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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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Old 05-14-2014, 01:52 PM
Kamakozma Kamakozma is offline
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Location: Manhattan
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 328i
Would you be concerned?

Hello amigos, I purchased a 99 BMW 328i a month back. She is a purty lady, fern green metallic and less than 70K miles. Did some work on her already (horn circuit, window motor, belts, brake pads, air filters, door track, clock spring, bulb).

Two other things I noticed are 1) the AC comes on but even at the lowest temperature it isn't particularly cold and it takes awhile for it to kick in. The mechanic said it requires a new Compressor and that is $1K. He is reliable and trustworthy but being ignorant I wanted to see if that was of concern to anyone generally? 2) The car tends to reverberate a bit when driving, the steering wheel essentially pulses back towards me slightly. It sort of shakes very subtly but from the dashboard/steering wheel, the car itself doesn't feel like it is kicking back or stalling.

The inspections haven't turned up anything that indicates major issues so I am not super concerned but wanted to poll the group.

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Old 05-14-2014, 03:13 PM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is online now
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Location: Here, there, everywhere....
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
The AC problem might just be a low charge, have someone well-versed in HVAC work throw a set of gauges on it and see what it needs.

Your front-end pulsing could be due to a couple of things, ranging from worn or unbalanced tires, a slightly bent wheel, or worn LCABs (common on E46s).

Read the E46 Wiki !
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:56 PM
Kamakozma Kamakozma is offline
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Location: Manhattan
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 328i
Thanks for the reply, LCABs are what exactly? I grew up in the city so I have little car knowledge as you can see. I read the wiki, twice actually.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:06 PM
new_kid new_kid is offline
Quietly Learning E46
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 258
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 323i
Kamakozma being new, I'd suggest you make use of the search function on the forum.

Here's a head start with your question on LCABs:


Good luck.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:24 PM
Dreasdoku Dreasdoku is offline
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Location: Gresham, Oregon
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 87
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 323i
I just replaced my (LCAB) lower control arm bushings. It had a minor vibration on the freeway and pretty much anytime I got over 55 mph. The DIY for them is awesome and with the correct tools it only takes about an hour max for both sides. After fixing them there is no more vibration in the front end at all. I did a quick triple digit check to be completely sure and it is all good. I would look in to that first.

However, I did have a civic that the original owner had over filled the AC and popped the safety plug which caused some weird vibrations and pulses in the wheel and front end so check to see if the safety plug is popped when you have an AC guy go over it. Once I replace the compressor, it stopped the weird stuff. Those would be my first two points of inspection. Good luck. Diagnosing weird stuff can be difficult.
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