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BMW 3-Series Starting Problems



  • You must use the same BMW dealership I have used. Bought a Certified 2006 325i from them in 8/2009, had all kinds of problems with the certification (car had been wrecked - should not have been certified in the first place but I won't go into that here). Hard to start issues began in December 2010. Dealer said battery was bad & charged a total of $430.48 to replace the battery (keep in mind the pre-owned warranty did not expire until 4/13/2012). New battery did not solve the problem - still slow to start, especially after the car got warmed-up. Brought in again May 1, 2012 (2 weeks after warranty expired) with same issue - slow to start - and they said the battery was bad (the same new one they put in just 16 months earlier - go figure). Put in a new battery and 2 new tires for total cost of $1,152.62. Brought in again 9/12/2012 (4 months later) again slow to start, this time said starter was bad, put in a new starter at a cost of $1,375.43. Starts like a champ now. Now keep in mind the warranty had expired just 5 months earlier. Then voila - on September 19, 2012 (the following week) had to put in a new water pump at a cost of $1,123.03, plus the towing charge of $150 :mad: . Do you see a pattern here? I've owned 4 BMW's in the past and I will not buy another one again, ever. :mad: This one will get traded for a newer car in just a couple of weeks. God help the poor SOB who buys it. :lemon:
  • My son has a 2002 325i BMW in Australia and has a starting problem, which no one can figure out or fix. If the car sits for an extended time – usually overnight – it is very hard to start. It turns over but will usually take about 10 minutes of fiddling, before it will start and run. After it finally starts up, it seems to run just fine. The problem seems worse when the air temp is cold. Does anyone have any ideas as to what is happening????
  • Hey gang, it's me again-the one with all the battery, starter and then module sunroof issues. Well I'm back with another issue with my 2006 325i bmw. Now I can't get the trunk open. The starting problem was final resolved with a new sunroof module-after 4 months. That seems so far to do the trick, but like I said now it's the trunk. Key fob opens doors but not trunk. Only the key itself opens the trunk and that isn't easy:( Any suggestions???? Please comfort me and don't tell me an actuator. We have checked the valet switch in the trunk...not it. I have done some research online and the word actuator keeps coming up???? This sounds expensive and difficult to install ourselves. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If it wasn't for this forum-I would still probably be dealing with the starting issue:) Merry Christmas
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    We just bought an 08 528' w/44k. Nice car, but I wonder if I want to own one of these money pits. After a Saab and an Audi years ago, I said no more European cars, but here I am. Quite a few rattles and a light clunkiness from the front suspension on the sharper bumps around town. Anyone have similar? I read where people have replaced front A arm or bushings around 100k. But at 44k? Shouldn't be. Our 03 Avalon is more enjoyable around town. Kinda like my Ducati vs Honda 750 and VTX 1800. Superior on the road, but not so much around town. Maybe need to get used to it. It was very satisfying driving around looking at houses the other day, but I prefer the Avalon for running errands. Much more relaxed. I'm guessing we may go back to a 2013 Avalon. Like the Cad ATS also. The only Cad I like. They are on the right track and I hope the follow when upgrading other models. I did get 34 MPG from Phoenix to Tucson. Fairly flat but an increase in altitude from 1100' to 2500 @ 80 MPH. What are the rest of you getting?
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I'm guessing we may go back to a 2013 Avalon. Like the Cad ATS also.

    Maybe it's just me, but it doesn't seem like much of a comparison between a 5 year old car with 44K miles (purchased used) and two other brand spanking new 2013 models.
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    "comparison between a 5 year old car with 44K miles (purchased used) and two other brand spanking new 2013 models."

    I went both ways.

    "Our 03 Avalon is more enjoyable around town." My wife says they both drive very nice, but are very different cars. I agree. BTW, the Avalon is 10 years old, never goes to the dealer, has not had one problem and NO rattles. If Japan can do it, why can't Europe after all these years? Same for USA. I just can't see these dealers ripping off the loyal customer. Example: BMW documents list window tint as an $800 option. I don't care how much money one has, why would you let someone screw you like that? A fellow had a seat clunk in his Z3. Mine too. The dealer wanted to replace the seat rails for $1600 when a kit is available aftermarket for like $20. I made my own. Cost zero. Same for the glove box fix. Then I find my European sports car was designed in the USA by a Japanese guy. GEEZ. Not priced like a japanese car though. Don't believe? Check Wikipedia. "The Z3 was designed by Joji Nagashima of the BMW design team into 1993"
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Certainly sounds as if the Avalon is your choice of car.

    Life's too short, so buy and drive what works best for you.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,287
    I have done some research online and the word actuator keeps coming up???? This sounds expensive and difficult to install ourselves. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    The valet switch is in the glove compartment, and locking the glove box should also deactivate the remote unlocking of the trunk. If not, the problem is either part #5 or part #10 in this diagram.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,287
    Our 03 Avalon is more enjoyable around town.

    Assuming that comment was not meant to be a joke, I'm wondering why you would ever look at anything other than a Toyota.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Oh thank you so much-haven't tried your suggestion for unlocking the glove box...will do though. Keep your fingers crossed. Will let you know how this goes!!!!!!!!!!! If this does not work-do you know how to tell which one we need #5 or #10 and is this something we can do ourselves-husband handy but not overly with cars. House yes, cars not so much:)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,287
    edited December 2012
    My guess is #5. If it is anything like my old E39 5 Series, you pry off the trunk liner and then it simply unbolts/unplugs. When my wife gets home I'll check her car(2009 328i).

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • fido2fido2 Posts: 1
    Sounds like you are an Avalon guy.
  • Thank you-we live in Ohio and WOW it's cold outside-so my husband has not tried anything except the glove box and unfortunately that didn't work:( Will try your suggestion and thank you again:)
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    "I'm wondering why you would ever look at anything other than a Toyota."

    I always believed that if you buy the same thing, you don't learn anything. That said, I never argue with success. And I did go back to Europe 3 times for 3 brands. Must be a glutton for punishment as I now own 2 BMW's, but when they start costing me to own, they're history. Guess I'm a slow learner. That being said, my Japanese cars just keep performing without hassle. 100k miles with no problems kinda says why they have been so successful. I admit, I have had a Camry and the Avalon but other than that, very diversified including a very sharp white AMC Matador Brougham coupe with custom wheels. I have owned 45 cars, 9 motorcycles, from a 750 Kawasaki 3 cyl, 2 stroke to a Ducati V Twin - hows that for diversity, but no Harleys. Nice if you like trips to the shop, although newer may be better. They just don't trip my trigger. My Honda VTX 1800 puts them on the trailer and doesn't vibrate. Also, ten motorcycles, and Five tractors, so I don't think I'm stuck on the Avalon or one brand of anything. The crank turns, and what may be best today may not be tomorrow, so why be blindly brand loyal? I love to try different things. Keeps life interesting. We are both driving enthusiasts. If they aren't fun, I make em that way or get something else. Something hassle free does tend to stick around for awhile though. What really sticks in my craw though, is when a brand touts itself to be the best and then has ongoing problems as stated above. What the hell are they thinking?
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    My 08 Certified 528i has had the entire drivers side and hood repainted, and not well done either. It was certified @ 7k miles. The older gal who owned it acted surprised when I asked and said it had not been. I assumed she wasn't telling the truth, as BMW would NEVER do such a thing and then certify it. Now I'm not so sure. Would this be acceptable to BMW as a car to certify? I spose the car is still OK, still................... If so and not stated, I would feel deceived.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    There's nothing in the guidelines that prohibits a car that has been repainted from being certified; however, the guidelines presume that the repaint is of an acceptable standard. Here's what it says:

    "Depending on the location and extent, most
    cosmetic shortcomings should be repaired prior to offering the vehicle for sale under the CPO program"

    The question is, what are "cosmetic shortcomings?" the guidelines do specify that dents, or chips down to primer or metal are not acceptable and should be repaired, but it says nothing about things like orange peel or mis-matched colors.


  • I recently had a bad misfire on my 2006 330i Sedan one cold morning, a coil going for the second time in three months. The first time in 9/12 they replaced ignition coil 2 and two weeks ago all six were replaced, an oil gasket leak fixed and some bushings done too -- all under third party Warranty but still paid 562 smackers on my own (100 deductible). Since the service my car slow cranks a lot and I did get very poor gas mileage for a week or so afterward. Car has 49,060 on her, and first coil went down at 47.4K.

    This morning the car barely started in the wintry conditions, around 30 degrees F so far but ice and snow and high winds as the blizzard is approaching, and then after some 1500 to 2000 RPM idle time with the aid of my foot, waiting until after the car warmed up a bit before I did that, the car started a lot quicker in the next two attempts. I ended with a 5 minute stint at 1750 RPMs as I am hoping to keep enough of a battery charge to rectify the problem without jumping or towing. I already took the flashlight to the trunk but couldn't tell if the indicator was light yellow or pale green - it definitely wasn't black.

    I am thinking how I can steer around the Stealer and buy and properly install a near top of the line Duralast Platinum AGM which goes for about $155 at Autozone. Then I will just need a shop referral to get it installed, programmed and registered correctly. Right?

    I wish I could just install it myself, but even Autozone says no way - Do Not Install Yourself...bummer.

    I do take far too many very short drives so this may have depleted my battery. There are no changes in digital readouts or low battery warnings upon starting - just very slow cranks half the time, no clicks and worse in the cold. At 40F or above, she always kicks over more easily. Any suggestions re: battery preferred without the BMW Service ripoff will be appreciated. Aside from battery, could the coils be involved in the slow cranks?

  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    The coil's function is to just zap the spark plug. I don't see what that would have to do with cranking. That may just be a low battery, especially since it improved after running/charging. I would take it on a longer drive to insure a good charge, or throw a charger on it before buying something you don't need. If it has the problem a day or so after, you probably have your answer.

    I have never bought a top of the line battery. $155? Yeow. For that they should install free. Why shouldn't you do it yourself?

    If the CCA's etc. are adequate or better than OEM, any battery should be fine but check the warranty. I usually buy mine at SAMS or Fleet Farm.
  • 55396 - Good advice - I'll take it and also take that long drive. Autozone says only a BMW tooled shop can set the battery up to the computer etc.. just as the Stealer says...otherwise I would do it myself. The reason why I want a high cold amp battery for 155 bucks is that it will be stronger than the BMW stock one and will start the car easier in freezing temps, here in New York, Connecticut and when we go to Canada in the winter.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,667
    $155 is about the going rate for a BMW battery. Just had mine replaced a few months ago.

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

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