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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • I have been having this problem for about the past 6 weeks, which cannot be diagnozed: Every time I refuel, I start the engine up again, drive about 5 feet and then the engine shuts down and I lose all power. The emissions instrumentation light has been on since this problem started. Any thoughts?
  • I HAVE A 1999 318 AND HAVE A SORT OF WOBBLING NOISE COMMING FROM I THINK THE FRONT ,I WAS TOLD IT WAS THE CENTRE PROP BEARING SO I CHANGED IT AND THE NOISE IS STILL THERE CAN BE HEARD MORE WHEN ACCELATING SLOWLY IN SECOND AND TRIRD GEARS THERE IS NO PLAY OR NOISE FRONT FRONT WHEEL BEARINGS WHEN YOU SPIN THE WHEELS CAN ANYBODY HELP, MANY THANKS ADAM
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    "Alright. I'm sold. Since I am near 1000 miles anyway, time to ramp up the accelerator (mind you, in the NY/CT territory, the speed limit's a wee lower than the Autobahn. The car definiitely wants to move ... !"

    Mileage on my old 330i continued to improve well into 20k miles. Best mileage I got was San Francisco to Santa Barbara (~300 miles). I got 28 mpg with ave speed of 75+ mph (couple stop lights slowed me down).
  • Hello everyone: I am new to this board and would like some help. I am look at a 1998 318, Could someone tell me what the red warning light indicates on the dash, It is a round symbol and is just displayed to the right of the steering wheel. The owner claims that it is a brake warning light. Could this be correct?
  • I have the same problems, I heard a clicking sound sometimes and others it would trun over and not start. My mechanic said it is the electrical vehicle immoblizer since the started looked ok. Someone else said maybe the clutch. I have a 2002 325i with 53,500 miles most highway. How do you do process of elimination without fixing everything for no reason??
  • Hello, mine has 53,500 and I am recently having starter/clutch/electrical vehicle immoblizer problems. I have taken it to two people and gotten two answers. The starter was about $200 and the EVI is $290 but it is still in the shop so maybe I will know more this weekend. I have had the left speaker replaced and new brakes on the front and back. A lot of people have had starting problems especially in the mornings. I live in Northern Texas and the delearship said it is the gas to use a lesser octane and it has actually worked. My friend has a 2004 and they told her it was the fuel regulator. I have also gotten new tires (Yokohamia) awhile ago (about $700 for 4 including warranty and road side asst).
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    If the warning light symbol looks something like this: (O) , it indicates that the brake pads on one or both axles need replacement. There is also an outside possibility that there is a fault in the pad wear sensor or harness, which would also trigger the light. If the 318i has over 70K but less than 100K miles I'd bet that the car needs front pads.
  • lehrer1lehrer1 Posts: 54
    Your info is very educational. Thank you, Shipo.
    Best regards, Lehrer 1
  • lehrer1lehrer1 Posts: 54
    Does anybody know what are our Bavarian friends did to "decoffeenate" 06 330i engine for 06 325i. The torque and HP must be better.
    Lehrer1
  • WELL I HAVE 2000 323I WITH 56,000 MILES. FOR THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS EVERY TIME I TRY TO START THE CAR IT HESITATES TO START THEN USUALLY THE SECOND TIME I DO IT THEN IT STARTS UP FINE. THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT HAS BEEN GOING ON AND OFF FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS. WELL TODAY I WAS AT A LIGHT AND I HAD THE CAR IN NEUTRAL AND TOOK MY FOOT OFF THE CLUTCH AND I KEPT ON IDLING FUNNY AND SOUNDED LIKE IT WAS GOING TO STALL UNTIL I PUT THE CLUTCH IN. THEN I WAS TAKING A TURN AND THE STEERING WHEEL LOCKED UP AND THE CAR SHUT OFF. TRIED TO START IT AGAIN AND THEN IT STARTED FINE BUT NOW IT'S RIDING REALLY ROUGH. PLEASE HELP.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Okay first of all take off your CAPS LOCK. Posting with caps lock is very hard to read and most people will ignore such posts.

    Second, you'll have to have the codes pulled from the car's computer so we know what error codes have been posted. You might be able to get this done for free from Autozone.

    When the engine light goes on, that's a signal to get right on it. You could be doing damage to your car by driving this way.

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  • Sorry about the caps lock well i did have it scanned and they said something about the cam sensors. The thing is i'm not bringing it to BMW i no a mechanic does this sound right. Do you really think that i did damage to the car
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Errr, if you don't mind my asking, why won't you bring it to BMW?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • cuz right now i'm really strapped for cash and this way all i have to pay for is parts no labor and we all no that BMW will kill me on labor
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, given that your car is out of warranty I don't understand why BMW would force you to use their labor (which I understand is usually quoted as a one hour job), however, they might be the only game in town for the cam sensor. I've seen a few posts on the R&R procedure for said sensor over the years and on the surface it doesn't sound too difficult. Are you planning to do this yourself?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    what about an independent shop?

    the cam sensor tells the injection brain which cylinder is firing, so yeah, you need that.

    Here's a place that sells used ones:

    http://data.bmrparts.com/bmwparts/2151.html

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  • Thank you for the help. One more thing it doesn't specify which sensor does that mean i'm going to have buy both of them,. Thank you for your help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Or take a guess...you have a 50% chance!

    I didn't know how many are on your engine.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,368
    I'm pretty sure there are two of them.... and, if you are guessing, I think I remember the rear one being the most likely to go out...

    I've also heard it isn't terribly difficult to replace yourself, but as it involves opening the hood, I would never attempt it..

    Plus... mine went out under warranty.. ;)

    regards,
    kyfdx
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  • Were those the symptoms that your car had when yours went. Trouble starting,idling funny,stalling out.

    Thank you, Tricia ">
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,368
    More or less... had it towed in.. anytime you have a sensor go out, that controls internal engine functions, the car will basically go into "limp mode".. This is to stop you from damaging the engine...

    So, even though the car will barely run, it doesn't necessarily mean you've done any damage to it.. yet.. But, you may have... and, I definitely wouldn't keep driving it..

    regards,
    kyfdx
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  • Thank you so much for your help :)
  • hus6hus6 Posts: 1
    I am looking to buy a 2000 323Ci with about 80k miles. I drive about 25k miles per yr... and plan to keep it for 4 yrs... so I would drive it till it hits about 180k miles. I've always driven Accords... and they've always lasted that long. But as for BMW, i am kinda weary... in general, will it last that long? and will the repairs/maintenance be a hell lot more than an accord? I hear that bmw at high mileage is very risky... but i dont know. any insight from high mileage bmw owners would be greatly appreciated... thanks alot.

    -hus
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Will a BMW cost more to service and repair than a vanilla FWD family sedan? Probably. Significantly more? Depends. A lot of the so-called experts who claim to know about high BMW running costs base their comments on something they heard from the best friend of their second cousin's first wife's dermatologist's barber.
    The truth is that a BMW 3er is not all that expensive to maintain if you can do some minor work yourself AND you know a good independent BMW tech.
    As for the specific car you are considering, I'd want it inspected by a good BMW tech,and I'd also want to see a full service history. Was the coolant replaced (using BMW coolant ONLY) every three years? Was the brake fluid changed every two years with a good DOT 4 fluid?
    I have a 1995 3er I've owned since new with 99,000 miles on it. Service and repair costs have averaged less than $500/year. I also have a 1997 528i with 128,000 miles. Maintenance and repairs costs for it come to a bit less than $1100 per year.
    Oil changes are cake and can be performed in your driveway for less than $45 using Mobil 1 and a BMW filter. Brakes are dead simple as well. How much is a superb driving experience worth to you? In my case, any additional servicing expense my 3er and 5er incur is more than offset by the enjoyment I relieve from driving them.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    I think div2's estimates are pretty darn good. You'll notice that yearly maintenance and repair costs go up as the car piles on the miles. This has also been my experience with BMWs that I have owned. So at the 150K mark, you should plan on spending at least double what you'd pay at the 75K mark, per month.

    As a general rule of thumb I always tell people that even IF you do minor work yourself and use an Indy shop for repair and maintenance, still, with any high miles German luxury car (150K+) you should plan on $125-150 a month and if it exceeds that by a fair margin over the course of say two years you really need to bail on the car.

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  • potemkinpotemkin Posts: 196
    My experience has been similar to Div2's. I've put 113k miles on a '95 318ti and it has never been in the shop due to a mechanical breakdown. The two times it wouldn't start were due to battery issues (i.e.: they were dead).

    As far as maintenance costs go: Not much experience with labor costs, but I think they're pretty competitive; I'm finding prices for parts are what you'd expect to pay for just about any car. All I can guess is that people speculating about high maintenance costs are lumping BMW with Ferrari because they're both European.

    "I hear that bmw at high mileage is very risky..."

    In my opinion, all cars at high mileage are risky. Just because Div2 and myself haven't had major reliability issues doesn't mean that you're going to do as well (no matter what brand you buy). If it's any consolation, CR gives the 3-series a 5 (out of 5) for reliability*.

    Now, if you'd posted that you were looking at an '87 Mustang with 80k miles that you wanted to drive for another 100k... I'd unequivocally tell you to run away from it as quickly as possible.

    P.S.: [Confession:] My 318's reliability is all the more remarkable considering I've been pretty lax as far as routine maintenance is concerned -- I've just now gotten around to changing the fluids in the transmission and differential (for which I'm very sorry).

    * Data for the 2001 thru 2003 models.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    You gotta play the averages with high mileage cars, regardless of the make. ANY high miles luxury car, even a Lexus, is not a good idea.

    What's "high mileage"?

    Here's my view: Engineers make a car that will run, or hang together, probably on average 175K-225K. After that, so few survive that one has to believe this lifespan as pretty accurate.

    So if you buy a luxury car with 175K on the clock, you are essentially buying something that can drop dead any minute.

    If it has 150K on the clock you are at best 3/4 of the way through a car's normal life, and it won't be the BEST 1/4 either (hey, just like US!!!) :cry:

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  • For my 98, the dealer is quoting me $3500 - $4000 for a top. An aftermarket top is about half that for my car. Labor varies
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    I don't have this issue, but just read about in a magazine at the local bookstore. Anyone aware of this being an issue (tearing of the rear floor subframe) in E46s after 2001? (the article and other research I've done indicates this being an issue primarily in MY2000 and earlier years).

    I'm planning to keep my car for a long time, but this potential issue could really irritate me.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,368
    The only car that I've heard this is about is the E36 model... ('92-'99), and then.. mostly in coupes and with cars that have been auto-crossed or tracked..

    I've never seen anything in print about this problem with the E46s...

    regards,
    kyfdx
    (not the expert)

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