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    Robert Hode
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    Maintenance - Worthwhile?

    I have a '02 E46 with about 115K miles. Inspection II is overdue, but my question to everyone is whether I should do this considering the age of the car? Dealership = ~$2,000; independent ~$1,400, both with valve adjustment.

    Perhaps just routine oil service from now on is the practical thing to do. What does everyone think?

    Thanks.
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    Member No: 17062 JKRIT is on a distinguished road JKRIT's Avatar
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    Everyone has free choice whether to maintain their car roughly according to a (recommended) schedule, fix it only when it breaks, or just drive it until it won't go anymore. An E46M3 costs more to maintain properly than lots of other cars because it is basically a race car modified for the street. If you can't/don't want to keep up the maintenance, you'll probably be happier with a Honda, where you can just change the oil and drive it.
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    If the tappets/cams have too little clearance, the valves don't close when everthing heats up, and the valve edges and valve seats in the cylinder head get bathed in fire on every combustion stroke. The exhaust valve have sodium filled stems, to they can take it for a while under easy driving. But, not the intake valves. It the tappeds/cams have too much clearance, you could get excessive tappet or cam wear.

    I also have an '02 with 105k miles, with Inspection II due in 5k miles. I can afford a new car, but I love this one. I'm going to spring for tires, struts, front end parts, and Inspection II, instead of buying a new whatever (at least for a year or so).

    At a minimum, the cost of overdue maintenance will be deducted from the price you could get when you sell it. So, that money is already spent. But, you're risking damaging an engine that costs about $20k to replace.

    I track my depreciation and maintenance costs. The truth is that an old BMW, especially an E46 M3, costs almost as much to own when they're old (maintenance and repairs) as they do when they're new (depreciation). I could have replaced mine at six years, 75k miles and been about even. But, in my world an old, cool car in great shape is a status symbol, much more so than a new one.
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