BMW E46 Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place here. I am the original owner of the car, got it back in 1998. I promised this car to my son when he was five and he turned 16 last week.

I have done a lot of great things to it but it is at its point in his life that it needs more service than it's worth. Take a look at the dealer service invoice and tell me what you would do. Sell it and buy a $5000 car or fix this one?

If you're wondering why I just don't take it to a mom-and-pop shop well, the answer is, that I did. I took it to one of the best in my area his computer diagnostics could only go so far, could not pinpoint the problem.

Sadly, the dealer did-


So.....
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,046 Posts
The leaking valve cover is the most critical of these, and you can do it at home. I forget the price of the gaskets, but I'm thinking 50 bucks, or so. The traction control is not a thing that you need to deal with, lots of kids learned to drive cars that do not have this feature. Smack him on the back of the head and tell him to drive as if he was carrying a fish bowl on the front seat, and he had better not spill so much as a single drop of water. The rear diff is something that may or may not need attention. My instinct is, not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
827 Posts
You did not mention how many miles on the car. These are not easy to sell, as there are still a lot of them around (I know - I tried). Unless you can DIY most of the items it does present a costly problem.

An example I can give is the car I am working on right now, which I also purchased (factory ordered) new. My son drove it the last 6 years (essentially no maintenance except oil changes) and gave it back to me (no car needed when you move to NYC). At 215K miles no one will even look at it, but as the engine runs as good as the day I picked it up thus decided to overhaul for the next person in the family that may need a car (which could be my son again). The past week I did the following:
  • Valve Cover Gaskets
  • Spark Plugs
  • Water Pump
  • Radiator Hoses
  • Coolant Flush
  • Replace all Power steering hoses and tank
  • Replace Oil filter housing gasket
  • Replace vanos oil feed line
  • Tensioner Pulley (was noisy when spun)
  • New (Rebuilt) Alternator (checking the brushes it was going to fail within 10K miles)
  • New belts
Grand total was just over $500.

I tackled the sagging headliner last month. It's not done, this is just all the under hood stuff. Still needs shocks. Oh yea and then there is the clutch which is still the original. Not that expensive in parts, but without a lift I cannot do this myself.

I paid less than $23 for the valve cover gasket and the 15 rubber sealing washers.

The ASC/ABS units can be rebuilt or exchanged for a rebuilt allowing you to do it yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,053 Posts
Father n Son project. :thumbsup:
 

·
Ironman
01 330iT 6MT, 98 M Roadster
Joined
·
4,946 Posts
Father n Son project. :thumbsup:
BINGO!

I suggest having whomever deal with anything that needs specialty tools. From what I can see there, that's only the ASC module, and if your son is good with computers, with a small investment, he may be able to handle that.

If I were in your situation, I'd look at it this way. The kid doesn't need a car right this minute does he? If not, I'd make a deal with him: I'll buy the parts and I'll match your labor, hour for hour (except the hours you're at work - hey that pays for the parts). He'll learn something (perhaps both of you) and it's an opportunity to be close.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
I would just do the valve cover gasket and maybe find a shop that could do the module for cheaper. Top the diff up and power steering fluid as well, but I wouldn't waste time replacing either. Most kids that post about their first e46 on here end up wrecking a few months later anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,546 Posts
If you own an E46 and you're not DIYing EVERYTHING, then you're doing it wrong or you have more money than sense. You could do all that yourself for a few hundred.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
498 Posts
Valve cover gasket is like $70 worth of parts and an hour tops job: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR_krqKVAAo
Is your rear differential leaking badly? Is there a puddle under the car? If there isn't, I wouldn't worry about it. It's an old car, it has leaks.

You have to remember a dealership is trying to get every penny out of you. If my car needed these things done, I wouldn't even bat an eye, these aren't major issues. :)
 

·
Registered
E39 E90 E46 F10
Joined
·
4,908 Posts
Devil's Advocate - Dealer replacing a module does not always equal Dealer fixing the issue. If you were to jump on this, make sure you have an understanding with the dealer, verbal or otherwise that whatever the problem is will be remedied. Thats a ridiculous amount of $$$ to throw if they're just seeing what sticks approach.

That said, with this much money at stake I would invest in a reader like PA Soft (so you can read all modules) first and see what the issue is. It could be a much cheaper fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
ASC-T module can be repaired I think. Google it.

Sent from my Samsung S8
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Dealer prices are often great exaggerated for out of warranty repairs. Take it with a grain of salt. For example, I had a PPI that said I needed a new transmission at a total cost of 12k. The car was listed for 11k. I called bullshit since my buddy is a tech and said these manual trans rarely go bad and weeping is normal. Turns out they were full of shit. There was no leak or issue and it shifts fine. Changed the oil and it works perfectly now. Get and 2nd opinion if you can.

Sent from my Samsung S8
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
money + tools + EDUCATION + TIME = successful DIY. Education & time are the most critical factors, I think. Are you in a hurry? If yes, you might run into problems. If no, then why not do it yourself? It will be an adventure for you, that's for sure. And that's a healthy thing for any person.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,449 Posts
Your son should be learning to work on cars. Tell him to sign up for e46f and start reading. Get him a set of tools. Prep him for life.

As said, these jobs are easy. The dsc thing, well, scan the fault and find out the exact sensor that failed. It's probably like 10 dollars on ebay. swap it out, and pay someone on the forums to reprogram it to the car.

or sell the car and use it as a downpayment on a new civic lease.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
On one hand, I can see that the valve cover gasket could teach your son a few things about cars. Do it and forget the rest. On the other hand, how much longer is this car going to last and how much time do you want to devote to teaching your son about the car?
Dump it and get a honda civic for him. My guess is there will be more BMW issues in the near future.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top