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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm picking up my 325i Monday. It has 65,000 miles, and I'm trying to get some Ideas for any type of maintenance work/tune up I can do on the car to increase reliability and gas mileage. Here is what was recently done, so it won't need this work:

-Brakes
-Shocks/struts
-New air filter
-oil change & filter
-Spark plugs were cleaned owner said but not replaced this week?

Any other Ideas? I don't mind trying to do most the work my self I'm pretty technical. Thanks for input guys!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Front Control Arms & Bushings.
Thanks for quick reply! So I could go with a kit like this

Which has control arms & ball joints, bushing & brackets. This would make for a smoother ride basically, any other added benefit? Would tie Rods and sway bar links also be worth an extra $100 or so in parts?

I'm wondering how hard this job would be to do on my own with a regular tool set and Haynes repair manual? I have only done small jobs before like brakes, plugs/wires, distributor cap, alternator, intake, and oil.
 

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fuel filter
brake fluid
coolant

that's all you really need to do, and change other parts as they wear out. no need to prematurely change out part when they are still good.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
fuel filter
brake fluid
coolant

that's all you really need to do, and change other parts as they wear out. no need to prematurely change out part when they are still good.
Fuel Filter is cheap enough I found one for $38 online, that seems like a good idea. Brake fluid and coolant is also an easy DIY?
 

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Fuel Filter is cheap enough I found one for $38 online, that seems like a good idea. Brake fluid and coolant is also an easy DIY?
they're relatively easy. but if you're not comfortable doing your own brake fluid then you should just let a professional do it. you don't want to be trying to stop from 30mph to realize that you didn't do your brake fluid right.
 

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getting close to time to consider water pump repalcement. if you search here you'll see they are a notoriously weak component on these cars. if/when you do that consider all the other coolant system while you're in there: belts, t-stat, tensioners, expansion tank (another notorious weak item). lots of good diys for these here,

some with auto trannys also go for atf change by about 75k.
 

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For an excellent site on known failure items on the e46 chassis and m54 engine, check out this link: http://edgemotorworks.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25&Itemid=55

Before I found that web site, my BMW dealership confirmed some of the concern areas that are listed on that site as having failed on my 325i (at 100,000 miles), such as the power steering hoses, ball joints, and valve cover gasket.

Like djacs1 mentioned, above, I am going to preventatively swap out the water pump after I get the suspension upgraded. I do not want the water pump to fail while my wife is driving the car!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For an excellent site on known failure items on the e46 chassis and m54 engine, check out this link: http://edgemotorworks.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25&Itemid=55

Before I found that web site, my BMW dealership confirmed some of the concern areas that are listed on that site as having failed on my 325i (at 100,000 miles), such as the power steering hoses, ball joints, and valve cover gasket.

Like djacs1 mentioned, above, I am going to preventatively swap out the water pump after I get the suspension upgraded. I do not want the water pump to fail while my wife is driving the car!
what happens exactly if water pump fails, the car will just not run, over heat??
 

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A water pump failure will result in an extremely rapid spike in engine temperature within a couple of minutes (or sooner!) of failure.

Failure to shut off the engine ASAP will likely result in some type of catastrophic mechanical failure to the engine because of the extreme heat, such as a cracked block, warped intake manifold, or other type of extremely costly repair.

I haven't seen anything stating that the computers on BMW's are smart enough to identify this type of temperature spike or loss of fluid circulation and shut off the engine automatically.

Since my wife and kids drive the car more often than me and wouldn't have the mechanical awareness until after the damage was done, I am going to heed the warnings that the water pump is on the short list of components that may fail after 75,000 miles and change it out, since I am at 100,000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A water pump failure will result in an extremely rapid spike in engine temperature within a couple of minutes (or sooner!) of failure.

Failure to shut off the engine ASAP will likely result in some type of catastrophic mechanical failure to the engine because of the extreme heat, such as a cracked block, warped intake manifold, or other type of extremely costly repair.

I haven't seen anything stating that the computers on BMW's are smart enough to identify this type of temperature spike or loss of fluid circulation and shut off the engine automatically.

Since my wife and kids drive the car more often than me and wouldn't have the mechanical awareness until after the damage was done, I am going to heed the warnings that the water pump is on the short list of components that may fail after 75,000 miles and change it out, since I am at 100,000 miles.
See now this is what I was looking for, I WOULD have no idea whats going on if this were me and I would probably continue to try and drive it. Now there is now way I will risk this. $45 here on ebay for a new pump.

Are there any other repairs I should consider under 100k miles, that could results in such extensive damage. Engine/trans/clutch damage is my biggest fear because I used the majority of my savings to buy this car with cash to avoid a loan, and my credit is not the best, so reliability is a must! Thanks for advice though I will feel more secure after changing the pump, now I just need to find a DIY for it and do it!
 

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So I'm picking up my 325i Monday. It has 65,000 miles, and I'm trying to get some Ideas for any type of maintenance work/tune up I can do on the car to increase reliability and gas mileage. Here is what was recently done, so it won't need this work:

-Brakes
-Shocks/struts
-New air filter
-oil change & filter
-Spark plugs were cleaned owner said but not replaced this week?

Any other Ideas? I don't mind trying to do most the work my self I'm pretty technical. Thanks for input guys!
DB,

Here is what I think you should do. First determine what has already been done to the car. Your local BMW should hopefully have some record of what was done to the car.

I would suggest the following parts to replace:
Control Arms & Bushings (Get from Ruben @ Desert Motor Works)
Rear Shock Mounts (Get from Ruben @ Desert Motor Works)
Stewart High Flow Water Pump (Better design than OEM; Get from Ruben @ Desert Motor Works also); relatively easy DIY install
Spark Plugs (relatively cheap $50ish); easy DIY install.
Fan & A/C Belt replacement - Do at the same time as the water pump. You will already have the front end disassembled to begin with.

Of course, do research first. Also, use the forum sponsors. Sponsors like Tischer BMW (Great for OEM Parts) and Desert Motors are awesome companies and very, very loyal to their customers. With eBay there is always a risk. There is also a DIY forum. Research there for how to take stuff apart.

Questions? Just ask. Welcome and enjoy :thumbsup:
 

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Just bought a 325xi with 65k miles. So far the following was either failing or close to failure and has been fixed

- front sway bar links
- power steering hose
- power steering reservoir
- water pump
- thermostat
- air filter
- cabin filter

I feel like an idiot because I let the shop order them instead of checking eBay.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
DB,

Here is what I think you should do. First determine what has already been done to the car. Your local BMW should hopefully have some record of what was done to the car.

I would suggest the following parts to replace:
Control Arms & Bushings (Get from Ruben @ Desert Motor Works)
Rear Shock Mounts (Get from Ruben @ Desert Motor Works)
Stewart High Flow Water Pump (Better design than OEM; Get from Ruben @ Desert Motor Works also); relatively easy DIY install
Spark Plugs (relatively cheap $50ish); easy DIY install.
Fan & A/C Belt replacement - Do at the same time as the water pump. You will already have the front end disassembled to begin with.

Of course, do research first. Also, use the forum sponsors. Sponsors like Tischer BMW (Great for OEM Parts) and Desert Motors are awesome companies and very, very loyal to their customers. With eBay there is always a risk. There is also a DIY forum. Research there for how to take stuff apart.

Questions? Just ask. Welcome and enjoy :thumbsup:
Thanks a lot man for the help, its hard to find good help these days!
Question is the $200 pump really worth the extra $, see the car is a salvage title to begin with and I don't think it has been too well maintained although owner claims it has and its mechanically perfect, it did pass mechanical inspection though. But I just don't want to invest too much, I'm also on a very tight budget because I had to buy it with cash, pretty much all my stock and savings account. but I don't want to neglect really necessary repairs. So the ebay route for parts may be smartest for me, I really just need the save the most $ as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just bought a 325xi with 65k miles. So far the following was either failing or close to failure and has been fixed

- front sway bar links
- power steering hose
- power steering reservoir
- water pump
- thermostat
- air filter
- cabin filter

I feel like an idiot because I let the shop order them instead of checking eBay.
cabin filter, air filter I know for a fact I can do. Which of the other parts did you notice really effected the cars performance, when you say they were "failing". I dont' even know what symptoms to look for to figure out what will need to be replaced first. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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cabin filter, air filter I know for a fact I can do. Which of the other parts did you notice really effected the cars performance, when you say they were "failing". I dont' even know what symptoms to look for to figure out what will need to be replaced first. Thanks!
Sway bars links - If they went bad you would feel the car swerving all over the road. Diagnosed by my mechanic, he said they were loose at the joints and would move when pushed by force.
Power steering hose/reservoir - If bad would make parking and any other low-speed turn much harder. Leakage was obvious from the hose, but mechanic diagnosed reservoir somehow; he said it was causing the hose leak.
Water pump - If it died the engine could overheat within minutes and create massive internal damage. Diagnosed by mechanic, the middle/inside part of it would move around when tugged at showing that the seal (I think?) wasn't tight.
Thermostat - Mechanic said it should be replaced when water pump is replaced, at this point I didn't ask any more questions.

Hope this helped, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sway bars links - If they went bad you would feel the car swerving all over the road. Diagnosed by my mechanic, he said they were loose at the joints and would move when pushed by force.
Power steering hose/reservoir - If bad would make parking and any other low-speed turn much harder. Leakage was obvious from the hose, but mechanic diagnosed reservoir somehow; he said it was causing the hose leak.
Water pump - If it died the engine could overheat within minutes and create massive internal damage. Diagnosed by mechanic, the middle/inside part of it would move around when tugged at showing that the seal (I think?) wasn't tight.
Thermostat - Mechanic said it should be replaced when water pump is replaced, at this point I didn't ask any more questions.

Hope this helped, good luck.
Much help! out of curiosity, did you go to BMW dealership for repairs, and what did you end up paying? I'm going to do tthe water pump ASAP but thats all I know of for sure. thanks
 
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