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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • Well I took the car in to the dealer a week ago, and they had to order several parts such as the front disc, pads, joint, bolts and nuts, and a bracket support. I got it back yesterday and the steering wheel does not twitch upon abrupt braking anymore. Hopefully this problem will not arise again for the life of the car.

    Overall, I am satisfied with job that they did; however, the technician managed to knick the rims again!! Well, it looks as if I will have to take it back to the dealer for more rim touch-up around the area where the bolts go. Well, the service manager had offered to send the rims back to get it refinished after the incident occurred the first time after a rotation and balance. However I figured that as long as I am under the maintanence program, the same knicks will occur when the service department rotates and balances the rims next time, so getting them refinished will not get me anywhere.

    DC
  • jpcanon1jpcanon1 Posts: 4
    Keep an eye on it- my "fixes" seemed to last approx 5,000 miles, then the twitch started to come back!
  • I bought an AUTOMATIC 2001 BMW325I four months ago. After around 5000 miles I began to notice a fairly loud "clunking" noise coming from the back of the car.

    The clunk occurs when shifting from Park to Reverse. It doesn't happen all the time - 60%.
    I took it to the dealer two times.
    The first time they did agree that the sound is weird and that they can't fix it. They told that they'll contact BMW and get a specialist for fixing it. I never heard from them or BMW.

    Then I filed a complaint from www.bmwusa.com
    They asked the dealer to schedule another check up
    for the car. This time they just refused to
    acknowledge the problem. They said that all the
    325s make that sound and that BMW states that it is a normal behavior of the car.

    Have any of you guys ever faced this problem?

    Has anyone been given a successful remedy for this noise? Please email me with the same.
    madhu_nair@hotmail.com

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Thanks,
    Madhu
    madhu_nair@hotmail.com
  • shop2shop2 Posts: 7
    I've had my car for about a week and have put about 1300 miles on it. I definitly have the brake twitch problem. I thought it was my imagination until I went to clean the wheels. I found more brake dust on the left front then the right. At moderate to low speeds, the left front seems to engage a split secound before the rest, but does not bind when coasting.
    T.B.C....
  • shop2shop2 Posts: 7
    Anyone out there have any experience or thoughts on engine noise (overtone beat vibration) between 3000 and 3500 RPM's?
    2 beats per second (like a whua, whua,whua whua)
    Subtle at first but very annoying when highway cruising at about 80 in 5th gear. Can't get away from that RPM range there. Dissapears when below or above that range. My wife even noticed it.
    Help!
  • bluewolfbluewolf Posts: 101
    I'm presently a VW owner and have been happy with the build quality of the car, but I also know there are alot of VW lemons out there. Considering a 325i next. Are BMW dealers better at customer service than VW dealers? How about service departments oveall?

    Can anyone objectively compare BMW and VW from a build-quality perspective, and are there many lemon Bimmers? Thanks for the opinions.
  • snaphooksnaphook Posts: 130
    I have a 94' 325is and a couple of weeks ago when I started the car the following occurred. Service indicator, fuel gauge, tach, speedometer, odometer, and temperature gauge were all dead. Where the odometer reading should have been instead the word "CodE" was displayed. There was no message on the onboard computer. I restarted the car and this all went away. Just today the same thing happened again, only this time restarting the car did not clear it. It did eventually go away later in the day, approx 5 restarts. Everything now works with the exception of the odometer which reads all 0's and will not update.

    Clearly the engineers at BMW were trying to convey some information to the operator by displaying "CodE", but what? There is no reference to this diagnostic message in the owner's manual. I realize that I will have to take the car in but I would appreciate some heads up as far as what to expect.
  • 325i87325i87 Posts: 15
    I disagree with mikesm6. This was true in the 50's, but not now. How can you go anywhere with a 1000 mi service interval? I have had a 325i/1987 which now has 260,000 km and always followed the service indicator for oil services/inspection. The service interval averages about 17,000 km for my driving.

    A lot of little things wore out in the car including the driver belt buckle which I just replaced, but the engine is still doing just fine and never needed work. I has taken a litre of the recommended oil 10w50 every 3800 km for as long as I can remember, less when I was using synthetic oil.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I currently have a very early build E46 (12/98) and prior to that I had a 1995 Passat GLX, so I can offer you some observations about the build quality of the two cars.

    My Passat was one of the best cars I had ever owned, having said that, it was not without some initial problems. In the first year I had to have the following items replace under warranty:

    - 3 fog lights (heat stress cracks)
    - 1 right rear power window motor
    - 1 rear window defogger switch
    - 1 instrument cluster

    During the life of the car (>80K miles) I had to replace the following items at my expense:

    - 1 fog light (heat stress cracks)
    - 1 battery (it exploded, what a mess)
    - 2 sets of rear wheel bearings (one per side)
    - 1 instrument cluster

    Given the fact that I drove those miles mostly in and around NYC which has some of the nastiest pot holes this side of the third world, and that the Passat never developed any unscheduled squeaks or other noises, I would say that the structure of the car was well built.

    I now have about 27K miles on my 328i and have only replaced one little tail light bulb on each side. I could have had these done under warranty, but the whopping $4.00 it cost me to buy the bulbs my self saved me from a trip to the dealer (not that my dealer is bad, I just have a very tight schedule).

    To summarize, I found that the VW was very good, while the BMW is nearly perfect.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Well, the BMW Synthetic is less than $3.50/qt. with a BMW CCA discount. As for the tranny, Dexron III is what the slushbox uses; the manual can use the same with no problems. Throw Mobil 1 gear oil in the diff. Heck, do what I do-buy an oil extractor from someplace like Griots and do the work yourself. It's a 1/2 hour job tops and you won't even get your hands dirty... I won't even take my domestic car to Jiffy Lube-trained monkeys are fun to watch at the circus, but I don't want them wrenching on your car.
  • I drove 16 miles stopping for 3 lights along the same route and the car sputtered and died, it restarted shortly and each time the plugs were fouled. Three days in a row, going the opposite distance to work no problem, it happens at 6 AM temp 72 degrees F, heat no problem. since then i
    changed the gas, new intank fuel pump, new fuel pressure regulator. the temp sensor, oxygen sensor and coil read ok according to specs. (i even substituted the temp 2 sensor with a 400ohm resistor , normal at 175 +degrees. no change today the 4th time it now only starts but runs rough and smokes black. only able to idle not drive now. is the ECU (the brain) the problem?
    airflow sensor and speed sensor would not act like this. i have good spark. fuel pump pressure normal ~34 psi.
    i am usually good with changing and reading the specs on my cars. HELP please.
  • jfriedljfriedl Posts: 3
    My wife owned a 1996 Passat that she dearly loved up to the day it got totaled by a Ford delivery van. In the two years/40k miles we only had one problem with the car - we needed to replace the dash because the tach and speedo were reading improperly. The dealer was great. Even though it was a few mile out of warranty, the dealer was unhappy with what happened and managed to fix it under warranty. The car was great. Fun to drive (for a front wheel drive car) and comfortable.

    I currently own a 2001 E46 325i manual with a sport package. I have never driven anything as fun as this. It has about 8,000 miles on it. I have already replaced a fog lamp and had to have the break master cylinder replaced as an internal seal malfunctioned. Other than that, it is very stout.

    From my perspective, both vehicles are great. It all boils down to your personal preference. I personally can't stand front wheel drive. If I enjoyed front wheel drive, I probably would have gone with the Passat (I did test drive one and it was fun). It definitely has much more value for the buck. You can pick up a fully loaded Passat for what I paid for my "stripper". Now, if rear wheel drive is your thing, like it is for me, the BMW is the only way to go. This car is absolutely on rails. It does tend to have more over steer than I would have expected for a car like this, but I am very glad I bought it.

    Finally, I do think the Passat is of a higher over quality than the rest of the line. It is the flagship and I think VW goes to extra measures to ensure it is of high quality.

    In the end, i don't think you can go wrong with either car. Best of luck!
  • jfriedljfriedl Posts: 3
    My wife owned a 1996 Passat that she dearly loved up to the day it got totaled by a Ford delivery van. In the two years/40k miles we only had one problem with the car - we needed to replace the dash because the tach and speedo were reading improperly. The dealer was great. Even though it was a few mile out of warranty, the dealer was unhappy with what happened and managed to fix it under warranty. The car was great. Fun to drive (for a front wheel drive car) and comfortable.

    I currently own a 2001 E46 325i manual with a sport package. I have never driven anything as fun as this. It has about 8,000 miles on it. I have already replaced a fog lamp and had to have the break master cylinder replaced as an internal seal malfunctioned. Other than that, it is very stout.

    From my perspective, both vehicles are great. It all boils down to your personal preference. I personally can't stand front wheel drive. If I enjoyed front wheel drive, I probably would have gone with the Passat (I did test drive one and it was fun). It definitely has much more value for the buck. You can pick up a fully loaded Passat for what I paid for my "stripper". Now, if rear wheel drive is your thing, like it is for me, the BMW is the only way to go. This car is absolutely on rails. It does tend to have more over steer than I would have expected for a car like this, but I am very glad I bought it.

    Finally, I do think the Passat is of a higher over quality than the rest of the line. It is the flagship and I think VW goes to extra measures to ensure it is of high quality.

    In the end, I don't think you can go wrong with either car. Best of luck!
  • niwdeniwde Posts: 4
    I just read thru 193 messages so I feel confident I have a new one. I just took delivery of my new 2001 330ci, haven't even had it a week, and there seems to be something wrong with the windshield wipers. My car has the sport and premium pkgs. plus xenons, heated seats, and in dash cd. With the wiper control lever in the off position the wipers will wipe at random, rain or no rain. The only way I can get them to work somewhat normally, when it's raining, is if the control lever is in the auto position with the sensitivity turned all the way up. At the low speed position they seem to wipe at the high speed and the washer fluid sprays constantly, this also applies to the high speed position. Also, I can't seem to tell any difference in speed between the high and low speed settings.

    I have described this to the service advisor where I leased the car and he has never heard of this problem before. He said that maybe the cars software needs to be reset.

    I hope someone can give me some advice. -Thanks in advance,
  • I have a '01 330Ci with HK sound - very low bass causes the rear speaker to rattle. My dealer says BMW knows about this and is working on the problem. Has anyone experienced this problem and have you been able to fix it?
    Thanks.
  • nbbnbb Posts: 16
    Check the bimmer.org site for e46 cars. Many people have fixed this by stuffing a padded material in the opening to muffle the rattle.
  • I too have a 330ci with HK, and low bass causes the speaker to rattle and distort. Even without the stereo on, the rear speaker and/or shelf rattles. My dealer told me that BMW was aware of the problem, but that there was not a fix available for it yet. I have gotten somewhat ambiguous answers from BMW USA on whether any fix is in the works. I am reluctant to stuff a sock in the speaker enclosure, which seems to be the preferred DIY solution. Good luck!
  • swapswap Posts: 2
    Does anyone have any experiences of windshields on the E46 cracking even on impact by small stones/ pebbles? I have had two in the past few months (In perspective, my other car which is an Intrepid seems to weather these hits without any problems (touch wood!))
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,013
    Just bad luck I think, although the angle of impact (and of your windshield) and the size of the stone would, of course, also be a factor.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    So would speed!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,013
    Yes, forgot that one...combined velocity of object and car....also, where you live I guess, if that changed between cars....in Colorado you can just about guarantee a rock in your windshield within a couple years--or if not that, sand-blasting. In Alaska, about 3 months I'd guess!

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • Hi, everyone. I'm a new member of this board and I've spent the past 45 min. or so reviewing the problems you've all been discussing. I'm the very proud owner of a '99 328i (premium package, heated seats, auto).

    A potential "problem" I've experienced (haven't seen it mentioned) is with the a/c. During especially hot days, say 95+ F, I've noticed that the vents will blow only warm air when I've been sitting motionless in traffic any longer than a minute or two. When I begin to move again the a/c tends to pick up again. Even when moving (again, on really hot days) it has a tendency to fluctuate in temperature from nice and frosty to just not cutting it. Also, on these days it sometimes takes a long time (almost 10 minutes) for the air to really cool down.

    Now, I understand that a really hot day is going to tax the system a lot more than your average summer day but, under the same circumstances, my girlfriend's 1999 Chevy Blazer's system blasts cold air in just a minute or two and never shows any of these same symptoms I've described. I also don't recall ever having the same problem with my former '94 525i.

    Am I simply expecting too much from the a/c or could there be something wrong here? Any suggestions you guys might have will be greatly appreciated.

    -SmoothOperator
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    First off, NOBODY seems to make A/C units like GM. Oddly enough, I went to High School in the mid seventies with the son of the guy who did most of that era's GM A/C designs.

    As for your 328i, I also have a 1999 328i (5-Speed) and while I have in fact noticed that the air coming from the dash vents when sitting at idle on a hot day (we hit something like 110 on the NY Thruway a month or so back) is not frigid, it is however, certainly cool enough by my judgment. So, a few things come to mind:

    1) Make sure that the little wheel between the two dash vents above the radio shows three blue dots. Anything other than that will be mixing in warm air.
    2) Make sure that the "Recirculate" button is lit.
    3) If the above two do not have the desired effect, you might want to schedule a service call to see if you are low on refrigerant.
    4) The only other thing that I can think of is the fact that you have an automatic transmission. I wonder where the tranny cooler is located, I suppose it is possible that an engineer in Munich had a brain fart and placed said tranny cooler in front of the A/C Condenser (not very likely though).

    Let us know how you make out.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • I was wondering if there are any known problems with this model of BMW. The one I am looking at is a 98 318i with 44,000. What does anyone think I should pay for this vehicle. Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks,
  • I just recently purchased A 2001 325CI.. Due to my inability to wait for things, i ran out and bought the only manual transmission left in the state of illinois at the time and was forced to pay almost full list for the vehicle.. ihad no problem with that though b/c i was so excited to have found the vehicle and to have had to order it. i also expierenced the clunking noise right away. i also properly broke the vehicle in according to the manual. then on labor day weekend my vehicle stalled on the highway.. road side assistance was terrible. took over 3 hours plus nothing but hassle on the phone. 2 days later i was contacted by the dealer and was told they would look into the problem. they did not offer me a loaner vehicle. i also did not recieve a phone call untill 2 days after that. then i recieve the phone call stateing that i must have missed a shift and blew my motor and bmw will not cover the problem and was told to call customer assistance. so i did...the man at customer assistance did not look into my situation at first..he started arguing with me saying its your fault the case is closed ..when he didnt even have my info..finnaly he called the dealer and called me back and said..try calling your insurance..sorry sir.so ive tried getting a hold of numerous throught the last couple weeks..now the dealer called me and said well once we break the engine down we might be able to warranty the problem..but since my service was so bad i want to tow it to another dealer but they want to charge me 300 just for pulling of the valve covers..one i did not miss a shift in my vehicle..two bmw has given me no help..no one has given me help.. hopefully someone else has had this problem or knows what to maybe due in this case....thankyou for reading this long letter
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    well, first off, are you a member of bmwcca? if so, there's some recourse you can try to take through the arbitrator (or whatever they call it) through there.

    secondly, have you contacted bmwna?

    as far as the actual car problem itself, we'll need a little more input (i.e. any other noises, high temeperature readings or whatever) before it stopped running? any oil on the ground once it stopped running? and so on?

    -Chris
  • no iam not a member of bmwcca but i would love to become aware of the process in joining. secondly i called customer assistance but i do not have the number for bmwna.. and to answer the other questions.. i was driving on the expressway with 3 passengers when i was coming to an off ramp..i was not paying attention to engine temperature to be quite honest.but i did downshift to forth gear at around 75 miles per hour..bmw is stating that i had to down shift to second but they still wont know until they completely break the engine down. some people have told me there is a black box that will tell if the car was redlined..so say there isnt...after shifting to forth there was no response or noise from the vehicle and i looke d at the other passengers and stated that the car was shutdown... i pulled over thinking it would start right back up but it did not. it just buzzed. no other noises occured during this event and when we used the flash light to look underneath there was what appeared to be oil underneath or brake fluid sprayed on the frame....on the flipside i was in a toyota celica the following week when the driver missed a shift and the engine made a horrific sound a blew a mountain of smoke out of the tailpipe..every light lit up on the dash and the car moved a little but clinked and rattled until we pulled over wher the smoke continued to billow out of the tail pipe...toyota roadside assistance came out within an hour. towed the vehicle to the nearest dealer... the next day the dealer called and gave the owner a rental car and stated that we understand people make mistakes we will have car down in a wekk or two.. now i purchased the ultimate driving machine and what the call luxury care and no one from bmw has tried to help..all they keep doing is blaming me..what happeneed with the toyota was nothing like my car and on top of it..toyota covered it right away.. what do i do?????
  • Pretty odd that a person would be in TWO cars that blew up within a week of each other... Not that it couldn't happen, but it doesn't smell right to me.

    Also odd that Toyota would provide a rental and fix a car that was broken by obvious user error.
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    I would imagine that the current E-46 does as well.

    Over-reving the engine is not covered by the warranty.

    I'm surprised that there were only manual transmissions available, or that the dealer wouldn't order one from another state....

    Hitting the off-ramp at 75 mph with 3 people in the car and counting on the transmission to slow you down by engine braking? Brave man.

    I also know that loaners are not a BMW policy but vary from dealership to dealership. My dealer, for example, only gives loaners to those who purchased the car there. Was the dealership where you sent your car for inspection and repair the dealership where you purchased it?

    Also, you might start checking the net for a rebuilt engine. It is going to be pretty expensive (if you can find one for a 2001), but less than BMW will charge you for a new engine.

    Just out of curiousity ...were you driving the Toyota when it blew its engine?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...what happened to the rev-limiter? It works on every car I've owned for the past 10 years [just hit the rev cutout on our Accord V6 the other day, so I know Honda's works]...doesn't it work on a new E46? I suppose if you get the gear low enough suddenly enough, the rev-limiter can't intervene in time....maybe...?
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