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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • It's hard to believe myself, but I took delivery of my new 325i last night! After more than three weeks in Jersey, the truck pulled into my dealership yesterday afternoon at about 4:00 p.m. My salesman immediately checked the list of VINs and when he saw that mine was on board, gave me a call. My hat is off to the people of New Motors in Erie, PA. My salesman new that I was leaving on a trip Wednesday (tomorrow) morning and wanted the car for the this trip, so they bent over backwards to get it ready for me. I picked it up at about 8:00 p.m. last night.

    It was a great ride the 118 miles home, although I have toa dmit that I was paranoid about maintaining the same speed for too long of a time on Interstate 79. The best part was when I got off of the Interstate and followed Route 19 home from Grove City (about 55 miles).

    Now a couple of questions for you veterans. Is it right for the Steptronic gear selector light (on the console) to stay on all the time? When I pulled into my garage last night and shut it down, the little square beside the "P" stayed lit. I thought maybe it would go off in 15 minutes like the interior lights are supposed to, but when I got in it this morning the light was still on! What gives? I would think this would be a constant (albeit, small) drain on the battery.

    Secondly, on the way to work this morning, the dreaded "Service Engine Soon" light came on! I know this could be caused by the gas cap not being tightened properly, but although last night my salesman did remove the cap to show me how it should be tightened, the light wasn't on the whole 118 miles home! I have since taken it off and put it back on again to make sure that it is on right, but with no luck, as yet, in extinguishing this light. I understand that it can take several "driving cycles" for the light to go out, if in fact it was caused by the cap, but because it wasn't on the whole way back home last night makes me think it must be something else anyway. Any thoughts from any of you experts? Should I take another car on my trip (350 miles one way) tomorrow?
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I can't believe that with all the criticism from owners and the press, they still carried that idiotic trunk design down to the 5-series. Chris Bangle's explanation: it saves on fuel economy and it increases trunk size. Guess what: the vast majority of 7- and 5-series owners could care less about those extra 1-2 mpg they'd be getting... And who cares about another foot of trunk space in the 7 - it already has 18 cubic ft. That would allow any 7-series owner to comfortably fit in one wheelchair for himself, one for his wife, as well as 2 large suitcases to take them to the senior housing building. That's if they ever figure out the Idrive of course. You pay 40-50 grand for a mid-size sporty luxury sedan (the 5), it has to look good. Disappointing... If they carry that design down to the 3-series, I'll be planning on keeping my car for a long while. On the plus side, I am glad to see that they went back to the traditional L-shaped rear lights on the new 5-series. The 7-series lost those too.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I saw a 330 at the autox that had some damage to the rubber underneath the bumper (what's it called - skirt?!?) OK, so it'll cost him $20 to replace it. How many marks on your paint is a day of fun worth to you - none?
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    60 mph is usually the top end during autox. Most of the time is spent between 10-40 mph.

    Does anyone know which 5 series have dual exhaust pipes? I was passed by one during a semi-stressful 200 mile drive. Those angel eyes are pretty damn cool.
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    I know I am very far from owning a 7 series so the new design does not bother me either way. But to look at the FUGLY 5er is really disappointing. Shipo is lucky to get the current model 5er.

    I somehow sense that BMW will be carrying its new styling down to the 3 series in 2005 or so. Why such a dramatic shift in design for all the cars, i wonder??
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    "Why such a dramatic shift in design for all the cars, i wonder??"

    Chris Bangle is the name you'd be cursing. He's the new lead designer for BMW. He wants to take us to places we don't want to go (can't remember the exact quote, but it's close enough).
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    Yes, Bangle is the name I hear everyone cursing all the time. If they screw up the 3 series, it could spell disaster for the cult like following they currently enjoy. Somehow I think they will be very careful with it (I hope).
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    Maybe the 5er that passed you was the 540i or M5. They are the only ones that I could imagine would have the dual exhausts.

    I think Mr. Bangle is doing a good job of mangling the BMW look. It seems that the only things he keep intact are the twin kidney grill, dual headlights and the kink in the c-column. He probably would change those if he could. But BMW will not have a problem in sales because of people that will buy a BMW regardless of what it looks like. These are probably the same people that buy BMW because can not because of how well the car handles. The same logic is used to buy Japanese entry model luxury car. I get more bang for my buck plus more HP despite their car will not be able to carve up European roads the same way. What a compromise!!!

    Back to the 5er, some purist might say that us Yankees messed up BMW by complaining to the company more than BMW owners in the rest of the world. We all know the complaint,"For my $40K, I expect to my ." Some complainers will turn the BMW into a Japanese sedan when all is said and done.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I am pretty sure that the only 5 with dual exhaust is the M5.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Thanks for the input. I was thinking M5 or possibly 540i as well. That was the high point of my late night drive from Santa Rosa. We passed a lot of car together for about 5 miles before going our separate ways.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Did anyone ever answer your question about doc fees? I've gotten the impression that most states legislate a limit on this fee and the dealers then make that limit what they charge. For example, it is $50 in Texas and the dealer forms will actually have it printed on the form. That's something you might want to check -- get a look at the form they use to write up a deal and see if "doc fee" is a preprinted entry. If it is, and the salesman is quoting you more than that figure, something is up. $189 MIGHT be the doc fee plus the title registration fee ($13 in Texas) plus the license fee (about $70 in Texas) plus other various and sundry fees ($22 for 2 year state inspection) ($10.xx Road and Bridge fee). Total of all these for my deal in Texas came to $156 something.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    It must feel nice to have your car. Mine is still in NJ with a status of released to Trucking. My vehicle has to go from NJ to SC. Then sit. Get processed. Wait for another truck before it heads to Houston. My car has done alot of waiting. The outside was dirty has hell when I left London. I probably have permanent speed lines on the hood and rear of the car by now. I guess I will not have the car until next week. Maybe two weeks because my wife will want to drive. She did not drive in England because of that opposite side of the road stuff. I have lost any patiences that I started out with.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    What do you men "together"?!? You couldn't lose him?!? (j/k)
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    Can you do auto-x with an automatic/steptronic?

    congrats to wrjohnson, will stay posted for update on the service engine light story.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    "Can you do auto-x with an automatic/steptronic?"


    brave1heart: why would I want to lose a M5? ;)
  • ddblueddblue Posts: 117
    wrjohnsonpghpa--way to go! You are now a bonafide 3 nut like the rest of us here. The experience will only get sweeter (once you take care of that engine light--not an uncommon experience, btw).

    Regarding the 7 and 5 design, hasn't Adrian Van Hooydonk been responsible, not Bangle? Bangle may be heading up design but I don't think he actually designed the 7. I read this in BMW Magazine. Am I wrong?
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I think the way that Van Hooydonk says the process goes, is these design groups compete for these projects. The winning group gets the project and do the rest of the design. Designworks USA has won a good number of these projects. The Germans are not as conservative as we like to believe. BMW AG has to give the last word on this. Even the new European Delivery center that BMW is working on will be space age type stuff. What is considered classic anyway? Look at the design of the full size M-B sedans over the course of time.
  • ddblueddblue Posts: 117
    I'm looking to get a new set of tires for my 325Ci. It currently has the 225s all around from the SP. The fronts still look great (12K miles), so I'm thinking about just replacing the rears (I'm cheap). Is this a bad idea? Will this affect ride/performance/handling much? Is it bad for the car?

    I'm debating between Yokohama, Sumitomo, and Kumho 245s. Any recommendations?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    The AWD on my 325xi doesn't feel any different than the RWD that I originally tested. If anything, it feels more stable, but that may just be my mental image knowing I have AWD. It has usually 68% going to the back wheels, so you still have the RWD feel most of the time anyway.

    As for the 5 vs 7, my wife and I looked at the 7 and liked everything, except the tail. She kinda liked it, I hated it. With the pics of the 5 posted on that google site (anybody got the site for the translation?) it looks like the trunk lines are a little bit softer and less pronounced than on the 7. While I don't care for it on the 7, the 5 looks kind of nice. Maybe it is one of those designs that grows on you. :)
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    I'm planning on getting Kumhos myself. They get out of round easily, but everyone I've talked to says they're the best bang for the buck.
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