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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,416
    I have no direct experience with BMW, but when you lease a car and go over the mileage, you're going to pay for the excess mileage one way or the other. (Getting people who go over lease mileage is a great way for them to make money). You have a few options: Buying the mileage upfront is always cheaper. If say you only get a 10,000 mile per year lease (not too smart on your part), you can call BMW 6-9 months before your lease ends and tell them. They will roll the excess mileage into your lease payments at I believe $.15 per mile instead of $.20. Here's what you're looking at though:

    $3000 Down Payment: $ 83.30
    24,000 extra miles (@ $.15): $100.00
    Total: $582.30

    An I'm not sure what options you want. You shouldn't walk into the dealer shopping for payments. They love that. You should research the price here on edmunds and other sites ( Many people here are paying in the $1200-$1500 over invoice range for their cars (depending on what region they're in).

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

  • I am doing ED in about a month and am planning on flying into frankfurt rather than munich due to lower fares. Have any of you taken the train that runs between these two cities or are aware of the frequency that trains run in germany on the whole? I have seen a few sites out there that try to list times/fares out but nothing too solid. Also, is there much worth doing in frankfurt or is time better spent seeing the rest of the country?
  • derprofiderprofi Posts: 249
    I've got some Frankfurt-Munich train info in my write-up. Check the Frankfurt section on 11/25.

    Personally, the only reason I stayed in Frankfurt at all was to visit relatives. IMHO, your time is better spent touring around elsewhere.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I would hope she has more than one skill. I know mine has at least two: driving a manual, and putting up with me. :)

    When we looked at BMW, she was the one to insist we got a manual. Gotta love that! :) That has the added bonus of me knowing my soon-to-be 16 year old daughter can't drive it. :)

  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    17 vs. 18: I would go with 17. 18 will increase contact patch (which helps in cornering), but it also increases unsprung weight (decrease in acceleration). 18 will cost more initially, more to replace, and easier to damage. Plus, does a sedan really need this much rubber?

    Helmet: Brave, I believe the `m' stands for motorcycle. I'm pretty sure you'll need to go to a racing store to get Bell helmets. I don't know if racing helmet will give you better clearance or not.

    I'm 6'1" as well, so I have similar problem fitting into my car with helmet on. Couple things to try. Obviously, lower the seat as much as possible, slide the plastic moonroof cover, and play around with your sitting position. If none of these help, just remember that you won't be driving very long with the helmet on.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    To add to what Dave said, one additional disadvantage to the increase in unsprung weight is that suspension action will be affected. It is easier for a lower weight tire/wheel to change direction which will help it maintain contact with the road. As a caveat, most of my suspension set-up knowledge is based on motorcycles and when your contact patch is roughly the size of your thumb, this stuff probably becomes a lot more critical.
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    I have also been researching and debating the leasing issue, as I now work 35 miles from home instead of 15 miles. In the past, 12,000mi/year was plenty, but now I need more like 15,000.

    I can't stomach the payment of a buy: +/-$600/mo as opposed to $460/mo lease. I also don't want to buy my miles up front, since I could get transferred back to the home office and be back to the shorter commute.

    My solution: lease for 12,000 mi/year and take my chances. If my lifestyle changes, I'll be fine on miles. If I exceed my miles, I'll try to negotiate with the dealer to forgive the miles when I re-lease. If he won't budge, I'll buy the three year old 325i out of the lease, getting a great deal on a used BMW, with a year of warranty left +/-, on which I know the history of every mile. I can then keep the car and pay it off, or sell/trade it in the last warranty year - probably for more or at least as much as the residual.

    That's my strategy today,...feel free to show me where the holes are in it, gentlemen.
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    Advantage program for car prices. I never would have thought about doing this except for people writing about it on another board. I already have my car on order, but thought I'd just compare. They put me in touch with a local dealer who would sell me what I want $1300 over dlr invoice. That's the pretty much the same deal as the corporate buyers service Redbooks.

    Sometime I'm o.k. with waiting, being patient, sometimes it's like " I want it NOW ".
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    18 will increase contact patch (which helps in cornering)

    Unless the 18" rims and tires take a lower air pressure, the contact patch area should be the same, only the shape of the patch will change with the width of the tire.

    Air pressure in the tires, not the sidewalls, supports the majority of the weight. The contact patch area is more a function of the pressure in the tire, not the rim diameter. In fact, I would think a larger rim would allow the sidewall to support more weight and slightly decrease the contact patch area for a given air pressure.

    The larger rim helps cornering by reducing the side deflection of the tire and keeping the tire in more even contact with the road.

  • rshaw11rshaw11 Posts: 52
    When people refer to "clear lenses" are they talking about the headlight lenses? What are the advantages of clear lenses, and how much extra do they cost? Thanks.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Everyone seems to take it for granted that extra miles are a bad deal, but I ran the numbers once and it seemed to me you were actually paying less for those miles than the base miles. Why is that a bad deal?

    Frankfurt to Munich - have you thought about flying?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hey gang, the Limo hits the driveway in a little less than two hours, and I am ready! I have never gone on a trip like this and been so prepared. Taxes are done, bills are paid, bags packed, car service set up for both ends of trip, baby sitters lined up, and I am bored. I don't usually start packing until the limo driver has come to the front door several times, wow, has married life change me! ;-)

    Another interesting thing, I remember my first trip to Europe in the summer of 1982, I don't think I slept a wink for at least several days prior to the flight, I was that excited. Last night, I got a full nights’ sleep, and could have very easily rolled over and slept some more this morning when the alarm rang. I envy you folks who are making your first trip across the "Pond", the excitement must be totally palpable.

    FWIW, on the Frankfurt thing, I considered that route, however, SAS has a cheaper flight to Munich via Copenhagen ($447 round trip from Newark), than the cheapest flight to Frankfurt. Needless to say, given the SAS price, going via Frankfurt was out of the question. One thing to consider about Frankfurt, my first impression of that airport was that it was just a HUGH shopping mall that had BIG airplanes in the parking lot instead of cars, so, if you want to shop, check out FRA.

    Best Regards,
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I checked the snell website that kominsky posted - there are clearly different certification designation for motorcycles and cars (m2000 vs. sa2000). I went to the Bell website, looked up their distributors and found 2 in the Albany area where I am today. The first one that I called had all sizes so I stopped by to try them out. He had an open-face helmet size 7 1/2 which fit very well but unfortunately he did not have a full-faced Bell M2 7 1/2 or 7 5/8 in stock. They ordered one from a Michigan distributor - it's $299 which is reasonable based on the research I've done and about $40 in overnight shipping charges (price of procrastination). I hope they get it by tomorrow. I would've never thought it would be so hard to find the right racing helmet. The Bell M2 felt nice and snug - a MUCH better fit that the two other helmets that I tried yesterday.

    On a separate note, I had the most eventful drive to Albany this morning. There was another 911 (this one was the new water-cooled type) and a WRX wagon in the story. I'll only say that the Shtroumpf was faster than both. The 911's driver was clearly missing shifts and the WRX - well, maybe because he had a slushie but the Shtroumpf was faster in the top end. Somehow I managed to narrowly avoid 4 or 5 evil speed traps - V1's help was imprtant but it's also a lot of luck. Life is good, what can I say...
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    I wouldn't have slept. Just got my Production #, and the status code = 112. Am terribly excited... Have a great time in Europa, sample everything you can food & drink & driving-wise!!
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    It's nice to feel like you are 16 again. Good luck and have fun.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    The only clears that I know of are the turn indicators, side indicators and rear turn indicators. I think they are available on the Ci, CiC and M3. They can be bought via aftermarket. I think it is cosmetic. I like them but there are some laws that govern that you must have amber reflectors on the front if you have clear turn lights. In Europe, they don't need the reflectors. I doubt that most police know the law on this with the exception of Western States.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Good to hear you found a helmet you liked. Closed face is more than you'll need with BMWCCA, but if you ever plan on moving up, it'll work.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    It'll save me a couple of hundred bucks when I move to pro racing :o) Is it good enough for C.A.R.T.?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,416
    Good Luck and travel safely! Can't wait to hear your ED experiences! BTW: Do you need someone to drive your 328i? I'm sure it will get pretty lonley in the garage:)

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

  • hpmanhpman Posts: 33
    Can't wait to hear about it when you return. I would be freaking out with excitement right about now!!!
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