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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 06-20-2012, 09:58 PM   #1
Koffinb
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tips for a college kid

No, im not the average spoiled rich college kid, this is my first vehicle i purchased in my own, and i drive it responsibly. ok so i'm a college student going away next month..3 hours from home. I wanted to get some advice from you guys as to what kind of maintenance to have done, here's some info About the car:

04 330xi 6spd 112k miles


cooling system is done

VCG, cv joints replaced at 100k as well as pads and rotors all around

-106k oil change, pulleys, control arm bushings

-111k oil change, spark plugs (my fist diy)

Anything else I should look out for to prevent an unexpected breakdown while far away from home? i.e. fluids?? I'll drop in a new air filter before I leave also, but I think I'll leave the oil for about 10k..lets see how this German castrol stuff holds up..
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:02 PM   #2
scrace
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Vanos o rings
rTABs
Check upper and lower intake boots

You sound up to par.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:11 PM   #3
Koffinb
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Vanos o rings
rTABs
Check upper and lower intake boots

You sound up to par.
ok..symptoms for the above parts?
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:23 PM   #4
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Honestly, my advice is to sell it. Kid+BMW+debt does not add up. At your stage in life, there are more important things to do than to be funneling a significant part of your funds into a 10-year old german car.

And German Castrol hold up? You realize what oil you're talking about, right? Other oils shudder at the mere mention of the name "German Castrol."
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:26 PM   #5
Koffinb
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Honestly, my advice is to sell it. Kid+BMW+debt does not add up. At your stage in life, there are more important things to do than to be funneling a significant part of your funds into a 10-year old german car.

And German Castrol hold up? You realize what oil you're talking about, right? Other oils shudder at the mere mention of the name "German Castrol."
debt??? where did I mention debt in my post? I'm not selling it, I just bought it 2 months ago and I believe i've worked hard and deserve to treat myself to something that means a lot to me a BMW
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:28 PM   #6
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Welcome. I was a college student with 116k on my 325xi. It sounds like you've got most of the mechanical things taken care of. You might want to get a new fuel filter and changes your rear differential, transmission, and transfer case fluid. At that point, you should be set. After 112k miles, your suspension is probably a bit tired, but it isn't going to fail and leave you stranded.

As for what scrace mentioned, the rear trailing arm bushings (rTABs) will wear and allow the rear tires to wander in the corners. The car will feel loose and you'll get excess rear tire wear. The lower intake boot on our cars also gets brittle with age and can crack. This is usually accompanied with the SES light or a whistle under acceleration. Finally, the VANOS o-rings can go bad and make the car feel sluggish as you accelerate through the rev range. While this won't damage the engine, you'll lose performance and fuel mileage. You can probably hold off on fixing this until you need to replace the VCG again in the future.

Best of luck at school and enjoy the car!
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:28 PM   #7
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So you're paying for your education in cash? Must be nice! Nobody said you don't work hard. You asked for tips, I gave you some.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:30 PM   #8
Koffinb
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So you're paying for your education in cash? Must be nice! Nobody said you don't work hard. You asked for tips, I gave you some.
3rd year in college and paid everything out of pocket, seems like an exaggeration but its the 100% truth
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:32 PM   #9
Koffinb
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Welcome. I was a college student with 116k on my 325xi. It sounds like you've got most of the mechanical things taken care of. You might want to get a new fuel filter and changes your rear differential, transmission, and transfer case fluid. At that point, you should be set. After 112k miles, your suspension is probably a bit tired, but it isn't going to fail and leave you stranded.

As for what scrace mentioned, the rear trailing arm bushings (rTABs) will wear and allow the rear tires to wander in the corners. The car will feel loose and you'll get excess rear tire wear. The lower intake boot on our cars also gets brittle with age and can crack. This is usually accompanied with the SES light or a whistle under acceleration. Finally, the VANOS o-rings can go bad and make the car feel sluggish as you accelerate through the rev range. While this won't damage the engine, you'll lose performance and fuel mileage. You can probably hold off on fixing this until you need to replace the VCG again in the future.

Best of luck at school and enjoy the car!
yes, i'll do the fluids for sure and i'll check on the rest thanks
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:34 PM   #10
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Sounds good to me!
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:00 PM   #11
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"Average spoiled rich college kid?" Someone's jealous/bitter
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:22 AM   #12
Koffinb
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"Average spoiled rich college kid?" Someone's jealous/bitter
not bitter at all, actually prod of myself that I was able to accomplish this by myself. I'll give myself a nice pat on the back
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:29 AM   #13
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I have a 325i 2003 with 83,000 miles.

Its had regular oil services


At 83,000 miles
Oil change
Alternator broke then replaced
Bilstein struts replace oem struts all around




At 78000miles
Differential output shaft seals replaced
Brake service/ brake fluid


At 65,000 miles
Oil change
Valve cover gasket
Replaced lower control arm bushings

At 52,000 miles
Brake repair
Brake pads
Replaced drive belts

At 29,800 miles
Oil change
Oil level switch replaced


What should i be thinking about in maintenance. I know it was a women who owned the car before me and she traded in this car for a mercedes. She only serviced it at BMW of alexandria VA. What should i be thinking about??


Manual trans / diff fluid change??
Water pump pulley replace?
Pulleys replaced?
Fuel filter?
Cooling system?

What should i be thing about?

E46Mango?? Thanks
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:32 AM   #14
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"Average spoiled rich college kid?" Someone's jealous/bitter
"Average spoiled rich college kid" detected
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:51 AM   #15
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I too am a college kid. The best thing I did is get a code reader. I have the Peak and BMW scanner 1.4. It's helped me out a lot when trouble shooting issues. It let me know that my pre-cat O2 sensors were going bad. My sedan has 111k on it. I started with the cheapest DIY's and worked my way up because I didn't have all the tools accumulated yet. With a simple craftsman mechanics tool set I was able to do most of them. With our cars being high milage cars, the rubber is the first thing to look at. I checked all my hoses and VCG and replaced most of them after inspection. Don't forget to change your power steering fluid if you havent already. Pretty easy to do with a transfer pump and not expensive. Fuel filter is critical one to do as well.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koffinb View Post
not bitter at all, actually prod of myself that I was able to accomplish this by myself. I'll give myself a nice pat on the back
Good job then!

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"Average spoiled rich college kid" detected
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:24 AM   #17
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Buy beer.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:31 AM   #18
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Buy beer.
+1 Busch light isn't going to pay for itself, ATO reppin
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:11 AM   #19
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I feel like every one of these threads starts off the exact same; "No, I'm not the average spoiled teenager, I paid for this car all on my own...." then something along the lines of blah blah blah something covered in 3,000 other threads blah blah blah.

For what it's worth I make ~3 hour trips quite often and never feel the need to perform any big maintenance beforehand. Check the tire pressure, oil level, and your car should be good to go.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:57 AM   #20
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Take your tools with you and don't worry so much. Maybe source a local diy garage...make local friend with garage and swap diys for garage time.

Find local female with garage...swap fluids with her and you should be good to go!
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