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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,674
    roadburner-- great notes!

    Thanks!

    just curious... where do you account for changes to the cooling system, suspension, etc.? Do you consider these "scheduled" or "non-scheduled"?

    On a E36 or E46 # Series I would definitely replace the water pump and radiator prior to their normal failure point. For some reason, the cooling systems of 1994-1999 four cylinders are remarkably robust. As I mentioned above, I've only replaced the thermostat. In my experience, the sixes usually need a radiator prior to 100K and often a water pump as well. This has been true since 1983 and the introduction of the E28 533i. However, I hesitate to make any predictions concerning the N54 twin turbo, as it uses an electric water pump- thereby eliminating the thermostat. The new pump may last the life of the car or it may die at 100K. The radiator is still likely to need replacement around 100K. Fortunately BMW replacement units are relatively inexpensive. As for the suspension, I've found that most all cars -not just BMWs- will need some amount of suspension work as they near 120K. Just look at it as an opportunity to upgrade your existing set up. Dinan, Turner, TC Kline, and UUC Motorwerks all offer a wide selection of suspension packages as well as individual parts- all at various price points. For example, UUC has a nice spring and damper package for just $700.
    I'll be the first to admit that BMWs will tend to need a bit more TLC than the average Honda or Toyota, but in most cases any additional expense and hassle can be minimized by knowing what parts to buy, where to buy them, and where to have the work performed.

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

  • Hi. I have a 2000 328Ci w/ 86K miles on it. The left back window and interior power lock button do not work, meaning nothing happens when I press on them. I'm thinking (hoping) this could be a fuse. Does anyone know if these two things could be connected??

    Also, I've noticed a creaking coming from the back left side. I've read through some posts and a lot of people are saying it could be the 40/60 rear seats not locked in correctly, but this problem seems to cause creaking on the right hand side. I mainly notice the creaking when coming to stops. I'm thinking the second possibility could be the struts or maybe the shocks? But it's only when stopping and at slow speeds that I notice the creaking.

    Lastly, does anyone know of a good BMW tech in Greensboro, NC?

    Thanks in advance.
  • Also, I just noticed the hazard button isn't working...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    Any opinions on the reputation, durability of a 1996 BMW 318iC 5 speed, 99K miles, very good records and history, clean car?

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,674
    Any opinions on the reputation, durability of a 1996 BMW 318iC 5 speed, 99K miles, very good records and history, clean car?

    I've heard that the convertible top can have problems, but I've never looked into it since drop tops don't interest me. As far as the rest of the car, the drivetrain is just about bulletproof. The only things that seem to wear are the serpentine belt tensioner and idler pullies, which are inexpensive and easily replaced. The only suspension parts that may need replacement are the rear shock mounts(replace them with the heavy duty units UUC Motorwerks sells), tie rod ends, and lower control arm bushings.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    thanks! Is this a timing belt or chain engine?

    Yep, I know about the control arm bushings.

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,674
    thanks! Is this a timing belt or chain engine?

    It has a timing chain. The only US BMW engines fitted with timing belts were the M20 six cylinders, which were found in the E28 528e, the E30 325e/i/is, and the 1989-1990 E34 525i(the changeover to the twin cam M50 took place during June 1990). The M40 single cam four also used a timing belt, but it was never officially imported to the US.
    The engine in "your" 318i is a M44.

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

  • koimankoiman Posts: 12
    I've had a problem with my 325 its reverted back to military time so I reset it but each time I turn off and then restart the car it reverts back to military time again.
  • hello
    my ac is leaking (its not leaking water) white air its like smog truh my vents with out having the ac on

    thankx
  • Hi,I seem to remember having some problems with the heated door locks and the power antenna motors would wind down and the motor would continue to run, I have also seen the starter draw the battery down, most of the time this would happen over night.
    Hope you have already found the problem if not hope this helps.

    jimmyt4
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    Usually that's just a high humidity condition with the AC "on" -- are you sure this isn't happening say in the defrost position, which probably does use the AC?

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  • hello
    thank you for answering my massege
    my ac controller the lights go off and on with out doing any think and the ac is off
    and cold air comes truh the vents and some times hot air comes truh the vent
    and some times fogy freeon truh the vent
    thankx :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    You have automatic AC (dial-a-number kind of thing?) right?

    Sounds like the AC is just cycling on and off to reach the temperature you have selected. If this is true, then the "fog" will occur when you have high humidity in the car itself.

    Do you use the "recirculating air" feature or are you constantly on the fresh air (outside air) function? Once the car is cool or warm to your liking, you should switch to recirc. I don't know your particular car so don't know if you have this option.

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  • Hi,

    I just got a new 2008 328xi. I noticed that the car's cabin always feels a bit warm. I turned off the ac entirely and moved the vent dial to the coldest setting, but I still feel warm air coming through the vents! how to do I stop this?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,279
    Did you work the little blue and red arrow? What temp does the readout say?

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  • I own a 2001 330i and am seriously considering a 335xi. In fact we're going to test drive one tomorrow. My only reservation is the issue with the RFT's. That aside it still seems to be the best in class and we've been very happy with the 330. My question is are there any additional maintenece requirements with the twin turbos such as more frequent oil changes or letting the engine idle to allow the turbos to slow before turning off?

    Thanks for the info

    Mike
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    Mike, make sure you DEMAND the Continental RFT's. They are head and shoulders better than the Bridgestones.

    Regards,
    Ow
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,674
    My question is are there any additional maintenece requirements with the twin turbos such as more frequent oil changes or letting the engine idle to allow the turbos to slow before turning off?

    I considered picking up a 335i, so I performed a bit of research. It seems that the N54 motor is pretty hard on oil- in large part due to the direct injection as well as the turbochargers. If I owned a 335i I would change the oil at least every 7500 miles. Fortunately, it's a dead easy DIY job, even though Munich has quietly deleted the dipstick :mad: As for engine shut down? Well, I'd let the car idle for 30 seconds or so if I had been flogging the car pretty hard, and maybe up to 5 if the car had been on the track. In normal driving you should be able to treat it like a NA motor.

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

  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Anyone have a recommendation on non-OEM blades?

    I've been using the factory blade refills for 6 years for a few reasons... they stay planted on the windshield at speed, they clear the windshield well, and they're cheap and easy to replace.

    I have noticed, though, that their life expectancy is decreasing. Initially, I was replacing them once a year and they seemed to work fine for that amount of time. The last few sets I've put on, however, have needed replacing in a much shorter amount of time. As little as 3 months. I'm guessing BMW switched suppliers or something.

    Again, the fact that they stay planted at speed is important to me so if there is a non-OEM replacement blade that would fit the arm, that would be great. If not, I don't mind replacing the whole thing for something that would exhibit the same ability.

    thanks!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I've been in the habit of just buying refills in the proper size. I used Anco refils on both of my BMWs and changed them yearly with no problems. I'm thinking that they cost about $3.00 per blade.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,674
    I've had good luck with Bosch.

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

  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    So is there some kind of industry standard on the width of the blade guides? Refills of most brands will fit? If so, that's pretty cool. Thanks!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I don't actually know. I just looked up the blades that I bought for my 328i and they were listed as Anco N24R for the Driver's side blade and Anco U20R for the Passenger side. Per my notes from 2000, it cost me $5.99 for two 24" Driver's side refills and $4.99 for two 20" Passenger side refills.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • jaygjayg Posts: 6
    I have a 2007 335xi. Scheduled oil change is at 15K miles and I was never told (and never read) that the I need to idle before shutting it off. The is a a lot of fun. Driving it to Florida in January.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,674
    Scheduled oil change is at 15K miles and I was never told (and never read) that the(sic) I need to idle before shutting it off.

    I've seen several UOAs that indicate that the N54 sometimes kills the oil in less than 3000 miles. No way would I run the oil five times that mileage. As a further data point, the NA M54 in my wife's E83 depletes the additive pack(TBN=0.4) in less than 8400 miles. And guess what? That SI system calls for a 15000 mile change interval as well. Note that in both cases the oils in question met the BMW LL-01 specs.

    The(sic) is a lot of fun.

    Enjoy it now- while you still can; I suspect that following the 15000 mile OCI will turn most N54s into boat anchors before they reach 100000 miles.

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

  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Roadburner: Sounds like another reason why a used 335 will not be at the top of my shopping list a couple years from now.

    This reminds me of the events leading to our recent CPO X3 purchase. The very first X3 we nearly purchased (back in early September) was an '04 2.5i from a BMW dealer near San Diego. They had certified this car with about 43K miles on it. However, upon further inspection, I discovered they had no record of any oil change prior to 27K miles! When I pressed for an explanation, they couldn't give me any. I'm paraphrasing, but their response was something like, "Well, it obviously must have met BMWNA's criteria for certification. So, I'm sure everything is just fine."

    That was the first of a couple of warning signs that caused me to back away!

    Edit: For those who don't know me, I'm definitely not anti-BMW! We eventually pulled the trigger on an '04 X3 3.0i from a dealer in downtown L.A. My wife is very happy with it, and I'm very pleased with my '05 325Ci. Both were purchased as CPO vehicles, after significant research.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yikes! Things like that scare the stuffin' out of me. What kind of a moron drives a 540i into the dirt like that? I suppose the good thing is that since the car is CPO, BMW will probably have to put in a new motor under the warranty. Of course as soon as that new mill (costing what... $20,000?) goes in, if I was BMW, I'd be hunting the scalp of the technician that certified the car AND the used car manager that took it in trade or the leasing manager that took it back without assessing the original owner for the cost of a new engine. :P

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Sorry, but I had to remove a post with pictures that were wider than the text area. When a post contains a wide picture, the messages around it are distorted and cannot be read.

    The recent upgrade has made this restriction more critical, unfortunately. (And please, the messenger had no control over it, so please don't shoot! :-P)

    Please make sure your pictures do not exceed the text area. If they do and you are not able to reduce them, just give us a link.

    Thanks!
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    >"Per my notes from 2000..."

    You have notes from 7 years ago on how much you paid for wiper blades? You must be a database guy.

    The reason I'm guessing that: I am too, and I keep the same level of detail. ;)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,674
    The reason I'm guessing that: I am too, and I keep the same level of detail.

    That makes three of us... :P

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

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