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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    but at any rate I got no battery light

    Your BMW doesn't have a "battery light". The light that you are refering to only illuminates when the charging system malfunctions.

    they gave me a new alternator free

    BMW dealers often provide no-cost goodwill repairs to loyal customers.

    Your car is a 2000 with 121k miles, so it doesn't really surprise me that BMW is being balky at fixing the transmission.

    I can't think of of a single manufacturer that would pay for repairs on a car that was @2 years and 71,000 miles out of warranty. Furthermore, I'll bet that the ATF was NEVER changed. My 1997 E39 is cruising along in the hands of its third owner and the automatic transmission operates as new. Of course, I did change the ATF at 100K- as Munich recommends.
  • ftrohaftroha Posts: 21
    My 2000 BMW 323i has 64,000 miles on it, not 121,000 miles as you say. (Are you thinking kilometers perhaps?) My car has been meticulously maintained. A little research on the Internet quickly revealed that my make/model/year has a transmission defect, consisting of failure to go in reverse. I learned about the defect through the National Transportation and Safety Board web site as well as others. Unfortunately, BMW does not want to own up to the defect, and I am pursuing an equitable resolution with the help of an attorney.
  • ftrohaftroha Posts: 21
    In my earlier reply to you, I neglected to provide the following link to many complaints about my make/model/year's transmission failing to go into reverse despite relatively low miles (64,000) and excellent maintenance. The complaints you'll see are of course just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more on other sites and no doubt many, many more that have gone unreported via the Internet. If you'd care to copy and paste the following web address into your browser, I think you'll find it interesting reading. Apparently taking excellent care of a BMW cannot compensate for careless engineering on BMW's part. (They are not "the ultimate" when it comes to performance and reliability -- though they were in the early 90's.) As for the despicable dealership from which I bought my Certified Pre-Owned BMW -- enough already said in my first post.

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/bmw_trans.html
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Whatever... :shades:
  • I live in minneapolis, i bought a used 2003 325i, is going to the dealership the only option for service? Or should i buy into the predatory extended warranty service providers.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    is going to the dealership the only option for service?

    No. A good independent BMW tech will be able to service your E46 with no problem. If you are a BMW CCA member I would contact some of the local chapter members and see who they use/recommend. That said, I've found my local dealer's service pricing to be very competitive for many procedures. I certainly would not advise buying any extended warranty other than the one(s) offered by BMW NA; the third party warranties are really just glorified insurance policies- and all too often it proves very hard to recover any reimbursement from the insurer.
    In any event, the E46 has proven to be a very durable model. Change the engine oil every 7500 miles, the gearbox and final drive oil every 50000, coolant(BMW Coolant ONLY) every three years, and brake fluid(DOT4) every two years. I'd be surprised if your maintenance costs exceed $600/year-they will be even less if you can perform the simple procedures such as oil changes and brake pads/rotors.
  • I recently got into an accident with my bmw 330 2006. Anyone has recommendation on BMW certified body shop in southern cal.?

    Thanks
  • Thank you, very helpful suggestions.
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    I've been reading of other owner's having their battery die after 3-5 years... is there any way to know when the battery might die and/or when a good time to replace it is?

    Thanks.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    is there any way to know when the battery might die and/or when a good time to replace it is?

    The OEM batteries almost always fail due to a lack of maintenance. The electrolyte level needs to be checked at least every six months and topped up with distilled water as needed. I followed that regimen with my Club Sport and my E39 and their batteries lasted ten years. In fact, the battery in the Club Sport never actually failed; I simply replaced it so I wouldn't be left stranded somewhere when/if it finally died.
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    div2-- thanks for the response.
    Could you give me some more info (sorry, but a step-by-step would be awesome!). It sounds like I just need a bottle of distilled water and a funnel (ie, this is something I can do just by accessing the battery in the trunk)...?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Could you give me some more info (sorry, but a step-by-step would be awesome!).

    No problem; check out this page. Your 3er should have a similar setup.
  • lmaeslmaes Posts: 1
    Living in COLD Colorado. My BMW 318IC 1997 is my only car at this time. My heater is starting to work only occasionally. While I'm driving it turns on and off by itself. I had it looked at, the mechanic tells me it needs a new control panel. Does this sound right? He tells me he maybe able to get this from a junk yard for BMW's.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Yeah--this is a known problem.

    The part at a dealer, is, i think $250. Labor is trivial, but they may still charge an hour for it. Apprently, it is a broken solder, and you can fix it. I think div2 posted the link last time... :)
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I think div2 posted the link last time...

    It's deja vu all over again;
    E36 Climate Control Repair
    ;)
  • Wife was in a fender bender on 11/15/06. We chose to have the car towed and the body repairs done at the authorized bodyshop at the dealer we purchased our 2006 325i (insurance company said our choice). 9K miles, fully loaded, Sapphire Graphite, Premium, Sport, Navigation, etc.

    The fender bender (bumper/hood replacement, paint, headlight replacement) turned into an appraisal of 13K in damage ($4K parts + $9K labor).

    We've been told:
    1) 6 week wait to even start working on the car. No other BMW bodyshops will be able to do it quicker.
    2) 1 week of work per $1K in damage.
    3) Car won't be fixed until March. (4 months)
    4) Can't pull it out of the our bodyshop unless you pay our $2200 "appraisal fee".
    5) If you pull the car out and don't let us do the work on the car, your BMW warranty is void.

    Not having a car for 4 months is crazy so we figured we'd explore trading in the car, to the same dealership, and get into a new 328i (going to have to fork over some serious $$ for 4 months in rental anyways, plus our usual car payments).

    Then we're told:
    1) We'll only give you $20K on trade in AFTER the car is fixed. I understand body work knocks some $$ off the value, but the dealer is selling the same used 325i with the same options from $37-39K.
    2) The reason we'll only give you $20K is that we can't sell it certified.

    Love the car, not worth the nightmare.

    Anyone have any similar experiences or advice?

    Thanks!
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    Were you made aware of the "appraisal fee" when you dropped the car off? Check your paperwork - if not, I'd call a lawyer or your state's AG, and let the dealer know. Did they really say it was $2,200, or was that a typo?

    Just curious: what state are you in and who is the dealer?
  • Thanks for the comments bdkinnh,

    We signed release paperwork allowing the bodyshop to even do the appraisal. I need to reread the that paperwork (wife has it with her), but I do know that the exact fee wasn't a predetermined amount, and is supposedly based there hourly labor charge ($49). That would make it a good 40-44 labor hours to do their appraisal. Obviously their way of making sure the car stays put.

    We're calling BMW North America today to open a case and file a complaint.

    California - Brecht BMW (Escondido)
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    We chose to have the car towed and the body repairs done at the authorized body shop at the dealer we purchased our 2006 325i (insurance company said our choice).

    First mistake; you should have researched the matter a bit further. Some BMW dealers have excellent body shops, while others are poor to mediocre.

    1) 6 week wait to even start working on the car. No other BMW body shops will be able to do it quicker.

    Possibly true.

    2) 1 week of work per $1K in damage.

    A flat out lie.

    3) Car won't be fixed until March. (4 months)

    See above.

    4) Can't pull it out of the our body shop unless you pay our $2200 "appraisal fee".

    Sounds like a scam, but the contract language may provide for it.

    5) If you pull the car out and don't let us do the work on the car, your BMW warranty is void.

    Another lie.

    Then we're told:
    1) We'll only give you $20K on trade in AFTER the car is fixed. I understand body work knocks some $$ off the value, but the dealer is selling the same used 325i with the same options from $37-39K.


    A $13K accident will decrease the value by 10%-25%.

    2) The reason we'll only give you $20K is that we can't sell it certified.

    Another bald faced lie. A wrecked vehicle that is properly repaired to BMW standards can be a CPO car.

    You should have joined BMW CCA as soon as you bought your E90. Had you done so, you could have easily gathered body shop recommendations and other pertinent information from local chapter members.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,178
    I'd call my insurance company.... They may not look so kindly on this scam...

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Hey div2,

    Thanks for the comments/suggestions. Appreciate it!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    Any highly competent body shop can fix that car good as new so that you'd never be able to tell....a couple weeks at WORST...No wonder Toyota will rule the world someday....GEEZ!!

    I can't even begin to count the instances of misinformation you were given by the dealer and body shop.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Any highly competent body shop can fix that car good as new so that you'd never be able to tell....a couple weeks at WORST

    Right, I've always used an indie shop. That said, BMW NA is working to set up "BMW Approved" dealer body shops- probably in an attempt to prevent fiascos such as the one described by ncsd.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    I could see where Ferrari and Audi (for the A8) require special body shops, but a BMW should be no problemo for a good shop. My friend's 325 just came out of a shop and it looks fantastic!

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • Opened a case with BMW North America today. They claim that Bretch BMW (bodyshop) says that that the "inner fender" is a few millimeters off, and because BMW has zero tolerance for frame/unibody damage......they CANNOT sell the vehicle as "Certified Used". Obviously "frame damage" and throwing our fender bender car into the "don't buy" bucket of used BMW's was never disclosed to us until we dug deeper into the mess.

    Amazing that according to the dealership, we lost almost 50% of the value of our car from having right front impact going less than 10mph.

    Not sure what we'll do other than wait until March to get the car back. More than likely we'll dump the car and take the loss because BMW is a nightmare. Maybe we'll sell it back to Bretch for $20K!! ha. They'll mark it up a couple thousand and probably just put that brand new 2006 fully loaded 325i with 9K miles on their lot for $22K. (yea right)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    If BMW doesn't want to certify it, that doesn't cut the price in half for YOU. You can sell it on your own if you wish.

    If the accident wasn't wifey's fault, you can also sue the other car's insurance company for Diminution of Value, for which you would need an appraiser. You can't sue your own insurance company for DOV however.

    The BMW would just sell your car for a few thousand less than a CPO car, that's all. Your accident might not even show on CARFAX---they miss a lot.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I am looking to get into a 3 series I have sat in one without a sports package. I have enough headroom in this car, however I can not get into a car equipped with the sport package so I was wandering does the sport package seats change the amount of headroom in the car? Is there any difference in the seat besides the number of adjustments and bolstering. I am 6'3" by the way, but I do like to sit more upright then most people I know.

    thanks for your time
  • drivodrivo Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 325i with 10k km on it. I also hear a loud tapping or clicking sound coming from the engine. It gets faster as the engine speeds up, but you can only hear it at low RPM's. It seems intermittent -- it doesn't happen all the time. Have you figured out what the source of your tapping sound was?
  • I have a similar problem on both my 2006 330Xi and my wife's 2006 X3- there is an area on the windshield with what looks like a slightly milky film on it, as if one had just applied suntan lotion and accidently rubbed that on the glass and it left a residue. I believe its on the inside, and if I rub my finger over it it spreads the residue around a bit.

    The problem is I cannot get rid of it, and it slightly clouds the view through the windshield.

    I tried cleaning it with Windex and paper towels, but that did not work. I then bought a can of Zepp spray foam glass cleaner from Home Depot and tried that, but it too did not work.

    My wife had her car washed today at the same car wash we always frequent, which cleans the inside glass of the cars with a spray foam cleaner. She asked them to see if they could renmove the residue with their glass cleaner, rags, and elbow grease, but that did not work.

    On my car, the first time I noticed the residue was on the same day I had it washed at the same car wash. The only thing I can think of is the car wash missed a part of the windshield while wiping it, and the foam cleaner was allowed to dry on the glass.

    Has anyone had a similar problem? Any suggestions on how to remove the film?

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • my '83 320i wont start today. it had no problem last night or any other time to start.
    i am not the most savvy with cars so any suggestions will help.

    it does not want to turn over. when i turn the key it sounds as if it is struggling to start for a second and just gives up.

    i would appreciate any help.
    thanks.
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