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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,604
    Cold weather? Never heard that contributed to additioal oils consumption.

  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    i know... it's really a stretch, but he said he checked everything and didn't see any leaks anywhere.

    i'll switch to the heavier oil and then if it's still an issue, go look for a second opinion.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,072
    i'll switch to the heavier oil and then if it's still an issue, go look for a second opinion

    I don't think that the switch to 0W-40 will make a bit of difference. There are only so many places the oil can go, and the mechanic has failed to find the culprit. His suggestion that 0W-40 is the answer tells me he doesn't have a shred of a clue.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,716
    ". . .a shred of a clue."

    This is what is lacking, nearly always, when I want my vehicle fixed. I can f*** (let's say foul) it up myself for free. If I pay the man, I expect him (or her) to know more than I do & to fix the thing more quickly. For this, I pay them.

    Well. . .

    I have any number of things that aren't right on my daily driver (and in my house) that I'd dearly love to let a competent (that's C O M P E T E N T) technician deal with. My car is rare (that's in, they discontinued it), so not many technicians will have ever seen one before. My bad. I won't do it again.

    The fact remains that a competent mechanic is worth his/her weight in gold. A $793 repair diagnosed (yeah, right) by the Nissan dealership becomes an $87 fix at the (trusted) shop.

    Works for me. If I end up with a BMW, it won't be before I determine which independent shops nearby are deemed worthy. Since BMW has been around awhile, such databases actually exist.

  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    okay, i'm actually not trying to defend this mechanic (they've treated me fairly in the past)... the heavier wt oil was my idea.

    for better or worse, I did a lot of searching on other forums and only found the following possible culprits for excessive oil consumption: valve cover gasket, valve seals, and oil separator.

    I also found that some people (with higher mileage cars) have switched to this heavier oil and it has slowed the consumption.

    So, based on this and the suggestion for the leak-down test, I asked my mechanic to do this test and check all of these things as well as anything else he could think of.

    When he came back with nothing, I asked him to go with the heavier oil. I figure at the least, it may work (it may not... but, you know what they say about what you read on the internet!).

    I'll keep you informed. (for the record, I'm at 85,020 miles and dipstick is reading at the full mark).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 52,966
    So the oil separator (a $75 German PCV valve) was replaced and the engine was checked for excessive crankcase pressure?

    This cranky (no pun intended) oil separator is a known BMW issue.

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  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    I drive a 2007 328xi and recently noticed a buzzing or whirring sound similar to that of a small electric motor coming from the passenger side rear quarter. It is only audible outside the car and after the ignition has been turned off. It lasts for about 2 or 3 minutes. Does anyone have any idea as to what this may be?

  • I purchased my car back in June 07, since then it has probably been in the shop at least once a month.

    My biggest problem which has yet to be solved by BMW is my clutch. Everytime I release the clutch, it makes a squeaking noise. If I have the radio off or low, this sound drives me nuts. I have come to realize that this noise is the pedal not the clutch itself.

    Another interesting problem arose a few days ago. After I washed my car: everytime I released my clutch my air conditioner would turn on from its off mode.

    Has this or anything similar happen to anyone else?


    - Sunroof Colapsed, was not able to close, looked sunken in for days.

    - Passenger seat, had 3 huge bumps on the bottom part of seat. Very unattractive

    - Random display of messages on the cars on-board computer display.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,072
    Does anyone have any idea as to what this may be?

    I think it is a function of the emissions system; my wife's 2004 X3 2.5 does the same thing.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • I have a 2006 325i with adaptive head lamps. Today the OBC flashed a warning that the swiveling feature is not working. The car has less than 20000 miles on it. I love the car but I am dreading the thought of warranty expiration. :(

    Have any of you experienced this particular failure?

  • davidd3davidd3 Posts: 582
    Yes, I had this (and many other) problems with my 2006 330i. Actually, I had this particular problem in the very first month. Fixed under warranty. After a few days in the service center of trying this that and the other thing, it turned out to be something as simple as a loose wire.

    I'm leasing mine and it goes back at the end of the summer. It will fortunately never be out of warranty during my time with it.
  • Thank you. I am scheduled for a visit next week and will update the group when I find out the root cause (?).

    I have never owned or leased a BMW before this one. I am quite surprised by the emotions that this car evokes in me. So I would expect irrational thinking on my part as far as this car is concerned and I keep this well past the warranty period.
  • davidd3davidd3 Posts: 582
    My car is also my first BMW. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Love the way it drives, the way it looks, and that maintenance is included. Hate having problems (such as adaptive headlight failure) which necessitate periodic visits to the service center for things other than routine maintenance. There are 3 cars in my family now. The other 2 are Hondas. We have had no problems whatsoever with either Honda. My BMW is by far the worst car I have ever had when it comes to things going wrong with it. So I'm thinking long and hard whether or not I will get another BMW when my lease ends this summer.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 48,765
    Took our '05 330Cic in for Inpection I (30K mile checkup).. They did the normal stuff, plus flushed the brake fluid.. Total cost: $ZERO

    Didn't realize it.. but, that is the first trip to the dealer since the 15K oil service.. Just over one year... :)


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  • My anti freeze light went on so I filled it with regular anti freeze but the BMW dealer said I need to put BMW anti freeze in. Is this ture and did I ruin the car by putting in regular anti freeze. Thanks
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Is it true that you need BMW anti-freeze? Yes, it's true.

    Did you ruin your car by putting regular anti-freeze in there? No, that would be unlikely, especially if it has only been in there for a short period of time. That said, you would be best off if you had the cooling system flushed and the proper coolant re-added to your car.

    FWIW, if you are on a budget, you can also use the Zerex G-05 HOAT coolant (I've found it to be available at most NAPA stores).

    Best Regards,
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    I brought my car in for routine service and soon received a call that the rear shocks have leaks and also one of the cv joints. The caller told me they only have one shock in stock, so he proposed to put it on now and ordered the other one to have it put on when it arrives. I was surprised to hear this proposal as I thinkshocks should always be replaced by pairs. This is the first time I come to this dealership for service. Is this a normal practice to do it one at a time. It seems he can always ask me to come back when he has the parts rather to do it piecemeal.
    The car is a '02 325ixT with 45,000 miles
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    I didn't authorize the repair, but did raise the question to the service advisor as I thought shocks should be replaced by the pair (later confirmed by board members here). His explanation was that it would save me time to get one done now since the car is in the shop for maintenance anyway, and then bring the car over for the other one when the order is in. Totally bogus statement.

    While I am not technically oriented, being a member of CCA for many years and reading Mike Miller's column does me good, and of course I also benefit from reading many postings here by those very knowledgeable people.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,604
    Only in pairs. Do not do it separately.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 48,765
    He probably doesn't want to give you time to shop the deal...

    If he replaces one.. then, you'll go back for the other one... If he quotes you a price for both of them, you might find another place to get it done cheaper..

    Either way, I agree... wait for the other one..

    I was having front struts done once... The left and right were two different struts.. They sent two left struts, and the repair shop put the left one on, and told me they'd call when they got the proper right hand strut.. Every strut that the distributor shipped was the wrong one.. It turned out they only had left struts.. I never did get a matching strut... :surprise:


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  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    Thanks, kyfdx and OW, you have confirmed my understanding of the replacement for pairs only. When this dealer starts to do so, I don't have a good feeling as to their honesty. Is there any visual ways to realize the shocks indeed need replacement. After all, it has only 45,000 miles. Can one see the cv boot to determine it is leaking?

    Again thanks for the advice.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,072
    I'd get a second opinion from a good independent. I've NEVER replaced the OEM shocks on a Bimmer prior to 100K. If you plan to keep the car a long time I'd go with Bilstein HDs- though you should really replace all four if you want to go that route. If you want a decent less expensive shock I'd consider Monroe; they offer a shock that's made in Europe and it has received good reviews from several E46 owners.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,604
    Any shop replacing only one shock is not to be trusted. Roadburner's suggestion to get a good independent shop is the best approach. Imagine one shock with 80K miles and one new one. Perfectly balanced suspension it is not. Doing it twice almost doubles the labor cost let alone your time.

    These are the type of establishments who bring you in twice and really do not replace anything (because it ain't broke) and charge you anyway. Wouldn't be surprised if he oiled up the shock housing and showed you it leaked!

    Need a new mechanic.


  • I need to replace the front control arms and bushings and the BMW dealer gave me an estimate of 1100$. I looked up the parts at various web sites and they go around 30-50$ per pair. It seems like a huuuuge difference...Any idea how much should it really cost?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,072
    Any idea how much should it really cost?

    I checked some sites that sell OEM quality parts; assuming you own an E46, the control arms will run $130-$180 per side. The bushings will $82-$150 per pair. If you are a BMW CCA member many dealers and independent shops will offer 10%-20% discounts on parts and/or labor. Find a good independent BMW tech and you should be able to get the parts installed for under $600.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • cct3cct3 Posts: 1
    Antifreeze reservoir is empty. Car ran hot briefly. I pour antifreeze mixture into reservoir and it seems to pour out the bottom. I cannot see the bottom of the tank. Does this seem to be a hose issue or the reservoir? I know nothing about this. Car has 100,000 miles
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 9,072
    I pour antifreeze mixture into reservoir and it seems to pour out the bottom. I cannot see the bottom of the tank. Does this seem to be a hose issue or the reservoir?

    I'd put my money on the expansion tank-AKA resevoir-being cracked. It's a common problem on sixes with 100K or more on the clock. It's a relatively cheap and easy fix. Just don't overheat the engine again- unless you want to R&R the head gasket(and possibly the cylinder head as well).

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2004 X3 2.5i Son's: 2009 328i

  • I have a 2007 335i sedan. Yesterday I got an (alarming!) message along the lines of "Electric steering wheel lock. Do not turn off engine. Engine may not restart." In fact, though, when I did turn off the engine, it did restart (at least then). Anyone know what's going on with this?
  • kirkrkirkr Posts: 17
    I had the same thing happen on my 2006 325xi. It was a faulty sensor. I was always able to start the car until it was fixed. However, I did hold my breath each time.

  • Thanks. In light of the car being able to start, that makes sense. I've gotten it to my dealer this AM and should know for sure later today.
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