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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 07-09-2015, 06:32 PM   #1
pilotcorky
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: MD/MA
Posts: 23
My Ride: '01 330i
Unhappy Need help prioritizing...

SO. I've had my '01 330i just about a year now, and have already done a decent number of repairs (alternator, battery, cooling refresh, valve cover (cracked) and gasket, disa, secondary air vacuum lines, fuel filter, pads and rotors, spark plugs, front sway bar end links, crankcase vent valve and hoses... WHEW), but there's still a lot that's broken ... Now that this car has turned me into a typical broke college student, I could use some help figuring out what order I should tackle things in... Side note.... Is any of this not normal for an e46 with 107k??? Feels like it will never end...

THE LIST:
  • Oil pan gasket has a slowish leak, approx. 1qt/month. Oil level sensor is toast.
  • Clutch is right at the end of the pedal and slips if you try hard enough..
  • Transmission is leaking from a detent cover and 5th gear detent doesn't work right.
  • Rear shocks are in shocking condition.
  • Control arm bushings are a bit worn.
  • Engine throwing a bank 2 cat inefficiency code, assume cat needs replacing
  • Occasional hesitation at around 2700 rpm, then a weird squeak, then it picks up... Assuming it's a VANOS issue, rebuild couldn't hurt.

Any advice would be appreciated!!
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:41 PM   #2
BaliDawg
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 5,588
My Ride: E24 E32 E46 E39 E84
  • Engine throwing a bank 2 cat inefficiency code, assume cat needs replacing
  • Occasional hesitation at around 2700 rpm, then a weird squeak, then it picks up... Assuming it's a VANOS issue, rebuild couldn't hurt.
  • Oil pan gasket has a slowish leak, approx. 1qt/month. Oil level sensor is toast.
  • Clutch is right at the end of the pedal and slips if you try hard enough..
  • Transmission is leaking from a detent cover and 5th gear detent doesn't work right.
  • Rear shocks are in shocking condition.
  • Control arm bushings are a bit worn.
Reordered your list. I would solve the engine and transmission issues first, then do the suspension stuff.
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Last edited by BaliDawg; 07-09-2015 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:02 PM   #3
pilotcorky
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My Ride: '01 330i
Thats what I figured.. "do the expensive stuff first"
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:22 PM   #4
inline6ix
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My Ride: 2001 325ci ZSP
BMWs, especially those with M54s are kinda known for needing a bunch of stuff around 100-120k since a lot of it has still never been replaced. I've honestly done everything in that list of repairs that you've done and I still have parts waiting to be installed, not to mention an oil leak to fix (hoping it's not the oil pan gasket, heard it's a pain in the ass/wallet to do). Granted, my car has 176k miles, but the same still applies. I've gotten used to that broke college student life at this point

Last edited by inline6ix; 07-09-2015 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:27 PM   #5
cvx5832
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Some notes below. I didn't have an answer for the rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotcorky View Post
THE LIST:
  • Oil pan gasket has a slowish leak, approx. 1qt/month. Oil level sensor is toast. [Thats not "slowish". At that rate you're probably burning it, too.]
  • Clutch is right at the end of the pedal and slips if you try hard enough..
  • Transmission is leaking from a detent cover and 5th gear detent doesn't work right.
  • Rear shocks are in shocking condition. [Change now. They're cheap. Don't forget about the OTHER stuff that attaches to the shock like the shock mount, additional bumper, etc.]
  • Control arm bushings are a bit worn. [Same. Don't forget the arms when you have the cash.]
  • Engine throwing a bank 2 cat inefficiency code, assume cat needs replacing
  • Occasional hesitation at around 2700 rpm, then a weird squeak, then it picks up... Assuming it's a VANOS issue, rebuild couldn't hurt.
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:07 PM   #6
jfoj
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My Ride: 330CiC, M5, X5, E93
You need to slow down a bit on some of this.

Personally if the OFHG has not been replaced yet, I would replace it before I would pull the oil pan. More often then not, the oil leaks that people think my be from the oil pan are from the OFHG.

2700 RPM hesitation, check this link - forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=966614

Cat Efficiency code, well if you Log the O2 sensors at a warm idle for about 4 minutes then drive at a steady 50-60 MPH on a flat road with the cruise on for about 4 minutes so the O2 sensor/converter health can be reviewed. If converter is a problem, start looking for good used converters because replacement converters are expensive as I recall?

Rear shocks and LCAB are probably next.

Clutch and trans issue can and should be performed at the same time.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:28 PM   #7
pilotcorky
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: MD/MA
Posts: 23
My Ride: '01 330i
Great info on the hesitation issue jfoj, I had no idea!

I'll look at the OFHG more closely... The couple of times the car's been into an actual shop (two independent bmw shops and a dealer), they said it was the actual oil pan gasket. But you're right, think I bought that too easily.

Will definitely log the O2 data. Haven't really looked into that problem too much yet. I would guess the O2 sensors on this car are original so they're suspects for sure. And yeah, new cat is $800+... Pair of used manifolds w/ cats run around $250 from what I've seen so far.

And yeah, would do the clutch and trans stuff together... Taking it off twice would not be fun!

And cvx... "slowish" was just so I didn't feel as bad about it
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:44 PM   #8
jfoj
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My Ride: 330CiC, M5, X5, E93
Do not jump to replacing the O2 sensors at this point, often they are not the cause of the P0420/P0430 codes but the O2 sensor logging can help determine if the converter(s) are looking weak.

Get an OBDII smart phone/tablet App and interface, typically $30 or less. These Apps are usually best for drivability issues and they support Emission Readiness Monitor Status, Freeze Frame and Live/Realtime data. They are also great for Logging data for review after the car has been driven and can really help find unusual problems.

Android - Touch Scan for $3.95 and ELM327 OBDII to Bluetooth interface.

iProduct - OBD Fusion for $9.95 and ELM327 OBDII to Wifi interface.

I usually suggest getting the OBDII interfaces from Amazon if you are located in the US/North America. Make sure you choose an interface that indicates that the order will be "Fulfilled by Amazon" otherwise you may be waiting for WEEKS for an interface to arrive from Asia. Ebay is another option, but pay attention where the interface will be shipped from, again weeks for an interface from Asia, so if you can wait and want to try to save some money, go for it, but if you need an interface soon, choose wisely.

See this thread - http://e46fanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1050205
__________________
Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:23 PM   #9
pilotcorky
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: MD/MA
Posts: 23
My Ride: '01 330i
Interesting read... Will double check my engine operating temp, was watching it constantly after I did the cooling refresh and it was sitting around 96C pretty consistently in cold outside temperatures.

Already have the ELM327, I tried to log O2 data right when the code came up but the free version of torque was having none of it. I'll give touch scan a try. Will post data once I have it!

The car had system too lean codes for ages (previous owner had made some interesting mods to the secondary air pump's vacuum control system....), this code came up shortly after that issue was fixed. Wouldn't be surprised if the cat's just contaminated from the engine not running right for so long.
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Old 07-10-2015, 01:50 AM   #10
BaliDawg
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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My Ride: E24 E32 E46 E39 E84
Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotcorky View Post
Great info on the hesitation issue jfoj, I had no idea!
The source of the 2800 RPM stutter that I am familiar with was only on late 2003 and early 2004 cars with MS45 DME. OP has a 2001, so not sure if this applies. That said, a DME firmware update is a wise choice. They fixed a lot of bugs in that firmware over the years, and the latest versions for both MS43 and MS45 have smoother acceleration and better response.
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:08 PM   #11
pilotcorky
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: MD/MA
Posts: 23
My Ride: '01 330i
Interesting BaliDawg... I think I'll try and do the firmware update either way, can't really hurt.

Meanwhile, both of my window regulators have decided to give up at the same time so I've had to put a hold on diagnosing everything else for a while....

The issue I'm having is that between buying the car and all of the maintenance I've done so far, I have just over $10k into it. That's about what I was expecting given how much I (over)paid for it, but at this rate that number could easily increase another 50% in the next year or so. Selling it would leave me WAY in the red (especially in its current mechanical state), but at some point I'll run out of money to throw at this car and will have no choice. I think I have to make one big effort to get everything fixed, and then pray that it starts to hold up a bit better... We shall see!
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