Illustration for article titled One small step for DIY Man... huge step for DIY Mankind!

That's right - that's an E46 2002 BMW 330ci - WITH NO CODES OR WARNINGS! Only took about 3 months to get here DIY by DIY and all Autozone or used parts. (Budget is tight) This is my daily driver, so gotta take care of her.

Illustration for article titled One small step for DIY Man...

Its a proper Jalop Bimmer with Stick and original OEM Nav (that can play my tapes! Glad I kept the best 30 or so with me for a couple of decades)


So, what did it took to get rid of all codes? They all happened one by one.

Problem: Oil pressure light would come up a few seconds after start, go away later.


Solution: Oil sensor needs replacement, but its on the bottom of oil pan, has to be empty to do the switch, so I waited until car was due for an oil change (1 month) and got the part at Autozone.

Problem: 'Brake' light (not brake pad light) would come up, car starts to ride weird


Solution: One tire had a very uneven spot of wear, seems like a tire-blister popped up, than then wore down, so I replaced tire with used but newish tire (tough budget) - 1 week to detect, 1 day to fix.

Problem: Brake pad light came up. (Right after the new tire)

Solution: New front brake pads and rotors. Got the parts at Autozone and did it with a buddy in an afternoon. (2 weeks)


Problem: 'Check Engine Soon' light came up, it used to get them occasionally and would go away for weeks, but now it didn't. It stayed around like a deadbeat brother in the holidays.

Solution: The usual 'Running too lean' codes -, Tried detecting for leaks (none) then I used up all gas in tank, used a couple of cleaner agents, good gas tank full. Reset the lights with ODB cable, light hasn't come back.


About $400 in a year of operations, so not bad at all. The 330 engine is flat out the most reliable of the 3-series. Coolant system is the weak spot of E46s, but it has behaved well so far.

Let's see how long we can stay clear.

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