Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





BMW 3-Series: FAQ

17891113

Comments

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi meccai, welcome.

    Try posting in our BMW 3-Series: 2005 and earlier discussion. There are a lot of folks there who can probably give you some advice.

    But I have a tip for you ... don't post in all caps. It looks like you are yelling at us, it's hard to read and for that reason a lot of people will just skip it. ;)

    Again, welcome - enjoy the Forums!
  • bmw_123bmw_123 Posts: 15
    Hello fellows, I must begin with by saying that this car is truely awesome!!..

    My question is, how can one find out wether his car is having a Timing chain or a Timing belt..?? Also when should one think about replacing it (after how many miles).

    My car's model is : 2001 BMW 325i Preminum package.

    Thanks in advance!

    (Long live BMW.. :) )
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,743
    Timing chain

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • meccaimeccai Posts: 3
    thank you for the advice ;)
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    I've been jockeying back and forth on an '06 330i "automatic" and an '06 IS 350.

    Bot some questions on the BMW side of the ledger. I now the car comes with synthetic oil. I also know there are no pre-described oil change intervals....just what the computer designates. Anyone have any experience with the typical oil change intervals via tha computer? Anyone know how those intervals affects long term longevity?

    Observations.....

    Saw the discussion on the "run flat" tires. After extensive test driving (some of it very spirited on bad roads), I don't feel they detract from the ride, nor the handling of the 3 Series. Longevity may be a different story.

    I drove a model with I-Drive. I know this option has been much maligned in the press. But, coming from an Acura TL with Nav, which is generally thought to be one of the best Nav systems out there, I gotta say I prefer the I-Drive. It boots up almost instantaneously (certainly much faster than the Acura). It allows you to view a map, as well as another function (like stereo opreation) simultaneously (one function displayed at a time with the TL). Voice recognition is much better with I-Drive over the TL. And, probably the biggest advantage, you can operate the I-Drive without taking your eyes off the road (TL uses a touch screen....you have to avert your eyes off the road to use it).

    I don't know how this I-Drive version compares to earlier versions, but I like it. Wasn't thinking of getting the I-Drive option, but am reconsidering.

    The rest of the car is as good or better than all the trade rags say.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Anyone have any experience with the typical oil change intervals via tha computer? Anyone know how those intervals affects long term longevity?

    The E90 calculates an OCI of @15K. I'm not too impressed with BMW's synthetic so I use Mobil 1 0W-40 and I change it every 7.5K(it's an easy DIY job, and costs less than $50). I also change the "Lifetime" final drive and transmission fluids every 50K. Note that I tend to keep my Bimmers for 130K miles or more. If I was dead certain that I was going to flip the car in 3-5 years I'd just follow the BMW maintenance schedule.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,238
    Thanks div2. I know me. I will "flip" the 330i, if I buy it, in 3 years. It's still a horse race between it and the IS 350. I keep coming back to the 330i because of its driving dynamics and ride/handling setup. That IS 350 sure is fast, though (it's just so "peaky" in its power delivery, however).

    I'm certain BMW doesn't refine it's own synth oil. So, they have to buy it from someone and slap their name on it.

    It may be Mobil 1 for all I know.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    It may be Mobil 1 for all I know.

    It's Castrol.
  • bmw_123bmw_123 Posts: 15
    Thanks for replying, also it would help a lot if you can give me some idea as to what should be the symptoms that are needed to be watched which can indicate that the timing chain should be replaced. My car had aroung 85K miles on it.

    Thanks!
  • jimbo409jimbo409 Posts: 17
    I have a 1995 318ic convt. Question is the bottom of my car is not painted the color of the rest of the car It is a flat color and I have seen some 95 that are painted to match the body color. Why is this. thanks jim
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Question is the bottom of my car is not painted the color of the rest of the car It is a flat color and I have seen some 95 that are painted to match the body color. Why is this?

    Most all 1992-1995 3ers had gray bumpers and rockers-except M3s of course. Those that have body color rockers and bumpers have either been repainted or fitted with BMW's M-Technic side skirts. Later 3ers were all fitted with those skirts from the factory.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    it would help a lot if you can give me some idea as to what should be the symptoms that are needed to be watched which can indicate that the timing chain should be replaced.

    You'll get a loud growling noise on start up. I wouldn't sweat it; the chain will likely last for another 120K miles.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    You'd only need to worry if it got radically loose. Then it could start damaging things inside the timing case cover--but by that time you'd be stuffing cotton in your ears.

    I have seen loose chains break tensioners and actually jam the engine, without themselves breaking.

    If it were my car, I'd say I'd start to worry if the noise DID NOT go away substantially after the engine was thoroughly warmed up and in use during the day.

    MODERATOR

  • ggs2ggs2 Posts: 18
    i am currently trying to sell a 2003 325i. orient blue with beige leatherette,at, ac,pw,pl,coldweather package,premium package,moonroof,garage kept,non-smoker,cpo warranty,52,800 miles. i am now asking $23,000. is this a fair price? car is in very good condition.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    Try Edmunds True Market Value software, which has a "Used Car Appraiser" component:

    Edmunds' Appraiser

    MODERATOR

  • Hello, I have a 325i sedan with around 87K miles on it, it was working great till about 3-4 days back when i started seeing "Service Engine Soon" alert. I did Oil change (Mobil 1, synthetic), transmission fluid change and air filter change (and few other maintenances) only 2-3 months back.

    I thought that this could be due to poor quality gas or i must have left the gas tank cap not properly closed, but later on i saw that it was properly closed and i even filled in best quality Shell gas.

    Please help me get some idea as to what could be the reason why this is happening, Even with the warning light I had to drive to work today (The light came back after 5-10 minutes of driving). :-) I hope im not doing too much damage to my bimmer.

    Thanks!
    Sam.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Please help me get some idea as to what could be the reason why this is happening

    Relax! If the car is running fine it is very unlikely that you will harm it by driving it. Any Autozone will read the fault codes for free.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The problem could be any one of dozens (or even hundreds). Your best bet is to get your car to either a dealership or to an independent mechanic so that the error codes can be read. Said codes will be the starting point that MUST be explored before you (or your mechanic) can properly diagnose the problem.

    As far as damage is concerned, I wouldn't worry too much about it, just get your car in for service ASAP. In the end it will probably be a sensor or some such that needs to be replaced.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Thanks guys! i will go to autozone and have them read the code, lets see what it turns out to be..
  • The code reader, read it to be crankshaft position sensor, since the car was working fine, and i assumed that a failed sensor should not cause any major problem so i will have it fixed as soon as i get a chance.. But i have started to see the startup problems, where the car would not start easily, i need to press on to the gas padel for some time and then only im able to change the gear to drive otherwise the rpm needle just dies down. Im not very sure if the sensor and this problem have something to do with each other. In any case i will take it to the auto shop tomorrow.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hopefully Div2 will chime in here shortly as I'm pretty sure he posted a link some time back to a DIY discussion of that sensor. IIRC, it's a fairly easy job and could well save you some $$$.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Yep, a failed crankshaft position sensor can cause the problems that you described. Fortunately the R&R is a fairly simple and inexpensive procedure; the part itself costs less than $90, and it takes less than an hour to swap it out.
  • After talking to various auto-shops i quickly decided (not sure why i did that..) that i will have it replaced at the BMW dealership itself, After waiting for 2 hours i got my car back all clean and washed. They charged $175 for labour and $113 for the part. Just by looking at the error code they were initially not sure wether it is an intake or exhaust camshaft postition sensor (Even though it said 'A' - but who knows what 'A' stands for anyways), the parts shop had both of them but they told me there wont be any return on electrical parts if i take both of them and then later on return one of them after showing it to some other mechanic.

    Doing some research before going to the mechanic/dealership was definitely worthwhile, otherwise who knows how much it would have costed me to take my car, with startup problems and "Service Engine" lights on, to the authorised mechanic or Dealership.

    Thanks to shipo and dev2 for giving me some info. to begin with.
  • I recently purchased an '88 hardtop 3-series. the timing belt was changed in 2001 but that was only less than 5,000 miles ago. the vehicle has been garaged since 2000 by a collector. the question is, do timing belts erode over time or is the need to change strictly at the 60,000 mile marker.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Just curious, do you have a 325i or 325is?

    There are many schools of thought on timing belt replacement.

    Some say 60,000 miles and 7 years. Others more fanatical say 30,000 miles and 4 years.

    I'm somewhere in the middle, but since your car has been sitting for many years, I would change it immediately. It's cheap insurance against catastrophic engine damage (which will result if the belt breaks).

    After you change it, do it again every 5 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    I'd change the belt. 325s WILL break their belts, too. There's not much room for error. And it would be a great opportunity to flush out the old coolant and replace or at least inspect the hoses and drive belts and perhaps replace the water pump while you're at it.

    MODERATOR

  • Hello, I would like to find out how i can couple my cell phone (motorola with bluetooth) with my 2001 BMW 325i, I see that it has arrangements to do so (pre-wiring), but im not sure if it needs anything extra also to make it work. Any input would be much appriciated.

    Thanks,
    Sam.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,883
    I think you need some kind of transmitter kit. I'd call the BMW parts department on this one.

    MODERATOR

  • Thanks, will do.

    -Sam.
  • Hi, My cars windshield washer liquid seems to leak away overnight and i see windshield washer low light when i start my car. however there always stays some inside the tank which i am able to use.

    My question is: could this be only due to cracked washer reservior or there could also be some bad sensor/pump causing it?

    I used some after market windshield washer liquid that i bought from local auto shop.. i burnt my hands already by using some local coolant (non-bmw) which damaged my bmw's expansion tank (costed me $230).

    Any input would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Sam.
This discussion has been closed.