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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • Day 1:
    Took delivery. Salesman said a lot of orientation-type things. I heard none. I was on sensory overload. Just kept looking at the car. Thinking "Gimme the keys. Gimme the keys." Got the keys. Like holding a newborn baby. Afraid to break it. Drive carefully everywhere I go. More nervous than joyful.

    Day 2:
    Walk into garage. See new car. Still seems like someone else's. "My, that's a pretty car," I think. "Hey, that's mine!" Still nervous, but having a little more fun. Getting on freeway a much more exhilarating experience. The permanent smile begins.

    Day 3:
    Yeeeeeeeeehaaaaaa! That's my car! It sinks in. Couldn't sleep the night before because I was so anxious to get up and drive to work. I completely understand those that say driving their bimmer is like therapy. It so is. Sit inside with the black lthr interior, "metal" trim and nav. Beautifully simple and elegant. Heck, I don't even care if the nav system works, it looks awesome with this combo. With smile plastered on my face I get on the freeway with glee. 4500 RPM comes so quickly. Too quickly. Must take 1,134-mile road trip soon. Get rid of this darned break-in period.

    Day 4:
    Today. Went to bed with visions of my car in my head. Woke up with that silly grin. Can't wait to go some more. Planning trips to the mountains, the beach (one of the good things about SoCal), anywhere. What am I doing here sitting at my computer? Gotta go...
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    LOL...yep that about describes it :)
  • ddblueddblue Posts: 117
    Brave: Yep, I do have to shift into 3rd at 58/59 mph. I am just shy of the rev limiter, too. Despite that, I couldn't be happier with my 325Ci. 16K miles and it runs like a dream.

    BTW, whatever happened to that offer by a poster to host a website where we could post photos? I would love to see shots of your 3.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    You know, don't you, that you can see photos of Brave's (and others) cars at the BMW 3-Series Owners: Photo Gallery?
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    What's better than shots of my car is a shot of 5 BMW's at the autoX waiting eagerly for the next run. Shtroumpf is in the middle.

    At the AutoX

    Click above for a closer look
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    According to the BMW Owner's Circle, my 325i is "Awaiting Transport". I assume this means its sitting in a warehouse in South Africa waiting to be trucked to a boat. Actually, the SA thing doesn't bother me anymore - its kind of exotic. I've been to Europe twice - never seen Africa.

    About how long did it take for your cars to arrive after they went into "Awaiting Transport" stage? Anyone with an SA build who can comment?
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    I hope I hear the dealer explanations tomorrow. I might be on sensory overload too. No plans for road trip but work has been hard & it would be so nice to get away with new car. Dealer says its better to sign all papers THEN go over the car but to me that seems wrong wrong wrong.
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    Beautiful car. Your's is the blue one to the right of the 330 w/"523" on it, right?

    It looks like you have different (and IMO) much nicer wheels with your 2001 SP than those that are available on the 2002 SP. Its hard to tell for sure in the photo, though. I like the base 2002 325 wheels better than the 2002 325 SP, but I love your wheels. And the "M" wheels on the 330i SP - awesome.
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    I'm aware that there are a few programming customizations that have to be done to the car after the dealer receives it. Things like whether the lights blink on locking, whether the car locks automatically after pull out, etc..

    Did you guys have this done prior to pick-up, or did the dealer discuss this with you when you arrived? I'm tempted to get on the web site owner's manual, find out what my options are, and write a memo to my dealer in advance of my cars arrival, telling him how I want it programmed.

    Did any of you do something similar? How do you think it would be received?
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Correct. Thanks. The "M" wheels on the 330 to the left of my car are much more aggressive; the Star 44 wheels on my car are classier, though (imo, of course). I thought the '02 325i SP's wheels are very similar to the '01 model's - aren't they also 7-spoke?
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    My car sat awaiting transport forever in SA. Then all of a sudden it was half way across the atlantic. Sometimes the system is not very up to date. From this point you are looking at 6 weeks to the US.
  • I bought my CPO'd 99 323i SP which came with the VSpoke Style 54 (16"), and the dealer 4 brand new Conti's too.

    But I liked the 17" 44's so much that within the first week, I bought brand new wheels and ordered Michelin Pilot Sports from TireRack. Looks so much better now, definitely more aggressive. I get compliments from people all the time.

    Now if someone can tell me how to post pictures here, I'll be glad to post a few.

    1999 323i manual w/ SP, Jet Black/Tan leather, wood, moonroof, rear-folding seats.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    One Week Before Pickup, send your dealer the Car and Key Memory worksheet and verify with dealer what you do/don't want. Call them now for a copy of the worksheet. Also, judging by your questions, it will help you a lot to read the FAQ server on -

    p.s. The Owner's Circle status is typically behind by a week or more.

  • eoseos Posts: 27
    When we picked up our 325i last month at BMW of Sterling in Northern VA, the salesman was very comfortable with our position that we would not settle the paper work until we had looked the car over and taken it for a test drive. This was based a few past experiences buying a Honda "off the lot", where one car my son wanted had an engine problem (repeated stalling; we bought a different color than originally wanted).

    It all worked out well, we love the car (Orient Blue, sand, PP, heated seats).

    Good luck,
  • orkwisorkwis Posts: 82
    Okay, my apologies for asking this yet again, but I can't seem to locate the post. How does one track an ED vehicle once it has been given to Harms?
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    Infiniti G35 just became the first car ever to edge BMW out of first place in it's Super sedan shootout. In an 11 car test they picked the G35 first over the 330i, apparently for it's 'bargain' price. The 330i did score the most points as a car though...!!! hmmm
    As I've said on many previous occasions.. "It only costs a little more to go through life first class and it's always worth it."
    Well done Infiniti, too!
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Who's "they", who did the comparo? C&D compared the G35 and the 330i recently and they thought that although the two cars are very close, the 330i was still 7-grand better (even if it were only for the fact that it holds its value much better). I always thought that the G35 was a great competitor for the 3-series and that it is no IS300. The G35 coupe may even be a better car than the 3-series coupe and not just because it is much cheaper. This should be a wake-up call for BMW and get them to focus more on perfecting performance and everything else that defines the brand instead of wasting money on gizmos like the iDrive that most of the 7-series owners won't know how to use anyhow. Well done, Infiniti!!
  • Any idea how long it takes the BMW to confirm a ED order once the Dealer submits? Thanks
  • dantlodantlo Posts: 106
    I am glad your brother in law is ok. My wife was in an almost head on collison in her 3 series conv with top down 4 years ago and she walked out without a single drop of blood on her while the bimmer was totalled. Hats off to BMW.

    I happen to want to sell my 2001 325i seden if your brother is interested. I live in the L.A area.

    E-mail me if you like.

  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    orkwis - I did the Mapquest thing as you suggested. As far as I can tell, the dropoff point is only about a mile east of Schipol Airport. Is that correct? Off the A9, near the intersection of A4? Very convenient, if so, and I don't have to drive into the old city.
  • jean7of9jean7of9 Posts: 192
    Are the 57 cup holders optional or they do come with 57 Starbucks mugs compliments of BMW?
    After delivery, would BMW deliver some diet pills in the fuel tank to shed off the excess insulation weight? A modern design would let the insulation material to disintegrate with engine noise. With this approach an older L becomes ever faster than a new one.
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    It was Road and Track. I forgot to say.
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    Shipo: I was glad to hear your brother-in-law is ok. I was curious though...Was it a T-bone at 40mph on the DRIVER side or PASSENGER side? Any T-bone wreck is prone to serious traumatic brain injury, (even at low speeds 15-20mph) but a T-bone on the driver side is especially problematic (for the driver of course).

    Soverypoor: The most expensive BMW on the lot is still the most affordable therapy you will ever get.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    R&T have zero credibility in my book anyhow...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152

    I think it was on the passengers side of the car. I do know that for 24 hours or so, he was fairly disoriented, and forgetting what he was saying, mid sentense. He seems to be well on the mend though.


    Thanks for your concern. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • bbell4bbell4 Posts: 34
    A fellow BMW owner told me my 325i was probalby being BUILT in South Carolina. I told him he was nuts - Germany or South Africa maybe but NOT South Carolina. Am I a complete moron to even question if this is true???
  • orkwisorkwis Posts: 82
    I think you have the coordinates right. The place is really on the edge of the airport and you'll see it as your flight takes off. The BMW map will make sense once you get off the highway. Just remember, the Harms agent is on the 2nd floor (3rd for us Americans) not the 1st (147 is listed I think). They still keep the phone number listed by BMW as a second line if you need to call but it hasn't been their main number for 2 years. Walk up the stairs and their office faces the street. I found it a little hard to find parking near them, but there is a lot across the street, if you aren't afraid of a few construction potholes!

    Don't forget to visit Amsterdam's red light district and the magic mushroom shop, although I'm not sure I can still pass a drug screen because of all the second hand smoke! (only kidding, I think)
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Only the Z3 and the X5 are built in Spartanburg, SC.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Thanks! Finding that Harms office was the one thing I hadn't researched. In Munich finding everything will be easy -- I'll let a cab driver do it!

    My wife and I are a little old for the marijuana thing and USING the Red Light district is definitely out, but, we'll go there just to check it out. I have a close friend who just got back from there on "business" and so he can give me details on what to see. I was surprised to learn from him that tobacco is so big in Holland. I had never thought about it -- certainly we who live so near the Gulf of Mexico don't see Holland product -- but apparently the former Dutch colonies in the East Indies are big tobacco producing states.
  • orkwisorkwis Posts: 82
    I actually agree with your assessment on the Amsterdam drug culture, but it is certainly something worth seeing for amusement purposes. Living in the Mid-West drugs aren't really pervasive as they are in the bigger cities in the U.S. (I grew up in NYC), but walking through a very nice residential area in Amsterdam I was struck by how often I smelt that tell-tale odor. I would also not recommend USING the red-light district. It has a strange attraction, I'd admit, but I spent my first night sitting in a bar watching this cute young thing working a VERY OLD English looking fella; she was clearly his eye candy and earning every Euro. I felt very sorry for her, it ain't Pretty Woman!

    Regarding tobacco it seemed to me it remains a birthright in Europe; a lot like going to Vegas! But if you like a good cigar you can get Cubanos there. Amsterdam was a nice place to visit, I'm sure will be amused by all the bicycles, but on average I thought it a somewhat grubby city: very crowed. The food was good and the beer great, but it will definately be better to leave the car with Harms ASAP and enjoy the rest of your time getting around by tram or taxi. Have fun!
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