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What should be the first thing I do for my e46? After a proper cleaning and polishing. The poor baby has been standing alone for 5 years. So needs some much needed TLC. But after all of that, what should I focus on?
Hello there!
Well, it's arbitrary question – I would say in such order:

1) Oil change – better be 5W40. Higher than manufacturer recommended viscosity (5W30) is better for higher mileage and warmer climate. Oil change includes oil filter, 2 oil rings and 6 liters of oil.
2) I would go for coil and spark plugs – remove and replace. At least spark plugs for starters. Lucky for you – you have 4 cylinders instead of 6.
3) Main air filter. Cabin filter can wait.
4) Power steering fluid.
5) Transmission fluid
6) Pretty much all the fluids, actually. I would also do engine flush before changing oil to clean all the mess.
7) Get yourself a decent OBD scanner – best option – just get a cable with OBD port and 'BMW Scanner' from PA Soft. Soft ware is free, cable is around $30. Will have better understanding and we around here would be able to help you faster :)

Good luck!
 

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Thanks so much. I've been working on her, and last night came to the horrifying realization that the plank who had it before me, put petrol in with the diesel. I wish I knew who it was so I can give him/her/it a piece of my mind. Luckily it seems that she wasn't as badly damaged and it might only be the injectors that need to be cleaned along with a complete fuel system flush
It happens. Not as bad as you think. It’s not great though. Need to do injector cleaning, fuel filter replacement and valve cleaning as well. Liqui Molly can help with some of it. Would also do a fuel lines pro-cleaning and after that - make sure to check the fuel pressure. I believe it has to be around 50psi, might be different for diesel though
 

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