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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 09-13-2014, 12:26 PM
dgrimm14 dgrimm14 is offline
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325i Catalytic Converters

I have a 2004 325i with approximately 119k miles. I'm getting codes that show I need bank 1 and bank 2 catalytic converters.

I am in a state that does emissions testing.

I have one mechanic (who pretty much only works on BMW cars) who says he doesn't recommend non BMW parts and wants me to get refurbished BMW converters at around $1900 for both (with tax) and approximately $600-700 to install them.

I have another mechanic who said he can get the converters for $800 on eBay and will install for $250-300. This mechanic is basically an "alley" mechanic who has full time job as mechanic during day and would be doing this on the side.

What do I do? I'm so confused. Are the BMW parts recommended or are others okay to get, and if so, what brand?


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  #2  
Old 09-13-2014, 12:53 PM
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Before spending ANY money on this, I would advise getting a second (and third) opinion first.....119K miles is extremely premature for cat failure....
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  #3  
Old 09-13-2014, 06:32 PM
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+1 on getting a second opinion.

IF the cats are indeed no good (BTW, the only way this would happen is if you or the PO had some part of the emissions system in disrepair for a while, i.e. O2 sensors, and plugged the cats), do NOT go aftermarket. They will not last and are garbage. $2500 is a lot of money, but so is having to replace $1000 aftermarket cats every 1-2 years.
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2014, 11:12 AM
adamrosee adamrosee is offline
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take the cats out and save 1500 bucks and drive with the cel on lol, the hell with it.
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  #5  
Old 09-19-2014, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamrosee View Post
take the cats out and save 1500 bucks and drive with the cel on lol, the hell with it.
If you live in a state with mandatory DMV inspections, this is not an option....
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2014, 12:12 PM
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And what codes are those?
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2014, 01:58 PM
dgrimm14 dgrimm14 is offline
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Correct, taking them out is not an option bc my state has emissions testing. I'm not sure what the actual code is but four mechanics told me that it's showing as bank 1 and bank 2 cat converters.


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  #8  
Old 09-19-2014, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgrimm14 View Post
Correct, taking them out is not an option bc my state has emissions testing. I'm not sure what the actual code is but four mechanics told me that it's showing as bank 1 and bank 2 cat converters.


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I would just about bet money that it`s your pre-cat oxygen sensors that are bad (120K miles is typically where they crap out), and not your cats....
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2014, 02:36 PM
dgrimm14 dgrimm14 is offline
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I've already replaced two oxygen sensors over the years, and I did have a code now for one oxygen sensor but not two (at least I don't remember any of the mechanics telling me there were two sensor codes). I believe the oxygen sensor code went off after one of the mechanics put in some kind of spacers; however, the cat codes came back so the spacers didn't work.


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  #10  
Old Yesterday, 05:21 AM
marcozandrini marcozandrini is online now
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Find another shop.


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  #11  
Old Yesterday, 08:09 AM
dgrimm14 dgrimm14 is offline
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The consensus seems to be to try another mechanic; however, since the warranty on my car lapsed, I have taken my car to numerous shops and eventually figure out that none of them know what they are doing. It's very difficult to find a mechanic knowledgeable about BMWs. And the one mechanic who put the spacers in and when the code came back on told me that I have to replace the cats only works on BMWs. This is depressing.


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  #12  
Old Yesterday, 08:21 AM
marcozandrini marcozandrini is online now
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Where are you located? If you're in the US I recommend that you contact the local chapter of the BMWCCA. If you're in Canada, contact the local chapter of the Canadian BMW car club. Members are always ready to provide recommendations.

Just because the mech workz on bimmers doesn't mean he/she knows how to fix bimmers.


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  #13  
Old Yesterday, 08:24 AM
dgrimm14 dgrimm14 is offline
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325i Catalytic Converters

I'm in Illinois. I looked on bimmer shops.com now, and one of the mechanics I've seen for the cat issue is listed. He used to work for BMW. But I can try another.


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Last edited by dgrimm14; Yesterday at 08:25 AM.
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  #14  
Old Yesterday, 12:46 PM
marcozandrini marcozandrini is online now
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Google "BMWCCA #####" where "#####" us your zipcode. That'll tell you the nearest chapter of the CCA. Join and ask for recommendations.


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  #15  
Old Yesterday, 12:55 PM
dgrimm14 dgrimm14 is offline
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Thank you.



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  #16  
Old Yesterday, 01:03 PM
Rob43 Rob43 is offline
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Like others have stated, I doubt your Cats have failed at 119K, you Really do need a second & third opinion.

But if all else fails & you're Forced to purchase new Cats for your Bimmer,........ give these a try. Heck, you might even pickup 2 or 3 WHP.

http://www.amazon.com/Pacesetter-757...ytic+converter

http://www.amazon.com/Pacesetter-757...CCZW4P86758YFA


Good luck,
Rob43
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