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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    Hey guys-

    want to throw this out there:

    A buddy and I were installing aftermarket "parking sensors" on the back of my E90 and every thing was going fine until he tried to tap into aline for power and ground. Now anything run off either front cig lighter is not getting power. We figure it is a fuse but neither of us wants to go digging and cause further harm. Anyone know exactly where the fuse for the cig lighters is. everything else works fine. Thanks!
  • pl11pl11 Posts: 4
    Well, no argument here! Total incompetence. I am not in SF area. I'm in the Central Valley (Fresno). I looked into the BAR financial assistance program but it doesn't apply to me. It is only good for biannual smog checks, not for smog checks from change of ownership (which mine is). I've also already tried the referee who told me they are under stricter regulations than before. They used to be able to cut people slack, but not anymore (in their words). j

    If your people in the SF bay area are able to give me a quote (at least to some degree) over the phone, then I might just be willing to take it there for repairs. I am somewhat hesitant because I've taken it to BMW and 3 other mechanics that heard my description of the problem and said "oh, yeah bring it in we can take care of that"....and each one failed to do so. I'm out of pocket so much at this point....still searching for answers.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,700
    edited April 2011
    Well you might try these guys. They are *characters* and do not present the best image of spiffiness (they could care less) but they really do know what they are doing. Gee, that's a long haul from Fresno, though. If you have AAA premier service, they'll flat bed you 100 miles.

    You can check out their reviews on YELP:

    Marin Bavarian
    775 Andersen Drive
    San Rafael, CA 94901-5362
    (415) 453-7670

    if you go, be sure to check out their elaborate display of junk foods. Bring a 6-pack, they like that.
  • pl11pl11 Posts: 4
    Thanks, I'll check it out. I'm seriously considering selling it at this point. I'm not a "car guy". I like cars as long as they don't present problems lol. At this point I'm willing to take a loss on the car just to get rid of it because at this point, my time is not worth the hassle. Someone with the desire to do a little work could get a steal with this car, so maybe I'll explore that route. Hmm...anyway, I appreciate the responses!
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Bring a 6-pack, they like that.

    I've used a body shop around here that works that way, only in their case it's a case of Coors Light :P .
  • cooljc74cooljc74 Posts: 23
    Hey guys, (especially to car appraisal experts)

    I noticed a palm size dent on trunk door and sligtly cracked rear bumper; hit and run probably...
    I am trying to decide if it's better to have it fixed out of pocket or go thru insurance.
    I also plan on selling my car 6-12 months.

    How much is taken off on average when you see 1-3K repair done when you pull up a carfax report on 3 series? I am not sure what info/How much detailed info will be shown up on the VIN history report either. Hit and Run, accident, detailed description of the damage & etc...

    Thanks in advance.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,700
    What year car is this and what kind of shape is it in otherwise? How many miles on it?
  • cooljc74cooljc74 Posts: 23
    edited April 2011
    2008 335
    39,500 miles.

    No other accident or damage.
    Good to excellent condition.

    Single owner.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,700
    Well okay then---you definitely have to have this car fixed *properly*--no cutting corners on this new an automobile. Since you aren't filing a police report, chances are this repair would never show on CARFAX but if it did all you need do is take a couple of photos of the damage prior, and show that to any prospective buyer. This will assure them that the accident was very minor.

    As for claiming it on insurance---you'll get ten different answers about this--my rule of thumb, for better or worse, is that if the repairs are under say $1000, I'd probably pay for it myself. This advice also depends on your prior claims records.

    But by all means, get the best possible repair done to the car. Nobody is going to pay good money for a botched up 3-4 year old BMW.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,129
    Why are you planning on sellling the car?

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

  • cooljc74cooljc74 Posts: 23
    Thanks for the advice.
    I haven't had any claims for the past several years at least.
  • cooljc74cooljc74 Posts: 23
    Need more room for a new born baby.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,129
    congrats! Is your car stick or auto? Sport Pkg?

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

  • cooljc74cooljc74 Posts: 23
    Auto, Prem, Sport. heated seats...
  • bimmer4mebimmer4me Posts: 266
    I have a 2008 328i sedan with 25k on it. Took the car in for a oil and filter change. The oil indicator on the instrument panel read that it was about a 1/4 low. When the oil and filter change was completed I drove off and a few miles down the road I decided to check the oil level. It was at the same exact level as when I brought in before the oil change. The service advisor drove it around back and would have it checked out. 1/2 later he brings the car around and says everything is fine, however the oil indicator reads 1/4 low. He couldn't explains why it read 1/4 low and not at the max as it should be after an oil change. I know the oil level is within specs, however I always check my oil peroidically and it always read max level until recently. Could something be wrong with the computer?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,700
    Apprently the sensors for this system operate in mysterious ways, and no dealer seems to be able to explain it. :)

    Here's what I've read about how oil level is checked:

    "The capacitor is at the same level as the oil level in the oil
    sump. As the oil level changes, the capacitance of the capacitor changes. The electronic evaluation unit creates a digital signal from this. The engine management system uses this to calculate the engine oil level. The electronic
    oil level check is displayed on the Central Information Display (CID) as well as in the instrument cluster. On vehicles without a CID, the oil level is only displayed in the instrument cluster"
  • bimmer4mebimmer4me Posts: 266
    edited April 2011
    Thanks for your reply. I still don't get it. It always read max when I checked it until recently. You'd think it would read full/max after an oil change. What happen to the days of the dip stick. Now I have to rely on a computer. :confuse:
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,700
    Are you using the button on the lever to get a reading or are you going through iDrive?
  • bimmer4mebimmer4me Posts: 266
    The button on my lever. Why?
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    That's interesting. Sounds like they are using the oil to change the permittivity of the insulating material in the capacitor (which can just be something as simple as a pair of wires stuck down in the oil pan). As the permittivity changes because of the oil level rising or falling, so does the capacitance.

    I wonder if all oils have the same or nearly the same permittivity? If the oil level circuit was designed/calibrated with an oil that has a higher permittivity than the one the dealer is using, that would cause the measured capacitance at full oil level to be less than predicted, so the monitoring circuit thinks the oil is down a bit. A higher permittivity, means a higher capacitance, all other things being equal.

    Parallel plate capacitor

    This is all just a SWAG!
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