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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • xeyexeye Posts: 162
    edited March 2010
    I've just spoken to Roberto. It's probably best if you speak to him directly as well so you can understand the difference between BMW's detail job and what Roberto does and the products he uses. His basic detail, interior and exterior, with similar (but likely better) products as BMW is $195.

    For my 335xi, I include a 2 coat PH-balanced leather treatment for the interior leather and a Collinite paste wax treatment on top of the basic detail job. The Collinite wax job is an extra hour and a half of labor. Depending on the car, the complete job may run between $300-$375, but again, it's best to speak to Roberto yourself. He also can do an Aquapel window treatment that, although I haven't done it before, I may include this time to gauge the value vs. cost.

    As far as I'm concerned, it's definitely worth the price. For the nearly $50K for the vehicle, it's worth 1.4% per year (2x/year) to keep it in as pristine condition as possible.

    For whatever it's worth, I asked about detailing one a recent visit to my BMW dealership. (They invited customers for a free undercarriage inspection.) When I mentioned Express Car Detailing, even the BMW service tech suggested that a dedicated shop like Express would invariably do a better job than the outsourced BMW detail service.
  • jayvisjayvis Posts: 76
    I'm sure that I can't be the only one out there wondering why you guys don't consider doing your own detail work. I've found that part of the joy of owning one of these fine cars is time spent keeping them looking fine.
  • If it's still warranty then the service is free. The computer should indicate what needs to be changed (either oil, brake fluid, brake pads if they are worn, micro-filter). Did you get a service history of the car?
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    I would normally agree but I tried to clean bird poo off my car and I scratched the finish. That never happened on any of the Acuras i've owned so now I'm kind of paranoid about doing anything but a laser wash.
  • jayvisjayvis Posts: 76
    edited March 2010
    That's pretty typical of soft BMW paint. A guy I know who does clear mask installs says BMW paint is the most fragile of all luxury makes. It'll chip and scratch if you look at it wrong.
  • xeyexeye Posts: 162
    I wash my car in the non-winter months in my driveway. I have a pressure washer, a couple of fine wool mitts for the soap, several generic versions of Sham-WOWS! (they actually work!) and I enjoy doing the job. What I don't have is a power buffer, the really good cleaning, waxing, etc products or the patience to do a job like the professional detailers.

    You could probably find a good large flat rock in a nearby stream and clean your Armani suits, too, but the local dry cleaners does a much better job in a lot less time than it would take otherwise. It's worth it a couple of times a year.

    Ironically, Roberto, whom I've mentioned a few times in this thread, claims he likes working on BMWs because of the quality of the paint job.

    On a slightly different note, my dealer says that all 335i's since '08 come standard with the oil cooler. Can anyone corroborate this statement? I had one installed in Spring '08 at dealer expense on my '07 335xi, and I'm considering replacing it with the '11. I don't want to trade and get less than I already have.

  • pandi13pandi13 Posts: 5
    No service history, only a Carfax report. Dealer said they got the car from an auction.
    Could I request from BMW service dept to pull the service record of my car?
  • pandi13pandi13 Posts: 5
    I noticed that my speedometer is always +5 mph than actual speed (based on 3 GPS units used to verify speed). Told this to a BMW service advisor and he said that BMW's tolerance is 10mph, is this true? He also claimed that GPS speed is not really accurate.
    Our Toyota and Honda have their speedometer spot on with our GPS units.
    Can somebody confirm if the "within 10mph" tolerance is really true for BMW...Wouldn't BMW have a better precision req for their cars?
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Your service advisor has no idea what he's talking about.

    First, a 10 mph error in a speedometer is so far off the mark it's laughable.

    Did you change tire sizes? A 5 mph error at 50 mph could be caused by a tire that was 10% difference in diameter/circumference, but that's a pretty bug difference.

    Second, any decent GPS unit will have speed accuracies in the fractions of mph. How close did the 3 GPS units you try track? Also, you basically calibrated your GPS units (or vice-versa) against the speedos in your Honda and Toyota. So you have 4-5 speed measuring devices, all of which match each other pretty closely, I guess, and then you have the outlier speedo in your BMW.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710

    Well documented discrepency, I have confirmed through 3 different methods that my speedo is off by 4 mph at highway cruising speeds.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,287
    All six of my past BMW as well as the three I currently(a 1975 2002, a 1995 318ti, and a 2004 X3 2.5) own have had speedometers that are 4-5 mph optimistic. Big deal.

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

  • pandi13pandi13 Posts: 5
    1. Still using orig spec tires: 205/55R16 RTFs.
    2. GPS units are dead on at 40, 50, 60 mph cruising speeds on our Honda CRV and Toyota Camry.
    Will try to get a clearer answer from the BMW service advisor next time.
  • pandi13pandi13 Posts: 5
    The reason I'm asking is because I got a pre-owned car (also my first BMW), just inspecting everything and trying to get it fixed before the warranty expires. If it's standard for BMW to have +5mph on their speedometers then I'm ok with it.
  • I too have experienced the same difference. My 2007 328i was about 4 mph different than my Garmin GPS with my BMW reading higher than my GPS.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Both of my BMWs were a tad optimistic on the speedometer, however, the odometers were dead-on-balls-accurate. ;)

    Best regards,
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    I'm sticking with my theory that it is to keep the speeding ticket count down. ;)
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Or to avoid BMW being suited because of driver speeding tickets. :)

  • nkeennkeen Posts: 316
    edited March 2010
    I have a 2006 325i sedan, manual, ZSP with 35K miles. The car is just now going out of warranty. What kind of experience have people had with out-of-warranty cars and how have the maintenance costs been? (In-warranty fixes to mine have been a thermostat that was jammed open and a valve leak.) I am debating whether to keep the car or trade it for a 2011 Mustang GT with the 5.0 Coyote engine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    Well the Mustang will be fun but you're going to be in for a bit of a shock regarding fit and finish and build quality.

    As for the out of warranty question, my opinion is that the only way to own a German car out of warranty is to provide a very, and I mean *very* high degree of periodic maintenance, preventative maintenance, and inspection.


  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,287
    Are you a BMW CCA member? Have you found a good independent BMW tech? That's a good start toward reduced maintenance costs. My two late model BMWs have not required anything other than scheduled maintenance(save brakes and tires) from 50,000-100,000 miles. The maintenance and repair costs have averaged @5 cents per mile for both vehicles.

    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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