pass up on. I think my drive to Tennessee will be the real knocker and show me where this car stands. I know the window motors go out easily. Not a big deal, I did standard things, change the wiper blades, do the breaks. Working on getting replacement caps. The shift knob annoys me since it has a rip in it, so I ordered another one of those. I've noticed the car actually stays really cool for the first 15-25 minutes, before it hits the center. Never goes above. Shifts very smooth.
I think I'm being a bit partial out of excitement.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:18 PM   #8
Yewzer B Lewzer
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New Guy Questions, Concerns, Thoughts, and Hopes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferklee View Post
I've noticed the car actually stays really cool for the first 15-25 minutes, before it hits the center.

This could be a sign of a stuck open thermostat that could lead to big troubles (sludge).

In the summer it should hit dead center within 5-10 minutes when it is working correctly. Look up the hidden OBC menu for coolant temp and make sure it reaches about 95 C and stays there while cruising on the highway.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:20 PM   #9
Ferklee
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Okay will do. Any prep work I should consider other than the standard oil change etc before a road trip.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:22 PM   #10
Yewzer B Lewzer
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By the way, setting money aside for maintenance, being able to put a sentence together, and not telling us were stupid for recommending NOT to do the muffler delete... Are you sure you are only 20?
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:23 PM   #11
Yewzer B Lewzer
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...and there are DIY videos for nearly every Fix for these cars on YouTube.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:25 PM   #12
Ferklee
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Yes I am only 20.
I am a bit more intellectually advanced than most 20 years old I believe. I have a lot of respect for everyone here and the knowledge, so everything is an opportunity to learn.
And yes, It's an aspect I am actually excited for. Getting out of a suit and kinda just getting my hands dirty with a car I have admiration for. It's a learning experience, and the blood sweat and tears just makes it even more exciting.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:26 PM   #13
Yewzer B Lewzer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferklee View Post
Okay will do. Any prep work I should consider other than the standard oil change etc before a road trip.

I would check into that thermostat, make sure you have the correct amount of coolant, make sure you have no major leaks especially coolant, check your tire pressure and fluid levels, and then drive it like you stole it. Have fun.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:29 PM   #14
Ferklee
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I can't, I tried. I'm way too scared right now to be hard on it. It's my precious gem I have collected and I'm treating it like a baby.
For now that is. I'll break that sucker in on the way to Tennessee haha. All the fluids and everything in the car are solid though, ran it through my service department 2 days ago, and they did a full break down on it for me.
(Still kinda sad about the muffler delete to be honest. I think it's my inner 20 year old trying to get out)
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:33 PM   #15
Yewzer B Lewzer
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It's good that you want to be easy on it, but believe it or not that isn't good for the engine. Don't go crazy but flog it at least a couple times per week, your rings will thank you.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:34 PM   #16
Yewzer B Lewzer
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Btw mine has 173k miles on it and it runs and drives better than most brand new cars... and I flog it regularly.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:41 PM   #17
Ferklee
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Man, I just have to give myself time to realize it's mine, haha. And it's a machine just like my last car, but this one has a weird value to me. The arm rest leather is split with annoys me, it shows a lack of leather maintenance.. Which makes me a sad panda.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:52 PM   #18
Ferklee
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Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByBimmerApp1436568711.419701.jpg
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Bit late on the tint though.
I'm in Texas. I need it.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:53 PM   #19
Ferklee
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Had to make sure my tint guy wasn't dragging his ass.
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:12 PM   #20
AndreBXP
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http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php?title=BMW_E46

Read over that link. Lots of valid info. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the search feature.

Cooling system failure is the #1 cause of death among these cars. Most of it is made up of plastics that degrade over time and become very brittle. Replace, at the very minimum, the expansion tank, thermostat, hoses, and pulleys BEFORE they fail. If that temp. needle gets in the red you should expect a blown head gasket, warped head, or a cracked block. Don't be that guy. Many many DIYs out there on how to do this.

Change the oil and filter every 7500 miles or every year, what ever comes first, and only use an oil approved by BMW.

After you get the above done you should start looking at new shocks and struts if your car has 100k or more. More often than not there are lots of suspension bushings that are shot by this point. Read up on this and do your homework.

Those are the basics and the most important. Its silly to buy a BMW and drive on a blown suspension, and it sucks to blow head gaskets.

You will have other issues but first read up on the E46 wiki and familiarize yourself with the platform to always have a rough idea what can happen.

Good luck and enjoy the car!
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