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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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  #26  
Old 04-13-2008, 02:08 PM
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13 Apr 2008, 51137: R/R Mass Air Flow sensor for cleaning. Used CRC MAF Cleaner Spray picked up locally at Autozone for $6.99. Followed KrisL's excellent DIY: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=214439

Ran around block, car seems to run fine as ever.

Some items of note:

I removed the airbox following Kris' DIY; I suspect like others have found, it would not strictly be necessary to do so to get the MAF out.

The MAF itself was pretty clean. I didn't really notice too much of anything on the metal bits nor sensor bulb, but you never know. It's clean now anyways.

I also noted what looks suspicously like a "factory" Cold Air Intake snorkle I'd never noticed before leading off the front of the air box directly to the grill area.

The cold-snorkle itself was surrounded by plastic foam insulation that at this point (about 5 years) has aged and lost all elasticity. A few bits of it basically crumpled up into dust. I got the airbox back in place but if I have to take it out again later I'll see if I can replace it with some window insulation or similar.

Additional tools required - One Band-Aid brand plastic strip: The dang airbox has a fitting that provides the support for a rubber securing grommet for a wiring bundle nearby - When I slipped the grommet off the fitting, the small screwdriver speared the inside of my right index finger.
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  #27  
Old 04-13-2008, 09:46 PM
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LOL, at least you will heal without spending any more $$$
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  #28  
Old 04-14-2008, 07:17 AM
sixkiller sixkiller is offline
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Thumbs up

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
Props to the fellow mtn biker.....
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  #29  
Old 04-14-2008, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sixkiller View Post
Props to the fellow mtn biker.....


Can't wait for the trails to open up around here (WI).
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  #30  
Old 05-04-2008, 04:08 PM
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04 May 2008, 51946: Changed Power Steering Fluid.

Drained and replaced power steering fluid today. I used Kris' DIY and had no problems. I used my Mityvac vs. turkey baster to get the fluid out. I guess maybe the mityvac gets more per flush, as I used a little over 1 quart of fluid. I removed and replaced the fluid 4 times, cycling the car's steering from lock to lock 2 times between each cycle.

The pictures below show the setup as well as the old vs. new fluid. Judging by the condition of the fluid from the first cycle, I am glad I got this changed. The new fluid is like cherry cough syrup. From the right picture you can almost see the existing fluid is quite brown and has numerous particles suspended in it.

Tools/supplies:

2 x Quarts Castrol Domestic Vehicle ATF
Funnel
Mityvac

Took about an hour following Krisl's DIY here: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...power+steering

Picture 1: Mityvac unit sucking out old ATF through top of resevoir

Picture 2: Comparison of new (left) and old (right) ATF.
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  #31  
Old 05-04-2008, 04:59 PM
ktc ktc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan View Post
The pictures below show the setup as well as the old vs. new fluid. Judging by the condition of the fluid from the first cycle, I am glad I got this changed. The new fluid is like cherry cough syrup. From the right picture you can almost see the existing fluid is quite brown and has numerous particles suspended in it.
Nice write-up. Glad nothing got speared this time.

Is steering fluid change a common thing to do on modern cars? Apologies for my naivety, but I can understand the heat-related oxidation and high speed wear that leads to degradation and contamination of engine oil and transmission fluid... but steering? At 50k miles?

Intuitively, it seems like steering fluid should last 200kmi without causing any damage to the steering unit. What am I missing here?
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  #32  
Old 05-04-2008, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktc View Post
Is steering fluid change a common thing to do on modern cars? Apologies for my naivety, but I can understand the heat-related oxidation and high speed wear that leads to degradation and contamination of engine oil and transmission fluid... but steering? At 50k miles?

Intuitively, it seems like steering fluid should last 200kmi without causing any damage to the steering unit. What am I missing here?
Dunno. I suppose any fluid will with enough cycles through a compression apparatus (power steering pump) and with an exposure to air (the steering reservoir cap has a vent to atmosphere) will trap contaminants. I would also guess that over time minute particles from rubber seals/gaskets would become suspended as well. As to the color changing, I don't know what makes the new fluid provide its characteristic "cherry cough syrup" color, but the old fluid was definitely brown-ish in color.

Good question.
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  #33  
Old 05-17-2008, 03:58 PM
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17 May 2008, 52,493: Noted that headlight performance was getting poor, distance and brightness notably reduced from new.

Examined left and right headlight lenses, found both cloudy/pitted, in particular the left.

Performed headlight restoration and polish using 3M Headlight Restoration Kit.

Documented DIY and results here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=285983
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  #34  
Old 06-21-2008, 03:47 PM
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21 June 2008, 52,812: Replaced spark plugs.

Documented DIY and results here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=293595
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  #35  
Old 06-22-2008, 02:26 PM
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22 June 2008, 52,815: Removed Clutch Delay Valve and replaced with modified (bored out) Zeckhausen part.

Followed this DIY:

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

Not much to say about the DIY, it is spot on. Used exactly the procedure contained, including the 11 mm flare and the Motive power bleeder. I broke in my Turner Motorsport brake bleeder bottle I'd purchased a while ago, very nice it is with stainless hangar wire and surgical grade tubing.

I guess I got about 2 oz of fluid out until it stopped spurting air/fluid.

Took for drive around block and while CDV-less driving is not exactly day and night like some have written, the clutch action is much much smoother, both up and down the gearbox. Where before you could feel the clutch engage (eventually) now the action seems much more direct, i.e. exactly where my left foot is is where the clutch is. Nice and smooth.
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  #36  
Old 07-04-2008, 09:15 AM
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4 July 2008, 53800.

Recent parts order items and prices, soon to fit as part of 60,000 / Inspection II service.

www.tirerack.com

2 x 225/40ZR-18 Pirelli PZero Nero XL $129.00 ea
2 x 255/35ZR-18 Pirelli PZero Nero XL $106.00 ea

www.pelicanparts.com

13-32-7-512-019-M93 $51.50 Fuel Filter Brand: Kayser
13-62-1-433-077-M9 $24.75 Coolant Temperature Switch
17-11-1-707-818-M9 $3.75 Water Drain Plug, in Expansion Tank Mounting Plate
17-11-1-437-361-M9 $7.25 Radiator Drain Plug, BMW E46 3 Series

www.autohausaz.com

17137787039 Expansion Tank/Coolant Reservoir $49.95
11281738605 Idler Pulley/Roller Water Pump/Alternator Offset Mounting $23.80
82141467704 Miscellaneous Fluids/Treatments; BMW Antifreeze; 1 Gallon $19.45
07119963200 Oil Drain Plug Gasket; 14mm Aluminum Seal Washer; 14x18x1.5mm $0.12
11531436408 Radiator Hose; Lower to Thermostat Housing with Temperature Sensor Fitting $20.33
17127510952 Radiator Hose; Upper Radiator to Thermostat Housing $28.09
4PK0865 Serpentine Belt/Ribbed Drive Belt; AC Compressor $5.98
6PK1538 Serpentine Belt/Ribbed Drive Belt; Alternator/Power Steering/Water Pump $15.62
11530139877 Thermostat; Thermostat Kit with Housing and Seal $58.95
11511722536Z Water Pump; Update Replacement with Metal Impeller and Gasket $59.76
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  #37  
Old 07-05-2008, 04:37 PM
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5 July 2008, 54,104: Replaced Fuel Filter

Followed this DIY:

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

Parts used:

6xHose clamp (#07-12-9-952-104) ($1.15 ea)
1 metre fuel hose (#13-31-1-469-781) $10.35
Fuel Filter #13-32-7-512-019 $51.50

Followed the DIY, more or less. The petrol kept coming out of the rear supply hose at a good clip the entire time, I ended up capping it with one of the caps off the new filter while I was getting the parts together.

Otherwise it's basically just taking off the hardware and putting it back together. Would recommend renewing the hose clamps, the BMW OEM replacement clamps are good, and it's not really the place you can afford any leaks. The hoses themselves were in good shape, no abrading or weeping visible, no alligatoring on the rubber at all. I suppose I could have reused them but at the cost why bother.

I have quite a bit of fuel hose left over, will probably save this for other uses on the car I guess.

I did the "switch on the ignition to position 2" thing about 10 times to fill the fuel lines, but the car still hesitated/ran a little rough at first when I started it up. No check engine light lol. I ended up backing it out of the garage, and it smoothed out fine. I took it around the block, and while there was some slight hesitation at first, by the end it was running just fine. I may get a bottle of techroline or similar to run through in case I stirred up some muck or other.
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  #38  
Old 07-07-2008, 11:18 AM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan View Post
www.tirerack.com

2 x 225/40ZR-18 Pirelli PZero Nero XL $129.00 ea
2 x 255/35ZR-18 Pirelli PZero Nero XL $106.00 ea
You have a typo there for the rear tires, right? That must be $206 per rear tire, not $106.

As soon as I saw the price I went to tirerack to see if I could get PZeros in 255/35-18 for $106 each. I was even starting to rethink getting another set of Michelin PS2s if the PZeros were that much less.
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  #39  
Old 07-07-2008, 11:50 AM
numindast numindast is offline
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Nice documentation, Wingspan. I must say, your car will last you until rapture, with how well you're maintaining it. Sure wish I could do the same. (No driveway/garage, few tools, and it's illegal to work on cars parked on the street...)
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  #40  
Old 07-11-2008, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilH View Post
You have a typo there for the rear tires, right? That must be $206 per rear tire, not $106.

As soon as I saw the price I went to tirerack to see if I could get PZeros in 255/35-18 for $106 each. I was even starting to rethink getting another set of Michelin PS2s if the PZeros were that much less.
Price is correct.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...hlight=pirelli

Price was too good to pass up.
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  #41  
Old 07-12-2008, 02:23 PM
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12 Jul 2008, 54,234: Oil and Filter Change. BMW OEM 5w-30 oil @ $6.60 ea X 7 from local dealer with BMW CCA discount; 1 x Mann Oil Filter from www.oembimmerparts.com previously purchased.

I know this was a little early but I hadn't liked the look of the oil lately (dirty/black?). I ordered a Blackstone labs test kit and will draw a sample from this batch for analysis (first one on this car) before taking it to the recycling center.

Used my Mityvac #7400 extractor unit and was as easy as ever to do the oil change.

Managed to remember to torque the oil filter cap to the required 18.4 lb-ft of torque with my new Harbor Freight 1/2" drive torque wrench.
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  #42  
Old 07-12-2008, 07:45 PM
bhansell bhansell is offline
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I just checked out the Blackstone labs kit -- it looks great. For $22.50, I may just have to get my oil analyzed annually...
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  #43  
Old 07-13-2008, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan View Post
5 July 2008, 54,104: Replaced Fuel Filter

SNIP
Being a complete engineering geek, this morning I sectioned and opened up the old fuel filter to have a look at the inside.

The filter was on the car from new. The material was uniformly brown in color. There was no visible "dirt" but it seemed to me that the element paper was flecked/light brown in spots that looks like they could be rust.

Picture attached.

Based on this, I kind of disagree with the "lifetime" philosophy for this simple component. Even as much as a pain in the neck it was to do with leaking fuel all over the place I'm very glad to have done this.
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  #44  
Old 08-01-2008, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan View Post
I know this was a little early but I hadn't liked the look of the oil lately (dirty/black?). I ordered a Blackstone labs test kit and will draw a sample from this batch for analysis (first one on this car) before taking it to the recycling center.
So I received the email with the pdf report from Blackstone Labs yesterday. Took about a week; I had only mailed it last Saturday using regular USPS in the black shipping container they supply.

From the write up:


The 3.0L that powers your 330i is wearing nicely at 54,243 miles. All wear read below universal
averages and in the proper balance. Those averages are based on an oil run of ~6,000 miles. The
viscosity of the oil was a little high for a 5W/30 and read in the 10W/40 range but it doesn't look like this is a
problem. This sample was free of harmful contaminants and your air and oil filters (silicon and insolubles)
are working well, too. BMW makes some of the nicest wearing engines that we see on a regular basis and
yours isn't the exception.


So I'm pretty happy with the report. All the metal values #'s are within/under spec.

I like these guys technical accuracy, plus, their FAQ section is a riot.

http://www.blackstone-labs.com/faq_gas.html
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  #45  
Old 08-02-2008, 11:40 AM
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2 August 2008, 54,959: Performed time based Brake fluid flush DIY.

Parts / Consumables

5 x 0.5 liter ATE DOT 4 Brake Fluid ($6.99 ea at www.oembimmerparts.com)
2 x Ibuprofen

Tools

Jack / Jackstands
Mityvac #7400 Extractor
7 mm box end (clutch bleed nipple)
9 mm box end (brake bleed nipples)
Motive products Power bleeder
Turner motorsports brake bleeder catch bottle
1/4" drive torque wrench
1/2" drive torque wrench
17mm socket (wheel bolts)

Procedure/Notes

Followed the procedure for bleeding brakes in the Bentley manual. Things proceeded more or less on schedule. Took me from 8:30 to 10:30, just taking my time.

Order of bleed was back right, back left, clutch, front right, front left.

The clutch bleed caused the most pain in the neck. The little tiny 7 mm wrench slipped on the nipple when I was unfastening it, loosening it just enough to where the fluid came out rapidly. I could not get it back around the flats and so the master cylinder was emptying it out; eventually (must have been 30s, it seemed longer ) I heard the sucking sound of the master cylinder emptying. Rats. Anyway, I filled it back up, represurized the system and carried on.

The good news is the car drives fine, shifts ok. I have been planning to take it to a local indy pro for a once over when I get all the Inspection II work done, so I may just have them professionally bleed the brakes just to eliminate any possibility of air in the lines. It may be my imagination but it doesn't seem like the pedal is as firm as it could be, but I tried several safe panic stops from 30 mph and the car pulls up straight and true. I'm hoping that it was only the clutch line I got air into, and not the brake lines.

I did rebleed all the lines after the clutch fiasco, and there was no air.

It was pretty obvious when the old fluid was done and the new fluid started coming out. The new ATE fluid is almost clear; the old fluid (2 years old) was very dirty and blackish in the catch bucket.

I supposed if I had not screwed up with the clutch I would have needed about 1.5 liters of fluid. As it is I had 6 0.5 liter cans on hand, so I ended up with one spare.

I collected all the fluid and rags etc. for environmentally safe recycling.

Only picture I snapped is below; shows the catch tank, 9 mm wrench on the right rear caliper.

On the Motive unit, it seems fine. I used about 29 psi max; I have to say the fluid does not exactly "spurt" out of the fitting like I expected. I had Master Wingspan on the payroll sitting in the car doing the "up", "up", "down", "down" thing like I usually do in the Mini. This definitely moves the fluid along in the lines, for sure. At the last 3 or 4 pumps the fluid was running clear as a bell from each nipple.

I would do this again, it seems fairly straightforward. I would like a really long 7 mm box end wrench for the clutch bleeder though, this is a major PITA due to it's location on the transmission bell housing. I wonder how the pros do it. I was also a little sore after doing the creeper under the car, hence the Ibuprofen. Argh.

Still - cheaper than the dealer.
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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; 08-02-2008 at 11:45 AM.
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  #46  
Old 08-09-2008, 05:37 PM
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Mein Auto: 2009 W906
9 August 2008, 55,152: Conducted Service on Multiple Items:

Brake Re-Bleed

Was not happy with how the brake fluid flush ended up, so I pumped another 0.5 liter of new ATE DOT 4 fliud through. Used Motive Power bleeder "dry", set to 15 psi. Got through and fluid is running clear now on all wheel cylinders. It seems to me that the fluid went through the system better when the bleeder was only at 15 psi, vs. last week, when I had it cranked up to 29 psi. Perhaps the higher pressure closes a plunger in the DSC valve to close, somehow blocking the fluid? Wierd. Anyway, it worked very well, if slowly, at the rear calipers.

MT Fluid Replace

Replaced MT Fluid with 2 bottles of Pentosin MTF2 Manual Transmission Fluid SAE 75W-80 API GL-4. Back label states: "MTF Manual Transmission Fluid Pentosin MTF2 can be used on many European passenger cars equipped with ZF or Getrag manual transmissions from 1997-On. Manufactured by Deutsche Pentosin Werke GMBH Wedel/Germany." (Yes, Kris, each bottle was $22.50. )

Used a total of 1.9 liter in the Getrag 6MT transmission.

Basically I wasn't thrilled with leaving the 50 50 mix of MTL and ATF I'd left in there the last time. It might be anal retentive, but having the real deal in the gearbox just gives me some peace of mind. I had the car up on the jacks anyway, so it was an easy job.

New Tires

Had my tires (Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s) swapped out at local tire fitter. Four tire remove and replace was $129.04. These guys are pretty reliable, they even remembered to swap over my ///M tire caps I'd bought onto the new valve stems. . The new ones are the Pirelli PZero Nero's, bought on sale at tirerack.com previously (see above).

The PS2s were worn to 3 mm rear, 4 to 4.5 mm front measured at the center of the tire. Both front and rear were demonstrating a 'slanted' wear pattern. I'm pretty sure measured at the edges, they would be less than the 3 mm / 4 mm. Rear set had 27,161, fronts had 24,572 miles. This is now the third set of tires on the car, after the OEM Michelin Pilot Sports and the PS2s.

Feels good to have new shoes; the car is definitely "bouncier" than before.

Tire Inflation

Set tire inflation to the Fast Bob-approved 36F, 38 rear.

Test Drive

WEEEEeeeeeeeee!!! We'll leave the details out, but I sure do still love driving this car.



So, last major service pending is the coolant, water pump, expansion tank, etc. Have all of these parts, so will do this in a few weeks.
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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; 08-09-2008 at 06:22 PM.
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  #47  
Old 08-30-2008, 02:51 PM
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Mein Auto: 2009 W906
30 Aug 2008, 55,915: Right rear window regulator: Inspection of R/R window regulator due to noise/clicking heard on raising / lowering.

Removed trim, door panel, vapor barrier, window switch, speaker connector. Could not detect any fault in mechanism, but took opportunity to grease regulator tracks.

Replaced vapor barrier, door panel.

Got bonus opportunity to remove panel again, reconnecting forgotten switches. Replaced panel and trim for second time.

Window still clicks slightly going up, maybe it will hold for a while.
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  #48  
Old 09-07-2008, 02:02 AM
mikeo13 mikeo13 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 328i
A/C Hiss

Wingspan,

I have the same hiss with my A/C -- boosted it awhile ago and it's back, gonna boost it again shortly but first leak check with black light and UV infused 134a -- did you ever figure out what your hiss was from (besides low refrigerant)?

great write ups!
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  #49  
Old 09-07-2008, 04:42 AM
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MMME30W MMME30W is online now
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Mein Auto: 2009 W906
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeo13 View Post
Wingspan,

I have the same hiss with my A/C -- boosted it awhile ago and it's back, gonna boost it again shortly but first leak check with black light and UV infused 134a -- did you ever figure out what your hiss was from (besides low refrigerant)?

great write ups!
Hi, I believe the hiss was from the fact that the refrigerant was low. With two cans added, it is still very cold and I don't hear any noises at all. My guess is you have a bigger leak somewhere than I did...
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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.
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  #50  
Old 11-02-2008, 01:49 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is online now
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Mein Auto: 2009 W906
2 November 2008, 57,845: Performed mileage based change of air filter.

Parts / Consumables

1 x OEM Air Filter, $23.09 with BMW CCA Discount, Fields BMW Winter Park Fl.

Also checked tire pressures and refilled to 36F/38R. Oil level fine; full (at the marker minus a scoshe.)

In other areas:

My headlights still have deficits in the pattern. At the moment I'm using the front fogs until I can figure out what the heck is going on. The new D2S HID bulbs I installed did not address the issue. I've done some checking and even if I replace the entire headlight on each side, it is still cheaper than buying a 2009 335i.

The rocker panel I scuffed going around that dad burn curb in the neighborhood is sanded and I've put on and sanded off several coats of filler skim. Have been too busy traveling etc. for work to do the finish painting. But I figure the more I prep the better it will look.

I used some Lexol on the seats the other weekend, I do not like it as much as the Pinnacle product I have a little left of, I guess I will keep using the Lexol until it runs out then replace the bottle of Pinnacle. The Lexol leaves the seats sort of greasy feeling.

Car is running strong; returning 23.9 mpg on the on board computer, and averaging 23.4 mpg (actual) the past six months.

Still using SAAM 0.4 beta to record the service history and predict the next service items, this is coming in handy as a "notebook" for the car service.
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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; 05-28-2010 at 03:43 PM.
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