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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 06-12-2013, 10:45 AM   #61
NumbaOneNewb
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prior to buying my car, i didn't even know how to do an oil change. I actually planned on paying for someone to work on my car whenever i had a problem. well, when my expansion tank exploded and I got butt rapped, that day changed me. that and the constant over charging of parts by the dealership was the last straw. my tip is, read the diy, if you can understand it, then try and do it. i don't know how it could get worse than you not being able to replace something that was already broken. if you fail, hire someone to take care of it but not before trying first.

preventative maintenance is key. don't let it bust on you and leave you stranded, giving you a feeling of hatred towards the car. i have done over 95% of the work on my car and i hate working on cars but the love of my car and needing to be able to afford maintaining this car pushed me to do things I never thought i could do. nowadays, people pay me to do software and computer work on their e46s. had I not picked up that wrench, I wouldn't have been able to meet all these cool e46 owners. i never saw myself changing the oil on my car either.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:58 AM   #62
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I bought OEM rotors and Textar pads + sensor + fluid + tools for the job hence the $250 estimate. ( (I probably shouldn't have used the word "bill" to describe paying $250 for the brakes). Besides, $250 is cheap for a shop if you consider the rotors as well.
Where I live, a shop won't do pads and rotors for under $300 an axle.

There is the quick-and-dirty approach of just replacing pads with whatever the corner parts store has on special this month. Then there is a more complete job. But it adds up quickly, doesn't it? In round numbers, parts for an axle on our cars will run (using non-generic parts):
  • Pads - $60
  • A pair of rotors - $100
  • Sensors - $40
  • DOT 4 - $10.
This is north of $200 and there is still sales tax to pay. Figure another $15. IIRC, when I did all 4 corners of the sedan a couple of years ago, the parts/supplies box was over $400.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:04 PM   #63
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1. I appreciate the rant but you are way off. I am not rich by any means and have never taken my BMW to a shop since getting a PPI 2 years ago.

2. I DIY'ed my brakes (I have DIY'ed everything so far, cooling system, valve cover gasket, OFHG, vanos oil line, fluid changes, spark plugs, vacuum hoses, and next week I'll be cleaning my idle valve whatever it's called and changing my transmission fluid)

3. I bought OEM rotors and Textar pads + sensor + fluid + tools for the job hence the $250 estimate. ( (I probably shouldn't have used the word "bill" to describe paying $250 for the brakes). Besides, $250 is cheap for a shop if you consider the rotors as well.

4. I had to spend a lot for the Civic's head gasket because at the time I had no experience working on cars, no place to work on the car even if I did and needed the car asap because I have no other means of transportation.
Ya when you say bill seemed as if you just sent your car off.. PLUS I wasn't thinking of changing rotors.. If you mentioned brakes + rotors then $250 sounds about right for a DIY. Wasn't trying to bash, just surprised me when i saw "250 for brakes"... I assumed you were only talking pads.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:28 PM   #64
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Am I the only one who changes rotors when I change pads? The rotors I buy are not expensive, so it doesn't cost much more to buy new rotors than have the old ones turned. Plus, I run sintered metallic pads and they chew up rotors pretty fast.


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Old 06-12-2013, 07:51 PM   #65
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Am I the only one who changes rotors when I change pads? The rotors I buy are not expensive, so it doesn't cost much more to buy new rotors than have the old ones turned. Plus, I run sintered metallic pads and they chew up rotors pretty fast.


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You change your rotors every time with your pads? That seems a little excessive doesn't it? How hard are you breaking?
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:54 PM   #66
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Lol at the red civic! Here's the ad i posted on Craigslist. I live near Baltimore MD and im on a busy schedule so i cant drive out too far for someone to test drive the car.

http://baltimore.craigslist.org/cto/3864407979.html
Don't forget to list that it has fold down rear seats. That's a selling point.

Based on your posts, you're doing the right thing. It's going to be clutch time on that car pretty soon and that will be expensive. The suspension also needs to be done on it, as i'm sure the shocks are toasted.

As someone who came from Hondas, they are unrefined tin cans compared to a 3-series. But they are fun to drive, run forever, and have very low running costs. I've been through a few Integras (had a GS-R for 10 years, a while back) and an RSX-S. Great cars. I love my 3-series. But it's on a different level when it comes to running costs.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:34 PM   #67
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You change your rotors every time with your pads? That seems a little excessive doesn't it? How hard are you breaking?
I'm actually pretty easy on my brakes. I coast a lot, and downshift, with the occasional hard braking at the end of exit ramps. I just don't want to put new pads on used rotors without turning the rotors; and I don't want the down-time of taking the rotors to get them turned.

In the long run, it's not that great of expense, and I never have any issues with "warped rotors".
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:28 PM   #68
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I'm actually pretty easy on my brakes. I coast a lot, and downshift, with the occasional hard braking at the end of exit ramps. I just don't want to put new pads on used rotors without turning the rotors; and I don't want the down-time of taking the rotors to get them turned.

In the long run, it's not that great of expense, and I never have any issues with "warped rotors".
Understandable. I usually just inspect mine between pad changes. Check for cracking, uneven wear, and how much it is worn down itself. I can go through many of pads before signs like these show and new rotors are needed.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:44 PM   #69
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got my car new and maintenance were up to date, with that earnings of yours I think its hard to keep this car especially with that mileage even you DIY because the parts are so expensive.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:28 PM   #70
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I'm actually pretty easy on my brakes. I coast a lot, and downshift, with the occasional hard braking at the end of exit ramps. I just don't want to put new pads on used rotors without turning the rotors; and I don't want the down-time of taking the rotors to get them turned.

In the long run, it's not that great of expense, and I never have any issues with "warped rotors".
Sorry this got a little off-topic, but I don't understand why most people suggest to resurface the rotors. Usually it is just an extra income to shops. If the rotors are warped a little, they can resurface them, however from what I have been told by mechanic friends the rotors are coated with a special material and are not meant to be resurfaced (at least some). With that said, I have never resurfaced rotors, usually just replace pads - no issues ever. I have replaced rotors a few times on cars that I have purchased which had bad rotors, but never in my ownership. I do not race my car, and always use OE parts. E39 M5 pads are expensive, but I don't trust others. Hate the damn brake dust however.


On Topic:

Try Toyota/Lexus - you will not be disappointed with the quality over Honda. Its hard to find a decent condition IS300 5 speed for a good price, but I wouldn't be scared of a 130k Lexus as much as I would be of a 130k BMW.

Last edited by Carfidant; 06-12-2013 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:42 AM   #71
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Where are you guys getting your parts? I bought textar pads, myele rear rotors, ate front slotted rotors, a fuel filter, some all weather floor mats and a BMW rock chip paint kit from ECS for almost $450... Probably the break parts were like 350 themselves. Later on I bought BMW break fluid and the fluid pressure pump. DIY of course.


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Old 06-13-2013, 08:54 AM   #72
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Where are you guys getting your parts? I bought textar pads, myele rear rotors, ate front slotted rotors, a fuel filter, some all weather floor mats and a BMW rock chip paint kit from ECS for almost $450... Probably the break parts were like 350 themselves. Later on I bought BMW break fluid and the fluid pressure pump. DIY of course.


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Brakes...

Most of them are probably buying from BMAParts or ECS like yourself. I bought my brake parts from BMAParts for just over $300. That was Zimmerman F/R rotors, Ate pads, sensors, and Ate Super Blue fluid. I also got myself a motive power bleeder. It made the fluid flush wonderfully easy.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:19 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by 328isawesome View Post
Where are you guys getting your parts? I bought textar pads, myele rear rotors, ate front slotted rotors, a fuel filter, some all weather floor mats and a BMW rock chip paint kit from ECS for almost $450... Probably the break parts were like 350 themselves. Later on I bought BMW break fluid and the fluid pressure pump. DIY of course.


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BMA Parts with the 5% discount and Pelican Parts with free shipping. ECS kills me with having no free shipping option or discount option.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:34 AM   #74
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Am I the only one who changes rotors when I change pads? The rotors I buy are not expensive, so it doesn't cost much more to buy new rotors than have the old ones turned. Plus, I run sintered metallic pads and they chew up rotors pretty fast.
I suspect that most Fanatics do change rotors.

Sure you can take a micrometer to them and measure thickness and run out when changing pads. But I have yet to see a visually smooth (never mind actually smooth) surface after a full set of pads is worn down. A smooth surface is better for a number of reasons. So, this means new or turned.

Around here, it is $15 to get a rotor turned. Getting this done means:
  • Getting to the shop
  • Waiting for them to do it
    (more likely, making another trip the next day)
  • Hauling them back, and finally reinstalling.
The car can't be driven in the meantime and, in the end, I get back a thinner (less heat-absorbing mass) disc than the already-worn piece that was dropped off.

A new rotor runs $35~$50 (although it is possible to spend much more). No hassle and they are full thickness, reassuring in the event that I have to use them close to their design limits...
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:21 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
Brakes...

Most of them are probably buying from BMAParts or ECS like yourself. I bought my brake parts from BMAParts for just over $300. That was Zimmerman F/R rotors, Ate pads, sensors, and Ate Super Blue fluid. I also got myself a motive power bleeder. It made the fluid flush wonderfully easy.
Just over $300? How and where exactly? My 330 rotors cost nearly $90-100 each and that's not with pads. Enlighten me, please.


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Old 06-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #76
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I suspect that most Fanatics do change rotors.

Sure you can take a micrometer to them and measure thickness and run out when changing pads. But I have yet to see a visually smooth (never mind actually smooth) surface after a full set of pads is worn down. A smooth surface is better for a number of reasons. So, this means new or turned.

Around here, it is $15 to get a rotor turned. Getting this done means:
  • Getting to the shop
  • Waiting for them to do it
    (more likely, making another trip the next day)
  • Hauling them back, and finally reinstalling.
The car can't be driven in the meantime and, in the end, I get back a thinner (less heat-absorbing mass) disc than the already-worn piece that was dropped off.

A new rotor runs $35~$50 (although it is possible to spend much more). No hassle and they are full thickness, reassuring in the event that I have to use them close to their design limits...
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildirish317 View Post
Am I the only one who changes rotors when I change pads? The rotors I buy are not expensive, so it doesn't cost much more to buy new rotors than have the old ones turned. Plus, I run sintered metallic pads and they chew up rotors pretty fast.


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Agree with all of this. The time value alone of just slapping on new rotors is worth way more than the money saved by having the existing rotors turned. Some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Plus, in my case my front brakes are original at 137k miles. I do a lot of highway miles so this isn't true for everyone. They don't have much longer but spending, what, $100 on new rotors spreads out nicely over another 100k+ miles.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:17 PM   #77
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go back to Honda OP, with that sort of income I really isn't smart to own a older model bmw, the cost of keeping the car to run itself will soon start to take a toll on your income
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:18 PM   #78
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Safi-

Where are you located in Howard County MD? I'm here too.

I just upgraded from a 94 Civic to an e46 330i.

Hondas will almost ALWAYS be cheaper and more reliable than a BMW.

If you are questioning your ability to afford a BMW- sell it. Nothing is worth stress related to tight finances. Be sure to factor in depreciation and insurance in the equation, you may end up losing way more than you gain by selling a car.

It's just a car man.

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Old 06-13-2013, 12:35 PM   #79
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Kind of a touchy subject here on the boards, but in my opinion, going with another Honda would probably be in your best interest. At the end of the day, they're extremely reliable when you take care of them, and require minimal maintenance. An E46 is a nicer/more luxurious option, but you need to look at the pros/cons. There's nothing wrong with driving a Honda/Acura, and a lot of people that straight hate on them have never owned one.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:42 PM   #80
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Agreed VMR.

I've been a lifelong loyal Honda/Acura guy. Everything from motorcycles to dirtbikes to lawn mowers to generators to cars...Honda

BMW is a different animal. Rear wheel drive, inline 6 engines, and driver-focused engineering are at a premium with these cars. Not to mention...they look sleek as hell.

But- a car is just a car- it's transportation. Don't starve yourself just to rock the BMW badge...there is plenty of time for that in the future.

A Honda IS a luxury vehicle to most people in the world...
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