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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,588
    Well if there's good feedback online for Monroe, that's compelling evidence. I've never used them on a BMW.

    MODERATOR

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,380
    Well if there's good feedback online for Monroe, that's compelling evidence. I've never used them on a BMW.

    Me either; the one the E39 guys use is the "Sensa-Trac". Another good shock is the Sachs Super Touring.

    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: 44,588
    I'm just wondering if they can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'?

    I agree with you about Bilsteins---I never regretted paying a bit extra for them.

    MODERATOR

  • pylt1pylt1 Posts: 12
    :lemon:

    For many of you on the board with a long history of tail light problems, be sure to save your receipts.

    :lemon:

    This was on another board, but it looks like you can get your money back once the recall starts. Better is the fact that BMW might actually stop having us fix our own cars with parts from Radio Shack . . . . Geesh, have they no shame?

    It's time to stop with the "homemade" fixes. This is a serious safety defect and BMW knows it. The post below is a cross post--read and heed:

    Just a quick update on this problem. Among my circle of friends we have five post-update E46 sedans. Four of them have had tail light, turn signal, brake light failures all caused by BMW's screw up when they updated the tail lights: not enough grounding wire(s). See the BMW service bulletin SI B 63 03 06 on this at the link below:

    http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/...p/B630306g.htm

    Since the ne'er-do-wells at "Screw The Damn Customer" BMW HQ Customer Service (what an oxymoron) have never heard of Ralph Nader, we're giving 'em a little help. The nice folks over in Washington D.C. have these things called Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and EVERYONE selling cars here has to meet them for ten years after a car or truck is built. That means if our lights have design defects (they do), BMW is under potentially criminal liability to fix the things with a safety recall at NO cost.

    BMW's service bulletins basically say, "Only fix the cars under warranty; screw everyone else for whatever you can get away with so you can buy a bigger boat." WRONG ANSWER BMW!

    The ball is in motion on this; more later. For now, BE SURE TO SAVE ALL YOUR RECEIPTS IF YOU HAD YOUR STEALER RAPE YOU FOR $400 (per side) TO FIX BMW'S LIGHTING SCREW UP.

    I expect to see something in a few weeks so hang in there.
    :lemon:
  • O.K., normally you would be correct...however I recently found an oil change special from advance auto with 5 quarts of synthetic oil at 24.99 and an oil filter included, and they let me change out a filter that would fit the BMW. It was a great deal. The 740i takes around 7 quarts. I was exagerating alittle, but I was close.
  • Sorry to disagree with you on this one, but if you want to take true ownership in your car and enjoy learning to do things yourself, a great start is learning to do your own oil change. They can look at all the other things when something serious breaks down, (which inevitably happens enough to keep up with an overview of leaks, belt wear, etc). Buy yourself a container that catches the oil and you can take it to your nearby autoparts store and empty it free. More importantly, many of the repair shops today will find something to recommend that you need to have done when you give it to them for an oil change. They will try to "sell" you something that isn't needed, but might be needed if you don't have it done. I like having control over what gets done if I can.
  • Has everyone forgot that there are ramps that can be purchased and the car can be driven up these ramps so that you can get under the front to change the oil? I know that it takes me about 20 minutes to do everything and I feel real good about not giving someone $75-$90.
  • Hey guy, why not do all of us with 01 330 ci's a favor and document with pictures your experience and then we can use you as the expert. I'm sure you're going to have alot of fun and learn alot. I changed the window regulator on my passenger rear door for the 740i 2001 and I thought it was a nightmare until I finally finished it, and I'm glad I tried it.
  • Engine turned off seconds after starting and driving 200m; restarted immediately; however, the resting idle was elevated at about 1500 RPM, vs. 700 normally. Opened hood after three miles at 80mph and idle speed was indeed high and noisy. Turned off engine, took two seconds for engine to "shut down." Problem didn't occur after restarting after one hour meal break. Has anyone else experienced this? One week after 1st service, including "30-point" inspection!
  • All this talk about oil changes and no one can take alittle time to answer my question re: the location of the fuse for the remote trunk release on a 2001 330 ci?
    Excuse me for being impatient, but I know someone out there has the ability to answer this one. I would be glad to return the favor someday and pay it forward.
  • You truly are a blessed man and must pray alot, because I have owned 2- 740i's, 1-330i and 1-330ci and all have been 2001 except for the 2003 330i. All have required alot more than routine maintenance, and the 740i's especially have problems with radiators, pressure hoses, and oil leaks. That's not counting the lousy coffee cup holders, and front grills that loosen up. For what they cost new, I would be very pissed if I paid that kind of money and experienced the mickey mouse stuff they do to their customers. I bought used and enjoy the smooth powerful ride and great handling of the cars and so put up with it. They also do give you a sense of being "special" to be a BMW owner, wouldn't you agree?
  • Speaking of SWAPS: Wouldn't it be great to be able to trade diffferent BMW's with others and be able to experience other models without actually having to purchase them? We all must get the itch to try something else, but know the cost to sell one to get another is too expensive. I've often thought that it could be feasible and if thought through possible to come up with a system that gives individuals a place to do this. Any thoughts on this?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,588
    that advice could work for many people and I certainly don't discourage it. But since I have a good relationship with my repair shop, when I take it in for an oil change, we both get to look around under there, discuss what we see, check over everything---I would not change this experience for crawling under a car with ramps, trying to check various driveline fluids while on a tilt, or trying to replace a loose clamp or seal.

    DIY oil change is just a complete nuisance to me. I'd rather spend the time and effort fixing something that translates into real dollars (like when I replaced some bulbs in my dashboard--that saves a lot of labor).

    But you are right, if you aren't careful or don't know your shop, you can get oversold during oil changes.

    MODERATOR

  • agreed. The amount of time it will take me to get an oil change v. do it myself = loss proposition. If it's really saving me $20-30 (parts not included), then it's a no brainer to have someone else do the work. If the savings is 100s, that's a different story.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Hahaha! Me, an expert at anything mechanical? My friends and family are going to get a kick out of that one! ;)

    I won't be doing the swap until later Spring sometime, but maybe I'll give documenting it a shot. I would make a video, but when things start going badly, I tend to curse and throw things... :blush:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "O.K., normally you would be correct...however I recently found an oil change special from advance auto with 5 quarts of synthetic oil at 24.99 and an oil filter included, and they let me change out a filter that would fit the BMW. It was a great deal."

    I'm thinking you missed the point (a couple of points actually):

    1) As far a I know, every BMW sold in the United States since the dawn of the E46 has required at the very least 6.5 quarts of oil (my 1999 328i and my 2002 530i both took 7 quarts to bring the level up to the upper hash mark on the dip stick).

    2) I'm finding it extremely difficult to believe that Advance Auto is selling oil that meets the required BMW LongLife-01 oil specification for less than $5.00 per quart. FWIW, just because an oil is "synthetic" in no way means that it is acceptable to use in a late model BMW (or Audi, or VW, or Mercedes-Benz... you get the idea).

    The fact of the matter is, that now, here in 2009, it will be the rare situation indeed where someone can buy the proper oil and filter for a late model BMW for much under $60.00.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • My car 1995 318TI is over 120,000 miles, should I use Mobil 1 High Mileage 10W-40, Mobil 1 Extended Performance or just Mobil 1 0W-40?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,380
    I'd run either 0W-40 or 5W-40 Turbo Diesel Truck. Either one will work fine. If you live in a warmer climate 15W-50 is a good choice- especially if your car sees the track on a frequent basis. I have 115K on my one-owner 1995 318ti and I used 15W-50 until the 0W-40 became available.

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

  • Can I use any brand name oil filter for my BMW? I search the internet and found a lot of the filter with different brand name which fit in my car. I always buy the filter from the dealer, I am wondering if it is safe to use it. Or if anyone has any suggestion. Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,588
    I prefer German filters for German cars myself. You never know exactly what you're getting at a chain store. I like the dealer for filters and gaskets, because you know they are going to fit properly.

    MODERATOR

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,380
    I checked out the STP filter for the engine in my wife's X3; it cost $10.50 and was made in Malaysia. My BMW dealer sells the German OEM filter for $8.50. Just for the record, BMWs don't tolerate cutting corners with dodgy aftermarket parts.

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

  • grantchstrgrantchstr Posts: 371
    At 42,000 miles my dealer changed only the front pads (@ 2mm) but not the rear pads (@ 4mm). No new rotors which they reckoned were 20.6mm fore and aft.
    BMW also replaced the Brake Pad Wear Sensor - which to me indicates that the wear was below minimum and the sensor should have warned of a brake job?

    Now on other cars I have always been told that pads and rotors have to be changed in tandem or you dont get a perfect fit - ie scoring on the rotors will screw up the new pads.

    Whats the minimun thickness for rotors? And if the fronts were changed at 2mmm surely 4mm for the rears is so close that they should have also been done at the same time? Whats the new thickness on pads? :mad:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    A couple of points:

    1) While I don't know the exact thickness of the friction material for new pads, my bet is that they're roughly 12mm.

    2) The brake pad wear sensor will correctly indicate a brake job is needed if (and only if) the pads on that wheel (only 1 wheel per axle gets a sensor) is straight and true. As one or more sets of pads on both of my BMWs have worn in such a way as to cause the caliper to tilt and the brake pads to wear at an angle (as viewed from top to bottom), it is very possible to have either the inner or the outer edge of the metal brake pad backing plate come into contact with the rotor well before the wear sensor indicates the brakes are needing to be done.

    3) Technically speaking, if a rotor isn't down to minimum specs (the minimum thickness is physically stamped on the rotor itself), it doesn't need to be changed. I change my rotors at every brake job, many folks don't; personal choice.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • jscholderjscholder Posts: 24
    As a poor person,I always love to communicate with the rich folks that seem to think that $50.00 is no big deal when saving money on repairs. I guess when you're making $100.00 or more an hour, and so smart that you can change out entire engines, why bother, huh? And while you're at it, why not everyone know how silly it is to worry about such a trivial thing.

    What's truly amazing is how excited everyone got about the subject of an oil change, but couldn't dig into the wealth of their knowledge to answer a simple question that might truly be of worth to someone. You're attitudes are no better than of those who have forgotten what the true worth of a dollar is anymore--let's just talk millions and billions. Your disregard for the new guy on the block is no different than the elitists shunning the average "joe" out there. So, to shipo and Mr. Shiftright and the others in your click group; why not get back to trying to help someone in between your impressive comments and opinions of how much this or that costs?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,588
    If having the oil changed in a shop doesn't apply to you, well fine---we aren't saying you should have the same values and habits we do.

    For me personally, the $50 extra I spend once every 5,000 to have a trusted mechanic go over the car with me on a lift is well worth it. And he recycles for me.

    No muss, no fuss.

    I'm sorry but I'm having a hard time equating a desperate poverty level with BMWs. Something doesn't compute with that. This IS the BMW topic, right?

    Really now, if you can't spend $50 on a BMW, the car is doomed, don't you think?

    I LOVE to stretch a buck. But not in that particular way. For you, this might be your method of doing so. And we'd be glad to help you with that. Me, I go to Costco and save $50 that way on food. So much easier than laying on my back in a cold driveway.

    MODERATOR

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,380
    On a street-driven 3 or 5 Series BMW you can usually get away with changing the rotors at every other pad change. That said, my wife's X3 needed pads and rotors at all four corners at 60,000 miles- and the pad wear sensor never illuminated.

    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
    "As a poor person,I always love to communicate with the rich folks that seem to think that $50.00 is no big deal when saving money on repairs."

    Rule #1: If you're poor, you shouldn't be driving a BMW. While they aren't necessarily all that much more expensive than other marques to own and operate (on a per mile basis), they do demand periodic maintenance with quality products, and if you cannot afford that maintenance, buy a Chevy or a Toyota or something else of that ilk.

    "I guess when you're making $100.00 or more an hour, and so smart that you can change out entire engines, why bother, huh?"

    No comment on how much I make (or don't make as the case may be), however, by not maintaining a car in a manner prescribed by the manufacturer, you are most certainly more likely to be required to change out an entire engine compared to folks who do follow the OEM maintenance schedule. It sounds like you're the one with money to burn. Oh, wait! You're poor right?

    "And while you're at it, why not everyone know how silly it is to worry about such a trivial thing."

    Worrying about proper maintenance is "trivial"? You heard it first here folks.

    "What's truly amazing is how excited everyone got about the subject of an oil change, but couldn't dig into the wealth of their knowledge to answer a simple question that might truly be of worth to someone."

    Can't help you on where the fuse is located, I'm not rich enough to own a convertible BMW. That said, you're the one that stated that you could do an oil change for $35 on a BMW, a claim that is, at the very least, HIGHLY suspect.

    "You're attitudes are no better than of those who have forgotten what the true worth of a dollar is anymore--let's just talk millions and billions."

    Do tell. It seems that you're the one who has forgotten the true value of money as you can afford to improperly maintain your cars and then put new engines in when they fail due to your negligence.

    "Your disregard for the new guy on the block is no different than the elitists shunning the average "joe" out there."

    There was no disregard or disrespect intended, more likely we were being kind as we were trying to save you from yourself.

    So, to shipo and Mr. Shiftright and the others in your click group; why not get back to trying to help someone in between your impressive comments and opinions of how much this or that costs?

    I'm more than happy to help. Advice: Spend the necessary dollars to buy the proper oil and filters for your car, that way you won't need to buy new engines for them when they prematurely fail. As for the fuse, sorry, I still don't know where it is.

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • uncletouncleto Posts: 45
    I was ready to go to BJ's to buy some stuff when suddenly after starting the car i notice that the engine starts failing and the engine died done.the car is been idle for only couple of days but the temp. here in NY is below freezing we just a had a storm Monday. to make it short, i thought it was the battery. it cant be cause its new. i tried to start again and let the engine idle, warm up i was ready to proceed when the Service Engine, lights when on! it got me worry so i tried moving the car back n forth on the driveway until i decided not to proceed to BJ'S. im gonna try again tomorrow, maybe the temp. here had someting to do with. hopefully the engine will try to start smoothly and no Service Engine Lights on. otherwise dont know what to do. any advice will be much appreciated.many thanks in advance!
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 124
    I had my 2008 335xi also die after starting and driving about 200meters. I also had an unusually high idle (1500 rpms vs. normal 700), but there was no correlation between the idle speed and the throttle control--in other words, the car drove normally, but the idle was too high. This occurred only during one evening, mild weather, car had been parked all day--8hours. The dealer ran a diagnostic and determined that the battery was only 60% charged, and this caused the computers which control the engine to malfunction, causing it to die, and the idle control to be out of whack. It was stated that the 3-series has a very large battery and the vehicle operation consumes a great deal of power. My driving for the first year of my lease has been almost purely commuting, 15 miles per day, with no high-performance. They suggested that I take an occasional long trip or drive the car faster! They even said that many other similar models experienced the same problem because the battery was poorly engineered, but not defective--the demand is simply abnormally high. If true, this is more than disappointing; it's either a recall or concern about this happening repeatedly with normal city driving 95% of the time. Any others experience this with a late-model 3 series? Dealer re-charged battery, provided a nice loaner vehicle, but I don't want that hassle again.
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