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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 11-19-2013, 10:06 PM   #421
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Thanks to all of you for the great comments! I totally agree with the remark that buying a used car is a crap shoot. I thought I did my homework on this car, drove it, talked the mechanics who'd worked on it, talked to the last previous owner, it seemed to all check out, yet it didn't take long for this car to start falling apart. You wouldn't think it either, meaning it looks like one the cleanest (inside and out) BMR's around. I paid $6,000 for it, have $2,000 in just trying to chase motor issues including plenum hoses, mass air flow sensor, idle control valve, all the vacuum hoses, plugs (just to mention a few things) just to get the check engine light to go out! Now I'm replacing the transmission, which by the way IS a ZF tranny because I looked at the tag myself, which will be another $3,000, yet this still doesn't fix the car! One of the windows stopped working so now I need a regulator, one ball joint is going bad so I need that, both sway bar links, both steering rack boots, a new blower motor (started chirping Friday), and waiting to hear if I need more engine work to either clean the VANOS, replace the MAP or the cam position sensor to get the cold idle problem repaired. Oh, forgot I've still got to get the ABS pump rebuilt or replaced to get the traction control light to go out. I'm thinking I'm going to have about $14,000 invested in this car before I get it fixed where all the issues are fixed and everything is working like it should. So tell me people, did I just buy the biggest lemon in the history of cars or is this just a typical story for a BMW owner? Right now I would say this is the one and only BMW I will ever own and won't recommend anyone buying one either. However, I'm hoping that if the car will behave and I stop the bleeding it will turn out to be a car I love and will love me back with some quality and trouble free thousands of miles still left in it. This certainly has been an experience I won't forget.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:50 PM   #422
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My wife's 64 Corvair is the same thing... PIA
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:35 AM   #423
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Wow Skeens, that's quite a lemon!
I had no idea how much work these cars need when I bought mine, but I've only spent $5300 total.
Still, I picked up a 93 Mercedes with the same mileage and all it needed was an air filter and one window regulator.
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E46 NO START - A list of possible causes

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Old 11-20-2013, 09:46 AM   #424
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Thanks to all of you for the great comments! I totally agree with the remark that buying a used car is a crap shoot. I thought I did my homework on this car, drove it, talked the mechanics who'd worked on it, talked to the last previous owner, it seemed to all check out, yet it didn't take long for this car to start falling apart. You wouldn't think it either, meaning it looks like one the cleanest (inside and out) BMR's around. I paid $6,000 for it, have $2,000 in just trying to chase motor issues including plenum hoses, mass air flow sensor, idle control valve, all the vacuum hoses, plugs (just to mention a few things) just to get the check engine light to go out! Now I'm replacing the transmission, which by the way IS a ZF tranny because I looked at the tag myself, which will be another $3,000, yet this still doesn't fix the car! One of the windows stopped working so now I need a regulator, one ball joint is going bad so I need that, both sway bar links, both steering rack boots, a new blower motor (started chirping Friday), and waiting to hear if I need more engine work to either clean the VANOS, replace the MAP or the cam position sensor to get the cold idle problem repaired. Oh, forgot I've still got to get the ABS pump rebuilt or replaced to get the traction control light to go out. I'm thinking I'm going to have about $14,000 invested in this car before I get it fixed where all the issues are fixed and everything is working like it should. So tell me people, did I just buy the biggest lemon in the history of cars or is this just a typical story for a BMW owner? Right now I would say this is the one and only BMW I will ever own and won't recommend anyone buying one either. However, I'm hoping that if the car will behave and I stop the bleeding it will turn out to be a car I love and will love me back with some quality and trouble free thousands of miles still left in it. This certainly has been an experience I won't forget.
I can pick apart your "story" in so many different directions.

First of all, you say you had to replace "xxx" part and "yyy" part to get the check engine light to go off.

What you really meant to say is that you let a "mechanic" diagnose your car and tell you what needed to be replaced and you swiped your credit card and said OK? Yes that's exactly what happened. Those parts you mention don't usually go out. You take your car to a mechanic and of COURSE you will spend $14,000 in maintaining it... especially when they're getting you to replace things like the idle control valve.

Learn how to work on your car, buy some tools, read the forums. you can use that $14,000 to build an absolutely bulletproof car with higher handling limits with perfection inside and out. (like mine) But your $14,000? It got you your check engine light off and clean oil and maybe a working driver's side window.

Have to use high intelligence to correctly spend your money using the best sites on the planet.

No "mechanics" that wrench on tractors and drink bud light.
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Old 11-20-2013, 09:47 AM   #425
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^oh also the first mistake you made was buying a 328. You could have used that 14k to buy two nice 330s. and you would've been far far ahead of the game.

323/328=abs failures among others
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:30 PM   #426
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Harsh... possibly/probably true, but harsh...
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:25 AM   #427
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Update?
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:37 AM   #428
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Mango, I want to give you the benefit of doubt realizing there are individuals whom sometimes don't weigh how abrasive and insulting their comments can be in attempt to be direct. Did you mean to be insulting to me? Did you mean to imply that I'm not of "high" intelligence? Good for you that you can spend your day's with your head under the hood of a car, but I can't because I'm an architect with a family who has more than my car to live for. (Virginia Tech graduate - not bad for being of less than "higher" intelligence, dont you say?) Granted, I've made some mistakes with this car and the intial mechanic I used and I'm humble enough to admit it. Yet, NO CAR should be this much trouble no matter whom is working on it! I'm 50 years old and have been fortunate enough to own some very fine cars including Chevy's, Ford's, Dodge's, even the Lexus I drive now, and without a doubt this BM'r has been the biggest turd I've ever owned. So Mango, it's your prerogative to criticize me for how I've chosen to solve the problems I've had (having) with this car, but I think I have a very valid point to question why can I put 200,000 miles on a Honda accord with just basic recommended service, yet this "superior" engineered BMW can't get out of the driveway without something falling off it? It's just a fact Mango that not everybody is a mechanic and that's ok. Humbly, I think you (and anyone else who happens to agree with your insulting post to me) should do a reality check and decide if it's my mistake being conceded to believe I shouldn't have to be a mechanic to own a BMW or more your mistake having to be one just to make your car reliable enough to compare to many equally and capable cars? I would appreciate any future remarks to me be made with respect and consideration. Thanks.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:16 PM   #429
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Well said... I'm a gear head, and I can't stand to watch folks beat on their car, and mechanics that change parts to be make a buck. I see both all the time, this sounds like bad luck. My wife's '91 Honda Accord has 325k. I bot it ten years ago for $1000. It needed new tires muffler and seat covers. Ten years later, and no winters), little has gone wrong, a broken axle boot, muffler, tires, brake pads, the usual. Some cars runs and drive reasonably well, but are in need of extensive repairs. I used to see that in my garage repair business.

My xi is kinda like that, needs rear calipers, shocks, two leaky tires, broken intake hose, sludged up oil filter, two corroded lamp sockets, fuel pump etc, but it was looking good, ran real well, and was priced accordingly.

There's a reason folks buy brand new
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:04 AM   #430
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Corvairwild, THANK YOU for you're honest yet always thoughtful remarks. I hadn't looked back at this thread for a while till I got notified you wanted an update. That's when I seen the post from Mango and it flew all over me. I joined this forum to get answers not insulted and I just couldn't bite my tongue this time and it wasn't so much what Mango was trying to say (I think) but the careless way he went about saying it.

It's ironic that my dad was a great mechanic and spent my youth helping him do everything from rebuilding engines to restoring old lawn mowers, so I feel comfortable under the hood of a car (Maybe it would warm Mango's heart to know I still do my own brakes, oil changes, etc.). My point about this BMW is why do you have to be a mechanic to own one of these cars in the first place? Why do you have to buy your very own scan tool and constantly have a "to do" list of repairs just to keep these cars on the road? I keep repeating, I've owned plenty of other brands of cars and never had to buy a scan tool or join forums just to get answers of why do all these things keep going bad?

Mango was right to bring up the point about mechanics who are just "part replacers" which ironically is why I thought by taking it to a BMW mechanic it would alleviate that since (more than likely) that's all I would have been doing myself (considering my limited knowledge of the BMW).

It's really narrowed down to where I was merely asking is the type issues I'm having typical for a BMW or is it just THIS particular car? Honestly, I'm still not clear on what the answer is since I hear people talk about getting long life out these cars, yet it's mostly just people who have time, tools and mechanical knowledge to work on themselves whom say it. In my heart I want to believe this car of mine is just a victim of lack of care and maintenance and it's just landed on my lap to repair and get the car back into shape and when I do, this will be as good a car as I've ever owned. I can dream, right?

Can I assume you own (or owned) a classic Corvair? My dad owned one these cars for several years and LOVED it! It's ironic we're talking about the reputation BMW's have considering the negative things said about the Corvair (at the time). Thanks to Ralph Nader, right?

Thanks again Corvairwild for your support and kind words. It's people like you that give forums like this a good reputation and a place you can seek assistance like it's intended.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:33 PM   #431
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Hi guys, bought a cheap 2001 323CI Vert a few days ago with a broken reverse transmission since i'm planning a Manual Swap..

is it normal for the car to be really slow accelerating? throttle is not responsive and even if i press the pedal hard it's still the same.. car is fine on a freeway though it's just slow on the street and stop lights.. or transmission is totally unrelated and i have a different issue?

Thanks all for the inputs.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:55 PM   #432
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Hi guys, bought a cheap 2001 323CI Vert a few days ago with a broken reverse transmission since i'm planning a Manual Swap..

is it normal for the car to be really slow accelerating? throttle is not responsive and even if i press the pedal hard it's still the same.. car is fine on a freeway though it's just slow on the street and stop lights.. or transmission is totally unrelated and i have a different issue?

Thanks all for the inputs.
It may be transmission related. Is the car actually taking off in first gear from a stop? It may be in a limp home mode and taking off in a higher gear.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:30 PM   #433
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It may be transmission related. Is the car actually taking off in first gear from a stop? It may be in a limp home mode and taking off in a higher gear.
how would i know? i can do the manual and its doing S 1-5? sorry no idea because this is my first bmw automatic.

i have no cel lights or anything, its just the car has a hard time pulling.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:44 PM   #434
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how would i know? i can do the manual and its doing S 1-5? sorry no idea because this is my first bmw automatic.

i have no cel lights or anything, its just the car has a hard time pulling.
Does the take off feel different if you have it in full automatic or M 1st gear?
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:32 PM   #435
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Originally Posted by mikeetastic View Post
Hi guys, bought a cheap 2001 323CI Vert a few days ago with a broken reverse transmission since i'm planning a Manual Swap..
is it normal for the car to be really slow accelerating? throttle is not responsive and even if i press the pedal hard it's still the same.. car is fine on a freeway though it's just slow on the street and stop lights.. or transmission is totally unrelated and i have a different issue?
Thanks all for the inputs.
Maybe it lost power on the low end.
Do you know the car's maintenance history?
Vanos makes a big difference for low end torque.
With high mileage, issues are expected.
You're at the right place here, keep reading threads to learn about the car.
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E46 NO START - A list of possible causes

"Would the codes indicate if it's the carburator?"
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:01 AM   #436
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Does the take off feel different if you have it in full automatic or M 1st gear?
nothing different aside that it wont go reverse, it's just like the car is pulling a small trailer.. it feels like the throttle is holding back or something?

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Old 12-10-2013, 01:07 PM   #437
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Brand new refurbished valve body being shipped to my mechanic now. Will update you all if it's a success in fixing my 2000 BMW 328i 5L40E no-reverse issue
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:21 PM   #438
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Brand new refurbished valve body being shipped to my mechanic now. Will update you all if it's a success in fixing my 2000 BMW 328i 5L40E no-reverse issue
Sadly, you only need a solenoid, not the entire valve body. And, if they swap the solenoids from the old valve body onto the new one, you will still have trouble. You need the Reverse Solenoid. The cost is $80-ish to your doorstep, and it takes another 5 minutes or so on top of the time needed to pull the pan and drain and refill the transmission. Basically, transmission service (routine fluid change) calls for dropping the pan and replacing some screens and filters. Pulling the five or six screws that hold the valve body and the clip that holds the solenoid, and putting this back together only adds a couple of minutes to the routine fluid change.

If you had read the thread and followed the advice, you would have saved several hundred dollars. How much to they get for the valve body these days?
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:05 AM   #439
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Perhaps it is you who has not read through this thread or many of the other 5L40E-specific no-reverse threads on the internet. This is a case of faulty bore hole placement design on by General Motors and is a common issue that can be fixed with Sonnax kits. This is a thoroughly studied problem.

and also fyi re-mfgd valve bodies, at least from my manufacturer, come with brand new solenoids.

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Old 12-11-2013, 02:36 PM   #440
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Yes, I've read this whole thread, very few were able to fix no reverse by replacing the solenoid.
I fixed it by removing broken pieces of the inlet filter from the valve body. Post #348
It's been almost a year and reverse has worked ever since.
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