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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 07-03-2015, 07:44 PM
BimmerBob91 BimmerBob91 is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 1999 323i Sedan Manual
Catalytic Converter Rattle - Invest or Sell the 323i?

I recently got my 323i repaired at my local Indy BMW shop for a multitude of problems after my car's acceleration was stuttering and the check engine light went off. Here are some details of the services me 323i received:

- Fault Code P0303: misfiring Cylinder 3
- Ignition coil, connector, and VCG replaced
- All spark plugs replaced
- Intake boots replaced
- Coolant expansion Tank/Hoses/Cap replaced (includes bottom host to expansion tank)

I am happy to have my car up and running again. Needless to say, my car was overdue for a good repair. But here were some replacement recommendations from my shop and I wanted the BimmerFest Community's input on the DIY difficulty for each job (I have no mechanic experience):

- Engine mounts
- Oil filter housing gasket
- Power steering reservoir and hoses
- Steering rack boots.
- Catalytic Converter [My mechanic mentioned that he heard a rattle from the converter and also hit the converter to hear an odd sound that is indicative of needing a replacement soon. He said he tried obtaining a code, but did not. He advised that these may fail in the near future, but it's not certain when.]

He quoted me $2400 for the catalytic converters repair. My car is currently at 148k miles. I love this car and would love to bring it back to life, especially after dishing out some cash for the above repairs. But, is it worth the investment? I figure I could probably buy another car with that $2400, but it's hard to let go of my baby. Is it possible to DIY for all the replacement recommendations, despite having little experience?

I appreciate any feedback. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2015, 08:29 PM
forzam forzam is offline
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Location: east coast
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 510
Mein Auto: 04 325Ci
Regarding the cats, don't bother with it until a code is thrown or if it gets so clogged you lose power. An exhaust back pressure test is needed to diagnose a clog. It's not like they are going to leave you stranded.
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2015, 02:57 AM
allikanbe allikanbe is offline
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Location: yorktown, va
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 26
Mein Auto: 2006 330Ci Convertible
My 2002 MB E320 needed new cats. They were rattling. One was replaced under warranty, but the other was out-of-pocket. It was about $1,000. Had I known better, I would have searched the web and had an after-market cat put on at a garage for about $300. My guess is the BMW can be done similarly. I'd search the web for after-market non OEM cats.
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:16 AM
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Kamdog Kamdog is online now
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Location: New York
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,424
Mein Auto: 2008 535i
Quote:
Originally Posted by allikanbe View Post
My 2002 MB E320 needed new cats. They were rattling. One was replaced under warranty, but the other was out-of-pocket. It was about $1,000. Had I known better, I would have searched the web and had an after-market cat put on at a garage for about $300. My guess is the BMW can be done similarly. I'd search the web for after-market non OEM cats.
I don't know if the CARB allows aftermarket cats.
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2015, 08:29 AM
MoparJim MoparJim is offline
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Location: Fresno, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 238
Mein Auto: 1967 Barracuda convert
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
I don't know if the CARB allows aftermarket cats.
I looked these up last night. There are certain vehicles (this one and '99-00 Miatas) that have California-only cat setups. CARB now requires that cats be stamped with the compliance number. This requires the aftermarket manufacturer to do some testing and spend some money. None of them appear willing. That means that the cats that fit cannot be sold in California (even though it is likely that they only fit California cars) or New York.

The warm-up cat (right off the exhaust manifold) was going bad in my old Miata (yes, I told the new owner) and I did find one on E-bay from a private seller that I would have bought if I hadn't sold the car.
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