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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So it's been a while since I've posted anything, mostly because I haven't smoked a new V8 mustang, gotten a 115 mph speeding ticket or even raced a kid on a 10 speed. But, I took the car in today for an oil change and wow did I spend a whole lot more than I thought!

Total repairs & upgrades = ~$2,500, plus stuff on the near horizon. I forget how expensive these cars can be... I knew some of this was coming up soon but man, it sucks living in the city and not having a place to DIY anymore. That said, if you are in the SF/Bay area, I highly recommend my mechanic - Sokol at Euro Motor Cars. Did a lot of work for me at a very reasonable rate...

Maintenance Total - $1,200. Parts $480, Labor $720
1.) Oil change (5w-30) and filter -
2.) Replace control arm bushings
3.) Replace leaking oil gasket (stand gasket)
4.) Replace expansion tank and hoses (thermostat done earlier, water pump looks ok)
5.) Replace all cooling hoses
6.) Replace the awful Bosch 4 plugs that are causing a cylinder 1 misfire

"Upgrades" as rear suspension is gone
1.) KONI FSD's from tire rack - $800
2.) Installation & alignment - ~$450

Repairs that will need to be done soon...
1.) Rear differential shows signs of leaking - need to replace gaskets and flush
2.) Power steering pumps starting to show leakage
3.) Rear tires worn heavily on insides, need to replace soon
4.) Front rims slightly bent, but still balancing OK with extra weights...

Guess I should also replace the tranny fluid while I'm at it.

I love my car, i love my car, i love my car....ugh
 

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In my own cars again
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4.) Replace expansion tank and hoses (thermostat done earlier, water pump looks ok)
My nether regions clenched up in self-defense when I read this. I'm glad you are friendly with your mechanic and all. I'll avoid any in-depth analysis of parts and labor pricing, but.....

Go back, get the water pump changed. 'Looks ok' is not acceptable on the water pump for these cars. It made it to 75K. It likely will not make it to 100. Having done all that other cooling system work and NOT the pump is criminal.
 

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So it's been a while since I've posted anything, mostly because I haven't smoked a new V8 mustang, gotten a 115 mph speeding ticket or even raced a kid on a 10 speed. But, I took the car in today for an oil change and wow did I spend a whole lot more than I thought!

3.) Replace leaking oil gasket (stand gasket)

May I ask which oil gasket this is? Is it part of the Oil Filter Housing?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My nether regions clenched up in self-defense when I read this. I'm glad you are friendly with your mechanic and all. I'll avoid any in-depth analysis of parts and labor pricing, but.....

Go back, get the water pump changed. 'Looks ok' is not acceptable on the water pump for these cars. It made it to 75K. It likely will not make it to 100. Having done all that other cooling system work and NOT the pump is criminal.
What can I say, I'm a gambling man.... Look at KrisL's 60k report, his was fine when he replaced it... On car's that were built with the metal propeller (03+), failure rates are a lot lower. I'm gonna wait until 100k. At a certain point, you just say the car is worth X and I'm willing to spend Y.

Yes, it was the oil filter housing that was replaced.
 

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Maintenance Total - $1,200. Parts $480, Labor $720
1.) Oil change (5w-30) and filter -
2.) Replace control arm bushings
3.) Replace leaking oil gasket (stand gasket)
4.) Replace expansion tank and hoses (thermostat done earlier, water pump looks ok)
5.) Replace all cooling hoses
6.) Replace the awful Bosch 4 plugs that are causing a cylinder 1 misfire
Too much. Too, too much.
 

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What can I say, I'm a gambling man.... Look at KrisL's 60k report, his was fine when he replaced it... On car's that were built with the metal propeller (03+), failure rates are a lot lower. I'm gonna wait until 100k. At a certain point, you just say the car is worth X and I'm willing to spend Y.

Yes, it was the oil filter housing that was replaced.
My ZHP is an 02/04 build. The original pump was a plastic impeller model. The pumps installed were what was at the factory that day and BMW did not shift to a metal impeller on some magical day in history. Many pumps fit their OEM specs.

Did your shop remove the pump and verify that it was a metal impeller? (If yes, then it is even more of a screw job that they did not replace it with a new one.)

I understand your note about X's and Y's, we're all in that same boat with all of our vehicles. Nevertheless, a bunch of the same labor just performed will have to be done again, and be paid for again, when your pump goes bad. Note I did not say "if" your pump goes bad. Even the metal impeller versions can/will lose the bearing, sooner or later. Hopefully for you it's later.
 

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What can I say, I'm a gambling man.... Look at KrisL's 60k report, his was fine when he replaced it... On car's that were built with the metal propeller (03+), failure rates are a lot lower. I'm gonna wait until 100k. At a certain point, you just say the car is worth X and I'm willing to spend Y.

Yes, it was the oil filter housing that was replaced.
A water pump only costs about $60. To spend that much money and then "save" $60 is quite a gamble.
 

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A water pump only costs about $60. To spend that much money and then "save" $60 is quite a gamble.
Totally agree. Change the water pump. I put off changing the water pump only for the fan blade to explode into tiny little pieces. Took out the clutch and radiator at the same time. As others have noted here, warning sign..with the hood open there is a sort of low grinding sound that seems to come from the front while the engine is idling.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A water pump only costs about $60. To spend that much money and then "save" $60 is quite a gamble.[/QUOTE

You guys are totally right, I should have done it when the thermo was replaced at 60k. But it wasn't done so it's no longer $60, it would be more like another $300 on top of the other 'known' issues on the car.

In some ways, this whole thing reminds me of the subframe issue when everyone on this forum thought their rear end was coming loose. Yes, it's a problem area that has some statistical significance. But fact is, most cars didn't have their subframes tear out and most water pumps will make it to 90 to 100k (I'm considering belts, pump radiator if I keep the car beyond the 100k mark). Point is, it's human nature to greatly over estimate the probabilities of something bad happening if you continuously read about the few catastrophes when they occur, a la shark attacks.
 

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Why did you need to replace the oil filter housing instead of just the gasket. I have a small leak and the mechanic recommended both the oil filter housing and gasket on my 99 328i with 75,000. When I asked him that the oil filter housing is made of metal (aluminum) and should be fine? It did not seem plausible that the whole metal housing needs to be replaced? Maybe I am missing something and wanted to know if it is common for this metal housing go bad? Thanks
 

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Why did you need to replace the oil filter housing instead of just the gasket. I have a small leak and the mechanic recommended both the oil filter housing and gasket on my 99 328i with 75,000. When I asked him that the oil filter housing is made of metal (aluminum) and should be fine? It did not seem plausible that the whole metal housing needs to be replaced? Maybe I am missing something and wanted to know if it is common for this metal housing go bad? Thanks
Some people crack the housing by overtightening the top. Only thing I can think of that would cause that. My brother in law did it on his 540.
 

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A water pump only costs about $60. To spend that much money and then "save" $60 is quite a gamble.[/QUOTE

You guys are totally right, I should have done it when the thermo was replaced at 60k. But it wasn't done so it's no longer $60, it would be more like another $300 on top of the other 'known' issues on the car.

In some ways, this whole thing reminds me of the subframe issue when everyone on this forum thought their rear end was coming loose. Yes, it's a problem area that has some statistical significance. But fact is, most cars didn't have their subframes tear out and most water pumps will make it to 90 to 100k (I'm considering belts, pump radiator if I keep the car beyond the 100k mark). Point is, it's human nature to greatly over estimate the probabilities of something bad happening if you continuously read about the few catastrophes when they occur, a la shark attacks.
Your logic is flawed in that ONE episode of overheating can be The Kiss Of Death for a BMW....head gaskets, warped or cracked heads, even a cracked block becomes a very real possibility, and suddenly, that $200 gamble you took becomes a several-thousand-dollar problem (or, if you choose *not* to fix it, a car that isn`t worth sh!t).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Your logic is flawed in that ONE episode of overheating can be The Kiss Of Death for a BMW....head gaskets, warped or cracked heads, even a cracked block becomes a very real possibility, and suddenly, that $200 gamble you took becomes a several-thousand-dollar problem (or, if you choose *not* to fix it, a car that isn`t worth sh!t).
Actually no, it isn't flawed at all. My estimate of the probability of failure differs greatly from yours. Thus, expected value from taking it back in just for the pump is negative. Additionally, yes, a failure can cause that amount of damage, but again, I have a significantly different opinion about that probability as well - in your equation, you estimate a 10% or greater chance of failure. If that were in fact the case, you'd see e46s stranded on every highway.

That all being said, I agree that the pump should be changed sooner than later. I am trying to find a suitable place where I can DIY some stuff as that changes the cost equation to go the other way.
 

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Actually no, it isn't flawed at all. My estimate of the probability of failure differs greatly from yours. Thus, expected value from taking it back in just for the pump is negative. Additionally, yes, a failure can cause that amount of damage, but again, I have a significantly different opinion about that probability as well - in your equation, you estimate a 10% or greater chance of failure. If that were in fact the case, you'd see e46s stranded on every highway.

That all being said, I agree that the pump should be changed sooner than later. I am trying to find a suitable place where I can DIY some stuff as that changes the cost equation to go the other way.
Your estimate of failure isn't probably accurate then. I WORK on BMW's for a side income. I see it ALL THE TIME where people at 70k-80k miles are left on the roadside, toast motors, and the like quite often. Many times it is a woman who can't understand why her pampered BMW has given up the ghost. All one has to do is troll the 4 or 5 BMW forums to realize that it is a very common problem. BMW uses plastic impellers on their waterpumps. I replaced mine and it failed in 6 MONTHS! I had to replace it again with a Graf unit.

You want numbers? No problem. In the last year I have fixed 7 waterpumps/cooling systems and my own twice. One was a 70k mile 323 wagon that had a flawless maintenance history and had just passed inspection 2 at 60k. That may not sound like a lot, but I am a one man shop who does no advertising and only gets work via word of mouth.
 

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Your estimate of failure isn't probably accurate then. I WORK on BMW's for a side income. I see it ALL THE TIME where people at 70k-80k miles are left on the roadside, toast motors, and the like quite often. Many times it is a woman who can't understand why her pampered BMW has given up the ghost. All one has to do is troll the 4 or 5 BMW forums to realize that it is a very common problem. BMW uses plastic impellers on their waterpumps. I replaced mine and it failed in 6 MONTHS! I had to replace it again with a Graf unit.

You want numbers? No problem. In the last year I have fixed 7 waterpumps/cooling systems and my own twice. One was a 70k mile 323 wagon that had a flawless maintenance history and had just passed inspection 2 at 60k. That may not sound like a lot, but I am a one man shop who does no advertising and only gets work via word of mouth.
are newer water pump impellers made from composite or plastic still? I know you can get the metal ones..
 

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are newer water pump impellers made from composite or plastic still? I know you can get the metal ones..
Composite.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Your estimate of failure isn't probably accurate then. I WORK on BMW's for a side income. I see it ALL THE TIME where people at 70k-80k miles are left on the roadside, toast motors, and the like quite often. Many times it is a woman who can't understand why her pampered BMW has given up the ghost. All one has to do is troll the 4 or 5 BMW forums to realize that it is a very common problem. BMW uses plastic impellers on their waterpumps. I replaced mine and it failed in 6 MONTHS! I had to replace it again with a Graf unit.

You want numbers? No problem. In the last year I have fixed 7 waterpumps/cooling systems and my own twice. One was a 70k mile 323 wagon that had a flawless maintenance history and had just passed inspection 2 at 60k. That may not sound like a lot, but I am a one man shop who does no advertising and only gets work via word of mouth.
Again, if it were higher than 10%, you'd see overheated cars on every road, which you don't. Of course you see a lot of failed pumps - you're fixing cars! I'm not saying it isn't a common problem, just what is the true probability. If it were more significant, you'd see a class action lawsuit as the economics for a lawyer would be pretty simple. Anecdotal evidence is simply not meaningful in failure rates.
 

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Of course you see a lot of failed pumps - you're fixing cars!
So then if you bury your head in the sand it isn't happening? Just because you aren't fixing cars and don't see a lot of failed water pumps doesn't mean it isn't happening.

And I doubt you can do a class action lawsuit for parts that are considered normal wear items. Regardless, do what thou wilt. I'll still fix your car when it blows up. :thumbup:
 
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