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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 07-11-2014, 02:47 PM   #1
Drifterb323
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Question How often should you do your CCV

Just a quick question: How often should you do your CCV on a 1999 323i e46
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:58 PM   #2
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99.9% of the time you will replace that once in your ownership, even the guys that bought their E46 new.

Possibly never if that car always gets up to temperature and the climate is as easy as it is out here.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:01 PM   #3
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I wouldn't replace the CCV preventively If the car isn't driven in climates possibly leading to a CCV-related engine hydrolock.
Replace if there are symptoms of failure or while doing other work that makes the CCV an easy job.

Otherwise, in areas with subfreezing temperatures, it might be prudent to replace the entire system preventively every five years or 75K miles.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:01 PM   #4
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:06 PM   #5
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:13 PM   #6
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Depends on how cold your winters are.

In climates with cold winters such as Canada, the CCV last about around 8-10 years.

My dad's 2005 X5 3.0i CCV is pretty much gone after year 2012. Burns a lot of oil

My 2000 323ci had to have its CCV replaced in year 2011. After burning oil and having milky looking engine oil on the gas cap.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:15 PM   #7
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thanks a bunch
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:15 PM   #8
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My original CCV is running strong at 12 years and 175,000 miles. So the answer would be: hopefully never.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:15 PM   #9
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Just about everyone here is on the preventative maintanence coolaid.

The day I fix something on my E46 is the day it is no longer drivable!
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:30 PM   #10
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My original CCV is running strong at 12 years and 175,000 miles. So the answer would be: hopefully never.
Wow I am at 175k and on third CCV. Lucky you!
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:30 PM   #11
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Also check all electronical and transmission.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:48 PM   #12
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Wow I am at 175k and on third CCV. Lucky you!
Lots of short trips?
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:50 PM   #13
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8-9 years would be the suggested time frame.

Keep in mind that it is not only the issue of the CCV having problems in the cold, most of these are due to soft thermostats and short drives without a longer once a week 30-45 minute highway run.

But the plastic pipes become brittle, crack and break and cause vacuum leaks.

I would also put 8 years on the valve cover gasket, maybe even suggest 7 based on what I am seeing in my area.

If you do not want headaches with these cars, at year 8, replace intake elbows, CCV, valve cover gasket, OFHG, vacuum hoses for SAP and other things under the hood, power steering hoses, fuel pump and filter and maybe a VANOS oil supply line. But some people are perfectly fine with break downs, oil leaks, constant SES/CEL/MIL and cold start problems.

History will dictate that at least for those of use that live in cold climates most of the nightmares occur in the middle of Winter!

As I say, your schedule or the cars schedule, you choose.
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:33 AM   #14
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As is common wisdom with any car, getting it up to temperature and keeping it there for a while will do wonders. My commute is nearly an hour on the highway. I'm at 170,000 (original owner) miles and I'm still on the original CCV. The only leak I've ever had was the oil filter housing gasket and that was just earlier this year, everything else is still nice and dry. I replaced the valve cover gasket several years ago although it wasn't leaking. I get my year 'round temp extremes of blistering summer commutes and below freezing winter cold starts.

I read many, many years ago that prolonged idling should really be avoided, it is very hard on the engine - under hood temperature skyrocket. It takes a serious toll on plastic, rubber, etc. On all the cars I've owned I avoid prolonged idling and seems to be serving me well. My neighbor has an E46 only a couple of years older than mine and looking at his engine compartment everything looks brittle, cracked and dried out (and for some reason, he's always calling a tow truck but that may be for various other reasons).
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:56 AM   #15
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Climate factors into all of this as well. This is often forgotten, overlooked or ignored.

Also as mentioned the amount of stop and go traffic and prolonged idling.

The issue with the E46 is you have a very crowded engine compartment with an engine that is canted over partially sideways, a very wide cylinder head, catalytic converters build into the exhaust manifolds that are right in the engine compartment. This along with the panels under the engine and a small grille opening you have a mess on your hands. Everything bakes under the hood when the engine is running, then once the engine is shut off the heat soak is even hotter. If you only drive the car and shut if off 2 times a day vs many trips, the number of heat soak cycles can differ dramatically.

I live in the Washington DC area, we have some of the worst traffic in the country, traffic lights, congestion and so forth. Then toss in the thermal extremes, we have times of year where the temps range as much as 50-60F in a 12 hour period. We also have very cold temps in the Winter, this year many single digit temps, then in the Summer it is not uncommon for close to triple digit temps.

As plastics age and are exposed to heat they harden, then add very cold temps, the plastics get brittle, add in some vibrations, then you have a mess. You touch even newer plastics at near Zero F temps it can easily crack or break, much less disturbing 5-10 year old plastic that has been hardened over time. Thermal cycling extremes do not help either.

For those of you that live in more moderate climates and have less congested roads and can cruise the highways without issue, you may have more favorable conditions that are far easier on the car. In these situations parts will last longer. As you do not sit in traffic the hours accumulated on the parts is far less. When it takes you 30-45 minutes a day to drive 7-10 miles this is very different than driving 7-10 miles in 10 minutes.

But for anyone that lives in the North East part of the US, well everything from plastics, to brakes and suspension have a very limited lifespan.

For the past 5-6 years my E46 has been commuting into Washington, DC. Horrible roads, horrible traffic. At 80k miles I need my 2nd LCAB's, sway bar end links are shot and I will likely just replace the lower control arms at this point.

Luckily as of Monday the car will no longer be commuting to Washington DC so the roads and hopefully the traffic conditions will be much better. So now is the time for suspension refreshing and other maintenance items.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:54 AM   #16
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Lots of short trips?
Surprisingly, not really. The car always gets fully warmed up before I drive it when it is cold out. I don't like running it not warmed up especially on short trips.
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Old 07-12-2014, 02:59 PM   #17
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How can i check my CCV is it bad or not? what symptoms can i espect?

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Old 07-12-2014, 07:02 PM   #18
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Sudden oil consumption is one symptom.
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