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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 02-12-2013, 06:52 AM
Cwarta Cwarta is offline
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First time BMW owner - have some maintenance questions 01' 325i

Hello guys, I just picked up an 01 325i in alpine white for my wife.

I don't know much about the previous maintenance history so I'm in need of your help.

I'm wanting to know what areas I should service to ensure a long and successfully life with this car. Timing belt? Trans? Diff? Etc what would you recommend I look over first?

Thanks for everyone's help!
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2013, 07:04 AM
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JayKayo JayKayo is offline
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What I do every 5,000 miles is change the engine oil with Lubro-Moly, balance & alignment, check/top off the fluids.
But if you're not sure of the car's past, I'd suggest also getting the transmission flushed, replacing the FCABs if they're out, all belts and pulleys, the DISA if it even shows any signs that its leaking, cleaning the MAF, replacing the intake filter if its dirty, and the battery if it is still the factory one, since they usually run out of juice anyways around 8 years of use.
Might sound like an extensive list, maybe not. But it's always safer to overkill than do too little too late.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:05 AM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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Right above your post is a sticky post about the Wiki. It is a great source of info for all aspects of the e46. You will find maintenance tips, in-depth explanations of things and probably most all if not all of the answers you seek.

Some quick things:
1) The 325i has a timing chain, not a timing belt, so that is one less thing to worry about.

2) Secondly, most of us start off by refreshing the cooling system items - water pump, thermostat, expansion tank, hoses (some do all pulleys/tensioners/belts, radiator and fan clutch as well.) These items over 100k miles are prone to failure. I did WP, ET, thermostat, and the pulleys/tensioners/belts (mine were making noise.)

3) I would also have someone who is knowledgeable about euro cars/bmws put the car on a rack and examine all the suspension stuff. I had to put control arm bushings (a common wear item) on my car when I first got it.

4) You might think about fluid replacements (brake, transmission, rear diff, coolant.) I don't recommend flushing trans fluid but simply changing it.

Enjoy your car. I have an '01 325i that I bought in September and I really love it.

Last edited by vandyboy; 02-12-2013 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:29 AM
Cwarta Cwarta is offline
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Thank you greatly for the input. I'll read the wiki above as we'll. engine oil/ trans are on the list today
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:08 AM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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One last thing - since it is new to you, keep an eye out for leaks of all kinds - especially oil and coolant. I would recommend checking the oil frequently because there are several common oil leaks - fortunately, the repairs are relatively easy to do. Coolant loss - well, that is due to the usual suspects, especially the expansion tank. If you notice a loss of power steering fluid, it is likely from a leaking ps hose (needs tighting of or a new clamp) or the top of the reservoir is leaking. Taking the shield off underneath the car can yield a lot of information regarding leaks.

I know all of this sounds scary, but none of these are big expensive repairs if you catch them before they cause problems. It sounds like you are proactive and will be on top of things.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:37 AM
Cwarta Cwarta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vandyboy View Post
One last thing - since it is new to you, keep an eye out for leaks of all kinds - especially oil and coolant. I would recommend checking the oil frequently because there are several common oil leaks - fortunately, the repairs are relatively easy to do. Coolant loss - well, that is due to the usual suspects, especially the expansion tank. If you notice a loss of power steering fluid, it is likely from a leaking ps hose (needs tighting of or a new clamp) or the top of the reservoir is leaking. Taking the shield off underneath the car can yield a lot of information regarding leaks.

I know all of this sounds scary, but none of these are big expensive repairs if you catch them before they cause problems. It sounds like you are proactive and will be on top of things.
Again I thank you for all your help. I am no stranger to preventive maintenance or cars. I also own 2004 GTO that i did an engine swap that I fully built myself from Bare block (dyno'd 454/425) I do all my own work so these things are no stranger to me I just don't know anything about BMWs. also I've been reading about the lifetime warranty for the transmission fluid from BMW and see that people still recommended changing it. I'm looking at the redline I am transmission fluid I believe it's the D4 I want to make 100% sure that it is the D4 transmission fluid believe it shows the quantity as 2 quarts. that does not hardly seem like enough transmission fluid to me but yet again I am unfamiliar with BMWs and I'm used to atleast 4 quart changes. Do you happen to know the part number for the transmission filter that is required to change on this car
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:07 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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These are the specific things you should look for on an e46

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...=896234&page=3
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