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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Did anyone ever answer your question about doc fees? I've gotten the impression that most states legislate a limit on this fee and the dealers then make that limit what they charge. For example, it is $50 in Texas and the dealer forms will actually have it printed on the form. That's something you might want to check -- get a look at the form they use to write up a deal and see if "doc fee" is a preprinted entry. If it is, and the salesman is quoting you more than that figure, something is up. $189 MIGHT be the doc fee plus the title registration fee ($13 in Texas) plus the license fee (about $70 in Texas) plus other various and sundry fees ($22 for 2 year state inspection) ($10.xx Road and Bridge fee). Total of all these for my deal in Texas came to $156 something.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    It must feel nice to have your car. Mine is still in NJ with a status of released to Trucking. My vehicle has to go from NJ to SC. Then sit. Get processed. Wait for another truck before it heads to Houston. My car has done alot of waiting. The outside was dirty has hell when I left London. I probably have permanent speed lines on the hood and rear of the car by now. I guess I will not have the car until next week. Maybe two weeks because my wife will want to drive. She did not drive in England because of that opposite side of the road stuff. I have lost any patiences that I started out with.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    What do you men "together"?!? You couldn't lose him?!? (j/k)
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    Can you do auto-x with an automatic/steptronic?

    congrats to wrjohnson, will stay posted for update on the service engine light story.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    "Can you do auto-x with an automatic/steptronic?"


    brave1heart: why would I want to lose a M5? ;)
  • ddblueddblue Posts: 117
    wrjohnsonpghpa--way to go! You are now a bonafide 3 nut like the rest of us here. The experience will only get sweeter (once you take care of that engine light--not an uncommon experience, btw).

    Regarding the 7 and 5 design, hasn't Adrian Van Hooydonk been responsible, not Bangle? Bangle may be heading up design but I don't think he actually designed the 7. I read this in BMW Magazine. Am I wrong?
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I think the way that Van Hooydonk says the process goes, is these design groups compete for these projects. The winning group gets the project and do the rest of the design. Designworks USA has won a good number of these projects. The Germans are not as conservative as we like to believe. BMW AG has to give the last word on this. Even the new European Delivery center that BMW is working on will be space age type stuff. What is considered classic anyway? Look at the design of the full size M-B sedans over the course of time.
  • ddblueddblue Posts: 117
    I'm looking to get a new set of tires for my 325Ci. It currently has the 225s all around from the SP. The fronts still look great (12K miles), so I'm thinking about just replacing the rears (I'm cheap). Is this a bad idea? Will this affect ride/performance/handling much? Is it bad for the car?

    I'm debating between Yokohama, Sumitomo, and Kumho 245s. Any recommendations?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    The AWD on my 325xi doesn't feel any different than the RWD that I originally tested. If anything, it feels more stable, but that may just be my mental image knowing I have AWD. It has usually 68% going to the back wheels, so you still have the RWD feel most of the time anyway.

    As for the 5 vs 7, my wife and I looked at the 7 and liked everything, except the tail. She kinda liked it, I hated it. With the pics of the 5 posted on that google site (anybody got the site for the translation?) it looks like the trunk lines are a little bit softer and less pronounced than on the 7. While I don't care for it on the 7, the 5 looks kind of nice. Maybe it is one of those designs that grows on you. :)
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    I'm planning on getting Kumhos myself. They get out of round easily, but everyone I've talked to says they're the best bang for the buck.
  • luftig1luftig1 Posts: 23
    having unusual tail lights, looks good to me also ? Sometimes being distictive can be an aquired taste, but who wants there cars to all look alike. Notice how the new Avalon has 3 series lookalike tail lights.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    ddblue raises an interesting question. I've been contemplating replacing only the rears in the very near future and putting off the fronts until, possibly as late as, next spring. My reason for this is that my wifes Odyssey needs tires (~$500), I just replace the tires on my motorcycle (~$300), and I'll be buying winter tires/wheels in fall (~$1,200). If I replace all 4 on the BMW now, I'll be putting nearly $2.75K into tires this year. I definitely don't want Conti's again so to replace only the rears would mean mixing brands/models. If I don't track the car, how bad of a thing would this be? Div2, are you out there? FWIW, I've never mixed tires and would rather just plunk down the cash and replace all 4, but my wife (again, not a car person!!) is likely to cut me into small pieces and feed me to the dog. ;-)
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    If you want allseason high performance, i might suggest the Yoko AVS DB , i replaced the worn brigstones on my 323i Sport and have been very pleased.

  • njdriver1njdriver1 Posts: 96
    Hi board, has anyone encountered the "check transmission" idiot light? Mine went off on my steptronic (no comments, please) last night, and the service dept hasn't been able to diagnose it despite working on it all day. Any ideas? they're threatening to keep it for days...
  • tpell1tpell1 Posts: 18
    Hi, anyone have any data/advice if the 330i becomes a better deal if you will be leasing as opposed to buying.

    Love the 330i or ix but the price tag is a little steep and love the loaded G35 for about 8k? less than a similarly equipped 330. Someone mentioned that leasing might make that price gap smaller and I was wondering if anyone had any info or hard #'s about that. It'd be a 36 mo, 12k per year in Jersey with $5,000 down

    Thanks for the help
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Try the G35 vs. 330i board. I believe someone's done the math already, and it comes out very close.
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    I like to drive fast on curvy mountain roads. I even like to feel the car near its limits sometimes. But,...alas...a day of fun is not worth ANY marks on my paint. I agonize over everyone of them until I'm in the final year of my lease.

    I know, I'm crazy, and way too much of a perfectionist, but maybe I'll mellow when my kid drags his bike handle bars down the side of my car one day!
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    I actually like the look of the new 7 series all the way around. I am probably coloring my opinion because I have become a BMW nut because of the way they handle.

    I love these cars. For the money, you cannot find a car that handles and drives the way a 3-series does.

    They can have the G35. I'd pay the $8k more and get the better car. It is a lot cheaper than a psychiatrist and for all of you that drive a Bimmer, you know what I mean--its like therapy everytime you take a corner.
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    I also like the new 5 series.

    Not as crazy about its tail. The dashboard also seemed a little obstructive.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    With under 4,000 to the dealer, $518/mo on 330i, step, moonroof, premium, stereo upgrade, cold weather. No HID, but I think I'm leaving out some options, but I can't remember what they are.
  • ddblueddblue Posts: 117
    Kominsky/Dave330i--heard that Kumhos are good tires. Many of the guys at auto-xing use 'em. I looked at, and it looks like the best rated WR rated tire for the money are the Sumitomo HTR+s. The treadwear is insanely high, and the dry/wet traction rates 8 out of 10. Plus, they're fairly inexpensive for performance tires. The 245/40-17s were around 104 a piece. Not bad.

    I'm still wondering, though, if anyone out there can advise on whether or not replacing the rears only is a bad practice. I, like Kominsky, don't want to break the bank on tires. Gurumike?? Bueller?? Anyone??
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    Replace only the tires that need it. The car and the tires will not know the difference. I know the aesthetic appeal of having the same tires on all four exists, but when you have the SP, the rear tires will wear out more quickly than the front. The tires may have some different performance characteristics if they are different age and or brand, but the tires for the SP are already different because they are different sizes on front and back. Not only this, the manufacturer of the tire did not have a preconceived position on the car for a particular tire and therefore the design of the vehicle must allow for differences in tires within a reasonable margin. Obviously if you put $49 budget tires on the front and ultra high performance tires on the back, you may notice a difference, but if you have relatively high quality tires on all four, there will not be a problem having tires of different ages. I do think it is preferable though for both front and both rear tires to match.

    TBL: Replace tires in pairs as they need to be replaced.
  • rjg96rjg96 Posts: 58
    I have to respectfully disagree w/ the other posters' opinions regarding tire replacement.
    You should really try to replace all 4 tires at the same time. In most situations under most conditoins, I agree that you could get away w/ mixing different tire brands/ tire ages front to back, but when you really need your tires you might regret that decision:
    Different tires will have slightly different adhesion qualities which will affect:
    -braking performance
    -can contribute to whether the car will oversteer or understeer
    -handling in wet conditions-- different types of tires could hydroplane at different points causing a situation where the car suddently skids.
    -Could reduce the effectiveness of the DSC

    when it comes down to it, why reduce the safety of your car by doing this?
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Tranny light, my non -step went off when it was returned to me from service... no Excellent on that survey, anyways the mass air flow sensor was not hooked up , causing the tranny to go into safe mode..

    good luck
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    Had my car inspected. 12,300 miles on the clock. Rears (245/40 Conti Sports) at 4/16 in the center groves which means time to replace. I reckon with sensible driving (for at least some of the time) 15,000 miles is about right for the backs, 20-25,000 for the fronts. Hope this is useful!
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    The transmission fault light went on in my 530iA at about 9,000 miles. I had been suspicious that the transmission was not working properly, and confirmed it one day when I tried to accelerate quickly into traffic from a stop. The engine revved quickly to 5,500 rpm with little forward motion from the car. When I tried this a second time to verify the problem, the light came on and the trans went into safe mode (sounds like a Windows term - brings to mind the chilling thought that Steptronic logic was programmed by Microsoft!).

    Brought the car to the dealer, and they replaced a valve body, which seems to have cured the problem. I recommend you do the same, and get someone from the shop to drive and duplicate the conditions that made the light come on. That's what I did, which facilitated diagnosis.
  • 530bmw530bmw Posts: 130
    In Virginia, doc fees can be as high as $400-500 and as of now there is no state law that set the limit. To me it reads "rip off" fees, and lot of people refuse to pay it. I will pay up to $25 provided that I get a good deal. All dealers know that it is a pure profit for them on top of the profit they have alredy made on cars .Majority of them will drop it if you play a hard ball. Ask them to drop it and stick to your gun and be prepare to walk away if they refuse.
  • vishnu11vishnu11 Posts: 59
    I saw some discussion about advertising fees and how they are "legitimate charges" that should be tacked on to the Edmund's invoice to get the "true invoice price".

    I question whether these advertising fees should be passed on to the consumer. After all, there is a cost to do business, and above all the profit that the dealer makes, why should the consumer subsidize the business itself?

    What are people's thoughts on that?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    vishnu11... Is not really a question of "if" legitimate business expenses should be passed on to buyers, but "how". Eventually all expenses and taxes get passed on to the ultimate buyer.

    But having the dealer tack certain expenses on after a price is agreed to is where the problem sets in. And this problem is compounded further because the dealer is NOT up-front on the fee to begin with. You don't see it on a window sticker MSRP. You have trouble finding it clearly shown in open source pricing information. And they can vary from place to place and time to time.

    Ever notice how the "Destination Charge" has little or no relationship to how much it actually costs to transport the vehicle? You don't pay less by living next door to the factory. Manufacturers and dealers treat this as a fixed, non-negotiable cost. Ended up being a way to increase profits. They are trying to do same with advertising fees. If they succeed, won't surprise me to see salesperson's salaries & commissions added on. That is just as much a cost of selling a car as are advertising fees and transportation charges.

    Why is it that car manufacturers and dealers think they can price their goods differently than a department store? They can advertise a price or you can negotiate a price that you think is the final price, but when it comes time to close the deal, all of a sudden additional fees pop up. The dealer should only advertise or negotiate a price that covers all of their costs. They know what the car cost and they know their expenses, fees, & charges. Does Wal-Mart charge you an advertising fee when you go to the cashier to buy a TV or stereo system? No, because the price they post takes into account all their costs and their desired profit. (And at least when you pay sales tax, you know the fixed percentage ahead of time and it is equally applied to all items so taxed.)
  • sybelesybele Posts: 42
    I am considering getting the retrofit steering wheel kit for my 2001 3-series. Is it worth it?
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