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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 12-08-2011, 09:24 PM   #621
CSL323
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Durr when do I change my blinker fluid?

Joking! Great writeup Kpeng!
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:49 PM   #622
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If you shop carefully and take advantage

Of rebates, it's quite common to score the oil change materials for under $40. But I respect your choice to pay for service. You should only do it if you enjoy it or have to.
I'd just print out the shopping list and take it to your indy and ask what the estimated hours are for him to tackle these jobs. Tell him you want him to keep in mind systems, so when he's in there, he does every part that is exposed to economize on time.
And if you do your own brakes and rotors, you're likely capable of doing most things on the list. Belts, pulley's, expansion tank, thermostat, water pump are pretty straightforward and satisfying to know you did them yourself. Only part that is a pain is the coolant plug on the block. Tight quarters and coolant in your face!


Quote:
Originally Posted by hodorsail View Post
just read every post...

For those of us that cannot do all of our own work....what labor hrs do you feel an indy should charge for each piece on the orig post?

I personally do my own brakes and rotors which is a huge savings but am a bit afraid to do belts, pulley's, expansion tank, thermostat, water pump. As far as fluid I feel it's a pain in the ass to deal with the old fluids, and other troubles that go with it. My BMW indy does my oil for $80. It's $50 in oil and filter if you shop well....so to save $30 bucks, just isnt' worth it to me.

My indy charges $100 an hr for labor so if I know what hrs you all feel an indy can do "the list" in I can then budget my preventative maintenance wisely. They even let me bring my own parts.

thx
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:08 PM   #623
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Originally Posted by Saintluk2 View Post
i recently replaced my factory filter at 180,000 miles and it leaked crystal clear gas. I think fuel filters are just a precaution against legal action by BMW against risky owners. Either that or my filter element is completely disintegrated by that mileage. LOL
Did you expect to find dark brown gas flowing in to your filter? It is filtering nearly microscopic particles. If dark fluid comes out, that would mean the filter is releasing the dirt it is filtering out. If you see that, then the filter is completely saturated, and dirt is getting past it, which means it stopped being effective long before it was changed. You should be happy the fluid was clear. If you really wanted to see if it was working, then cut it open, preferably via a method that does not create sparks.


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Old 12-08-2011, 10:16 PM   #624
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Originally Posted by Rubenk View Post
The amount of money saved in the long run isnt worth the risk of losing an engine, especially one as expensive as a BMW engine...
I'm at 145,000 miles and counting. I plan to do another 100,000, at least. I have zero fear of losing an engine. 7,500 mile oil changes are a scam.
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Last edited by TX78666; 12-08-2011 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:17 AM   #625
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinger9 View Post
Of rebates, it's quite common to score the oil change materials for under $40. But I respect your choice to pay for service. You should only do it if you enjoy it or have to.
I'd just print out the shopping list and take it to your indy and ask what the estimated hours are for him to tackle these jobs. Tell him you want him to keep in mind systems, so when he's in there, he does every part that is exposed to economize on time.
And if you do your own brakes and rotors, you're likely capable of doing most things on the list. Belts, pulley's, expansion tank, thermostat, water pump are pretty straightforward and satisfying to know you did them yourself. Only part that is a pain is the coolant plug on the block. Tight quarters and coolant in your face!
That's just it....those stories...the tough plug, the tight quarters,...coolant in your face. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to learn to do these things myself but telling the wife on sunday morning we have to wait for a part until Tuesday because I messed it up just sucks. This almost happened to me when the mini cooper weekend brake job halted when I found out I didn't have the special twisting piston squeezer (thank god harbor freight had a do all brake parts kit).

I'm at 120k miles on my '01 330xi and do not know all the service history so I'm paranoid.

My '01 x5's M54 engine went belly up at 200k miles due to a failed thermostat. I couldn't get off the highway in time and the engine ended up DOA, got 3500 for her as is. She lived a good life and survived one other overheat early on, ate her own radiator once when a plastic fan blade decided to crack off (something to watch for as it cracked at 80miles).

I don't have a second head to watch me do these things. So if any e36fanatic is in the DC/Baltimore area and wants to be my second hands I would surely pay for your time. The wife makes "real" restaurant style sushi, etc. and can teach your wife while we tinker.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:39 AM   #626
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Hodorsail: How is your DIY work coming along? I live in Columbia and can lend a helping hand.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:14 PM   #627
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Quote:
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Hodorsail: How is your DIY work coming along? I live in Columbia and can lend a helping hand.

I didn't do anything yet. Bad on me. It would be excellent to get an extra hand. I'd even get you out sailing in Annapolis.

I recently bought the plugs, coils. Didn't buy the other things my fault codes said to do yet. Crank position censor needs done on intake and exhaust. As well as engine idle control valve. I'm told neither of these are too tough. Looks a bit trickey to get to engine idle control valve. PM me and we will get emailing directly.

Also cool we have the same 330 model.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:39 PM   #628
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Just did the ICV today, and not that tough.
I replaced the gasket, which is one strange piece. Mine at 88K miles was not worn enough to need replacement. And a fight to remove!
Be worth your while to remove the DISA first to make it easy to get to the ICV. Two screws and a plug. And check out your DISA when you have it off.

Last edited by Stinger9; 06-15-2012 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:51 AM   #629
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodorsail View Post
I didn't do anything yet. Bad on me. It would be excellent to get an extra hand. I'd even get you out sailing in Annapolis.

I recently bought the plugs, coils. Didn't buy the other things my fault codes said to do yet. Crank position censor needs done on intake and exhaust. As well as engine idle control valve. I'm told neither of these are too tough. Looks a bit trickey to get to engine idle control valve. PM me and we will get emailing directly.

Also cool we have the same 330 model.
Sailing in Annapolis sounds good. I got your PM and will respond using that medium.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:49 PM   #630
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Great thread. I got work to do
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:21 PM   #631
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So, I just bought my first BMW and it's an E46 with 103,000 (now 109,000) assuming none of this has been done where would you all suggest I start? I know the VCG is next on the list since I am seeing light smoke but after that? I plan on doing myself so basically only one project per weekend.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:15 AM   #632
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Originally Posted by ckirtner View Post
So, I just bought my first BMW and it's an E46 with 103,000 (now 109,000) assuming none of this has been done where would you all suggest I start? I know the VCG is next on the list since I am seeing light smoke but after that? I plan on doing myself so basically only one project per weekend.
Congrats on your purchase! Did it come with any service records?
I'd start with air, cabin & fuel filters, tranny & diff fluid changes, get spark plugs, VANOS seals & whatever else will be easy to do "while you're in there" doing the valve cover gasket, and start saving for a cooling system overhaul.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:17 AM   #633
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in VA View Post
Congrats on your purchase! Did it come with any service records?
I'd start with air, cabin & fuel filters, tranny & diff fluid changes, get spark plugs, VANOS seals & whatever else will be easy to do "while you're in there" doing the valve cover gasket, and start saving for a cooling system overhaul.
+1 good stuff
educate yourself on fuel pump, DISA, and CCV also
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:00 PM   #634
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New fuel pump is in the garage waiting to be installed (went out on a trip two weeks ago, few taps with a screwdriver got it to turn back on) brakes are done with new rotors and Performance Friction Z-Rated pads. Guess I'll focus on the VCG and spark plugs along with the fuel pump next weekend then work down the list.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:00 PM   #635
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Excellent information. Tome to get to work
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:32 PM   #636
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Excellent information. Tome to get to work
Agreed, I have a ton of work ahead of me.

I'll pretty much be doing the entire list and Inspection I & II. Hopefully I can do must of the work my self but any of the more difficult items I'll get some help.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:38 PM   #637
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Agreed, I have a ton of work ahead of me.

I'll pretty much be doing the entire list and Inspection I & II. Hopefully I can do must of the work my self but any of the more difficult items I'll get some help.
yea and if anything u only 4hrs away lol
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:07 PM   #638
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Hopefully I can do must of the work my self but any of the more difficult items I'll get some help.
give us an example of what you may not be able to do yourself?
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:45 PM   #639
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Pretty good thread
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:29 AM   #640
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Please help poor idle and stalling

Thanks Kpeng for an excellent post, I've really taken to your advice and nearly completed all your recommendations for maintenance. My Bmw is a 2001 E46 318 Auto with 84000 miles, it's recently been bringing up engine codes with regards to the air, such as O2 sensors and the M Air flow, but in the mornings when I start my car, although it's not that cold out, once it starts it will immediately stall or after its warmed up after motorway driving, if I get into traffic and it's in drive but I'm stationary, the revs are so low it feels like it could stall any second. I've replaced front and rear O2 sensors 2 in total don't know if there are any more, fuel filter, air filter, cam shaft sensor, oil and filter change and M Air flow sensor change. No codes have come up for the spark plugs. After all these changes it's still the same, please help, what else do you think I can do to solve the problem?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
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