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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 08-19-2012, 06:13 PM   #1
nicora87
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how prone are the xi's to problems?

I am seriously considering buying this 03 330xi with 56k miles on it this week. What regular maintenance needs to be done to the xi's? I'm trying to figure out what my cost will be. thanks
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:01 PM   #2
Rickna
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Engine & drivetrain maintenance is like any other BMW. Things to look out for on an ix are front axles & CV boots, rear springs are prone to breaking after 50k mi.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:14 PM   #3
TomTomTuning
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56k for an 03 is amazing. That's like 6k miles a year. I do over three times that easily.

Just check for torn CV boots and the over all general maintenance and condition of the car.

The coolant system is something you'll eventually need to work on but at 56k miles I think you have a while.

Ask if they have history of any maintenance/repairs. It's not necessary but a plus.
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Last edited by TomTomTuning; 08-19-2012 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:41 PM   #4
TArse
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the only thing that is really xi specific that i would put under general maintenance is the front axles, boots, and cv joints.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:16 PM   #5
Gus330vrum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicora87 View Post
I am seriously considering buying this 03 330xi with 56k miles on it this week. What regular maintenance needs to be done to the xi's? I'm trying to figure out what my cost will be. thanks
Like everyone said: axle...

If original and not making sound.

Take both front axle out & replace lubricant in it with spec for it..

Best option for oem quality ^

Or


Go napa reman & replace it for free every 2 years... diy would be a hubby.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:44 PM   #6
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I just purchased an 03 330xi w/60K miles on it 3 months ago. First bimmer and I truly understand what all the fuss is about. I paid $13k for mine and there was not a single ding or blemish on the car. For what it's worth - the car is truly worth the money. I work from my house and put less 500 miles on it a month - this is another reason I bought the car - I wouldn't rack up the miles. All I would recommend is getting it checked out by a mechanic first! Hope everything works out and hope you enjoy your car as much as I enjoy mine!
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
GSherbs
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I have an 02 330xi (since it was born) with just under 60k on it.

Front control arms might be an issue. I replaced mine about 3k miles ago. A while back I had an issue with an A/C hose and a window regulator. I've also replaced the front axles once at about 40k miles. Clutch & slave cylinder was done about 2k miles ago but that is atypical of these cars.

I've also recently replaced the electric fan.

On my short todo list:
1) brakes & rotors (all 4)
2) complete cooling system
3) fuel pump
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:17 PM   #8
shadow 2
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Originally Posted by Rickna View Post
Engine & drivetrain maintenance is like any other BMW. Things to look out for on an ix are front axles & CV boots, rear springs are prone to breaking after 50k mi.
Rear springs break on all E46s, usually due to rust from salt exposure.
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=663142

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Old 08-22-2012, 03:24 PM   #10
Rickna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow 2 View Post
Rear springs break on all E46s, usually due to rust from salt exposure.
Yes, they do. However I've never had that problem on any other car.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:52 PM   #11
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These are no more parts eaters or money pits then many other famous makes.

Above, they warn about torn boots or CV failure. Okay, so a drive train item may need replacement. Let's say it runs $1000 for a shop to install new axles. That's not really a valuable budget projection over time example. That's a one time fix that will yield 80K if you keep up on the boot condition. Of course common fluids, filters, belts and hoses need replacing. Batteries croak (usually at the most convenient time). The closed, expansion tank cooling system requires a refreshing at 70K. The parts run about $300 for the DIY types. Double it for a shop. Brake pads, rotors and tires? Yeah factor these in but remember they cost no more or wear no faster than - any car. Premium fuel only has a premium price. I say burn the sweet go-go juice now 'cause soon, we're all going to be driving golf-carts! Honestly, annual cost to me is about average for many cars I've owned. Nothing remarkable here.

The XI is a very solid car that is clearly loaded with quality parts. I put money into goodies that I didn't require, non-maintenance toys and get this, I am still good with the investment. I've put $3000 into this car since purchase (60K) but remain ahead because originally, it sold for 30K. Now has 88K on it and I'm into it under 15K total. That's right, I'm driving a 30K luxury sport-sedan for half of the original price that runs and drives like new. Would recommend to a friend. Would not buy new and take a 50% resale hit! Ouch.

Nuff said, buy the car.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:29 PM   #12
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I got my 330xi 4 years ago with 50k mi. I now hve 95k mi. A few small dollar items have had to be replaced, however I have no regrets and I'm happy.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:05 AM   #13
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I have looked all over this forum for information what to look out for. It seems that most of the issues experienced by xi drivers are with models prior to '04. I have an '05 that was meticulously maintained by the PO and have not found the typical issues in any of the service records. I assume that they were not an issue, as I have gone over the car and have not noticed any of the "normal fail" issues since owning it. Could it be that BMW worked many of those issues out before selling the '04 and '05 E46 xi? Anyone know?
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:09 AM   #14
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^
By the way, my car has 92,xxx miles on it.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:09 PM   #15
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BMW does "debug" its cars during their lifecycle. Buying an '04 or '05 will be more reliable since all the r&d work thats been done by people driving these cars since '98.

Also, the later models will have less problems since they're newer and have less miles. They may or may not have as many issues in the future.

My '02 330xi just hit 118k miles and things went to hell this past year.
I replaced 3 out of 4 window regulators (I'm a pro now). I had a shop do my CCV and OFHG at the same time. I replaced my VCG, the passenger-side front axle, my front swaybar endlinks, headlight washer motor and my lower radiator hose and temp sensor.

I also paid the shop to pressure test my coolant systems since I had a leak which I thought was the temp sensor; turns out it was my expansion tank leaking again. I had it replaced 3 years ago!!!

'07 -'11 wasn't bad though. Had the waterpump and e-thermostat replaced under cpo warranty. I paid a shop to replace the FCABs, expansion tank and change the auto transmission fluid.
I replaced the belt tensioner pulley, steering shaft guibo, upper radiator hose, power steering reservoir and filter and brakes and rotors twice.

Things were going very well until 100k miles.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:09 PM   #16
xixixi
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everything will break, you will get fed up and build your own rwd. These xi's aren't worth the trouble. Unless they are only a DD and you baby the p!ss out of them. That's just my opinion though.
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:44 PM   #17
80sMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZemogFC3S View Post
BMW does "debug" its cars during their lifecycle. Buying an '04 or '05 will be more reliable since all the r&d work thats been done by people driving these cars since '98.

Also, the later models will have less problems since they're newer and have less miles. They may or may not have as many issues in the future.

My '02 330xi just hit 118k miles and things went to hell this past year.
I replaced 3 out of 4 window regulators (I'm a pro now). I had a shop do my CCV and OFHG at the same time. I replaced my VCG, the passenger-side front axle, my front swaybar endlinks, headlight washer motor and my lower radiator hose and temp sensor.

I also paid the shop to pressure test my coolant systems since I had a leak which I thought was the temp sensor; turns out it was my expansion tank leaking again. I had it replaced 3 years ago!!!

'07 -'11 wasn't bad though. Had the waterpump and e-thermostat replaced under cpo warranty. I paid a shop to replace the FCABs, expansion tank and change the auto transmission fluid.
I replaced the belt tensioner pulley, steering shaft guibo, upper radiator hose, power steering reservoir and filter and brakes and rotors twice.

Things were going very well until 100k miles.
Good Information. I'm hoping I don't have the same luck though.

I have drunk the Mango Koolaid and replaced the cooling system this past weekend. That alone has helped me with peace of mind.

I have my fingers crossed for the next 30k miles or so.

Thanks!
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:19 AM   #18
aziz
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except for solid engine/tranny everything is chinese crap and everything breaks, i never knew there are so many things in a car that can break without any reason...not just xi but in general.

excellent ride all in all (got many friends to buy one) you dont know until you drive one for a while but you will sure pay for it. thats the truth.
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