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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Find a new shop; I've NEVER replaced a regulator in any of the five late model BMWs I've owned, never mind replacing them on a yearly basis. Whoever told you the problem is common is misinformed at best, and a drooling idiot at worst. I know that the E39 5er regulators sometimes fail, but usually it's after five years or so. Also, sometimes the plastic clips that secure the window to the regulator will break or come loose, but again the problem usually only affects older cars. At any rate, replacing the clips is a cheap(under$20) and easy(under one hour)DIY job. As is often the case, I think the car is being blamed for the incompetence of the shop performing the so-called repairs. There is NO WAY the car should be eating regulators on an annual basis, period. Your shop is either using substandard parts or installing them incorrectly-possibly both. As for the door leak, it's very likely that the bozos who muffed the regulator install also failed to reassemble the door properly. Rain water can easily find its way into the interior if the plastic moisture barrier on the door is removed and/or reinstalled improperly. Here's a hint: ask some local CCA members about the shops they patronize.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    This is a common problem on the E46. I've had two go bad and my coworker has had three (the dealer replced the fourth one for her because she put up a stink about making three trips and she wasn't going to do it again). We each use different BMW dealers and they have both told us it was a common problem. It doesn't "eat" regulators. None of the same regulators have been replaced twice. It would seem that some of the OEM ones must be faulty. I don't know the price of the repair because in our cases all work was under warranty.
  • bmwgurubmwguru Posts: 51
    I work in a dealership and sell a lot of regulators. They are a common replacement item. The E46 has had problems with the regulators,vapor seals and door seals among other things. It isn't a problem with the installers, it is poor quality parts. Now that BMW has become a "volume" car maker, quality of parts have gone down. I can say this because I've been selling parts for close to 15 years. Div, you've been lucky not to have this problem. Maybe it's because you are more aware of it than others.
  • i posted a message earlier concerning noise/vibration. i took it to the dealer and after driving around with a service rep and leaving it there for 2 hrs i have been told that i hav e a "unbalanced drive shaft". awaiting new drive drive shaft as i write this. since this is a new car barely 2 weeks old i am highly disappointed. i have had this problem from day 1.
  • 955i955i Posts: 1
    BMWguru, are the window regulators in the 2003 models the same as in previous years? Or have they been redesigned?
  • asleepyasleepy Posts: 70
    i read your previous post and it sounds very similar to my car. my 2003 325i MT, at 1000 miles, developed a faint grinding sensation coming from the left front wheel and also a ticking sensation coming through the floorboard. both of these happen during slow speeds. i took it to the dealer and drove in the car with the master mechanic but he said couldn't detect anything. is what i described what you experienced as well?
  • bmwgurubmwguru Posts: 51
    The window regulator part number has been superceded (upgraded) twice during the life of the E46.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    All this talk of window regulators was bad karma. Over the weekend, my third window quit working. Since it is the drivers window now, I need to get it fixed right away, so it's off to the dealer at 6:00 am tomorrow for a 2 hour "wait" appointment.

    Eight trips to the service department in just over 3 years for warranty work (not including maintenance). BMW needs to show improvment in this area before I'll buy another one. I sure do love driving the car though!
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    beets my mind.. if volume producers like honda and toyota don't let volume kill their quality, how is a premier brand we love.. like bmw doing it? did buying a brit marque make them british in their car build quality world??? hahahaha
    sorry, not meaning to joke about it....
  • bmwgurubmwguru Posts: 51
    Simple answer, Toyota and Honda have control over or at least some financial holdings in their part suppliers. BMW, with the exception of Varta Battery, does not.
  • beyleafbeyleaf Posts: 2
    Thank you all for the input on the window regulator. I am glad I'm not the only with this problem. I just got the my rear window regulator replaced again today and it only been exactly a year that I just replaced it. A total of 3 in 1 year. Div2, your right too and lucky that you haven't had any problems
  • danfoxxdanfoxx Posts: 5
    This has to be a problem others have had or are having.
  • danfoxxdanfoxx Posts: 5
    My cars Front Right strut makes a knocking noise whenever i am on bumby roads or definitely over speed dumbs. Anyone hear of it loosening up or something like that?
  • I have a 2002 330ci...with 17K miles. The other day I was driving and my back right tire blew out. After taking the tire off I found that the tread was fine on the tire except for the inside edge wear the tire had worn totally down. I spoke with a tire representative that told me "No Way" should this have happen that there must be a problem with the suspension of the vehicle. I called BMW and a service advisor told me that "That is just how the suspension of BMW's are." The tire rep said that was a "BS" answer and that they need to fix it. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    Well, anything can in theory go wrong with a mechanical aparatus... however, your first stop should be wheel alignment and balancing in such situations... even if its not the cause, its a good starting point for uneven tire wear..

  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    I have an '01 330Ci. All four of my tires show greater wear on the inside than on the outside of the tread. I too asked my service manager about it and he said it was normal.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I don't know what year your 3er is, but you may want to look at the TSB's. Some 3 series had problems with the front suspensions (if my foggy memory serves me correctly)

    Check out the site:

    It mentions this recall information, just look for BMW 330 or 325.

  • Thank you div2 and texan5 for your suggestion to take car to Autozone and get new ind. dealer. They came up with PO455 and P1250 ( EGR valve? ). Could some explain what these mean and what to do to get them repaired. I'm a handy little girl with some things but not automobile lingo or working under the hood of a car. Tks. fuzzalee
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Happy to help. P0455 is a generic code; the fault indicated is:
    "Evaporative Emission System Leak Detected (gross leak/no flow)"
    The OBD-II runs a test to verify the fuel system is sealed. This code means that OBD-II is detecting a leak. The usual culprit is a loose or defective gas cap. It could also be a loose or disconnected hose.
    As for P1250, the nearest thing I've found is:
    "Functional Check Purge Valve Incorrect"
    Again, this is related to the evaporative emissions system. You really need to find a good independent BMW tech who knows how to troubleshoot modern BMW systems. If you can't find one, let me know; I may be able to help.
  • fjm1fjm1 Posts: 137
    I think some of the E46's have gremlins. Mine sure did. It went through LOTS of window regulators and still rattled like a 10 year old Ford when I traded it in.
    has most of the service receipts except for last 6 months or so when it went in about 6 times for dash lights failing and, you guessed it, window rattles.

    I sometimes miss the driving dynamics of the BMW but couldn't afford to pay a ton after the warranty ran out.
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