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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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Old 04-07-2011, 05:39 PM
ShayMac8688 ShayMac8688 is offline
Bella the Bimmer-2002 M3
Location: Knoxville
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: E46 (2002) M3
Unhappy Recent car issues

Hey guys,
I'm wondering if someone could help a girl out on a few things.

- First, does anyone have any recommendations on oil to use for Knoxville, TN weather? I've been using Mobil 1 15w50. I change my oil myself because it's so much cheaper but it's difficult since I live in an apartment complex surrounded by the hilly University of Tennessee campus.

- Second, my 02 sensor needs to be replaced desperately! I found a pre cat O2 sensor for $55 at the advance auto parts website. Any other suggestions? I also need instructions on how to do this, since I like doing it myself and I definitely don't have the money to spend on labor. (I actually can't afford to replace this yet, are there any long term effects on my car for waiting?)

- Third, after running the codes, the issue other than my O2 sensor is my thermostat. Specifically, it said that the coolant isn't reaching the thermostat regulatory temperature. What could cause this? Is this something that needs attention immediately?

Also, for the last few months, my car sometimes won't start on the first try. The engine turns but no ignition. It works on the second try. And in the past few weeks I've heard some belt noises...I don't know what that could be from. I'm so far in the hole right now that I can't afford to have it checked out - so I'm turning to you guys! (and I have to be careful who checks out my car...not only should they know everything about bimmers, but I'm a cute 23 year old girl and I often get treated like I mustn't ever, EVER get dirt under my fingernails! Or use my delicate brain!!)

It kills me not to be able to take care of these issues RIGHT AWAY, but I'd rather pay my car payment and risk making a larger investment later fixing other potential issues than losing my car altogether.

Please let me know if anyone has any advice! Thanks!!
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:30 AM
Pinecone's Avatar
Pinecone Pinecone is offline
M Mad
Location: Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,479
Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
The ONLY oil approved for these engines is Castrol TWS 10W-60 oil. NO other oil should be used in them.

WRT to starting, that sometimes happens when the pressure bleeds off the fuel rail. Try turning to position two, and waiting a few sceonds before engaging the starter. This allows the fuel pump to bring the fuel pressure up.

To check the belts, just open the hood and press on teh elts to see if they are tight. Press between pulleys and see how much slack there is. With a moderate push, there should be some slack, but not too much.
Terry Carraway

'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)
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