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E46 318i - common problems
29-12-2009, 11:26 AM
Post: #1
E46 318i - common problems
Hi Guys

My car is going in tomorrow to BMW. Any 1 have a list of common E46 318i (facelift) problems. Want them to try and check as much as they can on the car befor I get it back.
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29-12-2009, 12:00 PM
Post: #2
RE: E46 318i - common problems
Control arm bushes
Diff mounts
Radiator expansion tank

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29-12-2009, 01:53 PM (This post was last modified: 29-12-2009 01:56 PM by Ricky318i.)
Post: #3
RE: E46 318i - common problems
Mine at 122k - 172k

-control arm bushes
-vacuum hose
-vacuum pump O-ring behind cylinder head leaks oil
-Crank shaft sensor (2001 - 2003 models)
-one Aircon Compressor
-Expansion tank
-oil use: about 500ml per 20 000km
-air intake boot leak
-rear light cluster ground wire burnt (x2)
-1 clutch
-2 x front brakes
-4 x ignition coils failed
-Final stage resistor failure
-Diff mountings wear

Possible problems:
-broken gear leaver linkages
-petrol pump failures
-auto transmission failures
-camshaft sensor failures

that's why is sold that car. Too many problems caused by inadequite maintenance from previous owners. Cursin
(29-12-2009 12:00 PM)freerider Wrote:  Control arm bushes
Diff mounts
Radiator expansion tank

Freerider: Do not underestimate the N42B20A! Thinkerg

That is not BMW's most reliable engine according to me. Although, i have seen a 2002 318i with 360k km's even if it is with Engine mounting problems. Icon9

07/2011 E90 320d A/T N47ND20O1 135kW

[Image: 464947443_ce7d6f506d_z-horz1-2.jpg]

E30 318i < E46 318i < E46325i SMG > E90 323i Auto << E90 320d

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29-12-2009, 02:28 PM
Post: #4
RE: E46 318i - common problems
Thanks Guys
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29-12-2009, 07:27 PM
Post: #5
RE: E46 318i - common problems
(29-12-2009 01:53 PM)Ricky318i Wrote:  -oil use: about 500ml per 20 000km

I LOL'd Spit

You would literally shit yourself if you saw my oil consumption. I used to use about 500ml every 2000km, and BMW wouldnt even investigate when I was on motorplan, they say that it is well within spec oil usage for the M54.

I hardly use a drop of oil since I have changed to the LiquiMoly Toptech 4100 5W40

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30-12-2009, 08:05 AM (This post was last modified: 30-12-2009 08:06 AM by Ricky318i.)
Post: #6
RE: E46 318i - common problems
That is weird Icon9

Cuz i honestly i have not added a drop of oil into my 325 since i got it in August last year and I've accumulated about 39k km's. None of my friends with M54's said they use oil either. Maybe it could be a ring gasket in one of the cylinders not sealing. Have you had a compression test done yet?

07/2011 E90 320d A/T N47ND20O1 135kW

[Image: 464947443_ce7d6f506d_z-horz1-2.jpg]

E30 318i < E46 318i < E46325i SMG > E90 323i Auto << E90 320d

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30-12-2009, 08:09 AM
Post: #7
RE: E46 318i - common problems
Nope, I havent had any tests done, from reading up at e46fanatics I see that there are quite a lot of guys that complain about oil usage by the m54, and many that say theirs doesnt use a drop like you.

But as I say, since changing to LiquiMoly, my oil consumption is right down. I'm also changing my valve cover gasket this weekend which is currently leaking, I'm not sure how much oil is lost there though.

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30-12-2009, 08:26 AM
Post: #8
RE: E46 318i - common problems
hey guys, i have a 2005 318i, and my aircon has a mind of its own. it comes on weneva it feels like. some days it workz and some days it dosnt come on at all. does this happen to anybody else?

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2005 E46 - CURRENT
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HONDA VFR 400CC - CURRENT
NISSAN X-TRAIL 2.5 - CURRENT
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30-12-2009, 09:55 AM (This post was last modified: 30-12-2009 10:02 AM by Ricky318i.)
Post: #9
RE: E46 318i - common problems
(30-12-2009 08:26 AM)CARBON ATTACK Wrote:  hey guys, i have a 2005 318i, and my aircon has a mind of its own. it comes on weneva it feels like. some days it workz and some days it dosnt come on at all. does this happen to anybody else?

Hi

Are you talking about the aircon function or the fan not blowing air into the cabin?
(30-12-2009 08:09 AM)freerider Wrote:  Nope, I havent had any tests done, from reading up at e46fanatics I see that there are quite a lot of guys that complain about oil usage by the m54, and many that say theirs doesnt use a drop like you.

But as I say, since changing to LiquiMoly, my oil consumption is right down. I'm also changing my valve cover gasket this weekend which is currently leaking, I'm not sure how much oil is lost there though.

I spoke to someone in the know and also did some reading: Oil consumption (like fuel consumption) is directly related to and influenced by your driving style. So this may vary from person to person. Since my wife is mostly with me when we drive, i consequently drive like an old woman. Thus lower my oil consumption.

07/2011 E90 320d A/T N47ND20O1 135kW

[Image: 464947443_ce7d6f506d_z-horz1-2.jpg]

E30 318i < E46 318i < E46325i SMG > E90 323i Auto << E90 320d

[Image: tumblr_m73kpwWxRg1qzo3c9o1_400.gif]
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30-12-2009, 12:48 PM
Post: #10
RE: E46 318i - common problems
Hello Guys
"Car hesitates under acceleration, in all gears, up to 2000 rpm, beyond which it is as smooth. Cold start is also horrendous."

I am new to the Forum to ask some advice on the following. I have a 2005 E46 318i Individual with 102k km on the clock.

Cold start is very bad, as if it is only firing on 2 of the 4 cylinders almost. After the 3rd or so try normally get it started, once I can get rev's to 2000rmp it idles fine. Car is on 102k km and problem has become much worse, when it was in 95k range had in in twice, no errors found and valves set - somewhat better for a week or so, then issue again as be4. I'm about to go on an expensive sensor replacement spree as technicians can't seem to pinpoint.

Further info
The car hesitates under acceleration, in all gears, up to 2000 rpm, beyond which it is as smooth as it should be right up to the red line. Between 1000-2000 rpm the car bogs and kicks when put under heavy load. If you ask for light acceleration then it is not so bad but when you ask for some grunt it just stews.

The worst it possibly behaves is when in slow moving city traffic when you would expect the engine to be at its warmest.

Anyone ever experience anything like this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Kind Regards, Christiaan

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30-12-2009, 01:24 PM
Post: #11
RE: E46 318i - common problems
Firstly you need to find out if you have the N42B20 or the N46B20 motor. These are two different engines and i can only speak for the N42 which i had.
This sounds like a Electronic problem which can be solved with proper diagnostics.

Have you had your car at Auto Atlantic or similar? Have you tried Zeemax? Maybe they've encountered something similar. Get all the info before you spend money. Send me a PM and i'll give you someone's name that might help.

07/2011 E90 320d A/T N47ND20O1 135kW

[Image: 464947443_ce7d6f506d_z-horz1-2.jpg]

E30 318i < E46 318i < E46325i SMG > E90 323i Auto << E90 320d

[Image: tumblr_m73kpwWxRg1qzo3c9o1_400.gif]
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Leekay (03-11-2014)
30-12-2009, 01:54 PM
Post: #12
RE: E46 318i - common problems
(30-12-2009 01:24 PM)Ricky318i Wrote:  Firstly you need to find out if you have the N42B20 or the N46B20 motor. These are two different engines and i can only speak for the N42 which i had.
This sounds like a Electronic problem which can be solved with proper diagnostics.

Have you had your car at Auto Atlantic or similar? Have you tried Zeemax? Maybe they've encountered something similar. Get all the info before you spend money. Send me a PM and i'll give you someone's name that might help.

Thanks a lot Ricky, much appreciated. I have found Zeemax on the net earlier today and made an appointment for a diagnostic on Wednesday. I explained over the phone and the guy said it could also be a PCV valve that's leaking.

I had the car in while still under motorplan @ 95k km at the bmw dealership in the city. They did however not find a problem and just set the valves. The car pulled slightly better all round, but core problem remained. Has become a lot worse now.

I will see if Zeemax can figure it out and post again after Wednesday :-)

Regards, Christiaan
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30-12-2009, 02:19 PM
Post: #13
RE: E46 318i - common problems
ZEEMAX are great, I'm sure they will be able to help you out.

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31-12-2009, 03:40 PM
Post: #14
RE: E46 318i - common problems
I've had my 318i N42 for 2 months and about 3000kms my repair bill is as follows:

Maintenence:
-Front control arm bushings = R2200
-Airbag light reset(low voltage from standing) = R200
-Oil service/Filters/Platinum spark plugs = 1300

Total = R3700

Body damage:
-Reseating of door trim that slipped 5cm into bonnet causing leaking door seal in heavy rain :/ = R300
-Replacement of lower fog light surround after hitting a dog (dog is fine) = R500

Total = R800

Hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come but nobody said these were cheap cars and in all fairness the average bill was about R5k/year for my Polo(glad it was finally stolen).
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04-01-2010, 09:25 AM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2010 09:27 AM by RR Booi.)
Post: #15
RE: E46 318i - common problems
(30-12-2009 12:48 PM)Christiaan-SA Wrote:  Hello Guys
"Car hesitates under acceleration, in all gears, up to 2000 rpm, beyond which it is as smooth. Cold start is also horrendous."

I am new to the Forum to ask some advice on the following. I have a 2005 E46 318i Individual with 102k km on the clock.

Cold start is very bad, as if it is only firing on 2 of the 4 cylinders almost. After the 3rd or so try normally get it started, once I can get rev's to 2000rmp it idles fine. Car is on 102k km and problem has become much worse, when it was in 95k range had in in twice, no errors found and valves set - somewhat better for a week or so, then issue again as be4. I'm about to go on an expensive sensor replacement spree as technicians can't seem to pinpoint.

Further info
The car hesitates under acceleration, in all gears, up to 2000 rpm, beyond which it is as smooth as it should be right up to the red line. Between 1000-2000 rpm the car bogs and kicks when put under heavy load. If you ask for light acceleration then it is not so bad but when you ask for some grunt it just stews.

The worst it possibly behaves is when in slow moving city traffic when you would expect the engine to be at its warmest.

Anyone ever experience anything like this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Kind Regards, Christiaan




Have exactly the same issue as well. If get more info will let you know.
Thanks to all the other guys for your input.
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04-01-2010, 09:39 AM
Post: #16
RE: E46 318i - common problems
(31-12-2009 03:40 PM)semaj Wrote:  Maintenence:
-Front control arm bushings = R2200

Wow, I got my polyurethane ones for R115 each, and it cost me R580 to have them fitted. (the R580 included wheel alignment)

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04-01-2010, 09:43 AM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2010 09:45 AM by Ricky318i.)
Post: #17
RE: E46 318i - common problems
(04-01-2010 09:39 AM)freerider Wrote:  
(31-12-2009 03:40 PM)semaj Wrote:  Maintenence:
-Front control arm bushings = R2200

Wow, I got my polyurethane ones for R115 each, and it cost me R580 to have them fitted. (the R580 included wheel alignment)


Please let me know where you got those Polyurethane ones. Mine was done about two years ago, still fine, but just in case. Also, i know someone who might need them.
(31-12-2009 03:40 PM)semaj Wrote:  Maintenence:
-Front control arm bushings = R2200
-Airbag light reset(low voltage from standing) = R200

Did they tell you that the airbag light will illuminate when the voltage drops below a certain volts? I have noticed this in a friend's vehicle last week. Also after a flat battery.

07/2011 E90 320d A/T N47ND20O1 135kW

[Image: 464947443_ce7d6f506d_z-horz1-2.jpg]

E30 318i < E46 318i < E46325i SMG > E90 323i Auto << E90 320d

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04-01-2010, 09:47 AM
Post: #18
RE: E46 318i - common problems
(04-01-2010 09:43 AM)Ricky318i Wrote:  
(04-01-2010 09:39 AM)freerider Wrote:  
(31-12-2009 03:40 PM)semaj Wrote:  Maintenence:
-Front control arm bushings = R2200

Wow, I got my polyurethane ones for R115 each, and it cost me R580 to have them fitted. (the R580 included wheel alignment)


Please let me know where you got those Polyurethane ones. Mine was done about two years ago, still fine, but just in case. Also, i know someone who might need them.
(31-12-2009 03:40 PM)semaj Wrote:  Maintenence:
-Front control arm bushings = R2200
-Airbag light reset(low voltage from standing) = R200

Did they tell you that the airbag light will illuminate when the voltage drops below a certain volts? I have noticed this in a friend's vehicle last week. Also after a flat battery.

Check out this post http://www.bmwfanatics.co.za/showthread....9#pid38949 Thumbsup2

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04-01-2010, 10:00 AM
Post: #19
RE: E46 318i - common problems
Thanks! Wavey

07/2011 E90 320d A/T N47ND20O1 135kW

[Image: 464947443_ce7d6f506d_z-horz1-2.jpg]

E30 318i < E46 318i < E46325i SMG > E90 323i Auto << E90 320d

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13-01-2010, 08:41 PM
Post: #20
RE: E46 318i - common problems
(04-01-2010 09:25 AM)RR Booi Wrote:  
(30-12-2009 12:48 PM)Christiaan-SA Wrote:  Hello Guys
"Car hesitates under acceleration, in all gears, up to 2000 rpm, beyond which it is as smooth. Cold start is also horrendous."

I am new to the Forum to ask some advice on the following. I have a 2005 E46 318i Individual with 102k km on the clock.

Cold start is very bad, as if it is only firing on 2 of the 4 cylinders almost. After the 3rd or so try normally get it started, once I can get rev's to 2000rmp it idles fine. Car is on 102k km and problem has become much worse, when it was in 95k range had in in twice, no errors found and valves set - somewhat better for a week or so, then issue again as be4. I'm about to go on an expensive sensor replacement spree as technicians can't seem to pinpoint.

Further info
The car hesitates under acceleration, in all gears, up to 2000 rpm, beyond which it is as smooth as it should be right up to the red line. Between 1000-2000 rpm the car bogs and kicks when put under heavy load. If you ask for light acceleration then it is not so bad but when you ask for some grunt it just stews.

The worst it possibly behaves is when in slow moving city traffic when you would expect the engine to be at its warmest.

Anyone ever experience anything like this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Kind Regards, Christiaan




Have exactly the same issue as well. If get more info will let you know.
Thanks to all the other guys for your input.

Anyone solve the above problem yet??

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