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Discussion Starter #1
L&G,

Hope you all are doing well. So I took my car ('04 E46 325i, 50k miles approx) in to the Stealership since they had a free checkup day and had them take a look at it.

This is what they had to say:

1) Both front control arm bushings - $618 (3 hrs labour, $200 parts)
2) Power steering flush - $190 (2 hrs labour)
3) Brake fluid flush - $130 (1 hr labour)
4) Brakes; Rear pads and rotors - $ 653 (2 hrs labour, 150 parts?)
5) Front Window regulators both - Approx $600
6) Replace all 4 tires ($500 or so)

Anyway, I think I'd like to tackle some of this stuff on my own. I don't own any tools or anything but if I buy parts and get to work I might be able to save myself a few $$!

I wanted to ask you guys if this stuff was
A) Do-able for a noob like me?
B) What should I start off with first?

Since it looks like i'll have to take the tires off and do a bunch of stuff...should I do one thing before another?

Any info you can give me will be ACE! Thanks all...
 

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OMG hows you ass feel? I'd never take my car there again. Everything is a fairly simple job. Brake fluid flush and power steering flush are a fn joke.
 

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Start with a Turkey baster, two bottles of Dex III and read up on turkey baster PS fluid flush.

Then continue reading here. Almost all is easy to do if you're a decent student and study and analyze all the competing opinions. I always suggest you study the diys until you're nauseous..maybe having convulsions...then you're ready to work on the car.

For less than half the cost of one of their repairs, you've bought all the tools you need to work on the car...toss in some ramps, jack, and jack stand...and an xl50, and you'll be an official Internet mechanic!

DIY instructions and vids on everything. This is an awesome place...just ignore the beagle lovers is all I can say. Something definitely wrong with them, but you can usually figure out what they're into within a few words of their posts!
 

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Consider youself lucky. The stealership will recommend these things on just about every car they look at. The brakes appear to be a simple job, good videos on YouTube to walk you through. The power steering flush is about as simple a DIY you can do.
 

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^+1 If you buy the tools you need in order to do the work yourself, you will still have saved several hundred dollars.

Check online for best prices for the parts you will need as you will save a ton of money there as well.

Here is a short list for you to check out parts and prices (if you don't already know, that is):

realoem.com - great place to look up part numbers (not retail site)
pelicanparts.com
ecstuning.com
autohausaz.com
getbmwparts.com
fcpgroton.com

There are tons of other sites for OEM parts, but these have been my go to sites for several years now.
 

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I have done 4/6 of those in the last 2 weeks.
1. Tires I bought from tire rack and had an indy place install them. I paid 618 for some Continentals and i think they are amazing. They are the highest rated summer max tire, and extremely happy with them. I paid the indy another 80.00 to mount and balance and dispose of the old tires, so 700.00 i dont consider bad.
2. Power Steering flush, I just did this monday. Bought a bottle of Redline D4ATF from amazon for 10.49 shipped. Either use a turkey baster, or I used a MityVac and it took about 20 minutes. SUPER EASY. Suck oil out of reservoir, Add new oil, Turn on car and turn the steering wheel for a couple mins to move the fluid, and Repeat til bottle is empty. NEVER pay someone to do that. No tools req.
3. Brake Fluid flush, This I actually had BMW do just because they have a cool machine that hooks up to each wheel and bleeds it quick, where as I would have to go to each wheel and use my MityVac and I figure for $130.00, id rather save my time and just pay them. However, if you are all about saving $$$$, very easy DIY.
4. As for control bushings, when I had my new tires installed, noticed that the FCAB were worn. You can buy them online for under $175 on just about any site, and under $130 if you look around. This is also very easy, but will require a few tools, (jack, jackstands, socket, and a socket wrench). IMO, if you have a few common mechanical tools and some mechanical know-how, u could do this yourself easily.

Finally, ill put an end to this book I wrote. The other 2 I have not had to do yet, but again are nothing too difficult if you got a little time and a little know-how.
 

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The front window regulators are about $100 parts each regulator and about 1.5-2 hrs time for each door. www.bavauto.com has a great video. Were your windows not moving up/down properly or making noises? If not... no need to replace the regulators.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My325xi, thanks for your post. I think the window regulators need to be changed because they have started making noises when they go up and down...especially the driver's side one. It also goes up far slower than the others.

Also, does anyone know what kind of Power Steering fluid I should be using if I have a Manual 5 speed '04 325i? I keep seeing info on Dextron III ATF fluid but I think that's just for Auto Trannies right?
Please help
 

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at first i was going to flame u for paying that much but this was a a stealership
 

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My325xi, thanks for your post. I think the window regulators need to be changed because they have started making noises when they go up and down...especially the driver's side one. It also goes up far slower than the others.

Also, does anyone know what kind of Power Steering fluid I should be using if I have a Manual 5 speed '04 325i? I keep seeing info on Dextron III ATF fluid but I think that's just for Auto Trannies right?
Please help
It'll be in your manual, but the Dex III is ATF fluid which happens to be used in the PS reservoir...marked "ATF only." I don't know what ATF fluid auto's are supposed to have in the trans, but believe it's not Dex III. Check your manual just to make sure they didn't make a change for your PS system.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I didn't get the manual with my car, I bought it from a San Antonio Audi dealership (second hand) back in '07. They didn't have the manual or a spare key :(
Is there a another way to find out what kind of power transmission fluid my car needs?


ramtin325i, I haven't paid anything yet. I just went there for a free quote since it was free quote day :)
 

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I didn't get the manual with my car, I bought it from a San Antonio Audi dealership (second hand) back in '07. They didn't have the manual or a spare key :(
Is there a another way to find out what kind of power transmission fluid my car needs?


ramtin325i, I haven't paid anything yet. I just went there for a free quote since it was free quote day :)
D3 ATF is what you need for your power steering. You can get it at any auto parts store for around $8. I got a bottle of Mobil 1 synthetic D3 ATF for $8.99 or something from O'Reilly's. Used the mityvac and did the flush that way, took like 20mins tops.

The transmission itself, if you have a manual, would need something like Royal Purple Synchromax or RedLine MTL.
 

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I would start learning how to diagnose when things need to be replaced yourself and not just believe what the dealership tells you. Not saying don't trust them, but it doesn't hurt to verify. I was once quoted $1200 for a power steering leak. Ended up fixing myself with a $2 clip thanks to this awesome forum!
 

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@ factor. Hey bro if you live in SA I can help you out man. I have done a lot if work on my e46 and I wouldn't mind helping out. Just bring some cold ones though...
 

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The "stealership" had a free check up day?

Did you read your post before you made the thread.

Do you realize how contradictory that is?

Not all dealerships are "stealerships". Stop making hasty generalizations.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@ factor. Hey bro if you live in SA I can help you out man. I have done a lot if work on my e46 and I wouldn't mind helping out. Just bring some cold ones though...
Angel thanks bro, I really appreciate your willingness to help. I live in Houston though :( but thanks so much!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The "stealership" had a free check up day?

Did you read your post before you made the thread.

Do you realize how contradictory that is?

Not all dealerships are "stealerships". Stop making hasty generalizations.
Mate, I agree...generalizations are no good. I was just having a bit of fun with words there. However, if you had nothing to contribute to this thread why bother to post?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Update: I went to an indy shop today to get a second opinion and they said that FCABs did need replacement as did the rear brakes. The guy was really nice, fixed my rear light problem while I was there (notorious with BMWs) for free! He also asked me to come back when the sensor light for the brakes came on. I still wanna do this stuff myself so I will endeavor to...I bought FCABS from AutohausAZ.com for $88 w/fs. Not a bad deal for MeyleHDs. I will probably buy rear brakes and get them fixed too...
My question is, does anyone know of a good place to get brakes from? How much do they usually cost? I am looking on AutohausAZ and this is what I see

34211165563OP
OP Parts
Brake Disc/Brake Rotor; Rear Left/Right; Vented 294x19mm
2004 BMW 325I
$53.94

83192158851
Genuine BMW
Brake Pad Set; Brake Pad Installation Lubricant; 3 Gram Packet
2004 BMW 325I
$1.56

34216750190
ATE
Brake Pad Set; Rear; OE Compound Narrow Clip Style for E36-E46 3-Series
2004 BMW 325I
$40.46

Do these prices look decent? Or should I buy a specific brand? Thanks!
 

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you can honestly do all of those yourself. If you go to AutoZone, Advanced, places like that. they rent tools also. you just put a downpayment on it. I had to rent a pully to do my bushings. ended up not using it, just hit it off with a flat head screw driver and hammer
 

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Update: I went to an indy shop today to get a second opinion and they said that FCABs did need replacement as did the rear brakes. The guy was really nice, fixed my rear light problem while I was there (notorious with BMWs) for free! He also asked me to come back when the sensor light for the brakes came on. I still wanna do this stuff myself so I will endeavor to...I bought FCABS from AutohausAZ.com for $88 w/fs. Not a bad deal for MeyleHDs. I will probably buy rear brakes and get them fixed too...
My question is, does anyone know of a good place to get brakes from? How much do they usually cost? I am looking on AutohausAZ and this is what I see

34211165563OP
OP Parts
Brake Disc/Brake Rotor; Rear Left/Right; Vented 294x19mm
2004 BMW 325I
$53.94

83192158851
Genuine BMW
Brake Pad Set; Brake Pad Installation Lubricant; 3 Gram Packet
2004 BMW 325I
$1.56

34216750190
ATE
Brake Pad Set; Rear; OE Compound Narrow Clip Style for E36-E46 3-Series
2004 BMW 325I
$40.46

Do these prices look decent? Or should I buy a specific brand? Thanks!
I think this is a very good deal: http://www.oembimmerparts.com/catalog/item/4237232/7989989.htm hope this helps.
 
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