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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

I don't know what to do anymore and it's bothering me a great deal. Ever since I bought the car in August ...it's been at the shop a handful of times already.

First the thermostat got stuck and it overheated my car and spit all my coolant on the floor ... which was then replaced with a new thermostat

Then my engine was smoking a bit and I needed a head gasket replaced and also got an oil change

Then my front left headlight went out and I had to replace it with 150 dollar xenon bulb .. which tonight decided it would go out again ... so that probably means electronic problems ...

Then today I bring it to my mechanic to find out why the hell the service engine light is on .. and he plugs it into a computer and tells me my 4th and 5th cylinders are misfiring .. which bothered me to no end :cry: (he said it may just be spark plugs)

Oh and after taking a look underneath the hood he also said i had a crack in an air hose ... i don't know what that is .. it was to the left of the engine along side the engine .. and either he pulled it out and replaced it or just pulled it out ...

Currently I don't get the service engine light (for the last few hours after bringing it to the mechanic) but now my front left headlight went out again ..

I've only had the car for under 2 months and it cost me about 500 already and i've had to take it into a shop at least a handful of times ...

I'm becoming hopeless ... I don't want to go back to a damn shop for another 3,000 miles? .. What do i do? Is there any place I can take it and tell them to check EVERYTHING and that I'm sick of going to mechanics ... I'm getting to the point where I am beginning to regret that I bought the damn car ... please help :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Thoroughly frustrated with my 3 series =[

Hey,

I don't know what to do anymore and it's bothering me a great deal. Ever since I bought the car in August ...it's been at the shop a handful of times already.

First the thermostat got stuck and it overheated my car and spit all my coolant on the floor ... which was then replaced with a new thermostat

Then my engine was smoking a bit and I needed a head gasket replaced and also got an oil change

Then my front left headlight went out and I had to replace it with 150 dollar xenon bulb .. which tonight decided it would go out again ... so that probably means electronic problems ...

Then today I bring it to my mechanic to find out why the hell the service engine light is on .. and he plugs it into a computer and tells me my 4th and 5th cylinders are misfiring .. which bothered me to no end :cry: (he said it may just be spark plugs)

Oh and after taking a look underneath the hood he also said i had a crack in an air hose ... i don't know what that is .. it was to the left of the engine along side the engine .. and either he pulled it out and replaced it or just pulled it out ...

Currently I don't get the service engine light (for the last few hours after bringing it to the mechanic) but now my front left headlight went out again ..

I've only had the car for under 2 months and it cost me about 500 already and i've had to take it into a shop at least a handful of times ...

I'm becoming hopeless ... I don't want to go back to a damn shop for another 3,000 miles? .. What do i do? Is there any place I can take it and tell them to check EVERYTHING and that I'm sick of going to mechanics ... I'm getting to the point where I am beginning to regret that I bought the damn car ... please help :cry:
 

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These cars are so sensitive and need TLC to make them reliable. Your car is 8 years old, no car is perfect at that age plus you may not know how the car was maintained prior to you unless it's from a friend or relative. Nevertheless, owning a BMW on a budget takes research, planning, and learning how to do things yourself. That's why sites like bimmerfest are so popular, it allows people to help each other learn better ways to repair and mod their cars.

I'd recommend searching and asking what things to check and preventatively replace (i.e. cooling system) based on your year and mileage. I'm @ 90k and replaced almost my entire cooling system, alternator, battery, brakes, oil separator, window regulators, and a host of other minor things. Most of it in the first 2 years I owned the car and I've had it since '06...
So, if you want a low or no maintenance car then buy an Accord...but if you want the UDM, you gotta be ready to work and/or pay! Good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
=/ it just seems like it's in the shop every other week ... it's getting really frustrating ... 2 cylinders misfiring? and electronics telling me that lights don't work? especially right after i changed the bulb with a new one? sorry .. i'm a bit upset about it ... not trying to sound angry at anyone here ... just had a really bad day
 

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Sorry to be blunt, but you bought an 8-year old used car. With respect, what did you expect?

It may have been for sale because the previous owner knew it's going to need quite a bit of service...If you wanted to avoid issues that would take you to a mechanic, you probably should have chosen a newer/new car.

Thermostat is a common failure item and should have been preventatively replaced at 4 years/60K miles.

The (I assume you mean) valve cover gasket also becomes brittle and ages with heat cycles and commonly leaks oil onto the manifold, causing smoke.

The oil change is a routine service item.

Headlight bulbs, ballasts etc. periodically fail, it is not unusual. BTW D2S Xenon bulbs are around $50 online.

Spark plugs should be replaced IMHO at 60K miles. It's also possible the coils on your car (that were subject to a recall) were not updated. Early E46 cars did experience mis-fires.

I would estimate you should allow something like $1,000 - $2,500 over the next year to put additional items right, and then approximately $1,000 per year subsequent to this for routine service.

For future reference, you may also need shortly, depending on the condition of your car:

- Shocks (rear) and Struts (front) (poor ride control/damping)
- Control Arms/Bushings (wandering, poor ride)
- Water Pump (slow or massively sudden coolant leak)
- One or more window regulator may fail (clonking noise, window does not go up)
- CCV Sensor (oil loss, smoking)

This is in addition to the routine service/maint items due by mileage or age, i.e. oil, transmission fluid, diff fluid, brakes, brake fluid, air filter, cabin filter, wiper blades, fuel filter, tires, etc.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks man .. i'm a bit of a nooby when it comes to cars .. this is my first one ... by what i said i didn't mean i don't wanna go to the mechanic .. i meant i don't wanna go for a while .. i want to find a guy who can check all of the stuff for me and give me good recommendations .. instead of going in everytime something breaks ..

when mechanics run diagnostics? ... do they check everything on the car? i don't know the term .. i need to take her in for a head to toe checkup
 

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thanks man .. i'm a bit of a nooby when it comes to cars .. this is my first one ... by what i said i didn't mean i don't wanna go to the mechanic .. i meant i don't wanna go for a while .. i want to find a guy who can check all of the stuff for me and give me good recommendations .. instead of going in everytime something breaks ..

when mechanics run diagnostics? ... do they check everything on the car? i don't know the term .. i need to take her in for a head to toe checkup
No worries.

Try www.bimrs.org or perhaps enroll in www.bmwcca.org and attend a local meeting.

Also would be an idea to search the forums for threads on mechanics in your area.

E46 is a good, solid car, but they do better with some periodic (and expensive :) ) TLC.

Best of luck...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
what about learning how to DYI stuff .. so i can learn instead of contracting out someone else to do simple things for me
 

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what about learning how to DYI stuff .. so i can learn instead of contracting out someone else to do simple things for me
Now you are talking! These cars are so easy to work on, you will kick yourself for not doing it sooner. CHances are your misfire codes are caused by your intake boots being cracked. Easy to replace and will fix your problem. Also, for the new plugs, KrisL did a great DIY with great pics, do THAT yourself first. Very easy!
 

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What do i do? Is there any place I can take it and tell them to check EVERYTHING and that I'm sick of going to mechanics ... I'm getting to the point where I am beginning to regret that I bought the damn car ... please help :cry:
It would have been better to do that before purchasing the car, you think?

$500 on a few maintenance items isn't a big deal for a car of this quality, especially one that is 8 years old. As with every machine, care, feeding, and maintenance are required to keep it in top shape.
 

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500 isnt anything.

This is an more expensiver option but if you have a good dealership in the area take it there. Look on Yelp or similar site for reviews. Find a service adviser that you can trust. You live on the opposite coast or else I could rec someone for you.

Also you might want to learn to diy for certain things. Thats what I am going to do :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
just in case ... do you guys know how much a 2001 330Xi Engine Costs if i need a new one? ...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
cool that would be awesome solidjake ... what about new though?
 

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what about learning how to DYI stuff .. so i can learn instead of contracting out someone else to do simple things for me
Here's a link to my service history thread.

After the warranty expired, I've done all the work so far.

Should give you some ideas about costs etc.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=228248&highlight=

Smolck's post is right on. These fancy pants BMW cars we buy are just regular German sedans.

Try a couple of the on-line parts houses to get an idea of parts:

www.oembimmerparts.com
www.autohausaz.com
www.bavauto.com
www.pelicanparts.com
www.turnermotorsports.com

Another good source of information is the Bentley manual for the E46:

http://www.amazon.com/BMW-E46-Service-Manual-1999-2005/dp/0837612772

Well worth the money, good reference book for DIY procedures.

Lastly don't forget the bimmerfest E46 wikipedia, see my signature for a link.
 

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ROLL TIDE!
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just in case ... do you guys know how much a 2001 330Xi Engine Costs if i need a new one? ...
Well, I have almost 200k miles on my car, my guess is you won't be needing an new engine anytime soon.
 

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i feel your pain. i bought a 2003 330i in feb and have spent about $3000 on it for a whole list of things that have gone wrong. sometimes i just want to sell it and get a chrysler 300 or something. now i am having problems with the right rear tire wearing out after only about 15,000 miles. does anyone know why it is doing this?
 
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