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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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 09-04-2007, 05:37 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is online now
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My Ongoing E46 Service History

Well, coming up on four years with my car on 9 September 2007. I bought it new and thought it might be interesting to review the service history.

9 Sep 2003 Purchased Stock No K5051 2003 330i out the door price $40,805. 6 Speed Manual, Performance package, Leather seats, Power Moonroof, Xenon headlights. Silver Gray. Black interior with Silver Cube trim.

27 Mar 2004: Self Service: OEM Oil Filter / Oil change

27 Mar 2004: Dealer Visit: Complained about erratic idle. Never exhibited problem at the dealer. No problem found.

01 June 2005: Dealer Visit: Oil Service 15,154 miles. Wiper blades replaced.

20 Sep 2005: Dealer Visit: Brake Service Flush based on time, 17,785 miles. Complained about stalling. Dealer performed DME reprogram per B12-207-04.

November 2005: Received letter notifying of BMW Voluntary Emissions Recall campaign to replace Bremi Ignition Coils. Campaign No 05E-A01

22 Dec 2005: Self Service: OEM Oil Filter / Oil Change

22 Dec 2005: Dealer Visit: Coil check 20790 miles (have Bosch coils, no change). Complained about whining noise when cold. Dealer replaced deflection roller assembly under warranty.

21 Jun 2006 Ordered 2xMichelin Pilot PS2 (rears) from Tirerack.com 2x$275.00.

26 Jun 2006: Dealer Visit: Dealer replaced rear tires 27,991 miles. 2X$30.00.

13 Aug 2006: Ordered 2xMichelin Pilot PS2 (fronts) from Tirerack.com 2x$212.00.

30 Aug 2006: Dealer Visit: 30580 miles. Dealer replaced front tires, 2x$30.00. Inspection I. Complained about Alcantara on steering wheel tearing/loose. Dealer replaced steering wheel with M3 OEM Leather wheel free of charge. Windscreen rubbers streaking. Dealer replaced free of charge. Brake system flush and fill. (Coincidentally replacing the front tires cured a consistent drumming sound from the front at low-ish speeds -- like 30-mph.. I suspect they were "cupped".)

07 Sep 2006: Dealer Visit: 30946 miles. Front left driver's window making grinding noise when going up and down. Dealer replaced window regulator under warranty.

06 Oct 2006: Installed OEM M3 strut brace bought via the 'fest. Spent $51.00 at the dealer on six "special" unobtanium-plated nuts to hold it on. $51.00 for six nuts!?

10 Mar 2007: Self Service: OEM Filter and oil.

20Aug 2007: Dealer Visit: Annual Oil change: 42,290 miles. Antifreeze flush and fill service performed under warranty. Complained vehicle was slow to start up. Dealer checked and found battery defective. Replaced battery under warranty.


All in all, our dealer service department (Fields BMW, Winter Park, Fl) gets 5 out of 5 for me. The car is washed and cleaned each time. Each scheduled service I've gotten a BMW loaner (1xE46, 2xE90s, 1xX3) each time.


Fast Forward...September 2007….Four years later, I still love this car. I like driving it every day. It suits me to a "T".

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Last edited by MMME30W; 09-04-2007 at 05:39 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2007, 05:38 PM
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Mine in a bit easier to read format:

http://www.linquist.net/motorsports/bmw (scroll down to the maintenance table)
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:46 PM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan View Post

06 Oct 2006: Installed OEM M3 strut brace bought via the 'fest. Spent $51.00 at the dealer on six "special" unobtanium-plated nuts to hold it on. $51.00 for six nuts!?

Fast Forward...September 2007….Four years later, I still love this car. I like driving it every day. It suits me to a "T".

Nice and congrats on four relatively problem free years together.

I too got bit by those nuts, couldn't believe the cost. The strut bar hasn't fallen off yet, so I guess they were worth it.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:51 PM
ktc ktc is offline
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So same as you guys, ever since a single misfire incident at 200mi, I have not had any problems for the last 42,000 miles. Oil change every 7500 miles, interval services all done.

I've been looking into AutoWarrantyBrokers' offers... do you guys think a car's existing reliability is a predictor of the future? The entire notion of the 7year-100k warranty for $2k seems to be a wash; half the people say definitely, the other half says no. What is the final word?
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktc View Post
So same as you guys, ever since a single misfire incident at 200mi, I have not had any problems for the last 42,000 miles. Oil change every 7500 miles, interval services all done.

I've been looking into AutoWarrantyBrokers' offers... do you guys think a car's existing reliability is a predictor of the future? The entire notion of the 7year-100k warranty for $2k seems to be a wash; half the people say definitely, the other half says no. What is the final word?
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=228288
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  #6  
Old 09-05-2007, 07:23 AM
caseyfit caseyfit is offline
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Thanks. Very helpful as I just purchased a 2004 Silver Gray 330i ZHP. How do you rate the Michelin Pilot PS2's? Good choice?
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2007, 07:32 AM
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Thanks. Very helpful as I just purchased a 2004 Silver Gray 330i ZHP. How do you rate the Michelin Pilot PS2's? Good choice?
Discussed a million times so far, please search...
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  #8  
Old 09-05-2007, 02:59 PM
ktc ktc is offline
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Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2007, 07:26 PM
Lbert Lbert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktc View Post
So same as you guys, ever since a single misfire incident at 200mi, I have not had any problems for the last 42,000 miles. Oil change every 7500 miles, interval services all done.

I've been looking into AutoWarrantyBrokers' offers... do you guys think a car's existing reliability is a predictor of the future? The entire notion of the 7year-100k warranty for $2k seems to be a wash; half the people say definitely, the other half says no. What is the final word?
I would not get an extended warranty unless BMW itself offers it. I won my bet using warrantybynet for my Volvo; I collected more than what I paid in premium. At first no problem, then as I had more repairs covered, it became a living nightmare. The warranty company complained the dealer was charging to much to no return calls, and it took ages to get approval. It took over a week at lot of times before I would see my car. I even paid the difference on the labor just so the dealer can start work on the car. Paying the premium comes easy, it is the collecting for the repair is another story. Although I won the bet, I would not do it again; I rather take my chance.
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:26 AM
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MMME30W MMME30W is online now
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03 Jan 2008: Ordered E46 330i OEM "Kit" from Turner Motorsports, www.turnermotorsport.com. $319.95 plus shipping. Kit contains 2xFront Brake Rotors (OEM), 2xRear Rotors (OEM), 1xSet Frond Pads (Axxis), 1xSet Rear (Axxis) Pads, 1xFront wear sensor (OEM), 1xRear sensor (OEM), 1xLitre "Blue" brake fluid.

Plan to self-install on brakes.

Also ordered 1xTMS Sticker, $0.69. Should be good for 2 HP.

Also ordered, from TMS, 2xQuarts Redline MTL for gearbox. Separately purchased 1xQt Mobil 75W-90 Gear oil, plus two washers, from local BMW Dealer, for Differential. Also planned for DIY.

Mileage 47,700.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:36 AM
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11 Jan 2008: Air Conditioning DIY: 44577 miles. Recurring "hiss" / high-pitched "gurgling" noise from interior/passenger side front. A/C preceived as not "cold" as originally felt.

Diagnosis: Low on Refrigerant. Purchased recharge kit ($16.99) and 11 oz can of R-134A ($8.99) at Autozone. Used kit to add refrigerant.

No more hiss / had to go find a sweater.

Documented the DIY I followed and results here: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...92&postcount=6
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:40 AM
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12 Jan 2008: Brake DIY: 44577 miles. Visual examination of front brake rotor indicates front rotor below wear limit (wear limit: 23.4 mm, measured 23.2-ish.) Front pads, rear rotors and pads are within service limit but soon need to replace.

Performed front and rear rotor and pad replacement using OEM 330i brake kit from Turner Motorsports, www.turnermotorsports.com ($319.95 plus shipping.)

Braking efficiency with Axxis/PBR pads is firm and progressive. It seems to me after a week there is less brake dust, but it might be my imagination.

Documented the DIY I followed and notes here: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ighlight=brake
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2008, 03:47 PM
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Just to follow-on to this thread, I attached history of repairs/maintenance to my car.

Don't laugh too hard when you see the hidden hitch modification, it's for a bike rack so I can get my mountain bike around.

-Dan
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File Type: pdf 2001 BMW 330 xi Maintenance_Repair History.pdf (13.4 KB, 1418 views)
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  #14  
Old 01-17-2008, 06:28 PM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAI View Post
Just to follow-on to this thread, I attached history of repairs/maintenance to my car.

Don't laugh too hard when you see the hidden hitch modification, it's for a bike rack so I can get my mountain bike around.

-Dan
Are you the original owner?

Looks like your e46 has been quite reliable.

Good job on the preventative maintenance!
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  #15  
Old 01-18-2008, 07:18 AM
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I'm the original owner. And I plan on being the only owner.

I thought I was slacking in maintenance compared to most people on this site; I just did want BMW recommended doing at their intervals. I plan on starting to do oil changes now about every 7,500 miles instead of the 15k.
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  #16  
Old 02-07-2008, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan View Post
Braking efficiency with Axxis/PBR pads is firm and progressive. It seems to me after a week there is less brake dust, but it might be my imagination.
It is not my imagination. Almost a month gone by, and the reduction in brake dust build-up is amazing. Much less than with the OEM pads (Jurid.)
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- J.C. Watts Jr.
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  #17  
Old 02-10-2008, 01:46 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is online now
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10 Feb 2008: MT and Diff Fluid DIY: 48,411 miles.

Replaced fluid in my Getrag 6MT gearbox and rear differential today.

Tools
- "OEM" hand pump www.harborfreighttools.com
- 8 mm hex socket
- 14 mm hex socket
- 1/2" torque wrench
- 3/8" torque wrench
- Mechanics Creeper
- Set axle stands
- Hydraulic Jack
- Set 4xcustom made wood jackstand blocks (2x2 PT lumber, trimmed and milled to fit the jack inserts)

Parts
BMW OEM Rear differential plug washer (qty 2 required)

Oil (Diff)
Redline Diff 75-90 ($8.95)
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...ODUCT_ID=75/90

Oil (Tranny)
Redline D4-ATF ($8.95) and Redline MTL (2x$8.95), 50/50 Mix:
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...PRODUCT_ID=MTL
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...ODUCT_ID=ATFD4

Fluid used:
Diff - approximately just over 1 quart
MT - 2 quarts +

Torques Used
Diff Plugs 46 lb ft
Tranny Plugs 26 lb ft (check me on these, might have them wrong, but these are close)

Jacking points:
Rear - Black U-tube ahead of rear diff
Front - Center of sub-frame, used wooden 2x4 block to spread load on frame

Car was jacked up, front and rear, then set onto jackstands. I usually leave the jack just touching on of the jacking points as "insurance."

This turned out to be a little easier than I thought. I followed the Bentley manual, except for the issue that the ZHP Getrag transmission filler and drain plugs do not look anything like the pictures. Turns out they are plugs, but use 8 mm hex inserts instead of an "iron pipe" fitting.

Differential took about 30 minutes. I released the fill plug first to make sure I could get it, then drained. The "OEM" brand hand pump from Harbor Freight worked fine. It's basically like a shampoo bottle top you just put in the oil bottle. I had to cut off a section of the neck of the fluid bottles, otherwise ok.

I had a dramatic moment when the tube slipped off the nozzle of the pump, but only a tablespoon of oil dripped. Fortunately I use latex gloves and overalls to work on the car, so no worries.

MT was a little trickier, but once I got the drain and fill plugs located, it was fine. The MT drain and fill plugs use a rubber washer, which I did not replace. Seemed ok.

The fluid out of the MT had a large (I thought) amount of heart-stopping crud suspended in the oil when I drained the catch bucket into the recycling container; boy am I glad I got this fluid out of the MT. Notice how brown and nasty looking it is. I really really wish I had done this earlier. The "lifetime" fill is something like 100k per BMW, but look at that fluid, they must be joking.

I hadn't originally meant to use a 50 50 mix of D4-ATF and MTL, I just ordered the MTL, then ordered a litre of D4-ATF. After some research on the fest I thought it was ok to mix the two. I suppose if I did it over I'd just use the D4-ATF, and probably will next time.

My new mechanics creeper worked ok, just a cheap $20 one from Autozone. It saved a lot of wriggling under the car, for sure.

The Bentley manual says like 1.3 quart for the Getrag transmission, I did not find that to be the case. I kept adding fluid till it started running out, which was every bit of 2 quarts and then some. Glad I had three liters of the D4/MTL on hand.

One other comment, I'd probably leave the drain and fill plugs out, then pump in a few tablespoons of new fluid in and let it drain, before attaching the drain plug. That way it could sluice out any muck that might remain from the drain. I'll do that next time.

Collected all oil for environmentally safe recycling.

Attaching three pictures; 1) Transmission showing drain plug removed and fill plug loosely inserted, 2) Differential drain and fill plugs, and 3) the MT oil I drained. Yechh.

The car drives as well as before. It may (again) be my imagination but it seems "slippery-er" to put into gear than before. I don't know for sure, but I am very very glad to have done this for the life of the geartrain.
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“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.”

- J.C. Watts Jr.

Last edited by MMME30W; 02-10-2008 at 01:57 PM. Reason: edits
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  #18  
Old 02-16-2008, 06:05 AM
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16 Feb 2008: Saturday morning oil check and tire wear/pressure. 48,647 miles.

Oil level fine, at top of upper marker.

Tires: Michelin Pilot Sports PS2

Rear: 255/35ZR18, inflated to 34 psi (+2 over std)
Front: 225/40ZR18, inflated to 40 psi (+2 over std)

Tire Wear, in mm, left shoulder / mid-rib / right shoulder:

Front of Car
Left --------------Right
6.0 / 6.0 / 5.0 --- 5.0 / 6.0 / 6.0

Left --------------Right
4.5 / 4.5 / 4.2 --- 4.5 / 5.0 / 5.0
Rear of Car
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“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.”

- J.C. Watts Jr.

Last edited by MMME30W; 02-16-2008 at 06:07 AM.
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  #19  
Old 02-16-2008, 10:05 AM
deerpark deerpark is offline
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Nice, any pics?
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  #20  
Old 02-16-2008, 10:12 AM
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Plaz Plaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan View Post
I had a dramatic moment when the tube slipped off the nozzle of the pump, but only a tablespoon of oil dripped. Fortunately I use latex gloves and overalls to work on the car, so no worries.
Bleech, doesn't that gear oil stink? Diff fluid might be the nastiest smelling thing on a car, IMO.
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  #21  
Old 02-17-2008, 12:35 AM
ILuvMy325Ci ILuvMy325Ci is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 325Ci
2004 325Ci Has Been Super Reliable

I bought my 2004 325Ci in April 2004 and I have to say my car has been very reliable. My mileage is a bit on the low side at 33,000 miles. Aside from regular maintenance (at Weatherford BMW in Beserkeley, CA), my coupe has had no other issues. Since my warranty will expire soon, I have to decide if I should buy the extended warranty.

BTW, here is a pic of my Bimmer with my new 18" wheels.
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  #22  
Old 02-17-2008, 06:00 AM
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MMME30W MMME30W is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaz View Post
Bleech, doesn't that gear oil stink? Diff fluid might be the nastiest smelling thing on a car, IMO.
Seriously. What the heck is in that stuff? I noticed it was kind of making my eyes water. I needed to get some new overalls anyway so I threw mine away after this job. I've heard D4-ATF is solvent based, presumably it has some esters as part of the refining process. Unfortunately, Chem-E was not my strong suit in the tool school (Organic Chemistry: 101 things to do with Carbon. ). Any Chemical Engineers want to comment?
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  #23  
Old 02-17-2008, 03:47 PM
BMW318i_E36 BMW318i_E36 is online now
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KrisL your website is cool, are u a website designer?
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  #24  
Old 03-16-2008, 06:01 AM
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15 Mar 2008, 49793: Replaced windscreen wipers with PIAA Super Sporza Silicone (22" drivers, 20" passengers) wiper blades. Sourced from www.turnermotorsports.com.

15 Mar 2008, 49793: A/C "gurgling" again, making slight sucking / hissing noise. Attached aftermarket fill attachment with gauge to LP inlet port. Started car, set full cold, recirc, fan on high. Gauge reads 29 psi. Ambient temperature 84 deg F. Added 1 can R134a refrigerant. Gauge now reads 30 psi. Hm. No more gurgling, car A/C cold. I'm not sure if there's a slow leak or if after 4.5 years the refrigerant had just gotten low, and I needed a couple cans (so far) of refrigerant. Will have to keep an eye on this.

15 Mar 2008, 49793: Oil level at full mark, kind of black. Need to check mileage since last. EDIT - Aha! 7502 miles since last change, need to get a filter and get the mityvac setup.
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- J.C. Watts Jr.
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  #25  
Old 03-22-2008, 05:09 AM
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MMME30W MMME30W is online now
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21 Mar 2008, 50012: Oil, oil filter change via Mityvac 7201 oil extractor. 7XBMW OEM 5W-30 oil local dealer. Mann oil filter $5.55 www.oembimmerparts.com

21 Mar 2008, 50012: Interior Cabin Microfilter change, $25.50 www.oembimmerparts.com
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