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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Congrats!! You must be in heaven. It gets even better from here ;o)
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I think they both should award drivers in the top 10 positions at least, not just the top 6. There really is a merit to finishing a race!! The problem is more pressing with F1 because all the attention is on the top 3 teams which have a much bigger budget than the rest of the teams. I read that Ferrari's annual F1 budget is >300 mil!! F1 is more of an exercise in technology than an exciting race to watch. I still rarely miss a race but CART is more fun to watch.
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610

    i like the fact you gotta run good to get points... and that there is a major premium placed on winning... i love nascar, but their points system is screwed up...

    brave - why'd you get towed? or don't i want to know? :)

  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    That happened toward the end of last year. We were living in an apartment building in Boston and we were both parking on the street. I was coming back from Albany, NY where I have been working for the past couple of years. I drove around for about 10 min but could not find a parking spot and I parked in front of our building to go see my wife who was 7-8 months pregnant. Literally 2 minutes later, I heard my car's alarm go off and when I looked through the window, I saw a tow truck hitching my car. I ran downstairs and I told the driver (a very young kid) that I was going to move the car. He told me that'd be $50 and that they typically charge $100 CASH ONLY if they have to tow me. I told him that was blackmail and that I wanted my car back. He floored the truck and took off. I started running after the truck and it's probably a good thing I couldn't catch up because I would have picked up a fight. I had to go get my car with my pregnant wife so she'd drive the other car back. I called the apt. building management and they told me that they had a contract with that towing company and they weren't going to do anything about it because I was illegally parked. I started looking for a house to buy the day after this incident and now that we live in the suburbs, it's safe to say we'll be living HERE happily everafter :o)
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I think that experience would have me looking for a house too! They apparently did not care that you were a customer. That is just too bad.

    F1 is a farce especially when you look at the manufacture points and the company represented.
    Europe:Ferrari, BMW, M-B, Renault, Jaguar then the rest of world, made to scramble for the rest of the points: Toyota, Hondas and lowly Sauber(if they can ever qualify.) I like the point scheme for F1, you only have about 22 cars out there. FIA WRC on the other hand, has alot of cars and a lof of talented drivers. They could share the points better. CART seems to have more drama and personality. My wife will not watch an FIA F1 race because M.Schumacher always appears to win. But technology is what drives F1. The approach is BMW and Ferrari are opposite. Ferrari builds consumer cars to fund F1, while BMW does F1 so the technology is passed on their consumer models.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I told management that I understand the need to have a contract with a towing company but that they should have contracted someone who charges a reasonable fee for towing and someone who takes other means of payment than cash. They did nothing about it except raise our rent another 6% that year. Oh, they also charged a finders fee for finding us an apartment in their own complex (that's how bad the Boston market was back during the boom) and they tried to charge us $350 "clean-up fee" considering we left everything sparkling clean.

    Well, the new Enzo resembles an F1 car a lot. Plus, Ferrari would be hard-pressed to fund their $300 mil F1 program with just their street car sales. As far as CART, the cars are almost identical (setup varies of course) and it is more versatile than F1. It's a shame they can't work it out with the IRL and have one strong league together.
  • what's the discount you got off from the membership? can you give an example? thanks.
  • I've been driving the 2003 325XI all week and I love it. It certainly lacks the punch of a 330 or G35, but its quick enough for me. The ride is smooth, the handling is agile and the interior is comfortable and convenient. To top it off, my golf clubs fit easily in the trunk...what more could I ask for?! Anyway, I am very happy with my purchase. Best of luck with yours!
  • abcnycabcnyc Posts: 101
    I thought I read a previous post that indicated that the torque on the lug nuts were suipposed to be 120 NM. Do most of you who change out wheels & tires for winter actually use a torque wrench or just tighten as much as you can ? I want to know if I should buy a torque wrench for changing my wheels & tires.
  • hippo168hippo168 Posts: 115
    I do use a torque wrench to check every time I switch out the summer/winter wheel-tires...

    my question is, besides the Roundel magazine, where else can we get info like this? I don't get the Roundel, so how do I know there are updates/changes/adjustments?

    Also, 100Nm to 120Nm seems like a big jump. Is this "officially" from BMW or from some user who was just playing around with the tightness?
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610

    hippo - why don't you get roundel?

  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    why get the Roundel, when so many of us are willing to pass its wisdom on this board. ;)


    You really should think about joining the BMWCCA. It's cheap, you get great mag, discounts on BMW parts, and participate in BMWCCA sponsored events
  • ghomazghomaz Posts: 68
    Hello all. I have decided to go in for a Certified Pre-Owned BMW. My budget is $30K. I now have to decide which "series" to buy. Personally, I like the 5 series but is there a significant difference in maintenance and ownership costs between the 3, 5 and 7 series? This is going to be a second car so interior space, trunk volume, etc. are not decision factors. Thanks for your help.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I got a 40% discount on my bra and a 33% discount on my alarm. So I have saved close to 100 dollars. The only accessory that I have paid full price (at US value) is my tail pipe trim. That was not big loss. The rest of my accessories were purchased in Europe. I go home to England to every other year, so I hope that my wife wants a new car in 2004. I'll go buy more parts unless the Euro is valued above the Dollar.
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    With that budget I would go for a 2001 330i and get maximum performance. You may only get a used 525 for that price for something relatively new and that would be a bit weak.
  • I have seen a very low mileage 2000 323i at a local dealer for what looks like a very good price (~$26k). When I asked why the mileage was so low, the only explanation provided by the salesman was that it had been a BMW owned car previously, the dealership bought it at an internal auction and had been using it as a loaner for owners with cars in the shop. He generated a CarFax report that seemed to confirm this.

    When I went on the test drive, the only problems I noticed were that the battery was dead when I first tried to start it and the front passenger side door would not open using the handle (from the inside or out) until the car had been turned on and off. The car started and ran fine after being jumped. Physically the car looked great (to my inexperienced eye).

    I have not returned for a second test to see if the battery is dead again. The car has been on the dealers lot for several months.

    The car has one year left on the warranty. Apparently BMW starts the warranty even though the car has never been sold on the open market. It has not been certified.

    Am I missing something, or, assuming the door and electrical system check out, is this a good deal? Something seems a little odd. Any comments?
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Is that a particularly good price? I just bought a brand-new 325i for $30,700, driveout. You'll have to pay TT&L on that $26,000 so I'm guessing drive out would be more like $27,500. That doesn't seem like such a good deal to me. What options are on the car?
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    100Nm to 120Nm is "officially" from BMW and yes, it does seem like a big jump. Don't tighten as much as you can - this could be dangerous, as the lug nut may snap off under pressure. You really should use a torque wrench for that. It's best to get the clicking type - I just got mine in the mail today from The Tirerack for $29. 1/2 inch is preferable to 3/8. A similar torque wrench goes for ~ $60 at Sears. Oh, you will also need a 17 mm socket - I got the thin wall type.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Just got an offer to refinance both our cars at 4.8% and this is NOT a promotional rate or a rate that fluctuates. It is not tied to our house either. It's amazing how much the rates have gone down!! All I need to do is send a fax with the payoff info - done and done. This will save us about $700-750 for the remaining term of the two loans.
  • dax9dax9 Posts: 7
    jeopardized – A month ago I purchased a Certified Pre-owned 2000 323i for 28,700. Same history as the car you spoke of. It's a great car. But I would not have bought it if it had the problems that you described – especially if it was not certified. Why get it when you know there are flaws from the getgo?

    Wait a little. They'll be other BMWs. Maybe not with as low a mileage as you want, but there will always be other features that will fill the gap. My car has a luxury package that wasn't part of my search criteria, but because it had really low mileage I went for it. In my experience, it didn't hurt to wait. The dealership I used had cars of all makes and models with varying packages coming in every week.

    Give your salesperson an ultimatum – that you won't buy the car with those flaws. That its the "only thing that's stopping you". See where it gets you.

    A question for all. I need to get snow tires. BMW quoted $124 per tire, $126 to mount and balance, and $130 for alignment.

    Town Fair Tire quoted me the same for the tires, but $9.95 to balance, and $29.00 to align. Big difference.

    I'm interested in finding out more about the pros and cons of going outside BMW for stuff that isn't covered under the Full Warranty. What do I risk?
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    Go to for winter tires. Wheel and tire packages are mounted and balanced - free. No sales tax - very knowledgable staff.
  • Went back out to BMW North and drove an M3 this past week. It was a great car, but was new so I did not take it over 4000rpm. Still waiting to drive one that has been broken in.

    I did drive a 330 5sp and WOW! That is a great car. I have not driven the 5sp and it was a totally different car than the auto. Acceleration was brisk and cornering was great. I loved how you could coax it to oversteer and really swing around corners. It even made me think for a few moments about dropping the M3 and just getting a 330, but I figured that I should go ahead and splurge while I can since the wife is on board with everything. I will say that I like the 5sp more than the 6sp. The 5sp is easier to shift and the 5th gear ratio is even higher than in a 6sp (meaning rpms at 80mph are lower in the 5sp than in the 6th). I would have thought the 6sp would have 5 relatively close gears with the 6th gear being very high for cruising down the highway (in my imagination it would be nice to go about 100mph at 3500rpm).

    I took two friends out there with me. One ordered an M3 and the other (a girl) is going to order a 330. She was going to get the auto, but after driving the manual she understands the difference. The manual gearbox on that 330 just puts a grin on your face and beads of sweat on your forehead.-->It is sortof like having xxx with your car--wonderful.
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    What brand of bra did you buy for your car? My wife got the BMW-supplied bra when she bought her 2002 325Ci. It doesn't fit well, and the section on the hood flaps like crazy above 70mph. I am wondering if a different brand might fit better.

    Thanks for your help.
  • There is no reason to go to the dealer for snow tires! I've had snow tires for my 94 325is since the winter of 96, and in fact they wore out only at the end of the winter of '01. If I dont buy an '03 330xi I need to buy 4 tires for this winter. Here's what I did.

    I went to my local independent BMW repair shop and bought 4 steel wheels, 4 318i style wheel covers and 4 snow tires. He had obtained the package from Tire Rack and I didnt have to pay for shipping. (He gets a discount, so he made some $$ and I saved some $$.) Every fall I'd swap them on, and every spring I'd swap back for my summer tires.

    Any reputable tire center should be able to sell you 4 wheels and snow tires. I didnt want to pay for fancy wheels, so just went with conventional steel rims and orig. equipment wheel covers. If your local tire center can't get the wheel covers, Tire Rack sells those too.

    My summer tires are the 225-55x16's, and I bought 65 series snows. This time around I'd buy 60's, not 65's.
  • I understand that moisture can build up under these. Any experience? Sometimes I like the look, but I was talked out of the idea many years ago for this reason.
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    I have not seen moisture accumulate just due to humidity. But, the fabric will tend to hold moisture from dew and rain. Leaving a bra on for a prolonged time will eventually damage the paint by causing it to "blush". Dirt and bugs will also accumulate under it and cause light scratches over time.

    I have concluded that a bra serves a purpose only when driving on roads that are prone to have gravel ot heavy truck traffic. Otherwise, they are too much trouble. A case in point - I always put the bra on my wife's '97 Integra when doing highway driving. After five years, it has numerous rock dings on the sides and hood that are not covered by the bra.

    So, what is the use? If the front of her BMW gets too chipped, and I can't repair the chips with touch-up paint, she'll just have the front of the car painted. Cars are made to enjoy - not to be a burden.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    "My wife got the BMW-supplied bra when she bought her 2002 325Ci." ==> it's nice of BMW to help spice up your intimate life on top of building great cars :o)
  • Hello everyone,
    I'm looking to purchase a 325i auto in the bay area (CA). I'm getting a quote for $32755 + tax and doc fees.
    Is this a good deal? This my first car BMW purchase, so thanks for any help.

    1210 auto
    635 xenon
    430 paint
    1320 leat
    2455 prem pk
    645 del
    240 ad
    31755 total invoice price
    32755 $1000 over invoice
  • $1,000 over invoice sounds like a good deal. I got the same quote today when I stopped by to look at a similar equiped 325i.

    What is the going finance rate these days? I bought my last car when the stock market was a little better and didn't have to finance it but I can't do the same with this one. Does BMW finance offer something under 5%?
  • They were offering me 6.25% with good credit.
    What dealer did you shop at? I'm looking for a car with those options in steel blue. The car my dealer quoted me is sitting on a boat now. And I want one now.. :o)
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