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BMW 3-Series: FAQ

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Comments

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Lucky guess on my part. Happy to help. Enjoy your car. Don't worry too much about the coolant, just change it out in one or two years and you'll be fine.
  • bornagainbornagain Posts: 38
    Now you're going to give him a big head! Maybe he'll started charging :)))
  • I'm interested in purchasing a 2001 325ci but I like the rims on the 330ci. Does anyone know where I can get these? How about after market? Can anyone also suggest any other cool rims to get and where? how much will it end up costing me? What should I do with the stock ones that are on the car now. Will the dealer trade it in?

    Also I like the way the lower grill (where the fog lights are) stands out on the 330cibetter because it's painted silver rather than black. Has anyone heard of painting it?

    Any cool sites to get aftermarket goods for the 3series?

    I'm getting a sweet deal on the 325 or I would go for the 330.
    Thanks!

    Ron
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    www.dinanbmw.com

    It may be heresy here, but i'm sort-of anti-mod. I could spend 2-3K on mods, but i'd rather invest that money and spend 3-5K more buying a faster car next time.

    dave
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Not to mention that few drivers schools will make you MUCH faster than $2-3K of mods could ever hope to.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Also an excellent point.

    I do know people with well over 10K in mods that have never been to any driving school at all; who don't know oversteer from unsersteer.

    dave
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    I was very appreciative for the advice I received last time on the water pump problem with the 94'.
    Now I am looking for opinion on the oldest of the three cars I own, a 86' 325e which basically is used by my son when he comes home for school vacations. We also use it for short errands around town like taking leaves or trash to the town dump. The car has been meticulously maintained. Both timing bell and four new brakes were put in about 5000 miles ago and coolant and brake flush done a month ago. Synthetic oil has always been used for oil chage. Car runs well. A couple weeks ago I noticed grinding noise coming out when I turned the steering wheel and upon checking found the power steering fluid was almost empty. I bought some PS fluid and put it in and the noise went away and it steers fine. However, the leak continues and now I almost have to put in fluid every week.
    I checked with an independent mechanic, he told me the "power steering rack" needs replacement and a non-BMW part replacement will cost me between $800 to $1000. I called my BMW service manager who I have known for many years because I have my three BMWs serviced there. He told me on the phone that if the rack needs replacement, it will be around $1300.
    Do you think the price quoted is around the ball park and what is your opinion to fix such a old car, albeit is still in very good condition, at this price. I almost feel stupid to spend this much money, but somehow my boys and myself all somehow quite attached to our first BMW! Sorry for the long posting and thanks in advance for your rational thoughts.
  • iam0378iam0378 Posts: 10
    I have had my '02 330Ci for a week and there is a pull to the right, as the car would appear to be out of alignment. I noticed it the day after I bought it, but was unable to take it in for a few days. Momentum BMW in Houston told me initially the tires had incorrect pressures between the front and rear, which should correct the problem--it didn't. I took it back the next day and a different service advisor said BMW designs their cars with a pull to the right "so as to get the car off the road in case the driver falls asleep."

    I don't buy it. My friend has a 2001 325i with 7K miles and is perfectly aligned.

    Is there any truth to this? Thanks for the help.
  • Does anyone know how to change the clock (part of the radio)? I have a 2001 325xi sportwagon. I first thought that the owners manual told me to go to the radio manual and the radio manual sent me back to the owners manual. Then I saw more information on the owners manual page and tried to follow directions. These pointed to a knob on the front dash that I couldn't do anything with, even though I was in the first ignition position. I have not found this manual helpful on any issue. Help! Thanks.
  • Anyone had any experience in buying a new or used BMW in Canada? I am planning to buy a new or late model used 3 series conv. and have had trouble finding the right car in the right color in WA. Dealers in BC have a much greater selection than WA dealers.

    Thanks!
  • Press the computer button until the time is shown on the dash display, then turn the right nob (closest to the tac) left or right to adjust the time.

    Josh
  • Hello, this is my first time logged in. Am thinking of purchasing a used BMW 325 Convertable. Want to spend 15-20K Any thoughts on the best year in that dollar range? Consumer reports says the 94s are pretty good. I need an expert's opinion. Let me know. Please. Thanks

    Dave
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Well, for once CR is pretty much on target; the 92-93 3ers had quite a few teething problems. From 94 on you should be OK. The most chronic problem with a 325i of that vintage is the water pump; they used a plastic impeller that could disintegrate and clog up the cooling system. Most if not all cars have had the pumps replaced with all metal units, but if you're not sure, budget for a replacement- under $200 at a good independent shop. The key things I look for in a used BMW are a full service history and a clean pre-purchase inspection from a good BMW tech. The model you are looking for is fairly common so take your time and find a good one. They are pretty reliable and economical to run. The only problem is that a 3er will almost certainly spoil you to the point that you will never settle for less again...
  • Thanks for the thoughts...I'll take a chance on getting spoiled...dave
  • lew12lew12 Posts: 2
    Does anyone know where I can view or print out technical service bulletins? I already know the specific TSB #. I tried alldata.com but they charge for it. I also tried NHTSA's website but could not locate the TSB I'm interested in. Any ideas? Thanks
  • ajb723ajb723 Posts: 48
    Just picked up a new 330i. I would like to install a Valentine radar detector with direct wire connect and concealed display. Wondering if anyone has any experience with this.
  • bbell4bbell4 Posts: 34
    Has anyone bought a 325 and regretted not getting a 330?
  • eyeballseyeballs Posts: 5
    I need advice here. I have never owned a BMW but have heard about it (how they handle the curves, sporty look, etc.). I am thinking about buying either an M3 coupe, BMWX5 3.0 or 330 sedan. I test drove the x5 and the 330 but not the M3 and was impressed. I do have the money to buy either one but what I would like to know (based on your expert advice):

    1. Are they worth the money?
    2. Do they need to be taken to the shop alot for maintenance?
    3. Is maintenance expensive?

    I know the questions might sound stupid but I don't want to buy a car and then be paying out the butt to maintain a car or fix it every so often. One of the reasons I am asking this with all the good things about Bimmers I also have heard negative things about it as well. I want to drive a car that is pleasurable and exhilarating and dependable.

    Please give me honest advice . . . .I would appreciate it greatly!!! Ex: If you are a pro-Lexus person or other manufacturer and want to post to this site and rip bimmers just for the heck of it THEN GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.

    Also, if you have any websites that can point me to a direction I would appreciate it as well.

    Thanks a lot people!!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    It's really hard to predict whether a car will be a good car ot not. How long do you want to own it? 3, 5, 7, 10 years or longer. Consumer Reports rates reliability. Whether you take any stock in them or not, at least they've made an attempt to codify reliability. Other than anecdotally I don't know anywhere else that has this information.

    Having owned two cars for over 10 years, I can say as they get older you have to dump money into them. Luxury performance cars optioned out will always require work, IMO, regardless of the manufacturer. Will the auto-tranny hold up? Same goes for sunroof, elctric heated mirrors, power seats, heated seats, cd player, computer chips, power door locks, HID headlights and engine all hold up?

    MY RWD 1984 Toyota Celica 5 speed with almost no power options, held up for 12 years with normal things breaking, like water pump, radiator, etc. But then there was nothing to go wrong in the car. My 1990 Ford Taurus toward the end required a lot of work, new radiator, several water pumps, several thermostats, alternator, and major work on the CV joints. But the engine and tranny held up. Same for the power seats, power locks, electric mirrors, air conditioner, and power windows.

    Whether or not a BMW will hold up is a crap-shoot. Not that BMW produces clunkers, but there are a lot of electrical things and a high-performance engine and tranny that needs tender loving care and lots of service if you drive the car like most people will drive it. And even if the company produces good cars, you may get a clunker. Also a hard-driven car will almost certainly go through brakes and tires sooner than a car that's driven less hard.

    Good luck with your decision. Sorry I don't have any hard and fast facts, but I leased my BMW 330i for the first time with the expectation of trying it out and see how it goes.

    edit - It was worth every penny.

    Ken
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