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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 11-10-2012, 11:45 AM
foxskilady foxskilady is offline
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2002 325xi

My daughter bought her car from a dealer in July '12. It had about 90K miles on it. She put about 5000 miles on it then on her 1st long distance trip it overheated and the engine seized! She said no warning lights went on! The original dealer says they're not responsible to replace the car or engine. Has anyone else had this problem with this model?
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2012, 12:42 PM
Spikes007 Spikes007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxskilady View Post
My daughter bought her car from a dealer in July '12. It had about 90K miles on it. She put about 5000 miles on it then on her 1st long distance trip it overheated and the engine seized! She said no warning lights went on! The original dealer says they're not responsible to replace the car or engine. Has anyone else had this problem with this model?
It's a common problem of the e46. The cooling system needed a replacement but now it's probably too late. I have no idea how the legal system works in the US so I can't really help. But yes it's a problem that every e46 will have (overheating). She probably drove for too long with the engine overheating.

EDIT: I just saw that you bought it this year, I thought it was at least 1 year old. You should have a warranty, unless you bought it as is.
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Last edited by Spikes007; 11-10-2012 at 12:45 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2012, 02:19 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxskilady View Post
My daughter bought her car from a dealer in July '12. It had about 90K miles on it. She put about 5000 miles on it then on her 1st long distance trip it overheated and the engine seized! She said no warning lights went on! The original dealer says they're not responsible to replace the car or engine. Has anyone else had this problem with this model?
Sorry, but the "no warning lights" aspect of this story strains credibility....what about the temperature gauge ? What about the *other* obvious signs of overheating (i.e. clouds of steam accompanied by the smell of boiling antifreeze coming from under the hood) ?
Unless the car was a CPO, or you have a *written* warranty stating otherwise, all used car sales are considered "As is - Where is".
Cooling systems are considered one of the major weak spots on the E46....BMW engines are generally pretty robust, usually going 300,000 miles without crapping out. Overheating, however, is NOT tolerated well, and just one episode can be The Kiss Of Death for that engine, which is why it`s *critical* that the car be stopped and shut off as soon as any sign of overheation is detected.

Sorry for your troubles....
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2012, 03:26 PM
foxskilady foxskilady is offline
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To clarify, my daughter said there was no indication of any overheating via the gauges/lights, until the steam, etc. started to come out from under the hood. They immediately stopped the car and shut it off. After it cooled they checked the coolant level and tried to restart it. It started but then immediately died. The dealer did offer to put in an engine for 3400. Does this sound reasonable? Or should we sell the car for parts and buy something else?
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2012, 04:47 PM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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If she shut it down on time, you may be okay. Find a reputable independent mechanic in your area who's familiar with bmw's , and have it towed there for a second opinion.
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  #6  
Old 11-10-2012, 10:07 PM
OmlyWinks OmlyWinks is offline
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Owner's Remarks --

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Sorry, but the "no warning lights" aspect of this story strains credibility....what about the temperature gauge ? What about the *other* obvious signs of overheating (i.e. clouds of steam accompanied by the smell of boiling antifreeze coming from under the hood) ?
Unless the car was a CPO, or you have a *written* warranty stating otherwise, all used car sales are considered "As is - Where is".
Cooling systems are considered one of the major weak spots on the E46....BMW engines are generally pretty robust, usually going 300,000 miles without crapping out. Overheating, however, is NOT tolerated well, and just one episode can be The Kiss Of Death for that engine, which is why it`s *critical* that the car be stopped and shut off as soon as any sign of overheation is detected.

Sorry for your troubles....
I am the owner of the BMW and was the one in the car (my boyfriend was driving but though) when this happened. I just want to say that while it may sound strange to you that there were no warning lights or anything this is the case. The ONLY indication of it overheating was the smoke/steam. I didn't even smell the coolant burning like everyone says I should have... in fact, I never smelled that smell at all there was NO SMELL at all!

It was not until after the car overheated and we turned if off then turned the key to the "on" position (not "start" position) that the gauge finally went all the way to hot and the check engine light came on.

I just wanted to clarify this because as much as you love your BMWs sometimes there are malfunctions that cause these type of things to happen and I am not lying about the events or the order in which the events occurred.

That being said I really appreciate your input (and everyone's input) regarding my situation. I wish that I had taken it straight to a mechanic after buying it who could have told me to get an extra cooling system. The BMW mechanic I brought it to also said he's seen this problem with this engine before as well. And no, we did not get a warranty... another mistake I made. I have certainly learned my lesson... but it is a very hard, and expensive one to learn....

I am not convinced that towing it to a private mechanic is the best option... who knows if he is a good and honest mechanic? I don't have one down here that I know. Also, the towing becomes an issue. It is very expensive. But I do not think the BMW dealer mechanic I brought it to is lying or over-emphasizing the problem because he very well knows I am not going to pay for a brand new $10,000 engine (price includes labor).

Thanks,

Margo
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2012, 10:34 PM
OmlyWinks OmlyWinks is offline
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I just want to add (agian, I am the owner of the vehicle) that we did not take the vehicle back to the original dealer, we brought it to Co's BMW which is a BMW dealer and repair shop. The mechanic there has been nothing but helpful and courteous, especially since he has allowed my broken vehicle to sit on the lot for over a month now while we figure out what to do. I never would have taken this long to figure out a resolution if the original dealer sales manager hadn't strung me along for weeks and weeks saying he'd get me in another vehicle and all this crap he lied about. Anyway, I just wanted to throw that bit of info in there since my mom did not mention that part and I feel it's important to point out that it is already at a BMW mechanic who is very honest and he truly feels awful for what happened. He has been staying in contact with us, asking if there is anything he can do to help and he even has another mechanic there who has offered to buy the car, but since I have a lien on the car that makes it difficult, but may be an option to consider when regarding every possible option and considering the original dealer will only give $1500 as a trade in for the BMW to go toward another vehicle.
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