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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 08-16-2016, 12:12 PM   #81
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The E46 is already old, the first ones were made nearly 20 years ago now. I doubt we'll see anything we haven't already. Materials quality had improved since earlier BMWs.

Haven't seen any problems with dashboards, and I don't think we will. Any interior plastics that would degrade already have. Pillars sag, the console pieces melt, etc.
Never underestimate the power of UV... Heh. It wreaks havoc on paint and typically those issues don't start to show up for a number of years.

That said, a lot of it comes down to basic care and feeding (car cover, dash cover, sunshade, garage, regular detailing, etc).

I've been encouraged by what I've seen of the E46's material quality, particularly re:the dash. I have a hunch the two-piece dash design helps too. It's easier for defects to show in one large swath of plastic/vinyl rather than in two.
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Last edited by Spannerhead; 08-16-2016 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:39 PM   #82
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I've had my EML light come on twice and the combo of the DSC and e-brake light come on twice in the past couple months, which has spanned about 1000 miles of driving. I did some research and I believe the EML light problem to be a faulty TPS sensor and the DSC/e-brake thing to be a dirty speed sensor, but I haven't had the time to confirm or address these problems. I'm planning to buy a Schwaben BMW/MINI scan tool to pull the codes to confirm the next time the light comes on, and then DIY or take it to a shop depending on how difficult the job is. In the meantime, is it unsafe to drive my car for short distances or should I just take it to a shop now even though none of the warning lights are on? My e46 isn't my daily driver anyways.
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Old 08-16-2016, 02:18 PM   #83
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Automotive glass, regardless of auto make, is inherently UV-rejecting. Most add tint too, so really, little to no concern there.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:44 PM   #84
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Here's a dumb question: what's that bottom cover called and is it structural? Not the plastic piece, but the metal one behind it with the square hole to access the oil plug?

Nevermind, got it.

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Old 08-17-2016, 01:43 AM   #85
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:40 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Larry View Post
I've had my EML light come on twice and the combo of the DSC and e-brake light come on twice in the past couple months, which has spanned about 1000 miles of driving. I did some research and I believe the EML light problem to be a faulty TPS sensor and the DSC/e-brake thing to be a dirty speed sensor, but I haven't had the time to confirm or address these problems. I'm planning to buy a Schwaben BMW/MINI scan tool to pull the codes to confirm the next time the light comes on, and then DIY or take it to a shop depending on how difficult the job is. In the meantime, is it unsafe to drive my car for short distances or should I just take it to a shop now even though none of the warning lights are on? My e46 isn't my daily driver anyways.
Ok to drive. When lights active means you won't have abs just regular brakes. Job isn't difficult just soak the area of the wheel sensor with a penetrant oil prior to removal. I'm not sold on a dirty wheel speed sensor in every case though it is the cheapest route for diagnosis. A BMW scanner will tell you the exact fault location.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:24 AM   #87
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Who wants to help me build the Need for Speed Most Wanted M3 GTR in the "Hero" livery in real life?



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Old 08-18-2016, 12:41 PM   #88
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So... I have 2004 330ci and have the mtech2 front bumper
But I can't for the life of me find the right expanding rivets that hold it in.
I bought some from ecstuning but I ordered the wrong ones.

Went to the BMW dealership twice and the dude had no idea what I was talking about and gave me the wrong ones twice. So I'm lost.

Currently held in by zip ties by the grill and random holes in the aluminum carrier bar
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:08 PM   #89
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So... I have 2004 330ci and have the mtech2 front bumper
But I can't for the life of me find the right expanding rivets that hold it in.
I bought some from ecstuning but I ordered the wrong ones.

Went to the BMW dealership twice and the dude had no idea what I was talking about and gave me the wrong ones twice. So I'm lost.

Currently held in by zip ties by the grill and random holes in the aluminum carrier bar
Have you tried realoem.com?
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:48 PM   #90
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I thought of an actual question that I generally though too dumb to ask:

I often downshift, using the manual mode on the auto trans, to engine brake when going down hills. Is there any downside to this?
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:03 PM   #91
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Have you tried realoem.com?
+1 on realoem.com. I replaced wheel well liners using that source. If the parts clerk knows what he/she is doing they'ed go straight to that site and find it. Find your part numbers and bring it in and have them look it up to cross reference both searches.
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Old 08-19-2016, 04:07 PM   #92
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I thought of an actual question that I generally though too dumb to ask:

I often downshift, using the manual mode on the auto trans, to engine brake when going down hills. Is there any downside to this?
This should be fun...

And it is likely that it doesn't matter either way. You are not going to get meaningful brake fade if you brake, and your clutch and brakes are going to wear out from the 100,000 other shifts and stops you do regardless.

If the forces are enough to stress rods and gears to failure then you are at the end anyway.

Drive the way you like to drive!
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Old 08-19-2016, 04:43 PM   #93
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This should be fun...

And it is likely that it doesn't matter either way. You are not going to get meaningful brake fade if you brake, and your clutch and brakes are going to wear out from the 100,000 other shifts and stops you do regardless.

If the forces are enough to stress rods and gears to failure then you are at the end anyway.

Drive the way you like to drive!
Thanks for the response!

It's less about fun, and more about keeping the brakes cool/slowing the car more efficiently. Technically, I live on a mountain. The hills I'm talking about are real hills.

I like the manual mode on the automatic for this reason. Otherwise, I don't see any use for it. Sport mode raises the shifts enough for passing, getting through traffic. I often have to brake pretty hard while going down a very steep hill then stop at a stoplight, which is probably the worst thing you can do to your brakes.
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Old 08-19-2016, 04:52 PM   #94
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Quote:
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I thought of an actual question that I generally though too dumb to ask:

I often downshift, using the manual mode on the auto trans, to engine brake when going down hills. Is there any downside to this?
Not really. The upside is it'll help your brakes slow the car. The downside is potentially more wear on your engine as it's now spinning faster. But that's what a car is for, so use it. =)
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Old 08-22-2016, 12:54 PM   #95
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OK I've got one. Not sure what to search for on this. What is this?



(image is not of my car; I don't have auto lights)

Mine looks misshapen, almost like somebody just drilled a small, rough hole in the plastic. But then I see other E46s with the same little hole in their light switch panel.

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Old 08-22-2016, 01:03 PM   #96
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That's the auto dimmer for the red interior lighting when the lights are on
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Old 08-22-2016, 01:18 PM   #97
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That's the auto dimmer for the red interior lighting when the lights are on
Ah; thanks. So, at night, if I shine a flashlight on the sensor, it should......dim the red dash lights...?

What threw me off is that the edges of the hole are so jagged. It looks for all the world like somebody took a punch and hammer to the plastic panel.




Update: After taking a closer look at it, it's the square sensor in the round hole that threw me off. The hole itself is perfectly round, but from a distance, the reflections made it look slightly jagged. Live and learn.
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Old 08-22-2016, 03:48 PM   #98
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I need some replacement floor mats. Any recommendations? all weather preferred but anything is better than the ones in the car
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Old 08-22-2016, 03:56 PM   #99
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Old 08-22-2016, 04:40 PM   #100
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How do I tell when my clutch is on its way out? It does not slip at all, but it grabs very softly. I'm wondering if there's a way to gauge how much life is left (120k miles, mix of city traffic outside DC) or if you just know once it starts slipping.
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