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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier

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Comments

  • pfaustpfaust Posts: 8
    I have heard that maintenance costs for these cars can be outrageous. I am prepared to buy my first BMW within the next two months, but would like to get an idea on what to expect for these costs. I know the first two years or 24k are free, but what about after the honeymoon is over?
    Can someone tell me the average cost of the following? Of course, it makes a differerence on whether a dealer or an independent mechanic performs the work. For a worst case scenario, what would a dealer charge for:
    1) Oil and filter change.
    2) Replace front brake pads.
    3) Typical tune-up.
    Thanks for any assistance.
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    I Love British Colombia?

    Not even close.

    Another hint, what kind of racing do I like? I think this was a discussion 6 months ago or so.

    -murray
  • abcnycabcnyc Posts: 101
    My 330i is steel blue with manual transmission, leatherette, SP, CWP, wood, and xenons. I was able to get $1465 off MSRP which is about $1790 over invoice. I suppose I could have gotten a greater discount if I had more options. But understand that the discount may also depend on your region. I also had a wide range of responses from dealers just within the DC area. I had one dealer indicate that he might be able to discount $200 - $500 off MSRP because they can sell many of their cars at full MSRP.
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    Check out http://www.intellichoice.com/reports/vehicleReport.cfm?section=ownership&vhcl_nmb=9500 and compare it to other cars.


    it shows 5 year costs of a 330i including maintenance and repair costs.


    -Murray

  • jparentejparente Posts: 9
    Hi, new to the 3 series board. We just bought a Certified 2000 BMW 323i about a month ago and love the car. As we are in Idaho we will need some type of winter tires. Wanted to get some recommendations on your experiences and also were you can pick up some rims for those tires (so the nice ones on the car don't get damaged).

    Also, what is with the auto climate control and the periodic high fan speed? It gets a bit annoying and not sure if this is normal behavior or not. Thanks!
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    Try tirerack.com for snow tires and wheels, although it may be too late to buy them this winter (then again, maybe they have some good closeout deals).

    If your fan is increasing and decreasing in speed, it may need repair. If it just goes to a high speed until the car is warmed or cooled, that is normal. In warmer sunny weather, it sounds like the car is going to take off. I always have to set the fan control lower manually and later reset it to auto.

    Enjoy the new car.
  • rdl40rdl40 Posts: 60
    My 330i steel blue with sp, leather and style
    "72" wheels just arrived at the dealer today.
    Went to check it out, can't wait to pick it up on Saturday.
    I was able to negotiate a $1200 over inv. on this car.(SF Bay area)

    jluftig- thanks for the advice on the "clowns nose" , gave the instructions to the dealer for
    programming.
    Did your car arrive?
    Ron
  • 1) It seems clear to me that you have never driven or been in an automobile equipped with xenon headlights yet you want us to save the anecdotes. Sure that makes alot of sense. Why bother posting anything if you don't care to hear what others' experiences have been? A large part of the usefulness of this board is so that people benefit from the experience of others.

    2) You demand "guidance from scientifically valid double-blind experiments" yet you don't feel compelled to do the research yourself. I think a number of us have already expressed what we think are the benefits of xenon headlights. We are not the ones that need convincing. Enjoy whatever you decide on and be sure to share your anecdotes with us.
  • dej0dej0 Posts: 36
    I am curious, you imply that the blue light (higher frequency) of the Xenons is bad for contrast. Why? The intensity of backscattered light is proportional to the frequency of the light raised to the 4th power. Higher frequencies should give better contrast, even at a slightly lower light output. I agree that the eye and the brain filter the light for preferred frequencies, but on a clear day, the sky is blue, not yellow (or purple as scattering would predict).

    I agree that DRL's are not for everyday. In NC, we are required by law to 'burn head lamps' while using our windshield wipers. It makes sense to use them when there are less than ideal conditions.

    Ned
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, I remember a discussion from 1998 about Xenons, apparently they aren't blue at all. If I remember correctly, they are about as close to pure white as possible, so, while they are certainly less yellow, and they might appear blue (as opposed to those stupid Blue aftermarket lights), they really are white.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • allanoallano Posts: 175
    I believe BMW's standard lighting is not getting it due when talking about Xenons. People have compared the BMW Xenon's to regular lighting on other cars but that may be like comparing apples to oranges.
    The other clear night, I had the opportunity to compare both BMW lighting systems (Xenons on my daughter's 330xi and regular lights on my 325xiT) on the same hilly, winding, blacktop road and did not find any eye-opening differences. In fact, there are more similarities than differences: the far-probing beam slightly off to the right, the sharp vertical cut-off (obvious just before a hill) and the wide spread pattern on both sides. I was not able to pick up objects at any significantly (greater than 40ft) greater distance (drove regular lighting first, xenon's second).
    At turnpike speeds at night, I have never been surprised by unexpected objects (thrown retreads, roadkill) with regular lighting. And both have the authority to move slow-pokes from the left lane as you approach them (never experienced that before in any other car). Whether Xenon or regular, BMW lighting is one of the best in the business.
    I guess the obvious question would be whether I would buy Xenons the next time. For me no, but my daughter would not be without them because of the way they look. But also consider that I bought a wagon and use it to haul her rocker-recliner, matress and 4x8 sheets of plywood when I'm not enjoying fast on/off-ramps.
  • dej0dej0 Posts: 36
    Hi Folks,
    If you are interested, I have two pictures of our new 325, steel blue metallic sedan during the Performance Center Delivery. The URL is www.duke.edu/~edl/bmw.html. The photos are both from the rear quarter panel, I could not get far enough away to get any other shot clearly. I'll try to take some more after washing it. The pine tree pollen is out in force these days.

    Ned
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    AMO BICI

    I love bikes?!?
  • butmywifebutmywife Posts: 81
    The price? Perhaps the question is, How much ARE you willing to pay for xenons? Would those concerned about the price be willing to pay $650? How about $575? Would you be a buyer today if I could get them for you for $550? That said, if you want a real blue light special, try K-mart, if you can find one that is still open.

    Color? The color shouldn't matter. Either a person likes them or not. Blue or white? Let's compromise and call it blight.

    ButMyWife, xenon warrior prince (lululululululu!)
  • derprofiderprofi Posts: 249
    You love bikes?

    I was having flashbacks to high school Latin (amo, amas, amat...) and trying to think what the heck "bici" meant (hmmmm, didn't Caesar say "beni, bidi, bici"? ) but then it clicked.
  • butmywifebutmywife Posts: 81
    Si esta escribiendo en espanol, AMO BICI seria "I love bicicletas," como dice el senor Bravo.

    Gracias, ButMyWife
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I don't have any scientific proofs or even a good understanding of light to explain why HID lights are better. I do recall watching something about cars on the Learning Channel , though, and they mentioned that the light emitted by the HID lights resembles daylight much closer than regular lights. They also mentioned that HID lights are far superior than regular lights and some day they may be standard on cars just like airbags are today. The xenons are one of my favorite options on my 325i but if you are on a very tight budget, $700 may not be worth it. The regular lights on the 3-series seems to be exceptionally good as well.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,468
    Hey Rob-

    Your (ahem) employer seems to be getting a bad rep on the X5 board. I know there's nothing you can do about it by telling them you'll give them a good deal if they come in as that would be not kosher with the TH agreement. If you'd like, I'll give them your handle here on TH and tell them they can email you if they have questions.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    1) It seems clear to me that you have never driven or been in an automobile equipped with xenon headlights...

    Ah, but I have.

    Why bother posting anything if you don't care to hear what others' experiences have been? A large part of the usefulness of this board is so that people benefit from the experience of others.

    Ever heard of the "Placebo Effect"?

    The basic problem is that there is tremendous variation in human responses; I've had product tests videotaped where there was obvious performance bias due to subject knowledge: one common example is 'anticipatory flinch', as the subject was expecting pain and he reacted before the pain source was even applied.

    Suffice to say that the contribution of human performance is a not insignificant part of my daily job.

    And to be brutally honest, it is also possible that the reason why I didn't see any big difference on the Xenon drives I've been on is because of my own doubts: Placebo Effects can work in _both_ directions.

    2) You demand "guidance from scientifically valid double-blind experiments"...

    Yes. I've learned that anecdotal claims are not generally worth much, because they have so many sources of error and bias. It is for this specific reason that I am only interested in good quality, scientifically based test results.

    ...yet you don't feel compelled to do the research yourself.

    Not exactly. I don't have a compelling need for the answer right now, so its a low priority for me to get around to this research.

    I think a number of us have already expressed what we think are the benefits of xenon headlights. We are not the ones that need convincing.

    Here's the dilemma: how do you definitively know that you're actually having an improvement in perception performance, and that it is not at all possibly attributable to a psychologically based Placebo Effect?

    My contention is that you don't.

    ---

    From dej0:

    I am curious, you imply that the blue light (higher frequency) of the Xenons is bad for contrast. Why?

    Because the human eye is most sensitive down at red, not up at blue.

    I believe that it has been demonstrated that it can require as few as 2-3 red photons to trigger a neural response.

    It is also known that other wavelengths require more. The inference is that a blue headlight would need to be more powerful, just to maintain the same performance as a red one. Now I do know that Xenons put out more power, but what I don't know is if they put out enough additional power to overcome this apparent handicap.

    I have posed this question to one of our young guys who has an appropriate background and who likes puzzles for entertainment on the weekends. By the time that I need to have a more definitive answer, I expect that he'll have something interesting to provide more insight.

    In the meantime, I already know that I've lost a good deal of my night vision simply due to age: our Pupil Diameter is typically 7mm at age 20, but by the time we turn 30 or 40, its down to 5mm, which is a 50% reduction in light-gathering area.

    FWIW, if I had to take a guess as to why we're more sensitive towards red, I'd speculate it was those thousands of years of evolution where the only night light source was a camp fire. Sounds as good of a guess as any other!

    -hh
  • esq1esq1 Posts: 20
    What does everyone use to clean the dash?
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    Damp cloth works wonderfully.
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    AMO BICI

    I love bikes?!?


    Ding, ding, ding…We have a winner! Thanks for playing. Your prize will arrive in 4-6 weeks.

    I was trying to come up with a good personalized plate. I had MURMAN on my Miata, but it didn't really fit the BMW. A couple years ago, my wife and I took a cycling trip in Italy and had a wonderful time. I looked through the Italian phrase book for ideas and saw "amo" was I love. I know bici was bike. I typed "I love to bike" into Babelfish and got "Amo alla bici" in Italian. I took the liberty of removing alla and I had 7 characters to fit on a plate. Added bonus, it must translate in Spanish based on butmywife's response. BTW bici is pronounced "bee chee" in Italian.

    Just to get off of beating Xenon's to death, are there any other good plate ideas out there?

    -murray
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,468
    Maybe you could put XTCBMW on your car to ensure getting pulled over and searched a few times a month.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • dafreakdafreak Posts: 154
    that simply was awesome....i applaud you and your very analytical response....i look forward to hearing what your co-worker has to say...G35
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Especially so because y'all already know that I like them, however, here are some links to sites that attempt to present some objective views on Xenon lights:

    http://www.usc.edu/dept/engineering/illumin/archives/spring2000/etc/xenon/
    http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~stanj/Audi/Mods/XenonPower.html
    http://www.cars.com.eg/xenon.html
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2001-06-07-xenon.htm

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • huntzinger,

    "Ever heard of the "Placebo Effect"?"

    - Ah, but I have.

    "The basic problem is that there is tremendous variation in human responses; I've had product tests videotaped where there was obvious performance bias due to subject knowledge: one common example is 'anticipatory flinch', as the subject was expecting pain and he reacted before the pain source was even applied."

    - (Hmmm) Does that explain why oncoming traffic is more likely to "flash" xenon equipped automobiles? Is this an "anticipatory flash" associated somehow knowing that the oncoming vehicle has xenons?

    "Yes. I've learned that anecdotal claims are not generally worth much, because they have so many sources of error and bias. It is for this specific reason that I am only interested in good quality, scientifically based test results."

    - I agree with you here. What is not anecdotal is that the reach of xenon headlights extends further out than that of their halogen counterpart. Thus it illuminates further out and and to the sides of the vehicle. There is also less fading at the "edges" of the projected light.

    "Here's the dilemma: how do you definitively know that you're actually having an improvement in perception performance, and that it is not at all possibly attributable to a psychologically based Placebo Effect?"

    - Ah, that's where the research comes in. When it becomes a higher priority for you, then you can see what I've been trying to say.
  • Are you the same guy who was around early in the week posting very "analytical" comments to the effect that:

    1. The G35 is a safer automobile than the BMW
    2. The G35 will do circles around the BMW

    So does this mean you see the error of your ways and want to retract these statements?
  • billiam70billiam70 Posts: 54
    In my opinion it's mostly the after market knock-offs that are causing the problems. Those bulbs can be so obnoxiously blue that they really can be harsh to oncoming motorists. The quality is so poor the light is scattered all over the place. I think people need to identify what they are having issues with: "True" Xenon bulbs or those after market pieces of junk bulbs that are supposed to give that Xenon look.

    The real Xenons do not bother my eyes any more than conventional bulbs, but those after market things are a totally different story. And you know that when a Honda Civic or Kia Spectra passes you that they are definitely after market.

    Bill
  • derprofiderprofi Posts: 249
    Many BMW CCA autocross events and all of the driver schools and new driver clinics (as far as I know) are open to non-BMW owners. So as someone else mentioned, why not just bring out your G35 to one of the events and see how your car does? Seems like an easy way to prove your claim about running circles around Bimmers.
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    Hi, Am new on this board. 14K+ messages is too scary to read so I will take it as a sign of your enthusiasm and love for this car. Test drove a 325 sedan, was dismayed to find out how much I liked it. So now am doing my homework. Would be happy for any advise on research or buying or experiences. In the meanwhile I'll be 'haunting' for more info. (haha)
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