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SamG

Can I Own A Bmw 320D E46 2002 ?

Question

Hello guys, I currently own a Mazda Demio DE3FS 2007. I have no prior experience with a euro car. But always wanted to own one.

This idea of owning a BMW 320D E46 suddenly came because the owner of my rented how is going to sell his beamer. I know the car for 2 years now and this is how it is.

* Car was bought directly from Germany when he was the Sri Lankan ambassador to Germany

* Car has only 60,000 kms on the clock

* He drives his car only about 100kms for a month during last two years

* He asks 2.8 mil for the car

These are my requirements with the car.

* Reliability is a top priority. I drive long distances in the night. Therefore, I don't want to be in trouble in the middle of the night.

* Affordability - I can set aside Rs. 240,000/= a year for the car (insurance + service + maintenance). I drive about 15,000-16,000 kms per year.

Opinion from the experts are highly appreciated.

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Actually Don youre quite right on some but the name of the game is preventive maintenance and really timely maintenance.

Currently using my 3rd 3 series - went from 320d E46 preface to 318i facelift with an N42 engine and now a 318i E90. Used the 318i E46 with the N42 for 8 years - car was rock solid - daily runner never gave me any grief but I did my maintenance on time. After about 6 years replaced the valve seals at the agent - got the parts from UK agents and prest*ge charged me 22k to fit - they had no issues with me supplying the parts.

Also as of many years ago there really isn't any special tropicalisation process. (did the research here) but the cars they used to bring down including my E46 petrol were de-catted with no euro 3 emission control system and the same ECE spec as is sold in UK sourced direct from Germany. They do even have something called the rough road package for this part of the world but its really only a set of shims for the front and rear suspension which lift the front by 2 cm and the rear by .65cm to give a bit of additional ground clearence.

Actually the suspension is fairly simple :) the usual suspect on the E46 is the lower end bushes but this this only about 12-15K and need replacement every 3-4 years - used poly bushes here with very good result.

You need access to the BMW diagnostics as the cars will self diagnose - no need to resort to maka bass's. !! :) Also not easy to turn milage on this as the milage is stored in 6 computers and if its tampered with you will get a red dot appearing on the dash (tamper dot)

If you source your parts from UK and have access to the diags - you can easily maintain these without breaking any banks and the genuine parts in UK are actually cheaper than the bloody toyota parts that you get in SL ! The petrol service interval is actually 25K km;s or preferably once a year and the agents cost for that is actually quite reasonable !

I guess everyone has their own preferences but moved from japs (having owned nissan / toyota and honda) to BMW's and never looked back :) Of course my first car was a Mini minor so was always partial to euro's and was familier doing small repairs thanks to the lessons learned in the mini :)

Just my 2 cents worth.

Cheers,

BMW's are very robust machines. The problems with BMWs in SL come from a few sources.

Design/ Manufacturing issues

1. The petrol N series engines always had issues with top end seals, which have to be replaced at some point. The newer petrols also have high pressure fuel injection which is a bit sensitive to quality of fuel

2. The older diesels had issues with timing chains, swirl flaps etc, the newer ones are a bi turbo design so can be quite expensive to fix

3. The suspension is quite complicated and steering components don't seem to be as able to take bad roads as some other brands

But most issues stem from

1. Poor maintenance. The whole reason why Diesels are popular is because a lot of people who bought BMWs are image concious cheak skates. A friend owns a 320D from new for 4 years now and apart from regular maintenance and a few accidents nothing has gone wrong. Its his daily driver and he drives a LOT. This is the primary cause of most issues.

2. Maka basses, one is enough to ruin a perfectly good car. Some of this comes from cheap skatism above

3. UK imports, cars that were never meant to be run in the tropics. These had more options but will also fade faster than the others.

4. Attempts at messing with electronics and mileage damaging electronic components permanently. I know of a few instances that the instrument clusters are now showing funny values which I suspect may have come from trying to alter mileage

5. Extortionate costs of maintenance by the agent and some specialists. The price of parts are hiked up considerably for profit by both parties. This in turn has driven some owners to use other mechanics messing the cars up. Now if parts were available at reasonable prices and a good mixture of original/ genuine, OEM and third party replacements were available, maintenance would be a lot more affordable, and the general quality of the cars will improve.

But of course nobody in the business have such vision. Everybody is after profit and owners get fleeced. I bring a lot of parts for friends when I come down and I know the price differences. I guess some of it is down to crazy taxes we pay but most of it is excessive profiteering.

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MadMMX, I'm very happy you have had a predominantly positive experience. I've read your original post where you mentioned most of the above as well.

I also own a E92 Diesel 330D and I've not had much issues beyond usual maintenance, and the turbo packed up.

My opinion is somewhat swayed by a couple of recent examples, some which were shared in the forums and some not.

1. There is another long time BMW loyalist in the forum whose only had BMWs and got himself an approved E90 via Prestige. He listed all the problems he had in the car in just one year (I wish I'm able to dig this up, perhaps you were on the thread as well) and after very many years of brand loyalty he had enough after that and switched to a Jap

2. A similar experience was had by another member on a E39

3. I have been helping a friend with a E46 320i, which seems to have developed all sorts of electronic niggles. Again the car is lovingly maintained.

4. Our own Supra natural went car hunting recently and had a look at a few X1s. Some were still under agents warranty, but the list of issues with steering, suspension etc was extensive, for such a new car. He abandoned the idea, and you have to understand this is a guy who owns a big cat V8 but this car was meant to be a daily driver for his mom.

5. There is a funny problem with new common rail diesels in SL needing rebuilds around the 150K mark. I had a long discussion with Supra about this and he said the information is from reliable sources. He insisted on searching for a petrol as a result. My experience has been in the common rail era the Diesels have less issues than petrol but then I'm talking with experience in the UK

6. Newer German cars are not as bullet proof as some of their former counter parts. Connectors in coolant lines for example are now made of plastic, not metal as they used to. These things have a habit of deteriorating over time and breaking apart. I once had to replace one of these connectors in a friends car, and while trying to replace one I broke two others :)

7. Maintenance is not straight forward. You need to know how to take these cars apart as there is an order to everything. You miss the order you will more than likely break something. One of my friends, a mechanic managed to break my engine cover by trying to take it off without taking the air filter off first. He was only trying to investigate the oil leak (which we found to be a failed turbo seals). Though he was a good friend, I took the car off him and took it to a specialist who did a really good job :) The above is true of a lot of European cars. I find things in Japanese are more obvious, and though has gone into disassembly as well as assembly.

On the point of self diagnosis, the system is very good, but some issues cannot be resolved mearly by the output of self diagnosis. For example I was trying to help a friend with a new AUDI recently and the error being recorded was NOX sensor, but it was an intermittent error and the engine used to cut out from time to time. It was finally traced back to an intermittent high pressure fuel pump issue (this was a TFSI). So self diagnosis is all good, but there is still no substitute to experience and a big of common sense rather than blindly following the computer.

I hope you realise I'm a big enthusiast of the brand. But people who buy these cars need to accept the pains with the gains rather than blindly walking into it.

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Hi Don,

Actually on no 1 that friend is actually a mutual friend along with Dom and the rest of the crew. Actually been helping out a no of other BMW owners on the diagnostics - have a working inpa and a istap at home :) Generally its pretty accurate as long as you use the diag with mechnical knowledge as well. - Its a sort of hobby of mine and would be happy to help. Don't have the cable for the F-series though since there wasn't a need. Also heard that the agents are really ripping people on brakepad and that type of maintenance which is a real shame.It was rather shocking but unfortunately the local agents have this habit of over complicating simple maintenance tasks - for instance my E46 had done about 60K KM's when the valve seals started to leak a little and I noticed a small oil burn. Asked them at a service and they actually quoted all the way from changing the crank bearings to a complete engine re-build which was totally unnecessary. I simply told tham so and insisted that I only wanted the valve seats changed and the top end seal kit and head gasket changed which i supplied and actually they were quite happy to acceed to my request. Previously I had noticed a slight play in my steering and the agent recommended that I change the steering rack :) I asked their then service manager whether he was mad :) to which he replied that being the agent they generally recommend that type of thing - changed the tie ends and the problem was gone. Buggers tend to rip off a lot of customers I guess who really don't know better which really ends up killing the brand image. I guess it doesn't hurt their margins though. The alternate BMW man's prices are as bad as the agent incidently leaving most Sri Lankan owners with little choice unless you have the overseas contacts. I would guess that the X1 type issues stated here are of the nature of killing a fly with a rocket launcher. Actually the good thing about stuff like the connectors is that every single component is orderable and they cost only a few pence - I usually order a few of the common ones and keep with me since I potter around with accessories and also keep a crimping tool handy with heat shriking tubing.

Its really unfortunate on the one hand as once you start using the euro cars even with their little ideocyncracies you really don't look back. And generally the options available on these cars are way ahead of their jap counterparts. My E46 had Blue tooth pairing with voice recognition on the original spec and it was a 2003 YOM car :)

Yeah I guess the bottom line is when you run these cars you do keep a bit of a financial buffer in case of any eventualities :) but like I said preventive maintenance goes a long way in avoiding this.

Cheers,

MadMMX, I'm very happy you have had a predominantly positive experience. I've read your original post where you mentioned most of the above as well.

I also own a E92 Diesel 330D and I've not had much issues beyond usual maintenance, and the turbo packed up.

My opinion is somewhat swayed by a couple of recent examples, some which were shared in the forums and some not.

1. There is another long time BMW loyalist in the forum whose only had BMWs and got himself an approved E90 via Prestige. He listed all the problems he had in the car in just one year (I wish I'm able to dig this up, perhaps you were on the thread as well) and after very many years of brand loyalty he had enough after that and switched to a Jap

2. A similar experience was had by another member on a E39

3. I have been helping a friend with a E46 320i, which seems to have developed all sorts of electronic niggles. Again the car is lovingly maintained.

4. Our own Supra natural went car hunting recently and had a look at a few X1s. Some were still under agents warranty, but the list of issues with steering, suspension etc was extensive, for such a new car. He abandoned the idea, and you have to understand this is a guy who owns a big cat V8 but this car was meant to be a daily driver for his mom.

5. There is a funny problem with new common rail diesels in SL needing rebuilds around the 150K mark. I had a long discussion with Supra about this and he said the information is from reliable sources. He insisted on searching for a petrol as a result. My experience has been in the common rail era the Diesels have less issues than petrol but then I'm talking with experience in the UK

6. Newer German cars are not as bullet proof as some of their former counter parts. Connectors in coolant lines for example are now made of plastic, not metal as they used to. These things have a habit of deteriorating over time and breaking apart. I once had to replace one of these connectors in a friends car, and while trying to replace one I broke two others :)

7. Maintenance is not straight forward. You need to know how to take these cars apart as there is an order to everything. You miss the order you will more than likely break something. One of my friends, a mechanic managed to break my engine cover by trying to take it off without taking the air filter off first. He was only trying to investigate the oil leak (which we found to be a failed turbo seals). Though he was a good friend, I took the car off him and took it to a specialist who did a really good job :) The above is true of a lot of European cars. I find things in Japanese are more obvious, and though has gone into disassembly as well as assembly.

On the point of self diagnosis, the system is very good, but some issues cannot be resolved mearly by the output of self diagnosis. For example I was trying to help a friend with a new AUDI recently and the error being recorded was NOX sensor, but it was an intermittent error and the engine used to cut out from time to time. It was finally traced back to an intermittent high pressure fuel pump issue (this was a TFSI). So self diagnosis is all good, but there is still no substitute to experience and a big of common sense rather than blindly following the computer.

I hope you realise I'm a big enthusiast of the brand. But people who buy these cars need to accept the pains with the gains rather than blindly walking into it.

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Hi Don,

Actually on no 1 that friend is actually a mutual friend along with Dom and the rest of the crew. Actually been helping out a no of other BMW owners on the diagnostics - have a working inpa and a istap at home :) Generally its pretty accurate as long as you use the diag with mechnical knowledge as well. - Its a sort of hobby of mine and would be happy to help. Don't have the cable for the F-series though since there wasn't a need. Also heard that the agents are really ripping people on brakepad and that type of maintenance which is a real shame.It was rather shocking but unfortunately the local agents have this habit of over complicating simple maintenance tasks - for instance my E46 had done about 60K KM's when the valve seals started to leak a little and I noticed a small oil burn. Asked them at a service and they actually quoted all the way from changing the crank bearings to a complete engine re-build which was totally unnecessary. I simply told tham so and insisted that I only wanted the valve seats changed and the top end seal kit and head gasket changed which i supplied and actually they were quite happy to acceed to my request. Previously I had noticed a slight play in my steering and the agent recommended that I change the steering rack :) I asked their then service manager whether he was mad :) to which he replied that being the agent they generally recommend that type of thing - changed the tie ends and the problem was gone. Buggers tend to rip off a lot of customers I guess who really don't know better which really ends up killing the brand image. I guess it doesn't hurt their margins though. The alternate BMW man's prices are as bad as the agent incidently leaving most Sri Lankan owners with little choice unless you have the overseas contacts. I would guess that the X1 type issues stated here are of the nature of killing a fly with a rocket launcher. Actually the good thing about stuff like the connectors is that every single component is orderable and they cost only a few pence - I usually order a few of the common ones and keep with me since I potter around with accessories and also keep a crimping tool handy with heat shriking tubing.

Its really unfortunate on the one hand as once you start using the euro cars even with their little ideocyncracies you really don't look back. And generally the options available on these cars are way ahead of their jap counterparts. My E46 had Blue tooth pairing with voice recognition on the original spec and it was a 2003 YOM car :)

Yeah I guess the bottom line is when you run these cars you do keep a bit of a financial buffer in case of any eventualities :) but like I said preventive maintenance goes a long way in avoiding this.

Cheers,

You know I completely forgot that you had the diagnostic tools and experience and could be asked for help! I was quite close to pulling the trigger on a petrol X1 (S drive 18i) which was much better kitted out than the usual local market diesels but the car had quite a bit that needed sorting for something that was three years old (power steering oil leak, valve cover oil leak and a few other bits and pieces). Also read that the newer petrols were not great on the durability front as well so in the end played it safe and went with a newer Mazda 6 since I already have one car that needs, let's say "regular attention".. Hell even seriously considered a premio simply for the run it and forget it factor but the Mazda will hopefully be a decent compromise.

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Hi Don,

Actually on no 1 that friend is actually a mutual friend along with Dom and the rest of the crew. Actually been helping out a no of other BMW owners on the diagnostics - have a working inpa and a istap at home :) Generally its pretty accurate as long as you use the diag with mechnical knowledge as well. - Its a sort of hobby of mine and would be happy to help. Don't have the cable for the F-series though since there wasn't a need. Also heard that the agents are really ripping people on brakepad and that type of maintenance which is a real shame.It was rather shocking but unfortunately the local agents have this habit of over complicating simple maintenance tasks - for instance my E46 had done about 60K KM's when the valve seals started to leak a little and I noticed a small oil burn. Asked them at a service and they actually quoted all the way from changing the crank bearings to a complete engine re-build which was totally unnecessary. I simply told tham so and insisted that I only wanted the valve seats changed and the top end seal kit and head gasket changed which i supplied and actually they were quite happy to acceed to my request. Previously I had noticed a slight play in my steering and the agent recommended that I change the steering rack :) I asked their then service manager whether he was mad :) to which he replied that being the agent they generally recommend that type of thing - changed the tie ends and the problem was gone. Buggers tend to rip off a lot of customers I guess who really don't know better which really ends up killing the brand image. I guess it doesn't hurt their margins though. The alternate BMW man's prices are as bad as the agent incidently leaving most Sri Lankan owners with little choice unless you have the overseas contacts. I would guess that the X1 type issues stated here are of the nature of killing a fly with a rocket launcher. Actually the good thing about stuff like the connectors is that every single component is orderable and they cost only a few pence - I usually order a few of the common ones and keep with me since I potter around with accessories and also keep a crimping tool handy with heat shriking tubing.

Its really unfortunate on the one hand as once you start using the euro cars even with their little ideocyncracies you really don't look back. And generally the options available on these cars are way ahead of their jap counterparts. My E46 had Blue tooth pairing with voice recognition on the original spec and it was a 2003 YOM car :)

Yeah I guess the bottom line is when you run these cars you do keep a bit of a financial buffer in case of any eventualities :) but like I said preventive maintenance goes a long way in avoiding this.

Cheers,

Sri Lanka is indeed a small place :)

MadMMx, I might pinch your brain on how you got your diagnostic kit. I remember you had a fairly comprehensive version, which is useful to have for mine as well.

Like you I like to be fairly hands on and my cars to a large deggree have been reasonably reliable. But I cannot claim to have local knowledge and have to somewhat go by what users tell me (usually just before they tell me what they need me to buy and bring over).

A large part of the issue is the agent and even the specialists. Their price exaggeration is at ridiculous levels, and they almost always advice replacement of entire units when a specific replacement part is available. This disease is common to most agents I guess and prevelant even in the UK.

I remember the DVD player in my infortainment system failed and I went to get a replacement from the local dealer. I had already taken the unit out of the car. They quoted me £680. But I went in armed with the part number (I did not want to sound like a know it all so I first just asked for the DVD player by name). Then they searched for the part number and sold me the unit for £80. That was all that needed to be replaced. In fact they took the original as an exchange since BMW rebuilds these things as only the head stabilizing gell hardens and affects operation.

But I think even you can appreciate the normal lay user will not be equiped with the information and almost certainly be ripped off. I think the key to the reliability of your car is how you have maintained it, and you have managed to keep costs in check by using a bit of expertise and common sense.

I fear for a lot of other BMW owners in the country though, particularly ones who bought these cars for brand prestige on permits and have no idea how to keep them going.

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Actually Don youre quite right on some but the name of the game is preventive maintenance and really timely maintenance.

Currently using my 3rd 3 series - went from 320d E46 preface to 318i facelift with an N42 engine and now a 318i E90. Used the 318i E46 with the N42 for 8 years - car was rock solid - daily runner never gave me any grief but I did my maintenance on time. After about 6 years replaced the valve seals at the agent - got the parts from UK agents and prest*ge charged me 22k to fit - they had no issues with me supplying the parts.

Also as of many years ago there really isn't any special tropicalisation process. (did the research here) but the cars they used to bring down including my E46 petrol were de-catted with no euro 3 emission control system and the same ECE spec as is sold in UK sourced direct from Germany. They do even have something called the rough road package for this part of the world but its really only a set of shims for the front and rear suspension which lift the front by 2 cm and the rear by .65cm to give a bit of additional ground clearence.

Actually the suspension is fairly simple :) the usual suspect on the E46 is the lower end bushes but this this only about 12-15K and need replacement every 3-4 years - used poly bushes here with very good result.

You need access to the BMW diagnostics as the cars will self diagnose - no need to resort to maka bass's. !! :) Also not easy to turn milage on this as the milage is stored in 6 computers and if its tampered with you will get a red dot appearing on the dash (tamper dot)

If you source your parts from UK and have access to the diags - you can easily maintain these without breaking any banks and the genuine parts in UK are actually cheaper than the bloody toyota parts that you get in SL ! The petrol service interval is actually 25K km;s or preferably once a year and the agents cost for that is actually quite reasonable !

I guess everyone has their own preferences but moved from japs (having owned nissan / toyota and honda) to BMW's and never looked back :) Of course my first car was a Mini minor so was always partial to euro's and was familier doing small repairs thanks to the lessons learned in the mini :)

Just my 2 cents worth.

Cheers,

Do you know the ideal interval for new twin turbo diesel oil service? It shows 14k in the onboard computer but agents recommend a 8k service

Edit: a BMW X1

Edited by sasika

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Do you know the ideal interval for new twin turbo diesel oil service? It shows 14k in the onboard computer but agents recommend a 8k service

Edit: a BMW X1

I've read in forums that the manufacturer advised service intervals are too long, as they were done to keep in line with other manufacturers so as to to keep the fleet managers happy. A lot of these cars are bought for executives and representatives as fleet purchases.

This is seen as a primary reason for premature failure of turbos

So many service their cars well in advance of the adviced service intervals. I thought it was higher than 14K Kms because its a bit above that amount in miles in the UK (of course these cars have conditional servicing so depending on use the day might come forward).

I think the same as every other car in SL probably applies. Do an interim oil and filter change (you don't need to go to the dealer for this, oil filters are fairly cheap, but if the original is extortionate there are good brands like Mann for European vehicles) every 6 months or 5000Km and then do the service at 14K at Prestige (if you want to keep the service history). Thats what a lot of owners in the UK do, particularly as the cars grow older and there is more carbon build up.

MadMMX what do you think?

Edit:

This is a good thread to read

http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=105799

Edited by The Don

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Hi,

Sorry was out of touch for a couple of days. Actually that works perfectly for servicing - but actually you don't really need to service too often. 8K seems too little considering that the factory lists 14k or once in 2 years for the diesels - but actually if its the oil change - I usually keep a couple of filters handy and do a change at laughs if the milage is running high. The N42 / N43 genuine filter from UK is only 8 pounds so actually no point in trying to save 2 pounds using mann :) Also got down the 14 flute oil filter remover so it only take like 20 mins to go do the change. You also need to remember to reset the oil service indicator - but its just a few buttons on the meterboard.

Actually the petrol X1 would have seemed to be quite ideal :) years back when I had the diesel E46 and serviced at Milly's long before he went very upmarket he suggested that the petrols were much easier to maintain and strangely it was on his advice that I moved to the petrol E46 facelift. He actually test drove and evaluted that car for me which at the time was quite new and also suggested that I go to the agent for the maintenance since it was pretty new and I stayed in colombo and it was a long drive over to his place.

Actually the N42's were always a little leaky on the rocker cover gasket but that part was only like 25 pounds - changed the rubber on my E46 twice over 8 years on at home - quite a simple repair. The oil leaks on the cover and around the vanos seals .etc are quite common and actually nothing to worry about at all. The only issue is if you find it burning oil when its like 5-6 years old - and thats when you need to have the valve seats changed. Actually of the headset from the UK dealer, the whole kit costs about 120 pounds - with the head gasket being the most costly bit of it at about 45 odd pounds and the actual valve seat set (which seams like some kind of rubber) is only 25 pounds itself. I had changed the top seals - vanos seals and rocker cover seal not long before I gave pret*ge the car to do the valve seats and they actually re-used the rocker cover seal / vanos seals ..etc as they were all new and only changed the head gasket, valve seats and the manifold seals. Of couse I had spent some time over the years and the service manager / mechanic also knew me to some degree and were quite friendly so they did the job with minimal fuss. People in UK do head work at home as well - but you need a bunch of special tools to lock the cams when removing the head. I got my timing chain tensioners also changed at the time.

Actually a common problem on the N42 is that the original timing chain tensioner was improved as with time the chain stretches and tends to knock a little and it needs to be changed with an updated tensioner (which fits from outside and takes about 10 mins to change) and costs about 27 pounds.

A power steering leak doesn't sound right for a 3 year old car - was it leaking from a rack end or close to the pump ? The newer ones including my e90 all have electric power steering.

Anyway actually have the factory diags for the E46 and now the E90 as well which actually works on the F series as well - unfortunately is uses a different cable called an E-net cable. Happy to help anyone in free time - you can pm me. The E46 is actually really well setup for maintenance with the petrol actually fairly easy to maintain - you can see the forums in uk and usa and most of the procedures are well docemented with pictures. The BMW procedure DVD's or TIS is also fairly easily downloadable.

Cheers,

I've read in forums that the manufacturer advised service intervals are too long, as they were done to keep in line with other manufacturers so as to to keep the fleet managers happy. A lot of these cars are bought for executives and representatives as fleet purchases.

This is seen as a primary reason for premature failure of turbos

So many service their cars well in advance of the adviced service intervals. I thought it was higher than 14K Kms because its a bit above that amount in miles in the UK (of course these cars have conditional servicing so depending on use the day might come forward).

I think the same as every other car in SL probably applies. Do an interim oil and filter change (you don't need to go to the dealer for this, oil filters are fairly cheap, but if the original is extortionate there are good brands like Mann for European vehicles) every 6 months or 5000Km and then do the service at 14K at Prestige (if you want to keep the service history). Thats what a lot of owners in the UK do, particularly as the cars grow older and there is more carbon build up.

MadMMX what do you think?

Edit:

This is a good thread to read

http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=105799

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Which BMW dealer do you buy your parts from? I most of the time go to my local, but I have no loyalty :)

Particularly because they keep trying to find ways to fleece more money out of me. The last time they wanted me to replace brake pads (which had 25% left in them) and replace the oil separator claiming there was an oil leak, but this actually turned out to be some residue from the time the turbo was spitting out oil.

The oil change interval is not 14K Km in my car. its probably around the same or more in miles, if my service indicator is anything to go by.

How did you obtain the diagnostic software?

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Actually I use a guy in petersborough - pretty decent chap been using him for years - can pm you the details. There are some really good euro forums that help you locate and d/l the software - you can get it from torrent sites and buy the cable from ebay for about 25 pounds. I also actively watch forums like digital-kaos

Actually with things like brake pads don't do anything till the indicators go off - the brake pad kit has a new indicator and actually there's absolutely no reason to replace before the indicators go off as there is some pad left even after it goes off. What diesel are you using ? N47 ?

Actually did the oil seperator and hose replacement on my n42 at home many years ago - seperator was about 27 pounds. hoses were a little more expensive but replaced them just as well. The new direct injection n43 is setup differently.

cheers,

Which BMW dealer do you buy your parts from? I most of the time go to my local, but I have no loyalty :)

Particularly because they keep trying to find ways to fleece more money out of me. The last time they wanted me to replace brake pads (which had 25% left in them) and replace the oil separator claiming there was an oil leak, but this actually turned out to be some residue from the time the turbo was spitting out oil.

The oil change interval is not 14K Km in my car. its probably around the same or more in miles, if my service indicator is anything to go by.

How did you obtain the diagnostic software?

Edited by MadMMX

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Yes, please pass me the details. The service indicator tells me I've got around 5000 miles to go before the pads give up. I can wait about a year with that. The car doesn't get much use during the week, but I take it for a long stroll every other week or so.

Mine is a M56.

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Thanks Don and MadMMX for all the knowledge sharing. Now I understand what it takes to become a BMW owner. I stayed away from the conversation because I did't wanted disturb the flow and I certainly not knowledgeable to do so. :)

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Hi,

Sorry was out of touch for a couple of days. Actually that works perfectly for servicing - but actually you don't really need to service too often. 8K seems too little considering that the factory lists 14k or once in 2 years for the diesels - but actually if its the oil change - I usually keep a couple of filters handy and do a change at laughs if the milage is running high. The N42 / N43 genuine filter from UK is only 8 pounds so actually no point in trying to save 2 pounds using mann :) Also got down the 14 flute oil filter remover so it only take like 20 mins to go do the change. You also need to remember to reset the oil service indicator - but its just a few buttons on the meterboard.

Actually the petrol X1 would have seemed to be quite ideal :) years back when I had the diesel E46 and serviced at Milly's long before he went very upmarket he suggested that the petrols were much easier to maintain and strangely it was on his advice that I moved to the petrol E46 facelift. He actually test drove and evaluted that car for me which at the time was quite new and also suggested that I go to the agent for the maintenance since it was pretty new and I stayed in colombo and it was a long drive over to his place.

Actually the N42's were always a little leaky on the rocker cover gasket but that part was only like 25 pounds - changed the rubber on my E46 twice over 8 years on at home - quite a simple repair. The oil leaks on the cover and around the vanos seals .etc are quite common and actually nothing to worry about at all. The only issue is if you find it burning oil when its like 5-6 years old - and thats when you need to have the valve seats changed. Actually of the headset from the UK dealer, the whole kit costs about 120 pounds - with the head gasket being the most costly bit of it at about 45 odd pounds and the actual valve seat set (which seams like some kind of rubber) is only 25 pounds itself. I had changed the top seals - vanos seals and rocker cover seal not long before I gave pret*ge the car to do the valve seats and they actually re-used the rocker cover seal / vanos seals ..etc as they were all new and only changed the head gasket, valve seats and the manifold seals. Of couse I had spent some time over the years and the service manager / mechanic also knew me to some degree and were quite friendly so they did the job with minimal fuss. People in UK do head work at home as well - but you need a bunch of special tools to lock the cams when removing the head. I got my timing chain tensioners also changed at the time.

Actually a common problem on the N42 is that the original timing chain tensioner was improved as with time the chain stretches and tends to knock a little and it needs to be changed with an updated tensioner (which fits from outside and takes about 10 mins to change) and costs about 27 pounds.

A power steering leak doesn't sound right for a 3 year old car - was it leaking from a rack end or close to the pump ? The newer ones including my e90 all have electric power steering.

Anyway actually have the factory diags for the E46 and now the E90 as well which actually works on the F series as well - unfortunately is uses a different cable called an E-net cable. Happy to help anyone in free time - you can pm me. The E46 is actually really well setup for maintenance with the petrol actually fairly easy to maintain - you can see the forums in uk and usa and most of the procedures are well docemented with pictures. The BMW procedure DVD's or TIS is also fairly easily downloadable.

Cheers,

Thank you so much both of you. Valuable insight :) I'll stick to your advises :)

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Thanks Don and MadMMX for all the knowledge sharing. Now I understand what it takes to become a BMW owner. I stayed away from the conversation because I did't wanted disturb the flow and I certainly not knowledgeable to do so. :)

I say keep searching, and prepared to be picky. If you find a good one, buy it.

They are fairly reliable, but it depends on who maintains them and how. As you would have probably noted, if you get your hands on MadMMX's car it will probably be ok. And there are many others which have been maintained like that. But there are a LOT of lemons. So just be cautious.

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All of them are good, as long as they have been maintained to the point. Been associated with the brand for 15+ years and had so many variants (7 cars, with two currently) never had any headaches or instances that I had to break a bank. All they need is preventive maintenance and you should be good to go.

One thing to note, diesels although cheap to run daily are heavy on maintenance. Petrols are better, but I heard that the new ones have some inherent problems. So best is to pick one carefully with a detailed maintenance history on record. This applies to every model in the BMW line up, old and new, if purchasing second hand.

Edited by Rukster

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