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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 03-03-2013, 10:39 PM   #81
Akonion
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Nice car!

Do not let the high mileage get you down, maintain it and it will last you forever!
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:30 AM   #82
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Don't listen to the haters. Great car to start with. Learn the car, drive it, enjoy it and you can always upgrade to a newer one later on. A lot of people on here don't like the 323. They are as good as any other e46.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:25 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kells427 View Post
...plastic housing that clips together midpoint...
Post a pic. I just looked at my engine and couldn't figure out what you are talking about. We prob have different layouts though (99 323 vs. 04 325). A lot of things get moved around the engine compartment over the years.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:10 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kells427 View Post
right now I'm searching to figure out what something is on the car...I didnt want to open it because the plastic can be so brittle in the cold....its black, round, and it sits next to the coolant tank...plastic housing that clips together midpoint...I'll take a picture tomorrow and post if I cant find it online tonight...I found all the other filters and this thing isn't bolted in so I'm quite curious
well two things come to mind. 1) it's the power steering fluid reservoir. or 2) you have mistakenly thought the windshield washer fluid tank is the radiator fill tank. Which means you're not missing an expansion tank cap, but the washer cap.(makes more sense). And the round black plastic thing you're talking about is the SAP (secondary air pump).
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:35 PM   #85
wildirish317
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If Alex is correct, then I suggest that your first (and fastest) purchase be this:



Which you can find here:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=38

It will help you sort out what's where and why in the engine bay, along with the rest of the car.
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Last edited by wildirish317; 03-04-2013 at 04:29 PM. Reason: fixed broken link (maybe)...
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #86
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well two things come to mind. 1) it's the power steering fluid reservoir. or 2) you have mistakenly thought the windshield washer fluid tank is the radiator fill tank. Which means you're not missing an expansion tank cap, but the washer cap.(makes more sense). And the round black plastic thing you're talking about is the SAP (secondary air pump).
o lord duh.... yes I was talking about the windshield tank ...the blue stuff...ay ay ay....brain was more rattled about the "SAP" if that it what it is....it looks like the bolts have broke off and its just sitting in its place
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:11 PM   #87
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I've heard that the synthetic oil is for the vanos assembly. If you look at why besian puts the anti rattle kit in there. It's because of wear on the gear. While it isn't cost effective to replace the gear....they came up with the ring with closer tolerances to fix the rattling. On mine there wasnt any rattle I could hear. When I did the vanos piston test I could see the axial play. When doing the seals I could see the wear pattern. I could have let it slide and not put the $150 into the vanos. But then I'd be doing another $80 valve cover gasket.

Don't put cheap oil in the m54 engine. Regular oil would not fit the profile for the closer tolerances that cars running synthetic need. The vanos shows this

If we were talking about a 98 dodge ram or Chevy cavalier.Then yeah....cheap is fine. I can agree with jfoj on the fuel use. If your not driving fast you probably don need the detonation protection. You could run 89 octane. Keep this in mind though. Higher octane fuels usually use less ethanol. Some brands like shell and chevron put cleaner in the gas

I use techron fuel system cleaner around every 5000 miles. With that many miles on yours I do not know if that would be a good idea because it might dislodge any clogging n make it worse. Seafoam has been said to do that.

Techron.....anyone chime in on that

This isn't the car you can be cheap on. If your husband that mentality. He needs a Honda or a Toyota. Bmw demands maintenance. The problem is.....if you don't maintain it. The part you didn't maintain causes something expensive to break. Like the guibo.....$50 for the guibo.....maybe $50 for the support bearing......but if they go......$500 for the dive shaft....and still$100 for the other 2.

My girlfriend used to buy cheap tires. And let them get bald. Last November she flipped her car because of it.....it cost her more financially than 5 sets of good tires. That's my experience with my 330.

The Bentley repair manual is cool to have. But there is enough info here that I haven't needed it

Last edited by glhx; 03-04-2013 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:16 PM   #88
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o lord duh.... yes I was talking about the windshield tank ...the blue stuff...ay ay ay....brain was more rattled about the "SAP" if that it what it is....it looks like the bolts have broke off and its just sitting in its place
Don't feel bad. The first time I opened the hood of a BMW (E36), I wasn't sure about half the stuff I was looking at. It happens to all of us. BTW, the Bentley was my first purchase for my E46. They are indispensable.
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Last edited by wildirish317; 03-04-2013 at 08:14 PM. Reason: spelling is not my strong suit
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:31 PM   #89
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Does it have wiring diagrams. I would like some of those

Last edited by glhx; 03-04-2013 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:33 PM   #90
Kells427
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This isn't the car you can be cheap on. If your husband that mentality. He needs a Honda or a Toyota. Bmw demands maintenance.

Exactly why she's my baby and not his....I have no problem spending money
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:41 PM   #91
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Does it have wiring diagrams. I would like some of those
About 25% of the pages (3" thick book) is wiring diagrams.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:08 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kells427 View Post
o lord duh.... yes I was talking about the windshield tank ...the blue stuff...ay ay ay....brain was more rattled about the "SAP" if that it what it is....it looks like the bolts have broke off and its just sitting in its place
What is broken on the SAP is the mounts. There are 3x studs with a rubber isolator in the middle. They are $8-$14 a piece at most places or you can order them at RMEuropean for about $2.85 each.
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Engine swap, HG, tranny swap, GM & ZF tranny rebuilds, shocks, struts, brakes, WPs, Thermostats, belts, tensioners, fuel pumps, radiators, window regs, hoses, PS pump, Spark Plugs, VCGs, coils, fuel filters, CVVs, VANOS seals, rack, LCABs, Exp. Tanks, OFHGs, RCABs, OP, boots, ABS, GUIDOs, starter, A/C, DISA, Diff, SAP

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Old 03-04-2013, 07:11 PM   #93
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Quote:
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Exactly why she's my baby and not his....I have no problem spending money

I bet you don't!
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:19 PM   #94
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What is broken on the SAP is the mounts. There are 3x studs with a rubber isolator in the middle. They are $8-$14 a piece at most places or you can order them at RMEuropean for about $2.85 each.
I'm looking the SAP up now...the whole unit can be picked right up....the mounts are snapped in half....


Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWCaptain View Post
I bet you don't!
I sure don't when I work like a rockstar.....I completed 4 years of college on track full time, while working full time 50-60hrs a week in retail management at a pharmacy..originally had 2 daughters went through a 3rd prego w school and work ft....went into labor at work...took my finals from my hospital bed that night....

only reason Im outta work now is we just moved cross country and Im getting into my degree field...
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:33 PM   #95
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You have accomplished a lot and under stressful conditions. Congratulations! Great to someone with goals and drive like that. Pun intended.

I did not need your life history and your justifications for spending money. I was merely referring to one of the things women love to do.


You can use several zipties to hold the SAP until you get your new mounts.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:36 PM   #96
Sweetness
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Take picture of yourself with your car?
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:10 AM   #97
Akonion
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Exactly why she's my baby and not his....I have no problem spending money
One of the benefeits of being married, no?
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:28 AM   #98
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Good look with the car, and kudos for being a woman and working on your own cars.
Looks like you're not used to german cars, so to me your in for a big adventure.
I highly recommend putting down your novels or girly books and picking up the e46 Bentley Service Manual, it will save you a lot of time, suffering, frustrations and money, and don't believe everything you read on the internets (talking about some clueless peeps around here giving advise )

PS: if the automatic trans ever fails just do a auto to manual swap and cost's about the same $$$ as rebuilding an auto trans (auto trans suck, you never get the full experience of driving a bmw) get a manual, especially if you are used to manual.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:34 AM   #99
Alex323Ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kells427 View Post
o lord duh.... yes I was talking about the windshield tank ...the blue stuff...ay ay ay....brain was more rattled about the "SAP" if that it what it is....it looks like the bolts have broke off and its just sitting in its place
ah no biggie, we all make mistakes on newly introduced engine bays
one good thing is your car has its expansion tank cap(and thus the cooling system is closed) and only missing the washer fluid cap.
SAP may have been changed once and mounts broken, not hard to fix.

I would check the coolant level and color when cold. Again the expansion tank is like a built-in overflow tank. It is not like the top of a radiator though. So the coolant should NOT be at the top. Read the embossed filler neck label attached(its next to the cap) to see how to read the "bobber" and stalk for coolant.

if you plan to do more DIYs and upkeep I too recommend the Bentley Manual.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:37 AM   #100
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Social commentary is all, but how many of you would do the "awww shucks, we all make mistakes" and "it's only a high mileage car, it'll be fine" and "good job identifying the washer fluid tank as the expansion tank" comments would you all make if the OP wasn't a female? By looking at other threads on here I'd say not too many!!! Sheesh, leg humpers all around...

OP, you bought a very high mileage car, sounds like you paid a good price but its a good thing you want to work on it yourself because it will be a maintenance whore and not cheap by any means compared to a typical Japanese or American car with similar mileage. Get a manual first thing or there will be far more mis-identified parts and locations that will cause you issues in the long run (ATF reservoir under the hood is the PS fluid, not transmission fill for one) and take what you read here with some hesitation because their are a lot of 17 year old "experts" that have done 1 DIY and suddenly handing out advise all the time; you'll find who the good ones are soon enough. It's an easy car to work on but knowing what to do can be confusing as some look at them as a priceless work of art and replace EVERYTHING, others can't afford the gas and replace nothing; reality is somewhere in the middle.

And find a good Indy shop, you'll need it if nothing else for someone to tell your husband he's wrong and to use BMW fluids in your BMW or for those over-your-head-have-you-seen-this-before items.
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