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Old 01-06-2013, 05:26 PM   #1
jonesenberg
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'04 330i ZHP preventative maintenance

Recently, I've been soooo tempted to trade in my '04 ZHP against an '08 E90. They only want $22k on a one-owner, clean carfax 335i 6-spd sedan with 25k miles with sport and premium pkgs. As much as I want it, I just don't want to take on that much more debt ATM.

So, I need to get right with the idea of keeping my '04 ZHP with 70k miles for a while longer. That means keeping it in good shape mechanically.

I got it at 59k and it has not had the 60k service yet. No major issues to speak of. I just want to know what I should be looking at doing in the immediate/near future for preventative maintenance. According to mango's excellent guide, here's what I'm looking at inspecting/replacing:

voltage reg
final stage reg
spark plugs
fuel filter
differential oil
manual tranny oil
cabin air filter
clean ICV
clean throttle body
replace/bleed brake fluid
possibly seal valve cover gasket
possibly replace power steering fluid


She runs quite strong for the time being, so there are no pressing issues with any of these items. Am i missing anything? Is any of this not entirely necessary yet at 70K (like spark plugs, etc)? Anything long overdue?

FWIW, oil changes at around 7k are a given, with Mobil 1 synthetic 5w-30 used most recently (will use something else next time after poking around the forums a bit).

Last edited by jonesenberg; 01-06-2013 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:45 PM   #2
JQuick5156
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I would also go ahead and check your Shocks and Struts along with front control arm bushings. A lot of people say stock struts and shocks are gone by 60k I believe it was so worth a check. The control arm bushings are a quick check as well and I have seen mixed feelings on how long they last.

Lastly, I believe its Mobil 0w-40 you want to be using. Can't remember if 5w-30 is LL-01 or not. Castrol 5w-40 is LL-01 I know for sure.

I'm sure I missed something.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:02 PM   #3
Zchild
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesenberg View Post
Recently, I've been soooo tempted to trade in my '04 ZHP against an '08 E90. They only want $22k on a one-owner, clean carfax 335i 6-spd sedan with 25k miles with sport and premium pkgs. As much as I want it, I just don't want to take on that much more debt ATM.

So, I need to get right with the idea of keeping my '04 ZHP with 70k miles for a while longer. That means keeping it in good shape mechanically.

I got it at 59k and it has not had the 60k service yet. No major issues to speak of. I just want to know what I should be looking at doing in the immediate/near future for preventative maintenance. According to mango's excellent guide, here's what I'm looking at inspecting/replacing:

voltage reg
final stage reg
spark plugs
fuel filter
differential oil
manual tranny oil
cabin air filter
clean ICV
clean throttle body
replace/bleed brake fluid
possibly seal valve cover gasket
possibly replace power steering fluid


She runs quite strong for the time being, so there are no pressing issues with any of these items. Am i missing anything? Is any of this not entirely necessary yet at 70K (like spark plugs, etc)? Anything long overdue?

FWIW, oil changes at around 7k are a given, with Mobil 1 synthetic 5w-30 used most recently (will use something else next time after poking around the forums a bit).
While I like and respect Mango's list I don't see the need for the voltage reg or the final stage reg. I would only add a coolant flush...
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:21 PM   #4
SiVaE46
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Yes to Ps fluid ... no to valve gasket unless it is leaking. No to voltage reg. What about accessory belt? Change coolant and inspect system for leak (pressure test) .. this is one of weak points of car ....
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zchild View Post
While I like and respect Mango's list I don't see the need for the voltage reg or the final stage reg. I would only add a coolant flush...
You're on the right track. At $37, the voltage regulator is a no-brainer. At around 10 years or 100k miles, the voltage regulator can become iffy as the brushes wear down and fail to make sufficient contact. People report of strange electronic problems and ultimately, complete breakdown. You'll know when the red battery light comes on.

Your car will only be as reliable as the amount of maintenance you put in it. Sure, you can save the $37 and keep it in your pocket, but the thought of being stranded will always be at the back of your mind.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Zchild View Post
While I like and respect Mango's list I don't see the need for the voltage reg or the final stage reg. I would only add a coolant flush...
Oh oh just about every used E46 out there that has the original FSR, it's usually going. At around 100k miles (i bought my car w/96k), my blower stopped working altogether. I replaced the FSR and i've never had a problem since. It's bound to happen, just a matter of whether you want to stop a problem before it occurs or wait for it.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
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You're on the right track. At $37, the voltage regulator is a no-brainer. At around 10 years or 100k miles, the voltage regulator can become iffy as the brushes wear down and fail to make sufficient contact. People report of strange electronic problems and ultimately, complete breakdown. You'll know when the red battery light comes on.

Your car will only be as reliable as the amount of maintenance you put in it. Sure, you can save the $37 and keep it in your pocket, but the thought of being stranded will always be at the back of your mind.
Had zero trouble with alternator until well after 310,000 miles when my power steering hose burst and shorted out my alternator. This guys is only at 60k not 100k so why the voltage regulator when you clearly point out that it becomes an issue at 100k.
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Last edited by Zchild; 01-06-2013 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:55 PM   #8
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I have an 04 ZHP as well with 75,000 miles. He is what I have done.

voltage reg - Waiting
final stage reg - Waiting
spark plugs - Done
fuel filter - Done
differential oil - Done
manual tranny oil - Done
cabin air filter - Done
clean ICV - Done
clean throttle body - Done
replace/bleed brake fluid - Done
possibly seal valve cover gasket - Done but only because I did vanos, otherwise I would have waited for a leak
possibly replace power steering fluid - Done (ghetto turkey baster method)


I am surprised you didn't mention the cooling system? I know items like the voltage regulator are piece of mind, but IMO something like the cooling system is more important. If that blows you could be looking at a blown head. I replaced ALL cooling system components around 65,000, even the radiator. I figured it was only ~$120 and based on the low miles of my car, it has seen a lot of heat cycles. I just did it all in one shot and saved a lot of time down the road.

I will add that I also replaced my rotors/pads. Depending how car was driven, your rotors might be at minimum thickness like mine were.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Zchild View Post
Had zero trouble with alternator until well after 310,000 miles when my power steering hose burst and shorted out my alternator. This guys is only at 60k not 100k so why the voltage regulator when you clearly point out that it becomes an issue at 100k.
I know of someone with a late model ZHP that had its VR go at 60k. I wasn't aware of the OP's mileage. It doesn't cost anything so i'd just replace it. save the old one as a spare.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:04 PM   #10
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At the mileage you're at I don't think it's necessary to spend that much money. Yes you want to keep it running great, but it sounds like it's doing fine. At <75k mi your car is barely broken in! lol

Here's what I think:

spark plugs
fuel filter
cabin air filter
clean ICV
clean throttle body
replace/bleed brake fluid
valve cover gasket


Also, I'm pretty sure that Mobil 1 synthetic 5w-30 isn't up to spec. The only Mobil 1 we should use is 0w-40 from what I understand
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:47 PM   #11
katu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WheyArea View Post
Here's what I think:

spark plugs
fuel filter
cabin air filter
clean ICV
clean throttle body
replace/bleed brake fluid
valve cover gasket
Replace VCG he doesn't mention is leaking but not his diff and tranny oil? Good catch on the wrong oil btw!
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:08 PM   #12
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I didn't have to replace my VR until I was at ~190K miles. The brushes were worn down quite a bit (perhaps half but I didn't measure) compared to the new one I purchased.
I'd also replace the belts.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:19 PM   #13
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Replace VCG he doesn't mention is leaking but not his diff and tranny oil? Good catch on the wrong oil btw!
If you're gonna do the sparks you might as well do the vcg. As far as tranny/diff oil it's good up to 100k. The e46fanatics kool-aid gets a lot of ppl here (myself included when I first joined) but most of the "laws" I found to be overly sensitive BS.

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Old 01-07-2013, 09:33 AM   #14
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Being an 08 the 335 is out of powertrain warranty or soon will be. I've been researching them a lot as well and I'd stay away if the purchase price itself will be a stretch for you. Yes the HPFP has an extended warranty but there's so much else that can (possibly) go wrong with that engine it would scare me away. One example, do a google search for carbon buildup on the valves in the 335/135. you would need to be prepared to pull the intake every ~40k and clean the valves, or have a shop do it. BMW seems to have gotten off to a bad start with direct injection.

Not to say all will be trouble. Some owners reported very reliable cars but its not a risk I'd be willing to take if you'll be strapped for cash. If you have a reliable and well running ZHP I'd hold on to it a while longer until your wallet can accomodate the risk of owning a more complex vehicle.

Last edited by Redryan98; 01-07-2013 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:52 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by WheyArea View Post
If you're gonna do the sparks you might as well do the vcg. As far as tranny/diff oil it's good up to 100k. The e46fanatics kool-aid gets a lot of ppl here (myself included when I first joined) but most of the "laws" I found to be overly sensitive BS.

Our cars are great but they're not Italian imports!
That doesn't make sense. The spark plugs take about 15-30 minutes to replace, and that's only because you have to remove a few things to get to them. It's not something that warrants any other "while you're in there" kind of maintenance.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:44 PM   #16
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That doesn't make sense. The spark plugs take about 15-30 minutes to replace, and that's only because you have to remove a few things to get to them. It's not something that warrants any other "while you're in there" kind of maintenance.
If you're gonna remove all the bolts for the cabin air filter and change sparks you're not that far from doing the vcg. For a $20 part that gets brittle pretty quick I don't see it as being a big deal. You may disagree but this is how I see it
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katu View Post
I replaced ALL cooling system components around 65,000, even the radiator. I figured it was only ~$120 and based on the low miles of my car, it has seen a lot of heat cycles. I just did it all in one shot and saved a lot of time down the road.
I don't see the value or need in replacing the oem radiator at 65K with a newer cheaper one. I don't reccomend this, the oem radiator unless having been damaged is fine for about twice that mileage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WheyArea View Post
If you're gonna do the sparks you might as well do the vcg. As far as tranny/diff oil it's good up to 100k. The e46fanatics kool-aid gets a lot of ppl here (myself included when I first joined) but most of the "laws" I found to be overly sensitive BS.
although I agree with almost everything you posted, I can't agree with the VCG at the same time as plugs as it's not saving any real additional time as the VCG is more involved.

I also agree the voltage regulator is not an item on the short list "to do" maintenance items.

OP, there are a few parts that should be looked over. And then there are people's opinions on what should be replaced or not. These are going to vary by individual so gauge a balance of all input from the two extremes.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:00 PM   #18
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If you're gonna remove all the bolts for the cabin air filter and change sparks you're not that far from doing the vcg. For a $20 part that gets brittle pretty quick I don't see it as being a big deal. You may disagree but this is how I see it
There are 8 bolts (and 3 spring clips) total to remove to get to the spark plugs. I don't see that as worthwhile. I did it in <30 minutes first time. It takes about 5 minutes to get to the actual plugs. The VCG is a completely different project. For one it's not something you do preventatively. If it's not leaking, then you don't touch it unless you must get to the VANOS. Second, it's not a quick project. You should let the engine sit with the gasket sealer so it can cure. You can't drive your car immediately after a VCG job.

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:06 PM   #19
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pretty good list. here's what i've done ( '04 ZHP coupe, purchased @ 51k miles, currently @ 60,4xxx)

- Oil Change x3 (@ 51k, 56k, 59k (6 month interval change))
- Vanos (Dr Vanos kit)
- VCG (Genuine BMW)
- Spark Plugs (NGK6EQUP)
- CABs (Meyle HD)
- Complete Cooling System Overhaul (All Genuine BMW Parts, equivalent to ECS Level 2 kit)
- Tranny/Diff Fluid Change (Redline)
- PS Fluid (Mobil 1 ATF Turkey Baster method)
- Clean MAF (MAF Cleaner)
- Brake Fluid Flush (ATE Super Blue)
- Cabin/Air Filter (Genuine BMW)
- Fuel Filter (Genuine BMW)
- DISA Replacement/Upgrade (German Auto Solutions 'Gold' Kit)
- Washer Fluid Pump/Nozzles
- Battery (Duralast Gold 94R)


Haven't gotten to brakes/suspension yet...that will be the next major maintenance. Prob brakes first since I think they're closer to needing replacement.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:11 PM   #20
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There are 8 bolts (and 3 spring clips) total to remove to get to the spark plugs. I don't see that as worthwhile. I did it in <30 minutes first time. It takes about 5 minutes to get to the actual plugs. The VCG is a completely different project. For one it's not something you do preventatively. If it's not leaking, then you don't touch it unless you must get to the VANOS. Second, it's not a quick project. You should let the engine sit with the gasket sealer so it can cure. You can't drive your car immediately after a VCG job.
No problem. We just disagree
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