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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    The recharge-the-freon route is probably just a short term fix. The refrigerant is escaping somewhere, probably from a dried out seal someplace. If you're real lucky, it just might be compression fitting that can be tightened up. But, I would not hold out hope for a cheap, permanent fix.
  • ginritaginrita Posts: 3
    I am considering buying a used 328i with 70,000 freeway miles from a private party. I can't find out what I should expect to pay for annual maintenance costs and when is that really big tune up due? Unfortunately, I drove the car first instead of doing my research first. I read some where that these cars only have about 100,000 miles in them. Is this true? Please help, as I am used to driving a Honda Accord, if that tells you something. :)
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    BMW's can go well past the 100K mark (I have ~195,000 miles on an '87 325). But, you have to stay on top of the maintenance items. Around the 80K-100K mile mark, a 3-series should have the timing belt changed and while the engine is apart, the water pump replaced. Control arm bushings also may need to be replaced at that mileage mark.

    As to how much you can expect to spend to keep a 3 series running, here's one data point. In the 11 years I've had the 325 (bought used in 1999 with 125,000 miles on it), I spent $5300 on maintenance and repairs, including routine stuff like brakes, oil changes, and tires. That works out to $482/year. But. I am able to do almost all the repairs and maintenance myself. If that wasn't the case, then my yearly outlays would have been at least 2 times greater, say $1000/year.
  • ginritaginrita Posts: 3
    Thanks for the prompt response. One last question, if you don't mind?
    If my math is correct you have put 70,000 miles on your car in the 11 years you've had it. Does this include daily driving or is this your "fun" car. Since I already have a large SUV for recreation and I am donating my Honda, this will be my primary transportation. I just want to be sure this car will take me work and back for the next 5 years or so. I just wish I hadn't driven it--the decision would be much easier.
  • dujoxdujox Posts: 10
    You are asking a million dollar question but never less a good one.
    I have a 325xi, Sedan, 2003. Got it on 07 and it had already 125,000 "freeway miles".
    It is- still- my first Bimmer and I did tons of research (BEFORE buying it).
    There are couple things that a first time Bimmer-man should know.
    -Miles in a BMW does not quite tells a lot about a car real condition. Maintenace DOES. Those cars are beautiful but they are drama queen!
    -My research showed me that In order to keep up with my Queen, i should save about 2k a year for maintenance and repair. I then, checked for an "Extended Warranty". (You may check this forum for my finding)
    -I took the advice of 'saving my own Extended Warranty". The cost of an EW goes from 1,500 to 3,500 3 years ago.
    - I plan was to save the equivalent of one work-hour everyday or 2,000/year. This car just got out a lease. So instead of tossing out $2,500 on "Extended warranty'" I took the car to an Indy BMW garage and made are the critical repair. (Not many).

    -As you can see having the taste but no necessarily the status-income to keep up with those car made most of us very creative.
    - Finally, one pieces of advice if you ask: Don't buy Carfax report. BMW DO NOT report anything to anybody. They do not give away the car maintenance record either. It is "classification information" only available to a car's original owner.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Well, I originally bought the car for my son when he was in college. He drove it for 6 or 7 years, then we did a trade and I got the '325 back. It was my daily drive for the next 3 or 4 years, though I always had a spare vehicle to drive if the BMW was tied up for repairs, such as when I replaced the steering rack. If it had been my only vehicle, then repair costs would have been much higher since I would have needed to rely on a shop for most of the work.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,480
    No US spec BMW has had a timing belt since late 1991.

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

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,480
    I can't find out what I should expect to pay for annual maintenance costs and when is that really big tune up due?

    All modern BMWs use a Service Interval Indicator or Condition Based Service(CBS) systemto inform the driver when routine maintenance is required. On a 328i an Oil Service will be called for at @15,000-20,000 miles. To be honest, I don't like to run oil that long, so I perform an oil change at 7,500-9,500 miles. I also use Mobil 1 0W-40 synthetic, which I prefer to the BMW-branded Castrol synthetic. It's a ridiculously simple DIY procedure and it costs me less than $55. The minor service(Inspection I) will come up at @30,000-40,000 miles and the major service(Inspection II) at 60,000-80,000 miles. An Oil Service will cost $60-$150, an Inspection I $150-$300, and an Inspection II $450-$800(prices will vary based on where you live and whether you go to a dealer or a indie BMW shop). Coolant must be changed every three years(using BMW Coolant ONLY), while the DOT4 brake fluid gets flushed every two years. If the car has a slushbox BMW also calls for changing the ATF at 100,000 miles, although I would have the procedure performed every 50,000 miles- and I'd have the differential oil changed(and manual transmission, if applicable) at the same time. Plugs get changed at 100K as well.
    Finally, join the BMW Car Club of America. Many dealers and independent shops offer CCA members 10%-25% discounts on parts and/or labor.

    I read some where that these cars only have about 100,000 miles in them. Is this true?

    Not even close. You can easily get 200,000 miles out of most any BMW as long as it is maintained properly. My wife drives a 2004 X3 with over 96,000 miles on the clock and it looks and performs like a new car. Non-scheduled repairs have consisted of a passenger seat airbag sensor which was replaced under warranty. As others have noted, I'd budget $500-$1,000 per year for maintenance. As for another example of a worn out 100,000 mile Bimmer, here's my 1995 3 Series... ;)

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

  • Firebird_EOUFirebird_EOU Posts: 250
    I thought they claim it's lifetime fill and you don't need to change it?
    My 2006 330xi has 90k now. I changed oil with CBS about 17k miles interval one time at 10k interval out of pocket. My front brake pads haven't been replaced that's how much highway driving or little brake I used. Rear pad replaced before 50k miles by dealer so that's the odd part. The 2nd set of RFT Continental has over 50k miles and it's still got good threads left....

    There is an occasional squeek coming from the lower panel where the heated seat buttons are. If I press down hard on the rubber piece to the left or right of the heated seat button then the noise stops. Does anyone know of a long term fix for this?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,480
    I thought they claim it's lifetime fill and you don't need to change it?

    BMW recommends a 100K change on some models. If you aren't keeping the car much past 100K, don't change it. I'm planning to keep the X3 for 3-4 more years so I changed it at around 56K.

    I changed oil with CBS about 17k miles interval one time at 10k interval out of pocket.

    I perform used oil analysis on my X3(and MS3) and the reports on the X3 show that by 9K-10K the additive package in the Mobil 1 0W-40 is almost totally depleted. I sure would not want to run that oil another 8K-10K. Note that Mobil 1 0W-40 has BMW LL-01 approval. I've since switched to Mobil 1 5W-40, which is an SM oil that also meets the tough CJ-4, CI-4, and CH-4 diesel specs. It actually holds up a bit better.

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

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,480
    Castrol is the factory fill. In all but the M cars it is labeled as BMW Synthetic 5W-30, and it is NOT the same as Castrol Syntec 5W-30. The only OTC Castrol oil that has LL-01 approval is Syntec 0W-30, AKA "GC" or "German Castrol".

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

  • Firebird_EOUFirebird_EOU Posts: 250
    2006 330xi

    Dropped off car at BMW dealership for oil/filter change. After that, drive door cannot be unlocked (actuator seems broken). Dealer says they couldn't have possibility caused it because door panel wasn't touched. Prior to that no problem with the locking mechanism. :mad:

    Is it possible for someone to open the door via latch that would have caused this?

    If on purpose, depress down the lock button while trying to unlock would break it?
    For now I can manually unlock the door from outside with the metal key inside the remote.
  • uncletouncleto Posts: 45
    Just want to know if anybody knows what a P1028 code means. i used an actron obd2 reader. many thanks!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    year make model please.

    MODERATOR

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited July 2010
    No US spec BMW has had a timing belt since late 1991.

    I wasn't sure about the specifics, but I also thought that no current model BMW's used timing belts.
  • ginritaginrita Posts: 3
    Thanks for your input, I drove her home yesterday. What a ride!
  • uncletouncleto Posts: 45
    So sorry for missing that info. its a 2001 325ix wagon. so far ive been driving the car and the check engine light just went off. i plugged in the code reader and it said pending code. i havent erase it yet just in case i have to bring it to my mechanic. Thanks.!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    Oh well if it went off, don't worry about it. I have lots of stored codes in my MINI that don't mean anything, and the components they relate to are working perfectly. If a fault is set, the car's computer gives it a chance to clear itself up before it throws, or re-throws, a check engine light. I certainly wouldn't pay a mechanic to dig into an old code.

    MODERATOR

  • lehrer1lehrer1 Posts: 54
    Oil change at the dealership is expensive, I have info how to do it but I do not know how to reset the light. Please, help.
    Best regards
  • uncletouncleto Posts: 45
    Thanks! will keep in touch.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,480
    Step 1
    Insert key into slot
    Step 2
    Press start/stop button without depressing clutch/brake and wait for the service reminder to dissapear.
    Step 3
    Immediately after service reminder goes out, press and hold the odometer reset. After 3 secs a warning triangle will appear, keep the odo. button pressed and after another 2-3 secs the Oil can will appear. I f you hold it too long (10 secs in total) you will overshoot the runway and some German writing will appear giving the software level/ can bus etc. of the car. Go back to the beginning and start again.
    Step 4
    You are now in the service menu, use the toggle switch on indicator stalk to scroll up/down through the various service items.
    Step 5
    When you have the item you want to reset showing, press the BC button on end of indicator stalk. Reset should now appear in the display. Press in and hold the BC button for 2-3 secs and a clock will start whirling around and hey presto, its done
    Step 6
    You can now either scroll up/down to select another item (as in step 4) or you can press the start/stop button to exit.

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

  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Door lock systems are usually a series of cams and metal levers held together with metal or plastic clips. I'm guessing that, for whatever reason, one of those clips broke or a connecting rod fell out. If you can pull the inside door panel off, there's usually an inspection/access port inside of the door lock that will let you see the workings.

    When you use the remote, do you hear the actuator working?

    Will the driver's side lock release of you manually try to open the passenger side door or the trunk?
  • bimmer4mebimmer4me Posts: 266
    According to my manual, I should be able to set audio sound for locking and unlocking my doors on my 08 328i. I have visual confirmation, but unable to set audio.
  • I have a 2007 328i with about 25K miles on it and just curious as to what maintenance work I should think about in the upcoming months.
  • lehrer1lehrer1 Posts: 54
    Dear roadburner,
    thank you very much!
    Best regards, Lehrer1
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,480
    edited July 2010
    I have a 2007 328i with about 25K miles on it and just curious as to what maintenance work I should think about in the upcoming months.

    I'm assuming that you intend to keep the car for a while, so I'd follow this schedule:

    Oil and Filter- Every 8,000-9,000 miles, using a BMW filter and either BMW 5W-30 Synthetic, Castrol Syntec 0W-30, or Mobil 1 0W-40

    MT oil or ATF- every 50,000 miles using BMW proprietary fluids

    Brake Fluid Change- Every two years using a DOT 4 fluid; ATE Super Blue, BMW DOT 4, and Castrol LMA are good choices

    Coolant- Every 3-4 years; BMW coolant only

    You shouldn't need brakes for 90,000-100,000 miles at least

    Tires should last 40,000-50,000 miles

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

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,480
    Glad to help, Lehrer1!

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

  • michele16michele16 Posts: 4
    Hello,
    I had written earlier in regards to a ?llower, front control arm bushings repair on my 2005 BMW 325ci and you had suggested taking it to an indie shop for the repair. I wondered if you could tell me what an indie shop is and how I would be able to locate one?
    Thanks!
  • xeyexeye Posts: 162
    edited July 2010
    Indie shops are places where the owner wears a worn leather jacket, a tattered fedora and usually carries a whip. He speaks in cliches and generally earns far more than his work is worth.

    Actually, Michele, Indie means "independent" and it is a mechanic repair shop that is not affiliated with BMW directly but specializes in BMWs and possibly other imported brands. At a good indie shop, the work is just as good as at a BMW dealership, and is usually about 30-60% of the price, depending on what needs to be done. An example is Autobahn Automotive (BMW) in Natick, MA, if you happen to be in the area. Try the yellow pages under "Automotive BMW", or the modern version, the internet, under "'your town' BMW service".

    Hope this helps.
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