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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Thu, Dec-20-2007, 02:47:25 PM   #1
Obioban
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Exclamation e46 M3 Maintenance Thread

DIY guides for pretty much everything on the car

Note: the e46 M3 has TWO weak points, both of which can be locked down for less than <$1000 combined if you DIY. Those are the subframe (foam and epoxied on plates) and VANOS system (beisan). See end of this post for links. IMO, these should almost be considered maintenance items as the cost of failure on them is HIGH.


Part 1: What you should do to keep the car running as cheaply as possible in the long term. AKA maintenance requirements.

First, an explanation of the service interval counter on the e46 M3: Every time you turn on the car the cluster will say either "Inspection" or "Oil Service", followed by a number (a negative number if you've gone over). As you drive, and based on how hard you drive, the number will count down to zero. When it reaches zero you need to do the service requested (oil service or inspection) and reset the service interval. The car will alternate: oil service, inspection, oil service, inspection, every time you reset it. The car is not capable of displaying if you are do for inspection 1 or 2, so that is up to you to determine.

If you follow this thread, you should basically do the following:
new car with 0 miles

oil service at 7750 OBC service interval miles (not odometer miles!)
oil service at 15,500 OBC service interval miles (not odometer miles!), reset counter
oil service at 7750 OBC service interval miles (not odometer miles!)
inspection 1 at 15,500 miles
oil service at 7750 OBC service interval miles (not odometer miles!)
oil service at 15,500 OBC service interval miles (not odometer miles!), reset counter
oil service at 7750 OBC service interval miles (not odometer miles!)
inspection 2 at 15,500 miles

and then start the entire loop again

On my car I do oil analysis on the OBC dictated oil changes/inspections, and run a fuel system cleaner through before the non OBC dictated oil changes. You don't want to run fuel system cleaner before an oil analysis as it gets into the oil and can skew the results (which is also why I do it right before the oil change-- so it's not in there for the duration of the oil cycle). This means I get one fuel system cleaner cycle every 15,500 miles and one oil analysis every 15,000 miles, which is a good balance for me.

Resetting the service interval procedure (the free way):
-Ignition key must be off
-Press and hold the trip odometer reset button in the instrument cluster (left button), and turn the ignition key to the first position.
-Keep the button pressed for approx. 5 seconds until one of the following words appear in the display: "Oil Service" or "Inspection", with "Reset".
-The service due is shown with "reset" if the coded minimum consumption limit has been reached and resetting is possible. If "reset" is not shown, the minimum limit has not been reached and resetting is not possible.
-Press and hold the reset button again until the word "Reset" begins to flash.
-While the display is flashing, press the left button briefly to reset the service interval. After the display has shown the new interval the following will appear: "End SIA".
-The system can only be reset again after 2.5 gal (10 liters) of fuel have been consumed.


Oil Service:

-twice as often as the OBC (on board computer, the count down that appears on the odometer when you turn the car on) calls for. AKA, replace the oil when the service interval says 7750 or 0. Do not skip changing the filter. In fact, it is much more important that you change the filter than the oil (not that I'm promoting that either, but if you feel the need to skimp... just change the filter.) I Use Castrol 10W-60 ONLY-- it's certainly the safe bet, but if you feel the need to save a couple dollars, nobody can stop you. Pictures as to why you want to do them more often than BMW recommends here. Reasons to stick to Castrol TWS 10W-60 here. Note that by doing it twice as often as the service interval counter asks for, you'd actually doing it around every 6000 miles (varied by how hard you drive the car).

-Oil change DIY here


Inspection 1

-oil change (see above)
-Oil change DIY here

-diff fluid:
OEM fluid Castrol SAF-XJ + FM booster
BMW part# PN 83-22-2-282-583
diff fluid swap diy here

-tranny fluid:
OEM Fluid (6mt & SMG) Castrol MTF-LT-2 (NOT LT-3) fluid
BMW part# 83 22 0 309 031

-Engine air filter

-cabin air filter

-valve adjustment
valve adjustment DIY here

-chevron techron fuel system cleaner (bottle that treats up to 20 gallons). Try to do this and have it out of the system before your oil change.

-If using turkey baster method, do power steering fluid every inspection. If doing full power steering fluid flushes, you can wait till inspection 2. Use ATF. Brand doesn't matter that much, I use Mobil 1 multi ATF.


Inspection 2

-oil change (see above)
-Oil change DIY here

-diff fluid:
OEM fluid Castrol SAF-XJ + FM booster
BMW part# PN 83-22-2-282-583
diff fluid sway diy here

-tranny fluid:
OEM Fluid (6mt & SMG) Castrol MTF-LT-2 (NOT LT-3) fluid
BMW part# 83 22 0 309 031

-Engine air filter

-cabin air filter

-valve adjustment
valve adjustment DIY here

-chevron techron fuel system cleaner (bottle that treats up to 20 gallons). Try to do this and have it out of the system before your oil change.

-coolant flush (50/50 distilled water and BMW coolant)
DIY here
BMW Antifreeze/Coolant - 1 gallon jug
OEM Part #: 82 14 1 467 704

-Power steering fluid flush. If you do turkey bastering every inspection (1 and 2), you can just baster here. If you are only doing inspection 2 power steering fluid service, do a full flush. Brand doesn't particularly matter here, any ATF will work. I use Mobil 1 multi ATF. Flush DIY here.

-fuel filter DIY

-spark plugs
spark plug DIY here

-RSMs and RTABs (if you have the stockers)
video diy here

-guibo

-tranny mounts
tranny mount DIY here


Yearly (every spring works well for me):

-brake fluid flush
DIY here

-general inspection-- eg cracks in suspension mounts, subframe, check belts for cracks, bent control arms, brake pads and rotor thickness (obviously continue to monitor more regularly if low), etc

-wiper blades


75,000 miles

-Begin to think about replacing your radiator. The plastic parts of BMW radiators do NOT age will and when they fail (which they will) you must stop the car immediately or you will destroy the engine. Side note here, if the temp gauge is ever in the red, STOP THE CAR IMMEDIATELY. You may be able to time the radiator swap to go along with a coolant flush, which will save you a little money. I know my car should be due for inspection 2 around that point. There are several all metal radiators out there that mean you'll only have to do this swap once. I'll be putting a Zionville radiator in my car, which you can get from several places on the web (or from me ).


100,000 Miles

-fuel injectors cleaned (you can get all 6 cleaned to new spec here for the price of buying one new injector)

-I would do a belt swap at this point, even if they aren't visibly cracking

-Belt-idlers

-FCABs

-engine mounts

-upper timing chain tensioner guide and tensioner

-cooling system: At this point you might want to consider replacing the entire cooling system. If you want to car to be bulletproof, this is the route to take. That said, they are fairly pricey components so some could wait for them to fail and get a few extra value miles out of them. IF YOU MISS THE SYMPTOMS OF THEM FAILING, OVERHEATING CAN QUICKLY TAKE OUT YOUR ENGINE (as well as leaving you stranded). At 100,000 miles, I replaced:
Radiator
Thermostat
water pump
fan clutch
coolant piping

-Other items to consider every 100,000 miles if you true want the car to be 100% reliable (no chance of breaking down):
alternator (least critical as you get a warning period of the battery light blinking before it completely bites the dust)
fuel pump
coil packs
CPV (constant pressure valve)-- you can replace just the o-ring with the one linked below and never have to deal with this again
tensioners, pulleys, idlers
Upper chain guide/tensioner


Clutch

The clutch is entirely driver (and mod) dependent. ArtM3 replaced his at 100,000k plus and it was only 1/3 used up, so don't assume it's going and replace preventatively-- wait till you feel it start to slip.
Update: replaced my highly abused clutch at ~100,000 miles (see below) and it still had at least 50% life left!

Suggested replacement items when doing the clutch (because they're easy when you're in there and a PITA when you're not): clutch, pressure plate, pilot bearing, throw out bearing, rear main seal, guibo, tranny mounts, center support bearing, and check the drive shaft joint for play. I would highly recommend doing every item listed there, as they will fail before your next clutch replacement and labor will be EXPENSIVE on them with the trans out of the car. Right now the labor is all buy free and the parts are cheap.

Note: Assuming you don't let the clutch slip before you replace it (scoring the flywheel), there is NO reason to replace or resurface the flywheel when replacing the clutch. The stock flywheel is good for at least 2-3 clutches. This is an expensive part that you don't need to replace IF and only if you replace the clutch as soon as it begins to let go. Clutches are cheap! flywheels are expensive! Don't let your clutch slip!

Battery

replace every 5 years or after a complete drain (unless it's an optima, which you can recharge after a complete drain)



Part 2: Things to keep the car driving like new or better:
(some repeat from above because they do both)


Shocks

Shocks can last anywhere from 30,000 to 80,000 miles, depending on how the roads are where you live. Pothole and the like determine shock life, track use is not particularly hard on them. Lowering springs will also drastically lower their life (the lower the springs the faster they age).

video DIY here

-RSMs (rear shock mounts)-- with shocks

Every 50,000 miles: RTABs, guibo, tranny mounts

Every 100,000 miles:
pre cat 02s
tie rods
front sway bar end links
front sway bar bushings
front control arms (ball joints not replaceable alone)
FCABs
steering guibo
driveshaft guibo
engine mounts
trans mounts
diff mounts (x3)
exhaust hangers (3 on muffler, two on mids)
upper inner rear control arm bushings
lower inner rear control arm bushings
upper rear ball joints
lower rear ball joints
rear sway bar bushings
rear sway bar end links
subframe bushings
RTABs

Maybe:
front wheel bearings
rear wheel bearings




Part 3: Permanent fixes for e46 common failure items

Difficulty scale: 1 is a cabin air filter, 10 is a complete engine rebuild.

CPV
Problem: O-ring degrades with time
Solution: high temp dupont o-ring: http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=369406
Price: $5 for parts
Labor: 1-2 hours
DIY difficultly: 2

RTABs
Problem: wears out every ~40,000 miles causing handling, tire wear, and alignment issues
Solution: Polyurethane RTABs. Stock OEM rubber stiffness from AKG or stiffer (improve handling) from PowerFlex
Price: ~$100 for parts
Labor: 2-4 hours
DIY difficulty: 3

Subframe
Problem: subframe tears out of car after repeated sudden acceleration
Solution: Turner subframe kit. Can be welded in or epoxied in. http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-91...ement-kit.aspx
Alternate/additional: Structural foam (note: no more welding can be done once the structural foam is installed-- repairs or TMS plates!):
DIY for epoxying the plates in and injecting the foam
Price: $126 for parts
Labor: 8-10 hours
DIY difficulty: 7

Subframe Bushings
Problem: stock bushings tend to be tired by ~100,000 miles. That said, if your subframe is getting reenforced, I'd do these while you're in there!
Solution: AKG polyurethane subframe bushings. Can be had in stock stiffness or stiffer. For a car that still gets driven on the street, I'd go with stock stiffness. I'd avoid PowerFlex for this-- they have some fitment issues.
Price: $300 for parts
Labor: 8-10 hours if you do them alone, 1 hour if you do it while you're in there for subframe work
DIY difficulty: 6

Radiator
Problem: The radiator is made of plastic and aluminum, which expand and contract at different rates. Over time, this results in cracking
Solution: all aluminum radiator. Bimmerworld sells a good midrange unit or Zionville sells a top of the line unit.
Price: $400-1000 for parts
Labor: 3-4 hours
DIY difficulty: 4

Coolant Piping
Problem: Over time and heat cycles the coolant pipes get brittle and crack
Solution: silicone pipes. Don't get brittle over time. http://www.rogueengineering.com/mm5/...Category_Code=
Price: $ for parts
Labor: 4-5 hours
DIY difficulty: 4

Differential Mount Bolts
Problem: the stock bolts sometimes snap over time
Solution: BMW updated the part at some point in the M3 production cycle. The new bolts are stronger, and I haven't yet seen anybody snap any. Thread here: http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=345096
Price: ~$10 for parts
Labor: 2-3 hours
DIY difficulty: 3

Rear Axles
Problem: the stock rear axle sometimes fail, especially on cars that are drag raced and/or launched hard, often
Solution: beefed up axels
http://www.driveshaftshop.com/import...ar-c-v-upgrade
Price: $1000 plus stock axles
labor: 1-2 hours
DIY difficulty: 3

Rear Shock Mounts
BMW's rear shock mounts tend to fail some time after 50,000 miles, and when they do they can do a LOT of damage on their way out.
Solution: Aftermarket RSM with reinforcement plate. Rouge makes a nice set.
Price: $100 for parts
Labor: 1-2 hours
DIY difficulty: 3

Shocks
Problem: Stock shocks wear out some time between 40,000 and 80,000 miles (depending on the quality of your roads)
Solution: Koni Yellows. These aren't truly a permanent fix like the others above, but they last 2-3 times as long AND they're rebuildable when they need it, so you don't have to replace them. They also have a lifetime (for the first owner) warranty against failure, unlike the stock units. So they're pseudo lifetime parts
Price: $600-1000 for parts (depending on compress to adjust or top adjustable)
Labor: 4-5 hours
DIY difficulty: 4

VANOS lockdown (see below)
Problem: Solenoid solder breaks down, cam bolts sheer, hub tabs crack, slop develops, seals wear out
Solution: Beisan systems VANOS solutions http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
Price: $450 (after core return)
Labor: 8-12 hours
DIY difficulty: 7

If you haven't already done it, and are at or near 100,000 miles, I'd suggest replacing the upper timing chain tensioner guide and tensioner while you're doing the VANOS lockdown. It's easy now, and probably due.

VANOS lockdown details:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajaie View Post
Beisan has launched three new products for the S54 vanos. They are a seals kit, a rattle kit with tools, and an oil pump disk with new small holes to prevent the exhaust hub tabs from breaking. There are associate repair procedures that document the repairs. These procedures also document replacing the sprocket sleeve bolts that can come loose on the intake side, the exhaust sprocket hub that can have broken tabs, and the sprocket hub diaphragm springs that have been redesigned to be thicker and function better and last longer.

There are three major S54 failures associated with the vanos. The solenoid coil pack failure, exhaust hub tabs breakings, and loosening intake sprocket sleeve bolts.

Beisan had previously launched a rebuilt solenoid coil pack product to address the solenoid coil pack failure. The failure is due to breaking connector pin solder joints at the PC board. This is caused by a vibrating PC board that’s not well mounted. Beisan solves this by introducing a new PC board mounting bolt close to the solder joints to better mount the PC board. Beisan also injects potting epoxy in the pins housing cavity to better mount the pins and prevent pin vibration. The rebuilt coil pack was also accompanied by an S54 vanos sealing plate repair kit product. The sealing plate between the vanos solenoid and vanos body has Buna rubber rings that fail. The sealing plate repair kit provides Viton O-rings of the same size as new sealing plate rubber rings. The old failing rings are cut out of the sealing plate and the new O-rings are mounted in their place.
The Beisan S54 vanos solenoid procedure and S54 vanos procedure both document these repairs.

The Beisan S54 vanos oil pump disk product addresses the exhaust hub tabs breaking problem. This failure is most likely due to excess play between the hub tabs and oil pump holes. This design was first utilized on the Euro S50 engine. This is the predecessor engine to the S54 and was not available in the US due to high emissions. With the Euro S50 there is .4mm play between the tabs and hole sides. Unfortunately this play was increased to 1.0mm on the S54 by making the pump holes wider. This increase was likely made to help with the insertion of the hub tabs into the oil pump holes during vanos installation onto the engine head. The S54 hub tabs were also lengthened by 3mm and 2.5mm length champers were added to the end. The tab extra length with chamfers design change is also meant to help with insertion of the hub tabs into the oil pump holes. The Euro S50 rarely experiences breaking hub tabs, but this is an epidemic problem on the S54 and can in some cases cause significant damage. The tab breaking could either be caused by a large press force produced in rotating the oil pump disk, or a striking force produced by the tab hitting against the side of the oil pump hole. Inspection of the oil pump holes shows tab indentation in the rotational and counter rotational sides of the holes. The counter rotational indentation indicates tab hitting as the oil pump disk does not rotate in this direction and thus the indentation could not be due to rotational press force. The hub tabs have a 40 RC (Rockwell C scale) hardness, while the oil pump disk has a softer 35 RC hardness. This hardness variation explains, and indicates a design intention, to facilitate tab indentation into the hole sides. The tab and hole sides do not have the same curvature and thus at initial contact only an edge of the tab engages the hole side. With use the tab indents into the hole side and the full tab side contacts the hole side. This indentation technique also overcomes any tab or hole position deviation. On Euro S50 engines the indentation is slight and is considered optimal. Normally running S54 engines also have this slight indentation or a little more. On S54 engines with broken tabs this indentation is usually much larger. This fact is further indication that the tab breaking is caused by hitting. As the tab hits, the indentation is increased. This indentation increase allows longer tab travel facilitating larger hitting forces which further increases the indentation. This scenario perpetuates to the point that the tab encounters large enough hitting forces to weaken and break it. Beisan’s solution is to drill new holes in the disk that reduce the tab to hole side play to .1mm. This is a significant reduction in play and should prevent the large indentations that allow the large hitting forces that likely cause the tab breakage. Some tab to hole play is necessary. This is needed to address any part and assembly variations which cause hub tab to pump disk hole misalignment. Further, some play is likely needed to facilitate the initial tab indentation needed to fully embed the tab into the pump disk hole side and allow full tab side engagement. Current testing of the new disk small holes shows slight indentation of the tab into the hole side until full contact is achieved. This is an optimal result.
The Beisan S54 vanos procedure documents this repair.

The S54 vanos seals are made of the correct materials and are not failing. The internal piston seals are the usual design of Teflon ring backed with an O-ring. The Teflon filler material is a high grade bronze which is appropriate for this application and the O-rings are Viton which can withstand the engine synthetic oil and high temperature.
Even though the OEM seals materials are correct the seals will lose some function over long term use. The primary degradation is due to O-ring compression set (flattening). The piston seal O-rings are under constant compression and over time and heat exposure take on the new flat shape and degrade in their energizing function to the Teflon rings. The Teflon rings will also from long term use experience some material loss. This seals degradation will cause some oil leakage and degradation in vanos function which in turn will cause some loss in engine performance. It is still being determined at what miles and age a seals replacement is beneficial. From initial testing it seems engines with less than 100k miles will not likely receive notable performance improvements from replacing the seals.
The Beisan S54 vanos procedure documents this repair.

There are many components that can cause vanos related rattling.
Loose tolerance valve offsets are known to cause an engine rattle. This is addressed with a valve adjustment.
Loosening intake sprocket sleeve bolts is one of the major vanos related failures and causes a rattle. This is addressed by replacing the bolts with new bolts and applying medium strength thread locker to the threads. The Beisan S54 vanos rattle procedure documents this repair.
Sprocket rotational looseness facilitates parts chatter and rattle. The camshaft sprocket is mounted on a sleeve which is mounted to the camshaft. This sprocket sleeve mounting facilitates the rotation of the camshaft independent of the sprocket to allow timing adjustment for variable camshaft/valve timing. To prevent sprocket chatter and rattling BMW incorporates a diaphragm spring that presses against the sprocket. This dampens the sprocket chatter movements to resolve the rattle while still allowing rotation of the camshaft on the sprocket. The S54 diaphragm spring and associate pressure plate is the same part used on the Euro S50 and S62 engines. This spring was deemed too weak by BMW and redesigned to be thicker for the S62 engine. From experience, utilizing this new thicker spring design on the Euro S50 and S54 engines has resolved rattling. The Beisan S54 vanos rattle procedure documents this repair.
The loose fit of the exhaust hub oil pump driver tabs to the vanos oil pump disk holes facilitates a rattle. Reducing this play resolves the rattle. The Beisan S54 vanos oil pump disk has new smaller holes to achieve this. The Beisan S54 vanos procedure documents this repair.
Splined shaft bearing axial play facilitates a rattle. The splined shaft is located at the intake and exhaust camshaft and sprocket. It connects the camshaft and sprocket and has helical gears that facilitate camshaft relative rotation to the sprocket. The splined shaft incorporates a bearing at its center which allows mounting of the vanos piston to the splined shaft while not rotating with the splined shaft and camshaft and sprocket. The splined shaft bearing has axial play that allows the camshaft to engage this play axially back and forth. These movements can resonate at certain RPMs and cause a rattle. The solution is to remove the bearing axial play. Further, the OEM bearing ring in the splined shaft is made from non-bearing annealed steel. Its inner diameter is experiencing scoring from the rotating bearing components. The Beisan S54 rattle repair kit includes bearing rings that are shorter to remove the axial play and prevent rattling. The rings are made from bearing steel that is hardened and ground to bearing standards. This prevents the scoring. Replacement bearing washers are also included in the kit as they affect the bearing axial fit and need to be provided with tight tolerance thickness to achieve the bearing tight tolerance axial fit. Beisan also provides S54 rattle tools which are custom designed and manufactured and facilitate the opening and closing of the splined shafts to perform the bearing modification. The Beisan S54 vanos rattle procedure documents this repair.

Here are the costs of all the Beisan S54 vanos products.
S54 vanos rebuilt solenoid coil pack, $150 plus $150 refundable core charge
S54 vanos sealing plate repair kit, $10
S54 vanos oil pump disk, $150 plus $150 refundable core charge
S54 vanos seals repair kit, $60
S54 vanos rattler repair kit, $80
S54 vanos rattle tools, $20

Please consult the two new repair procedures for more detail.
http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu...anos_procedure
http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu...ttle_procedure

If you run aftermarket camber plates:
Front shock tower reinforcement plate
Problem: Some camber plates do not distribute the load of the shock evenly across the shock tower, which over time can lead to the shock tower cracking.
Solution: OEM BMW shock tower reinforcement plates. These come from BMW Africa, where they put them on cars that have to frequently drive on unpaved roads. http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-32...ates-pair.aspx
Price: $23
Labor: 1 hour
DIY difficulty: 2

If you run aftermarket rear ride height adjustors:
Rear control arm reinforcement plate
Problem: the ride height adjustor focuses the weight of the car on a smaller area than the stock spring does
Solution: Rear spring perch reinforcement plate http://www.rogueengineering.com/mm5/...Category_Code=
Price: $55
Labor: 1 hour
DIY difficulty: 2

Last edited by Obioban; Thu, Nov-07-2013 at 08:16:05 PM.
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Old Thu, Dec-20-2007, 03:05:34 PM   #2
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Default

Some useful DIYs:

Thermostat and water pump:
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showt...=1#post3384640

Zionsville Radiator Water Pump Thermostat DIY:
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=225208

DIY key programming (for when you get a new key):
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=191988













edit:
Just thought I'd add this.

Pics of the guibo and clutch on my car at 100,000 miles. Guibo looks like I should have replaced it much sooner. I last checked it at around 80,000 miles and, while still in the car, it looked fine. Either the last 20,000 miles have been really hard on it or you can't tell the extent of Guibo damage with them on the car. Either way... I think it will be going on my inspection 2 list form now on.

The clutch, on the other hand, looks like it still had about half it's life left at 100,000 miles. Considering the life of my clutch (4000+ track miles, daily clutch initiated drifts, autox, drag strip, regular lauching), I think this is pretty amazing! Certainly nobody who isn't FI with a 6 speed should be needing a clutch before 100,000k, unless they're totally inept with the clutch pedal. I'll be leaving the next one in for at least 150,000 miles!

s


















Copying and pasting this from another thread, but seems useful here too:

Updated my service history sheet a bit the other day, thought it might be interesting to put up here. Some notes:

1) I left off all modifications except for the suspension and the headlights. I left the cost in for the suspension, because if I didn't have it then I would have had to pay for shocks/rtabs/rsm/fcabs later on (probably in the 50-75k range, which is currently suspiciously cheap).

2) Second quarter would have been a lot less expensive had it not been for my subframe failure. Given that BMW is now covering that regardless of mileage, most of you shouldn't have to worry about that cost...

3) I put the TFX cost to 0 for my maintenance sheet, as they didn't really need replacing. I put the cost from them on the mod sheet. Still.... headlights may be a wear item, so I didn't want to leave them off here entirely.

4) Pricing is free labor (DIY) and rounded... but pretty sure most of the numbers are close to accurate.

5) My car should require more than most-- it has 4000+ track miles on it, I drive it every winter in the snow/salt, I've drag raced it, I've autoxed it, I've taken it on rallies, and I generally drive... faster than anyone else (after the car is warmed up). I doubt there's many M3's that live a harder life than mine.

Guide to type:
repair: part failed, needed replacement. If cost = 0, was warranty
Maintenance: Things that I think you must do to keep the car health
Preventative maintenance: Part never failed, could have kept using it. Replaced in advance of failure because it seems like a common failure item and I don't want to have any break downs. None of the "preventative maintenance" items showed any weakness or signs of needing replacing.

So, without any more excuses:



FWIW, I think I'm heading into another cheap quarter. I've replaced all of the wear items that I can think of other than a few small bushings here and there. From 100-125 I predict I'll do ball joints, a few bushings, and oil changes. Shouldn't have anything major again till ~150k
















Pictures showing why more frequent oil changes are better than less frequent ones (from here):

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmfurdm View Post
The day started with VoxPopuli and me deciding to do our own valve adjustment. With the DIY and some extra assistance we, thankfully, came to the conclusion that doing the valves was not all that terrible. Looks far more daunting than it is. Just labor intensive, and damn, will your back and the back of your legs hurt at the end of the day. Thanks to Tischer for helping us get the correct parts (gaskets, etc). I will have another thread regarding some questions I have about valve adjustments and some 'ness.

The most interesting part of it was seeing, side by side, the difference between a car that has had its oil changed more frequently than one that has not...at least earlier in its life (Vox is very good to his car, the previous owner, probably not).

So, what you will see now is three cars, one (mine) with just over 50,000 miles and oil changes every half interval (7500 miles). One, (Vox) with around 70,000 miles and oil changes (to the best of our knowledge) done following the dealer interval. Lastly, Obiobans car at 89,000 miles with oil changes every half interval (7500 miles).

Mine...50k




Vox...70k



His valve cover. Forgot a picture of mine...but see the silver bits? Mine looked more like the silver bits...



Obioban...89k


So what is the gist of this? A: A valve adjustment isn't that tough. B: Change your oil frequently...

Last edited by Obioban; Sun, Jun-06-2010 at 02:10:34 PM.
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Old Thu, Dec-20-2007, 04:05:13 PM   #3
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Don't forget to leatherique the napa leather as well.
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Old Thu, Dec-20-2007, 04:10:48 PM   #4
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Ian, Thanks buddy nice fred!

Do you believe in running the AC in off season months,weekly or a few times over the cold times,I hate to steer away from your major to do's?
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Old Thu, Dec-20-2007, 04:12:24 PM   #5
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thanks, I think this thread will be quite useful
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Old Thu, Dec-20-2007, 04:47:05 PM   #6
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Thanks, Ian, another informative and useful thread
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Old Thu, Dec-20-2007, 04:51:56 PM   #7
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what are our options for aftermarket radiators?

other things worth mentioning that MAY go out before 100k miles are the water pump and alternator

is there a guibo diy? I understand it's fairly simple?

not for nothing but a tranny and diff fluid change every 30k miles is excessive
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Old Thu, Dec-20-2007, 05:06:27 PM   #8
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Question - has anyone experienced a radiator failure before 100K miles? While the E36/M3 was/is notorious for radiator failures - I haven't seen or heard of them being widespread on the E46.

I'd suggest changing the belts at 50k miles.. while they look fine from the back that you can see - once they come off you'll see signs of cracking in the rubber teeth.

Belt-idlers are a 100k item (if not noisy before that.)

Tranny and diff are 50k mile items... as spec'd by BMW. The fluids don't become contaminated with combustion byproducts as engine oil does - so 50K should be a safe change interval ("lifetime" on all other BMW models..)

Fuel injectors don't wear much at all - so I think unless you've experienced injector problems, replacing them at 100k is overkill.

O2 sensors are spec'd for 100k - but many of them will happily keep working well beyond that point without any detrimental effects on the engine.
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Old Thu, Dec-20-2007, 06:30:50 PM   #9
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yea this def needs to be stickied - this is great info
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Old Thu, Dec-20-2007, 06:34:27 PM   #10
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sweet...this is definately a subscribed thread for me
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