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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • First question I have is, have you already had REVERSE fail on your transmission? If no, I receomend that you sell teh car, as the 99/2000 and I think 01 323's transmissions fail at 100k or so
  • owner6owner6 Posts: 89
    Thanks, many variables.

    To answer your question, I would buy a new 2009 335I @ about $48,500 plus $2,910 tax total $51,400. If I sell mine for $20K in this depressed market that would mean I would write a check for $31,400. No payments on either car.

    I do have the BMW 100,000 mile extended service plan which covers brakes, rotors oil filters belts and such. The only problem I have had so far was the rear brake pads were replaced several months ago.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    The mileage on my car is very low - less than 40K - because I've never used it for commuting (relied on public transportation for that until I retired last year) & I rarely drive it during the winter. It's my spring-summer-fall weekend pleasure car. (I've thought about buying snows for it so that I can put more miles on it, but I already have a Honda CR-V.)

    Since the E36 hit the streets in the early 90s, the 3-series has been quite reliable overall. If I owned your car, I'd hang onto it. It's been substantially trouble-free so far, & there's no reason to believe that it will suddenly fall apart now. In time, you will have replace components as they age & wear out, but you're still years away from the point at which the cost of keeping your car roadworthy exceeds the cost of replacing it.
  • wzhao68wzhao68 Posts: 15
    Hi there,
    I own a 2006 330i, it has almost 49000 miles. I'm thinking about buying either the extended warrant or the extended service maintenance plan, or even both. Where should I get some competitive quotes? I did get some quotes from my BMW dealer, but as always, it's pretty expensive, namely about $2800, and no monthly payment plan. Where else should I look?

  • owner6owner6 Posts: 89
    I paid $800 for my extended service (not warranty) 50 to 100K miles. I purchased it about a year ago from my BMW dealer when it hit 49,000 miles. I have 2006 330I.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,667
    Prices have gone up...

    MSRP is $1395 now... Doubt they have more than a couple hundred to play with....

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • owner6owner6 Posts: 89
    Hi Host,
    do you have any input on my posting #4095 and 4098?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,667
    Well.. if you've got $31,400 to drop on a new car, then you can certainly "self-insure" against repairs or maintenance on the one you have...

    No matter what issues you might have over the next 66K miles, it will certainly be cheaper to keep running your current car, than to suffer the depreciation on a new one... Even taking into account the further depreciation on the car you have...

    You like it, you know how it's been treated, and you've had pretty good luck with it.... Obviously, a big repair is not going to bankrupt you.. As long as your dealer is good with loaner cars when yours is in the shop, I'd just soldier along.. Any after-market warranty would be fairly expensive at this time, and I doubt it would cover you past 100K, either way...

    But, I might be the wrong person to ask... We lease our BMWs...

    visiting host

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    I'm a big believer in self-insurance. Put that $2800 into an online savings account (GMAC Bank is currently paying 3.25%) & then add a couple of hundred per month to your initial deposit. (Sounds like a lot, but it's less than $7/day.) In a year, you'll have more than $5,000 in your emergency repair fund.
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    OK... the wife's 98 328i was in the shop yesterday, and they discovered that when she went over a curb (a sad and ugly story I don't want to repeat) a month or so back, the LF control arm was bent..... and additionally the LR shock has started to leak.

    This means replacement struts and shocks since they have to come off anyway to replace the control arm. I'm looking for recommendations on what to have the shop put on as replacements:

    I know of four possibilities (listed below in order of increasing cost guesstimate):

    1. Whatever the shop puts on as OEM replacements, and good enough thank you.
    2. Monroes
    3. Bilsteins
    4. Koni's

    Decision point information:
    The car doesn't have the sport suspension, and my wife is not a performance lowering the springs and putting on racing Koni's is not in the picture.

    Having said that, her car has low miles for a 98 (53K) and the car is in excellent condition, so we plan on keeping it for some years. She likes the car, and between the few miles she drives it and the condition of the car, it's worth the money to do things right. $100 or $200 dollars extra for better parts now isn't that big a deal in the bigger scheme of things, so if it's worth doing, OK. Still there's no point on putting racing quality parts on a car that generally loafs along on the good roads around here.

    So, what's the best balance of quality and price?

    I'd appreciate any opinions and recommendations about these brands and options.


  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I would stay away from the Monroes. I'd put them on wifey's Caravan, but not on my BMW.

    If it were my wife's BMW, I would go with the OEM parts. If it were mine, I would consider the Bilsteins.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,289
    If I recall correctly, the Monroes are made in Europe, and I know some folks on the Yahoo E39 group who have used them with no complaints. The other brand I'd consider would be Sachs/Boge. Bilsteins or Konis would be overkill for your application, I'd think.

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

  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    I'll take a look at the Sachs/Boge too. Turns out I can't get the car into the shop till late next week sometime, but I'll come back with a report on what happens.

    Appreciate it.

  • owner6owner6 Posts: 89
    Thanks for your advise.
    If I keep it should I now at 67k miles have the transmission oil (automatic), rear end oil, spark plugs and serpentine belt replaced as a precaution? And anything else you suggest.
    I have been doing an in-between engine oil service at about 9K miles after the Free dealer service which has been recycling at about 18K miles in the service indicator. Last time i paid for an in-between service they charged me $91.95.
    Thanks Owner6
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,667
    I'll leave maintenance recommendations to the rest of the board... I haven't had a BMW with over 50K miles since 1990! :surprise:

    $90 is not a bad price for a dealer oil change...

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,289
    I'd change the ATF and diff oil, and I'd have the serpentine belt inspected-as well as the belt tensioner and idler pullies. If the car is running fine I'd probably leave the plugs alone, although it wouldn't hurt to change them. Be sure to change the brake fluid at two years from the in-service date and change the coolant at four years.

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

  • owner6owner6 Posts: 89
    Thanks HOST and roadburner.

    I looked over my maintenance records. The brake fluid was changed twice. At 37 and 65 thousand miles. (Now has 67K miles on it). The oil has been changed seven times approximately every 9,500 miles. The BMW guy at 65K miles service said the belt was OK. I have service to 100K miles and the car computer states the transmission and plugs need serviced at 100K. I just thought I pay to have it done now. The car runs fine so the plugs must be OK. I really wanted to get a new 335I however I have read and heard many horror stories about the breakdowns and out of service for weeks at a time. I retired and dont need that at this point in life. Just want to have some reliability.
  • Well, just a quick update on my oil separator issue.

    I ended up bringing my 325i to a local mechanic. What started with a $1900 charge from a BMW Dealer ended up costing me $960!! at the local mechanic. What a difference! When you think about, way too much off a difference. Makes you think about the BMW organization and their approach to over the top repair costs.

    Hope the car last for least another year.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,411
    Pays to shop around! Good for you. Good for your mechanic. Good for your car.


  • I recommend OEM. My 99 328i (146K) is starting to show its age, however my independent mechanic tells me all of the original struts/shocks are not leaking (despite a broken right rear spring...most likely from a parking lot curb). I replaced the front control arms at 90K. It will keep going with some more money thrown at it, but I'm looking for a replacement...with a spare tire. Since yours has only 53K, it should have a lot of life left. :)
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