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Old 10-27-2008, 04:02 AM   #1
itspi
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Virginia
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Big Post: New to the boards, have many questions.

Intro:
Hey guys, I'm pretty new here but I've known about this site for years now. My older brother used to frequent this site since he got his 330 so I figured I'd give it a go too. I've had my 2002 325i for about 3 years now and haven't changed a thing on it. It's my first car (first love, too) and was hoping to actually learn things about my automobile instead of driving it around like a soccer mom. I'm 19 years old, currently a college student, and am eager to learn!

Now to the business. I have a number of questions I'd like answered, I'll list them out along with current threads that have already been created about them. I'm a big believer in using the search functions instead of asking questions that were already answered. My inquiries include: Headlights, Audio decks/Sound in general, Car related problems, Cleaning equipment, Wheels/Rims, Window tint, and finally, Suggestions.

I'll try to keep it in this clean format so you guys have an easier time answering my questions. Also for any ambiguities that might exist in my post, feel free to address them and I'll try to myself as clear as possible.
I'm pretty new to automobiles in general. While my father and uncle have a great understanding for vehicles, I have not picked up on either of their knowledge. I was wondering what the basic specs for a 2002 325i were. Like I stated before, my car is pretty much as stock as it could possibly be.

Ok~

Headlights

1. I have read a number of threads referring to headlight bulbs and projectors. Is there a difference between the two? I can't help but reiterate, I'm very new automobiles.
2. I live in the States, Virginia to be exact, so I was wondering if anyone knew if any state laws around here has certain regulations with headlights. I remember my brother getting some aftermarket bulbs and getting a ticket for them when he put them on his Toyota Solara. I was wondering if these regulations restricted certain types of lights on cars, and which types of lights aren't prohibited on my car.

To be more specific, I was wondering if the lights that are talked about in this thread would be legal in my area (the super blue bulbs):
http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/show...ght=headlights
3. I've read on a number of threads talking about headlights/projectors and their quality. I'd like to know what specifically separates them quality wise, and which ones I should consider over others.


Audio Decks/Sound
1. I currently have the stock deck in my car right now. Recently my cd player has been acting up and was wondering what kind of different decks I could replace it with. I'd like to know which decks are preferred by e46 owners and why. I have a pet peeve about decks not matching the cars they are in, so if anyone could refer me to a few that do match with the car, I'd appreciate it.

I was searching through the forums and found this thread that partially answered my question and had pictures of a person with a new deck:
http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88223
While the set up looks great with the filler plate, I was wondering if there were any decks available that have red LED instead of the standard blue ones. I just think my car would look silly if all the other LED's in my car (the ones on my dashboard) are red while the deck is bright blue. I don't know if anybody else shares this opinion.

2. As far as sound goes, I have the standard HK in mine. While it's nice at low volumes, it gets pretty bad when turned up. While I'm not one to have my windows rolled down while I blast music, I do happen to enjoy the occasional (alright fine, a little more than occasional ) blasting of music in my car. I believe something is wrong with my antenna because most the radio stations I listen to have terrible reception.

3. I'd like to know what kind of subs/amps people would recommend that aren't top of the line but have pretty decent quality and aren't incredibly expensive.


Car Related Problems
1. This thread right here was incredibly helpful, I found that my car is now experiencing some of the problems listed:
http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=110145
Quote:
3)Is their anything I should look out for in this generation of 3 series?

There are problems with these vehicles, and it's NOT due to a lack of maintenance; just poor design out of the box.

- Vanos (top end of engine) will go after 120K or so. Have it checked out. Make sure the engine doesn't sound like a little diesel engine. Youtube vanons issues. "Dr. Vanos" has a fix for this.

- Front Control Arms. Just like the e30 and e36, the front end is weak. Hopefully the control arms were already replaced under warranty.

- Window Regulators. Make sure they all work, and smoothly.
Specifically, I believe my window regulators are acting up. I've noticed that in the past month or so my driver side window rolls up at an alarmingly slow rate. At some points, it even stops. I was wondering the reason for this and how to get it fixed, and how much it will cost me.

2. I've noticed my engine keeps making a chirping noise sometimes whenever I start it up. It only usually lasts for about 5-10 minutes, sometimes less. The noise will stop when I hit the brakes but will start again when I accelerate. It happens pretty randomly, I feel like my car hates me because when I tried to show my father, it didn't make the noise. He took it in for maintenance and they didn't catch it either. Any help in this area would be greatly appreciated, as it is my main concern as of now.

3. My window wipers are pretty terrible. I feel like at times it makes it worse than before I turned them on. I was wondering if anybody had any input on this as well.

4. I read in a previous thread that sometimes the AC will have a peculiar smell. They said that with the right cleaning it should go away but didn't mention any specifics. I'd like to know if anyone could explain to me why this happens and what specifically I need to do to fix this problem.

Cleaning Equipment
1. I'm a bit of a clean freak. I was wondering what kind of cleaning materials is recommended for this car for the interior as well as the exterior. I'm a bit afraid to try anything unless I have someone who knows what they're talking about educates me on certain products. I'd also like to know why certain materials are bad for the car and also why others are good for it. I also like my car smelling fresh, but I also am not driving a 1995 toyota corolla, so I'd prefer not to have a pine tree sitting on my rear view mirror.


Wheels/Rims
1. I currently have the stock bmw hub caps on my wheels. I'd like to find an upgrade to this but I'd do it after I resolve the more important issues (windows/engine chirping/radio). Anyone have any suggestions as to what brands are better than others, and what's the difference in quality. What to look out for when noticing the cheaper rims compared to the higher priced ones. Also, any issues with any of the more popular ones.

2. I'm not sure as to the measurements of my wheels, but like I said before, I'd like to get my ducks in order before I address this luxury. Unless I am completely wrong, and this happens to be more important than the other concerns.

Window Tint
1. Anybody know if there is any standard regulations for Window tinting. How much is too much. I understand that different areas have different laws pertaining to this matter, but is there a sort of standard for this? How much would I be looking to pay for a tinting job anyways. My windows are all currently completely transparent, I hope to change that in the near future.

Suggestions
1. Have at it, fellas. Any type of commentary is appreciated. I'm still a student to this so be easy on me .


I realize this was a big post, but really any input would be GREATLY appreciated. I cannot stress enough how helpful y'all would be. Also, anybody in the Washington DC area give me any pointers as to the regulations concerning my questions would really be helpful.

I will be returning to this thread constantly and possibly adding things to it as they come to me.

Thanks in advanced.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:12 AM   #2
piotrek636
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headlights:

I think your car might already have projectors, does it have glass ball inside ? Yes Xenon / HID kits were banned at some point in the USA, as long as you dont get xenon kit higher than 6000K you should be ok.



the rest:

You will find a lot of these questions already answered, just go to each Technical section (wheels / detailing / audio etc) and READ all the Stickie threads. You will find answers to most of your questions.


Read, read and read
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:35 AM   #3
Bimmerette
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Hi itspi and welcome

I tinted my windows for $325. This is too much. Wherever you go, don't go to Tint King on Albion Rd.

That is all.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:53 AM   #4
ImolaZHP
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long post wow, ill try to read it all later,
but for now....the e46 bible
http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php?title=BMW_E46
it's very detailed, and by the time you finish reading, you will be an expert on your car!
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:33 PM   #5
itspi
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Hey guys, I really appreciate your posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImolaZHP View Post
long post wow, ill try to read it all later,
but for now....the e46 bible
http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php?title=BMW_E46
it's very detailed, and by the time you finish reading, you will be an expert on your car!
Just finished reading this. Lots of great information. Thanks a lot. I see that from that site and previous posts on this board that the window regulators are notorious. Mine just started acting up so I'll get that resolved asap.

I have class right now, but I'll stop in again later.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:21 PM   #6
elroy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerette View Post
Hi itspi and welcome

I tinted my windows for $325. This is too much. Wherever you go, don't go to Tint King on Albion Rd.

That is all.
Hes in the states, i think hes good lol
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:27 PM   #7
piotrek636
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I wanna pimp .. umm I mean tint my car too
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:33 PM   #8
europrince
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Welcome!
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:37 PM   #9
Bimmerette
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whoops...didn't see that.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:33 PM   #10
ImolaZHP
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for your window regulator
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=356847
check out the site aswell, it's US-based. lots of extremely modified e46s
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