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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,019
    Makes you think about the BMW organization and their approach to over the top repair costs.

    You have to remember that the US dealer franchise laws make if nearly impossible for manufacturers to get rid of a dealer short of actionable fraud or established criminal activity. I know for a fact that BMW NA is not pleased by this conduct, but their hands are literally tied. I've found that dealer prices for identical work can vary by a factor of three or more. Some dealers-like mine-do good excellent work at a fair price. That said, I also have a good indie BMW tech I use for some work, especially on my "vintage" BMWs.

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,111
    Just like roadburner said. Different Dealers will give you different prices for the same work. A few months ago my wife backed into a rock wall trying to turn around in a driveway in her '07 X3. Thankfully she only cracked the right tail lamp. I called the dealer where I leased the car from and was quoted $120 for the part. I called a local dealer (a BMWNA owned store) and was told $85 + tax. I then asked if they give BMWCCA discounts...$75 all together. The best part is that I performed the repair myself and saved money just by making a few phone calls.

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

  • I have this same problem with my 2004 330 Ci. I don't drive the car daily, its normally in my garage but it has done it twice this month. Also, last month while looking at new BMW's the doors wouldn't open, windows wouldn't come down nor would the top. It took about 10 minutes before the doors would unlock and everything seemed normal. My car seems to require antifreeze to be added more frequently than I am use to. I filled it up the first of December but had to add more again about a week ago. Is this normal??
  • asi12asi12 Posts: 46
    What of regular maintenance is required for 3 series?
    Would regular oil and filter change at 6 months (for less than 5K/m month driving) and big stuff like fluids (transmission, radiator, brake, steering wheel) change every 3-4 years are enough or it need more than that?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Oil and filter: 15,000 miles
    Coolant (flush and replace with BMW approved coolant only): Every 4 years
    Brake fluid (flush and replace with DOT 4 only): Every 2 years
    Manual transmission fluid (no recommended replacement): Probably should be done at least every 100,000 miles
    Automatic transmission fluid (no recommended replacement): Probably should be done at least every 100,000 miles
    Steering wheel: Last time I checked, those were good to go for the life of the car
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,019
    I think BMW now does call for a 100,000 mile ATF change. I'm still on the cautious side; I change the oil at 7,500 miles and the transmission-slushbox OR stick-at 50,000 miles. Ditto for the final drive. If I use the car on the track I still use the 7,500 engine oil change interval, but I change the remaining driveline oils at 30,000 miles- and the brake fluid gets changed every six months. Having said all that, for the street driven BMW I'm sure Shipo's recommendations would be more than adequate. I just have a bad case of OCD when it comes to automobile maintenance...

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

  • asi12asi12 Posts: 46
    I drive mostly city (stop and go) and like 5000 miles a year. What is best interval for driver like me, 6 months or a year?

    Does BMW requires to do maintenance by their dealer only? Now with the digital advancement, more and more cars (even camry too) have electronics/computers in it. Does other repair shop needs to have some sort of computer?

    For example, I have heard most German cars require you do tire rotation or changing all 4 tires at once (esp. in AWD and which is not necessary in my opinion) or changing all season to winter tires by them otherwise car computer senses a mismatch. Is this the case with BMW?

    These are thing which I asked has to be done on every car, is there any thing special needs to be done with BMW?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,019
    I drive mostly city (stop and go) and like 5000 miles a year. What is best interval for driver like me, 6 months or a year?

    A annual oil change should be fine.

    Does BMW requires to do maintenance by their dealer only? Now with the digital advancement, more and more cars (even camry too) have electronics/computers in it. Does other repair shop needs to have some sort of computer?

    If the car is under the new car warranty have the work performed at the dealer as it is free. Out of warranty a good BMW tech can handle most all maintenance and repairs. That said, many dealers-such as mine-often can perform work at prices as good or better than some indie shops.

    For example, I have heard most German cars require you do tire rotation or changing all 4 tires at once (esp. in AWD and which is not necessary in my opinion) or changing all season to winter tires by them otherwise car computer senses a mismatch. Is this the case with BMW?

    The work doesn't have to be performed by a dealer, but if you only replace one tire on an AWD car there is a very good chance that it will cause additional wear or set a malfunction code- especially if the remaining tires are over 25%-30% worn.

    These are thing which I asked has to be done on every car, is there any thing special needs to be done with BMW?

    Follow the BMW service schedule and you'll be fine.

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

  • asi12asi12 Posts: 46
    Thanks roadburner
  • A friend of mine who owns a 2007 (??) 328xi needs to have this vehicle equipped with hand controls. Any idea of where I might find some info about this, so I can investigate this for her?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,628
    Did you know that BMW will pay to have a new or certified BMW equipped with hand controls? I didn't.

    http://www.murraybmwofdenver.com/bmw-mobility-program.aspx

    Don't know if this program is retroactive, but it's a pretty new car so it wouldn't hurt to check. Anyway, there's a link at the bottom of the page to find facilities that will do mods like this.

    Here's what looks like a low-cost, even do-it-yourself hand control mod:

    http://www.quickconnectionhandcontrols.com/benefits.htm
  • EGG-cellent backy...thank you so much!
  • I'm interested in buying a used BMW 3 series, somewhere in the 1998 year range. I'm curious as to what I'm looking at when getting into the mechanics of the car, and what it's going to need from me. Would anyone be interested in giving me some tips? I'd appreciate any information you can give me.

    What known common mechanical problems are there?
    What is the price range for repairs on these vehicles? Would something that is normally a $250 repair cost me $500?
    Will I need to take this ONLY to a BMW specialist?

    Basically, I realize that owning a BMW is obviously going to be an expense higher than something such as a Honda, but I'm wanting to get a general idea of what that expense is actually going to be, and if I want to get myself into that or not.

    I'm seeing the common asking price for used 3 series 1998 BMWs at roughly $5500-$6000 (autotrader.com)....
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I would not buy a 10-11 year old BMW if 1) I didn't know how to turn a wrench and so 2) was dependent on a BMW dealer or private mechanic for all the repairs and maintenance.

    I bought my 87 '325 when it was 12 years old (back in 1999), so a little older than what you're looking for. In the past 9 years, I've spent around $4500 on maintenance and repairs, with me doing most of the work. Besides brake pads and rotors, tune ups, headlights, that sort of stuff, the two major things I had done was the timing belt and water pump replaced and the lower control arms replaced, which were done by a private mechanic who I have used over the years and does good work.

    If every thing I had done myself I had done by a dealer or my mechanic, I'm sure that $4500 would have been more like $9K or $10K.
  • Oh, I am definitely capable of doing my own repairs, and I plan on doing most of them. My thinking: I just got rid of a '98 Ford Taurus SHO V8, in which I had many spur of the moment problems; one of which was when a break down turned out to be an axle popping out of the transmission resulting in a tow. After that happened the second time a few days later, I got rid of it. Obviously, that was relevant to that specific car; I know I'm most likely not going to have that problem with a BMW. But what AM I looking at mechanically when I stare at a used Bimmer with shiny and clean cosmetics?

    I'm just wondering what people's mechanical experience with the car is. Like I said, I don't expect many issues at all from the 3 series; from what I've heard it's a very good car (by comparison, I've heard that the 5 series has many cosmetic faults, depending on the year). I'm just making the double check.

    Thanks.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,019
    I've owned a 1995 3er since new. No issues of any consequence. The sixes need a water pump every 60K miles or so, and there are some glitches with the electronic HVAC controls, but overall the cars are very robust. Around 75K-100K you may need some suspesion parts, but again, it's no biggie. I'd try to find a car that has been maintained by the book, as BMWs don't tolerate neglect very well at all.

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

  • I'm waffling on a used 2006 3 series (I'm also waiting for next week when I expect BMW will sweeten the pot on new 08 and 09 cars). The car's only got 19k miles on it and it drives perfectly. According to the cpo report it's in great shape and about the only pending repair will be the brakes in 9k miles (included maintenance warranty is out Dec 09 - so I should get brakes by BMW).

    I know the dealer or rather I've had my two BMWs serviced with them.

    What kind of yearly upkeep (beyond oil changes) will an e90 require? I haven't owned an out-of-warranty car since 2001. And that car which I had for 7 years was grossly mistreated by me, always receiving reactionary repairs instead of preventative maintenance.
  • Didn't you get rid of your leased E90, because you didn't like it? :surprise:

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    i definitely recall lots of complaints of an obese car with uninvolved driving characteristics, i should never have given up my ZHP, etc.

    ya know, blueguy, they've only gotten heavier and softer.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,019
    What kind of yearly upkeep (beyond oil changes) will an e90 require? I haven't owned an out-of-warranty car since 2001.

    Well, I'd change the brake fluid every two years, and the coolant every four(even though BMW doesn't call for it. As for mileage related services, I'd change the transmission and final drive oil every 50K. If you keep it past 100K I'd throw in a new fuel filter along with new plugs. As for everything else, I'd just go by the book.

    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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