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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 08-25-2009, 08:56 AM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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My fuel filter change

Alrighty, on Sunday I went to my friends place and we changed our pressurized fuel filters to new Mahle ones.

I used this DIY:

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

The DIY was pretty straight forward like the DIY shows. We jacked up our cars and put them on ramps (the jack couldn't clear the fronts of our cars, lol. M3 and ZHP fronts). We first worked on Vinny's 2005 330ci ZHP with 65k. Had it up in air in no time then we proceeded to to the job. Few screws here and there, bent the shield down then off to take the hoses off which was the hardest part for the first time. We tried using a screw driver to push the hoses off and nada. Then we took pliers and clamped the soft part and just worked it back and forth and it eventually came off. His car still had a lot of fuel in his line, a nice ocean mist spray of fuel was everywhere luckily not hitting any of us. Few min later with an oil pan it was empty. Putting the new one and reinstalling was a breeze.

After putting the fuse back and in priming the filter about 6 times both cars had a small roughness in operation and eventually smoothed out 30 seconds later, no codes or anything. His symptom before the change was that his idle would be rough and bouncy. After the change, perfect idle!!

Then we did my car 88k. We had to be a bit more careful with the hoses due to age, but there was really no problem. A small squirt of fuel and that was all. What was interesting is that my cars fuel line (blue) was dripping a lot of fuel for a bit and Vinny's had nothing coming out of there. A sign that my filter was f'd up bad and was restricting a lot? lol. My immediate notice after the change was less hesitation from a stop, but I still need to drive the car more to notice. And then on the highway my MPG went up about 2-4 or so doing a constant 65mph.

Here are the pics. As you can see, the fuel in the sandcastle fuel collector was black and that was from MY filter and not his. When we took mine out the fuel looked a bit cloudy anyways. Once I put it into the "pot" a lot of BLACK fuel came out with small SEDIMENTS.

Gentlemen, if you have 70K or more miles and NEVER changed it, DO IT NOW!



My filter on the left


My filter inside


Vinny's filter inside
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2009, 10:03 AM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
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Fastest way to change the filter is to pre-fit the new one with new rubber hoses and new clamps. Then, just slice the hoses on the old filter off with a knife and avoid having the tug of war. Oh, and let the car sit for awhile (> 20 minutes) so the system depressurizes by itself and you don't get an eyeful of fuel. That way, you don't need to pull the pump fuse and run the engine till it dies, potentially getting a code in memory.
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2009, 10:26 AM
sjanders sjanders is offline
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Nice job! Those filter pics make me want to change mine out pronto.
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2009, 10:27 AM
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Wow! Very cool and thank you for the write up and the pics! I've bookmarked it when I do mine.

Thanks!

Johnny
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2009, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcourcoul View Post
Fastest way to change the filter is to pre-fit the new one with new rubber hoses and new clamps. Then, just slice the hoses on the old filter off with a knife and avoid having the tug of war.
We did put the two hoses on the IN side first then slide it in. Putting it back took a matter of seconds.
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2009, 03:23 PM
Melquin Melquin is offline
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Be very careful, and use proper precautions if you decide cut open your old fuel filter as Jake did to see how badly it is clogged. I know someone who had an extremely memorable experience, a few years back, doing that with an old (and sparking) electric reciprocating saw.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2009, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Melquin View Post
Be very careful, and use proper precautions if you decide cut open your old fuel filter as Jake did to see how badly it is clogged. I know someone who had an extremely memorable experience, a few years back, doing that with an old (and sparking) electric reciprocating saw.
I know, lol. Luckily my friend cut it at work. He let it dry out completely anyways.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2009, 04:18 PM
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smolck smolck is online now
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When I did this repair, I was sprayed in the face with hot gas. OUCH!
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2009, 05:45 PM
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When I did this repair, I was sprayed in the face with hot gas. OUCH!
Just make sure never to backtalk the police when that happens:

Link->:Man bursts into flames after being Tasered by U.S. police

Now that is one bad day!
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2009, 05:48 PM
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tmba2002 tmba2002 is offline
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Adding fuel filter to the list of things to order for the next oil change......
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  #11  
Old 09-03-2009, 09:02 PM
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Update: My car feels SOOOOOOOOO much faster/responsive on the highway it's not even funny. I hit 110 today in a matter of seconds and I felt that it could pull much much more. That time when I hit 135 or so is a joke to me now. Looking back at the vid I can see it being slow. Can't wait to rip it up there again.
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2009, 09:32 PM
veightkiller veightkiller is offline
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good work!
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2009, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
Update: My car feels SOOOOOOOOO much faster/responsive on the highway it's not even funny. I hit 110 today in a matter of seconds and I felt that it could pull much much more. That time when I hit 135 or so is a joke to me now. Looking back at the vid I can see it being slow. Can't wait to rip it up there again.
Good deal Jake, I've been swamped with work and still haven't changed mine. You're doing those speeds with failing CABs, or did you replace them?
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  #14  
Old 09-04-2009, 04:25 AM
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Good deal Jake, I've been swamped with work and still haven't changed mine. You're doing those speeds with failing CABs, or did you replace them?
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  #15  
Old 09-04-2009, 04:35 AM
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Hahaha
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  #16  
Old 09-04-2009, 04:37 AM
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Hahaha
Recently lubed The car drives fine on perfectly straight roads. I only have some tramlining on 2 parts of the highway here.
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  #17  
Old 09-05-2009, 04:06 AM
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I did mine and with my super charger it wants to stall out on a cold start. The supercharger software doesn't mess with emissions so I'm thinking the car will have get used to the new filter.
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Old 09-05-2009, 04:42 AM
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I did mine and with my super charger it wants to stall out on a cold start. The supercharger software doesn't mess with emissions so I'm thinking the car will have get used to the new filter.
Depending on the supercharger, there may be a software update to fix your cold start issues, I remember hearing about that with a few of the early Roots superchargers.
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  #19  
Old 10-13-2009, 06:17 AM
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I have replaced mine fuel filter yesterday. The fuel was milky from "Out" point of fuel filter. I didn't wait for depressurization, so while disconnecting "Out" point of the hose I had fuel came out under pressure and sprayed all over. Also when I had disconnected "IN" point of the hose, fuel was continue leaking. So my advice, be prepare for it, and have new filter close by to connect it immediately to the fuel line.
Good luck
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  #20  
Old 10-13-2009, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by phlfly View Post
I have replaced mine fuel filter yesterday. The fuel was milky from "Out" point of fuel filter. I didn't wait for depressurization, so while disconnecting "Out" point of the hose I had fuel came out under pressure and sprayed all over. Also when I had disconnected "IN" point of the hose, fuel was continue leaking. So my advice, be prepare for it, and have new filter close by to connect it immediately to the fuel line.
Good luck
Glad that you changed it, report back with your results.
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  #21  
Old 10-13-2009, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
We did put the two hoses on the IN side first then slide it in. Putting it back took a matter of seconds.
You should make a DIY video on this subject. While you're at it you can make another one on how to change your oil. Both of these things are simple and it doesn't take that much time to do them.
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  #22  
Old 10-13-2009, 07:03 AM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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Originally Posted by bimmerusam3 View Post
You should make a DIY video on this subject. While you're at it you can make another one on how to change your oil. Both of these things are simple and it doesn't take that much time to do them.
Yea, next time if I have to do the filter job I'll record it. Maybe I'll need to put my camera in a zip-loc bag.
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  #23  
Old 10-13-2009, 10:47 AM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
Update: My car feels SOOOOOOOOO much faster/responsive on the highway it's not even funny. I hit 110 today in a matter of seconds and I felt that it could pull much much more. That time when I hit 135 or so is a joke to me now. Looking back at the vid I can see it being slow. Can't wait to rip it up there again.
Funny, I did this maintenance item right after I bought the car and I did not feel much difference. I'm glad I did it but the old one must have been pretty clean...

BTW I used high pressure fuel hoses (Thermoid brand) from Advanced Auto since BMW fuel hose is SOO expensive and I can say that there is nothing wrong with aftermarket hose of course as long as it is HIGH pressure fuel line. The new clamps I did buy from dealer. I'd highly recommend new hoses and clamps.

GOOD JOB, Solidjake!!

Last edited by Starless; 10-13-2009 at 01:02 PM.
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  #24  
Old 10-13-2009, 07:33 PM
bwagner0609 bwagner0609 is offline
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fuel filter

good post - I will be doing that soon. How much did the filter run you? I have 136k on mine and I'm guessing it's never been done. looks pretty easy on these cars compared to some other makes I've seen. Thanks for the info!!
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:37 PM
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good post - I will be doing that soon. How much did the filter run you? I have 136k on mine and I'm guessing it's never been done. looks pretty easy on these cars compared to some other makes I've seen. Thanks for the info!!
I got one for $35
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