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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    huntzinger... A brief "About the Book" description hardly indicates it has anything to do with the specific subject under discussion. If it does, please post a link to the specific section(s) or e-mail me the relevant portions. Believe my address is in my profile. I'd love to learn more about the specific subject we've been discussing.

    As mentioned in prior posts, there is a difference between crash test results in a artificially controlled setting (e.g., NHTSA and IIHS labs) and actual real world results (e.g., as reported by individuals who have been in crashes and by insurance companies that must determine premiums based on experienced data). The miniscule sample size for both NHTSA and IIHS tests does significantly limit some conclusions that might be drawn at a statistically significant level. Both testing agencies carefully caveat their results. That is where actual results in the real world (i.e., non-controlled setting) come into play. One needs to look carefully at the entire universe of relevant data, laboratory and otherwise.

    Would be interesting to see NHTSA and IIHS each crash ten BMW I6 3 Series and ten MB V6 C-class and report the individual results, mean, and standard deviation.

    Would also be interesting to look at the correlation between 6-cyl engine configuration and safety. My hypothesis: Since 1990 I6s in passenger vehicles show a significant positive correlation with front impact safety results in both laboratory and real world. Why? Unlike V6s, there aren't many and the primary users have been in safety-conscious marques like BMW (3 & 5 Series), Lexus (IS300), MB (pre-introduction of V6s), and Volvo (S80).

    There are a tremendous number of factors that come into play regarding safety. Engine configuration is only one of a large set of variables. And engine configuration might only be a variable in a smaller sub-set of total crashes involving front end collision but is not likely any factor at all in all the other sub-sets of crashes (rear, side, rollover, and not even in some offset front impacts).
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    now don't go confusing the argument by introducing real live fact into it... :)

  • rshaw11rshaw11 Posts: 52
    I got a chip knocked out of my windshield, tried to have it repaired, but need a new windshield. One shop offered me a choice of BMW glass or an after-market equivalent. The after-market is about $200 cheaper. Is it as good? What should I be concerned about? Thanks
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    Thanks for the info! I've relayed it to my friend (who usually takes my advice when it comes to cars for some reason) and he's going to look into it.

    Yeah I have an idea how you drive, but isn't the Audi your wife's car? j/k

    Thanks again for the help!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • Do you not have glass coverage in your insurance? If so you don't have to pay for anything and can of course opt for the OEM glass.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    What year and model is your 3 Series? (You should update your profile here at Edmunds. Shows you own a Cadillac.) Is this a new car still under warranty? I couldn't imagine buying a non-BMW windshield.

    I'd be willing to pay the $200 difference, but you have to pay the insurance deductible either way. Who is your insurance company? My insurance company, USAA, has an excellent glass repair and replacement system. They have an extensive network. I've only had to replace one windshield in past 13 years I've had USAA. But have had at least a dozen good glass repairs during that time.
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 356
    A brief "About the Book" description hardly indicates it has anything to do with the specific subject under discussion. If it does, please post a link to the specific section(s) ...

    I'm not going to even try to summarize a 400 page copyrighted technical textbook. Take the listed ISBN and plug it in to Amazon and find a copy to buy. The few pages that you can read online hardly even breaks the surface.

    I'd love to learn more about the specific subject we've been discussing.

    The brief bottom line is that for the level of impact we're talking about, the engine block is for practical purposes a rigid object that's not going to significantly deform to absorb a significant amount of the crash energy. Think of it as a big brick that's more "in the way" than it is helping things. The I6/V6 generalization is that things that have to be "in the way" will be less "in the way" if they're a smaller package, and that this makes more room available for crash energy absorbing structures. The theoretical ideal is 0% engine and 100% crash structure, but in reality, that's not going to happen.

    ... there is a difference between crash test results in a artificially controlled setting (e.g., NHTSA and IIHS labs) and actual real world results ....

    Yup. And unfortunately, the uncontrolled setting of 'field reports' makes statistical analysis quite hard; and downright impossible if it involves a self-selected sample. Ditto for the statistics on crash test sampling, although that's a topic ripe for test plan scope creep.

    Would also be interesting to look at the correlation between 6-cyl engine configuration and safety.


    My hypothesis: Since 1990 I6s in passenger vehicles ...

    All of the US automakers used to have I6's, typically back before they adopted FWD for weight/packaging/cost savings, so if we looked back into this time period, I think we're going to find that MB & BMW were still better, which simply reenforces our position that the single most significant contributor is the manufacturer.

    FWIW, keep in mind that in the Euro crash tests, the little MB A-Class got a 4 Star rating, the same as the 3er. Actually, the A was actually better in the front. Oops.

    There are a tremendous number of factors that come into play regarding safety.

    Which is why this is shouldn't get beaten to death as somehow being definitive. There's a technical basis to say that a V6 may offer a slight advantage for at least one crash mode, but that alone doesn't provide a compulsion to change: after all, look at how poorly GM does, despite having a theoretical leg up.

  • get rid of tree sap and bird dung off your bimmer? I tried washing it off yesterday and it won't come off at all, just leaves yellow marks all over the hood! I usually just use dishwashing liquid but it's not strong enough to get rid of this stuff!
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    huntzinger... Is too bad the NHTSA data is too old to be useful (has data on E36), but the IIHS data is interesting. Their web site lists 6 "Best Picks" for the "Midsize Luxury Cars". MB C320, Volvo S80, Lexus ES300, Lexus IS300, Saab 9-5, and BMW 328i. You have 3 V6 and 3 I6 configurations.

    ES300 is transversely mounted FWD V6. Isn't the S80 I6 transversely mounted versus the longitudinally mounted IS300 and 328i I6s? Should an E-W configuration help or hurt versus a N-S configuration?

    The MB did quite well. But so did the rest. All received a "G", the highest rating for "structure/safety cage" as well as all "Injury measures" (except one "A" for the 9-5).

    The BMW fell down on "restraints/dummy kinematics" and "head restraint design", but neither is related to engine configuration.

    The BMW is the oldest design tested of these 6 Best Picks. It is a MY 2000 328i. The C-class was redesigned in 2001. The Volvo S80 discusses differences in 2000 & 2001 designs/equipment versus 1999. The Saab 9-5 is a brand new 2002 design.

    Look at the intrusion measurements for each. Not sure what conclusions can be drawn. The I6 328i beats the V6 9-5 and I6 S80 but loses to the V6 C320. Essentially a tie between the I6 328i and V6 ES300. And the I6 IS300 beats the I6 328i.
  • My climate control does whatever it wants, when it wants. Sometimes when the car is cold, the system will be fully functional with indicator lights working and will respond to any command in any mode. After a minute or less, the lights on the heater control panel will go out, then after that, the heater / A/C will not function on the chosen setting. Instead, it does whatever it wants. Generally it directs heat directly onto the driver’s right foot only, regardless of any setting. I consider this to be a safety issue when the temperature is in the 90's and heat is pouring into the cabin. Also, there are NO replacement parts available currently, and the dealers worldwide don't know when they'll be available.
    Anyone else have a similar problem?
    Anyone know where I could find this digital push button part?
  • allanoallano Posts: 175
    Try alcohol for tree sap and then wash the alcohol off with a very mild soap (for hands, not dishes) and water. I think water and mild soap will also take off bugs -- just get them wet enough, i.e. several passes. A polish/wax like Megulars works on bugs also.
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    I keep those tree sap spots wet enough for them to come off with just a little pressure with a sea sponge or gentle push of a fingernail. I use Eagle One car wash ( & am ordering the Eagle One wheel cleaner to try out ) & I like it, it's cheap & effective. Bird doo--I get it off fast, just with water, maybe a little soap if necessary.

    I had Dunlop SP5000's before and I liked them.
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    DON'T use dishwashing detergent!!!! in addition to taking off whatever you are trying to get off, that stuff strips off wax like there is NO tomorrow...

    any "good name" (i.e. meguiar's, mothers', etc.) cleaning solution will do...

  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I may wash my car less often than once a month but I do try to get rid of bird dung and tree sap as soon as I spot it. They are so acidy that they eat up into the clearcoat if left for a couple of days. I've never used anything other than water. Once they eat up into the clearcoat, there is not much you can do except have the car buffed I guess...Has anyone had their car buffed? BTW, you may want to consider buying the Absorber, which stays wet for weeks in its plastic casing without rotting.

    While on this mundane topic, I was wondering if anyone has suggestions about
    getting rid of scratches on the bumpers. Some of them are deep enough to require touch-up paint.
  • I just received confirmation that I am set for ED on September 19th. Anyone else have the same day?
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    tchoo: What do you think of the Goodyear RS-A's? I had them as OEM on my Maxima, and I had mixed feelings. I thought they handled fine for the limits of the car in the dry, but were somewhat loud and road rough when worn, and were dangerous in the rain at 20,000 miles. I replaced them with Bridgestone Potenza RE950's, which are quiet, smooth, and great in rain/snow, but give up too much handling to the RS-A's. I ask because I saw a 2002 325 with RS-A's this week. They probably came on the car.

    brave: Those SP5000 seem too good to be true. I'll have to read up on them. The stars aligned for me in that tournament. Rounds like that happen once every 10 years for me.

    silverprincess: Keep alot of wax on your horizontal surfaces. When I use to wax my cars frequently (before wife and kids), bird droppings would dry up in the sun, and slide right off my car with just a flick. That said, I agree with brave - get it off of there the instant you see it. I keep an old towel and a squirt bottle in the trunk. Use alot of water so you don't scratch the clearcoat, and watch where you park. Birds are the enemy, when it comes to car maintenance.
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    I just read the changes for '03 from the link provided above. Thanks, guys.

    This is of particular interest to me, since I still don't have my 2002 - and the 2003's are ready for order!!!! My reaction, as somebody who probably could have waited for the '03, had I thought it necessary:

    Nav System DVD: Who cares? This option is still WAY too expensive in most cars, and probably two cars from now for me.

    Head Unit Aux: Again, who cares? The unit is already setup to take the 6-disc in the trunk. What else are you going to add?

    3rd headrest: These look neat when you look into the car, but I agree with others - they obstruct vision, are generally useless, and I'm glad my 2002 won't have it.

    Rain Sensor and Auto-headlight: More decisions being made for me. I'll decide when to use my headlights, thank you. Although it is probably switchable?

    Armrest/Console: FINALLY!!! It warms my heart to know all that complaining was not in vain. If this had been standard in 2002, I might have passed on the PP - but probably not, since I'm glad I got a sunroof and power seats. Now, if they would just make the sport suspension standard on the 325 sedan, like on the coupe and the 330 - some of us could have it w/out SP tires.

    Moonroof on the Wagon: Irrelevant. Has anybody here ever seen a 3-series wagon? That concept is more ridiculous than the X5.

    330 Options: Don't care. Not in 330 league, now or for a long time. I think a 325 will be enough car for me for a while.

    All in all, it looks like I didn't miss anything with my 2002.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    I've seen a 325iT w/ SP before and I think it looks sharp!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    i get mine buffed out/polished and waxed every six months... they do a really good job of getting out the "memories" of old tree sap and bird/squirrel droppings (we have the world's largest population of grey sqwerls in south jersey)...

    it makes it look brand new (well, other than the couple scratches and dings) for about 3 days... then it gets back to it's "normal state" for the next 5 months and 28 days... :)

    dunno on the bumper scratches... probably the best bet is to try to fill them first, before you use touch up... a lot of times, the touched up area ends up looking worse than the scratch did...

  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    Head Unit Aux: Again, who cares? The unit is already setup to take the 6-disc in the trunk. What else are you going to add?

    For less than the cost of your 6-disc changer, I could get an iPod that holds 200 hours of music and isn't limited to the trunk of your car. Granted it isn't CD quality, but I doubt you could tell the difference through your car stereo.

    Anyone want to trade head units when they get a '03 model?

  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I stopped by the dealer to pick up a bottle and could not believe they charge $16 for a gallon. According to the manual, "never use anything other than factory-approved, nitrite and aminofree extended-duty antifreeze with corrosion inhibitor..." I'd think the ones you can pick up at a gas station cost a lot less and are essentially the same, no?!?
  • platypusplatypus Posts: 192
    I respectfully disagree with 1pierce. A 3-series wagon (or any sport wagon for that matter) makes a whole lot more sense for the 90%+ of SUV buyers who don't take their vehicles off road. Take a 325ixT, A4 Avant Quattro, A6 Avant Quattro, or Passat Variant 4Motion, and you've got a vehicle that does 95% of what an SUV does, has superior handling characteristics, and doesn't impair the vision for the rest of us out there driving cars.

    I've got my sights set on a Passat W8 wagon with 6-spd manual transmisson. 0-60 in 6.2 seconds (est.), 270hp, 273 ft-lb of torque at 2750 rpm, AWD, 20/27 mpg (est.), and 36 cubic feet of cargo capacity, all in a package for under $40K.

    Throw the kids in the back seat - strollers and other gear in the cargo area and you've got a vehicle that will run circles around any SUV. Would be a nice complement to the 330, which is still BTW at the body shop awaiting a new roof from Germany. :-(

    Wagons kick a$$!
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    yep, the SP5000 really are that good.

    Wagons - I really like them too, esp. the Avant and the iT. I'd seriously consider one when we need more room for the family.
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    Count me in as a wagon lover. We have a Volvo wagon which we chose when we came to our senses while looking at SUV's. Safety was a major consideration and SUV's just aren't as safe as good cars.

    I was initially looking at 3 series wagons but opted for the sedan due to the added cost, the rack mounts standard on the sedan and I liked the looks of the sedan better.

    Our next vehicle will likely be another wagon or a minivan.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I myself like SUVS. My last one was a JGC LTD with Quadradrive, my current one is a Mountaineer. It's all about what you like and want.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    3 series pricing is available on

    and on Bimmerfest, go to the General discussion area for pricing

    Have fun!!!

  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    I like the looks of the BMW wagon as well. A friend has one for taking his dogs with him. A nice rubber mat in the back and he was set. Ten years from now, you'll see more wagons being sold than SUV's - just like when wagons were popular in the 60's. That's America - back to the future!
    By the way, is a Subaru Forester a wagon or SUV?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    You're getting gigged on the BMW coolant(I pay $13/gallon), but I won't use anything else in my Bimmers. It allows you to run three years between changes and it is one of the best coolants out there. There are a few decent OTC coolants out there, but I'm sticking with the BMW stuff.
  • tchootchoo Posts: 93
    1pierce: I find the Goodyear's to be a mediocre tire. They're ok in the dry, but don't give much warning at the limits. I've had it break free on a sharp turn without any aural feedback whatsoever. They're not terribly good in the wet, but passable. I have 15K on them right now and they seem to have lots of wear left, even the rear tires. They came OEM with my '01 325Ci. I was a little disappointed I didn't get the Conti's but I've heard that many people didn't like them either. My winter tires - Dunlop Winter Sport M2's perform better than the Goodyears in all respects. When the Goodyear's wear out I was thinking of swapping them with Kumho Ecsta MX's, Sumitomo HTR, Dunlop FM901's, or Potenza RE950's. Did you say that the Potenza's are worse than the Goodyear's?? I've heard nothing but good things about them?
  • Did I read the 2003 info correctly. Full maintenance for 4yr/50k miles! That is a great change. They can keep the rest of the changes.
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