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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • My 2003 325i died today in the midst of morning traffic. It completely shut down and then the "service engine soon" light appeared. I tried several times to restart the car with no avail. After waiting 30 min, the car did start again and ran with no problem. However, I am vary of driving the vehicle now. I have already contacted the dealership and I am taking the car in today. Only has around 14k miles to date. Anyone know what this problem could be?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,574
    I've got my money on camshaft position sensor.. Ours went out at 8K.. Which happened to be the third day we had the car, and the first day my wife drove it to work.. (seemed funny to me at the time... she has no sense of humor).

    If not that, then coils... Both simple fixes.. and usually no further problems.

    regards,
    kyfdx

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Any suggestions as to how to re-secure the interior door moldings on a 2000 328Ci that have begun to come loose? There's got to be a less costly alternative than completely replacing them which was what a BMW dealer suggested - at a cost of over $650!
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    but there may be plastics clips/pins you can replace. I had a similar problem with my Grand Cherokee and got generic clips from a hardware store. They are very secure now.

    -Paul
  • My wifes BMW 530i w/ sport pkg has extreme wear on the inside edge of both rear tires and on front. With 24K miles I've never seen tires go bad this quick. I believe there is a flaw in the suspension or alignment system (?) Anyone else with similar problems? We are replacing all four tires currently, any suggestions on what type. PS she is not an aggressive driver.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'll start with your last comment first; maybe she should be more aggressive. ;-)

    Two things are conspiring against your car: 1) the performance tires included in the Sport Package are of a softer stickier rubber than standard All-Season rubber (found on non SP equipped cars) and 2) BMW sets up their suspensions (especially the Sport Suspension) in such a way as to enhance handling, at the expense of tire wear.

    I too have a 530i with the SP, and I will be happy to get 24K miles on my tires. Some folks get as much as 30-35K miles, others get as little as 8K but I believe the norm is between 20K and 25K miles. My previous BMW did not have the SP and when I turned it in at the end of the lease it had well over 40K miles on the original rubber with plenty to spare.

    A final thought, ever since I can remember, BMW has been including the following text in their sales literature regarding cars equipped with the Sport Packages, "Due to low-profile tire, please note: wheels, tires and suspension parts are more susceptible to road hazard and consequential damages."

    FWIW, I have always sort of translated "consequential damages" to mean "accelerated wear", and not just of the tires either.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,574
    Re: Tire recommendation..

    I see you live in Lexington.. Do you put winter tires on her car, or does she go year round on the stock tires?

    regards,
    kyfdx

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • In summer 02 the driver's side molding on my 00 323CI came loose, it was fixed under warranty, in 03 the passenger side came loose, again fixed under warranty. The car went off warranty in Sept 03 and a couple weeks later the driver's side came down again. Here's what I did:
    At AutoZone bought a tube of 3M Plastic Emblem and Trim Adhesive. I then bought three 4" clamps, got a ruler, towels, newspaper, bucket and some soapy water. I cleaned the inside of the molding, getting as much old glue out as I could, then I covered the door (to avoid scratches in case a clamp were to come loose and fall). I liberally applied the glue into the molding (not too much you don't want it squishing out when you press the molding back into place, but plenty enough to set and hold). I wrapped the ruler into newspaper and pressed it against the molding to hold it into place, then I put newspaper over the chrome trim area outside the top of the window (so the clamps wouldn't scratch the car)and clamped the ruler firmly, you will have to be careful here so the clamps don't hurt your car. I left it clamped for about an hour then removed them and the molding was back in firm. I've had no trouble since. The 3M is great stuff! If you do it as I did you shouldn't have much trouble though your car looks Yugoish with the newspaper, clamps and towels hanging off it but hopefully you won't be visiting a dealer concerning this particular shortcoming. I've read several posts from different forums concerning this problem. I hope this helps.
  • I hope anyone can help me. I have had this problem for over 7 months now. When is raining and I start my windshield wipers they run wel for about 1-3 minutes then then suddendly stop, most time ins the middle of the windshiel further obstructing view while driving.
    I have been in pretty dangerous drives with terrible rain and could not see the highway or road I was driving in. The only way to make them start is getting off the road and turning engine off. But once they start again, then they stop. My mechanic tried replacing the windshield motor but the problem continues. I have never heard of something like this. My mechanic kept the car for over 2 days running the windshield while pouring water over it and he said they never stopped. Anyone out there can help? Mabel
  • It sounds like a loose ground wire. I had the same experience and found that the ground wire on the wiper switch was loose and it created an intermittent total loss of all wiper action. I had to remove the steering wheel to get to it and tightening the terminal screw correct the problem.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    and something that won't likely show up while a car is sitting still. The action of turning, driving over uneven surfaces, acceleration, and braking can cause that.

    -Paul
  • I had the same problem with my 2000 . Go to Pep Boys or any parts store and get a two part clear epoxy. Follow the instructions on the tube . I used clear packing tape to hold the weather-strip on until the epoxy set up. Yes you could buy weather-strip adhesive, but the way the molding is made it would just not hold.
  • geneegenee Posts: 170
    I have a 2002 325i that has decided to make a metallic "scritchy" noise when braking. The brakes have lasted 49K and have about 10% left on them. The service manager says to just drive it until the brake service light comes on - if I can live with the noise. There has to be something wrong to make noise! Any ideas?
  • tango2tango2 Posts: 1
    I have a 96 BMW 328i with 56 K on it. Recently, the dash board signs check engine, ABS and Ast lit up. While check engine stays all the time, ABS and Ast appear together and are on and off not constant. Can some body tell me what is the problem and how costly will be the fix?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I would check the alternator output and perform a load test on the battery. The problems that you describe are often caused by low operating voltage.
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    recently, the headlight sensor (indicator on the dash that shows the outline of the car, doors ajar, etc. also shows a little headlamp) has come on... but then went off after a minute.

    Any ideas what it could be? It's done this inconsistently 2 or 3 times now and the dealer can't duplicate it.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    One brake pad on my 1999 328i (exactly the same brakes as on your 2002 325i) did not wear square and scored one of my rotors (and I suspect your "scritchy" noise is telling you the same). By that I mean the lining material at the bottom of the pad was worn all of the way down to the metal backing while the top of the pad still had an easy 1/8" of lining. As it turned out, the pad that didn't wear square was on the right front (if memory serves) and the sensor is on the front left (once again, if memory serves), hence the fact that I never saw the brake service light (at least not until the very day that I bought new pads and rotors).

    Given that you've gotten 49K out of your brakes, they don't owe you a dime. ;-) Get new rotors and pads and swap those suckers out.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • kdogkdog Posts: 23
    Has anyone experienced having condensation inside their bimmer's headlight covers? I noticed my new 330i's Xenon headlight had condensation on the inside cover. This occurred at night when I turned my headlights on. The temperature was only 55 degrees outside. Is this normal?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The bulb failure detection system on the newer cars is so sensitive that corrosion in the bulb socket can sometimes trigger the failure telltale. I suggest removing the bulb and spraying the bulb terminals and socket with a good electrical contact cleaner. Next, apply a light coat of "Bulb Grease"-AKA dielectric grease-on the bulb terminals and button everything back up.
  • geneegenee Posts: 170
    The rotors and pads (green) are being replaced as I type. What really frosts me is that I had it to the dealer two days ago and they told me I had 10% pad left. If I could live with the noise ... drive it until the light came on. This morning I took it to an independent (who would let me in the shop) and found that BOTH front sets were metal-to-metal behind the rotor. The sensor wire sits there doing nothing. After I pick up the car this afternoon, I will go to the dealer and let them know I plan on contacting the regional people. Obviously, the brakes were NOT inspected. Someone just looked through the wheel spokes and guessed at what was left.

    Problem two: Half of the dash lights (door ajar, turn signal indicators, etc.) went out when the odometer turned 50K. The clock in the radio stayed at 8:36pm (when the 50K happened). Anyone ever had something like this? Oh! all fuses were OK. When I re-installed them everything came back on ... all computer data was lost.
  • kdogkdog Posts: 23
    Has anyone experienced having condensation inside their bimmer's headlight covers? I noticed my new 330i's Xenon headlight had condensation on the inside cover. This occurred at night when I turned my headlights on. The temperature was only 55 degrees outside. Is this normal?
  • cartalkcartalk Posts: 134
    The Xenon system is simply a bulb (similar in shape to non-xenon) that is connected to a ballast (under your headlight unit), which in turn is connected to the power. The bulb rests in an oval reflector/lense to project the light beam. Actual lense projectors could be unscrewed from the headlight unit, but they are never replaced unless damaged, only the bulbs are.
     
    There maybe a seal problem somewhere but you may be able to turn on the lights for a while and have it disappear. It would be remotely possible that the light assembly itself is leaking, but most likely a gasket on one of the light sockets is the culprit. The light assemblies are not ever totally sealed, BTW. If you look close along the bottom you will see that small drain tubes are built-in to allow excessive water to drain out. I suppose under extreme conditions it would be possible to get an excessive amount of humid air inside the unit, but that strikes me as very unlikely.

    You might try pulling the lamps out overnight to let the unit dry out - who knows, you may never see the problem again.

    Not sure about the 330i or if this applies to the Xenon's or non-Xenon's, but many BMW X5 owners have experienced condensation in their front headlights at one time or another. If the vehicle is still under warranty then you can request that your dealer replace it at no charge, but they may also tell you to turn on the lights for awhile as well. If, however, your vehicle is out of warranty then here is a trick that has worked for others.

    First, remove the high beam socket from the headlight housing by twisting the socket and pulling it straight out. Use care not to touch the bulb, as the oils from your fingers could cause the bulb to fail prematurely. Next, place a wet/dry vacuum hose into the socket and form a tight a seal as possible. Allow the vacuum to run for as long as it takes to suck the moisture from the headlight housing. Be patient and let it run. Sometimes it may need to run for several hours to complete removing all of the moisture. Once all of the moisture is gone, simply reinsert the high beam light socket and you are all set.

    Others have tried using a blow dryer to eliminate the condensation as well.

    There was a recall in February 2001 (#630399) for Headlamps - Misting/Condensation Inside (not sure if Xenon or non-Xenon). This was related to the 2000 BMW 328Ci (E46). Although unrelated to BMW, the Porsche Cayenne (not sure of the year) had a Xenon condensation problem (service bulletin #3010).
  • I went on a test drive with a 2005 325i. There was wind noise from the driver and passenger window. This was noticable at 50 MPH. Is this normal or did I drive a car with issues?
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    My '04 325i is sufficiently quiet as far as wind noise goes, especially at only 50mph. I would try another one if I were you.
  • Okay, since I've looked all over the Internet for a diagram of which fuses are which in the box, maybe someone can just tell me what fuse # is the Power Antenna? I can't afford a manual.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    This morning, when I started my car, the idle was very rough and the car filled with a strange odor. It didn't smell like gas, more like spray paint but a little perfumey (it's harder to explain smells than I would've thought). I shut the car off and restarted it. On the second attempt, the car idled normally and the smell didn't seem to get any worse.

    This same thing happened to me about 2-3 months ago. At that time, my service dept hooked up the code reader and said they could see a "misfire event" took place but there were no specific fault codes.

    It's a 2001 330Ci.

    Anyone have any experience with this or an educated guess as to what the problem may be? TIA!
  • Had a 2002 330Ci and the lease ended this month. I loved driving the car, but absolutely hated dealing with BMW. If you ever look up "arrogance" in the dictionary, you'd see the propeller emblem. Maybe it's me, but I expect more for a $42K car.

    The "ultimate ownership experience" reminds me of owning a boat--the two best days of a boat owners' life is the day he buys it and the day he sells it. I have had a host of warranty issues with the car from broken turn stalks, to being severely out of alignment with only 10 miles on the car (3 trips to Momentum BMW to fix), too many airbag warning lights to count, door mouldings which would shred and then would come completely off after being "repaired." At $90/hour for labor, you'd figure there would be a bit more attention to detail than your average backwoods bait/tackle & gas station. What put me over the top was when my final airbag warning light came on on a Tuesday, BMW service said the next available appointment would be on a Friday afternoon--if I wanted a loaner car. After telling the service manager that Audi would tell me to come in immediately (which Audi does), and asking if he was confident my airbags would deploy if I were in an accident between then an Friday, he rescheduled the appointment for the next day.

    Maybe one day BMW will realize that price sells the product, but service keeps you coming back. The salesman seemed astonished when I told him he couldn't give me one of the cars on the lot when he asked if I wanted to lease another. I have moved back to Japanese quality and reliability and won't be making a foray into the overpriced and undervalued German world anytime soon. I believe more and more people are realizing this as you have noticed the "deals" BMW is now making which they didn't have to two or three years ago.

    With my new car, I'll actually be driving it instead of telling people "I have a Beemer, but it's in the shop."
  • rascalerascale Posts: 19
    Yada yada yada. You got a bad apple in the bunch and unfortunately you bought at a dealership with lousy service. But, I am sure you will find plenty of satisfied BMW owners here, me included. I am on my 3rd BMW, with few problems. Stop venting and move on.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    We'll miss you too.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,574
    I'd say your problem is more with your dealer than with your car.. Although, not downplaying those problems, either..

    I don't love my dealer, either.. But, then again, I've only had to go in once in the year we've had it.. and that was for scheduled maintenance..

    "With my new car, I'll actually be driving it instead of telling people "I have a Beemer, but it's in the shop."

    Yeah.. but you'll be driving a Subaru.. that can't be a lot of fun after a BMW.

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

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