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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier

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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I have been driving RWD cars in snow for over a quarter of a century and do quite well when it is all white and shiny outside. Having said that, my 328i without the SP (ie. Stock All-Season rubber) is about all I would want to deal with here in the NYC area in winter conditions. My car is quite stable and predictable when driving with the DSC engaged, however, turn it off and LOOK OUT. Also, when you add a low traction environment to and area where level terrain is rare, DSC or no, making it up a steep hill is problematic. That was a long way of saying, get the snow tires for your 330i, a single trip to the body shop will more than offset the cost of four new wheels and tires.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • dantlodantlo Posts: 106
    You are right!! Number wise they might be very close, my point is the 528 is an excellent car with adequate hp and torquer for the size. After owning it for 3 years. It was the best car we ever owned. We are looking forward to see the new body change and will probably get into one again when it comes out 2003?? right?
  • Had to use them for the first time this morning (it's 50 degrees here in Albany, NY) and I felt like was in a massage parlor or something :o) Very nice. I especially like the fact that they heat up just seconds after you start the engine.
  • Hey all,

    I am considering getting a 2002 325xi. I'm just looking for some general feedback as to thoughts/experiences anyone has had with the car. The all wheel drive is important to me which is why I chose the xi model. I'd also appreciate some thoughts on the ongoing automatic/stick debate. I can't decide what I want, as I drive in rush hour traffic every day and currently drive an automatic which makes life easy. But then the driver's side of me is screaming "How can you get an automatic BMW???". So I am somewhat torn. Also, I'm interested in hearing any experiences you've had with dealers in the Southwestern CT/Westchester County NY area, who's good and who's not? Additionally, if I special ordered this car exactly as I want it, how long would it take to arrive? And lastly, any reliability concerns with this vehicle? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks...-Dan


  • Listen to the driver's side of you! My $0.02: The I-drive-in-traffic-therefore-need-a-step thing is a bit of a cop-out. If you are an experienced stick driver then working the clutch/gas/stick becomes second nature and it doesn't matter whether you're going 2mph or 100mph. You should have heard the belly laugh from my German-born BMW salesman when he told me how often he hears that one since moving to the States, because in Europe you'd never hear an excuse like that.

    If the people using that excuse can truly drive a stick but choose to buy the ultimate driving machine with an auto, then I must conclude they're doing so in order to have one hand free to diddle with a laptop/PDA, make a sales call on the cell phone, sip coffee, shove an Egg McMuffin in their mouth, put on makeup, check hair, reach around and break up the fighting rugrats, wipe drool off the baby, etc. :) Let's not blame it on traffic.

    So unless a person drives an auto for one of the above reasons, the only remaining excuse that still holds water with yours truly is "I just can't drive a stick" and even that one can be worked around with some patience and effort.
  • A Lexus would be just as good.
  • Thanks for the feedback. Well...the car would be in a lot of traffic during the week but on the weekends would be traveling on the open road. All I was getting at was that I know how to drive stick just fine but never owned a stick car, so I am not sure how I would like it as a daily driver, that's all. I am sure you are right about it becoming second nature. I'd considered some other brands as well but I like the styling of the BMW the best and there aren't that many all wheel drive sedans out there to choose from. When the time comes, I will test drive both auto and stick and take it from there I guess.
  • "But, you know, I would say we do have one of the best engines, if not the best."

    Don't miss the Indianapolis F-1 race on Sunday!!
  • Could you give me your email address? Love to talk to you regarding your deal with BMW of Peabody.

    FYI, for the folks in the Boston area, BMW of Peabody, Gallery (Norwood) and FMW Natick seem to come out best with customer experience. Universally, it appears that Herb Chambers experience is not good, but my test drives went without incident there.
  • Prefer not to post it to the board, thanks...
  • Good point. Actually, if I were always stuck in traffic I wouldn't get a Lexus or a BMW. I'd either be in a Ford Focus or other cheap beater, or I'd be riding on public transportation.
  • Where you're always stopping and going and your preference would be to drive a clutchless shift, get a steptronic. The car is just as enjoyable the rest of the time and just a much nicer place to spend time in the real world traffic that you may have to deal with. Buy what ever you think is best for you.
  • My email address in profile. Thx!
  • allanoallano Posts: 175
    vishnu11,
    If you live in a north-west Boston suburb, I would suggest you try Tulley BMW in Nashua, NH (not to imply anything is wrong with Peabody). Although my salesperson is not longer there, the business and sales manager were cordial and competent. I continue to be impressed with their service center (recall fan came within a week).

    drcdrc,
    The combination of the electronic throttle, tight drive train (even AWD) and standard transmission is quite easy to drive in stop and go traffic. I typically don't accordion drive with everyone but rather run the car at some 'average' speed between dead stop and jack-rabbit starts trying not to leave too much room between me and the car in front (i.e. annoying drivers behind me). At idle, the car moves _very_ slowly in 1st without bucking, pulls smoothly from idle and returns smoothly to idle. With a good CD, it is almost enjoyable.
  • Well, the service dept at my dealer says it takes 2.5 hours to install and program the alarm....
    @90/ hour, 225 bucks for the install, which is how much circle BMW wants for the alarm....
    they quoted me 525 bucks for the alarm and installation at my dealer....
    I guess its time to find a dealer willing to program it if need be....
    thanks for the input!
    -Ken
  • allanoallano Posts: 175
    I too started using heated seats just last week and got used to them awfully quickly. I did not choose this option in my original order but the sales person called when he knew I would be out of the house and convinced my wife to give this option as a surprise birthday present (expected delivery was in the same month). Now that I have tried them, I would not want to be without.
  • That's exactly what I do in traffic as well and it's never bothered me at all. One thing that I find extremely annoying about autos in general is the creep they build into them. To me, it's unnatural to have to keep my right foot on the brakes so the car would not creep up on its own.

    Tulley BMW in Nashua, NH is a good choice but keep in mind that the state transfer may be hassle if you live in Mass. One more thing: avoid BMW Norwood like the plague. I had a bad experience with them.

    DSC: I am getting in the habit of switching it off (electronic braking included) often lately and every once in a while I'd go find a nice isolated back road and toss the car (325i SP) in corners just to slide it. It's so difficult to slide it for more than a couple of inches... I'd pick up a lot of speed and then toss in the corner and think "Oh, here we go" anticipating the slide. This thing just exits the turn with high speed, perfect oversteer at the exit and refuses to slide.. Unbelievable...
  • allanoallano Posts: 175
    Brave,

    If you haven't already, check out the F1 drivers' comments at http://www.bmwnation.com/home.html. Select "News" in the top boarder and then "Motorsports" at the top left. In the next page's left boarder, choose the top article F1: US GP Preview.

    It is interesting that the Mischlens are a risk factor. Ralf S. claims that his 3rd place performance at the Italian GP was caused by tire blistering.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Driving to work earlier this week, I found myself taking a detour around some heavy traffic and wound up on a narrow 2-lane road that I had never driven before. This road wound around and up over a small gap in some local hills and because it was completely tree covered, the sun had not yet dried it from the rain the night before. What a blast, I finally found a road upon which I could induce a slide (DSC and such switched off) at less than double the posted limit. When I got to the end of the road, I turned around and did all 6 miles of it down and back again. I walked into the office 30 minutes later than usual with a big silly grin on my face. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • when I autoxed, I had the DSC & other stuff turned off, but I still couldn't get the car to slide much. For anyone who thinks BMWs aren't worth the money, they should autox one.
  • allano - thanks for the link. Check out www.formula1.com for more exciting news on the F-1 race.

    shipo - it sounds like you're having a blast. One of the things I love about the 3-series is the way they convert oversteer to understeer on the way out of the corner. The car is very forgiving - even if you realize that you're exiting the corner way too fast and need to let off the gas to reduce the oversteer, the car is perfectly composed and never loses its balance or much speed either. The only time I've been able to slide it for more than a couple of inches at a time is on wet roads and man, what a blast that is!! I'd think that it would be easier to slide it with the 328 and especially the 330 engines because they have a lot more power than the 325, though.

    dave330i - autoxing is what hooked me up on the 3-series. I've wanted one for years but I had not pushed one to its limits of adhesion till one of those Ultimate Driving Experience events that they organize. They set up a short circuit (about 16-18 secs a lap) and I was so amazed by the car's handling that I knew I was getting one. It was just a matter of deciding when. Great stuff... I'm planning on autoxing with BMWCCA next spring.
  • Thanks for your replies!!

    Good to see that some of the regulars are still around.

    I'll plan on moving ahead with the retrofit given the positive feedback, and let you know how it turns out.
  • course I ran was pretty long (fastest was high 50s). I couldn't believe how well the car behaved with the DSC & ADB turned off.

    The Ultimate Driving Experience is coming to the SF area. I know I'm going to go check it out.
  • I've been parking at work in a little uphill position for a couple of weeks now and I've noticed that every day, when I drive away the "low windshield wiper fluid" comes on and then goes away after a few minutes. But in the last two days the light just keeps staying on, even after I've stopped parking in that slanted position, and started the engine several times and have been driving on flat roads. Any ideas how to make it go away? I checked that the fluid level is fine. Thanks.
  • Please give us some tips and share both your positive and negative experiences with autoxing - i.e -
    - tire pressure recommendation
    - how much gas do you carry
    - do you have to wait all day to get out on the track for one minute, etc.

    Thanks
  • Being provocative is good, especially when you're sincere. German cars are about excitement and comfort. There are exciting Japanese cars but none that blend excitement and comfort as well as BMW's - it's that simple.

    There are better dealerships than BMW - especially Lexus. But we love the cars; the donuts you get while shopping for the car and bringing it in for maintenance are nice but a lot less important. All luxury dealerships tend to be stuck up, especially with younger buyers. You think BMW dealers are stuck up? Try Cadillac and Jaguar. If you love driving and can afford a BMW, do get one. If you think it's overpriced, VW is a good substitute - I had a VR6 for 4 years before I got the 325.
  • Our club's auto cross was just held. We do it in a pro sports stadium parking lot - it's long and fairly narrow so we go out and back with a lot of serpentines. Average time was about 45 seconds and everyone got 7 runs. Three in the morning were for practice (although still timed) and 4 in the afternoon that were used for official best time. We had about 75 cars. The nice folks at SCCA help us out by designing the course and timing/annoucning the event. They do a great job. I would suggest about 40 psi in all tires to start. My E46 pushes a bit so I drop the front pressure down a couple of pounds. That probably makes more difference at driving school than at auto cross. My opinion would be that most novice auto crossers just work at being smooth, watch the next set of cones and start slow and let yourself get faster as you get more comfortable. I think it's great fun to watch the other cars run. The M3's do very well. This year we had one E46 M3. That car is VERY fast, but he did spin several times on the course (he is an experienced auto crosser). We had about 10 non- BMW's at our event (usually the SCCA guys that help us out). This year a Porsche Boxster S was very fast, but fast time went to a modified 95 M3 (a national racer). About 1/3 of the group there changes from street tires to racing slicks. Another word of advice would be to take an instructor with you in the early runs, if available. These are ususally very experienced people and they can provide great tips. And don't forget to have fun!
  • I'm interested in purchasing a 2001 325ci but I like the rims on the 330ci. Does anyone know where I can get these? How about after market? Can anyone also suggest any other cool rims to get and where? how much will it end up costing me? What should I do with the stock ones that are on the car now. Will the dealer trade it in?

    Also I like the way the lower grill (where the fog lights are) stands out on the 330cibetter because it's painted silver rather than black. Has anyone heard of painting it?

    Any cool sites to get aftermarket goods for the 3series?

    I'm getting a sweet deal on the 325 or I would go for the 330.
    Thanks!

    Ron
  • I have been lurking here for the last couple of months and I am getting closer to ordering a 325I. As I live in Canada, I was wondering if someone from Canada could give me any tips and suggestions as to what type of pricing to expect. ie. how much over invoice and what other charges did the dealer apply. Such items as freight, dealer prep, ads etc. Also I see some of the dealers have a few 2001 325Is with around 15,000 KM that they are asking approx. 40K CDN for. Does anyone know what they would realistically take for such a car. It doesn't seem like much less than retail. Anyway, all help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • I leased my 325i in Oakville. Purchase price was $38,470. The only option I put on this car was heated seats. Frt & PDI $895.00, first and security, plus a few small charges and that was it. The only "deal" that this dealer was willing to do was to waive about $800 in dealer charges, some deal.

    I love the car!!!
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