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      11-28-2013, 07:07 AM   #1
33mjb
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33mjb's 320i experience

Hi guys,

I've been a member since I bought my e90 320i Exec in August 2012, but only getting around to writing up my first proper post now! Thought I might share my experiences and perhaps leverage some tips or advice others might have.

When I was looking around for the car I found it quite tricky to find exactly what I wanted. As a daily commuter I just wanted to start with the 20i but insisted on black, manual, sunroof and leather seats. Anyway, after a little while of searching I found the perfect car within my budget - which had all of the above features and also had chrome interior, which was a plus! I managed to talk the guy down from 20k to 17k, only obstacle was that it was in another state 1700km away! I really wanted it, so I got it checked out by Prestige Auto Works in Melbourne who gave me an extensive run down. There wasn't anything too major (just a couple of minor oil leaks and some low tread on the tyres), so I organised to catch the 5am flight down to Melbourne one Saturday, picked up the car and started the 2 day drive back to Brissie! This ended up being an excellent idea because it gave me a chance to get used to the car on the highway and test everything out along the way!

When I bought the car it looked pretty daggy...16" standard rims and roof racks, not exactly my cup of tea. Of course I took the roof racks off at the first chance I had (about 30mins after picking it up) and a few weeks later found some 18" 189 wheels and tyres for $500 - how could I say no! Threw on my gold on black personalised plates and suddenly the BM transformed from an old Grandpa's car to something that looked half decent.

Insurance - I'm only 21 (was 20 at the time), so finding some decent priced insurance was very important. Most companies wanted to charge 2-3k, but after lots of comparisons I found RACQ to be the best at $900, which had a fixed agreed value of 25k. After a year its now down to about $800, which I think is pretty good compared with what I have heard other people paying. Its definitely worth looking around to save some $$

A few months after I got the car an alarm came on in the dash for low engine power. I had it checked out by Bavarian Motor Tuning Service at Brendale who diagnosed it as the valvetronic motor and reset the fault code. They reckoned just keep driving it until it happened again since there was no loss of power or fuel economy. At the last service I told them about it and they said don't worry then too. Well, after 12 months it just came back a couple of months ago. To avoid having to fork out another $70 to get it checked out I bought a cable online and got the software up and running on the laptop (after tearing my hear out I might add). I was able to diagnose the fault (same thing again) and clear it. Anyway this was about 2 months ago and it hasn't come back again. Just playing it by ear at the moment, any advice?

As I mentioned, when I bought the car it had leaks from the cam cover gasket and the engine sump gasket. I had also noticed that I had to top up the oil a couple of times in the 12 months between when I bought it and the next service. I got the leaks fixed up hoping that this might improve the situation, but apparently not. I have just topped it up for the 2nd time since the service in August, which isn't ideal. I have read that the 320i uses more oil than you might expect, and I do drive in heavy traffic daily, but that still seems like a lot to be using/burning. Any one with advice on this?

Anyway I still think that upgrading to the BMW was the best thing that I ever did - its just so smooth and a pleasure to drive! I think starting at the bottom was a good idea, because now I can work my way up through the models and end up with an M3 by the time I retire!
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      11-28-2013, 08:25 AM   #2
sbce90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 33mjb View Post
As I mentioned, when I bought the car it had leaks from the cam cover gasket
I had this happen on my 20i as well. Seems to be a common problem.
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      11-28-2013, 08:37 AM   #3
YE100
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I had this happen on my 20i as well. Seems to be a common problem.
Do you ever sleep dude??
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      11-28-2013, 08:41 AM   #4
GJA003
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Quite a few oil leaks to look for with the N46. Here is a thread that mentions most of them. Link
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      11-28-2013, 08:45 AM   #5
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yep, it took me like 6 trips to the dealer to finally stop the leaks on mine.
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      11-28-2013, 09:26 AM   #6
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Do you ever sleep dude??
I could be asking you the same thing
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      11-28-2013, 09:29 AM   #7
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I could be asking you the same thing
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      12-01-2013, 05:21 AM   #8
dorkbydesign
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The N46's are pretty bad. Pretty much had to replace half the stuff under the hood and had only owned mine for six months. The car had all of its previous services completed at at BMW dealer.

Stuff I had to change (most recent first):
- Valvetronic Motor
- Oil Level Sensor
- Eccentric Shaft Sensor
- Starter Motor
- Alternator
- MULF2 Bluetooth Box
Gaskets (most recent first):
- Valve Cover
- Oil Filter Housing (where the filter housing contacts the engine)
- Engine Sump
- Oil Pan
- Tranny Oil Pan

Thank Christ by name I chose to do Automotive Technology for TAFE for 2 units of my HSC.
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      12-01-2013, 05:48 AM   #9
196806
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Keeping an N46 over 100k is awfully expensive. Oops, mine has 123k now. Nothing major so far.
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      12-05-2013, 07:18 AM   #10
jp330Cic.au
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Ours until 35k was fine, but i have hear the cam leaks are common
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