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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,011
    While you were teaching heel-toe downshifts, I was teaching my 14 y.o. son, who was helping out, some new cuss words.

    I tell students to practice heel toe on the street. Trying to learn it on the track frequently results in information overload- not to mention gray hairs for the instructor... :P
    Here's a shot of my MS3 with two Minis.


    The black one has the John Cooper Works Package while the gray one is fitted with a power pulley for the S/C as well as an upgraded suspension and big brakes. We tended to run together on the track as we were pretty evenly matched.

    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
    My question was a little vague... I'm wondering what the right way to release tension is for the hydraulic tensioners. Unlike the mechanical ones, there is no cast in hex head that you simply rotate to swing the whole unit. Thanks!

    I occassionally "play around" with heel-toe... usually I end up feeling like a heel.
    Every now and then, though, I nail one just right. When that happens, I go home and wait for Ferrari to call looking for me to replace Massa. :shades:

    Nice little grouping of cars. It's probably not too often you park your MS3 between two other cars and feel like you drive a big car.
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    I currently own ES350 and plan to buy 3 series in few months. I need to ask you gurus for some help regarding maintenance costs after 48 months. I plan to keep the vehicle for at least 10 years and don't want to spend huge $$$ on maintenance. Is the maintenance cost on 3 series high? Is it worth to buy 3-series if I am sensitive regarding maintenance costs? Please advise me on my concerns. Thanks in advance.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,011
    Find a good independent BMW tech and out of warranty maintenance and repair costs shouldn't average over $80-$90 per month. My 1995 3 Series has averaged @$50 per month(including the cost of three sets of tires) since I bought it new in October 1995, and at that time BMW did not provide free maintenance for 4 years/50K miles. My wife's 2004 X3 costs about $75 per month to run, but that figure should drop sigificantly over the next two years, as no major services will be required.

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

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    It makes a big difference on a BMW if you buy the car new and then avearage out your repair costs per month.

    If you buy used, 9 times out of 10, if you are fastidious as I can be at times, I have to play 6 months of "catch up" on all the deferred maintenance from a previous owner who was either not so fastidious or perhaps innocently unaware or unconcerned about defects in the car.

    On used BMWs, it's cost me a bit more per month than roadburner, because of this "catch up". Unless you score a real beauty of a used car with ZERO defects, you should plan on $125+ a month for a while.

    I was shopping for a used BMW a while back, and even with the really nice cars, I spotted items needing attention that weren't going to be cheap. Some people can live, for instance, with a rear window that doesn't go down, or crackling radio speakers, or screeching sunroof, or burned out dashboard light or radio display, or loose arm rest, or a 5 series radiator that hasn't been replaced for 80,000 miles. Me, I can't live with that stuff and even that list of seemingly insignificant items can add up fast.
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    Thank you Roadburner and Mr_Shiftright. I would definitely buy it new and would have the car serviced at recommended intervals and I am very fastidious. As per your comments, after 48 months I should expect to spend somewhere between $80 to $125 per month. Is that a correct statement? Thanks in advance.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,206
    ". . .have the car serviced at recommended intervals. . ."

    Well, that's a start, but not nearly adequate if you're planning to keep the car like I do, for 7-10 years. You may not be aware of what happened to the "recommended service" list when BMW began including it in the cost of the car ("free" maintenance for 50K miles or 4 years), but it isn't comforting to the likes of people who keep cars well in excess of 100K miles.

    Roadburner provided a helpful summary of the servicing intervals for those who don't lease & actually want to keep the car, back at post 3675. In addition, you should join BMWCCA. You'll get the best car magazine on the planet & get real information from people who actually love to drive & work on the cars, as opposed to wearing them. There's a very comprehensive servicing schedule (the old one, before "free" maintenance) outlined in there from time to time.

    These cars will last forever if they're properly taken care of, and you need to start the moment you buy it, or so I've heard.

  • etomorietomori Posts: 11
    Plan to spend more $$$ for maintenance and repairs on a BMW. That is the nature of the vehicle. I am assuming that you are buying a 3 Series new with the 4yr/50,000 mile warranty/maintenance agreement. Can extend the warranty and maintenance coverage to 6 yrs/100,000 miles via BMW through one of its dealers. Suggest, a Georgia BMW dealer, for such policies at the best prices possible.

    If you are buying a twin-turbo 335, really plan on getting the extended maintenance and original owner protection policies. There is a strong feeling that the turbos will have a life about 75,000 miles and repairs/replacement are costly.

    Also, the BMW 15,000 mile oil/filter change intervals are suspect. Many owners are changing their oil and filter at 7500 mile intervals. Preventative maintenance will give you the longevity. Another thing, the water pump should be replaced at around 60,000 miles. Waiting for it to fail could cause a warped head/block, a lot of $$$.

    Not very encouraging, right? I just had my engine replaced under warranty on my 2003 330i ZHP. Bought it used at 34,000 and it had factory warranty remaining. Had continuous and documented problems necessitating warrantied repairs under BMW supervision. Should check around to see which BMW dealers treat their customers well. Niello BMW of Sacramento, CA, has provided me with excellent service on a used car that was purchased from a small non-BMW used carl dealer. This dealership really backs up their product!!!

    But, I am keeping it because it is a great car with character (!!!) with a great dealer providing terrific service.
  • poundspounds Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 2008 328i and came out to my car one morning to discover the windows were all the way down and the sunroof was partially open. I hypothesized that somehow I accidentally pressed the unlock button on the key remote. I went to the dealership to have this feature disabled and was told that it cannot be disabled on the E90, however, they have done it on the older E46 :confuse: . But then again, they said this was the first time they have tried to disable the feature on the E90 and it does not come up as an option on the computer. Has anyone had this successfully done on a recent model BMW? If not, does anyone know of a hard shell case that will hold my key remote so buttons cannot be accidentally pressed?
  • jodanjodan Posts: 4
    My service engine light(yellow) has been on and off the last 4-5 months. I suspected the bad gas as a culprit , but now I'm a little confused. I check my gas cap and it's close. I still put in 93 grade and I just had my major service done over at my dealership for 60,000+ miles four months ago. Any advice will be great!

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,092
    I'm just curious about what lead up to having the engine replaced on your '03 ZHP?

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    If the turbos were *likely* to only last 75,000 miles, it would be priced into the warranty and you would be paying for it anyway. They are not in the business to lose money and if you think you are outsmarting them buy buying the extended service contract so you can get turbos replaced for free before the extended warranty expires, you are probably wrong.
    It is alot of money to tack on 2 years of service contract coverage after the end of the 4 year factory warranty. I would probably just buy a new car after 4 years instead if I was really concerned about the next 2 years of reliability.

    At year 6 the extended coverage is gone and the car is more likely to have problems at that later age when they are no longer willing to take the risk of providing extended coverage.

    Anything could go wrong with any car and the warranty will pay for itself for *some* people, but they will be in the minority. The odds are in their favor or they would not be so eager to sell the contracts.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Correct. These "extended warranties" are really not warranties. They are insurance policies, and the companies issuing them have got the actuarial tables all figured out.

    They are betting your car does NOT break, and you are betting that it does.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    The other thing is that it is such a narrow window of coverage for so much money. The first 4 years are covered by the factory warranty,and year 6 on is not covered by anything.

    On a Honda sedan, you can get an 8-year, 120,000 mile factory backed $0 deductible contract for around $1000. Even then, you will probably not come out ahead, but it's much more tempting to extend the 3 year warranty for 5 additional years and extend the very short 36,000 mile basic warranty to 120,000 miles for that price than to extend a 4 year warranty for only 2 more years for 2-3 times that price.
    For many people buying the Hondas, $1000 is worth it for 5 extra years of peace of mind even if they don't have enough problems with the car to get a full financial payback on this "investment."
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Extended warranties are all about EXCLUSIONS. Most people don't read the exclusions, which are many, various and tricky.

    If it was fairly priced, I'd get an extended warranty on a BMW, but I wouldn't pay for those fat-profit ones.
  • hal56hal56 Posts: 94
    my 08 335i had the light come on within a couple of days of delivery. Turns out thre was a bad wire over the rear wheel--took a day for the dealer to trace it down and about 5 minutes to actually fix.
  • dujoxdujox Posts: 10
    Hi everyone. I really need your input. This is first experience with BMW and I considering getting a second opinion about some diagnostic issues.

    Anybody out there know an affordable and honest tech on around zip code 01845? :confuse: Thanks
  • I called my local dealership for an oil change appointment (E46) and was advised that the price has increased by $35. I assume this is to due with oil prices and all that stuff... I was wondering if I could go to a "Time It Lube" or "Minute Oil Change" for a synthetic oil change and be okay??? Any comments will be greatly appreciated.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    You could change it yourself, so of course you could go to another mechanic or an oil change place, but you might need to bring your own BMW oil filter.
    Oil prices haven't increased to the point that a few quarts of motor oil would cost $35 more than last year or even 5 years ago. They just decided to change their pricing because the market will bear it. Why not get more money if they can?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,011
    Find a good independent BMW tech or do it yourself. I've heard of(and seen) far too many cars that were damaged by the Kwicky Lube type of shops. Are you a BMW CCA member? Many indies and dealers offer 10%-25% discounts to CCA members.

    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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