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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
To anyone who owns a BMW E46 or anyone thinking of buying one. Here are a few things you should know about the E46 if you don't already know. I should mention my car is a 2001 325i. I purchased it with 46k miles about 4 years ago.
BMW makes a very solid car, Hell the I6 engine was made for airplanes. But all the plastic/rubber parts are going to cause you grief.. If you are not a DIYer, this car will cost you more than it's worth.

I am listing below the parts I have replaced over my 4 years of ownership.. I have changed the oil and air/cabin filter regularly, I go about 8-9k before changing.. I know, BMW recommends 15k but I just can't bring myself to wait that long.

I don't condone this as a maintenance schedule by any means. Just my experience!

Miles Driven:
(47k) New 17" wheels. Cause to stock 16" wheels suck.. $1300
(58k) Control Arm Bushings..Anyone who owns an e46 with over 50k miles has replaced these or is going too..$100 DIY
(75k) Valve cover gasket (and spark plugs) cause you got it opened up anyway.. My gasket was dry cracked and leaking..about $85 DIY
(80k) Oil filter housing gasket. Discovered my car was still leaking oil after valve cover gasket replacement. $9 part 4 hours DIY..
(115k) Coolant system flush, New AC and Alternator belts. $125 DIY
(125k) Here is where the fun really starts!!! :banghead: PCV/CCV valve and all hoses replaced cause mine were cracked and bridle which caused vacuum leaks and erratic idle. $200 DIY. I then couldn't start the car because the throttle body had to be reprogrammed. (I posted on here about this last month under post "Won't Start") I had the car towed to the first shop.. $50 Tow $250 new battery and labor. To be honest the car needed a battery anyway. $65 tow to BMW for $210 diagnostic and reprogram of the throttle body cause first shop didn't have the equipment to reprogram. Car now running again.
Then complete coolant system change cause mine was leaking.. New parts include the Radiator, Expansion tank, upper hose, lower hose, thermostat, temp sensor, and every other plastic part in the system..$750 at the shop cause I had no choice.
(126k) Rear shocks as mine were dead, I went to NAPA and bought the cheapest ones I could find $36 a piece.. Front shocks need replacement as well. Will be ordering a whole new suspension when I get the money.. I want to put a sport suspension on mine.
(128k) Idler pulley, Alternator tensioner pulley. $75 DIY
(129k) Water pump, fuel filter and AC tensioner pulley this weekend just for preventive maint. I know I should have replaced the fuel filter long ago.

Having said all that, I must now say I love my car and just can't see driving anything else. I have thought about selling it a couple times but I just can't bring myself to spend 30k on something else especially since mine is paid off. I plan to get at least 250k miles or more out this car.

I have to issue a personal thanks to all who post threads on e46fanactis, you folks have helped me diagnose and fix several things that would have otherwise cost me much more money.

Add anything you want. Make fun of my lack of maintenance or whatever..All comments welcome.

Thanks for reading!! I hope it was worth it to someone..
 

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I've had my car since 40k and its now at 134k. Thanks to this amazing forum not only have I been able to maintain and mod it properly, but I know I'll be able to get a lot more out of the car. I've thought about selling it also since its paid off, but the more I mod and drive the more I fall back in love. Props to E46Fanatics for all the help and money saving!! :thumbsup:
 

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Great job! Glad to see another forum member taking such great care of their car. It's funny really, I see most E46's at this mileage with the same exact parts being replaced. I have 123k on my 330i and I've replaced every single part you've mentioned here, except for the CCV.
 

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To anyone who owns a BMW E46 or anyone thinking of buying one. Here are a few things you should know about the E46 if you don't already know. I should mention my car is a 2001 325i. I purchased it with 46k miles about 4 years ago.
BMW makes a very solid car, Hell the I6 engine was made for airplanes. But all the plastic/rubber parts are going to cause you grief.. If you are not a DIYer, this car will cost you more than it's worth.

I am listing below the parts I have replaced over my 4 years of ownership.. I have changed the oil and air/cabin filter regularly, I go about 8-9k before changing.. I know, BMW recommends 15k but I just can't bring myself to wait that long.

I don't condone this as a maintenance schedule by any means. Just my experience!

Miles Driven:
(47k) New 17" wheels. Cause to stock 16" wheels suck.. $1300
(58k) Control Arm Bushings..Anyone who owns an e46 with over 50k miles has replaced these or is going too..$100 DIY
(75k) Valve cover gasket (and spark plugs) cause you got it opened up anyway.. My gasket was dry cracked and leaking..about $85 DIY
(80k) Oil filter housing gasket. Discovered my car was still leaking oil after valve cover gasket replacement. $9 part 4 hours DIY..
(115k) Coolant system flush, New AC and Alternator belts. $125 DIY
(125k) Here is where the fun really starts!!! :banghead: PCV/CCV valve and all hoses replaced cause mine were cracked and bridle which caused vacuum leaks and erratic idle. $200 DIY. I then couldn't start the car because the throttle body had to be reprogrammed. (I posted on here about this last month under post "Won't Start") I had the car towed to the first shop.. $50 Tow $250 new battery and labor. To be honest the car needed a battery anyway. $65 tow to BMW for $210 diagnostic and reprogram of the throttle body cause first shop didn't have the equipment to reprogram. Car now running again.
Then complete coolant system change cause mine was leaking.. New parts include the Radiator, Expansion tank, upper hose, lower hose, thermostat, temp sensor, and every other plastic part in the system..$750 at the shop cause I had no choice.
(126k) Rear shocks as mine were dead, I went to NAPA and bought the cheapest ones I could find $36 a piece.. Front shocks need replacement as well. Will be ordering a whole new suspension when I get the money.. I want to put a sport suspension on mine.
(128k) Idler pulley, Alternator tensioner pulley. $75 DIY
(129k) Water pump, fuel filter and AC tensioner pulley this weekend just for preventive maint. I know I should have replaced the fuel filter long ago. The rear differential input shaft seal is also leaking and will be replaced next weekend. I will also DIY this seal..

Having said all that, I must now say I love my car and just can't see driving anything else. I have thought about selling it a couple times but I just can't bring myself to spend 30k on something else especially since mine is paid off. I plan to get at least 250k miles or more out this car.

I have to issue a personal thanks to all who post threads on e46fanactis, you folks have helped me diagnose and fix several things that would have otherwise cost me much more money.

Add anything you want. Make fun of my lack of maintenance or whatever..All comments welcome.

Thanks for reading!! I hope it was worth it to someone..
FYI, OP. It's only the tip of the iceberg. I believe the throttle body just needed adaptations to be reset which you can do for free with a laptop and some time/research. but whats done is done. just for the future. you're off to a good start though.
 

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Your car is now as good as new and will last u ages - if u sell and buy again u wldve wasted all that effort

E46 is timeless design and one of the best driveable cars ever made !

Good luck and good on you!
 
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