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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • bmwrulesbmwrules Posts: 10

    I called them numerous times regarding pricing, options, my order status, delivery time and the answers they game me were that they didn't know, rough estimates, conflicting with other representatives, or just wrong. It's like pulling teeth to get and concret information. I felt like I was interviewing Gary Conduit.

    Just what are they there for if not to answer questions on BMW sales and ownership? They don't even return you calls.

    BMW Germany gets lot of the blame for not making the pricing and brochures of new models available BEFORE production. I can't believe they make you buy and get made a car before you know how much exactly the car is going to cost and what its going to look like! Ridiculous.

    If BMW didn't make such great cars I would have when with either MB, Audi or Lexus. If this keeps up I may just cancell the order. I can't stand incompetent customer service representatives, especially if I am shelling out $$$!
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    I think that a very large part of your problem is that you're asking totally the wrong people. BMW NA does not handle, nor do they want to handle any of the questions you posted. The same goes for MBZ, Audi and, I'm sure, every other car company. Their dealer body is best and completely equipped to handle those question. Please do not bother NA with those inquiries. They are there for a great number of other services. Examples include arranging road side assistance, listening and responding to complains concerning a dealership experience and helping locate a dealer.
  • I was wondering how long BMW has kept this engine around? I mean, I've seen older model 3 and 5 series with this type of engine, but is it basically the same engine design with obviously some modifications in variable timing, gear ratio, etc? I was wondering how those older models performed, say a 1990 or so. It would be fascinating to know how the cars have evolved. With everyone and their mother replacing engines for more powerful ones, ie I35, Altima, TL/CL Type S, etc, I have to be a little surprised and grateful that the 2.5L has lasted for as long as it has. I guess it's no rookie...more of a seasoned veteran. I would like to test drive a 3.0L at some point...just to see what I'm missing!

    At this point, however, I am VERY satisfied with the performance, especially at higher speeds. In the mornings, on my way to work (local stop-n-go traffic), I will pop in a CD and relax (there's nowhere to run!). Otherwise, when my girlfriend is not in the car (she has to have the radio and A/C blaring), I do find myself staying as much in tune with the car as possible...trying to get that perfect transition, that perfect start, that perfect bend in a curvy road. I mean, it's always nice when you do on's completely satisfying. Like I said, now that it's cooled down a bit, I crack the windows, open the moon roof, and open up the throttle a little more. At near 1600 miles, I have still yet to crank'r over 5000 RPMs, purposely...mostly in the 3500-4500 range. Anyways, I'm a kid again!

    BTW, anyone buy the black chrome pipe covers? How do they look?
  • j330ij330i Posts: 27
    I know there was quite a bit of discussion a while back on new 330s not coming with titanium trim around the headlights. Mine does not have it. What was the final word on this? Are they supposed to have them as advertised in the brochure or is it just a later design not to include them?
    Secondly, I have noticed a cluster of spots behind my rear tire on the painted plastic wheel well guard. At first I thought it was just dirt, but upon further inspection, the paint is smooth there and it appears to be under the clear coat. This appears to be an over spray of the under coating. Can this be brought back to the dealer for removal???
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    can't quite seem to master it. I can do the perfect normal start, but just can't quite do the perfect fast start when ever I want. I know it takes time, patience, and practice, but does anyone on the board have any useful advice to speed things along?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    1) Windows (and roof if so equipped): OPEN
    2) Sound System: OFF
    3) Climate Control System: OFF

    I have found that the E46's are so smooth and quiet that you MUST eliminate all other interference so that your ears can do their job. The best way to master the "Perfect Fast Start" is to listen to your car, it will tell you how to do it. Once mastered without all of the distractions, you can practice the start using your memory of how it sounded and felt and leave Led Zeppelin on full volume. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • reubencahnreubencahn Posts: 102
    The engine in the current 325 differs substantially from that in the older 325s. It is an aluminum block with double "VANOS" variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust and was introduced in 98 I think. It was then modified substantially a year ago. I've never driven the E30 325 but the E36 was a strong engine at the top end but really needed to be kept in the high range. The current 2.5 is much more flexible.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...don't confuse displacement with the hardware. The current 2.5 has nothing much in common with the older 2.5 except displacement. And why does it need to be bigger? In every nation except this one, this engine already pushes the envelope for what constitutes a compromise between power and economy...only in the land of giveaway fuel prices do we think we need more power than this engine provides. Everywhere else, the real sweet spot is the 2.0 liter engine, or the wonderful new direct-injection, common-rail, turbo diesels. The best of these are the best engines BMW makes right now...not that US customers will ever know...
  • Tells you how much I you expect any further substantial modifications in say the next 3 years? I've seen that the HP and Torque have changed from a year ago, that is, on the E46. Are the engineers trying to find a nicer balance in the end?
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    All 330i cars have the trim EXCEPT sedan sport package. This is because the others have the titanium painted bumper sections too. The sport package sedan has the "M" front bumper sans silver paint and as such it was decided that it didn't really look right. I can confirm this now as I have read with my own eyes the parts bulletin (from about March!) with this information on it. Of course, if your 330i is not a sedan sport package, then perhaps it should have it!
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Thanks for the advice. Guess it's back to basics again.

    A little "Kashmir" does sound good just about now.
  • I don't think it needs to be bigger, actually, was the point I was trying to make. Like I said, with all these other car manufacturers spinning out bigger engines, I just find it funny that a 2.5L displacement (sorry) has kept a nice quiet place in BMW's lineup, understanding that displacement alone is not the sole generation of HP. I commend BMW engineers for how effectively the 2.5L and 3.0L provide a good percentage of HP to the wheels.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...never stops. All of the Majors, and by that I mean MB, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, VW, Ford, etc. are hard at work on wringing still more efficiency AND power for a given level of fuel consumption [read mostly, displacement] within the parameters of the current internal combustion engine. This while the midnight oil burns in the lab across the street hard at work on the eventual replacements, mostly hybrids and fuel cells. No one can stay competitive in this business by neglecting this key area of development [refining existing IC engine technology]; if you do, you become GM, heaven forbid.

    So, close your eyes, go to sleep, and awake in the 2005 model year, and a 2.5 will be making upwards of 200 hp and still achieving close to 30mpg in the real world. Thus it will be, right up to the point when the IC engine bites the dust, long after I have done the same, I presume...

    And the bigger-is-better syndrome for the US market is mostly a path of least get more power, the easiest way is to increase displacement. I too admire those who resist, and in effect, make the sensibilities of their home markets at least partially dictate what they sell here. Honda and BMW have stuck to their internal beliefs about this more than most...Honda in particular resists the whole notion that a V8 is a necessary device in the automotive world, when they can get so much power and fuel efficiency out of 4s and 6s. But they have suffered in this country for sticking to their guns on this...BMW has a reasonable market for V8s and even V12s in the Home Country, so they make them, but Honda sees this as a sort of moral failure. Neither is right or wrong, just interesting...
  • roc50mgroc50mg Posts: 102
    After my 30 day trial I have just shipped back the V1 to the manufacturer for my money back. Yesterday when I was driving down a highway in NY I got tagged by laser from 310 feet away. The detector never went off at all before or after I got nailed. The combination of getting a brand new bimmer and radar detector got me a ticket real fast. For over 5 yrs I have driven using common sense only w/o a detector, and have never received a speeding ticket. I think common sense is the best prevention of all. I know that people will reply that the detector should be used in conjunction with common sense, but now I think that the radar detector will still give a false sense of security and cause people to speed excessively (more than the normal 10 to 15 miles above the limit I would normally go). Beside, even w/a detector, there's always a chance you'll get nailed by instant on or laser.

    On another note, I noticed today that when I upshift from 2nd to 3rd, that the gear did not engage as smoothly as it had in the past. In fact, when I pushed up on the stick and thought my car was in gear, it was still in neutral, accidentally giving it throttle. This happened to me once yesterday and 3 times today. The first time it happened I thought it was just a fluke and I somehow missed the shift. But today it happened 3 more times, and I was shifting just as I had over the past 5 weeks w/o a similar problem in the past. Now I have to kind of jam the stick into 3rd to make sure that it's in gear. Does anybody have any advice about this? Thanks.
  • roc50mgroc50mg Posts: 102
    my 330xi pp/sp that i got on July 25 came w/titanium trim. when did u get yor car? does it have sp?
  • hippo168hippo168 Posts: 115
    actually, I had the same problem, but from 1st to 2nd... It happened to me twice or three times, all being in the morning when I first started my car and pulled out of the parking lot.

    I don't know if it was because I was still sleepy and missed the shift, or it had to do with the gear. But you're right, it "felt" it had already engaged, and not until the car started to slow down even though I stepped on the gas that I noticed it was in neutral...
  • dundedunde Posts: 32
    Thanx Brave1heart for the clarifications. Infact i went thru the links which burrsr had provided and went thru all of it. But i was still wondering if i happen to be on the light with an accord v6 beside me and race who would win the battle or should i say who would touch 0-50 quickly. and this is what trigerred my thought of rpm/hp and then i realized even camry v6 (194 hp) has higher hp than 325xi. and then i was wondering why the bimmer folks have the 330xi so over priced. i really didnt wanna spend an extra 5 grand for a 40 hp increase. The price to performance ratio is a lil too much i think but thats just my opinion.
  • allanoallano Posts: 175
    I have experienced a few reluctant-shifts from 2nd to 3rd but mostly when rpm was under 3000. With low rpms, the shift level would begin to slide into 3rd and try to push my hand back into neutral.
    Over time I found that if I shifted with rpm above 3500 in 2nd, shifts into 3rd were really smooth and single-motioned. Even when accelerating slowly, I tend to spin up the engine and have not felt the problem since.
  • burrsrburrsr Posts: 255
    That BMW continues to out-perform many would-be competitors is a credit to its drivetrain engineering. Its engines are no more powerful, no more torquey, or do not have significantly broader torque curves than comparable engines (in most cases, less -- especially when comparing the 2.5 to the 3.0s from Honda and Toyota). Its curb weights are typically much higher than comparably-dimensioned competitors (with the exception of maybe MB and AWD Audis). This due to the extra structural rigidity and over-engineered suspension components that supply the magical BMW ride/handling balance. With the above (lower power, higher weight), you'd expect drastically lower performence, especially in acceleration tests. Yet, the opposite is true -- typically better-performing cars despite obvious on-paper disadvantages.

    The difference, I believe, lies in the drivetrain efficiency. Whether manual or auto, BMW's drivetrains consistently deliver a greater percentage of the engine's power to the wheels, making the ponies FEEL like Clydesdales. Either that or BMW drastically understates its power/torque specifications -- but I've seen hp/torque curves from Dinan, for example, that support BMWs numbers exactly. Even a 10% efficiency gain converts to a 20-hp advantage in usable power. More BMW magic at work...
  • reubencahnreubencahn Posts: 102
    I'm no expert on any of this. But I am aware of one development which is supposed to come to BMW's entire line of engines. This is the "valvetronic" system now or shortly available with the inline 4. Instead of using a throttle body, throttle is controlled by manipulating both lift and duration of the valves. This makes for a freer breathing and consequently more powerful engine. This is supposed to allow a 15% increase in horsepower without increasing displacement or decreasing gas mileage. Again, I am no expert and am only repeating what I have read elsewhere. Perhaps Guru can offer more info on this.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    My 330i, equipped with SP, built in May & delivered in late June, does not have the titanium trim. In response to an e-mail that I sent last month, a BMWNA representative left a rather unenlightening message on my answering machine, advising me that BMW changed the specs for the 330i late in the model year to omit this trim. No further reason was given & nothing was said to indicate that only SP-equipped cars were affected by this change.

    I've seen a list of standard & optional equipment for the '02 3-series, & titanium headlight trim is shown as standard for the 330i/330ci. If SP-equipped 2002 cars with the trim turn up in my dealer's showroom later this year, I will then firmly believe what I now merely suspect: that BMW ran low on the trim kits & simply shipped cars without the trim. I ought to be angry about this, but my car has been flawless so far & my wife insists that steel grey looks better without the trim. Still, the jury's still out on this as far as I'm concerned, & I may yet press BMWUSA for relief if I decide that I do want the missing pieces.

    What do the rest of you titanium-less 330i owners think?
  • Yes, it's still all very interesting, whether you're an expert or not. The `expert's are hopefully hard at work developing these new technological ideas and trends that will make `upwards of 200 hp and still achiev[e] close to 30mpg' for the 2.5L. I agree. I'm amazed too what these 184 ponies can accomplish. I must say that I've always had the very American notion that bigger is better or more powerful (ala 300M, although considering its size and weight). My first car in HS was a '67 289ci V8 Mustang. Man, even for a small block V8, it did eat some gas. And yes, gas mileage is important to me as well. I'm not in awe of this 325i's blazing (with sarcasm) acceleration...I'm in AWE of it's genuine feel and what I CAN do with it....that, and it sure as hell looks good, too. Like I said, I've found myself getting the most out of this car with much enthusiasm. I pride myself for that flawless drive with quick responses and smooth transitions. Everyone asks me how it's working out for me....I always tell'm that it's simply fun to drive. If there is one tradeoff I did make getting it, it was room (was actually looking for a mid-size to begin wtih), but that hasn't been a problem either, even when I drove 3 friends in the back seat for lunch (although not one weighed more than 160lbs)!

    I haven't had a problem getting it in 2nd or 3rd gear. Maybe 3-4 times, I've gotten real lazy and have not really popped it in there like I should (and of course, it gives me that abrupt buzzing back to neutral), but most of time, it slides in there very nicely (which is what makes me lazy).

    Back to the displacement-to-HP ratio, I'm amazed at the Honda S2000 (240HP out of a 2.0L inline 4!). Man, oh, man! Does the redline of 8300 and it's extra gear make that much of a difference?

    BTW, I just noticed that my wipers are speed-sensitive...kinda cool...sorry, first time it's rained this much out here....
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Does anyone have a link to these trims?
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Are you looking for pictures or something official from BMW? If you want pictures, I have some stuff I can email you if you send your address to
  • My 330i with SP, build date of June 7, lacks the titanium headlight trim, too. I think it looks better without it (at least with topaz blue), so I haven't bothered my dealer about it.

    I think that late model year 2001 was a great time to buy a 330i with SP. I think the 2001 looks much better than the pictures I've seen of the 2002, both with and without the aerodynamic package. And the late model year 2001 cars have the good steering.
  • j330ij330i Posts: 27
    How can you tell if you have the "good" steering or not? Mine was built in week 29 (around July 19). Does mine have the good steering??
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    You should be in good shape. Some time in May they made the switch to the good steering. If you look back through some of the older posts, this subject has been covered in detail several times.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    My 330i with SP/PP looks like it has titanium headlight trim (matches closely with titanium silver of the car). Don't remember the build date, but I took delivery in March, couple days after it got off the boat.
  • What do you mean by "good" steering? Does that mean my 300i (built 3/27) has bad steering? Seems like most people in this board prefer the heavier version, hence I would refer that as "more favored" steering. It is already heavier than my wife's car (2000 TL) and it fits me perfectly.
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