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2003 BMW 3-Series Service

03newbie03newbie Posts: 2
edited March 20 in BMW
I recently purchased a 2003 325i BMW. I have a -1250 Inspection light being displayed and a service engine soon light displayed. The car has 28000 miles on it. Do I take it to a local shop or to the dealership this first service time?


  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I have a -1250 Inspection light being displayed and a service engine soon light displayed. The car has 28000 miles on it.

    The two messages are not related; the Service Engine Soon light indicates that your car's on-board diagnostics have detected a fault in the emission control system. Any Autozone can read out the fault code for free. The Inspection countdown is for what BMW calls an "Inspection 1", which is nothing more than an oil/filter change combined with a thorough examination of the car. A good independent BMW shop can service your car or you can use the dealer.
  • Thanks for your reply. What will the dealer do if I take it in now for its 30,000 service? Also can the dealer print out all of the services done on the car anywhere in the country/
  • You should be under warranty and w/in the 4 year/50,000 mile maintenance plan that came with the car. I just bought a 03 330i w/ 34,000 miles and got a check engine light. It went in for warranty repairs free of charge at the BMW dealer. I do not know why div2 suggested an independent garage when you have a BMW factory maintenance program and warranty for 4 years or 50,000 miles. You should go to the dealer for the repairs which should be free under warranty and any maintenance needs should also be taken care of free. You do not have to be the original owner for such coverage.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I do not know why div2 suggested an independent garage when you have a BMW factory maintenance program and warranty for 4 years or 50,000 miles.

    03newbie asked if he had to go to the dealer and I explained that it wasn't required. In some cases the nearest dealer may be so far away or so incompetent that the indie shop may be a better choice. If the dealer is located within a reasonable driving and provides quality work then by all means use the dealer, especially if BMWis paying for it. That said,I'd still bring my own Mobil 1 0W-40 and change it every 7500 miles.
  • rlathamrlatham Posts: 50
    Call the dealer. Depending on the in service date of your 2003 car it could still be covered under factory covered maintenence. All 2003's had that.
  • Hello all,
    son just purchased 1996 bmw 328i this past week from a private party. Car was really cared for, looks great, clean, we did not choose to get a mechanic to look at it in advance. Now, a week later, the check engine light went on today. I know that when a gas cap is not on tight, that can cause a loss in the vaccuum and result in the light coming on , but I checked the gas cap, and it is on snugly, so does not look like that is the source of the light going on.

    I have not had a chance to do much in tracking down a recommended bmw mechanic in my area (thousand oaks) does anyone here have any that they highly recommend, between calabasas and camarillo?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Fast answer:

    Their web site has resources that will allow you to find a mechanic local to wherever you happen to be.

    Best Regards,
  • Shipo, Thank you for the quick reply. When I go to I am not sure what sub category I should click on to pull up mechanic info. do you know what I click on from their home page?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Unfortunately I don't remember off-hand and doubly unfortunately, their site isn't coming up for me right now. :(

    Best Regards,
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,613
    Also try:

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,353
    Sometimes the gas cap is bad, also. I believe they can be tested.

  • Hello,
    I'm new to the site, and finding it very usefull. Has anyone had any bad experiences w/this "stupid" seat belt assist arm? I just bought a 328 / 07 coupe, this just looks like trouble waiting to happen. It kinda reminds me of when Mercedes had put mini wipers on their headlights, back in the early 80's. I find them very unnecessary, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from buying the car. Thanks for any feedback.
  • sps1sps1 Posts: 1
    Actually it's BMWCCA.ORG. To find the info it looks like it's in the message board area for members. I looked there but no one in the Woodland Hills-Camarillo Area is listed (and only a few on the west coast are listed). I'm going to give German Car Tech a try (on T.O. Blvd across from the Civic Arts Plaza) to put a short shifter and new pads on my M-3. You can e-mail me in a few weeks to see if i regretted it:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    What would be great is if you would post how it works out!
  • bemerbemer Posts: 20
    How the oil change service works on 2007 3 series?
    I know is every ~15K (or whenever oil control comes up).
    My car has only about 5K and was purchased in Jan 2007.
    Am I eligible for a free oil service once a year regardless of mileage as well?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    No you are not eligible for a free oil change. BMW has long since removed the one year requirement for oil changes as research has shown that oils that meet the BMW LL-01 oil spec (and/or the VW 503.01 standard) virtually don't oxidize at all with the passage of time.

    Best Regards,
  • This might seem like a silly question but what is the little square box for on the right side of the back bumper? It looks like it is supposed to open but does not. Looks like a smaller version of the gas door.

    I have an '07 335 but see these on all BMW's.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,236
    Tow hook/eye access required by Europe (Germany only?). They're on both the front & rear of any car marketed on the continent. The actual structure underneath the bumper cover may not be present in North American vehicles, but the cover itself is universal.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the Tow-Hook port is used for tie-downs on the Ro-Ro vessels that bring our cars over here from Germany. In the case of my ED 530i, I dropped it off with E.H. Harms in Munich with the cover intact, and when I picked it up here in the U.S., the cover had gone missing and the metal underneath showed signs of recent use.

    Best Regards,
  • bemerbemer Posts: 20

    Your contribution to this forum is incredible, and I am sure many members are grateful to have someone like you here.
    Regarding my question and your answer, I actually called BMW dealer and apparently is still 15K or one year, whichever comes first. They told me to bring car around one year anniversary – “doesn’t even have to be exactly one year”.
This discussion has been closed.