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2005 BMW 330i
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759 Posts
Yep, as a new e39 owner, cup holders are laughable, not that I need them.
Lol eBay to the rescue but those were subpar at best. I miss my 540i6 now that you mention E39s
 

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The fact that it felt like everything was designed with a finite useful service life. The stupidest things would break, but then I would try to write it off as "pay to play." But Mercedes & Audi don't typically suffer from these issues all too much.

I had a 2000 328i, sold it for a Crown Vic which I wrecked, and now have an Accord Coupe. I should have kept the 328i and maybe I wouldn't be still suffering a foot injury.
 

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'03 325iT Mystic Blau
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The fact that it felt like everything was designed with a finite useful service life. The stupidest things would break, but then I would try to write it off as "pay to play." But Mercedes & Audi don't typically suffer from these issues all too much.

I had a 2000 328i, sold it for a Crown Vic which I wrecked, and now have an Accord Coupe. I should have kept the 328i and maybe I wouldn't be still suffering a foot injury.
I don't know man. My experience with Audis of the same vintage as my E46 has been far worse than what I've seen from BMW. Broken expansion tanks as frequent, and far more electrical issues.
I was doing the wrenching on a coworker's B6 A4 and that dude ran a continual $800 backlog of things that needed to be addressed up until he finally got rid of that car.
 

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'02 330i 5-Speed
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5,638 Posts
I like Audi, and I crossed-shopped B6 A4s before I got my E46. I thought about getting one with a 3.0 V6 (don't like the 4cyl sound), but then I read about worn camshaft lobes (!). I mean, talk about a serious metallurgical fail. Every other car company has this figured out...
 

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'03 325iT Mystic Blau
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I like Audi, and I crossed-shopped B6 A4s before I got my E46. I thought about getting one with a 3.0 V6 (don't like the 4cyl sound), but then I read about worn camshaft lobes (!). I mean, talk about a serious metallurgical fail. Every other car company has this figured out...
That's what my coworker had. Fantastic looking car, but it was just one thing after another after another.

And it understeered like mad, all that weight ahead of the front axle, making it a terrible car to autocross. Even though it had decent power it couldn't get out of its own way because it couldn't turn in.
 

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'04 325i, '02 325iT
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894 Posts
Similar story here with a coworker. He's got a 2003 S4 and always seems to be fixing something. On top of the regular issues you'd see in an A4, the V8 in the S4 has timing chain/guide issues that cost a couple grand to fix. He's at less than 100,000 miles but that is about the time when things go really wrong so he had it done as PM a few years ago.
 

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'02 330i 5-Speed
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5,638 Posts
Fantastic looking car, but it was just one thing after another after another.
Given the fact that our E46s are pretty demanding maintenance-wise as well, we should probably recognize the irony of what we're giving Audi grief for... 😂

That said, what ultimately soured me on a A4 (besides a slicktop manual 330 popping up for sale about 10 miles from my house) was the fact that its flaws like the camshaft lobes and even the premature wear on the HVAC buttons were so fundamental and un-fixable. The E46 has its problem areas, sure, but it's mostly "peripheral" stuff.
 

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'03 325iT Mystic Blau
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Given the fact that our E46s are pretty demanding maintenance-wise as well, we should probably recognize the irony of what we're giving Audi grief for... 😂
I was comparing apples to apples my experiences with the two cars.

My dude was constantly chasing maintenance issues whereas I'm current on maintenance and making advances.
🤷
 

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I'm current on maintenance and making advances.
hee.

I hope to advance to the 'almost caught up' stage... one day.
Which, I'm sure, will be after I stop commuting in it.

What I hate LEAST about the car is that I REALLY ENJOY driving it.
I don't even mind looking at it as I'm walking out to get into it.

t
 

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Broken lowermost coil with the rear springs, A & C pillar trim peeling off, B pillar trim worn by the seatbelt, the cough of the intake manifold when there's enough loss of engine vacuum and the DISA valve opens on engine shut-down, elephant trunk, growing reluctor wheels that eat wheel speed sensors in the rear of the car, yaw/rotation rate sensors going bad, brake pressure sensors going bad, as Sapote pointed out; the myriad issues with properly filling a cooling system owing to an expansion tank design, P/S pumps that suddenly fail with a snapped input shaft, the omnipresent ATF leak from the P/S reservoir, the shitty antenna built into the rear glass.
"the cough of the intake manifold when there's enough loss of engine vacuum and the DISA valve opens on engine shut-down". So that is what that is!!!! Makes total sense! Thank you!
 

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2003 325i MT
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5 Posts
Given the fact that our E46s are pretty demanding maintenance-wise as well, we should probably recognize the irony of what we're giving Audi grief for... 😂

That said, what ultimately soured me on a A4 (besides a slicktop manual 330 popping up for sale about 10 miles from my house) was the fact that its flaws like the camshaft lobes and even the premature wear on the HVAC buttons were so fundamental and un-fixable. The E46 has its problem areas, sure, but it's mostly "peripheral" stuff.
My first post.

I just picked up my brother's '03 325i MT with 86k miles that he bought new and imported into the US (US Spec) via his military move back to the US. I also own a chipped 2.0T B7 A4 quattro (2008) with 130k miles on it. I change the cam follower every 2-4 oil changes ($40 part, and can do it in 15 minutes, prevented any cam lobe issues), I did have to change one of the flap door actuators (air not blowing from center vents). I did have to replace the timing belt at 80k miles when I chipped it, and replaced the water pump and the belt and tensioners and all the wear items. Other than those, everything on the car is original (including the control arms). Now, I do have the final year, and because of that, I have the revised cam shaft which apparently is harder than the earlier versions.

I have followed the A4 forums since I owned the car (got it CPO in 2010), it seems there are WAY more issues with the e46 than the B7 A4. But to be honest I only know the B7 platform. I will agree that the B6/B7 S4 has a bad design that requires engine removal every 80k-100k miles, but that V8 tho.

My new to me e46, required an oil pan removal, new radiator (while I was at it, belts, water pump, tensioners, expansion tank, hoses), and I have just pulled the A, B, C pillars and the headliner all to be recovered for sagging material. My A4, has 0 panel cover issues, even once it became my wife's DD (and she is rough on vehicles). None of my AC buttons have problems, especially since it is just set to 2 zone auto, and never touched between NY summers and NY winters. The window buttons are showing wear (just like my BMW). Oh, and 0 window regulator issues (the BMW has had 2 replaced and another one is on its way out). No sunroof leaks (I had a leak in the e46, the hose came off the cassette drain). Also didn't have any wiring issues like the brake light ground issue (had to fix it on day 1, my brother had it fixed out of pocket the first time at BMW, and since they didn't run the ground wire to the board, it came back again).

Oh, and my flappy paddle A4 trans car, even before chipping, was WAY faster than this 325i. After chipping and at about 250-260 HP it blows away the 325i. I would compare the 3.2 A4 to the 330, I believe the A4 has 15-20 more HP.

I love both cars, but I'm not sure it is fair to even bring up the similar year A4's, they don't really have the issues these e46s have.

So as the owner of an e46 for 3 weeks, my list:

Saggy material on pillars and headliner
Radiator
Expansion tank
Upper and lower radiator hoses
Brake Light wiring
Window regulators
Engine gaskets (oil pan, Oil filter housing, valve cover, and oil dipstick)
Engine oil level sensor
AC center duct mount design (stereo installer broke it removing it for the Dynavin install)
Panel Mounting Clips (I've never had so many clips/mounts break, and I have a 1985 Benz 380SE)
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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5,028 Posts
My first post.

I just picked up my brother's '03 325i MT with 86k miles that he bought new and imported into the US (US Spec) via his military move back to the US. I also own a chipped 2.0T B7 A4 quattro (2008) with 130k miles on it. I change the cam follower every 2-4 oil changes ($40 part, and can do it in 15 minutes, prevented any cam lobe issues), I did have to change one of the flap door actuators (air not blowing from center vents). I did have to replace the timing belt at 80k miles when I chipped it, and replaced the water pump and the belt and tensioners and all the wear items. Other than those, everything on the car is original (including the control arms). Now, I do have the final year, and because of that, I have the revised cam shaft which apparently is harder than the earlier versions.

I have followed the A4 forums since I owned the car (got it CPO in 2010), it seems there are WAY more issues with the e46 than the B7 A4. But to be honest I only know the B7 platform. I will agree that the B6/B7 S4 has a bad design that requires engine removal every 80k-100k miles, but that V8 tho.

My new to me e46, required an oil pan removal, new radiator (while I was at it, belts, water pump, tensioners, expansion tank, hoses), and I have just pulled the A, B, C pillars and the headliner all to be recovered for sagging material. My A4, has 0 panel cover issues, even once it became my wife's DD (and she is rough on vehicles). None of my AC buttons have problems, especially since it is just set to 2 zone auto, and never touched between NY summers and NY winters. The window buttons are showing wear (just like my BMW). Oh, and 0 window regulator issues (the BMW has had 2 replaced and another one is on its way out). No sunroof leaks (I had a leak in the e46, the hose came off the cassette drain). Also didn't have any wiring issues like the brake light ground issue (had to fix it on day 1, my brother had it fixed out of pocket the first time at BMW, and since they didn't run the ground wire to the board, it came back again).

Oh, and my flappy paddle A4 trans car, even before chipping, was WAY faster than this 325i. After chipping and at about 250-260 HP it blows away the 325i. I would compare the 3.2 A4 to the 330, I believe the A4 has 15-20 more HP.

I love both cars, but I'm not sure it is fair to even bring up the similar year A4's, they don't really have the issues these e46s have.

So as the owner of an e46 for 3 weeks, my list:

Saggy material on pillars and headliner
Radiator
Expansion tank
Upper and lower radiator hoses
Brake Light wiring
Window regulators
Engine gaskets (oil pan, Oil filter housing, valve cover, and oil dipstick)
Engine oil level sensor
AC center duct mount design (stereo installer broke it removing it for the Dynavin install)
Panel Mounting Clips (I've never had so many clips/mounts break, and I have a 1985 Benz 380SE)
Nice first post.
Agree, the interior build material/quality was much better on the Audi of the time. No contest.
 

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And a ccv system designed with thin plastic hoses destined for multiple failures within the car's lifetime. And "interesting" to replace. Often wondered why someone doesn't offer a replacement in alternative material, a la vanos oil line, silicone vacuum hoses, etc.
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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And a ccv system designed with thin plastic hoses destined for multiple failures within the car's lifetime. And "interesting" to replace. Often wondered why someone doesn't offer a replacement in alternative material, a la vanos oil line, silicone vacuum hoses, etc.
Because the genuine part from the dealer is only $85 list and $120 for the cold version. Not much of an incentive to manufacture such a part. Had they done so years ago......
 

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Because the genuine part from the dealer is only $85 list and $120 for the cold version. Not much of an incentive to manufacture such a part. Had they done so years ago......
Agree. Just wish CCV hoses were 100k change intervals versus 40-50k (in Texas). Off-topic: had a nice west Texas run with Audi RS6 5L twin-tubo. Seems this uses a Lamborghini V10 engine biturbo'd by Audi. The bimmer is happy, and hopefully burned off some carbon
 

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Window regulators! They started failing when the car was still under warranty! BMW replaced all four of mine at least once on their dime! I think by now (it is a 2000) they have all been replaced at least TWICE! Come on, BMW! You hear that cracking sound which means they are about to give out and then you have stop rolling the windows down until you can get it fixed. And then a well-meaning passenger does it and they break! How embarrassing! Usually you can force them back up by pulling, but one time I had to drive with a plastic garbage bag taped over the window. I have never had a car where even ONE window regulator broke let alone all of them multiple times! My neighbor's 5-series? Same issue! Ridiculous! It is clearly an engineering defect.
 
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