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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,643
    Of course, all BMW is really interested in (as is every manufacturer) is getting the car through warranty, and most oil-related failures don't happen within the first 50K miles...

    I read that sentiment a lot... but, BMW re-markets a lot of their leased vehicles as CPO.. and guarantees that drivetrain for 6yrs/100K. If they really believed that, they would be shooting themselves in the foot..

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I read that sentiment a lot... but, BMW re-markets a lot of their leased vehicles as CPO.. and guarantees that drivetrain for 6yrs/100K. If they really believed that, they would be shooting themselves in the foot..

    Not really, IMO.

    Many cars are purchased, not leased. Many of those without any extended warranty. And, there isn't a 100% failure rate between 50-100K miles, but I highly suspect the failure rate is higher than that between 0-50K miles..

    Its a numbers game. I have discussed the newer extended oil changes with several folks within BMW's dealer network (parts men as well as techs) and every single one has told me that they "feel" the incidents of engine failure have increased as the oil change interval has increased.

    I know, I know...its only subjective....

    Still, there is a break even point where the costs of oil changes every 7.5K to BMW (under the 4 year "full-service-no costs warranty) exceed the relative costs of engine repair on the engines that DO fail.

    But, to be fair, I do think the BMW engineers feel the "extended range" synthetic oils being used are better than previous oils, so in the end, I think its a combination of both. BMW is often so secretive about some things that its really hard to get to the real facts of why and how decisions are made...

    As I said earlier, beliefs on oil change frequency are all across the board, and the only sure way to know how often YOU need to change your oil is to have an oil analysis run by a competent lab.

    In the end, I simply change mine every 5-7.5 K miles. Its not terribly expensive, and I see it as cheap insurance. I purchase all of my cars, so I feel its worth it. If I leased, I would simply follow the BMW suggested intervals, for the obvious reasons.

    I guess I would make a poor gambler.
  • Did you ever figure out what was wrong. I have the same issue. Battery, starter, alternator all good. Replaced the ignition switch, tumbler, and code reader ( that black plastic ring on the tumbler assembly) and still no luck. All lights and everytything works when the key is on but no juice to the starter. I don't know where to go from here. I need some help to do this myself as I do not live anywhere near a BMW shop.
  • gbrostekgbrostek Posts: 9
    I had same problem. It is either a bad key ($250) or the ignition assy (over $1000). Try getting a new key or do what I did. I totalled the bmw in an accident and got an acura. Good luck
  • larry175larry175 Posts: 68
  • mdiawbmwmdiawbmw Posts: 1

    I am new to this forum and new to BMW cars. I am planning on buying a certified used BMW car. A friend of mind who owns a 330i told me that the 330i is better than the 328i in terms of engine.
    Based on your experience, what are the main differences between these two cars? I don't intend to spend a lot of money and would be using the car mainly for work. I live in Springfield Virginia and work in D.C.

    Thanks in advance for your kind guidance.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,643
    Well.. the last year for the 330 was 2006... So, you can't likely find a certified one...

    So.... you don't really have a choice... Starting in 2007, they are all either 328i or 335i (turbo)...

    You might take that into account, the next time this friend tries to give you advice...

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  • larry175larry175 Posts: 68
    I had a 2006 330ix and now am driving a 09335ix. The motors are both the same 6 cylinders but the bore and stroke are different. In my opinion the 2006 330 is best. Sounds better and runs better also. I gave my 06 to my son in law when i bought the 09 in October of 08 and he hasn't had any trouble with the car even thought he thinks he is a Lemans driver.
  • im buying a 2008 335xi today it has 43,000 miles am i making a huge mistake somebody help me out
  • rwolffrwolff Posts: 19
    I recently traded in my 2000 Audi A4 2.8 for a 2007 33xi w/ 15K miles on it. I did a lot of research on the car and was concerned about the HPFP failures I read about. But after driving the car a few times and the fact that BMW extended the warranty on the HPFP to 10 years/100K miles, I figured it was worth the risk and bought the car. It is also CPO. I love it, it's a great car and in my opinion, the A4 is no match and I've owned three A4's. Make sure you get the carfax on the car, all maintenance records, etc and if you like the car and feel it's a good deal then go for it. Are you buying from a dealer or privately?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,643
    Oil level light came on as I was leaving work.... drove by the dealership, into the service department at 5:50 PM..

    -Hey, my oil level light just came on..

    -I'll be right over to check it--

    -Yup, about a 3/4 quart low, I'll top it off--

    -Thanks! See ya!

    Time... 6:00 PM..

    (that oil is $7/qt at the parts department...)

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Its nice to see someone else that has experienced good results at a BMW dealership. I, too, have had no issues with my local dealership.

    Then again, most folks expect great service from dealerships, and only vocalize their dis-satisfactions when things don't progress as expected.

    Just human nature, I guess...
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,822
    Feel free to give 'em a good review:

    They'd probably appreciate it.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
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  • 2 days ago the Right Front Parking Light warning came on, researched and checked - it's the lights on the angel eyes ring. It's just cosmetic right? I will defer repair.

    About the oil change posts above - Honda has 10k oil change interval, Mercedes service interval is 10k to 13k. Are they suffering the same engine issues?

    And if your oil analysis says the additives are gone, can you use that to get a free oil change under free maint?
  • chewy2chewy2 Posts: 19
    Oil changes - are Honda and Mercedes basing their intervals on synthetic oil, as BMW does? When synthetics first came out, people were saying they never needed to change oil again once they had switched to synthetic. Always sounded foolish to me, but maybe today's long intervals are in that same vein, i.e., a synthetic will be good for a lot more miles than conventional oil.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,282
    And if your oil analysis says the additives are gone, can you use that to get a free oil change under free maint?

    It would depend on the dealer, but in most cases I'd say no. I'd expect that your service adviser would give you a truckload of BS along the lines of "BMW knows best." or "Your test doesn't measure the right properties and/or it's inaccurate", etc.

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

  • pl11pl11 Posts: 4
    My 2004 BMW 3 series will not pass smog. Emissions pass just fine. But the OBD 2 test does not due to several "monitors" reading "not ready". I have been told by smog stations, the smog referee and even the BMW dealership mechanics that the only way to reset these is by driving the car. BMW has checked the car 3 times and there are no faults or problems found. They have performed 3 drive cycles on their machines at the specs required. I have performed 2 drive cycles myself on regular streets, meeting all the specs. I have also driven thousands of regular miles. Still they WILL NOT reset. BMW says there is nothing they can do to "make them" reset, and that everything on the car checks out ok....well, obviously it's not. How do I get these monitors to clear? PLEASE help! Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Did you follow this drive cycle pretty much?

    If not, give it a try.

    BMW should be able to diagnose the OBD-II computer and figure out what's wrong, if it won't reset.


  • pl11pl11 Posts: 4
    Yep, that's the one. BMW literally told me there's nothing else they can do. Quite frustrating. There is obviously something wrong because they have said they've never seen the sensors take so long to reset. They said "look we'd love to charge you and perform work on the car, but there's literally nothing we can do further". BMW technicians can't diagnose the problem? How is that possible?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Well that's just incompetence, that's all. Of course it can be fixed. Are you in the SF Bay area by any chance? I could direct you to people who know what they are doing.

    Meantime, if you could get a letter from the BMW dealer saying that the problem can't be fixed, maybe the smog referee will let you off the hook on this one.

    Doesn't your state have laws that exempt you from very expensive or impossible repairs?


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