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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • jamiem4jamiem4 Posts: 23
    Hi-I was wondering how you locate a BMW CCA technician? We are storing our deployed son's 2002 BMW 328i and it likely will need a new clutch. The estimate from the dealership was almost $2K for that work and replacement of the Guibo joint. They wanted over $660 for the replacement of a slightly leaking valve cover gasket. I'd like to get the items fixed for when our son returns but I don't know where to take the car here in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Many thanks for anyone who can help! Jamie
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,301
    BMW CCA doesn't officially endorse technicians or shops, although most local members will be glad to recommend specific shops. You can also find a tech here:

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

  • I found my indie shop from here
  • uncletouncleto Posts: 45
    Hi! just did some checking on my front wheels if theres any play on them by doing the 3' oclock, 9 oclock. there is movement in the 9' oclock position atleast i could say 1/2 inch. both wheels on the same position. Im wondering if this is a sign of a wornout outer ball joint of the control arm, or the tie rod. Is there suppose to be a play on the wheels... or this is normal? Thanks, for any imput.
  • uncletouncleto Posts: 45
    Correction: The movement was only 1/4 of an inch. is this normal for the front wheels to have this play. I thought there shouldnt be any movement at all period. Thanks again for any imputs from you guys.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Check your tie rod end - may have some play there.

    Also, make sure you are not inadvertently moving the whole steering rack with the 3 oclock/9 oclock movement.

    1/4 inch is still way to much play, and is not normal.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    edited April 2010
    You have something going on there, but not a ball joint. You can't test a ball joint that way. I mean, you *may* have a bad ball joint but you didnt find it in that manner.


  • uncletouncleto Posts: 45
    Many Thanks again for your inputs. im just trying to get some 2nd opinion on this matter. i went to an independent mech. before and ask to check for my steering & supension. He found out that my bushings and ball joints are worn and loose. but never mentioned the tie rods. im just in the process of shopping around for the reasonable price. the Indie shop quoted me around $1300, 4 hrs of labor incl. i may have to call the dealership and ask for a quote. i may also need to have it aligned after wards, hoping all the steering components are in order. Will let you know guys whats my next move.
  • astortxastortx Posts: 3
    I have just replaced CCV and pipes,hoping to stop oil consumption.Now the car gives me P1345, P1348 and P1350 codes.I did not opened the spark park-coil cover at all.Checked all the clamps,double checked, cleared the codes, but still coming back.Any idea why it is happening?
    Thanks in advance
  • astortxastortx Posts: 3
    Never mind, the codes was gone overnight
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    Mike Miller wrote a thorough and informative buying guide for the E46 and E90 in the latest issue of Bimmer magazine. I was surprised to learn about BMW's decision to limit information that they share with technicians on the E90... he indicated that the E90 will actually be more expensive to maintain over the longer term (more complex + less information from BMW).
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    So my E90 is 6 mos old w/ 12.5k miles on it and I have my first "warranty work" pending. :mad:

    1)There is a "cracking" sound coming from the stereo speakers that sounds almost like a watch ticking. Hind sight being 20/20, i think this cracking has been going on since day one but has gotten progressively louder so that now I can't stand it.
    2) The SOS light comes on now when I start the car and the "exclamation" symbol stays on.
    3) The radio will just cut out and I have to turn it on again w/ the knob.

    Are all these problems connected? Who knows!
    It'll be in the shop next monday. :(
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710

    BMW has had my car for a day and a half now and still doesn't know what's wrong w/ it. Stay tuned, that is all.
  • lwyselwyse Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 BWM 330 that recently overheated for no apparent reason. I had added water to it 2 days prior to the overheating incident. My mechanic told me that the ext warranty company needed my authorization to cover costs to tear it down, in case it wasn't covered by them. He also warned me that they may try to say it was caused by "negligence" on my part so they can avoid paying the claim. The only problem he found so far is a crack in the resorvour (which IS a covered part). Has anyone heard of overheating problems and causes? I couldn't find anything on (technical service bulletins). H E L P!!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,301
    Well, you shouldn't have to add any coolant at all. There was obviously a leak somewhere. How did you know it was low on coolant? Did the car overheat in traffic or at highway speeds? Was the system bled in the correct fashion? Is the cooling fan operating properly? How about the t-stat? Cars simply don't overheat "for no reason"...

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

  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    Well this is embarrassing but I'll post it anyway as a teaching point. My car had the above symptoms for a while, well it turns out the guy who installed my laser jammers damaged the main "bus" cable which controls many of the cars functions. After working on it for many hours, BMW replaced the cable and only charged me $120. I think I'll bring them coffee and donuts tomorrow. :blush:
  • xeyexeye Posts: 162
    This is interesting. My auto detailer in Natick, MA also installs alarm systems, stereos, radar systems, etc. When I asked him about installing a better alarm system in my 2011 335i instead of the factory alarm system, he told me that he doesn't touch most European brands especially BMWs as the electrical/inter-component system uses fiber optics and can easily be damaged by installers unfamiliar with the complexities and nuances of the system. The recommendation came straight from his alarm system regional sales representative. You should consider yourself lucky that BMW even did the work let alone charge you far more for the repair.

    One interesting comment that he related is that an alarm system, on the average, only delays the thief stealing your car by 3 minutes and doesn't deter anyone from a "smash 'n' grab". With the engine immobilizer in the Bimmers, (theoretically at least) the would-be thief would have to tow, drag or put the vehicle on a flatbed truck.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    Yeah, I looked into getting a Viper car alarm at Best Buy and was told by the Tech that they don't do BMW's.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,413
    Are simply a waste of money. If someone really wants your car, they're going to take it. When's the last time you called the cops when you were walking down the street or to your car in the mall pkg lot and heard a car alarm going off?



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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,413
    I know you're getting rid of your 335xi ('08?) for a new '11 335xi (I hate the X drive badges on the cars & much prefer the xi monkier). How come you are ditching your current 335xi? How many miles are on it? What are they offering you on the trade? I know you keep your car in immaculate shape.

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

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