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Premium Member
2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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4,106 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The original maintenance schedules were great, but they failed to take into account the effects of age on our cars, especially the rubber bits. After maintaining my car to 200k, and after refreshing 3 more, I came up with this guide.

If you are asking "what should I do at xx miles", also ask "what should I do at xx years". For example, your M54 may have only 75k miles, but its CVV and vacuum system looks like a 150k mileage car. Both engines that I refreshed were at 125k, and both had major maintenance needs.

I also attached a chart by time/mileage, and indicated those items where the dates are suggestive, but no need to do until they are obviously gone.

Inspection I 60k
Inspection II 60k
Oil & filter change 7.5k
Air filter 2yrs/30k
Cabin filter 1yr/15k
Fuel Filter 60k

Fluids
Flush Brakes 2yrs/30k​
Flush Cooling system 3yrs/50k​
Flush Power Steering 50k (complete flush at 150k with new hoses)​
Flush Differential 4yrs/60k (Unless you drive significant miles per year, changing differential oil can possibly have some 15K miles added to it, once you notice (last change) that it looked almost new when changing it out. thanks, MrMcar)​
Flush Manual Trans 4yrs/60k​
Flush Auto Trans 5yrs/100k​

Fuel Pump 125k

O2 Sensor/MAF
O2 100k - (125k for wideband)​
MAF 150k​

Belts/Pulleys 4yr/60k
Water Pump/Thermostat 8yr/120k (every other cooling hose job)

Cooling Hoses
Upper and Lower radiator hoses(4yrs/60k)​
Hard lines (10yrs/150k)​
Heater hoses 170k​
Expansion Tank and filler cap 100k​
Radiator 125k​
Intake
DISA service (100k)​
Vacuum hoses and seals (10yrs/125k)​
Gasket (150k)​
CVV (8yrs/100k)​
Ignition/Power
Alternator 100k​
Starter Motor 125k​
Battery 3yrs​
Coils as they fail​
Plugs 100k​
Ignition switch 175k​
Brakes
Pads - as needed (80k)​
Rotors - Every or every other pad replacement​
Brake lines - soft (175k/12 yrs)​
Brake lines - hard 200k​
Calipers pistons and seals 200k​
Suspension
FCAB 80k​
Shocks/struts 125k​
RTAB, FCA 150k​
Front sway bar end links 150k​
Rear subframe and control arm bushings 175-200k​
Engine
VANOS seals 75k (use Beisan for longer interval)​
Valve Cover Gasket 100k​
Oil Filter Housing Gasket 100k​
Engine Mounts 150k​
Oil pan 150k​
Drivetrain
Flex disc 125k​
CSB 150k (easier to just do with Flex disc)​
Differential mounts 150k (especially rear - fronts last longer)​
Transmission mounts 150k​
Steering
Steering Giubo (150k/10 years)​
Pressure hose (150k/10 yrs)​
Reservoir hoses (150k/10 yrs)​
End links 175k​
 

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Registered
'02 330i 5-Speed
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5,261 Posts
Nice list! I plan on 75K for my expansion tank, and FCABs may need to be changed out sooner than every 80K. Also the longevity of the CCV system depends on one's climate. And no reason to change the plugs every 10K; more like 100K.

Needless to say most folks will just replace things like the MAF sensor or starter or alternator when they go bad...
 

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Premium Member
2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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4,106 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
nice thanks for this. only thing i would add from my list is center support bearing (CSB) at 150k.

i had been using this bavauto maintenance chart, but it's just not enough for these old cars.
I started with the Bavauto years ago, but I found some too obsessive, some like the MAF were missing, and most critically, it just did not address the rubber rot issues like the vacuum system.

Nice list! I plan on 75K for my expansion tank, and FCABs may need to be changed out sooner than every 80K. Also the longevity of the CCV system depends on one's climate. And no reason to change the plugs every 10K; more like 100K.

Needless to say most folks will just replace things like the MAF sensor or starter or alternator when they go bad...
Fixed the plugs - it was a typo!

For the items like alternator and starter, the mileage is just a suggestion of when it is likely to happen. I have only been stranded 2 times in 100k miles of driving - both by the alternator. I also had glitches when my starter and ignition switch died, but I was able to pop-start with the clutch.

If I had followed the list above I would never have been stranded, and I would have spent the same amount. So I can't predict when it "won't" fail, and even if alternator, starter, and ignition ended up being replaced unnecessarily, it is $475 total ($250 if you just do the voltage regulator).

My best advice - if you have original CVV at this point then pull the intake and do everything - CVV, vacuum, starter, crankshaft sensor, hard lines. It costs about $350 for the CVV parts, hard lines, gasket/seals/o-rings, some vacuum hoise, the CPS sensor and the starter, and takes about 4 hours. Add in the voltage regulator for $40 (Bosch) and that is a pretty good preventative maintenance move.

The MAF can't really be evaluated for soft failure, only when it totally sh**s the bed, so I feel it is unlike motor mounts, brakes and tires that can be evaluated clearly. Frankly, the same holds for items like flex discs. If you wait until the cord is sticking out on the flex disc, you are tens of thousands of miles past the replacement date. If you just replace it at 125k, you will definitely notice the difference.

You never need to have a P0171/0174 if you do maintenance, and it is not that expensive.
 

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2005 BMW 325xi
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213 Posts
Very comprehensive list, good work, great to follow up on what items should be done.
 

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43 Posts
Would you alter these age-based recommendations for a car that has been in garage storage for 10 years? I had mine looked over closely by a local indie shop and all they found was a bad fuel pump, and changed the oil. Specifically said all the fluids, rubber, lines, and hoses were fine. Now I need to deal with the fabric peeling off the A, B, and C pillars, and a blown rear speaker.
 

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2005 BMW 325xi
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213 Posts
If I may suggest that the rubber brake line hoses from the calipers to the steel brake fluid lines should be changed out around 15 years on these vehicles as well. Just my 2 cents.
 

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E39 E90 E46 F10
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4,918 Posts
Nice work. For FCAB’s, on the shitty Bay Area streets anyway, I’ve seen them consistently tear/leak at ~55k. So I would replace those around 50k. That’s on Lemfoerders and OE (same thing).
 

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'03 325iT Mystic Blau
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2,353 Posts
Thanks. Curious what the symptoms for that isolator failure. Updating my own PM list and real-world experience is valuable and appreciated.
The symptom was banging under acceleration from the trans tunnel area, under the console. The isolator failing lets the bearing and joint have uncontrolled movement, let it go too long and it'll destroy the mount.
 

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E39 E90 E46 F10
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4,918 Posts
The symptom was banging under acceleration from the trans tunnel area, under the console. The isolator failing lets the bearing and joint have uncontrolled movement, let it go too long and it'll destroy the mount.
Thanks! Mine’s started with the intermittent clicking. I think I’ll get under there before I get to the symptoms you describe.
 

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Premium Member
2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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4,106 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Archbid, curious what problems you had with the CSB at 150k?
Torn rubber, lots of play. I only noticed because I was doing a swap so I had it out.

I also believe that there are work ***8220;chunks.***8221; In this case:

  • Flex disc
  • CSB
  • Tranny mounts
  • Exhaust flange studs and gaskets
  • Shifter linkage bushings (if manual)
  • (Selector seal) optional if seeping
The symptom was banging under acceleration from the trans tunnel area, under the console. The isolator failing lets the bearing and joint have uncontrolled movement, let it go too long and it'll destroy the mount.
It will also damage the u-joint on the driveshaft
 

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Premium Member
2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
Joined
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4,106 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Would you alter these age-based recommendations for a car that has been in garage storage for 10 years? I had mine looked over closely by a local indie shop and all they found was a bad fuel pump, and changed the oil. Specifically said all the fluids, rubber, lines, and hoses were fine. Now I need to deal with the fabric peeling off the A, B, and C pillars, and a blown rear speaker.
That is an excellent question, and I don’t know the answer. If I were in your shoes I would do two things: first I would get the fuel trims checked. LTFTs are supposed to be +/- 2%, so if you are 6+ there is most likely degradation of seals and rubber. I’d also pinch the hose that runs across the top of the manifold and see if it cracks.
 

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'03 325iT Mystic Blau
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2,353 Posts
What's your opinion on Auto Tranny fluid? I'm at 102k - flush it or leave it alone?
Here comes the controversy, but you're perfectly at the "change it" stage. BMW called it "lifetime" with the idea that ~100k was going to be the lifetime of the car.

Personally, I think that a lot of the notion that you should not change it on higher mileage cars comes from shops who don't want to take on the potential liability of a trans failing right after they changed the fluid. If you think about it, there is no other fluid on a car that anyone will say "if you haven't changed in all this time you're better off leaving it alone", they'll say in every other case "are you crazy?! Let's get that out of there!"
 

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Premium Member
2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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4,106 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I am working on my first two A/T cars right now and am flushing both - one at 125k and another at 175k. I'll let you know in a few weeks if either blows up, but I always bias towards maintenance. I hate endless codes.

Drained and filled the 125k car - absolutely no issues
Flushed the 158k car - absolutely no issues
Did not flush the high mileage car because the owner drove it to Tahoe and is sheltering there
 
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