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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • ...have you considered getting one of those "batteries in a case"o use as an emergency starter? It would save you alot of headaches while the dealer pulls its head out of its *ss. There's a new design using thin foil technology, that's about $80 at my WalMart, and weighs nothing. It's useful for lots of things, besides starting cars, and thus, is always handy, regardless of car battery problems.

    While your dealer's service is poor, it can be quite difficult diagnosing the source of a short. And, I'm not surprised that the dealer's first inclination is to recharge the battery, before considering replacing it.
  • Have you followed any of the suggestion you've received here? Calling BMWNA, calling your sales rep, taking your car to another dealer for repair? It doesn't sound like you're doing anything to get this problem fixed.
  • hellihelli Posts: 8
    First, in response to larryintn: Considering that most of this happened late Saturday, there wasn't much I could do. All the dealerships are closed on Sunday. I thank you for the input you have provided .
    The dealer where I purchased my 330i paid the difference in flat bed charges. BMW allows me 30 miles and the dealer where I purchased my vehicle is 90 miles away. On the ride up there I asked the operator of the flat bed how much do they get per mile. He told me at least $2.50/mile.
    When I got to the dealer (Habberstad, Huntington Station, NY) where I purchased my 330i, they rolled out the red carpet. The service manager came out and introduced himself to me and asked if there was ANYTHING he could do for me. He was also apologetic for the treatment I received at "BMW of the Hamptons". The service manager at Habberstad should be a role model. He is actually concerned about keeping a BMW customer satisfied no matter where that customer purchased their vehicle. Habberstad knows how to run a business.
    He also set me up with a 2000 - 528 loaded, as a loaner. I very much appreciate what he did for me. It was a long day and a long drive home and as soon as I walked through the door the phone was ringing. My service advisor informed me they found the problem and the vehicle was repaired. It was a bad battery. Just as I had suspected.
    It is hard to understand why "BMW of the Hamptons" couldn't perform the most rudimentary repair under the circumstances. That would have been to install a new battery. They would have saved a lot of aggrevation and time. Not to mention the bad exposure for them and my certified complaint to BMW NA.
    Hopefully I will not have any more problems with this vehicle.
    I thank all for your concern and response.
  • Sounds like you picked the right dealer from which to purchase. They sound a lot like my local dealer.

    So, how was the 528? I've only had the oppertunity to drive a 5er once, a 540iT at last year's Ultimate Drive. I really liked it but the 16 mile course was far too short!
  • hellihelli Posts: 8
    The 528 is a hell of a machine! WOW! Since you drove one you know what I mean. It also has an awesome sound system. It is very comfortable. It is a little sluggish compared to my 330i but the 330i has a hell of a lot of power. I also have a '99 Ford F250 Diesel supercab with 8 foot bed. Big truck. I love it. It has a 7.3L V8 turbo that delivers 250HP at 2600 RPM with 500 Ft/lbs torque. If you have ever driven a diesel you know they have the power to pull a house down but they are slow off the line. As big and heavy as it is it gets 18 MPG/town, 22/highway, not bad. Plus the airconditioning will freeze you solid on the hottest day when the engine is just idling in park! My friends with the same truck with a gas engine get half that. When I get in the BMW, I have a habit of pushing too hard on the gas pedal. The difference is night and day. Nothing like variety though. My '52 Dodge M-43 is pretty neat too. Its real slow. Flat head 6, geared real low. It will go through anything. Believe me, I've been there with it. Never seen another one of those around here. I have actually seen people jumping up and down cheering at it when I drive by.
  • I'm not a truck person, never have been. They're great when you need to haul or tow something but I don't enjoy their look/ride as do many others. That's fine, makes it more likely that a friendly neighbor will have one to borrow when I need one. :)

    I'm not surprised that the 528 feels underpowered compared to your 330. That 330 has a lot of zip! I a bit more practical there, too, and am quite happy with the power in our 323i. More power is fun but I didn't care to pay for it. On the economy side, we've made a number of long trips in the 323i and it's averaged between 30 and 31 MPG with 70-75mph speed limits. Pretty impressive.

    Let us know if the new battery has solved your problem. Also, I'd be interested to hear what advice, if any, your dealer offered regarding dealing with the dealer closer to your house. Can they do anything to help you out there?
  • Shiko- I believe the gist of your post #728 to mean that because in 40,000 miles you have had three problems with your 98 BMW, you would warn others (and yourself) away from buying another BMW car. Is that right?
    Yikes! If you have time stick your head out the window and look at all those BMWs driving around-they are not all in a repair shop. Then look through ALL the BMW posts on Edmunds and see how FEW unhappy BMW owners there are. I read EVERY post in the sedans and coupes/convertibles boards while making up my mind to buy a BMW 325i.
    Some BMW owners have problems-but which auto maker is so perfect there is no need for repair EVER? There is nothing made by humans that is guaranteed to perform flawlessy, regardless of how it is used.
    I have a friend who has a 1994 530 wagon which has yet to have a problem (60,000) miles.
    My own BMW experience is that in 4 months, in a brutal winter, driving on abysmal pot-holes with a little road in between, my car has been faultless and everything I hoped it would be.
    Do you notice the enthusiasm the happy BMW owners have for this marque? BMW didn't get to be where it is today by making more than its' share of problematic cars.
    I have had many cars before this as I have been driving since 1976. I got used to paying repair bills and sitting in waiting rooms. I took it like a man-the cost of car ownership includes some repair bills. Should my current car develope problems while I have it I will pay to get it fixed and my lower lip will not quiver.
    I can guarantee you I won't damn the name of BMW if and when I have a problem or series of problems.
    Based on my limited experience to date, my next car is likely to be another 3 series BMW.
    As a footnote- I did visit a Honda showroom during my search for a good car. I was well aware of their reliablity ratings. They had a repair shop there and the engineers were working on fixing broken Hondas. The cars in the lot didn't
    "speak" to me the way the 325i did so I didn't even bother to test-drive one.
    You pay your money and you take your choice.
    What do you think you will buy once you get rid of the BMW?
  • Hi:
    I just got a 325i without sport package, eon Lights and AK Sound System. My question is Can I order a AK system and eon lights after delivery? I got 400 miles on my car right now. If I get 17in rims and tires, what do I do with your 16in rims and tire? Or will I be better getting a after market sound system? Factory sound system on 325i is really weak (My opinion). Thanks.
  • Does anyone know what the paint base coat color is for the 3-series sedans? I drive 99% highway miles in my current car (which is black). The base coat color is white which causes chips to really stand out. I have been told that some european cars have a black colored base coat. So I would like to know for sure so I can order one of two colors in metallic paint. My first choice in Titanium Silver...however if the base coat is black I might still have the same problem as my current car. If this is the case, I will order the Orient Blue metallic, and if it is white I will order the silver.

    Can anyone help or point me to an appropriate resource? Thanks in advance for any help! (I have a call in to the dealer but have not heard back yet)
  • gal3gal3 Posts: 5
    The invoice price on options is about 85% of the msrp. In some cases it is a little more because they round up.

    I went to Tate they told me 2000 over invoice. However VOB in Rockville priced at 1500 over and Northwest, if I remember correctly, was 1800 over.
  • I just ordered a 325i last week and was wondering if anyone knows now that the fog lights are standard equipment on the 325i, will the heated mirrors and heated windshield washer jets are also going to become standard equipment?
  • So in March Sport package is going to become standard .. so I have heard ..

    Does that mean that the only other optional package is the premium package ???

    Where can i find out more info for what is standard after the March production ..

    thanks in advance
  • hzhaohzhao Posts: 28
    To bmwknight:

    Form March production and on, the Fog lights and heated mirrors are standard. The heated wash jets are part of Cold Weather Package.

    To Dannyle:

    Sports Package are NOT standard, but the sport suspension will be standard on 330. The Sports Package price will reduced to $2,900 from $3,850.
  • i bought a 01 330i in november with sp,pp, cd, silver with grey. i bought it from a dealer out of my city over the phone because dealers in my city didnt want to work with me. because of this i didnt get to ask my salesperson the following questions. i would appreciate anyone's feedback on this.

    1) scheduled oil change isnt until 15k. i would like to have it changed twice and maybe three times in 15k. will the dealer pay for this? if not, what is the benefit/risk of taking it to a non-dealer bmw repairshop to do the work?

    2) what cleaner and conditioner is good to use on the leather, where can i buy it, and how often should i apply it.

    3) i love the wheels the 330 sp provides but they
    are a pain to keep free from brake dust. has anyone come across a good spray on/hose off cleaner that requires minimal effort.

    4) i read in the manual that there are sensor that check tire pressure. is this true. i check the tire once a month and i notice one was a little low, but no warning light had come one.

    i absolutely love my new 330 and have put 5k+ miles on it in 3 month, which is alot considering i live 6 miles from work. i would encourage anyone looking at the 3 series to spend the money to get the 330 with sp and pp. it was well worth the money for me.

    thanks in advance, and sorry for the long post.
  • Can someone tell me the color of the exterior in the 2001 3 Series Sedan Brochure?

    The salesman 'thought' it was Steel Blue Metallic but it sure looks like Orient Blue Metallic. Unfortunately the dealer had neither color in stock.

  • Howard, thank you for your information about the price reduction from the March production. If I understand you correctly, you really meant "Premium Package" from $3850 to$2900, right? You typed it as "Sports Package".

    So looks like the HK radio, power seat, fog light, and heat mirror will all be standard right? Did I miss anything else?
    In addition, does the price reduction apply to all the 3 series or only to 330i?

    Thanks a lot.
  • Does anyone know how to DIY the oil change for 2000 328i sedam? I appreciate!

    Owner of 2000 328i Sedan
    blk/blk Prm pkg/spt pkg
  • fjm1fjm1 Posts: 137
    basecoat color is white BUT when scratched the basecoat quickly discolors to brown/black on areas that are exposed to alot of road dirt (hood, roof)

    I got keyed and the area on the hood turned black while side stayed white (on red car)

    I know that doesn't help one bit!

    OIL QUESTIONS: Why change sooner? Don't be scared, the manufacturer knows what their talking about. The BMW has an 8 quart capacity, full synthetic oil and a pre-assembly run in engine. Dealer won't pay for excessive oil changes. If you choose to do yourself filter is a drop in easily accessable in engine bay and reset tool for E36 works.
  • Thanks beetlebug62 for your suggestions on the snow tires and clarifying the issue about tires and rims. I drove a 2000 323i coupe and was comparing the ride with my sedan with sport pkg. Once both cars are at 35 mph the ride seems to be very similar. It is until I get to that speed that it feels like I have to press down a lot harder on the gas than I did on the coupe.

    I will talk to a service advisor about the oil change that you feel may reduce the engine noise.

    Here's another funny thing about the car. When it comes to a full stop, it makes this noise like I am just landing a small plane. Any idea why?

    Hey thanks again for your input, really appreciated.
  • hzhaohzhao Posts: 28
    Yes. You are correct. Thanks for the correction. Besides the list of standard equipment you stated. 330i also gets sports suspension. There is some difference between 325 line. But, in general, they all gain more standard equipment and reduce the price on both PP and SP options. You should be able to get more detail info from
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    The car in the Sedan Brochure is definetly NOT Orient Blue. Orient is about as dark of a blue as you could get without it being black. I believe it is Steel Blue. As of March build dates, Topaz Blue is a "standard" color choice for the sedan. It is the color of the Coupe on the first five or six pages of the coupe brochure. If you would like to see pics of a previously custom ordered sedan in this color, send me an email at
  • We are getting ready to order a new 3 series. Last BMW was a 1992 325i 5 speed. We want a ix because we live in mid west. If we go with 330xi any comments regarding going with 5 speed as auto. Loved the 5 speed in our 1992 but many talk about tiring of the shifting. I've had SUB's currently a Lexus RX300. Have gotten spoiled with the auto but this SUB isn't a BMW. How have others felt about going with auto in the 330xi. I have been unable to drive 330xi because no dealer has them in stock. Have also considered a 325xi 5 speed but know that we don't want 225xi with auto. I know that it would lack the power we want. Anyone have a comment on 330xi auto or 5 speed as 325xi 5speed. Would appreciate any comments re: 5 speed as auto.
  • It has been six days since I had my 325i and it still amazes me that I have it. Wow, I'm still trying to get use to the torgue.
    Is it impossiable to install a key ignition (I am not certain of the actual name) on a 5spd. I know that most vehicles that have them are automatic but, I have never placed any of my other 5spd cars in gear?
    Would it be safe to have someone other that an authorized BMW dealership to install it?
  • I'm planning on buying a 330i. I'm curious to hear from anyone who has had experience with the European delivery program. Can't wait to hear!
  • Mitch,
    I have both brochures for '01 3 series Sedan and Coupe. Kominsky is right, the Sedan color on first few pages is Steel Blue Metallic Code 372. The Orient Blue, Code 317, is very dark blue and to me didnt look good in the sun.

    The Coupe brochure first few pages is a 330I painted Topaz Blue Metallic Code 364. This blue is very nice looking in my opinion, in the sun, appears to be lighter shade then Orient and with more metallic and clear. Its very eye catching, along the line of the blue the Lexus IS300 uses, but not as light as the Lexus color. The Orient Blue to me is too dark to be interesting, might as well get black - either color will be fun to keep clean..
    Good luck with your choice..
  • My dealer told me that he had gotten some complaints initially about the cd player skipping - have any of you felt that way? I think the In dash CD player looks very sleek compared to the standard cassette player. Just wanna make sure...
    Also, if you had a choice would you get Fold down seats or On board computer? Some of you might think that this is a dumb question and I am thinking ahead from the resale perspective.
    Thanks a lot in advance
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Are you talking about a remote starting system? All newer manual tranmission vehicles have a switch which prevents them from being started without the clutch being pushed in. This switch could probably be bypassed, but I highly doubt you'll find someone who would do it for you. I know I wouldn't want to get sued when your car went through the living-room wall. :-)
  • dantlodantlo Posts: 106
    I have fold down seats and on-board cpt on my previous 325is 2dr and my wife's current 528i. We hardly use the fold-down seats but the on board cpt we use all the time,very useful especially when you are low on gas!!

    I just bought our 4th BMW 2001 325i 4dr sport pkg.
  • I ordered and took delivery on my 323 Sedan in June. I ordered it with fold down seats because I thought the trunk was small and we might need more room on our trips between our homes in the North and Arizona. So far we have never used them. I also have the computer. Get the computer!
  • This board has been very helpful so far - Thanks !! - I have one more question ...
    The way I have my options set up right now and how the pricing is working out, it boils down to this .....
    I can get Premium package by paying approx $500 more than I am currently. The options I have right now are wood, sunroof, armrest and on-board computer. As you can see, the only thing missing from the PP is Power seats. Should I just go ahead and spend the $$$ now? I think it would be better from a resale perspective. What do you think?
    Thank you again
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