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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 10-06-2013, 06:57 AM
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Don't buy an aftermarket MAF

So I am cheap, not because I want to be, but because I HAVE to be. So when Mr. MAF died on the ZHP and I found out a new one cost $300 I said "oh no, no, no". I went to my dear friend Mr. Ebay and he had one for $79.95. I was excited. I mean, when it comes to building a quality MAF I used Jeremy Clarkson's logic, "how hard can it be?"

Well, apparently pretty hard. I plugged it in and drove the car, it drove fine. As soon as I stopped, turned it off to run and errand, and turned it back on I was greeted by Mr. Check Engine Light for a p0103 code (MAF voltage too high or some such). CRAP! Not only that, but when trying to do heel/toe braking I realized that when the brake is engaged, the throttle is disabled just like when I had the MAF unplugged.

So I plugged in my old MAF and even though it is choked, it ran fine, no CEL, heel/toe braking worked, everything (just no top end)

Now I have to spend $300 on a Siemens/VDO MAF (OEM Supplier) top fix my car. Granted, I get a refund on my $80, but what a nightmare!

It did give me a chance to pull my intake boots, dipstick tube, and ICV for a thorough cleaning and checking for vacuum leaks (which there were none since they are all new).

Anyways, on certain items, it is best to just take your lumps and buy the expensive stuff. Apparently there IS a difference!
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2013, 07:02 AM
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Don't buy an aftermarket MAF

As the saying goes "you get what you pay for" we've all been there brotha


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  #3  
Old 10-06-2013, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King 5 View Post
As the saying goes "you get what you pay for" we've all been there brotha


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Thanks. Yea, sometimes the wallet speaks louder than my brain.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2013, 07:17 AM
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Re: Don't buy an aftermarket MAF

I have had this experience several times, and after having less than optimal experiences with a URO expansion tank and oil separator/hoses, I always try to opt for OE parts, as painful as it is at times.
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  #5  
Old 10-06-2013, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottji View Post
I have had this experience several times, and after having less than optimal experiences with a URO expansion tank and oil separator/hoses, I always try to opt for OE parts, as painful as it is at times.
I have never skimped on cooling system parts, the difference isn't THAT great. But like you, I know a lot of people who have. Never goes well. The only place I have ever skimped and been happy was on the P/S pump. I bought a Cardone from auto zone and other than having to retro fit the connector from the old pump, it went in fine and lasted the life of the car.

But NEVER again will I skimp on electrical stuff. And I KNOW better! What was I thinking!
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #6  
Old 10-06-2013, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
I have never skimped on cooling system parts, the difference isn't THAT great. But like you, I know a lot of people who have. Never goes well. The only place I have ever skimped and been happy was on the P/S pump. I bought a Cardone from auto zone and other than having to retro fit the connector from the old pump, it went in fine and lasted the life of the car.

But NEVER again will I skimp on electrical stuff. And I KNOW better! What was I thinking!
The cost versus benefit analysis is one of the great conundrums of life. My motto is if I have to take anything else off to get to the part I'm replacing, I fork over the extra cash to get the OE, or OEM part.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:04 AM
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Unless I was hallucinating, I seem to recall reading somewhere that certain Hyundai models use the same exact Siemens MAF as our cars, but the Hyundai unit is substantially cheaper. You might want to verify that.....
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2013, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Unless I was hallucinating, I seem to recall reading somewhere that certain Hyundai models use the same exact Siemens MAF as our cars, but the Hyundai unit is substantially cheaper. You might want to verify that.....
Thats only for the pre 2003 325s unfortunately. Smolck you can try Bavarian auto recyclers for a used one. It is a gamble sure but they are very good with testing and offer some warranty.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:30 AM
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Smolck, I learned a heck of a lot from you and Fast Bob and many others here and the one thing that stands out when it comes to sensors and/or electrical components is OEM for reliability. Still learning here, you reaffirmed for me that EBay may not be the best place to shop for those items.
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  #10  
Old 10-06-2013, 10:09 AM
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Well, my buddy who has the salvage yard met me over there and sold me a NEW OEM unit. Works perfectly. All problems gone and no CEL. Car is back to normal and though I didn't reset my adaptations, it is learning very quickly because they were reset less than a week ago. MPG's back up to 24ish and power is back to normal.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #11  
Old 10-06-2013, 01:51 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottji View Post
I have had this experience several times, and after having less than optimal experiences with a URO expansion tank and oil separator/hoses.
I've done my best to research URO for the troups. Used google to research, including reading carefully word by word as much as I can on their site. I came to the strong conclusion that URO is cheap chinese crap. And that is important to know in order to pass along that info each time their name comes up.
Additionally even more skeevy is the avoidance of any mention on the URO site as to where their parts originate. My interpretation is that they know and understand that their parts are crap and wouldn't play well if people knew they were cheap chinese crap.
I'd suggest stickers be placed on their products with those three words.
Ask me how I feel about URO! Start the revolution.




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  #12  
Old 10-06-2013, 02:11 PM
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Re: Don't buy an aftermarket MAF

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
I've done my best to research URO for the troups. Used google to research, including reading carefully word by word as much as I can on their site. I came to the strong conclusion that URO is cheap chinese crap. And that is important to know in order to pass along that info each time their name comes up.
Additionally even more skeevy is the avoidance of any mention on the URO site as to where their parts originate. My interpretation is that they know and understand that their parts are crap and wouldn't play well if people knew they were cheap chinese crap.
I'd suggest stickers be placed on their products with those three words.
Ask me how I feel about URO! Start the revolution.




The only place I've heard they are ok is their metal water pump pulley which is supposed to be stronger than the OE pulley. But for the most part, junk (much like the MTC brand certain online suppliers carry -- I wouldn't trust it)

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  #13  
Old 10-06-2013, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
I've done my best to research URO for the troups. Used google to research, including reading carefully word by word as much as I can on their site. I came to the strong conclusion that URO is cheap chinese crap. And that is important to know in order to pass along that info each time their name comes up.
Additionally even more skeevy is the avoidance of any mention on the URO site as to where their parts originate. My interpretation is that they know and understand that their parts are crap and wouldn't play well if people knew they were cheap chinese crap.
I'd suggest stickers be placed on their products with those three words.
Ask me how I feel about URO! Start the revolution.




The Chinese are masters of "barely good enough". If they made most products the way they should be made, costs would be similar to what that product could be produced and sold for in the USA. They copy and reverse engineer their competition, cut costs wherever possible, and then sell for less. It's a difficult scenario to go up against, considering the original designer has to recoup R&D costs. When manufacturing an item, a companies two major costs are labor and materials. When they need to increase profit margin, they cant cut labor costs. They are paying their workforce 4 cents an hour. They can't cut it to three, so they skimp on materials. What really disturbs me is that some of their substandard fasteners, rotors and other safety related items have been allowed to be sold to the unsuspecting public.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJBimmer View Post
The Chinese are masters of "barely good enough". If they made most products the way they should be made, costs would be similar to what that product could be produced and sold for in the USA. They copy and reverse engineer their competition, cut costs wherever possible, and then sell for less. It's a difficult scenario to go up against, considering the original designer has to recoup R&D costs. When manufacturing an item, a companies two major costs are labor and materials. When they need to increase profit margin, they cant cut labor costs. They are paying their workforce 4 cents an hour. They can't cut it to three, so they skimp on materials. What really disturbs me is that some of their substandard fasteners, rotors and other safety related items have been allowed to be sold to the unsuspecting public.
No question. I guess I should add my MAF said "made in China"
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:57 PM
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djstrachan djstrachan is offline
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No question. I guess I should add my MAF said "made in China"
BMW actually produces 100,000 cars a year at their Chinese plant. Pretty soon, all their parts may be made in China!!
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  #16  
Old 10-06-2013, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Well, my buddy who has the salvage yard met me over there and sold me a NEW OEM unit. Works perfectly. All problems gone and no CEL. Car is back to normal and though I didn't reset my adaptations, it is learning very quickly because they were reset less than a week ago. MPG's back up to 24ish and power is back to normal.
So after the new MAF, all your recent problems are solved?
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:18 AM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Originally Posted by djstrachan View Post
BMW actually produces 100,000 cars a year at their Chinese plant. Pretty soon, all their parts may be made in China!!
No problem! Big difference between "Made in China" by chinese, and "Made in China" by a large quality control oriented company that oversees the materials and processes carefully.

So far the chinese can't get out of their head, a 'screw any thought of quality' philosophy. If I can save $.03 but add another 25% fail rate, no problem!

If they ever incorporate quality into their vocabulary, they might drastically change what we buy at Walmart.

Last edited by GoForthFast; 10-07-2013 at 09:21 AM.
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  #18  
Old 10-07-2013, 12:58 PM
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Don't buy an aftermarket MAF

I read somewhere that those cheap eBay MAF sensors are not even new, they are rebuilt from old sensors. That might work with alternators or starters but never really work with MAF sensors. Wasted money indeed.


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Old 10-07-2013, 03:40 PM
magicarpet magicarpet is offline
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Great follow up man!! Electronic parts are strange animals, whether they are new, used or Chinese. They even build BMW E-parts in India! Terrible stuff.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by goforthfast View Post
no problem! Big difference between "made in china" by chinese, and "made in china" by a large quality control oriented company that oversees the materials and processes carefully.

So far the chinese can't get out of their head, a 'screw any thought of quality' philosophy. If i can save $.03 but add another 25% fail rate, no problem!

If they ever incorporate quality into their vocabulary, they might drastically change what we buy at walmart.
+1!
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:23 AM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivMcLean View Post
Smolck, I learned a heck of a lot from you and Fast Bob and many others here and the one thing that stands out when it comes to sensors and/or electrical components is OEM for reliability. Still learning here, you reaffirmed for me that EBay may not be the best place to shop for those items.
Agreed, I have alot to learn. I hope you guys don't mind me asking questions before I buy a replacement part. One thing for sure electrical parts must be OE!

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:14 AM
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Re: Don't buy an aftermarket MAF

Quote:
Originally Posted by catso View Post
So after the new MAF, all your recent problems are solved?
Yep. Car back to normal and running hard. Midrange is really strong again too

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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:23 AM
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Need to add this to this tribal knowledge thread ...
- What BMW parts & supplies are most often recommended to buy OEM from a dealer or sponsor (1)
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:44 PM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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Need to add this to this tribal knowledge thread ...
- What BMW parts & supplies are most often recommended to buy OEM from a dealer or sponsor (1)
That would be very helpful!

Dave
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  #25  
Old 10-08-2013, 04:51 PM
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Yep. Car back to normal and running hard. Midrange is really strong again too

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That's the news we all wanted to hear!
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