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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 01-04-2015, 07:07 PM   #1
sdb325ci
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Smile Advice? 02 325ci

Hello all! New to the forum and new to bmws, but have been reading and reading for the past few weeks and figured it was time I asked a question or two.. or four...

My car: 02 325ci w/81k miles, auto, full service history excepting the last 5k miles before I got it.

Low miles, that's great, the car looks low mileage and it feels great to drive, but unfortunately the previous owner obviously had no interest in maintaining their car. The oil looked as though it came out of my 76 fury when I got it after sitting for 15 years. Changed along with filter. Cabin filter, air filter changed. I replaced the FSR, ran the fan after ignition off/no key, killed battery dead lol. Windows make clicking noises every once in a while so that'll get taken care of soon. I also know I have a vacuum leak, as when I floor it it damn near sounds like a loud ass turbo spooling under the hood above 3500 rpm. Planning on replacing all lines/canister etc. I don't detect a loss in power but I'm sure it's there.

cooling system i gather should be replaced asap, as it hasn't been yet and I know it'll fail at the worst time if I dont.
the tranny, an auto, not sure if zf or gm, has never had a fluid change, I will probably change fluid/filter... though, I am having zero issues with it currently... except, I purchased a powertrain warranty with the vehicle, good for 24k miles... do I flush and replace the tranny if/when it fails? Can I use the warranty to swap in a manual? That's probably a stretch. And you're all going tell me to call and check.
the subframe i know will need attention eventually, do I wait for it to show signs of failure and reinforce? Or just do it and replace the suspension at the same time? Should I get structural foam as well as reinf. plates, or just one or the other?
suspension looks and feels stock, steering tends to grab at small bumps/imperfections in the road surface though, is this a sign I should overhaul the suspension? Car does not pull right or left on a level surface. I do want to bring the car down an inch or so so it wouldn't be too much trouble to do it.

The only real problem that isn't so much a problem yet as it makes a noise I don't think it should. On first start after sitting for 2 hours or more, I wait for the secondary air pump to switch off then drive carefully till the engine is at operating temp. During this time, usually only once or twice, when the engine reaches its' gear change point and the engine is at the highest rpms before shifting, it sounds as if someone were sucking at the last dregs of soda in a cup through a straw. Only for a second at a time, and only right before gear changes. I know the ccv can make ... interesting noises, but I haven't heard of this particular noise happening. Is this most likely the ccv, or could it be something else? I smell no fumes in the cabin, have heard something to do with the secondary pump malfunctioning or what have you could make this noise w/exhaust leaking into cabin and I don't think it is.

Also, my lifters make a fair bit of noise, it's not a super loud ticking but you can just tell it's the lifters, probably due to the horrible condition of the oil when purchased. Anything to worry over?

BTW I'll probably get a lot of flak but what the hey, it's just the internet. Car is matte pink. Why did a guy buy a pink car? Why not

I don't have a ton of money, but enough to where doing a lot of this will only take me 1-2 months to save for.. and was wondering, is there anything else I should be watching/feeling/listening for?

Any answer to any of these questions would be greatly appreciated... I love driving this car, it's rather attention getting too heh and I want to make sure it's in peak condition... before I have more fun with it I also understand the only concrete advice I'll get is by taking it in and getting it inspected but I figure the internet is a good place to gather opinions... thanks
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:23 PM   #2
farmdog
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BTW I'll probably get a lot of flak but what the hey, it's just the internet. Car is matte pink. Why did a guy buy a pink car? Why not
Post a pic of your barbie car...
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:01 PM   #3
sdb325ci
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Of course, sorry for how gigantic this photo is.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:17 PM   #4
mbogosia
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This is the only scenario where I would suggest taking care of the aesthetics before doing maintenance. Get that thing painted asap.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:52 PM   #5
Simmsled
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Is it painted pink or is it a wrap?

Also... do the fluid/filter change no matter what. Warranty or not, if that transmission is good, you don't want to have to replace it if it can be prevented.

What you think is your lifters could be one/a few of many things.
My guess would be that the pulleys (tensioner and idler) and/or water pump could be making some noise.
If you can post a video of engine idling, would be helpful.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:08 PM   #6
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At least the calipers match...
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:09 PM   #7
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That's definitely a wrap. It actually doesn't look too awful. As long as the interior isn't fluffy and pink as well, I might let it slide... If you're willing to drive it around like that for a while, I'd say at the very least do the cooling overhaul first.

Then change out the oil every 1000 miles and replace with a new filter a few times to hopefully clear out the crap from the PO. Make sure you fill with LL-01 oil only. No exceptions. The cheapest/most readily available LL-01 would be Mobil 1 0W-40. It is LL-01 certified.

Windows - Regulators are on their way out. Replace, and make sure to seal the vapour barrier properly so you don't get puddles of water in your car.

The subframe job is a big task, and does cost quite a bit in terms of labour. I say get it inspected first, and move on from there. If you have the cash left over, by all means reinforce it, but if you don't, I wouldn't put it on that high of a priority at the moment.

Suspension might be worth doing. Just remember its not just struts and shocks, but also tie rods, control arms etc. Might end up costing you a bit more than you would have expected.

For your auto tranny, consider a fluid change before it hits 100k miles. Also don't forget to check the condition of your power steering reservoir (Our PS pump requires ATF fluid: don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. A well regarded fluid to use is Redline D4 ATF, which you can use for both the transmission and the power steering.).
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:34 PM   #8
AndreBXP
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Wow.......that's..... different.

If the cooling system is original that's your priority, at the very least replace your expansion tank. Sub-frame issues are definitely not as prominent on the newer model e46(325/330), but I would take care of that gearbox asap to make sure it lasts, they all seem to fail, and I doubt a 5spd swap would be covered under warranty.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:45 PM   #9
camrydriver111
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Then change out the oil every 1000 miles and replace with a new filter a few times to hopefully clear out the crap from the PO. Make sure you fill with LL-01 oil only. No exceptions. The cheapest/most readily available LL-01 would be Mobil 1 0W-40. It is LL-01 certified.
I'd personally run it like 3000 miles if it's sludged up. Give it some time to clean. M1 0W40 is one of the best oils out there BTW.

Nice colour!
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:26 AM   #10
sdb325ci
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That's definitely a wrap. It actually doesn't look too awful. As long as the interior isn't fluffy and pink as well, I might let it slide... If you're willing to drive it around like that for a while, I'd say at the very least do the cooling overhaul first.
Yes it's a wrap, original color is dark grey, I'll look again tomorrow for the code. I don't have a garage at the moment so we'll see how long the wrap lasts here. I won't be too sad to see it go.
Interior is original aside from pink emblem on steering wheel, not pink fluffy pimp mobile status haha
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Originally Posted by Bafffyyy View Post
Then change out the oil every 1000 miles and replace with a new filter a few times to hopefully clear out the crap from the PO. Make sure you fill with LL-01 oil only. No exceptions. The cheapest/most readily available LL-01 would be Mobil 1 0W-40. It is LL-01 certified
Yeah that's all that's convenient to my location atm, I figured on anywhere from 1-3k depending on how it looks
I'll take care of the cooling system and tranny as it seems these are most time critical, then get it looked at for tearing/worry about the suspension. I suppose I was just looking for the best order to do things in. Thank you.

Any ideas on that straw sucking sound? It's either happening more when it's cold or I'm just noticing it more. Again, just before changing gears it happens when it's cold/not fully warmed up
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:25 AM   #11
brea
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(Our PS pump requires ATF fluid: don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. A well regarded fluid to use is Redline D4 ATF, which you can use for both the transmission and the power steering.).
My p/s cap says CHF 11S only, I've seen several other cars that had caps saying the same. Check the cap on your reservoir before adding any fluid here. Not sure if the automatic trans vs. manual trans has anything to do with it. But my father's 03 330xi with auto trans called for ATF while my manual 328ci calls for the CHF. Long story short, double check before you add anything.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:38 AM   #12
AndreBXP
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My p/s cap says CHF 11S only, I've seen several other cars that had caps saying the same. Check the cap on your reservoir before adding any fluid here. Not sure if the automatic trans vs. manual trans has anything to do with it. But my father's 03 330xi with auto trans called for ATF while my manual 328ci calls for the CHF. Long story short, double check before you add anything.
Be careful, as far as I know all e46 use ATF, the cap/reservoir might have been changed with a non-OE replacement due to leaks.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:37 PM   #13
brea
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Be careful, as far as I know all e46 use ATF, the cap/reservoir might have been changed with a non-OE replacement due to leaks.
I've checked with a dealership in the past. I spoke with a technician and his statement was that the installations were mixed and he was not aware of any rhyme or reason to the installations. However, he did say that they mostly stock the 11S at the dealership.

my cap and reservoir are genuine BMW parts though.
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