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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-03-2012, 06:30 PM
BlurryImpulse BlurryImpulse is offline
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Location: Salina, OK
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 23
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 325i
Multiple Water - Heater Problems

I'm new on this Bimmerfest so please take it easy on me. If I'm posting or asking the question in the wrong spot I'm sorry. Please shoot me an email if you can help me or I guess reply on here? Email: chtucker@fastenal.com

I got a steal of a deal on a 2001 BMW 325i, I got it for $1500 and it has about 160,000 miles. The car is sharp. and completely orginal. The 2nd owner (i'm the 3rd owner) had the for majority of it's life and had all regular service done at Tulsa, OK BMW dealership. She got tired of always having to drive an hour to the dealership and drop 1000 bucks or more everytime she turned around. The car has a small dent in the truck lid and the grill is loose with a good dent just slight about the grill.

One problem that I hadn't plan to ask about, but I just remembered is a fuel pump issue. Is there two fuel pumps on this car? Car runs like a champ until 95 miles to empty. Then it dies. I don't know if the guage is off, or if there is a bigger issue at hand. But I alway fill up when I start getting down to about 130 miles to empty.

The current issue at hand had haunted me for about a month now. Ever since cold weather hit. Whenever I turn the heater on and it kicks in the radiator light kicks on. So I add some coolant / water and it keeps doing it. I didn't know at the time, but I have a leak somewhere. TODAY !! I got up and started the car so it could warm up. It was idle really rough, it was about 28 degrees outside this morning and when I went out to leave the car had died and wouldn't start. Later in the day my wife was able to get it running and move the car into my shop. When I got home from work the water was extremely low.... but no light. I filled it and let it run and it seemed to warm up quick. But was blow air on the left side of the motor when looking under the hood. I couldn't tell where this air was coming from? but it was pretty loud blowing noise. For the past month it takes forever to warm up and get the heater warm. So tonight it warmed up quicker but the heater WOULD NOT get warm. So I added more water and Rev the motor up. The blowing noise under the hood stopped... and it was like a PLiissssssssh relief and the heater warmed up quick after. Water went down and I add more... and it went down and I added more. There is a leak b/c in my shop floor there is two small puddles but I can't tell where they came from. somewhere at the back of the engine but I'm sure that's b/c of it running on top of the skid plate plastic under the car. Before the big relief the car would die if I rev it up and let my foot off the gas quickly. But car seems fine now other than the small water leak. Not as much water leaked out as I added.

does any of this sound like a regular typical problem? or do I have multiple problems?
Any help is appreicated. I hate to pay the deal $$$$ for small stuff I can do myself.

Also the car got 30 mpg when I first bought it. But quickly started getting 24.7 mpg and has stayed at that average for a couple of months now. Tune-up?

Thanks
Chad
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2012, 06:18 AM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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Location: Far Hills , NJ
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,499
Mein Auto: 325iT
I guess now you know why it was so inexpensive...

There are two fuel pumps. Your fuel tank is shaped like a saddle that sits over the transmission tunnel. The fuel pump on the right side sends fuel to the engine, the one on the left side is the scavenger pump that keeps the fuel balanced between the two sides. When it goes bad, you run out of fuel while there's still a few gallons in the tank.

Failing cooling systems are a common problem. Stop adding coolant and driving, you'll be very sorry. The expansion tank is plastic and a common failure point. Also, water pumps have a plastic impeller and bearings that are known to fail. Many of us here recommend replacing cooling components as preventive maintenance. Usually that includes water pump, expansion tank, trans thermostat( if auto trans) belts, hoses, thermostat and pulleys. If your good with a wrench, the whole thing takes about 3 hours to DIY and is pretty straight forward.

Your stalling may or may not be cooling related. Get it scanned for codes and see what comes up.

Good luck and welcome to the fest.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:15 PM
BlurryImpulse BlurryImpulse is offline
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Location: Salina, OK
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 23
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 325i
Taking it to the Dealer....

I think we'll try and take it to the dealer and let them give it a good scan. Front to back and top to bottom, however I have done a lot of my own work cars, so I think if they give me a list of parts I can do the Labor. Question - Where is a good place to buy parts - the dealer? And does this car have the "Vanos" problem that i've read about and seen video's on YOUTUBE? Does it have the single or double? It's an automatic but it has the slap shift too where you can "manual" shift.

Thanks for the Help Jonathan2263
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:34 AM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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Location: Far Hills , NJ
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,499
Mein Auto: 325iT
As far as I know, all E46s have a dual VANOS. Mine hasn't exhibited any signs of strangeness yet, but I've only got 75k miles. I'm on a program of preventive maintenance and I'm planning on doing the VANOS next year. This year looks like brakes and maybe new dampers and sway bars.
If you have 160k on the clock and your VANOS seals haven't been replaced, then it needs to be done.

Check the site sponsors link at the top of the page for parts vendors. Usually, you can find parts 1/3-1/2 less expensive than the dealer. Www.oembimmerparts.com and www.eactuning.com have good reputations and are usually my go to's.

Finally, read the E46 WIKI linked at the top of the page. Many of your questions will be answered there.
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Last edited by jonathan2263; 01-05-2012 at 04:37 AM.
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