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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 12-14-2012, 10:18 AM   #1
Mango
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Exclamation So, exactly how much does it cost to "see sig, do it all?" -- and friendly reminder

I'm noticing a lot of new members posting of problems so thought this may help. If your E46 non-M is having problems and you keep continuing to replace one part here and there, just be aware that you'll still continue to have problems.

At this age 6-14 years old, 100,000+ miles, lots of these parts are brittle, broken, or otherwise compromised. You will have problems.

Now I realize not everyone can drop heaps of cash at once, but I do recommend doing sections at a time. For example, if you notice your lower boot and f-connector vacuum line have tears in them, don't just replace THOSE parts. Replace the group of parts (upper boot, lower boot, AND ring) along w/ the vacuum line. And since you just ordered vacuum line, run over to the other side of the engine (two steps?) and replace THAT vacuum line as well.

Cooling system? Same thing. Don't just replace that leaky expansion tank. Replace it all.

Electrical/charging system? Don't just replace the battery. Replace the voltage regulator and final stage resistor (commonly discharges the system when faulty) as well.

Start with the important items first that ensure your vehicle gets you from point A to point B - electrical system, cooling system, tires/brakes, and vacuum system (though you can probably still drive with a busted vacuum system but not always)

So this is a rough estimate on how much it costs to, "see sig, do it all!":

Manual transmission cars: $2,985.00
Automatic transmission cars: $3,575.00
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Last edited by Mango; 02-19-2013 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Auto-save 1361306052
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:30 AM   #2
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And here's a summary of parts/costs: (reminder: NOT exact and NOT everything--just basics!!)

$500 - Cooling System
$120 - Fuel pump
$20 - Fuel pump sealing ring
$150 - CCV kit
$200 - DISA (OPTIONAL)
$5 - DISA O-ring
$1 - IAC seal
$55 - Genuine VCG w/ grommet kit.
$75 - Intake boot set
$10 - 3 feet of vacuum tubing for f-connector, SAP, etc.

$190 94R battery - Autozone sourced (49DL apparently not offered anymore per Autozone.com) Walmart might have a cheap group 49? Not sure.
$34 Voltage regulator
$120 - precat oxygen sensors
$60 spark plugs NGK BKR6EQUP
$55 fuel filter
$12 Diff oil
$400 - Auto trans service using quality fluid and filter
$30 - Manual trans fluid using quality Redline fluid or similar
$10 air filter
$8 throttle body cleaner for ICV/TB/DISA
$8 maf cleaner for MAF
$15 brake fluid (ATE)
$40 vanos oil line
$1 washers
$15 ATF fluid for power steering
$5 new clamps for power steering lines
$5 oil filter housing gasket

Suspension
$330 - control arms with bushings (Meyle HD)
$10- genuine BMW control arm nuts
$30 - genuine BMW reinforcement plates for strut/shock towers
$20 - Meyle HD rear shock mounts
$600 - shocks/struts
$50 - strut mounts
$1 - paper shock gaskets
$10 - 18mm shock bolts
$40 - front sway end links
$20 - rear sway endlinks
$20 - front sway bushings
$20 - rear sway bushings
$40 - RTABs (MIS RTAB tool $100 or rent it--required)
$55 steering coupler/flex-joint


$2985 - Manual cars

$3575 - Automatic cars
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Last edited by Mango; 02-19-2013 at 02:32 PM. Reason: Auto-save 1361305930
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:34 AM   #3
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Auto transmission can be DIY for $150 in parts, but you'll need a pump tool. Doing it all requires about $500-1000 in tools depending on quality.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:57 AM   #4
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This should be a sticky.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:00 AM   #5
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Auto transmission can be DIY for $150 in parts, but you'll need a pump tool. Doing it all requires about $500-1000 in tools depending on quality.
Yes i was going to mention TOOLS. need tools. rtab tool for one (not included in overall costs)

Most people don't have the nuts to do an automatic service. (the reason they're driving automatics to begin with!)

i kid, i kid...
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:21 AM   #6
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Mango,
You are too helpful and kind to the newbs..

Nice itemized listing though, at least this will help them better budget their projects.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:26 AM   #7
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This list is porn NSFW

Prices or not, its a great list to obsess over.
I'm at least 85% complete.

Great write up.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
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Hey mango: where exactly can I get the voltage regulator for 34 bucks? Nothing is wrong with my electrical but I am maintaining a spreadsheet with future projects and prices. Also is there an easy way to find out whether I have a bosche or valeo alternator?
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:35 AM   #9
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Definitely a clear outline, makes planning what to do next a little clearer

I'm not sure, but I know on the E36 rear wheel bearings are a must do item every 100k or so, true for the E46 too? I'm pretty sure my right rear bearing is going to need a replacement soon.

(Please pardon my auto-correct)
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:44 AM   #10
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Yes wheel bearings (especially in rear) are a PITA. Thanks to our wah-wah guy I've learned that the harbor freight wheel bearing kit for $100 is a MUST (i repeat-- a must) for rear wheel bearing job. I did one side without it and it took 12 hours. not fun. The right tools, as most people know, make all the diff. My rear wheel bearing started wah-wahing at around 125k and got VERY bad during and after autocrossing. Replaced the rear left and everything is silent now. havent had the chance to do the remaining three wheel bearings (they're sitting the living room floor)

Anyways the $3k figure I mentioned sounds like a lot but when you consider a used E46 is between $7,000 and $12,000, an extra $3k for piece of mind and a great driving car is well worth it.

You'll rarely, if not never, have to post of a breakdown or failure thread in your lifetime and you'll likely never see a check engine light!
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:49 AM   #11
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Another great resource, thank you!

Things I have yet to do:

$200 - DISA (OPTIONAL)
$5 - DISA O-ring
$1 - IAC seal
$10 - 3 feet of vacuum tubing for f-connector, SAP, etc.
$34 Voltage regulator
$40 vanos oil line
$5 new clamps for power steering lines
$40 - front sway end links
$20 - rear sway endlinks
$20 - front sway bushings
$20 - rear sway bushings
$55 steering coupler/flex-joint

Also, what about the intake camshaft position sensor, shouldn't that be on this list?
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by tock172 View Post
Another great resource, thank you!

Things I have yet to do:

$200 - DISA (OPTIONAL)
$5 - DISA O-ring
$1 - IAC seal
$10 - 3 feet of vacuum tubing for f-connector, SAP, etc.
$34 Voltage regulator
$40 vanos oil line
$5 new clamps for power steering lines
$40 - front sway end links
$20 - rear sway endlinks
$20 - front sway bushings
$20 - rear sway bushings
$55 steering coupler/flex-joint

Also, what about the intake camshaft position sensor, shouldn't that be on this list?
Hmm I don't think so. It's good PM, but some may consider it to be excessive and I wouldn't debate them on that. That's going to be on Mango's special list.

The only thing I haven't done on that list is my DISA. I resealed it using the German Auto Solutions seal and determined it was 100% tight and functioning/free of noise. It was probably replaced at some point because I am surprised at how good it still is. It's one of those parts that's expensive and pointless to replace if it's still working good. At the moment it rattles or gives me any indication that it's starting to fail, I will replace it.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:00 PM   #13
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I added oil filter housing gasket (duh) to the list. $5
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:07 PM   #14
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Hmm I don't think so. It's good PM, but some may consider it to be excessive and I wouldn't debate them on that. That's going to be on Mango's special list.

The only thing I haven't done on that list is my DISA. I resealed it using the German Auto Solutions seal and determined it was 100% tight and functioning/free of noise. It was probably replaced at some point because I am surprised at how good it still is. It's one of those parts that's expensive and pointless to replace if it's still working good. At the moment it rattles or gives me any indication that it's starting to fail, I will replace it.
Often times a no start and/or reduced power condition can be attributed to the intake camshaft position sensor. I will be replacing mine preventatively sometime over the next two weeks. What scares me the most is how this specific sensor can fail and leave you stranded with absolutely no warning. You can run into a convenience store for 5 minutes, walk back out and your e46 won't start. I can't wait until I have a brand new one installed. Peace of mind is important to me.

Regarding the DISA, I would venture to believe your unit was original. I believe ///MPR77 replaced his at over 200k and it was still functioning perfectly. A friend of mine just removed and verified his this weekend. At 190k it was still functioning as it is supposed to with no noise. I agree that the DISA is something that should only be replaced when you are sure it has failed or is beginning to experience failure.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tock172 View Post
Regarding the DISA, I would venture to believe your unit was original. I believe ///MPR77 replaced his at over 200k and it was still functioning perfectly. A friend of mine just removed and verified his this weekend. At 190k it was still functioning as it is supposed to with no noise. I agree that the DISA is something that should only be replaced when you are sure it has failed or is beginning to experience failure.
Yeah, I bought the new DISA at roughly 293k miles...at that point I just assumed it was bad, no symptoms, but figured I would replace it, and never worry about it again.

The old DISA seemed to function perfectly (easy to tell side by side with the new one) the O Ring was the only thing I really needed to replace. I popped the new one in, and kept the other as a spare.

Would I do it again, given the chance?
No.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:28 PM   #17
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I've actually done quite a bit of this on my car already. I have my suspension pretty much ready to install just got to wait until Christmas until I can get it. Next year I'm doing the battery, voltage regulator, and automatic fluid change as well. I've got my two tie-rod assemblies and steering u-joint waiting to be installed right now as well. Just got to borrow my friends lift a day he isn't busy.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by tock172 View Post
Often times a no start and/or reduced power condition can be attributed to the intake camshaft position sensor. I will be replacing mine preventatively sometime over the next two weeks. What scares me the most is how this specific sensor can fail and leave you stranded with absolutely no warning. You can run into a convenience store for 5 minutes, walk back out and your e46 won't start. I can't wait until I have a brand new one installed. Peace of mind is important to me.

Regarding the DISA, I would venture to believe your unit was original. I believe ///MPR77 replaced his at over 200k and it was still functioning perfectly. A friend of mine just removed and verified his this weekend. At 190k it was still functioning as it is supposed to with no noise. I agree that the DISA is something that should only be replaced when you are sure it has failed or is beginning to experience failure.

Yep. The intake sensor can definitely cause those problems as well as ABS/DSC lights AFAIK but I haven't found it to be all that common. Definitely good to replace though. Pickier people can choose to replace it. The starter can also fail but thats best to replace with the trans down. At least with the manual though it can be push started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ///MPR77 View Post
Yeah, I bought the new DISA at roughly 293k miles...at that point I just assumed it was bad, no symptoms, but figured I would replace it, and never worry about it again.

The old DISA seemed to function perfectly (easy to tell side by side with the new one) the O Ring was the only thing I really needed to replace. I popped the new one in, and kept the other as a spare.

Would I do it again, given the chance?
No.
Good to hear that your original disa was still doing well at 293k. I wonder why some fail so soon and others not? I must've inspected mine at least 6 times already. Good to keep an eye on it, I suppose. At least you have peace of mind!
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:27 PM   #19
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My DISA was rattling at 68K miles.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:32 PM   #20
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Maybe I missed this but, flex disk/guibo not on the list?
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