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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • fcaofcao Posts: 31
    I had a windshield service yesterday. It's paid for by my insurance company, and it saved me $500 deductable too.

    It seems pretty good. Although one can still see a shallow trace if you focus your eyes after the repair, it seems to be fairly nice and won't expand in the future.

    Also thanks for the reponse from shipo.
  • Over the last two days, I've had the idrive computer reset(?) several times. Now it doesn't come on at all.

    The screen either dims and freezes, or goes completely blank, and the system doesn't respond. CD/navDVD do not eject. Bluetooth connection to my phone remains active, but no sound flows through the speakers.

    The car still drives fine, and the only control message (accessible by the turn indicator/OBD knob) is SOS malfunction.

    The onset of this problem was fairly sudden -- reset happened once, and it came back online, then it happened more frequently and now it's completely dead.

    Anyone witnessed a similar thing before, or can take an educated guess at what the issue might be?
  • fcaofcao Posts: 31
    2005 325i
    Just found my coolant level is at it's minimum (no warning light). The last "low mileage annual service" was 6 month ago. The next one will be another 5~6 months from now.

    So, I called the BMW Customer Relation (CR) for advise, because the local dealership have lost all my confidence. The BMW CR told me that I should only purchase BMW brand coolant from its dealer and then add it by myself.

    Since I haven't added coolant by myself before, and user manual seems to assume everybody should know how to do it. Is there anything I should be aware when adding coolant?

    **I noticed that I have become visiting this forum a lot, lately.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 30,498
    Just stop by your dealer.. they will add coolant at no charge, if it is needed...

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • ssonsson Posts: 1
    Hi all,

    I got my very first 2006 BMW 325i last winter. What started out as a dream come true quickly became a major pain in the neck.

    1) The passenger seatbelt/airbag sign came on about a month into driving the car, which means it's actually disabled.
    2) Sometimes, the driver's seatbelt doesn't detect that I DO have my seatbelt on.
    3) The engine is not as smooth as I expect a BMW to be (?) -- it trembles often, as if I didn't warm up my car enough.
    4) The front passenger side cupholder stopped working -- it won't come out.
    5) And just recently, the sunroof completely stopped working.

    In addition, the brakes are a little sticky, though I've heard this is common? Also, sometimes, the car feels like the engine "hiccups," as if not enough gas?

    I don't abuse my car, although I do drive long distances each weekend.

    Please excuse my ranting, but I'm extremely annoyed. It makes me sick to my stomach that I've paid good money for this car when it has so many seemingly unexpected and even ridiculous problems. I know even a BMW is a machine subject to flaws, but COME ON!!! Am I driving a BMW??? I literally did not have the time to take my car in for service, but I'm guessing I have no choice now. I'm totally fed up.

    I feel like my car is the only 2006 beamer in the road with probs it shouldn't be having. Has anyone experienced similar issues?
  • I have a 1994 BMW 325i. Recently I have put about $3000 in it and it hasn't fixed the problems. First time, as I was driving I noticed the lights dimming, the radio was going in and out and then after a couple of miles and going up a hill the transmission light, ABS, air bag, Traction Control lights came on as well as the gauges going crazy. I pulled over and when I put it in park the car idled rough. I turned the car off and then after trying to restart it I was unsuccessful. I had it towed to a repair shop and was told I had a bad transmission. It cost me $2500 to rebuild the transmission. When I picked it up it seemed to be working fine for about 2 weeks. Then, it happened again, same thing. In the meantime I had taken it to another local repair shop at the suggestion of the transmission shop, because my check engine light came on and the transmission shop wasn't able to check it. The second shop told me it was an oxygen sensor light. After it stopped for the second time I called the guy who rebuilt my transmission because he told me that was the problem in the first place, but, this time he told me he knew it wasn't the transmission and to call the place I had clear the check engine light which came back on because I didn't get the o2 sensor replaced. I had it towed to the second repair shop who at that point found a loose battery ground but said the battery and the alternator checked out fine although when the car first arrived via tow truck the battery was definately dead. He told me it was being cause now by the lose ground. Satisfied with this, another $200, I left and 3 days later it happened again, luckily in my drive. What is weird is when I turn it off when this happens and starts idling rough I can turn on the acc power and can listen to the radio, etc but when I try to start it, it just ticks. But, let it sit long enough (as short at 45 min to several hours or overnight) it will start again with no problem. It reminds me of a remote control car that you have to recharge when the battery dies except to recharge it I just have to let it sit. We did get the alternator changed about 3 months before it quit the first time and that is when the check engine light came on, after we changed it. I also notice, every time before it happens, the AC will start blowing hot air, the lights will dim (headlights and interior dash lights) and the windows, etc work slowly. Has anyone else had this problem or think of what this could be? I am wanting to sell this car but am having trouble putting more money into it since it's 12 years old now. Help!!!! :confuse:
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I have a 1994 BMW 325i. Recently I have put about $3000 in it and it hasn't fixed the problems.

    Which is why I advise owners of older BMWs to find a good independent tech who KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS BMWS!!!

    First time, as I was driving I noticed the lights dimming, the radio was going in and out and then after a couple of miles and going up a hill the transmission light, ABS, air bag, Traction Control lights came on as well as the gauges going crazy. I pulled over and when I put it in park the car idled rough. I turned the car off and then after trying to restart it I was unsuccessful.

    Those are the classic symptoms of a dying battery.

    I had it towed to a repair shop and was told I had a bad transmission. It cost me $2500 to rebuild the transmission. When I picked it up it seemed to be working fine for about 2 weeks.

    That guy was an idiot and/or a outright crook.

    Then, it happened again, same thing.

    I'm not surprised.

    In the meantime I had taken it to another local repair shop at the suggestion of the transmission shop, because my check engine light came on and the transmission shop wasn't able to check it. The second shop told me it was an oxygen sensor light. After it stopped for the second time I called the guy who rebuilt my transmission because he told me that was the problem in the first place, but, this time he told me he knew it wasn't the transmission and to call the place I had clear the check engine light which came back on because I didn't get the o2 sensor replaced.

    Another incompetent fool; a bad O2 sensor won't cause the problems you experienced.

    I had it towed to the second repair shop who at that point found a loose battery ground but said the battery and the alternator checked out fine although when the car first arrived via tow truck the battery was definitely dead. He told me it was being cause now by the lose ground. Satisfied with this, another $200, I left and 3 days later it happened again, luckily in my drive.

    $200 to fix a "loose ground"? Another thief.

    What is weird is when I turn it off when this happens and starts idling rough I can turn on the acc power and can listen to the radio, etc but when I try to start it, it just ticks. But, let it sit long enough (as short at 45 min to several hours or overnight) it will start again with no problem. It reminds me of a remote control car that you have to recharge when the battery dies except to recharge it I just have to let it sit. We did get the alternator changed about 3 months before it quit the first time and that is when the check engine light came on, after we changed it. I also notice, every time before it happens, the AC will start blowing hot air, the lights will dim (headlights and interior dash lights) and the windows, etc work slowly. Has anyone else had this problem or think of what this could be?

    Again, it's probably the battery, though the starter might be getting as well. The likely reason the car won't start when it is hot is because the engine heat increases the resistance of the starter motor windings. Your battery has enough power to start the car when it is cold but not when it is hot.

    I am wanting to sell this car but am having trouble putting more money into it since it's 12 years old now. Help!!!!

    I'd buy it if it wasn't a slushbox...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,656
    If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I know people who know how to fix BMWs correctly. E-mail me if that's your locale. Otherwise, get rid of these people and ask other BMW owners you meet where to take your car.

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

  • I have an american edition 1986 BMW 325es 2 door with a 2.7 liter 6 cylinder engine and automatic trans. with 179,000 miles on it. Not too bad for $600.00, considering needing a few hundred in parts.

    Can anyone tell me what the "es" stands for? Does the "e" stand for "economic"? Which is better, an "e" series or an "i" series? Does an "e" series reduce its overall horsepower and top speed for excellent gas mileage or high durability with a more stiffened suspension? Or does the "i" series increase overall performance but doesn't have as good a suspension system as the sport edition? What type of sport upgrades are on this car? More than a 325i?

    There are 3 buttons on the center console. One is the hazards, the next is the defroster, and the 3rd is withered away so I can't tell what it does. Does anyone know?

    I seen a fog light switch that can add forward and rear fog lights with little modification to an e30. Does this particular year have the wiring where you can remove the tail light caps, add more caps with lights, and have rear fog lights?

    Also, the brakes do not work unless the pedal is to the floor and then it is delayed. The system is not leaking brake fluid. Does the system need to be bled or does it need a brake booster?

    The engine has a slight rough idle. It seems there is a hose that is sealed, but not connected to the intake manifold on the top right side of the engine. What would this hose do and what does the (sensor?) on the intake manifold do? Is this the air flow meter?

    Every few days the battery runs dead. Is there a continuously running BMW equipment that drains the battery if left sitting for several days (locks, alarm, starter kill rechargable flashlight)?

    thank you for your input.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I have an american edition 1986 BMW 325es 2 door with a 2.7 liter 6 cylinder engine and automatic trans. with 179,000 miles on it. Not too bad for $600.00, considering needing a few hundred in parts.

    It's a good deal- assuming that you can do your own wrenching.

    Can anyone tell me what the "es" stands for? Does the "e" stand for "economic"?

    The "e" stands for eta- the Greek symbol for efficiency. The BMW eta engines were designed to develop good torque and fuel economy at low rpms. The 4700 rpm redline is extremely low for a BMW spark ignition engine.

    Which is better, an "e" series or an "i" series?

    The e and i are engine -not series- designations. That said, most BMW enthusiasts prefer the "i" engine. It has 47 more bhp and revs to 6400 rpm. On a more positive note, the power and torque curves of the eta motor are well suited to an automatic transmission. Either motor needs a timing belt change at no less than 60K intervals. Change the belt tensioner and water pump while you are at it.

    What type of sport upgrades are on this car? More than a 325i?

    The 325es suspension features M-Technic spoilers, shorter/stiffer springs, and Bilstein dampers. Inside you get BMW sport seats and a M-Technic steering wheel. A vanilla 325i will still be faster due to the large hp difference. Pick of the E30 litter is the 325is, which has even stiffer springs and dampers as well as the more enthusiastic 168 hp engine.

    There are 3 buttons on the center console. One is the hazards, the next is the defroster, and the 3rd is withered away so I can't tell what it does. Does anyone know?
    I seen a fog light switch that can add forward and rear fog lights with little modification to an e30. Does this particular year have the wiring where you can remove the tail light caps, add more caps with lights, and have rear fog lights?


    Can't help you there, I'm not an E30 expert. Sorry. :(

    Also, the brakes do not work unless the pedal is to the floor and then it is delayed. The system is not leaking brake fluid. Does the system need to be bled or does it need a brake booster?

    It could be the booster or air in the system, but it might also be a bad master cylinder. E30s require an annual brake fluid flush using DOT 4 fluid only. If the fluid in the brake reservoir is murky or black you should flush the system again after a couple of weeks. Even then, you may be looking at rebuilding the calipers.

    The engine has a slight rough idle. It seems there is a hose that is sealed, but not connected to the intake manifold on the top right side of the engine. What would this hose do and what does the (sensor?) on the intake manifold do? Is this the air flow meter?

    The first thing you should do is buy the Bentley E30 Service Manual. That will address most of your questions.

    Every few days the battery runs dead. Is there a continuously running BMW equipment that drains the battery if left sitting for several days (locks, alarm, starter kill rechargable flashlight)?

    It could be the battery. Have it load tested. If it fails, replace it with an Interstate MTP-91. If the battery checks out good, I would next check the glovebox and trunk lamps. They sometimes remain on and cause the battery to drain. Adjusting or shimming the switch or its contact point should fix the problem. If the lamps aren't at fault, you need to hook up an ammeter to the battery and measure the current draw. Next, start pulling fuses one at a time. When you find the fuse that stops the current drain, you will have isolated the circuit that is causing the problem. In my experience, a frequent culprit is a poorly installed aftermarket radio and/or alarm.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,656
    Sounds like a bad brake booster.

    Rough idle/stalling might be the rubber boot that connects the fuel injection distributor to the intake manifold. Look for a cracked boot UNDERNEATH where you can't see it. This is actually a huge vacuum leak.

    Given this car's issues, you may wish to consider bailing out on this vehicle. You can buy these cars pretty cheap in decent shape---but of course, if you like to fix 'em, you can save a lot on labor. But add up your parts costs for all this stuff and match that against a retail value for a clean '86 at about $2,500.

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

  • I have a 2000 323ci that I just purchased a couple of months ago, has only 9K miles. The original owner said he replaced the battery last year.
    Everything has been great but then last week, the battery dies, I jump start it and its' fine for a couple of days and then dies again. I replaced the battery 2 days ago, and went to start the car this morning and it was dead. Before I take it to a mechanic, is there anything I should look for....Thanks
  • Im pretty sure that the " I " is for injection eg fuel injection. So most models go say 325is: 3 series 2.5 liter engine fuel injected sport model ( enhanced suspension components) The "x " is for models with 4 wheel drive and the "L" is for luxury such as the 735IL model. Im not sure what the e is for. I have seen es with Lexus but not BMW.
  • I have a 2006 325i with a 6sp manual transmission, and I also have developed a slight chatter when I let the clutch out slowly in first gear. I have only 9k kilometers, or about 5,500 miles on the car. Have you found any solutions to this problem?
  • Hi everyone,

    It's been awhile since i've posted but am in need of help asap. My 2002 330CI was taken in to fix the brakes and upon review, they noted that the control arms would need to be replace sometime soon. Over the last 3 weeks, I've been getting a clunking sound under the right side to the car along with extreeme vibrations steering to the right at highway speeds. I took the car in today to a different dealership near my work and they diagnosed the same problem....lower control arms right side immed.....left side reccom...along with 2 new bushings. $1140 for everything. My car has 50,000 miles, and the pre-cert warranty along with the extended factory maintenance warranty will not cover suspension type components i was told.

    Can anyone let me know if the $114O sounds accurate, and should i have them do it or could someone reccomend a qualified tech. in the Chicago area. Also, if a independent shop does it... could it nullify any of my current warranties?

    thanks a bunch,

    chas
  • Hi,

    Does anyone know how I would be able to remove the emblem on the hood of my 2006 330i. Someone placed backwards so know it looks like I drive an MW8 instead of a BMW.

    Thanks
  • I'm having the same problem. My 2000, 323i was running fine. I was parking at work, shifted into reverse, heard a "clunk" and from that point my reverse has been nonexistent. I was told that the company that makes a part that would fix the problem, doesn't make it anymore and that the whole transmission would have to be replaced. $$$$$
    He actually recomended that I take it to a transmission place that may know how to get their hands on the discontinued part. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
  • I need to get the same problem fixed on my 2000 323. Can anyone suggest a reputable/honest/inexpensive (I know, one can hope) transmission place in Los Angeles? Around Hollywood or downtown?
  • my 2002 325xi started to make a vibration noise after 28,000 miles and is increasing. it sounds like a low rumbling. i have had it in the dealership 5 times but they cannot find the problem. 2 times ago they said it was road noise due to tires. i purchased new michelins and the problem still exists. last time i had it in, (last week) i made the service people go for a ride with me. they confirmed that they heard the sound and vowed to get it figured out. they told me that they drove an 03 xi with 70,000 miles and it produced the same vibration. now they tell me that the noise is normal for the xi. my warranty ran out yesterday and i worry that there is a conspiracy. has anyone out there had the same experience?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Sounds like a driveshaft/CV joint/wheel bearing. If you reported the problem within the warranty period BMW should still rectify the problem at no cost. Have you tried another dealer? What dealer do most of the CCA members use?
  • I just read about a couple of knuckleheads, who, rather than use a bottle of special fluid that reduces the vehicle's emissions, they used a bottle of rubbing alcohol. They got home and parked, now the car won't start and hasn't start since. For rubbing alcohol, what kind of damage would that do to a car's engine or fuel system? Is it as bad as using water?

    If so, what would be the solution to fixing that kind of problem? Remove the fuel line from the car, floor the gas pedal and bleed all the alcohol out until gas comes out, then reattach it to the engine? Should the key be turned to power the car up and then do this? Would the alcohol damage the fuel pump or filter?

    If anyone doesn't know, it's okay. I was just wondering how to fix that type of problem. What's worse is that they did it to a nice 84 BMW 325.
  • thanks for your ideas. cv joint was our first thought. they ruled that out as well as wheel bearings. the manager says that they can't take time to tear the car all apart at bmw's expense! next month a specialist will take a look and hopefully figure it out. they realize that even though the warranty is up they are liable for the repair when they can pinpoint the problem. i deal with bmw of ann arbor, mi. and the next closest dealer is 40-50 miles away. not convenient at all for me so i'm stuck. the home dealer has had all kinds of staffing problems in the last 2 years or so since it was sold to a large buying group (just my luck).
    anyone else have any ideas or answers?
  • i have an 02 as well and extended the maintenence for an extra year. in the last year i had to have all the window moldings replaced because of rattling noises that would not go away. i also replaced the hazard and door opener switches on the console plus an oil change. all was covered under the maintenence agreement. service runs 105.00 per hour at my dealership so i probably broke even. my last year maintence agreement just ran out. i have a chance to extend it for 2 more years at a cost of 1500.00 but did the math and decided it wasn't worth it. breaks and rotors will be needed in the next 2 years at a cost from the dealer of 1100.00. they said that the 1500.00 will easily pay for itself with another oil change or 2. i found that the bmw parts (rotors) are 39.00 each and i can have the labor done elsewhere by a certified bmw michanic for 1/2 the price. it pays to shop around!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 30,498
    Shop around some other BMW dealers... That 2-year package can be had for $995.. Your dealer is trying to mark it up for extra profit...

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • sarahapsarahap Posts: 10
    I just bought my first BMW yesterday. 2001 330i 62k. I love it! So the problem with a pre-owned car: Got only one key and no book. So I'm trying to figure out all the buttons and gizmos until I can come up with a book of some sort.

    My really stupid question: The gas cap. I can't open it. Won't twist at all. Is it just screwed on really tight or is there some locking mechanism? I'm stumped.

    And do you know where I can get a book? And and another key?

    Thanks,
    SarahP
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    My really stupid question: The gas cap. I can't open it. Won't twist at all. Is it just screwed on really tight or is there some locking mechanism? I'm stumped.

    It's just on tight; twist it counter-clockwise.

    And do you know where I can get a book? And and another key?

    The dealer.
  • Hi, I am considering buying a 2001 325xi. It looks liek a basic model and has no cruise control. Anyone know how expensive it can be without going through the dealer? Or even where I can get a new steering wheel with actual buttons ( it has a plain 4 spoke/square airbag)inexpensively? I tired online but I cannot find anything.

    Thanks
    any good indepenents mechanics/shops in DC METRO would be gret too. I checked on local BMC chapter website but none close to me!
  • I just read about a couple of knuckleheads, who, rather than use a bottle of special fluid that reduces the vehicle's emissions, they used a bottle of rubbing alcohol. They got home and parked, now the car won't start and hasn't start since. For rubbing alcohol, what kind of damage would that do to a car's engine or fuel system? Is it as bad as using water?

    If so, what would be the solution to fixing that kind of problem? Remove the fuel line from the car, floor the gas pedal and bleed all the alcohol out until gas comes out, then reattach it to the engine? Should the key be turned to power the car up and then do this? Would the alcohol damage the fuel pump or filter?

    If anyone doesn't know, it's okay. I was just wondering how to fix that type of problem. What's worse is that they did it to a nice 84 BMW 325.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,656
    Oh well rubbing alcohol is diluted usually with water so there's the problem. Maybe they were thinking it was the 99% kind of isopropyl alcohol used as a fuel line anti-freeze sometimes. But they've got maybe 30% water in their mixture.

    Time to drain the gas tank boys.

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