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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 08-02-2016, 11:47 PM   #1
topher339
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Bad Cats?/Euro Exhaust Options

I've looked around and can't seem to find any conclusive info on this particular situation. If you know of a thread that may help please feel free to steer me in that direction.

Alright. So, for the last couple months I've been getting SES codes saying my cats are below thresh-hold. First it was just bank one, eventually both banks threw codes. They don't smell bad and they passed emissions this last May so I'm thinking it's not the cats unless they went real bad real fast. I just replaced the spark plugs and packs. Not sure if that will help. Also had a thermostat code (it was soft-failing). Replaced that. What else could it be? O2 sensors (in both banks? seems unlikely)? If it's running rich, what could cause that?

If it is the cats, is it worth going Euro style? The catless headers are far cheaper (~$400) than OEM and I figure that I could have some 200 cell cats and O2 bungs welded into the section one piping to pass emissions. Could I do that and spend less than grabbing cat headers? If it breaks about even that works, too.

Any suggestions?
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:18 AM   #2
Hobohunter
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How long have you had the car? Is the exhaust system altered?
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:09 PM   #3
topher339
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I bought the car in May. That's why the emissions got done. The car is pretty much completely stock.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:41 PM   #4
Hobohunter
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Do you know if the exhaust headers on the car are stock or catless? Do emissions testers in NM look at the car, test the exhaust, or just check for codes on the OBD?

The reason I'm asking is that my 01 threw cat codes after I got it and I was about to replace the O2 sensors when I noticed that someone before me had installed catless headers.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:13 PM   #5
topher339
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They definitely check for OBD codes. I believe they test the exhaust as well. Pretty sure they're catted but I'll have to lift and check to be sure.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:28 PM   #6
Hobohunter
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If you end up needing to replace the headers, either due to catless headers installed by a previous owner or plugged cats, I would take a look on ebay for a used set from another e46 M3. I bought a used set about 90k miles for a little over $300 including shipping. Mine ended up solving a couple of problems for me: the exhaust tone with catless headers was a lot raspier sounding to me, there was a massive exhaust leak from the previous guy having decided not to replace the exhaust gaskets and try and reuse the old ones plus RTV after that leaked, and it set me up for moving back to the west side of WA were there are required emissions tests.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:46 PM   #7
topher339
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I'll check it out. It'd be nice if I could find a used set of Euro headers and section one. The guy actually paying for all of this is the guy I bought it from so I'll bring it up and let him decide.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:48 PM   #8
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:46 AM   #9
topher339
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I forgot to mention, the light only comes on when in sport mode. So if I delete it and never use sport, it won't come back.
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