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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    >>"shipo may be of the school (if I may speak for him) that says "If you want a faster BMW, go buy a faster BMW".

    Totally. A friend of mine had a 525i. He sent the car to korman, and for a mere $25K had the suspension tuned, and the engine punched out to 2.7L, cammed, balanced, and turboed. Shade under 300hp.

    'twas a neat car, but fussy after all that modification. I resisted the urge to point out he could have upgraded to a 540i sport for quite a bit less money, and had a much less fussy vehicle.

    Don't even get me started on the guy who put 20K into upgrading his saturn sc1. ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    I guess if your car is totally bought and paid for, and in great shape, one might justify sinking $20K into it for upgrades, but you'll never see the money back, that's for sure. And it must be very annoying to spend all that money and then have the factory produce a newer version of your model that performs better than your modified car.

    MODERATOR

  • Has anyone else had the common problem of the radio going off for no reason and service guys saying there is nothing they can do cuz it isn't happening during their test drives?
  • I bought a 323i 1998 convertible second hand. My wife won't drive it until I give her evidence it has a roll bar. I can't get in touch with the former owner, and BMW couldn't tell me, even with the VIN#. Any suggestions?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,985
    Check the tops of the back head rests... The newer models have metal hoops that pop up in case of a roll-over, and the windshield is reinforced...This, in effect, gives you the same protection as a roll bar.. Not sure if the E36 models had this, or not... If they do, you'll be able to see the top of the metal hoop, even though it is flush with the top of the head rest.

    Have you or your wife ever flipped a car? It's pretty hard to do..

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,374
    I bought a 323i 1998 convertible second hand. My wife won't drive it until I give her evidence it has a roll bar. I can't get in touch with the former owner, and BMW couldn't tell me, even with the VIN#. Any suggestions?

    Find a new wife? :P That will possibly be less trouble in the long run. Does she still ride a bike with training wheels? Wear flame retardent jammies? :surprise: Like kyfdx said, it's extremely difficult to flip a BMW convertible unless you do something really boneheaded.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • after the shifter bound-up I have tried but can't get 2nd gear.All the other gears work as before.Is it possible the linkage was bent or a shift fork? Maybe I need a new trans?
  • Thanks for the advice! I know what you're talking about in the newer models-once I get more dinero I think I'll buy one of those for her!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,374
    All kidding aside, it really is hard to flip a 3er convertible as long as it stays on the pavement. The A-pillers are reinforced so if the car DID turn turtle there would still be a fair amount of protection.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Iown a 94 325i manual trans never had a problem when I let a friend drive it and in ten minutes he managed to get the shifter to bind up when I got it back to normal 2nd gear was not available you can just feel it a little bit if you hold the shifter against it.Anybody know whether there is linkage that could have bent or maybe a shift fork? Or maybe I start looking for a used trans?!!
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Might be a bad second gear synchro. Have you tried double-clutching it?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    Check first for a leaking clutch slave cylinder. Other causes could be a clutch that is not releasing properly.

    MODERATOR

  • Its not that it wont go in to the hole It goes in as before just as far IE it bottoms out without engaging the gear Can you tell me is there linkage on the outside of the trans?
  • The clutch works just fine all the other gears work as before Someone told me that there is a shift fork clip that may have come off where the shifter connects inside the trans for 2nd gear
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    eddg:

    I am not sure exactly how to say this, but after reading your post and the replies, let me see if I can help. You did not say if you have a MT, so it is hard to say exactly.

    If you don't have a MT, not sure why it matters. After 90MPH, on public roads, most people are asking to lose their privileges for awhile.

    If you do have a MT, then it is very very easy. An actually very cheap. There is a CDV(clutch delay valve) that is a valve placed in between the hard steel line and the rubber line to the clutch. It is plainly visible from underneath the vehicle. It slows the release of the clutch dramatically. BMW does this for many reasons, most of which is because a high percentage of their vehicles are leased.

    Go to www.zeckhausen.com or do a search for zeckhausen racing. If you bought the vehicle, this is the SINGLE MOST and EASIEST and CHEAPEST upgrade you can perform. It is under $50, and instantly,(if done correctly) gives the vehicle spirit like an old 2002tii. It is almost amazing the difference in "engagement". And below 60MPH, that is what it is all about, not really horsepower.

    abfisch
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,374
    I would love to hear your story!!

    Fair enough; I've had a BMW in my garage ever since 1983- eight in all. To be specific, 2 E3s, 1 E28, 1 E24, 2 E36/5s, 1 E39, and 1 E83. I still have one E36/5 and the E83. I sold most of the other cars to friends who still own them. To the best of my knowledge, all of the cars still have a functioning reverse gear. I have at least a 30 friends in the North Central Kentucky area who own BMWs. None have reported a reverse gear failure. So there you have it...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "None have reported a reverse gear failure. So there you have it..."

    Ahhh but you see my friend, like me, you have a tendency to buy REAL BMWs with a REAL transmission (the E39 being a notable exception). The punny little GM automatic that the E46 323i model had as an option seems to be (anecdotally) a bit fragile in reverse.

    noreversedotor, next time buy a REAL BMW with a proper transmission. :P

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,374
    Ahhh but you see my friend, like me, you have a tendency to buy REAL BMWs with a REAL transmission

    True enough, but my wife's E36 and her E833 also had/have GM slushboxes. And AFAIK the GM autobox in our departed E39 is still working fine for its third owner at over 150K. The only service it received was the 100K drain/fill BMW calls for. Having said all that, I still think that you are right; the best advice is to ALWAYS buy a BMW with three pedals... ;)

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • I have a 1986 BMW 325ES. If the car sits for 4 or 5 days without being run, the battery goes dead. When I remove the positive cable from the battery, with nothing on, there is a spark, so something is drawing voltage. I've pulled all the fuses and the condition remains. Does anyone know if there is something in the car that is un-fused? I've even disconnected the alternator (not running of course,) and the spark from the battery still remains. Something is drawing voltage, but I can't seem to find it! Anyone here ever have this problem? Thanks!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    Might be good to measure how much amperage is being drained off. It could be insignificant and not the source of your problem. A bad battery can behave this way on its own.

    MODERATOR

  • I'm reading a 14.5 amp draw.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    That's a drain all right!

    I think just about everything on a car is fused these days. Maybe you need to disconnect some of the branch wires off the positive battery cable?

    Have you ever checked at night to see if they brake lights are glowing or there's something on in the car?

    MODERATOR

  • Nothing is on or glowing at night. Today, I checked the amp draw again and it was only 3. Then I took off the ground cable at the battery, reconnected it and the amp reading went to 13. Maybe I need an Exorcist!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,564
    Does this car have an alarm?

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  • I believe it does, but I never set it. In fact I bought the car used and it didn't have an alarm remote, so I don't even know how to arm the alarm if indeed there is one. Do you know if there was a factory alarm availavle from BMW in 1986? The car is over 20 years old, and not in the best condition, so I've never seen the need to have an alarm, or at least set it.
    If there is a factory alarm in the car, how would I know, and how do I arm it? Thanks!!
  • mlifxsmlifxs Posts: 2
    Hi I have a 07 328i with prem pack and there are remote control buttons that can be programmed to open garage doors, gates etc. THe remote feature does not work when the car engine is off, first car I have owned where this is the case. Called dealer, they told me my comfort access key must be in the slot and at least the accessories are on. Tried this, didn't work. Anyone else run into this functionality issue?
  • gs1227gs1227 Posts: 3
    My Passenger side airbag deployed for no reason while driving (40 mph). Sounded like a double gage shotgun went off in the car. Dealer has had it for 2 days and won't tell me a thing! Has this happened to others 2001 3 series
  • gs1227gs1227 Posts: 3
    I know its been a few years since your airbag issue but this just happened in my 2001. The passenger side airbag totally deployed while driving. The car didn't stop running. Obviously scared the ..out of me and once I could hear again I called the dealership. They've had the car for days and won't tell me a thing ?? What did they tell you?
  • gs1227gs1227 Posts: 3
    Happened to me too this week! Scared the .. out of me. I couldn't hear for a few hours after the blast. The dealer has the car and told me the engineers have to look at it...but the car hasn't moved from the spot where the tow truck dropped it off??? Day 3 and I'm still getting the run around. I'm afraid to get back into the car. Will the drive side bag go off next? What was your outcome?
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