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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    Thank you sincerely, Joseph.... I agree that the car (other than the hpfp issue) is otherwise a delight. But, since it's dropped dead- literally, twice on hi-speed highways, I will no longer drive it. Not even home from the dealer. One further question... do you have any handle on whether the new 335's have fixed the problem? In other words, if they take this dog back from me am I SAFE in buying another one? As an aside, I am driving the X3 loaner and, despite fairly tepid reviews, is a reasonable compromise. It's MORE powerful than the 328 (260 hp) and no dreaded turbo and no hpfp. Just a kind of hinky transmission that can't sem to make up its mind when to shift! What I'd really like is a 335 without headaches.
  • See my post #4537
    I actually drove aggressively this weekend, although in Los Angleles traffic. No way I would want to replace this car unless it were failing on me. I'll probably lease a non-twin turbo with no HPFP, like a 328, for which the consensus of reliabiilty is strong. I had two HPFP failures in 12 months and that was sufficient to gain a repurchase. There is a CA law in addition to the lemon law which is basically two strikes and you're out--I did the research. So BMW is obviously trying to avoid the catastrophic publicity which Toyota may not recover from for years. Curious how you avoided an accident when the car limped on the highway. In Los Angeles, this could be fatal. That was one of my strong arguments to get rid of it ASAP. But they have been very easy to deal with. I do not recommend invoking a legal argument or mentioning a lawyer; see how you progress; be objective and they will quickly examine your service record and probably come to the same conclusion. I will receive all of my lease payments back, minus a minor deduction for usage up to the initial HPFP failure. That means I will have driven the car for over two years at almost no cost. Fortunately, my failures were not rural, and the repairs were made in hours or one overnight, with free loaner and I was not marooned. But I love to ski, and have not driven this xi anywhere despite epic snowfalls in the Sierra recently.

    Good luck
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Your driving habits sound very similar to mine. I have 2 cars that I alternate driving so I only put ~4,000 miles/year on each. Sometimes drive each one for a week or two at a time, and at other times drive one 3 days and the other 4 days in the same week. My daily commute is short by today's standards - ~8 miles one way.

    I have never had a problem with either vehicle refusing to start, even the one with the 7 year old battery in it.

    So like I said earlier, sounds like your dealer is feeding you a lot of bull.
  • jmarounjmaroun Posts: 139
    I certainly understand and agree on your conerns about safety. It's sad that BMW has allowed this to occur for so long from the very beginning of production way back in 2006 till today. I've read posts on of people with 09's and even 2010 335s..with HPFP failures. I told the BMW representative in October of 2009, that I'd be willing to keep the 335 if they redesigned the fuel pump propperly. Her response was that the pump was already re-designed, and I've already recieved the new pump during replacement of the last failed pump. That was troubling since, this newly designed pump was failing it was showing tell tale signs with 3-4 second crank times, just a few weeks after installation. Furthermore, she said that she knew not of any plans that BMW will be implementing a new re-design attempt. So, I don't believe BMW has solved the fuel pump failures yet...and I don't think they plan on it. This is probably the last year or two for this generation 3 series and I bet/hope BMW wants to address/eliminate the problem in the new generation 3.

    I personally, would not buy a 135,335, or 535(09 or earlier)..all of wich have the fuel pump problem and would have reservations of leasing them due to safety concerns you pointed out. It's a shame.

    Just wondering, I've wondered why some people get the failure and others don't. Some believe it is fuel grade/quality. I'm not sure about this since I don't take note of which gas station I use, but always put in the required 91 octane or higher. Maybe it's driver style? I personally drive some-what aggressively; meaning I redline often to hear her scream. I also like to pull hard in lower gears while on a slope to feel her torque in action. I wonder if the pump fails for drivers like myself who drive hard and wont fail for less agressive drivers. How do you drive? It might just be random failures due to tolerance variation.

    Anyway, good luck and keep the community posted on your progress.

    San Diego
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    I drive about 80 highway miles 5 or more days a week. My factory battery went strong up to ~130K miles (roughly 6 years). Then one morning... nothing. I agree with load-testing, I think most of the chain auto-parts places will do it for free.
  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    Someone up there was watching over us in both of the "catastrophic" incidents. The first time on the Florida Turnpike I was in the right hand lane doing about 80 with trucks wizzing by on the left when she crapped out. I was seven miles from a large BMW dealer and was able to get the car started again and with RPMs at 1200, I limped there (taking over an hour to do so) at about 20 miles per hour using the shoulder. Fortunately I was able to easily pull onto the shoulder as the car slowly came to a halt and stalled without being rear-ended. Light traffic, thank heaven. The second failure occured in local traffic and I was able to limp into a driveway and then restart and "drive" the car several miles to my own dealer. The latest one occured on another hi speed highway at about 65 miles per hour. This time HE was watching again and I was within about 1000 yards of an off ramp which (you won't believe this) led directly into the driveway of my very own BMW dealer. Poetic don't you think.

    They replaced the pump AGAIN and I drove her home this morning and put her in the garage NEVER TO BE DRIVEN BY ME AGAIN. My Dealer's SM assured me that he had contacted the BMW rep and I could expect a (most probably affirmative) response within 24 hours. Their plan is to "take me out of the car" (it's leased with 9 months to go). We haven't talked about replacement or $$....but I assume that they will do right by me (it's my 6th Beemer). If not- Pennsylvania law is VERY CLEAR on the subject and they (BMW) have already declared the car a lemon. I don't think they want to deal with this problem openly (as in court).

    Stay tuned...I will keep the forum in the loop. P.S. thinking about the 328XI or, more probably an X3 since it has a little more guts than the 328.
  • It's very smooth and easy to lemon. I declared my intent to lemon my 335i and BMW quickly handled the situation. I love BMW customer service, just worry about their cars.
  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    BMW has verbally "accepted" the lemonization of the car and we have spoken about a settlement that "seems" to be close to ok with me. Lots of help from my dealer who is working with me. Not surprising since I have told him if the settlement is acceptable that I will buy another BMW (this time an X3) since it has a nice inline 6 engine with 260 hp which is more than the 328 but just a bit lower than the n54 engine with the turbos on the 335. This type of deal actually has a's called a "trade assist". That's when they put up some $$ in effect greatly discounting the new car as a settlement. I too love their Customer Service attitude...only a shame that they don't own up to this piece of junk of fuel pump and FIX IT. I'd love another 335XI...but not so long as they refuse to scrap this part and replace it with one that works....not just extend the warranty. I've come too close to getting creamed on two occasions to EVER trust this engine again. It sits in my garage pending the arrival of the new car. My only problem is that this has taken over a week so far to finally resolve and last night I got Customer Relations involved. My dealer won't let me near his contact at BMW.....Next step is an e-mail to Jim O'Donnell (pres. of BMWNA). I hate the thought of having to litigate this but my downside risk is minimal with only 9 lease payments now left. Hopefully they will stand up and be counted (as they usually do). And do it promptly.
  • Glad to read about your miraculous escapes from danger. I think if someone died as a result of this problem, the NHTSA would order a recall. BMW does not want a Toyota-like public relations disaster. I phoned N.A. about January 4th, when I had just had my second HPFP replaced within approx. 12 months. I received three subsequent calls, the last one to confirm retiring my lease, with all payments being refunded, including the registration fee of $ 499 just paid to the CA DMV. There will be a reduction in payments to me for the prorated use up to the time of the initial HPFP failure based upon a statutory usage of 120,000 miles. Since I had driven only 6000miles at the time of the first HPFP failure the deduction will be just over $ 2000. And I will have to fix any "excess wear and tear." My lease has 11 months to go. I am ordering a 2011 328xi--it's too late to order a 2010--but be forewarned that the lease rates are currently quite high. I am hoping that once the car arrives, around the end of April, the money factor and perhaps some dealer incentives will reduce the monthly payment.
  • When you changed battery do you have to re-enter any security code for Sat. radio to work?

    I used to have Sears Auto Center change battery when I had an Acura, I don't know if that'll do for 330xi?
  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    I'm in the midst of negotiating a "lemon" settlement with BMW on my 335XI (3 HPFP REPLACEMENTS in the last 26 months(20k miles). I won't buy another car with the n54 engine but have been reading some earlier posts and it seems that there have been similar "limping" fuel issues in the 328 as well. Anybody have any experience with the issue on the X3 with the 260 hp inline 6 (2010 model)? I'd settle for one of these in the settlement if the engine does not have similar issues. I believe it is the same power plant that was in my 2006 330XI...if that's the case...that's an ok engine.(I think!?)

    Thanks for any help and direction in this regard.

    P.S. The decision makers at BMW will not talk directly with you regarding these issues. Apparently, and I quote Customer Relations: "they are not equippped for face time with customers". I kid you not. Customer Relations was akin to talking to a chair. They referred the issue back to my servicing dealer who is dealing with the "unnamed" guy at BMWNA. Two and a half weeks and counting. Tomorrow is supposed to be decision day...if no answer coming from BMW then we're off to the Lemon Lawyers. And, if Toyota thinks they have a public relations nightmare on their hands...wait until they muster the guard against BMW.
  • I own a 2004 325i w/60K. the light just came on strady orange. I run the car on regular gas and have replaced the air cleaner w/the lifetime after market type. Would any of these issues be contributing factors and what are the typical problems associated w/this light coming on?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,418
    By "aftermarket" I presume you mean like a K&N or some such "free-flow" filter?

    If that's the case, yeah, that could screw up your MAF sensor or throttle body.

    You'd best check the trouble codes to see if in fact the error points to the MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor. If it does, you've got nothing to lose by cleaning it with a "sensor safe" cleaner. A new MAF is expensive.

    And throw that K&N filter away--it's just going to mess things up, and it does nothing substantial on its own, as a drop-in device, for performance or power.


  • Just read the Check Engine light on my 325ix and it says "Secondary air injection system, Bank 2. does anybody had experience this kind of malady. this car has almost 70,000 on it. and mostly driven once a day. any imputs will be much appreciated. thanks in adcance!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,301
    edited February 2010
    Sounds like your air injection pump has gone south. It won't affect the performance or longevity of the car. It only affects emissions upon start-up. What usually happens is that the check valve fails and exhaust gasses eventually cook the pump. I'd replace the valve first(BMW has superceded the original part with a more durable unit). If that fails then pick up a good used pump. Depending on the year, it's a simple but fiddly DIY procedure.

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

  • Thanks for the input Roadburner! as soon as the weather permits im gonna do some trouble shooting starting withe the hoses. its been snowing here in NY this week. then, maybe replace the check valve. good thing about the 3 series is SAR is easier to access compare to 97 750i that you have to take out the front bumper. will keep you inform.
  • Interesting that I recently put in K&N filter and 2-3 months later my SES light comes on. I bought a Onboard Scanner ($29 from eBay) and the code indicated said Fuel Too Rich (which could indicate something's up with the filter).

    However I just cleared the code and it has not come back for more than a week and 1,000 miles. Does that mean it's fine now? I got that code after I refueled when it was pretty low on fuel. I thought it might have been a loose cap but probably wasn't.

    I'll consider going back to the OEM filter and have the shop clean Mass Air Flow sensor if the SES light comes back again.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Probably wise as the K&N will do absolutely nothing for performance and if anything will reduce your fuel economy.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,418
    Get rid of that thing and put your OEM filter back on, would be my advice. A drop-in filter, no matter how non-restrictive, and without other modifications like cold air intake system, fuel enrichment and exhaust mods, does absolutely nothing for the car except.....maybe....1-2 HP at extreme rpm and the sensation, perhaps, of a little better throttle response....maybe. Balanced against these miniscule gains are the risk of fouling the MAF sensor and injecting debris into your engine.

    BMW engineers are smart people with sharp pencils and lots of degrees. They are hard to beat with a $29 gadget.


  • 2006 330xi 82k miles... BMW says it's a lifetime fill, no need to change... anyone's transmission over 150k miles w/o trans fluid change?
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