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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • 2002 325i. My rearview mirror has the clown nose on it (functioning alarm) and a little hole at the top center. It has no compass, but does appear to automatically dim headlights behind me. When looking at the BMW Accessories
    catalog (page 45), my mirror seems to be a cross between mirrors D (mirror with compass which also has a little hoe at its top) and E (automatic dim
    mirror which has no hole). Questions are what kind of mirror do I have and what's the function of the hole? Thanks, Adam
  • bbell4bbell4 Posts: 34
    Negotiating for my 325i - the sales rep is telling me I need to pay $150 for BMW required advertising and $160 for required BMW training. I said WHAT???? Those figures were not in her original figures. I mean, it's only $310 but hey, that's $310!! Has anyone ever HEARD of these costs? Why the hell should I pay for their advertising and training?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421

    Actually, having quit smoking 7 weeks ago, I'm afraid I'm probably going in the other direction!!

  • those charges are something I have never heard of and I don't think you should pay them. I paid about 1400 over invoice with no extra fees whatsoever
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    Your talking about the "systems and training fees" , right? They are included in the base invoice price. i.e. if you look on the Edmunds price pages at the dealer invoice price, it includes that fee, without actually stating so, because it's part of the BASE invoice price. Only on the dealers invoice does it break it down that far. In other words, if you pay $1500 over invoice (using Edmunds as the measure of invoice) that would be the same as $1500 over the dealers invoice.
    As far as the advertising fee, each region has a different advertising (or "MACO") charge. They range from $150 to $350 ($400?). It is a bone fide charge on the invoice. I believe there's a paragraph in the Edmunds explanations about this fee.
  • bbell4bbell4 Posts: 34
    So even for the advertising fee, you are saying it's included in the base charges -so I should NOT have to pay for it again - right?? The invoice price INCLUDES it?
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    An invoice usually consists of a "base" charge, which all dealers pay and an advertising charge which not all dealers pay, and which varies in amount anyway. On the window sticker you will probably see the base MSRP (which should agree with the figure here at Edmunds) PLUS the advertising fee. It is best not to get too hung up on the breakdown of a dealer's "cost" and concentrate instead on the drive-out price of the vehicle.
  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    that is the light sensor for your auto-dimming mirror.
  • bbell4bbell4 Posts: 34
    Is 35,000 out the door for a 325i, sliver blue, 5sp, PP,SP,HK and xenons a fair price? No window tinting but they are giving me mats.. big deal! I still think it's a bit high but I don't want to nit pick TOOOO much!!
  • derprofiderprofi Posts: 250
    I know you could get a similarly-equipped 330i for the same price via Euro Delivery. But I'm not sure whether that's a good price for a US 325i equipped as you specified...
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    You guys read me wrong above. I have noticed that everyone on this board has remained rather polite and allowed for each of us to be individuals rather than road rally purists. Despite the politeness, I noticed that no one ever mentioned getting the Park Distance Control and so I was trying to encourage those who want it to come out and admit it.

    There is no chance I will get it. I have run out of money for options and would not want the sensors to blemish my slick looking tail.
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    I went and test drove the 330i sedan with PP, SP, 18" wheels, Steptronic, and Xenons in Steel Gray mtlc on Friday at Momentum BMW in Houston.

    This happens to be the exact vehicle that I want and I was surprised to find one that I could test drive.

    I took a couple of friends and WOW, was it awesome. The car was incredibly responsive and cornered like it was on a track. The salesperson was hanging on in the back seat with beads of sweat pouring off his head. He loved it though. The test drive sold me and both of my friends on this vehicle. All three of us are going to go with the 18" wheels.

    The drawbacks are: The tires are a little more expensive--not much difference if you buy ZR rated tires for the standard package though. Also the spare in the trunk is a pathetic donut. I am not sure why they do this except that it is a way for them to save some money so they can offer Ultrahigh performance tires (Michellin pilots) and high performance rims for a mere $900 upgrade.

    I took my wife back later that afternoon to drive the car and she was overwhelmed. She thought it drove like a race car and was concerned that it might adversely influence my driving style. Nevetheless, she agrees that it was impressive and has given me approval for the venture.

    My salesperson at Momentum was great. If any of you are in the Houston area give Ray Waguespack a call. His direct line is 713-596-3290. He is the most junior salesperson there at Momentum, but he is a real gentlemand and is down to earth and extremely honest. Despite all of this negotiations at the Houston group of dealers is difficult since they are all owned by the same person. Give him a call, though if you need to purchase it in Houston.
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    Sorry I couldn't answer earlier, I was at work. No, the invoice price does NOT include the advertising fee. The base vehicle invoice price on Edmunds includes the misc fees (training & systems) but not the MACO (advertising) fee. Your dealer can tell you what fee applies in your area. Sorry I didn't make that clear before.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I purchased my car from Momentum. I would like to know if they budged from the MSRP. I got $700 off but that was basically backing out all the stuff they put in. The dealer services fee that is on the form is a bunch of bunk. I do not want VIN etching because I don't think my insurance company will cut me a discount. I really think that you pay for the mats in the dealer services fee. My dealer(Jim Phelan) he is a gentleman too but there is something about Momentum that I cannot put my finger on.
    The thing that is funny now, is that I told postoak not to buy his car in Houston. He is now the wiser man. Yes, he will not get a BMW loaner when he goes to BMW North for service but who cares, he got a better price. Mr. Nelson, when you go down to Momentum again, ask about the track behind the dealership. I wonder if you can just go out there and drive. Just thinking out loud.
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    I think there's been a little too much discussion of the systems and training fee. Forget about them. They only appear on the dealers actual invoice from the importer and are of absolutely no consequence to anyone, quite frankly, not even the dealer. "Internal" cost on a set of BMWs own floor mats, in carpet, are $97.50. Or was it $92? Anyways, that's how much higher the 'dealer cost' on the car is. The window etching (or "Etch-a-Sketch" in car business speak) is an utter waste of money and cost the dealer absolutely nothing, really, to perform. It's pure profit and a total have on. Do you get the impression I don't like it? The paint protection packages that the dealer offers do genuinely cost real money to do as it takes 2 good detailers half a day (4 hours) to do. This is "Mop and Glow" in dealer speak. The products cost a little more than average other polishes etc. And they come with a long warranty. Expect to pay $300-$400 for that service. If you do this, I'd suggest keeping the car for a few weeks after taking delivery (it will be freshly polished & waxed) as the car needs to be totally clear before they can start! Dealers asking silly numbers like "Teflon Paint Coating - $795 are just absolutely having a laugh. If it's aledgedly already on the car, just say that you're not interested and not buying the car at all if they expect you to pay extra. You won't get the warranty of course. May be it's worth paying something for it. The biggest point to look for is the document ('doc') fee. $45 is normal as far as I'm concerned. But $50-100 is basically being greedy and looking to squeak some extra profit into the deal. I have heard of some dealers sliding $500 doc and prep fees past napping clients (not sure if this practice occurs at any BMW dealers).
    $700 off MSRP on a 'new price' car is not a bad deal.
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    I have a question for those of you who have leased your BMW's. What up-front costs, in addition to cap cost reduction (which is down-payment) did you have to pay as part of your deal.? Was there a security deposit?...Origination fee?...anything else, other than license and plates? I'm going to try to get the car for $1,200 below MSRP. I have an additional $1,800 to put down, so I've been using $3,000 off MSRP for my calculations on the BMWNA site to compute my lease cost.

    Am I in for a surprise when I start negotiating? Am I looking at $500-700 of my three grand going toward something other than reducing the cost of the car? This could make other financing options (including an interesting credit union lease-type plan) attractive alternatives.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I had my first autocross on Saturday and I am so humbled, I honestly don't know where to start. The course must have been ~ 1 1/2 - 2 miles long. We had the opportunity to drive slowly (5-10 mph) twice before the first run but it was not nearly enough for me to memorize all the turns. The turns come real fast when you're going 60+ mph out there and it's easy to get lost in the sea of yellow cones... I didn't get comfortable with the course till the sixth and last run of the day. The pinnacle of the day for me was the third run. I was coming out of a long sweeper going ~75 mph (no time to look at the speedometer but guesstimating by the gear and engine sound) as the back end started coming out at the fastest section of the track. I didn't unwind the steering wheel enough and I started going sideways. I tried to save it by countering but I steered too hard and I spun 180 degrees. It happened fast, too fast. I was facing the track backwards as I heard the instructor say "You're still on course". I quickly turned around and somwhow I managed to finish the course. If this is the only thing I got out of the autocross all day, it would have been well worth the $20 I spent. It made me realize that balanced and predictable as my car is, it has its limits and I am just beginning to find them...

    The first two runs in the afternoon were frustrating - I kept missing gates and although I walked the whole course during the lunch break and I thought I had it all mapped it out, I was still unsure about the course layout at speed. I got very lucky my last run, though: my instructor was the fastest guy on the track, who also happens to be the Boston chapter's president and an awesome coach, as it turned out. I told him that I need a lot of help with navigating and he confidently said "Don't worry about it, I'll get you through the course". He was actively using both hands to point me and kept me a step or two ahead on the course. I felt in harmony with the car and although I drove at only 80-85% of the car's limits, I was so smooth that I beat my best run's time by whopping 6 seconds (102 vs. 108). I was so exhilarated after the finish, it must have been almost 20 years since I felt THAT wildly excited about anything. I still feel humbled but very fulfilled and looking forward to all the fun that I will have while trying to improve my driving skills. Next page is the NHIS driving school.
  • beatdogbeatdog Posts: 6
    anybody have the experience that you can not
    turn your key in the ignition key hole?
    the only thing different that I did last time
    is adjust the steering wheel.
    now I insert the key and can not even turn a bit
    , just like I insert a wrong key. I try all the
    key that come with the car, non of them work,

    please give some advice, thank you very much.
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    Sometimes, usually after turning the steering wheel just before switching the ignition off, there is an excess of pressure on the rack because of the tires grip on the road. Try turning the steering wheel more forcefully in each direction while 'jiggle' turning the key. If it's not that and you get it to work anyway, you should have it looked at in case something goes out altogether.
  • beatdogbeatdog Posts: 6
    found it on owner's manual page 56.
    now I understand I need to read it carefully.
    got my new car only 4 days. :)
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    That's a long, fast course there. At our autox, I don't get out of 2nd gear, and our lap time is around 60 sec +/- 10 sec. Can't believe you only paid $20. Our one day of fun cost $50.

    Don't you just love the sea of cones. It takes a while to get used to. Don't worry too much about it. You should do better next time (I'm assuming next time considering what you paid for your helmet).
  • planomlplanoml Posts: 244
    are all over the place for the 1,2, and 5 series. You all know about the 7, and the soon-to-be-here Z-5. Does anyone know if there will be any changes on the 3 series soon?
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    3 series redesign is scheduled for late 2005 as 2006 models. About the normal life cycle of BMW designs.
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    I am thinking of getting a $15 Driving for Dummies type of book before plunking down $500 on a driver's training course. Anyone have any favorites? I'm decent, but my car, as an Ultimate Driving Machine, will be born to go on autobahns so I have to live up to its expectations. ;-) Brave1hearts's notes about auto-x sound thrilling & scary, sort of like doing the first black diamond run of the season I guess.
    Dave330i - how awful about the Pt. Mugu crash, but hope you had a good time at the b-fest.
    BBell4 - I have to pay a MACO charge too.
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    echoing derprofi, 35K sounds a tad high. If I were in your shoes, 34K would be more reasonable.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    First thing you should do is take a BMW sponsered Car Control Clinic, then have some fun at autox. When you feel comfortable with autox, go for the high speed driving school.

    P.S. I believe you've got me confused with someone else.
  • genie1genie1 Posts: 398
    Glad you had fun...are you hooked yet? :)

    The Trillium chapter of the BMW Club of Canada has events on the next two Sundays, but I don't think I'll be able to attend either event...the next one is mid-June...(don't know if I can wait that long)

    Maybe, if I'm really good, and things go smoothly, I might possibly be able to attend the one on May 5...will have to wait and see. :)

    What psi did you run your tires? Did they shred on the sides? Did you snag any cones?
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    Sorry! I was browsing on the bimmerfest board and someone had your handle! I just assumed it was you. Yes, the bimmer school course looks great. They have one specifically for women but this one sounds like exactly what a regular driver would need/want in order to get better.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    It depends on your tire size. On my 17", I ran 42F/45R. This year, I think I'll go with 42F/43R. Find out what others are running at. That'll be a good starting point. Next, chalk couple places on your front tires (side walls), and check them after your first run. If too much's rubbed off, increase the pressure.

    vkwheels: np. You learn a lot of useful things at BMW events, and it can be applied to everyday driving. What's scary is, after the driving school, you really notice how bad average drivers are on the road.
  • hfbhfb Posts: 18
    I would appreciate hearing opinions as to how the xi handles (cornering, braking, steering feel, etc.) compared to both the 330i and the 325i. Does it lose some of its BMW feel due to the all wheel drive?
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