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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier

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  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    FWIW, my dealer demanded 10% down when I ordered my 330i w/5spd in April of last year. In my area (NYC metro area), 4-door E46s with stick are uncommon, & the dealer feared getting stuck with a hard-to-sell car. My color choice didn't help much, either: steel grey / tanin red leather.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I think the $500 deposit is normal. Use your charge card, the dealer generally will not place a charge against the card. That way you still have your cash.

    Almost everyone will charge you for wheel locks. Try having the dealer throw those in with the deal on the car. Circle BMW, Pacific BMW and Passport BMW have good prices especially if you are a BMWCCA member or read/subscribe to Bimmer Magazine. I purchased most of my accessories in Germany and England. I did get my alarm from Passport. I'll buy small price items at my local dealership. For anyone doing ED, I can email you the German prices on 3er accessories. Don't buy accessories at the ED center, their prices are higher and Niederlassung Munchen is just down the street. If you want a map of the Munich BMW complex, I can email it. Or I can add it to my website.
  • 1johann1johann Posts: 32
    It has been a long time since we drove a rear wheel drive car. Did it in the winters of Michigan. Now in the DC area and thinking of a used/CPO 323i/328i/325i BMW.

    Concerns..........

    i) Do all of the old (1999-2001) 3 series come with traction control as standard?

    ii) Is it necessary to buy snow tires for the back and/or front for winter driving? Or, are all weather tires w/traction control (see above) sufficient?

    I don't think I want to change tires with the change of the seasons.

    Note: It only snows a bit here - and just a few times of year.....but it does get slippery often in the winter.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    The E46 has had traction control since its introduction in 1999. Beginning with the 2000 model year, DSC - Dynamic Stability Control - has also been standard. This helps prevent loss of control due to skidding.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,468
    BMW's all season traction has been standard on the 3 series since 1996. I believe Dynamic Stability Control is also standard on all 1999-2000 BMW 3 series.

    Snow tires: That's a sore subject that often pops up frequently on this (and many other) boards. The general consensus is that if you have a RWD BMW equipped with all season tires, AST, & DSC that you should be fine especially in your area. Many here who live in NYC & NJ don't put snow tires on if they have all season tires.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Before I give some early assessments, I have to point out a couple of things. For any comparison between the Kumho's and the Contis, keep in mind that the Contis had 18K miles on them and I don't necessarily remember how they behaved when new. Also the Kumho's only have about 80 miles on them so I'm sure they are not yet free of die-release compound (not "scrubbed in"). Also, I haven't had a chance to play with tire pressures so when I find the settings I'm happiest with, some or all of my findings may be obsolete. I plan on finding some time for play this extended weekend, if my opinions change, I'll send an update.

    The good;

    * They already feel stickier. Even without being scrubbed in yet. I was surprised by the grip on my drive home. It was raining a little and with ~normal~ driving (some may consider it aggressive ;-)) the rear didn't slide at all unless provoked. The contis have been very prone to sliding around when the road is wet.

    * They are much quieter. If I remember correctly, the contis were much quieter when new too. They started getting noisier at about 5K miles, I think.

    * The ride feels a little more compliant.

    The bad;

    * They feel floatier... less feel for what they are ABOUT to do. You can feel it when they start to break loose but with the contis, I could feel when they were ~almost~ ready to break loose. I mentioned this to a coworker who has Kumho's on his A4 and he said that he noticed that too, but the feel improves vastly once the tires are broken in.

    * I was hoping they'd have less of a tendency to tramline... no such luck. I guess that's part of the price you pay for wide, performance rubber.

    Bottom line, from my initial observations, I bought 4 tires for slightly more than I would have paid for 2 Contis and they are at least as good, and probably will be better once properly broken in.
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    What nyccarguy said - especially the part about that being a testy subject.

    If I were you, and the car you buy doesn't have the SP tires (which just won't go up hill in snow), I wouldn't get snow tires for a DC winter. If you're buying new tires, I have Bridgestone Potenza RE950's on my Maxima, and they have good snow/rain traction, with pretty sporty handling, a pretty quiet ride, and they look cool. I'd consider them for a BMW.

    Remember, 20 years ago, we all drove RWD cars in the snow, and we got by just fine. And, that was before all of these high-tech traction and stability control systems, and with 1970's tire technology.
  • 1johann1johann Posts: 32
    It has been a long time since we drove a rear wheel drive car. Did it in the winters of Michigan. Now in the DC area and thinking of a used/CPO 323i/328i/325i BMW.

    Concerns..........

    i) Do all of the old (1999-2001) 3 series come with traction control as standard?

    ii) Is it necessary to buy snow tires for the back and/or front for winter driving? Or, are all weather tires w/traction control (see above) sufficient?

    I don't think I want to change tires with the change of the seasons.

    Note: It only snows a bit here - and just a few times of year.....but it does get slippery often in the winter.
  • rshaw11rshaw11 Posts: 52
    Does anyone technical information about the bi-xenon headlights. I know they run at a higher voltage, and are brighter, but how does the self-leveling feature work? Thanks.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    ... the winter tire debate (argument?) is gonna start again. :-)

    Many here, myself included, want seperate summer and winter tires. All season's are a "jack of all trades, master of none". If you want the best performance in all conditions, buy an extra set of wheels with winter tires and swap them out for the snowy season.

    That said, many others use all-season's year-round and are very happy with them. I think we may even have one poster, unless he's seen the error in his ways, who uses summer tires all year (brave, have you seen the error in your ways? :-)).

    As for traction control, I know all e46's, 2000-on
    have TCS and DSC standard. I believe that '99s had TSC standard and DSC optional, but I'm not sure.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Nice write-up on the Kumhos. The Rack has general guidelines for tires break-in - have you read them? Basically, don't push them to the limit (cornering, accel, and braking) for the first 500 miles. It will be hard, I know. BTW, my Contis were quiet till about 11-12K miles after which they got noticeably louder. As far as snow tires, I agree with the general consensus on the board. It's key to recognize that your needs would depend on your driving experience and especially circumstances, though. My circumstances are changing and summer tires will not cut it in the area that we are moving to, so I am planning on getting a set of snow tires in a few months.
  • Thanks to those of you who responded to my questions regarding the extended service protection and LoJack--especially Shipo. I'll take your advice and avoid the extended service. I'll check into the BMW alarm system through pacificbmw.com.

    My only thought why LoJack might be good is that they claim they're the only ones "the authorities" use to track stolen vehicles--given that's it uses GPS for tracking. Traditional car alarms seem to be a waste of time, hearing them go off allthe time and people ignore them. Any thoughts on that?

    MarinBeemer
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    Sounds like the std system on the 325's are pretty good. I'm not getting a separate alarm. I'm on the fence on the LoJack issue right now, will prob. opt out & keep the Club handy. If nothing else it's a visual deterrent (when in use).
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    deposit - $500 seems to be the standard for the 3-series. I was asked to pay the same. pierce1, at least here in Mass, the dealer must return your deposit if you walk out of the deal unless he has already received the car on his lot in which case he is allowed to keep some or all of the money to cover costs he has incurred.

    trade-in - I was able to sell my Jetta VR6 to a private party for $2,500 more than what the dealer was offering me. It took a few months but it was well worth the wait. BTW, that was before GM killed the used car market with 0% financing on new cars - it might be much tougher to sell a car now.

    postoak - In everyday driving, there is no need for heel and toeing. However, there is a section on the track where we autocross where I max out on RPM's (the RPM's just keep hitting the rev limiter at ~6,800) in second about 100 ft before a tight slalom starts. Shifting in third would help you get to the slalom section a little faster but if you have to downshift into 5-6K RPM's without heel and toeing right before you enter the slalom, you will seriously upset the balance of the car and you will lose a lot of time. So what I do is leave it in second because I am not comfortable with heel and toeing yet.

    rshaw11 - Tire pressure is a trial and error. Your preferences will determine what's good for you. Generally, I find anything over 36 psi to be a little uncomfortable for everyday driving in my 325i SP, so I keep it at 32/34 F/R which gives you a very comfortable ride even with the SP. On the track, I use 37/36 F/R because more air in the fronts reduces understeer and gives the car a better balance when pushed very hard. Try different settings and see what you like for yourself.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    I paid a bit more attention to what I'm doing on upshifts on the way home today. First, although the RPMs are higher on an upshift, on my engine they drop very fast so what I've gotten in the habit of doing is pressing down on the accelerator (once the clutch is pressed in) and holding at the point that I know will match my revs in the next gear for the speed I'm going. Is this wrong?

    brave1heart - I've admitted before that I'm not the most coordinated individual in the world (23 handicap at golf) and I find those advanced techniques too hard to master for the result obtained (assuming no racing or auto-x-ing).
  • allanoallano Posts: 175
    I hope I'm not stating the obvious: LoJack is a car retrieval system not a car alarm system. It does not prevent a car from being stolen but rather allows the police to locate "miss-placed" vehicle.
    If you want to try to prevent your car from being stolen, option for the alarm system. If you would like to maximize you chances of retrieving your car once it is stolen, option for LoJack. In my area, LoJack pays for itself in five years with lower insurance premiums.
  • When I posted the question, I knew the difference between a car alarm and LoJack and also that if someone really wants your car, they'll simply load it onto a flatbed truck and drive away with it. To me, that's why car alarms don't seem to be any more effective than The Club. I was impressed with the GPS locating technology used by LoJack and by the fact that a car equipped with LoJack doesn't have a sticker announcing "Protected by LoJack" (similar to those "cute" bumper stickers, "Protected by Smith and Wesson")--which would tip off the thieves to search for the GPS unit. If your LoJack-equipped car is stolen by thieves who load it onto a flatbed truck, you notify the police ASAP and the LoJack unit is activated. Becasue the GPS unit is well hidden in the car, theoretically, the thieves aren't aware that the car is equipped with LoJack, and the police have a better chance of retrieving it before it goes to a chop shop or a container ship.

    MarinBeemer
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    I can't believe that for a $30,000+ car, BMW couldn't provide wheel locks

    Had my 325i come with wheel locks, I would have insisted that they be taken off! I had wheel locks on my Miata…until I tried taking the wheel off with the little wrench they provided. I ended up screwing up the key for the lug nuts making it useless. Fortunately, I was in my garage trying to make sure a rim fit so I could drive to the tire store.

    Make sure you try using the wheel locks on the car with the supplied wrench. You may find a thief will have an easier time getting them off than you.

    Think about where your wheels might be stolen; parked someplace where help is available vs. getting a flat on a highway in the middle of nowhere. If you can't get your wheel off to change the tire, you may be in for a very long walk!

    -murray
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I've put @10K on the Kumhos Ecstas I fitted to the Club Sport. They replaced a set of Dunlop D40M2s and I can honestly say that they are just as good or better- especially considering the price. They do become more communcative as they wear in. I haven't really pushed them past their dry limits on the street as the Club Sport is over-tired to begin with. That said, the Kumhos give plenty of warning before they begin to lose grip in the wet.
  • Yes indeed you can close the gaps between the front license plate bracket replacement molding strip and the side molding strips by sliding the side strips towards the middle. You need something to give you a little soft friction on the side molding strips to move them (I used jar openers that a table pad company had given us). It probalby took a minute to do in total. My car is now perfect! Kudoos and thanks to tcn2k!
  • nobeenobee Posts: 194
    I remember a post a while back that talked about getting rid of door dings. Since my car is going back to the states, I was wondering how much would they charge to get two minor door dings out and how do they get them out anyways?

    -nobee
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Paintless Dent Repair - they usually charge by the "panel" and I've seen prices running from $45 to $150 (this last is way too much in my opinion, except for an antique/showcar being worked on by a nationally acclaimed expert).

    They have to be able to get behind the dent. In some cases (but fewer than you might think) they have to drill a 1/2" hole in a relatively inconspicuous place to gain access. For example, in my case the tail light mechanism was removed and the hole drilled under the area normally covered by it.

    Once access is gained, they use metal levers of different size/shape on the back side and a small hammer and sometimes a punch on the outside to remove the dent.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    "When I posted the question, I knew the difference between a car alarm and LoJack and also that if
    someone really wants your car, they'll simply load it onto a flatbed truck and drive away with it."

    If a thief is willing to go to the trouble of loading your BMW onto a flatbed, what are the chances of him not disabling the LoJack?
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Thanks for the reply. I'm getting more pleased with each confirmation that the feedback will improve since that was the one real negative in mind so far. You mentioned their wet road traction warning, how are they when the road's dry? Do they "sing" before letting loose or is it a full grip to no grip kind of thing?
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    If the GPS heart of LoJack is 'hidden' wouldn't it be hidden in the same place on every car, therefore it'd be pretty easy to find? I'll have to do some digging on this.
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    I though that I had heard of all the seat belt rattles and squeaks by now through this board.

    Recently I have begun to hear this buzzing noise coming from over my shoulder while driving. Initially I though it was the door and then the seat belt anchor area, but realized that it was the speaker in the driver side REAR door that seems to be the culprit. This speaker seems to be buzzing all the time (sometimes even after I have turned the Stereo off). Has anyone noticed this?? I cannot confirm this is the speaker since it only occurs while I am driving, but I cannot imagine that it is anything else that is buzzing.

    The sound is not loud but loud enough for the driver (me) to want to rip the speaker out.

    Any suggestions or similar experience?
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Do you have HK sound system? There are some buzzing issues with them.
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    If the GPS heart of LoJack is 'hidden' wouldn't it be hidden in the same place on every car, therefore it'd be pretty easy to find?

    Supposedly, they have several different locations which they can use, which is a good thing, and probably makes for a slight advantage over OEM systems (TeleAid, On*Star, etc). Of course, if you have a lazy installation technician, he will only bother to use the "easy" spots, so the amount of protection is not as great as it can be.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that the Original LoJack is not GPS based. It was merely a directional beacon that required the police to have a tracking system in their squad car, so if they're out of range, they're out of range. If there's a new LoJack that is GPS based, I've not heard of it (nor can I find it on their website). This is where the TeleAid/On*Star systems have their advantage: when activated, they literally cellphone in their current GPS coordinates. This assumes that the bad guys haven't been smart enough to disconnect the GPS or cellphone antennas.

    No system is going to be completely foolproof, except perhaps for the one James Bond had (Boom :-)

    -hh
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,468
    Does a GPS based system like Tele-Aid work when the car is off too? I have a friend who has a C320 that was stolen right out of his driveway a few months after he got it. The waiting period for the insurance company had almost passed when he got a call from an FBI agent saying that his car had been recovered in a box, on a ship in Halifax, Nova Scotia and to come get it (he lives on Staten Island). When he finally got the car back (after they wouldn't let it back into the country because the plates came up as a stolen car), he took it to a Mercedes Dealer to have it checked out. The entire car was in tact except the floor mats were filthy.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

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