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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • I have little choice. I must get a 4 door as I drive my son daily. The options at 4 door and fun are limited to...well I've not found anything much. Given the circumstances I've lowered my expectations. Fun isn't really the only goal here so after driving everything again (G37, 09 A4, CC, GTI, WRX, C, CTS...if it's got 4 doors and sporting pretensions I drove it), I've come back to the fact that 3 (and WRX) are about my only chance of having a halfway fun car and at least 4 doors.

    A used 3 might be a better deal than a new leased 3 - depends on expected maintenance costs v. depreciation.

    FWIW, I've found the 325/328 with 17s to be a better ride than the 330i/335i with 18s. I simply can't get used to the way 18 inch RFTs skip on the roads of San Diego. :D
  • Thanks. I guess it's the by-the-book thing that vexes me. I've never looked into maintenance schedules on a 3 (always leased so quite frankly the cars got BMW service and that's it).

    By the book come down to 1k a year? More or less on average?
  • I am looking at buying a 2006 330i with the 6-speed auto. The car seems to hold for 2-3 seconds before moving when first put into gear (either forward or reverse) and if you are at a complete stop and release the brakes. It is more pronounced when first put into gear but does seem to do the same thing to a lesser extent when stopped. It has about 3k left under the manufacturer warranty so if it's a problem I should be able to get it fixed. If it's a design characteristic then I have to decide if I can live with it or if I should hold out for the manual I really want.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,398
    Wait...you came out of a 2006 3-er! What gives?

    Regards,
    OW
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,850
    By the book come down to 1k a year? More or less on average?

    A lot depends on where you live. My local dealer(Swope BMW, Louisville) performed an Inspection II and brake fluid flush on my wife's X3 for just $374. Santa Monica BMW charges $1105 for the same work. I know that the cost of living in California is higher than that of Kentucky, but 295% higher? That said I'd say $1000 per year may be a bit high.

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

  • Thanks. I like to plan for the worst outcome and be happy when it all plays out better. :)
  • Hope it works out. I bought a used 335i manual this weekend. Two years left on the warranty. Then two years CPO.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,059
    How bout some details? :)

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,979
    congratulations are in order! Please give us the gory details. Their asking price & what you paid for it. Colors & Options? What did you do with the MINI? Sell it privately or trade it in?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • I was set to buy an 09 WRX but Saturday I stopped in for a spin in a 335i manual. Well that sold me but the price was more than the wife wanted to pay. Looked online and found in so cal we had a total of 3 335is with manual. One dealer had a model with only sport and navi (no interest in the navi). They ended up selling me the car, cpo, for 27k (not including bmwcca rebate). According to Edmunds that's less than trade-in value. Edmunds claims 33k for that car at a dealer with CPO. Even if it's off, I feel like I got a nice deal.

    28k miles on the odometer, silver, not a scratch on the outside (nicks on the driver's door trim aluminum), otherwise pristine.

    Given my profit on the cooper and my payments on the 335i match the cooper's, I basically paid $500 to switch to a larger, faster, more family friendly car. Hard to argue with that. And the 335i has more included maintenance left, plus a longer warranty and 4 brand new tires (my cooper needed new tires).
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,979
    Good luck with the car!

    Do you feel your 335i rides different than your 330i that you got rid of?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,398
    Excellent! Now we can see how you like it compared to your recent rides. I'm interested on your take vs. the '06 330.

    Best of luck! Hope you don't flip it, though!

    Regards,
    OW
  • Can anyone tell me where the fuse is located that operates the trunk release for the 2001 330 ci. Both the remote key and inner release has stopped working and I'm guessing it's a fuse...any other ideas out there? Thanks for the help.
  • $90.00 is a bad price for any oil change...especially when it's only about $35 to do it yourself. Who's got more money than God out there?
  • I own a 2001 330 ci and regardless what others tell you, it's usually going to cost you around $150-200/month in anticipated repair costs. Less if you do them all yourself. At 97,000 miles you start to see things like oil manifold leaks, broken hoses, belt issues, and even water pumps and steering pumps that exhibit problems. Thank God I haven't had an issue with the convertible top yet. I also drive a 740i and ditto for that model. Good Luck.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "$90.00 is a bad price for any oil change...especially when it's only about $35 to do it yourself. Who's got more money than God out there?"

    Thirty-five dollars for an oil change on a BMW? Where are you buying your parts? Last time I checked, oil that met the BMW LL-01 oil specification was around $7.00 per quart (times 7 for the oil change), and filters were typically between $10 and $15. With that in mind, my math suggests that the cheapest one can do an oil change on a 3-Series is $60. Yes, no?

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,059
    Last time I got the parts, they were around $40 at my dealer, with the CCA discount.... That was a little over three years ago...

    So, assuming 1/2 hour labor, I don't think you'll get much cheaper than $85-$90, total... The last time I paid for a change (at least 4 years ago), my dealer charged around $95... I could see an independent doing it for $75-$80, if you are a repeat customer...

    I'm sure prices are higher now..

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yeah, I used to be able to buy Mobil 1 0W-40 and Castrol Syntec 0W-30 for about $5.00 per quart, however, these days $7.00 per quart seems to be the norm. Granted we're not talking about a lot of money here, but I don't think I've been able to change the oil in a BMW with a ~7 quart sump for $35 since at least the mid 1990s.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,930
    I think that a) paying someone to clean your bathroom or b) change your oil, has got to be not only one of the world's best bargains but a great humanitarian act on their part. Not only do they do the recycle for you but if the person is qualified, they can scope out the car underneath for you, check all your fluid top and bottom, replenish all your fluids---in other words see and do things you can't do in your driveway.

    Unless you have a lift at home, I think paying $75 bucks for an oil service is well worth it....presuming they use a quality product and presuming they really do check everything for you.

    I stay away from Quickie-Change places, however.

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

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The beauty of changing the oil on a late model BMWs (pre dipstick delete) is that you don't need a lift. Simply open the hood, open the oil filter cannister, pluck out the old filter, suck out the remaining oil, pop in a new filter and screw the top back on. With that complete, slide out the dipstick, slip the tube down in its place, suck out the oil from the pan, put the dipstick back in and pour in the new oil. The total job takes all of ten minutes. Geez, I can't even drive to a place that I trust that quickly.

    FWIW, our town recycles our used oil. :)

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,930
    Yeah but you don't get to look underneath, was my point. I like having eyeballs under there and even as slim and buff as I am :blush: I cannot scooch under a BMW that's on its wheels.

    Doesn't this no-dipstick thing make you crazy? It feels like we're being led at gunpoint to the dealership.

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

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I have ramps so the occasional "eyeball" job is pretty easy, however, that whole no dipstick thing is still driving me crazy, and I don't even have a BMW at the moment. :P

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • Hi guys:

    I have a 2009 BMW 335i. It has a dual muffler, the pipe on the right hand side tends to exhaust more than the pipe on the left hand side, which makes the pipe on the right looks smoked. Anyone knows what the problem is? Or is it just normal?

    Thanks a lot.
  • Let me preface by saying, I've owned a Benz and a VW, never BMW. Most of the maintenance on the priors was self-maintained once you buy the proper set of sockets and learn to think like a German...

    I'm test driving a 98 328i 4dr, I6, automatic on Friday, what do I need to be checking for mechanically to make sure I'm not buying someone elses BMW nightmare? Tranny's, valve leaks, wiring malfunctions, high dollar fixes.

    Also, don't know that having a service tech run the codes will be an option.

    Something about this deal seems too good to be true, less than 90k miles, for under $4k...
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,850
    The price is a bit on the low side. If you aren't familiar with BMWs I would not buy the car until it was checked out by a good BMW tech. If the radiator, thermostat, and water pump haven't been replaced you should count on doing so around 100K. The slushbox is a question mark. Has the ATF ever been changed? BMW claims that the ATF is a lifetime fill, but those of us who plan to keep our Bimmers change it at 50K. A documented service history would be nice. Some of the front/rear suspension bushings and/or shock mounts may be tired. Make sure all the windows, seats, and power locks work(trunk included). Ditto for the automatic climate control. None of the fixes are all that expensive, but you do need to know what costs you are looking at.

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

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,310
    Doesn't this no-dipstick thing make you crazy? It feels like we're being led at gunpoint to the dealership.

    Amen, brother. Something tells me that in 20 years Roundel articles aren't going to be about modifying today's cars, but rather crutching along 2002s & other early models that can actually be worked on.

    It took the trifecta of RFTs, big drops in lease subsidies and the dipstick/take everything to the dealer attitude to keep me out of my first BMW 3-series. Oh, and it didn't help that the early oil level sensors quit working on a regular basis -- there was no way, short of draining the oil & measuring it, to know how much there was in the car. Wonder what the oil level sensor costs, relative to the stick, to say nothing of the warranty costs of replacing all the defective ones.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,930
    The price depends on the cosmetic condition. If it had some dings, dirty carpets, scraped up bumpers and a few "problems", then the price is market correct. These are not high dollar cars after 10 years.

    The usual BMW suspects. You'd best have the car professionally checked out or you might have to spend enough $$$ to square a neglected car away, that you could have gone out and bought a pristine '98 for $6,000.

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

  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    I'm going to be replacing the struts and shocks on my '01 330Ci (gonna try doing it myself... yikes!). Before I do my car, I'll be doing a practice run on my daughter's Cabrio. When researching the parts for her car, most sights recommend doing strut bearings at the same time. I haven't come across any additional part replacement recommendations for my car, however.

    Is there anything else that I should plan on replacing on my car while doing the struts/shocks?

    The VW requires a special wrench to remove the top strut bolts... my experience so far is that VWs require a special tool to do everything. Is there a need for any special tools when doing the BMW, besides a spring compressor?

    Any recommendations on brand/model of parts for my car? I'm thinking Bilstein HD's or Sports. The car has 150K miles on it so I will definitely consider other brands w/less of a warranty.

    thanks!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,850
    When researching the parts for her car, most sights recommend doing strut bearings at the same time. I haven't come across any additional part replacement recommendations for my car, however.

    I'd repace the upper and lower spring pads and the upper spring pocket- part numbers 7, 8, and 11 on the ETK. It only amounts to @$20 more per wheel.
    As for shock selection, Bilsteins are the gold standard; if I was going to keep the car that's the route I would take. I know Shifty won't agree, but I've heard good things about Monroe shocks. Their BMW shocks are made in Europe and several guys over on the Yahoo E39 Group have used them with no complaints. Me, I'd go with the HDs. And I probably don't need to mention that this is an ideal time to fit new sport springs as well... :D

    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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