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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 03-25-2012, 08:28 AM
zhpboy zhpboy is offline
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Couple of wet spark plugs!!!

So I changed the spark plugs yestarday as the car just passed the 60k. The DIY costed me loosing a washer-nut from the engine cover and a torx screw from the cabin filter housing unit somewhere in the engine bay (I am very impatience) but saved a lot of $$$.

Anyways, as I was taking out the original BOSCH-BMW plugs, I noticed that few of the tip of the plugs were soaking wet and others had dry tips with white deposit (which I was expecting from all of them). 100% of the plugs were wet around the thread area.

Is that normal? Should I be concerned? BTW, the car has turned to a beast with the NGK 3199s.
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2012, 08:40 AM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zhpboy View Post
So I changed the spark plugs yestarday as the car just passed the 60k. The DIY costed me loosing a washer-nut from the engine cover and a torx screw from the cabin filter housing unit somewhere in the engine bay (I am very impatience) but saved a lot of $$$.

Anyways, as I was taking out the original BOSCH-BMW plugs, I noticed that few of the tip of the plugs were soaking wet and others had dry tips with white deposit (which I was expecting from all of them). 100% of the plugs were wet around the thread area.

Is that normal? Should I be concerned? BTW, the car has turned to a beast with the NGK 3199s.
No, that is not normal. BMW plugs are not BOSCH. BMW OEM plugs are NGK BKR6EQUP.

When you say soaking wet, was it wet from gasoline, oil or water (coolant)? It could mean the difference between a CCV failure or a head gasket although any of these should mean other symptoms present.

Were you washing the engine before changing the plugs.

Last edited by ckleung100; 03-25-2012 at 08:54 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2012, 12:45 PM
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johnnygraphic johnnygraphic is offline
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Originally Posted by zhpboy View Post
The DIY costed me loosing a washer-nut from the engine cover and a torx screw from the cabin filter housing unit somewhere in the engine bay (I am very impatience) but saved a lot of $$$.
Please don't take offense, but IF the issue is the Valve Cover Gasket (VCG), I would not suggest that you DIY.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:26 PM
firstgen92ext firstgen92ext is offline
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I Just bought a 01 330i and did a valve cover gasket job on it. I didnt run in to any problems, and I am NOT a import guru. Ive always worked on chevys.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:46 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Originally Posted by ckleung100 View Post
When you say soaking wet, was it wet from gasoline, oil or water (coolant)?
This......
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:53 PM
zhpboy zhpboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckleung100 View Post
No, that is not normal. BMW plugs are not BOSCH. BMW OEM plugs are NGK BKR6EQUP.

When you say soaking wet, was it wet from gasoline, oil or water (coolant)? It could mean the difference between a CCV failure or a head gasket although any of these should mean other symptoms present.

Were you washing the engine before changing the plugs.
The plugs that I pulled out had BMW BOSCH written on them. I saved one of the plugs and will post pics once I get a chance.

The car had its valve cover gasket replaced less than 1k miles when I took did the 60k miles inspection. The extended warranty took up the tab. I should have mentioned it in my original post but occured to be later.

I suspect that the oil (not gas or water) was leftover from the previous leak?
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:25 AM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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Originally Posted by zhpboy View Post
The plugs that I pulled out had BMW BOSCH written on them. I saved one of the plugs and will post pics once I get a chance.
BMW BOSCH may have been stamped on them but they probably weren't meant for your car. The NGKs are the ones that are OEM for e46s so that's probably why you say there is a performance difference with the NGKs.




Quote:
The car had its valve cover gasket replaced less than 1k miles when I took did the 60k miles inspection. The extended warranty took up the tab. I should have mentioned it in my original post but occurred to be later.

I suspect that the oil (not gas or water) was leftover from the previous leak?
That may explain the oil on the threads but was there oil on the tips of the plugs too? That would indicate a CCV failure among other things.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:19 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckleung100 View Post
BMW BOSCH may have been stamped on them but they probably weren't meant for your car. The NGKs are the ones that are OEM for e46s so that's probably why you say there is a performance difference with the NGKs.
I did some research on this. My local salvage yard sells new and used BMW parts. They have BMW branded boxes that contain Bosch spark plugs. Seems BMW interchangeably ran NGK or Bosch in the newer cars (probably around 02-03). This is my observation and isn't anything more than a "best guess" so I could be wrong. But BMW branded Bosch plugs do exist. I have seen them with mine own eyes.

As for them being "wet". It was likely from the previous leak that allowed oil in your spark plug holes. Very common.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:42 AM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
I did some research on this. My local salvage yard sells new and used BMW parts. They have BMW branded boxes that contain Bosch spark plugs. Seems BMW interchangeably ran NGK or Bosch in the newer cars (probably around 02-03). This is my observation and isn't anything more than a "best guess" so I could be wrong. But BMW branded Bosch plugs do exist. I have seen them with mine own eyes.

As for them being "wet". It was likely from the previous leak that allowed oil in your spark plug holes. Very common.
Ya, I don't doubt that BMW Bosch spark plugs exists. I'm sure they do. They also have many, many models of cars and motorcycles so I figure they could have been OEM for one of them. To my knowledge, I haven't seem a BMW oem spec. for a Bosch plug in an e46 though.
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