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OldWolf66
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Bimmer devotees!

Would someone please offer up your experience to maintain your E46 (or newer?) How often do you really need to take your baby to the dealer for some special repair and how often will auto experience and a good volt meter do the job? I just had an electronic problem with my car, spent a little time to track down the problem, then gave up and took it to the dealer (whoh - big bucks). Now, after I see what hey did, I was really close to the solution with my volt meter.

How often does this kind of thing happen and how often do you need to take it in for some special programming? Is it once a year on average or more? I realize you can't be too specific, but any help is appreciated.

Thanks
 

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326 Posts
Hi Bimmer devotees!

Would someone please offer up your experience to maintain your E46 (or newer?) How often do you really need to take your baby to the dealer for some special repair and how often will auto experience and a good volt meter do the job? I just had an electronic problem with my car, spent a little time to track down the problem, then gave up and took it to the dealer (whoh - big bucks). Now, after I see what hey did, I was really close to the solution with my volt meter.

How often does this kind of thing happen and how often do you need to take it in for some special programming? Is it once a year on average or more? I realize you can't be too specific, but any help is appreciated.

Thanks
I haven't taken my 2006 to the dealer for problems. I usually post them here for solutions. I'm not the electrical guy though. Did you post your problem here to see if anyone could help?
I've replaced the cooling system (rad, pump, etc), struts and shocks, speakers, oil change of course, oil filter housing gasket, and i just ordered the transmission fluid kit to change that. The help here is great and Youtube also adds more help.
 

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OldWolf66
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
This is the first time for this post. Like you I have done a lot of mechanical work and even some simple electric work, but nothing comparing to the crap "0h, you really should bring it in to our dealership for any repairs" I get.
 

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Pedant and Curmudgeon
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6,205 Posts
If you buy an OBD II reader that reads BMW codes, you won't need to go to the dealer in most cases. A volt-meter doesn't cut it any more (although necessary to test components to see which have failed.)
 

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OldWolf66
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I have an OBD II tool. That is what put me on to the general problem in the first place. But if I read you right there is really no reason to take the car in to a dealer. Did I read you right?
 

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Keeping it surreal
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43,185 Posts
I have an OBD II tool. That is what put me on to the general problem in the first place. But if I read you right there is really no reason to take the car in to a dealer. Did I read you right?
The bottom line is, knowledgeable people NEVER go to the dealer, unless the issue is so baffling that absolutely nobody else can solve it. The folks on this Forum have attacked (successfully) just about every possible problem on the E46.
 

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499 Posts
In short, never. Through searching and posting here I can't imagine coming across something we can't figure out. Some do use a mechanic, but not a dealer if anything a indy mechanic with lower rates and better reputation.
 

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OldWolf66
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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
That is exactly what I wanted to hear! Even Bently's mentions taking your car to a dealer or properly equipped shop for certain reprogramming or similar tasks.
Thanks to all for comments
 

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Rambling Wreck
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2,073 Posts
The only thing I plan to see my local dealer about in the near future is to have the steering wheel airbag replaced under recall. I'm hopeful that they and other dealers will begin to have parts available in the fall.

The last time I gave my car to the dealer, it was to have the passenger airbag replaced, also under recall. That was more than 18 months ago.

Find a good independent BMW specialist, and you'll have little need of a dealer except for the things only a dealer can do, such as recall work.
 

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Pedant and Curmudgeon
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6,205 Posts
I have an OBD II tool. That is what put me on to the general problem in the first place. But if I read you right there is really no reason to take the car in to a dealer. Did I read you right?
I take my E90 335d in to the dealer, because the SCR/DEF and emissions systems are incredibly complex on modern BMW diesels. Even dealers have only one or two guys; they often have to call in the regional guys.

But that's not an E46.
 

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2,007 Posts
This is a HUGELY DIY brand.
You can maintain the car yourself.
What was the electrical problem that stumped you?
 

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TheMalibuMafia
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12,881 Posts
The bottom line is, knowledgeable people NEVER go to the dealer, unless the issue is so baffling that absolutely nobody else can solve it. The folks on this Forum have attacked (successfully) just about every possible problem on the E46.
This. Every issue you may ever have with your car. The answer to the solution is on these forums.
 

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03 330cic, 03 325iT
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304 Posts
The bottom line is, knowledgeable people NEVER go to the dealer, unless the issue is so baffling that absolutely nobody else can solve it. The folks on this Forum have attacked (successfully) just about every possible problem on the E46.
I would make one caveat, as someone who has DIY replaced virtually all rubber pieces, cooling, alternator, suspension, and even a wire harness.

Always go to the dealer for any reflash of the DME. This can be required for a p2098 fix.

Indy shops can reflash, but sometimes it blows the DME. You do not want to have to pay $2k for a new DME and coding.

Just have a dealer do it.
 

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Keeping it surreal
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43,185 Posts
I would make one caveat, as someone who has DIY replaced virtually all rubber pieces, cooling, alternator, suspension, and even a wire harness.

Always go to the dealer for any reflash of the DME. This can be required for a p2098 fix.

Indy shops can reflash, but sometimes it blows the DME. You do not want to have to pay $2k for a new DME and coding.

Just have a dealer do it.
At one time, there used to be a lot of conversations around here relating to DME reflash, but I haven`t heard of anyone doing it in at least ten years or more....seems to be a non-issue these days....
 

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Keeping it surreal
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43,185 Posts

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If I can take out my automatic transmission and put in a manual transmission, install navigation, and add a ton of options to my car without ever going near a dealership then no you never really HAVE to go to a dealership.
 

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Keeping it surreal
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43,185 Posts
If I can take out my automatic transmission and put in a manual transmission, install navigation, and add a ton of options to my car without ever going near a dealership then no you never really HAVE to go to a dealership.
(Of course, Crowz just happens to be a NASA-certified mechanical engineer :rofl:)
 

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Registered
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2,165 Posts
You ever hear of "If it ain`t broke, don`t fix it !" ????
How do you know it ain't broke? :confused:
Should take it to dealer for checking it out properly.
Nobody find hidden problems so well like dealer, don't you think?
You might not see the problem yourself, but dealer is glad to find it and fix it for you, and also all the stuff nearby, which wasn't even problem, but that's how to make sure everything is in order.

Right? :confused:

And that's how to fix 3000$ car with 1500$ for making it worth 3000$.

:rofl:
 
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