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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 08-31-2005, 07:34 AM
EPBB EPBB is offline
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Cool Inspections / Maintenance - To DIY, or not to DIY - Inspection II instructions

Hey Everyone. I just hit the 60K mark on my '01 325 XI, and I'm getting ready for my Inspection II. I have searched all over the forums to learn about Inspection II, and thought I'd share what I have learned with the bimmerfest crowd.

As most posts state, basically, Inspection II looks over your car to check misc. engine parts, check for leaks, lube up trunk, doors, hood, etc, oil wheel hub and other things inside the car. A good link for what is done can be found here:

http://www.bimmerzone.com/inspection.htm

Other than that, all they do is change your oil / oil filter, micro filter and air filter. They DO NOT change your fluids (Diff, Tranny, Brake, Coolant), spark plugs or fuel filter (Even though the fuel filter is supposedly a "lifetime" filter, I don't have many high quality gas stations near me, so I would prefer to change it every 50K or so).

My dealer is a really good one, so I usually bring it there, and for the full Inspection II, they want about $510.00. That seems way too much for what they're really doing, so I've decided to do most of the work myself. You can go to this website to get the part numbers you need:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/

Just click the link to enter the main part of the site, enter in your series car (mine is 3' E46), select the body (mine is sedan), select the model (mine is 325xi), select the region (mine is USA), the production date (mine is 05/2000), and then the engine type (M54). Click search for parts, and you can find out what all the OEM part numbers are for your vehicle. I find it to be a good resource.

To do the oil / oil filter, just go to your BMW dealership, and pay around $10.00 for the filter, o-ring and washer, and buy some of your preferred motor oil, and follow this good DIY:

http://www.my330i.com/lof.php#A

To do the Micro Filter, get part number 64319071935 from your store of choice ($30.40 at Circle BMW), and follow this good DIY:

http://www.bmw325i.net/maint_microfilter_replmt.shtml

For the Air Filter, I bought a K&N (Number 33-2231) for around $50.00 at my local auto parts store, and just use the reconditioning kit (Around $12.00) that you can get at any auto parts store every year. Follow this great DIY Link for that:

http://www.bmw325i.net/maint_air_filter_change.shtml

If you want to go overboard like me, you can get the fuel filter (PN 13327512019) and follow this DIY:

http://bimmerinfo.com/diy/fuel-filter/

Also, if you want to do the spark plugs (PN for the NGK plugs is BKR6EQUP), here's a great DIY from fellow 'fest member WAM:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65380

Of course, once this is all done, you can't forget to reset the inspection light, so here's a good link for that (I haven't tried this link yet, but I'm pretty sure this is how I did it the last time):

http://www.gendan.co.uk/articles.php?article=6#bmw


Now even though I'm doing all these things myself, I would still like to go to the dealer and have them look over the car for leaks, cracks in tubing, oil / lube everything up, etc. (The other things included in Inspection II). That kind of stuff would take me too long to do. My dealer said that they would do an Inspection II without parts for $240.00. That's reasonable in my eyes, just so I can have some peace of mind knowing I'm not overlooking something that an experienced eye could catch early on.

Overall, I try to do most things myself, and these are the collection of DIY pages I have gathered over the past year. From these web sites, or searching through the various forums, you shouldn't have any problem finding a good DIY for you.

NOTE: I would just like to make sure I give due credit to each respective DIY page owner, thanking them for their resources.

http://www.bimmerdiy.com/e46
http://www.bmw325i.net/
http://www.my330i.com/garage.php
http://m3.madrussian.net/diy.shtml


If anyone has any thoughts or corrections, please don't hesitate to PM or post. Thanks, and I hope I can save some people some trouble with this info. Later!!!
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Last edited by EPBB; 08-31-2005 at 10:57 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-31-2005, 08:14 AM
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Artslinger Artslinger is offline
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Excellent post.
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  #3  
Old 08-31-2005, 10:48 AM
mruzicka mruzicka is offline
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Great reference page. This should be a sticky
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  #4  
Old 08-31-2005, 02:22 PM
ibaj ibaj is offline
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Talking Killer information!

Thanks for the info! I'm knocking on 60K myself and I'll do everything I can to save $$.
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2005, 10:51 AM
Makochin Makochin is offline
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Question Inspection II

I also have to do Inspection II, but I can not do it by myself.
Center BMW will charge me $460, and BMW specialized repair shop will charge me $350.
Do you think dealer is more reliable?
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2005, 11:00 AM
EPBB EPBB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makochin
I also have to do Inspection II, but I can not do it by myself.
Center BMW will charge me $460, and BMW specialized repair shop will charge me $350.
Do you think dealer is more reliable?
First off, I really wouldn't put yourself down with that statement... It's really easy to do the oil change / air filter / micro filter. Anyone that is halfway decent with a tool in their hands, has some common sense, and can follow directions can do that part of the Inspections.

If you don't feel comfortable though, I would figure out if the BMW specialized repair shop warranties their work, and have them put that in writing. Also have them put in writing what they did so you can keep it for your records.

If the place seems a bit shady, then I would pay the extra $110.00 for the dealer service. Obviously they warranty their work, and when you go to sell the car, the person buying it may feel better that you had it serviced at a BMW dealer... It's really up to you.

Just my 2 cents...
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2005, 03:26 PM
jexner325 jexner325 is offline
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Oxygen Sensor part of the Inspection?

How difficult is it to change the oxygen sensor? I was told that was involved in one of the inspections and the service department made it sound like it is near impossible for an amateur to take care of it himself.
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2005, 03:55 PM
Cliff330i Cliff330i is offline
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Very nice post. The collection of information was neatly put together. Good luck with doing it.
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2005, 05:01 PM
sunilsf sunilsf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EPBB
First off, I really wouldn't put yourself down with that statement... It's really easy to do the oil change / air filter / micro filter. Anyone that is halfway decent with a tool in their hands, has some common sense, and can follow directions can do that part of the Inspections.


Just my 2 cents...
I couldn't agree more! These are the primary things that the dealer does (for ~ $500)... the parts cost me $110 (about $25-$30 each for (3)filters and (1)7quarts of oil).
Took me all of 1 hour to do the whole thing [should have taken 30minutes, but it was my first time with the mityvac].
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2005, 06:44 PM
Makochin Makochin is offline
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Location: Santa Monica, CA.
 
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Thank you for your info.

Since I am just a Japanese female who does not know much about the car things, I will ask the dealer to do the inspection. I have not known that the dealer warranty their work. For how long? I called the dealers around and found out that each dealer charges different prices on inspection II. Santa Monica BMW charges $850, Southen Oaks BMW charges $600, and Center BMW charges $460. How come?
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  #11  
Old 09-03-2005, 07:39 PM
Bill97Z Bill97Z is offline
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I just sold my bmw with 4 yrs and 74K miles on the clock. I never got inspection II done. When it was time I reviewed the list they did at the dealership and for 700 bucks it seemed like a rip off. I did have them do the action items on the list...air filter, microfilter, and oil change and that was just under 100 bucks.

I have not had any major problems with the car. Prior to my sale the buyer had a BMW dealership do a 2 hour inspection on the car. All they came back with was that the coolant and brake flush was coming due, they felt the belts were starting to wear a bit, and they claim that one of my wheels was bent on the inside (pothole I guess) and if I hit another pothole it might lose air seal with the tire.

I think inspection II can be done by a qualified private mechanic for half the price. If you neglect your car or are not really hands on it might be a good idea to have all that stuff checked and anything found replaced. If you keep on top of things and are always looking around your engine bay and undercarriage (I do I detail my car in those areas), I don't see it as a big deal to skip.

The funny thing is......about a yr ago my dealership saw my front tires were worn (I got 50K out of stock 17" continentials) on the sides and claimed I needed control arms. I disagreed and didn't get it done and figured I would just monitor tire wear and handling feel. I put new tires on the front and they are wearing even, perhaps a bit more on the outside edges but I thihnk it is more an alignment issue than anything else. There is no real play in the wheels when it is on a lift and the recent inspection didn't flag anything.....wierd!
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2006, 09:58 AM
EPBB EPBB is offline
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Location: New York
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 90
Mein Auto: 2001 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by EPBB
Hey Everyone. I just hit the 60K mark on my '01 325 XI, and I'm getting ready for my Inspection II. I have searched all over the forums to learn about Inspection II, and thought I'd share what I have learned with the bimmerfest crowd.

As most posts state, basically, Inspection II looks over your car to check misc. engine parts, check for leaks, lube up trunk, doors, hood, etc, oil wheel hub and other things inside the car. A good link for what is done can be found here:

http://www.bimmerzone.com/inspection.htm

Other than that, all they do is change your oil / oil filter, micro filter and air filter. They DO NOT change your fluids (Diff, Tranny, Brake, Coolant), spark plugs or fuel filter (Even though the fuel filter is supposedly a "lifetime" filter, I don't have many high quality gas stations near me, so I would prefer to change it every 50K or so).

My dealer is a really good one, so I usually bring it there, and for the full Inspection II, they want about $510.00. That seems way too much for what they're really doing, so I've decided to do most of the work myself. You can go to this website to get the part numbers you need:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/

Just click the link to enter the main part of the site, enter in your series car (mine is 3' E46), select the body (mine is sedan), select the model (mine is 325xi), select the region (mine is USA), the production date (mine is 05/2000), and then the engine type (M54). Click search for parts, and you can find out what all the OEM part numbers are for your vehicle. I find it to be a good resource.

To do the oil / oil filter, just go to your BMW dealership, and pay around $10.00 for the filter, o-ring and washer, and buy some of your preferred motor oil, and follow this good DIY:

http://www.my330i.com/lof.php#A

To do the Micro Filter, get part number 64319071935 from your store of choice ($30.40 at Circle BMW), and follow this good DIY:

http://www.bmw325i.net/maint_microfilter_replmt.shtml

For the Air Filter, I bought a K&N (Number 33-2231) for around $50.00 at my local auto parts store, and just use the reconditioning kit (Around $12.00) that you can get at any auto parts store every year. Follow this great DIY Link for that:

http://www.bmw325i.net/maint_air_filter_change.shtml

If you want to go overboard like me, you can get the fuel filter (PN 13327512019) and follow this DIY:

http://bimmerinfo.com/diy/fuel-filter/

Also, if you want to do the spark plugs (PN for the NGK plugs is BKR6EQUP), here's a great DIY from fellow 'fest member WAM:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65380

Of course, once this is all done, you can't forget to reset the inspection light, so here's a good link for that (I haven't tried this link yet, but I'm pretty sure this is how I did it the last time):

http://www.gendan.co.uk/articles.php?article=6#bmw


Now even though I'm doing all these things myself, I would still like to go to the dealer and have them look over the car for leaks, cracks in tubing, oil / lube everything up, etc. (The other things included in Inspection II). That kind of stuff would take me too long to do. My dealer said that they would do an Inspection II without parts for $240.00. That's reasonable in my eyes, just so I can have some peace of mind knowing I'm not overlooking something that an experienced eye could catch early on.

Overall, I try to do most things myself, and these are the collection of DIY pages I have gathered over the past year. From these web sites, or searching through the various forums, you shouldn't have any problem finding a good DIY for you.

NOTE: I would just like to make sure I give due credit to each respective DIY page owner, thanking them for their resources.

http://www.bimmerdiy.com/e46
http://www.bmw325i.net/
http://www.my330i.com/garage.php
http://m3.madrussian.net/diy.shtml


If anyone has any thoughts or corrections, please don't hesitate to PM or post. Thanks, and I hope I can save some people some trouble with this info. Later!!!

Hey everyone,

I had some minor things checked out on my '01 325xi, and they said that I needed to replace the drive belts. I took a look at them, and they don't really seem dry or cracked. I am thinking of replacing them anyway though. I can easily get the the A/C compressor belt tightening bolt, but I can' see how it's possible to get to the serpentine belt without removing the readiator fan housing... I did a search under E46's, for "drive belts", and only came up with 5 links. I also can't find any belt DIYs out of my links above.. Anyone know where there's a good DIY for this? I have the Bentley manual, but would like to have a second reference. Thanks!
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2006, 01:31 PM
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edsmax edsmax is offline
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I just had my Inspection II done at an Independent BMW mechanic (Landshark in Natick, MA).

For $520, they did a complete Inspection II AND changed my plugs, fuel filter, manual transmission fluid and rear diff fluid with Red Line and flushed my brake fluid. Every mechanic suggests to have these fluid changed around 60k....
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2006, 01:52 PM
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Awesome EPBB, thank you for this valuable contribution to Bimmerfest!
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  #15  
Old 02-08-2006, 10:53 AM
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ffej ffej is offline
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Bravo!!

I mean..*****!

This gets my vote of "E46 Post of the Year"
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Quote:
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My input is that ffej knows what he's talking about .
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  #16  
Old 02-09-2006, 10:51 AM
EPBB EPBB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisL
Awesome EPBB, thank you for this valuable contribution to Bimmerfest!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ffej
Bravo!!

I mean..*****!

This gets my vote of "E46 Post of the Year"

Thanks guys!! I just hope people can use the info. I know how frustrating it is when people don't try to look for the info first... Feel free to make it a sticky!

BTW... went out to San Jose last year for a Buffett concert. Sweet place to drive a bimmer!!
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Last edited by EPBB; 02-09-2006 at 10:54 AM.
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  #17  
Old 02-09-2006, 11:59 AM
vase330 vase330 is offline
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Dealers rip off for sure. They make most of their money in "servicing" your car not selling it new to you. I have 88K on mine, and I have had a literny of issues. Electrical crap most of the time. Lower control arms go every 35K almost like on a timer! Had two replacements already. Door seals trim fell off on both doors at 80K 4yrs. $600 job. All the glue in the world didn't work for me. Now I have a problem with the exhaust cam position sensor. They wanted $350 for it, so I said forget it. They just changed the other one about 4000K ago! I am wondering if DIY is easy on this. Anyone know? The other day I parked my car and came back 2hrs later to find all the lights on the left hand side front and back, had somehow turned themselves on! Insane I know, but dealer can't find the problem. It happened before where the lights would go off then come on by themselves (I have the switch off!!!) and the dealer then saw it, but it seemed to fix itself and they were unable to reproduce the problem. What do they know if they can't fix their own cars electrical crap? Anyone else seen this? The car will run like crap for a week then run smooth as warm butter for the next. They said they flashed the engine software, but it doesn't seem to help. Now the sensor goes. What is with this car? Its not a cheap car, so I wouldn't expect this many issues.
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  #18  
Old 02-26-2006, 07:51 AM
Hutchman Hutchman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EPBB
Hey everyone,

I had some minor things checked out on my '01 325xi, and they said that I needed to replace the drive belts. I took a look at them, and they don't really seem dry or cracked. I am thinking of replacing them anyway though. I can easily get the the A/C compressor belt tightening bolt, but I can' see how it's possible to get to the serpentine belt without removing the readiator fan housing... I did a search under E46's, for "drive belts", and only came up with 5 links. I also can't find any belt DIYs out of my links above.. Anyone know where there's a good DIY for this? I have the Bentley manual, but would like to have a second reference. Thanks!
Check out the DIY for the alternator. If you have a manual trans. the radiator fan is a screw and a clip. If you have an auto, you need a really big wrench. Take off the air intake and you should be able to get at the main belt. If you have a manual trans, the removal of the fan is very easy.
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  #19  
Old 02-26-2006, 03:39 PM
EPBB EPBB is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutchman
Check out the DIY for the alternator. If you have a manual trans. the radiator fan is a screw and a clip. If you have an auto, you need a really big wrench. Take off the air intake and you should be able to get at the main belt. If you have a manual trans, the removal of the fan is very easy.
Thanks for the info. I actually have an automatic, and I found this pulley DIY that I'll try:

http://www.my330i.com/mod17.php

I changed the oil this afternoon, so I'll have to save the belts for next week. I'll let you know how it goes.
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  #20  
Old 03-07-2006, 02:32 PM
samchae samchae is offline
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That's nothing...I'm at 55k miles, and the cheapest price I've found for the "50,000 Mile second inspection" is $800 in Chicago! Is it really worth all that? They make it sound like it's life or death if I don't get it...maybe theyre just playing mind games because that's a lot of money for one inspection
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  #21  
Old 03-07-2006, 02:40 PM
samchae samchae is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill97Z
I just sold my bmw with 4 yrs and 74K miles on the clock. I never got inspection II done. When it was time I reviewed the list they did at the dealership and for 700 bucks it seemed like a rip off. I did have them do the action items on the list...air filter, microfilter, and oil change and that was just under 100 bucks.

I have not had any major problems with the car. Prior to my sale the buyer had a BMW dealership do a 2 hour inspection on the car. All they came back with was that the coolant and brake flush was coming due, they felt the belts were starting to wear a bit, and they claim that one of my wheels was bent on the inside (pothole I guess) and if I hit another pothole it might lose air seal with the tire.

I think inspection II can be done by a qualified private mechanic for half the price. If you neglect your car or are not really hands on it might be a good idea to have all that stuff checked and anything found replaced. If you keep on top of things and are always looking around your engine bay and undercarriage (I do I detail my car in those areas), I don't see it as a big deal to skip.

The funny thing is......about a yr ago my dealership saw my front tires were worn (I got 50K out of stock 17" continentials) on the sides and claimed I needed control arms. I disagreed and didn't get it done and figured I would just monitor tire wear and handling feel. I put new tires on the front and they are wearing even, perhaps a bit more on the outside edges but I thihnk it is more an alignment issue than anything else. There is no real play in the wheels when it is on a lift and the recent inspection didn't flag anything.....wierd!


that actually makes me feel a lot better...it's kind of funny too b/c BMW covers everything up until 50k miles (when their warranty expires), then all of the suddent, the first inspection I have to pay for happens to be $800!, right after m warranty expires...go figure
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  #22  
Old 03-13-2006, 01:12 PM
sunilsf sunilsf is offline
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What about replacing the water pump and thermostat at this time (~ 60K miles) as well? Is it a good idea for preventive maintenance?
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  #23  
Old 03-14-2006, 07:23 AM
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Artslinger Artslinger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samchae
That's nothing...I'm at 55k miles, and the cheapest price I've found for the "50,000 Mile second inspection" is $800 in Chicago! Is it really worth all that? They make it sound like it's life or death if I don't get it...maybe theyre just playing mind games because that's a lot of money for one inspection
My '01 e46 is up for the Inspection II.

I replaced the cabin filter, air filter, wiper blades myself, and this Friday I'm bringing in the car into my local non-BMW trusted mechanic for a oil/filter change and a quick look over inspection.

Cost, 65 bucks for the stuff I did, and another 100-120 bucks for the local guy to do a oil/filter and service inspection. I'm also having him replace the the serpentine belt for a added cost.
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  #24  
Old 03-21-2006, 06:39 AM
C.I. C.I. is offline
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Talking I Love You Man!!!!!

I'm a newbee. I just bought my '00 BMW 328I. I got it with about 78,000 miles on it. I have to assume that the 60,000 mile check up has not been done. This is just the info I was looking for to find out what needs to be done. GREAT POST!

EPBB for President!
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  #25  
Old 04-05-2006, 02:20 PM
dogg5150 dogg5150 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 325XI
Just bought a 01 325XI w/84k miles. It is physically sound and performs very well and it appears very well kept even for a car with half as many miles or less. However, the manual has no service activity recorded and I have no other type of service records. Question is, do any of you know if BMW would have or could retrieve any prior service records on the car if done at a BMW dealership?
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