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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • Well I took the car in to the dealer a week ago, and they had to order several parts such as the front disc, pads, joint, bolts and nuts, and a bracket support. I got it back yesterday and the steering wheel does not twitch upon abrupt braking anymore. Hopefully this problem will not arise again for the life of the car.

    Overall, I am satisfied with job that they did; however, the technician managed to knick the rims again!! Well, it looks as if I will have to take it back to the dealer for more rim touch-up around the area where the bolts go. Well, the service manager had offered to send the rims back to get it refinished after the incident occurred the first time after a rotation and balance. However I figured that as long as I am under the maintanence program, the same knicks will occur when the service department rotates and balances the rims next time, so getting them refinished will not get me anywhere.

    DC
  • jpcanon1jpcanon1 Posts: 4
    Keep an eye on it- my "fixes" seemed to last approx 5,000 miles, then the twitch started to come back!
  • I bought an AUTOMATIC 2001 BMW325I four months ago. After around 5000 miles I began to notice a fairly loud "clunking" noise coming from the back of the car.

    The clunk occurs when shifting from Park to Reverse. It doesn't happen all the time - 60%.
    I took it to the dealer two times.
    The first time they did agree that the sound is weird and that they can't fix it. They told that they'll contact BMW and get a specialist for fixing it. I never heard from them or BMW.

    Then I filed a complaint from www.bmwusa.com
    They asked the dealer to schedule another check up
    for the car. This time they just refused to
    acknowledge the problem. They said that all the
    325s make that sound and that BMW states that it is a normal behavior of the car.

    Have any of you guys ever faced this problem?

    Has anyone been given a successful remedy for this noise? Please email me with the same.
    madhu_nair@hotmail.com

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Thanks,
    Madhu
    madhu_nair@hotmail.com
  • shop2shop2 Posts: 7
    I've had my car for about a week and have put about 1300 miles on it. I definitly have the brake twitch problem. I thought it was my imagination until I went to clean the wheels. I found more brake dust on the left front then the right. At moderate to low speeds, the left front seems to engage a split secound before the rest, but does not bind when coasting.
    T.B.C....
  • shop2shop2 Posts: 7
    Anyone out there have any experience or thoughts on engine noise (overtone beat vibration) between 3000 and 3500 RPM's?
    2 beats per second (like a whua, whua,whua whua)
    Subtle at first but very annoying when highway cruising at about 80 in 5th gear. Can't get away from that RPM range there. Dissapears when below or above that range. My wife even noticed it.
    Help!
  • bluewolfbluewolf Posts: 101
    I'm presently a VW owner and have been happy with the build quality of the car, but I also know there are alot of VW lemons out there. Considering a 325i next. Are BMW dealers better at customer service than VW dealers? How about service departments oveall?

    Can anyone objectively compare BMW and VW from a build-quality perspective, and are there many lemon Bimmers? Thanks for the opinions.
  • snaphooksnaphook Posts: 130
    I have a 94' 325is and a couple of weeks ago when I started the car the following occurred. Service indicator, fuel gauge, tach, speedometer, odometer, and temperature gauge were all dead. Where the odometer reading should have been instead the word "CodE" was displayed. There was no message on the onboard computer. I restarted the car and this all went away. Just today the same thing happened again, only this time restarting the car did not clear it. It did eventually go away later in the day, approx 5 restarts. Everything now works with the exception of the odometer which reads all 0's and will not update.

    Clearly the engineers at BMW were trying to convey some information to the operator by displaying "CodE", but what? There is no reference to this diagnostic message in the owner's manual. I realize that I will have to take the car in but I would appreciate some heads up as far as what to expect.
  • 325i87325i87 Posts: 15
    I disagree with mikesm6. This was true in the 50's, but not now. How can you go anywhere with a 1000 mi service interval? I have had a 325i/1987 which now has 260,000 km and always followed the service indicator for oil services/inspection. The service interval averages about 17,000 km for my driving.

    A lot of little things wore out in the car including the driver belt buckle which I just replaced, but the engine is still doing just fine and never needed work. I has taken a litre of the recommended oil 10w50 every 3800 km for as long as I can remember, less when I was using synthetic oil.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I currently have a very early build E46 (12/98) and prior to that I had a 1995 Passat GLX, so I can offer you some observations about the build quality of the two cars.

    My Passat was one of the best cars I had ever owned, having said that, it was not without some initial problems. In the first year I had to have the following items replace under warranty:

    - 3 fog lights (heat stress cracks)
    - 1 right rear power window motor
    - 1 rear window defogger switch
    - 1 instrument cluster

    During the life of the car (>80K miles) I had to replace the following items at my expense:

    - 1 fog light (heat stress cracks)
    - 1 battery (it exploded, what a mess)
    - 2 sets of rear wheel bearings (one per side)
    - 1 instrument cluster

    Given the fact that I drove those miles mostly in and around NYC which has some of the nastiest pot holes this side of the third world, and that the Passat never developed any unscheduled squeaks or other noises, I would say that the structure of the car was well built.

    I now have about 27K miles on my 328i and have only replaced one little tail light bulb on each side. I could have had these done under warranty, but the whopping $4.00 it cost me to buy the bulbs my self saved me from a trip to the dealer (not that my dealer is bad, I just have a very tight schedule).

    To summarize, I found that the VW was very good, while the BMW is nearly perfect.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Well, the BMW Synthetic is less than $3.50/qt. with a BMW CCA discount. As for the tranny, Dexron III is what the slushbox uses; the manual can use the same with no problems. Throw Mobil 1 gear oil in the diff. Heck, do what I do-buy an oil extractor from someplace like Griots and do the work yourself. It's a 1/2 hour job tops and you won't even get your hands dirty... I won't even take my domestic car to Jiffy Lube-trained monkeys are fun to watch at the circus, but I don't want them wrenching on your car.
  • I drove 16 miles stopping for 3 lights along the same route and the car sputtered and died, it restarted shortly and each time the plugs were fouled. Three days in a row, going the opposite distance to work no problem, it happens at 6 AM temp 72 degrees F, heat no problem. since then i
    changed the gas, new intank fuel pump, new fuel pressure regulator. the temp sensor, oxygen sensor and coil read ok according to specs. (i even substituted the temp 2 sensor with a 400ohm resistor , normal at 175 +degrees. no change today the 4th time it now only starts but runs rough and smokes black. only able to idle not drive now. is the ECU (the brain) the problem?
    airflow sensor and speed sensor would not act like this. i have good spark. fuel pump pressure normal ~34 psi.
    i am usually good with changing and reading the specs on my cars. HELP please.
  • jfriedljfriedl Posts: 3
    My wife owned a 1996 Passat that she dearly loved up to the day it got totaled by a Ford delivery van. In the two years/40k miles we only had one problem with the car - we needed to replace the dash because the tach and speedo were reading improperly. The dealer was great. Even though it was a few mile out of warranty, the dealer was unhappy with what happened and managed to fix it under warranty. The car was great. Fun to drive (for a front wheel drive car) and comfortable.

    I currently own a 2001 E46 325i manual with a sport package. I have never driven anything as fun as this. It has about 8,000 miles on it. I have already replaced a fog lamp and had to have the break master cylinder replaced as an internal seal malfunctioned. Other than that, it is very stout.

    From my perspective, both vehicles are great. It all boils down to your personal preference. I personally can't stand front wheel drive. If I enjoyed front wheel drive, I probably would have gone with the Passat (I did test drive one and it was fun). It definitely has much more value for the buck. You can pick up a fully loaded Passat for what I paid for my "stripper". Now, if rear wheel drive is your thing, like it is for me, the BMW is the only way to go. This car is absolutely on rails. It does tend to have more over steer than I would have expected for a car like this, but I am very glad I bought it.

    Finally, I do think the Passat is of a higher over quality than the rest of the line. It is the flagship and I think VW goes to extra measures to ensure it is of high quality.

    In the end, i don't think you can go wrong with either car. Best of luck!
  • jfriedljfriedl Posts: 3
    My wife owned a 1996 Passat that she dearly loved up to the day it got totaled by a Ford delivery van. In the two years/40k miles we only had one problem with the car - we needed to replace the dash because the tach and speedo were reading improperly. The dealer was great. Even though it was a few mile out of warranty, the dealer was unhappy with what happened and managed to fix it under warranty. The car was great. Fun to drive (for a front wheel drive car) and comfortable.

    I currently own a 2001 E46 325i manual with a sport package. I have never driven anything as fun as this. It has about 8,000 miles on it. I have already replaced a fog lamp and had to have the break master cylinder replaced as an internal seal malfunctioned. Other than that, it is very stout.

    From my perspective, both vehicles are great. It all boils down to your personal preference. I personally can't stand front wheel drive. If I enjoyed front wheel drive, I probably would have gone with the Passat (I did test drive one and it was fun). It definitely has much more value for the buck. You can pick up a fully loaded Passat for what I paid for my "stripper". Now, if rear wheel drive is your thing, like it is for me, the BMW is the only way to go. This car is absolutely on rails. It does tend to have more over steer than I would have expected for a car like this, but I am very glad I bought it.

    Finally, I do think the Passat is of a higher over quality than the rest of the line. It is the flagship and I think VW goes to extra measures to ensure it is of high quality.

    In the end, I don't think you can go wrong with either car. Best of luck!
  • niwdeniwde Posts: 4
    I just read thru 193 messages so I feel confident I have a new one. I just took delivery of my new 2001 330ci, haven't even had it a week, and there seems to be something wrong with the windshield wipers. My car has the sport and premium pkgs. plus xenons, heated seats, and in dash cd. With the wiper control lever in the off position the wipers will wipe at random, rain or no rain. The only way I can get them to work somewhat normally, when it's raining, is if the control lever is in the auto position with the sensitivity turned all the way up. At the low speed position they seem to wipe at the high speed and the washer fluid sprays constantly, this also applies to the high speed position. Also, I can't seem to tell any difference in speed between the high and low speed settings.

    I have described this to the service advisor where I leased the car and he has never heard of this problem before. He said that maybe the cars software needs to be reset.

    I hope someone can give me some advice. -Thanks in advance,
  • I have a '01 330Ci with HK sound - very low bass causes the rear speaker to rattle. My dealer says BMW knows about this and is working on the problem. Has anyone experienced this problem and have you been able to fix it?
    Thanks.
  • nbbnbb Posts: 16
    Check the bimmer.org site for e46 cars. Many people have fixed this by stuffing a padded material in the opening to muffle the rattle.
  • I too have a 330ci with HK, and low bass causes the speaker to rattle and distort. Even without the stereo on, the rear speaker and/or shelf rattles. My dealer told me that BMW was aware of the problem, but that there was not a fix available for it yet. I have gotten somewhat ambiguous answers from BMW USA on whether any fix is in the works. I am reluctant to stuff a sock in the speaker enclosure, which seems to be the preferred DIY solution. Good luck!
  • swapswap Posts: 2
    Does anyone have any experiences of windshields on the E46 cracking even on impact by small stones/ pebbles? I have had two in the past few months (In perspective, my other car which is an Intrepid seems to weather these hits without any problems (touch wood!))
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,403
    Just bad luck I think, although the angle of impact (and of your windshield) and the size of the stone would, of course, also be a factor.

    MODERATOR

  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    So would speed!
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