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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 09-09-2011, 10:22 PM   #1
Aruizdelhoyo
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: El Paso
Posts: 4
My Ride: 325xi
2002 325xi

Hello, I'm new to this forum because I'm looking to buy a 2002 325xi.
I wanted to know I there are any major issued that I should look for or that I may run into in the future. The car looks pretty good and it only has 84k miles

Can I take the VIN to the dealership so they can give me info on what has been done to this vehicle?

I would really appreciate your comments and suggestions.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:34 AM   #2
john311tran
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Boston
Posts: 355
My Ride: awd + 5 doors
get a carfax.. take the car to your mechanic for a look over.

john
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:32 AM   #3
White_Knuckles
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington (the state)
Posts: 1,689
My Ride: 2003 325xi
At 80K she's pretty fresh. Two concerns and option for near future. Cooling system is a vulnerable bugger. Weak points in the system are known to fail where sudden loss of coolant can damage the alloy engine in seconds. Replacement parts add up to around $300. The XI front drive components include 4 CV boots. These can tear or clamps loosen where a re-boot is in order preventing CV failure. I had a shop replace mine for around $350. Should she be an automatic transmission, replacement fluid for it, the transfer case and two differentials is recommended. Brakes may be on the horizon as well.

There's really no way to verify any of this has been completed by the prior owner without records. Assume it's on you. I got my XI two years ago (70K) and all items mentioned have been completed. The total maintenance investment is close to $1500. Not to mention all the goodies I've installed for fun - $1000. Thing is, you'll like the car so much, that you'll want to treat her right.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:12 AM   #4
Gus330vrum
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: atlanta
Posts: 1,553
My Ride: 330ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
At 80K she's pretty fresh. Two concerns and option for near future. Cooling system is a vulnerable bugger. Weak points in the system are known to fail where sudden loss of coolant can damage the alloy engine in seconds. Replacement parts add up to around $300. The XI front drive components include 4 CV boots. These can tear or clamps loosen where a re-boot is in order preventing CV failure. I had a shop replace mine for around $350. Should she be an automatic transmission, replacement fluid for it, the transfer case and two differentials is recommended. Brakes may be on the horizon as well.

There's really no way to verify any of this has been completed by the prior owner without records. Assume it's on you. I got my XI two years ago (70K) and all items mentioned have been completed. The total maintenance investment is close to $1500. Not to mention all the goodies I've installed for fun - $1000. Thing is, you'll like the car so much, that you'll want to treat her right.
White_Knuckles is 100% right! if i was you... i would start now changing or ordering parts by parts and change all at once..... 1 labor charge... saves u good money.. or u can DIY..... cv axle, bushings all THEM, rear sway bar (BUSHINGS and end links ( stabilizer on turns) , suspension soon will feel crappy..... look out for the rear springs that pop on the rear..... the interior cover on the back will soon start to come out w the heat of the sun....

I SAY! start buying and ordering online slowly slowly.... and w/ time u will have all the parts..... mine w 70k was feeling great...

i drove drove and got to 120k w a lot to do list and i had not order all my stuff...... no good.....
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:38 PM   #5
Aruizdelhoyo
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: El Paso
Posts: 4
My Ride: 325xi
Thank you for the advice. I consider myself a bit handy, so how hard is it to do some of that maintenance myself? Boots? Springs?

Anywhere I should look to see of they have done any work to the cooling system?
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:45 PM   #6
luke1213
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: palm bay
Posts: 51
My Ride: 2002 325xi 4 door
Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
At 80K she's pretty fresh. Two concerns and option for near future. Cooling system is a vulnerable bugger. Weak points in the system are known to fail where sudden loss of coolant can damage the alloy engine in seconds. Replacement parts add up to around $300. The XI front drive components include 4 CV boots. These can tear or clamps loosen where a re-boot is in order preventing CV failure. I had a shop replace mine for around $350. Should she be an automatic transmission, replacement fluid for it, the transfer case and two differentials is recommended. Brakes may be on the horizon as well.

There's really no way to verify any of this has been completed by the prior owner without records. Assume it's on you. I got my XI two years ago (70K) and all items mentioned have been completed. The total maintenance investment is close to $1500. Not to mention all the goodies I've installed for fun - $1000. Thing is, you'll like the car so much, that you'll want to treat her right.
yea i bought a 2002 xi with 118,000 miles about 2 weeks ago. i have already put nearly 3k miles on it in the last 2 weeks. i actually really like the car, more than what i had thought. i wished i got a carfax to see if any of the repairs mentioned previously before i purchased the car. i bought the car mainly to be a daily driver for a new job. figured i would put 30 or 40k miles on it and sale it but i like the car so much, i am already looking into getting it repainted and going to restore it.

as for repairs, i had to do sway bar links, tires, valve cover gasket, windshield cowl and front grille. this week, i am going to replace the front cv axles (hopefully a DIY for me) but this is to be expected with 120,000 + miles. eventually, i am going to go through and do basically a whole new suspension, ball joints, bushings, brakes, etc.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:54 PM   #7
Gus330vrum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aruizdelhoyo View Post
Thank you for the advice. I consider myself a bit handy, so how hard is it to do some of that maintenance myself? Boots? Springs?

Anywhere I should look to see of they have done any work to the cooling system?
Too look if they did do the cooling system overhaul.. i would guess look if the pump or thermostat looks new... but u cant never tell... you could ask the last owner or wait for SES light come on... or might as well do it... idk...

its not hard.... exp; water pump/ pulleys / thermostat.... super easy and reservoir of coolant.... "please use BMW COOLANT, other coolant will affect engine efficiency "tools and the i wanna do it "DIY" search;google 4 diy.

maintenance would be : steering fluid : dextron III manual gear oil : i used purple synthetic gear oil from auto zone, but changing 4 REDLINE on next transmission fluid change....


diff front,mid,rear front: redline mid"dextron III rear: redline "SEARCH WHICH RED LINES.. i forgot....



maybe ! new springs? on the back... might as well change all 4... maybe keep shock/strut .. or just change it all....


but DOUBLE CHECK spring... maybe they changed it already... but they do crack on the bottom...
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:25 PM   #8
gitchies
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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My Ride: 05 325xi
yeah its so hard to say...carfax this, autocheck that, carproof there.....just hope the seller is an honest one and has some records. i picked mine up about 3 weeks ago, he had some service records of the car from the last few years....150kms,,,prob 90miles...so far so good.....i like how nimble the car is, and gas mileage!!! coming from an 4.4 x5
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:31 PM   #9
luke1213
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: palm bay
Posts: 51
My Ride: 2002 325xi 4 door
i am hoping my car has had the coolant system overhaul. i haven't really investigated it much but the fan clutch looks fairly new and so does the water pump.
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Old 09-16-2011, 12:29 PM   #10
TheOmarLabel
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 64
My Ride: 2002 325xi
man i got the same exact model i bought it at 78k last year and today i have it at 82k still runs great used it just as a daily driver to get to school but im slowly trying to get into the whole e46 community

looking to trade it in for a m3 within the ext 2 years
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:28 PM   #11
jaycard73
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Join Date: May 2004
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me too..i got the same car at about 80K and love it! As you've already heard, focus on cooling, then suspension, then all the cosmetic stuff if you want.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:29 PM   #12
Itadienekes
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 60
My Ride: 2002 BMW 325xi
Got the same car at 136k in March. Am at 144k now.

I had a local BMW indie look at the car for $100 bucks before I bought it, made a list of **** that was wrong (torn front-left CV boot, blown rear Bilsteins, bent front-right control arm, leaking expansion tank), and used it as a bargaining tool to get the sale price down to $7500, which I thought was decent.

I started buying parts, and did major overhaul in July.

I've dropped roughly $2500 on it so far, that includes new rear Bilsteins, fully rebuilt front suspension (all new parts), new front right & left CV axles, replaced expansion tank, ECIS CAI.

Car runs like a dream.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:20 AM   #13
luke1213
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: palm bay
Posts: 51
My Ride: 2002 325xi 4 door
i just installed the cv axles this week and made a huge difference. now i'm going to get new front wheel bearings and front shocks in the near future. i need to do some exterior maintenance (door trim, weatherstripping, etc) as well.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:58 PM   #14
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke1213 View Post
i just installed the cv axles this week and made a huge difference. now i'm going to get new front wheel bearings and front shocks in the near future. i need to do some exterior maintenance (door trim, weatherstripping, etc) as well.
I wouldn't change wheel bearing preventatively. It's not that easy of a job on an xi.
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:55 PM   #15
luke1213
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: palm bay
Posts: 51
My Ride: 2002 325xi 4 door
i don't want to change the wheel bearings but my front driver wheel is making a metal to metal sound when i turn the car to the right. i just figured if i change one, should change them both. do you know if someone makes a hub assembly with the bearing already in it? maybe that would make the job a little easier
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:25 PM   #16
markusvt
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: vermont
Posts: 83
My Ride: 330xi
Fairly easy really. Take the hub off, press bearing out, press new one in, reinstall and have aligned. Don't try to do it on the car, you will hate life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
I wouldn't change wheel bearing preventatively. It's not that easy of a job on an xi.
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:02 AM   #17
GreaseJunkie
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 35
My Ride: 325xi
I just picked up my '02 325xi m/t this week. Welcome me to the forum! haha

Seems like a hot week for these girls.

Problems I've read about and experienced in my week:
  • Already I am in for a new roundel on the front.
  • Have to fix the regulators on the power windows in the front.
  • From what I've read, these are both very common issues.

These are all I've encountered... so far.

One good improvement I've read about so far:
  • removing the CDV. Allows the clutch hydraulic fluid release to be unrestricted. This clutch is made for people who drive automatics the way it's set up. Have to rev match perfectly every up-shift.

Good luck to you all! It's a fun car so far, just wish the steering was a little tighter and the "wire" throttle was less of a babysitter. I guess I need a chip and suspension upgrades. And I guess I miss NOT having p/s or straight up RWD.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:23 PM   #18
PsychoP
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Lachute
Posts: 2
My Ride: 2002 325Xi
My E46 is at 189k and I still want to keep it. Change the coil # 2 this week and on the weekend I will be changing the fan clutch which is jammed but it's worth keeping for still a while.
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:44 AM   #19
SamDoe1
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Location: Minnesnowta
Posts: 3,671
My Ride: 4cyl of fury
Thread is 3 years old. I'm sure OP has figured this out.
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