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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 09-09-2013, 08:48 AM   #1
weezintrumpeteer
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 6
My Ride: Fit/Miata
Considering a 325xi Touring 5speed!

Hey Guys....first post here.

I've been looking for an e46 touring and happened upon this one



It's a 325xi Touring 5 speed with sport package (and some amazing looking wheels).

I haven't considered an "xi" BWM before, so I don't know much about them.

I'm going to head down to the dealer tonight to take a look. Anything in particular I should look out for?

Also, any specific "xi" problems that I should be aware of?

Thanks!
Patrick.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:57 AM   #2
YaSureYouBetcha
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 126
My Ride: 2002 325xi
Considering a 325xi Touring 5speed!

Sweet looking ride.

IMO, Xi's tend to be relatively robust as compared to their rwd counterparts from a drivetrain standpoint. However many of the common preventative maintenance items cross over, cooling system ( refresh every 80-90k miles), front CAB's, MAF, etc. there are a few good stickies on this site to read through as you move to purchase. Best thing to do is get a local Indy mechanic, who knows these cars, to give it a good look prior to closing the deal.

I love my Xi, although its in the sedan form. Better handling dynamics than any vehicle I've owned, and frankly the AWD out performs any of the trucks or SUVs I've had from the standpoint of remaining sure footed on our wonderful Minnesota winter roads.

Good Luck!


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Old 09-09-2013, 10:09 AM   #3
weezintrumpeteer
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Originally Posted by YaSureYouBetcha View Post
Sweet looking ride.

IMO, Xi's tend to be relatively robust as compared to their rwd counterparts from a drivetrain standpoint. However many of the common preventative maintenance items cross over, cooling system ( refresh every 80-90k miles), front CAB's, MAF, etc. there are a few good stickies on this site to read through as you move to purchase. Best thing to do is get a local Indy mechanic, who knows these cars, to give it a good look prior to closing the deal.

I love my Xi, although its in the sedan form. Better handling dynamics than any vehicle I've owned, and frankly the AWD out performs any of the trucks or SUVs I've had from the standpoint of remaining sure footed on our wonderful Minnesota winter roads.

Good Luck!


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Thanks! That helps. I've gone through some of the threads here (like the high-mileage thread) and some of the repairs have me a bit worried. Not sure if they're xi specific though.

I'm coming from a Honda Fit, so I have to get ready for the BMW maintenance world
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:32 AM   #4
YaSureYouBetcha
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Location: MN
Posts: 126
My Ride: 2002 325xi
Considering a 325xi Touring 5speed!

The great part about the E46 is that they are mechanically well engineered, almost to the point of bring elegantly intuitive. So if you have some level of mechanical aptitude, they are really nice cars for a DIY guy. For instance, I consider myself very mechanical, the cooling system refresh took me just a little over 2 hours, then refilling and bleeding the system afterward, so all in maybe 4 hours. This job cost about 20% of what it would have at a shop, and was really very simple. But, at the end of the day, it's not a Honda, it's a performance car and requires some good TLC preventative work to keep it driving well. So just be sure you understand and are willing to keep the vehicle maintained or you might not be happy after 30 - 40k miles.

Again good luck!


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Last edited by YaSureYouBetcha; 09-09-2013 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:44 PM   #5
weezintrumpeteer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YaSureYouBetcha View Post
The great part about the E46 is that they are mechanically well engineered, almost to the point of bring elegantly intuitive. So if you have some level of mechanical aptitude, they are really nice cars for a DIY guy. For instance, I consider myself very mechanical, the cooling system refresh took me just a little over 2 hours, then refilling and bleeding the system afterward, so all in maybe 4 hours. This job cost about 20% of what it would have at a shop, and was really very simple. But, at the end of the day, it's not a Honda, it's a performance car and requires some good TLC preventative work to keep it driving well. So just be sure you understand and are willing to keep the vehicle maintained or you might not be happy after 30 - 40k miles.

Again good luck!


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Thanks. Yeah, that's the way it seems. I am somewhat mechanical and can follow instructions very well, so I doubt I'd have a problem with most things.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:05 PM   #6
EDWAGON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weezintrumpeteer View Post
Hey Guys....first post here.

I've been looking for an e46 touring and happened upon this one



It's a 325xi Touring 5 speed with sport package (and some amazing looking wheels).

I haven't considered an "xi" BWM before, so I don't know much about them.

I'm going to head down to the dealer tonight to take a look. Anything in particular I should look out for?

Also, any specific "xi" problems that I should be aware of?

Thanks!
Patrick.
Nice looking car almost a twin to mine. XI parts are usually little more especially around the front drivetrain area.

I have mine since 09 at 34 k now have 83k . Love it ,great car in the snow. Good luck!
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:49 PM   #7
E46@46
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My Ride: 2003 325xiT
Considering a 325xi Touring 5speed!

I'm at 173k miles on my XI wagon. I've done all the work except an axle. Love the wagon and great in the snow especially with snow tires.. Still drives as good as new... Since all the PM work..,


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Old 09-10-2013, 12:42 AM   #8
autoAER
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actually, IMO XI's have less problems than their RWD counterparts. XI's are built solidly and have extra reinforcements (occasionally in areas of high failure of the RWD cars). I've put about 20k on mine, and I've had less problems than both my last E46 (1999 328i), my dads car(s) (E46 330i), and after preventative maintenance, she has NEVER left me stranded and/or wanting a different car. truly a great car if you can keep up with it, and the AWD system is not as bad as some people make it out to be. I've not encountered a snowy/rainy road my XI couldnt handle. btw, I LOVE the touring in your photo, gorgeous car. Good luck with whatever car you buy
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:38 AM   #9
BosE46ton
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How'd this go?

If you haven't bought it yet, stuff to look for is true with any used car and any all wheel drive vehicle.

Eric the car guy is a pretty solid source (though he specializes honda) of general used car maintenance and how to inspect used cars.

http://m.youtube.com/user/EricTheCarGuy

General quick tips I can think of:
-Listen for loud differential whine.
-Look under the oil filler cap and at the dipstick. Anything that looks milky or different than light to dark oil means water/coolant is getting into the oil. Bad.
-These cars are a little heavier. Therefore I feel like mine has eaten rear springs maybe a little more often than other cars I've had. I have an 03 Sedan. I do live in the Northeast where the roads are garbage and I blame them more than the car.
-Dirty, but.. engine bay. Left side. Where the valve cover meets block. Check the Valve cover gasket. Check it at the rear of the engine near the firewall, on the back area. Easy to reach, not to see. Rub your fingers on the seam between VC and block and look for new/fresh or excessive oil.
-The tires should all be identical and have even tread wear. You need them at all the same rolling height.
-Feel the rotors. Smooth? Deep grooves?
-If you get the car, remove the rear springs and ship them to me.

Good luck
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:28 AM   #10
weezintrumpeteer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46@46 View Post
I'm at 173k miles on my XI wagon. I've done all the work except an axle. Love the wagon and great in the snow especially with snow tires.. Still drives as good as new... Since all the PM work..,


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Thanks. When you say "all the work", what do you mean?
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:30 AM   #11
weezintrumpeteer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoAER View Post
actually, IMO XI's have less problems than their RWD counterparts. XI's are built solidly and have extra reinforcements (occasionally in areas of high failure of the RWD cars). I've put about 20k on mine, and I've had less problems than both my last E46 (1999 328i), my dads car(s) (E46 330i), and after preventative maintenance, she has NEVER left me stranded and/or wanting a different car. truly a great car if you can keep up with it, and the AWD system is not as bad as some people make it out to be. I've not encountered a snowy/rainy road my XI couldnt handle. btw, I LOVE the touring in your photo, gorgeous car. Good luck with whatever car you buy
Interesting. I went though the "high mileage xi" thread and noticed that a lot of people were having the same problems (specific to the xi...front driveshafts, axels, cvs, etc).

Yeah, that particular touring is really gorgeous. I went in looking for a RWD car and then this one popped up. I can't decide what to do!
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:32 AM   #12
weezintrumpeteer
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BosE46ton View Post
How'd this go?

If you haven't bought it yet, stuff to look for is true with any used car and any all wheel drive vehicle.

Eric the car guy is a pretty solid source (though he specializes honda) of general used car maintenance and how to inspect used cars.

http://m.youtube.com/user/EricTheCarGuy

General quick tips I can think of:
-Listen for loud differential whine.
-Look under the oil filler cap and at the dipstick. Anything that looks milky or different than light to dark oil means water/coolant is getting into the oil. Bad.
-These cars are a little heavier. Therefore I feel like mine has eaten rear springs maybe a little more often than other cars I've had. I have an 03 Sedan. I do live in the Northeast where the roads are garbage and I blame them more than the car.
-Dirty, but.. engine bay. Left side. Where the valve cover meets block. Check the Valve cover gasket. Check it at the rear of the engine near the firewall, on the back area. Easy to reach, not to see. Rub your fingers on the seam between VC and block and look for new/fresh or excessive oil.
-The tires should all be identical and have even tread wear. You need them at all the same rolling height.
-Feel the rotors. Smooth? Deep grooves?
-If you get the car, remove the rear springs and ship them to me.

Good luck
Thanks for the information, I'll take a look at that.

One thing to note is that this particular car seems to be sitting low for an xi. I checked under the car and saw BLUE springs...I'm guessing that this means someone changed out the suspension. Hmmm.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:33 AM   #13
TArse
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My Ride: 03 330xi, 87 325is
Considering a 325xi Touring 5speed!

I want a touring so bad



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Old 09-10-2013, 08:42 AM   #14
E46@46
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My Ride: 2003 325xiT
Re: Considering a 325xi Touring 5speed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by weezintrumpeteer View Post
Thanks. When you say "all the work", what do you mean?
fuel pump
Valve cover gasket
Brakes
Cooling system refresh
Power steering pump
Disa
Clean ICV
Normal oil and filter changes
Control arms
AC compressor and dryer



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Old 09-10-2013, 10:22 AM   #15
autoAER
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weezintrumpeteer View Post
Interesting. I went though the "high mileage xi" thread and noticed that a lot of people were having the same problems (specific to the xi...front driveshafts, axels, cvs, etc).

Yeah, that particular touring is really gorgeous. I went in looking for a RWD car and then this one popped up. I can't decide what to do!
After a certain amount of mileage,all cars need some refreshment. axels and front driveshafts are a must for most AWD cars. but in the end, we are left rolling past the RWD folks in sh#tstorm weather
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:29 AM   #16
e46alfonso
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looks like that car is lowered on HnR springs. get more info.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:22 AM   #17
SicStang03
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My Ride: e46 325xiT/6 & 325ci
My H&R springs are black. Do they have black and blue springs?
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:53 AM   #18
EDWAGON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weezintrumpeteer View Post
Thanks. When you say "all the work", what do you mean?
I have 83 k miles and have replaced these items that have broke over last 5 years:

rear shocks
power steering rack ( loud clicking in rack very unsafe per INDY)
power steering pump
alternator
washer fluid pump
VCG
OFHG
Front CV Axles both
Fuel pump - left me stranded ***
front differential seal
various plastic pieces inside cabin and in engine compartment

As PM have done:

Cooling system refresh- complete see Mangos guide for this
Changed ATF fluid and filer
Changed transfer case fluid
front and rear differential fluid
belts and all pulleys


Need to fix:

Drivers window regulator
change front struts
possible oil leak from oil pan or rear main seal



Planning as future PM:

CCV
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:40 AM   #19
rawbspear
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My Ride: 04' E46 XIT 5 speed
i bought the 5 speed touring back in feb with 120k miles. the previous owner had not done any maintenance. she needed all new oils everywhere and the front end replaced. all the labor is pretty easy to do. I am a bicycle mechanic i have had no issues with doing all the work myself so far; cv axles, control arms, bushings, tie rods, ball joints , all the general stuff. you tube has been really helpful as well. As far as costs go, i am finding that parts are easily available on ebay, rockauto.com, amazon.com, and my local O'reilly store; got a front caliper the other day for 40$ semi loaded in less than 4 hours from time of order at o'reilly's.

if you car has spring upgrades, make sure that out check the body where the shock mounts. Everything i have read says to make sure the shock mounts get reinforced as the cars were not designed to handle the stiffer suspension and the body can crack/ break with out them..

love those rims on that one!!
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #20
sminnich
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My Ride: 04 325xi
I wouldn't be afraid of the maintenance. Like rawbspear just said, you can find DIY's on youtube for everything. Also, if you have a problem, it's almost guaranteed that it has been discussed on here. I'm at 180k in my XI and she has yet you let me down. The only things I've had to do are expected things: control arms, shocks, change oil, fuel pump(at 170k), and I had to replace my SEP.

I'd say go for it. you won't be disappointed.
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