Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • genie1genie1 Posts: 398
    was perfect.

    It'll look great with my skintone.

    And cars are guy magnets too you know.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    I'd be attracted. ;-) It's called Fire Mist Red. Really cool color.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Your friend with the SLK does deserve some harassing. It's understandable why you'd want to borrow the SLK but having to deal with the auto tranny would be a pain. Ahh, well, priorities, priorities...
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    considering he probably has 4 times the drivetrain losses that you do, yea... hp at the wheels v. hp at the crank...

    also, power to weight is important, but so is coefficient of drag (a lot moreso than you might think)... dunno what it is on the 7er, but i'm willing to bet it's lower on the 3er...

  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I hadn't thought about the coefficient of drag but it makes sense - especially at higher speed, right? What % of HP do you think is lost at the drive wheels due to the torque converter?
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    because the 7er is heavier, it in all likelihood has a bigger contact patch with the tires, which would cause more friction as well...

    i'd have to hunt down the drivetrain loss on that... i'm sure it's on the web somewhere... plus bmw makes just about the most efficient manuals in the world...

  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    yes, drag is a squared function of velocity...

    this explains it pretty well...


  • genie1genie1 Posts: 398
    "I know I'd be attracted. ;-) It's called Fire Mist Red. Really cool color."

    And sight unseen too. Do you know what you're setting yourself up for?


    (It must be my magnetic personality)
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    She claims she got it as automatic because she didn't want to learn how to drive a stick in a ~50k car.

    We used to have a lot of fun "racing" each other to work on those rare occasions.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    I already know you have great tastes in cars. What else is there? ;-)
  • genie1genie1 Posts: 398
    You do know I can't drive a stick shift yet, right?

    Me thinks that might be a deal breaker, non?

    I am planning on learning next year, though.
  • derprofiderprofi Posts: 250
    Gents, thanks for clarifying the break-in thing. I got the 85mph limit out of Platypus' ED write-up from some months back, and although it's what he was told at the delivery center, it still seemed a bit on the low side. One other interesting thing I noticed was that after reading his write-up I remember thinking "Wow, how did he ever drive that car enough to pass the break-in period?" But now that I'm starting to plan out our route, I'm seeing we might hit 1000 miles within the first week alone.

    Genie1, on the C-Coupe vs. SLK question you've got my vote for the roadster. We just did a weekend trip in our 2001 and by the time we had 2 small bags, 2 mid-weight coats for evening, and our little soft-sided Costco cooler loaded up, the trunk was pretty much at capacity. With the top up, it's another story. I regularly get 3-4 weeks worth of groceries for 2 in there. As for the available months of top-down driveability, it all depends on how cold you mind your ears getting :) For me, as long as the outdoor temp gauge shows ~40F or above, I've still got the top down. Heated seats definitely help.

    I know it's off-topic, but I just can't say enough good things about the hard-top convertible mechanism. It's like owning 2 cars, and ours still turns heads whenever we work it in public. I would say that BMW would do well to add a similar top to their roadster, but I'm sure the extra weight of the mechanism might offend purists. The only real downside to our SLK is that it's a Slushtronic, a compromise reached with my S.O. who paid half. The agreement was, however, that the next car would be stick and that the "compromise" would be for her to learn how to work 3 pedals. WOO HOO! But like Dave330i's friend, I'm not sure I want to teach her in our new 330. My Nissan SE-R is in mothballs for that very purpose!
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    At least you're willing to learn. Plus, someone has to drive the minivan/SUV. ;-)
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    is quite cool...

    1) yes, it would add considerable weight to the car
    2) when it breaks (as it inevitably will, just like the power top in my 325 inevitiably will), it's going to be mucho dineros to fix.

    as far as break-in speed, something else to consider besides breaking in the engine, and that's "breaking in the driver"... i wouldn't even consider going over 100 mph in a car (any car, not just a 3er) for at least 500 miles or so, because i would feel that it would take me at least that long to learn the dynamics of the vehicle... this is especially true of someone who is going from a fwd to a rwd... things happen real fast when you are travelling at triple digit speeds...

  • parnolaparnola Posts: 140
    I see you have the same car I'm close to getting - 325i 5-speed - test drove it this weekend and was satisfied with the performance considering the price jump to the 330. Also was pleased with the suspension (thanks for the post last week offering guidance in moving from a Lexus). Any particular options you really like, wish you had, etc? Thanks!
  • Drove one fri. in santa monica 4 door with auto, prem and sport pkg, it was sluggish, frankly. I had driven a 323 coupe last year with a stick and LOVED it - it was a dream, the auto was nothing particular to write about IMO. Next car, if a 3 series, must be a man tranny to make the experience worthwhile. I suppose this is obvious to this group of enthusiasts.
  • I've seen some references here to ultimate driving experiences or schools. Can someone tell me what these are and where one would find out more information about them. Thanks.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    Topspin, the driving school I referred to about 50 posts ago is BMW's. You need to join BMW Car Club of America (BMWCCA). Their web address is: Annual dues are $35, and that provides a monthly magazine (Roundel - very nice) and a local chapter newsletter (and many other things). Each local chapter runs local driving schools which include a car control clinic and a day at the track.

    The Ultimate Drive is a special event that travels around America. BMW sponsers this event which raises money for research and treatment of breast cancer. It is by invitation only. I think you can find out more on this at BMW's web site.

    Both are fun, educational and will further enhance the love affair between you and your four wheeled friend.
  • 328guy328guy Posts: 2
  • denrightdenright Posts: 285
    I agree 100% that any performance oriented driver MUST drive a manual. Otherwise, you are half passenger while the auto tranny does half the work and loses a l;arge percentage of your torque.

    The 325 auto seemed sluggish to me too when I was test driving. The 330 auto was better, but still disatisfactory. The 325xi sportwagon manual was even too slow for my taste, due to extra weight (approx. 400 lbs.) from the wagon and AWD.

    I drive a 330xi manual sedan, and it is a dream. Go manual, and, if you can afford it, spend the extra few grand for the extra "oomph".

  • twoof1twoof1 Posts: 308
    "I agree 100% that any performance oriented driver MUST drive a manual."
    That is pure HOGWASH. That statement is the kind of arrogance that owners of other makes despise about BMW owners. Try driving in southern California traffic all day and then tell me how great a manual tranny is. Jus because I bought a step tranny, does that mean that I am not a "performance oriented driver"?
    Please... give me a break.
    Remember opinions are like.....belly buttons, everyone has one. Your opinion is based on ignorance.
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    I got the Auto/Step on my '01 325 because my wife drives this car as well and prefers automatics. So I thought that I wouldn't get the full performance out of this awesome car. I have driven stick since I learned to drive so it is second nature to me.

    After getting my car over a month ago, I pretty much drove it in Auto mode for a few days and though that Step would be a useless half-manual. But after taking a few turns at a higher gear than neccessary, I decided to check out the step and started using it. Boy, was I surprised and instantly hooked!! Driving the car in Step mode is really a pleasure and the overall handling and performance is completely different from when the car is in Auto. Now, after 1600 miles I only drive it in Steptronic mode.

    Basically, once you figure out when to shift with Step (and get used to the fact that there is no clutch), it is as good and much smoother than manual. It is probably one of BMW's better options if you are on the fence b/w manual and Auto.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Glad to hear that I was able to help. My '01 325i has the sport pack, sunroof, xenons, H-K stereo, CD (standard now), heated seats, and on-board computer. Exterior is orient blue, interior is black 'ette. Total came to < 31.5K + I put in the BMW alarm for ~ $400. I'd get the exact same options if I had to do it all over again. The black interior looks very sporty but you may want to consider a lighter interior if you go with a dark exterior. I personally thought that the gray interior was a little cold-looking and boring and the beige interior was too far on the yellow side for my taste. Besides, I went for sport in my 325i and black interior fits the overall theme best. The SP is a key contributor to the car's overall sporty feel but it's not something I would recommend to every buyer. The roof is huge and I like a lot of light in my car (no window tint for me), the xenons are great (especially for safety - see and be seen), the stereo is reasonably good, the heated seats are a must for cold climate (Boston), and the OBC is essential for monitoring your fuel consumption and average speed. For me, the premium package and especially leather were a rip-off and included a lot of features that I was frankly not interested in. If you get the car with a manual (and what a manual it is!!!), and pass on the premium package and leather, the car is actually very reasonably priced. Good luck, shopping for it should be fun!!
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    shifting isn't exactly an olympic event... sitting in traffic isn't any more fun with a slush v. a stick...

  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    autos make perfect sense. The cars were never fun to start with, so why bother. For the 3-series, the manual gave me the most joy. Full auto made it feel like a Lexus. Step's little better, but no challenge.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I've never regretted having the manual even in the heaviest traffic... I guess you either like shifting for yourself, or you don't. We're all entitled to opinions, though and should never forget that what unites us is our love for the 3-series... Having different flavors of the same ice cream is fine. I would not think any less of auto tranny owners but I do feel like they are missing out on fun.
  • derprofiderprofi Posts: 250
    I always found that once I "get to know" the particular car I'm driving, shifting manually totally becomes 2nd nature and I don't even have to think about it, traffic or no traffic. Of course auto drivers can still be "performance oriented" but there is no denying that it's a significant compromise. I say that based on my own experience with the "Touch Shift" in our SLK (which leaves me very unimpressed even in manual mode) as well as the noticeable difference in peppyness I felt on a back-to-back 325i stick vs. auto test drive. Something like SMG/SSG is really the only form of no-pedal-involved shifting in a production car that does not compromise performance.

    Still, an auto Bimmer is one heckuva lot better than no Bimmer at all! It will still handle like a dream, look fantastic doing it, and be loads of fun. I do think the Steptronic folks are missing out on loads of extra fun they could be having, though.

    Now that makes me wonder... What's an auto-only driver to do if they want to learn stick but don't have a friend/parent who's willing to teach them? Is that the sort of thing a driving school will help you with? Just curious...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Anatomy of a gas cap induced Check Engine light.

    A week an a half ago, I filled up with gas and my ear did not detect the proper Gas Cap closure sound (mere citizens cannot pump their own gas here in New Jersey), I made a mental note to check it when I got to work, however, I forgot. Saturday night, I was returning home from a meeting in NYC and my &#147;Check Engine&#148; light came on after about 15 minutes of driving, at that point I had a little more that a quarter of a tank of fuel left. When I got home, I checked the cap, and sure enough, the attendant had put it on slightly cocked so that it "Felt" tight, but when I started to loosened it, it simply fell off, I then put it back on properly. Starting with the fill up the next morning, here is a chronological list of events until the light turned itself off:

    00.0 Miles - Start Car - Light On
    25.1 Miles - Start Car - Light On
    50.1 Miles - Start Car - Light On
    52.0 Miles - Start Car - Light On
    53.2 Miles - Start Car - Light On
    71.7 Miles - Start Car - Light On
    91.4 Miles - Start Car - Light On
    93.0 Miles - Start Car - Light On
    99.5 Miles - Start Car - Light On
    99.6 Miles - Start Car - Light On
    99.7 Miles - Start Car - Light On
    99.7 Miles - Start Car - Light OFF

    I do not know whether it is the miles driven or the number of restarts that finally causes the car to turn off the light, this is my third loose cap event in three years and this is the shortest number of miles that I have driven, but maybe the greatest number of restarts before the light was extinguished.

    Best Regards,
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    how about becoming a valet driver, and learning on someone else's car? ;-)
Sign In or Register to comment.