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routine maintenance

5246 Views 20 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  RivMcLean
Hello, I am a novice DIYer but relatively handy and have a father in law who is very helpful. I am curious as to the routine maintenance I need to complete in the near future. 2004 330Ci, 54000miles, only driven after snow melts (april thru oct) about 7000miles per year. I've changed the oil yearly up to this point, and plan to change the brake fluid, manual tranny fluid, possibly fuel filter, and some cooling components. Do I need to change the whole cooling system or just a few parts that are more prone to failure? Any other thought on what else I need to do? The car runs great at this point and would like to keep it that way for another 10+ years.
thanks scott
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Awesome information. Thanks Scott. My wife's 2004 330 has 98k and I need to start looking into some preventative maintenance. (probably a little past due).

Thanks for the good jumping off point.
I think I'm gonna pass on the e46's DIY and just pay someone so I don't screw something up or have the car fall on top of me. On Friday, I'm getting a shop to do the following:

Replace the water pump for $460 ($100 part plus $360 labor) - Preventative
Belts and coolant will be another $60
Differential drain and fill $90
Replace the leaky $12 oil filter housing gasket for $260

Determine the noisy power steering and probably replace that for a yet to be determined price.

So probably about $1,300 for $300 in parts

Ok. A little change of plans.

I found a guy on Craigslist whose ad says that he used to be a Master Technician at a BMW dealership. He's going back to college for an engineering degree and does mobile mechanic work.

He said that he's replaced a thousand oil filter housing brakets. He told me that he wouldn't worry about the water pump yet, but to change out the expansion tank. With its plastic construction there is a 100% chance that it'll develop leaks. He also said that since the car will be jacked up, he can replace the bushings in 20 minutes and it'll feel like a new car afterwards.

His prices including parts and labor are $200 for the leak, $60 to change the belts, $175 to swap the tank, $75 to change the diff fluid, and $125 for the new bushings. He'll need to see what's up with the power steering.

This will be in my driveway on Sunday and I'm gonna watch what he's doing so I can learn a thing or two.

And thanks for the heads up on the tensionors. I'll get those done too.
My car has 98k miles on it - not 54. This guy said that BMWs have very strong waterpumps that will last well past 100,000 miles so we'll see.

Our 4-runner went 198,000 miles until we sold it and didn't need one. It went through 3 air conditioners, a drive shaft, 10 sets of brakepads, but never a waterpump.
Man I am so sorry guys for wrecking this thread. I was the 3rd post on here and I said that this was for my wife's 2004 330. Then, two posts later I mentioned again that it was an e46. I have an e90.

I appreciate everyones's advice. I should have just put all this non DIY elsewhere - or not at all.
Yes. It's the e46. Thanks to you guys, I called him and said to swap out the pump. He just swung by the dealer, and with his 10% discount, bought an OEM for $115. He's going to install it for $30. $145 as opposed to the indy shop for $460.
No apology necessary. the mechanic working on your e90 or your wife's e46? If it's your wife's e46 -- water pump. :thumbup:
Taken from Bimmerfest:

"The old BMW water pumps had orange or black plastic impellers that were prone to breaking. The newer BMW water pumps have a fiber-resin composite impeller that looks like black plastic, but is much less prone to breaking; however, the stigma of the "plastic impeller" has persisted. Many aftermarket water pumps (such as Graf, I think) have metal impellers.

Both will move the water adequately. Both (composite and metal) will last a while, unless abused or dropped during shipping/installation.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the bearings in the OEM pumps are better than the bearings in the aftermarket pumps, but I don't think there is real research or empirical evidence to support this. Now that the impellers don't break like they used to, the bearings are the new weak point.

I personally went with an OEM pump with composite impeller."
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