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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    when should I measure the oil level?

    I wait 15 minutes to 1 hour. Cdnpinhead's method is the most accurate, but an hour should be close enough.

    should I be planning to replace my radiator?

    You'll want to swap the radiator out before you hit 100K. I'd go with an all-metal replacement if I tracked the car; otherwise I'd fit an OEM replacement.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,796
    As a man who has been scalded by a 3-series radiator, I heartily concur. (Neck broke off at top radiator hose connection, at 76,000 miles)

    MODERATOR

  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    thanks for all of the help everyone.

    I had my car at the mechanic and they didn't see anything wrong with it (I asked them to look for any oil or coolant leaks). But when I asked about the radiator they said that usually these break before 100K miles, and that almost all of their customers don't get this replaced until it breaks.

    Not sure if this was wise, but I had them go ahead and change out the radiator anyhow (I figured it was already in the shop and I didn't want to have this leaving me stranded on the side of the road somewhere).
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    Not sure if this was wise, but I had them go ahead and change out the radiator anyhow (I figured it was already in the shop and I didn't want to have this leaving me stranded on the side of the road somewhere).

    Smart move. I know of one guy who had his E30 318is dump all its coolant in an interstate construction zone- with no place to pull off. By the time he limped to the first pull off he had bought a new engine. Pay now or REALLY pay later.

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

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,257
    Just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your contributions here and in several other boards I visit.

    It's really helpful to have people who actually know something contribute. Just since May you've become one of the BMW authorities, at least in my book.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    Just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your contributions here and in several other boards I visit.

    You are welcome. Cars are my hobby, and I "specialize" in BMWs. I'm just glad to be able to help people out every now and then.

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

  • nbbnbb Posts: 16
    I've been following this subject for some time. We have a 2000 323i and a 2001 325iC. Thankfully, neither transmission has failed. But I am concerned about what to do in the event it happens to me, so any precedent I can share with my dealer is valuable. This was the first I heard of someone getting full reimbursement through the courts. At most, I heard of people getting 'Goodwill' repairs which covered the cost of the part. Can you share the name of the dealer that reimbursed you? Also, do you (or anyone else) fully understand which cars are at risk? For example, is it strictly MY2000? Certain build months? Certain countries of origin (my MY2000 is French, my 2001 is German)? Thanks!
  • Can anyone tell me how the new 2007 3-Series hardtop ride compares with the sedans? Specifically, is there any noise difference inside when the top is up?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    Can anyone tell me how the new 2007 3-Series hardtop ride compares with the sedans? Specifically, is there any noise difference inside when the top is up?

    I drove a 335i Sport Package car for a couple of weeks. The ride was smooth and comfortable. I haven't driven enough sedans to make a valid comparison. As for the steel top, I found it to be every bit as quiet as the coupe. The only compromise the drop top forces on you id reduced luggage space.

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

  • ftrohaftroha Posts: 21
    I won the case and I'm waiting for my check. If the dealership fails to pay within 30 days -- and it looks like they may not at this point -- the matter is turned over to a marshall who can seize the dealership's assets. I suggest you visit the website: "noreverse.org" for documentation that can support your case, if your transmission fails, as I suspect it will. A service bulletin to BMW technicians reporting the fact the transmission would be discontinued appears on the site along with other useful information. Ironically, one of the two judges I met in three court appearances was quite familiar with the 2000 323i's transmission problem. His son's car, a 2000 323i, also failed to engage in reverse without warning.
  • davidd3davidd3 Posts: 582
    2006 330i w/o Sport Package, 34k miles.

    Service center said my noisy cabin is due to cupped OEM tires, unevenly worn on outter & inner. They recommended new tires, quoting $900. Mrs. D declined because we're leasing the car and our lease ends in Aug 2008. We do the winter wheel/tire changeover thing. The OEM tires are coming off just a few weeks from now. Presumably cabin noise will cease to be an issue when the snow tires go back on.

    Here's my question. I would normally take the snow tires off around March 31. But in view of my situation (very noisy OEM tires), I'm thinking about possibly running the snows through spring and summer, making the switch back to the OEMs just before giving the car back at the end of August. Is there any big problem with running snow tires in seasons other than winter?

    My OEM tires only have 22,000 miles on them. Lots of tread left. But cupping issue makes for too much road noise. I can't stand the noise, but I refuse to pay $900 for new tires near the end of my lease.

    My winter tires (Dunlop Winter Sport M3s) have gone through 2 winters and about 12,000 miles. I'm not sure how many miles to reasonably expect from them. This figures to be their last winter anyway. I'm not sure what car I will get next. Even if I got another BMW, I may need a different winter wheel/tire size.

    This is the first time for me to experience cupping. What causes cupping? Is it the fault of the tires or the fault of the car? If it's the fault of the car, is there something they should have checked/fixed so that it won't happen to me again? There's no indication that they did anything other than road test the car, conclude that the tires were cupped, and recommend new tires.

    Thanks.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    The cupping is presumed to be soft rubber compound that was experienced on the Bridgestone EL-42 tires. I had mine changed on this 2006 330xi at 12K for free with Continental ContiPro Contact SSR All-Season tires. BS has changed the rubber since on the EL-42.

    My suggestion is you go for a set of these for around $576 at tire rack before taxes/shipping.

    link title

    Good Luck.

    Regards,
    OW
  • I'm buying this car, with 37,000 miles, for $20K....has 7 months of CPO and free maintenance remaining.....first question:

    1. This a good deal?
    2. I've been reading blogs/forums all day, what kind of reliability issues are "normal" or are they mostly specific to individuals?
    3. What are maintenance fees REALLY like?
    4. Can I purchase an extended warranty from BMW BEYOND the CPO terms??

    Thanks guys...glad I found you.....

    here's the car:
    http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?rdpage=thumb&car_id=230417779&dealer_id=57- - 4493&car_year=2002&model=330CI&num_records=25&systime=1194744720795&make2=&start- - _year=2001&keywordsfyc=&engine=&keywordsrep=&certified=&body_code=2&fuel=&only_p- - rice=1&awsp=false&search_type=used&distance=100&marketZipError=false&search_lang- - =&make=BMW&color=&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&min_price=&body_styl- - e=COUPE&drive=&isDWSI=false&isDWSI=false&default_sort=priceASC&max_mileage=&styl- - e_flag=2&useNewVDPContact=1&useNewVDPContact=1&sort_type=priceASC&address=07080&- - advanced=y&only_photo=1&end_year=2006&doors=&transmission=&max_price=30000&cardi- - st=34
  • I recently had my car serviced by a mechanic friend but he didnt know how to turn off the service spanner light on the dashboard, I have a 2002 318ci. Does anyone know how to turn the light off?

    thanks in advance...
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    I have a 2002 318ci. Does anyone know how to turn the light off?

    Is that a European car? The US 318i was replaced by the 323i in 1999.

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

  • nbbnbb Posts: 16
    Thanks for the info. I looked at the noreverse website, but I couldn't find conclusive info on which cars are affected.

    BTW, are you allowed to share the name of the NJ dealer?

    It's always useful when negotiating with Dealer 'A' to tell them that Dealer 'B' had to reimburse a customer in full. Thx.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Dealer names can be posted here, no problem. What would reach more people is to post on the Dealer Ratings & Reviews page in addition to posting here. Maybe folks would like to give that a try as well!
  • I owned a 1996 BMW 318TI, WITH 139,000 miles, it just pass state inspection in Penn 2 weeks ago, but right after the inspection the Check engine stays on, and when try to start at first try it does not start, the starts on second try and idles smoothly for about 3o seconds and start idling and jerking at same time. Once I hit the gas it goes smoothly, but when stop at a light it starts idling again totutototot....

    Since I bought the car 4 years ago I haven done any tune up, because of high gas prices I used 87 sometimes, and also I do my oil change by topping it. Could this all be the problem? How can i fix this? Do I just need a fuel filter change. Please advice.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    The first thing you need to do is take the car to Autozone, where they will read out -for free- the fault code that is causing the Check Engine light to illuminate. Get that information and check back in. In any event, the plugs should be changed at @30K intervals, ditto for the air and fuel filters. The oxygen sensor(s) should have been replaced at 100K as well.

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

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,257
    If you haven't done anything with the oil but top it up for four years, your fun is just beginning.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    If you haven't done anything with the oil but top it up for four years, your fun is just beginning.

    I agree, I had assumed that he meant that he was using a topsider-style suction pump. Your conclusion is likely correct, however...

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

  • BMW recommends Premium gas for 325i models but when gas prices are going north, if I fill regular gas, will it harm the engine apart from some performance issue (like loss in power)? What are your experiences?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    No, in the short term you won't harm your engine (although some claim that long term use of low AKI fuel will gradually cause the engine to wear sooner than it otherwise would), however, using regular fuel will reduce both power and economy and as such is a "fool's economy". By most accounts, your fuel economy will suffer more than enough to cause you to actually spend more money on gasoline per mile driven than you would have spent if you had just put the more expensive fuel in there in the first place.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • My son-in-law was rear ended in his Bimmer last night in the Dallas area. Anyone from that area know of a good body shop there? Would you use a certified BMW shop like Classic BMW? Any advise welcome!

    Thanks
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    You might want to check with Steve at Louden Motorcar Services and see who he recommends.

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

  • rjorge3rjorge3 Posts: 138
    Hi there, I want the input from anyone of you guys that has kept their bimmer for well over 5 years (10 preferably) or has over 100k miles. If you were the owner of an Audi A4, please provide me with your experience vs the BMW.

    My current lease (2005 A4) expires on April 08 and I want to lease my next car with the intention of perhaps keeping it for a long time (well over 9 to 10 years). I know that I would be paying more by leasing and then buying it, but I want to make sure that the car I keep is neither a lemon or will give me tons of problems past the warranty. My current Audi has been in the shop over 6 times for all kinds of crazy problems :lemon: even though I am fanatical about oil changes, premium fuel, break in period, I dont' speed, heck I even wash the car by hand all the time (except when it gets below 40 degrees).

    I want to know from those that have kept their bimmers for well past 5 years if you have experienced lots of problems and if you will consider keeping the car for 7 to 10 years. And for those that have a beemer with at least 100k miles, has the car become a money pit? or does it only requires the normal wear and tear maintance. Also, for those of you that have purchased the 2006 or 2007 3 series, have you encounter any problems so far that would prevent you from keeping this car for a long time.

    My college years workhorse (1994 celica) has 175,000 and have never ever given me problems, so I guess I am spoiled as to what my expectations were with a german car, in my case the Audi A4.

    Although I have to admit that I like the looks of the Audi better than the 3s, I can sacrifice aesthetic for piece of mind.

    Thanks in advance for your responses
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    Hi there, I want the input from anyone of you guys that has kept their bimmer for well over 5 years (10 preferably) or has over 100k miles.

    Welcome to the board! I've owned BMWs since 1983- 8 in all, and I perform a lot of the minor service and repairs myself. My wife drives a 2004 X3 while I currently run a 1995 318ti Club Sport; I'm the original owner. At 12 years, and 112,000 miles my ti has needed the following non-scheduled maintenance:
    O2 sensor(recall, replaced at a scheduled service)
    both fuel sending units(warranty, replaced at a scheduled service)
    alarm module(warranty, replaced at a scheduled service)
    1 set of front brake pads(due to track use)
    1 set pad/rotors front and rear
    2 serpentine belts(replaced as a precaution)
    2 idler pulleys
    1 timing chain tensioner(replaced as a precaution)
    3 sets of W or Z rated tires
    1 battery(replaced at ten years, one month as a precaution)
    1 brake light switch
    1 thermostat
    4 sets of wiper blades
    5 exterior bulbs
    The car has seen more than a few drivers schools and autocrosses and is driven in every kind of weather except ice and snow. It's a rare drive when I don't wind it to the redline at least three or more times. No other car I've owned comes close to the reliability of my Club Sport. As a matter of fact, my son and I drove it to the movie theater just last night. The paint still shines like new, the interior has no rips, cracks, or tears, and the overall structure of the car is still extremely solid- there are no squeaks or rattles whatsoever. Over the life of the car the monthly service/repair costs have averaged closer $45 per month, including the 3 sets of tires mentioned above. This year my 3er cost $57 per month to run because it required an Inspection II(major) service, a coolant flush, a front end alignment and a thermostat. If you decide to buy a Bimmer I would strongly suggest that you join the BMW Car Club of America. You get a great monthly magazine as well as access to lots of information that will allow you to make informed decisions regarding maintenance and repairs. And BMW Drivers Schools are second to none.
    I would expect that the overall mechanical reliability of the new 3 Series will be similar to that of my Club Sport. However, like most every other automaker, BMW has seen fit to cram their cars with dozens of electronic gadgets operated my multiple processors. At 56K my wife's X4 has only required the replacement of an SRS occupant sensor pad. Her prior car was a 1997 528iA, and it too had no unusual glitches. I would hope the new 3ers exhibit similar overall reliability, but at this point it's too early to tell.

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

  • rjorge3rjorge3 Posts: 138
    roadrunner, thanks a million for your detailed write up. And those items that you mentioned, I would consider those things wear and tear. $45 per month average maintance is nothing!.

    Again, thanks for your input that is exactly what I was hoping to get out of this forum. I do understand that there might be some others that might have had bad experiences with the 3s (as it happens with any other cars) , but at least I can have some sort of idea from someone that has owned one since birth :)

    I went to test drive the Lexus IS250 today and although it was very nice to look at (interior), the driving "feeling" was not there. I called my dealer since they also sell BMW to schedule a test drive on the 335 next week, even though my lease is not up until a couple of months, they assure me that the bimmer will put a smile in my face.

    I'll keep you posted, :shades:

    R
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    roadburner-- great notes!

    just curious... where do you account for changes to the cooling system, suspension, etc.? Do you consider these "scheduled" or "non-scheduled".

    My limited (car has 83K miles, only 47K are mine) experience has been that the car is great to drive, but definitely requires more "unique" servicing. For example, I've never had to replace a radiator or expansion tank on a Japanese car below 150K miles. I haven't made any changes to the suspension, but I suspect somewhere north of 100K miles that I will need to do that as well.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    roadrunner, thanks a million for your detailed write up. And those items that you mentioned, I would consider those things wear and tear. $45 per month average maintance is nothing!

    Just remember, that's been my experience. You mileage may vary... Regardless, the BMW enthusiast community -and BMW CCA in particular- is a tremendous asset, and has probably saved me a few thousand dollars in time and trouble. And please let me know if you have any more questions.

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

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