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Thread: Bmw e46 3-series 330 zhp reliabilty

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Lebanon, OH
    Posts
    37,868

    Bmw e46 3-series 330 zhp reliabilty

    PURPOSE: Each member provide a list of failures, they have experienced with the above mentioned vehicle. I am only interested in compiling a list of entries for someone doing research on E46. Lets all try to use a similar format, for ease of review.

    INCLUDE: In addition to mechanical type failures, please list failures in electronics, trim, bodywork, etc. If you can include the approximate mileage at time of failure, that would be great but is not necessary.

    DO NOT: List aftermarket (MOD) type failures.
    DO NOT: List 3 Series ///M model vehicles. I am not interested.

    Only one post per member...typically

    2012 data begins on Page 8.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I will go first.

    1. DISA ~ 98k - Found butterfly valve broken while inspecting ICV. Found upon purchase. Trip wire - CEL
    2. Lower Intake Boot ~ 98k - Found during ICV clean and inspect. Found upon purchase. Trip wire - CEL
    3. Battery ~ 98k - Found upon purchase.
    4. Drivers side, side mirror glass ~ 98k - Found upon purchase.
    5. Rear Shock Coil Cracked at lower Spring Perch ~ 100k - Found during coilover install.

    ***Where I say "Found upon purchase" = This implies I do not have exact mileage of failure as it was that way when vehicle was purchased.***
    Last edited by danewilson77; 02-02-2011 at 06:28 AM.
    "Flame suit NOT REQUIRED!!!"
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs

  2. #2
    1. Thermostat ~ 57k - Threw a stuck open code, checked and it was leaking a small amount of coolant. Replaced.
    2. Lower & Upper Intake Boots ~ 58k - During CCV Update found both boots were torn. Replaced.
    3. VANOS ~ 58k - VANOS Rattle apparent. Did both Seals and Rattle Kit. Rarely rattles now & seems to run better.

    That's all for now. Will update. Something in the suspension is tweaked, haven't had time to diagnose.
    Last edited by MasterC17; 02-02-2011 at 01:03 PM.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Western WI
    Posts
    3,059
    1. Xenon headlight level sensor - found upon purchase
    2. Front Control Arm Bushings - 75k

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Grand Forks, ND
    Posts
    685
    1. Noisy VANOS - 23k - Excessive "rattle can" chatter - fixed with Beisan kit - No CEL, just a lot of noise at around 2300 rpm

    If I let the car sit for 5+ days, it will run choppy after startup for a couple minutes. Otherwise, no issues since the vanos rattle (43k now).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    2,592
    Maintenance items and Failure Items List

    1. bremi ignition coils replacement 23921
    2. inspection 1 26901
    3. Hydrolic mount/ front axle control arm bottm leaking 41577
    4. hydrolic mount front axle wishbone 41577
    5. alternator drive belt. Ac drive belt 56534
    6. Injection nozzles replaced. Cyclone separator replaced 72874
    7. DISA valvel replaced 76611
    8. Valve cover gasket replaced, Front lower control arm bushings replacedpower steering pump replaced, brake fluid
    change 87,625

    I bought car from brother in law here at 114,000 miles

    9. ZKW Lights replaced Burnt Bowl Issue 116,000
    10. Upper and lower intake boot replacement with Stett Perforamance silicon boots. Threw lean codes. Hole in upper boot. 118,000
    11. washer fluid pump leaking out fluid 122000
    12. driver window regulator using zip tie fix 125,000
    13. passenger window regulator using zip tie fix 129,000
    14. pully/belt tensioner replaced, delflection roller, drive belt tensioner. 129663
    15. Thermostat replaced due to sticking open, water pump replaced PM 135,600
    Last edited by Mtnman; 02-05-2011 at 11:03 AM. Reason: lapse in memory
    "No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of"

    09 135i Msport 6mt
    04 330i ZHP (sold)
    David

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Lebanon, OH
    Posts
    37,868
    Mtn...were any of the above done in a preventative measure...or were they all failures?
    "Flame suit NOT REQUIRED!!!"
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    2,592
    Well, the water pump on the last line was PM cause i was doing thermostat so it just made sense, and I notated it there. The belt tensioners needed replacing, but were not catastrophoc failure..so i put them on here cause i replaced them......The others after 114k were all failures. Prior to 100k, PO had the car CPO, so all work was done at the dealer. I am assuming they were all failures, cause CPO dealer doesnt like to pay for PM necessarily..... I removed things like spark plugs at 100k, etc, that was routine. Should i remove some other items, Dane, or did i get the gist of this post?
    "No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of"

    09 135i Msport 6mt
    04 330i ZHP (sold)
    David

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Lebanon, OH
    Posts
    37,868
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtnman View Post
    Well, the water pump on the last line was PM cause i was doing thermostat so it just made sense, and I notated it there. The belt tensioners needed replacing, but were not catastrophoc failure..so i put them on here cause i replaced them......The others after 114k were all failures. Prior to 100k, PO had the car CPO, so all work was done at the dealer. I am assuming they were all failures, cause CPO dealer doesnt like to pay for PM necessarily..... I removed things like spark plugs at 100k, etc, that was routine. Should i remove some other items, Dane, or did i get the gist of this post?
    Naaa...leave it. Its good dtat with the amplifying facts.
    "Flame suit NOT REQUIRED!!!"
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    114
    Vanos seal failure at 57k
    HK speakers buzzing and distorted at 57k.

    That's it for actual failures.

    I did not have any codes related to these failures. However I did have quite a hesitation and power dip right around 3700-4000k rpms which I was told by the dealership was just "bad gas" and to use some fuel system cleaner. After much research on the forums and talking with Rajaie from Beisan systems,I figured out it was most likely the vanos seals. The seals were worn in spots and very weak and would not hold their shape or form when squished. It was obvious they were degraded. I put the new Viton o-rings in and followed the break in period. After 500 miles or so I did notice quite a difference torque throughout the power band and 1-2 mpg better.
    Last edited by ZHP-FTW; 02-28-2011 at 02:13 AM. Reason: Dane asked me too :)


    Ebay headers | 3.38 diff | 2.5" cat-less exhaust | K&N intake | AA stage 1 software | UUC stage 1 light flywheel and clutch | UUC Evo 3 ssk | Driver Mod |

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Lebanon, OH
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    Autozone.com
    Quote Originally Posted by ZHP-FTW View Post
    Vanos seal failure at 57k
    HK speakers buzzing and distorted at 57k.

    That's it for actual failures.
    Brutha.....can you do a short writeup in your post above to include....

    1. Any codes.
    2. Indications.
    3. What the seals looked like when they came off the pistons.
    4. Anything else.

    It's just you're the first guy I have seen that admits "VANOS SEAL FAILURE". Thanks
    "Flame suit NOT REQUIRED!!!"
    Call Me Dane l 2/2004 330i ZHP l 18x8 ET45 BBS CK's wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport AS3+ @ 245-40-18 l KW V1 Coilovers in front l KW V1 springs w/ Bilstein B8 dampeners in rear l BMW Performance Rotors l UUC StrutBarbarian l Racing Dynamics Rear Strut Bar l Jim Conforti Shark Injector l Light Birch Interior Trim l Bimmian Celly Mount l M3 Trunk Mat l l e90 Performance E-Brake & Shift Knob l M3 Tri-Stitched Boots l AL Headlight Retrofit with ZKW Lenses l CobyWheel Wrap w/M3 Stitching l LCM sw 4.5 triple blink and rear fogs

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