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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    P is Regensburg.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    "Black is also good because it decreases interior ambient light, increasing your ability to see outside the vehicle and it makes it much more difficult for people to see into your car when you are driving it. In Houston, this may help you dodge a bullet if you cut someone off in traffic. They might break a window or something, but the chance that they will pop a clean cap into you is much less with a black interior"

    Dr. Nelson, I'll have to remember this in case I see a grey M3 cut me off in West U. Talk about cut off, I got off in an intersection by a Porsche 911 Carrera S4. If my truck only had enough power, I would have gunned it and let him slam into the side of me. He should have turned right and made a u-turn. Nobody told him to get in the turning lane.

    There are days that I wish my Ranger was a Hummer H2 with cow bars on the front.

    Oh yeah, my Bimmer is at 22K miles and still going great.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    The site says it is accurate up to ETK CD data of 11/2002
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I bought my car at BMW Peabody. They were much better than the other dealerships in the Boston area and they gave me a reasonably good deal two years ago. I've heard good things about Tulley but I've had no personal experience with them.
  • jean7of9jean7of9 Posts: 192
    My 03 330xi delivered in mid December 02 had also a VIN with PG#####. I knew at that time it was manufactured in Germany. Incidentally I rejected that car because the dealer's mistake in ordering a manual instead of Steptronic. The replacement car should arrive by the end of February 03.
    By the way I punched my last 7 digits numbers in the VIN Decoder. It assumed my car was manufactured in August 2001 while BMW's internal production log confirmed the car was end November 02. It has a DVD NAV which was not available in 2001.
  • Riez - plant code is confirmed as a P. Production code begins with an F.

    Seivwrig - thanks for the info.

    jean7of9 - Don't know if you've seen the posts, but a lot of folks are beating up on AWD BMWs, asserting that a good set of snows on a RWD does as well if not better. I personally find this hard to believe (maybe I'm just trying to justify my choice of a 325xi), but perhaps chalk it up to context. While I am sure that snow tires are invaluable in . . . snow, AWD has benefits in other slippery conditions where snow tires are no help, like rain and otherwise wet roads, wet leaves in the fall (I drive to work on twisty, tree-lined roads that can be treacherous in the fall when wet leaves abound), etc. In all, I don't see how AWD can't improve all around traction in wet conditions. What is your experience so far?

    BTW, I also plugged my VIN into the VIN decoder, and it said that my car was produced in May of 2001. Obviously an error, right? BMW's Owner's Circle says I'm scheduled for production around 1/24/03, and I hope to be driving it at the end of February.
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    I always tried to make my auto purchase as simple as possible by calculating what I was willing to pay above invoice. I considered $1600 reasonable for the 325xit last March and that was what I offered. Once the dealer knew I was firm with the offer, they accepted it. At the onset I also had floor mats, two mugs, touch-up paint, key chain included in the deal. It was a fair deal at that time for a car ordered to my specifications. I think you might be able to do better now because of the economy. I did hear BMW Peabody is good, but had no first hand experience. I have bought all my cars from a BMW dealer close to me and have had good experience with its service dept due to my long-term relationship. The dealer has subpar reputation among many I know, so I won't recommend it to you.
  • bgt1bgt1 Posts: 50
    I have to respectfully disagree with leenelsonmd regarding interior color.

    First, mine has the tan interior and even with the black dashboard it still looks very classy, especially with the wood trim. I thought, too, it would be an eyesore, but looks really good.

    Second, Ive heard black is much harder to keep looking clean than tan- thought it was the opposite but people ive heard that owns the black tells me otherwise.

    Third, In Texas (im in Dallas) it gets so hot here, interior and exterior color can make HUGE differences. Yes, a/c does the trick but stepping into a black/black car or a white/tan car, you WILL feel an intial heat difference.

    Just my $02.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    quote:In all, I don't see how AWD can't improve all around traction in wet conditions.

    what's the great mystery here? there is a limit to how much traction a pair of driven wheels has. that limit is reached sooner when the axle does not have limited-slip capabilities; basically when one wheel starts spinning you've lost nearly all the driving torque to the other wheel. traction control can help this by applying the brake on the spinning wheel. if you don't have traction control you can do it yourself if you're stuck-- but since you're applying all the brakes you may not go anywhere. (might be worth a try if you're ever stuck though.)

    if you're on board with me at this point, just translate that to another axle. you have two more driven wheels fighting for traction. more is better.

    on dry tarmac though, there's plenty of traction. the AWD system's weight just hampers performance. and what others are saying is that with real winter tires their BMWs are driveable. I'm sure that's true, given my ex-wife's Miata is very capable with snow tires (as long as it doesn't high-center).

    however I choose to drive a beater '93 Taurus SHO that only cost me $1000 more than a set of winter wheels & tires, plus I protect my M3 from salt and other drivers' mistakes.

  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    I agree with bgt1. The physics of light dictate that lighter colors will not absorb radiant heat as much as darker ones. I just ordered a 325i with tan leather interior and white exterior. It looks great with the wood trim, and it will be easier to keep clean than the dark colors. Actually, my wife suggested that color scheme even though she is not a fan of white cars. (Her 2002 325Ci is electric red with the natural brown interior - a knockout combination!) The black dash and brake handle and the wood trim provide striking accents to the tan.

    No doubt, color is a subjective issue; so all of us have to assume that each one has made the best choice for him/herself.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    Yes, this is a subjective topic. My 325i is Black on Black. I have no problem keeping the interior clean. The leather cleans quite well. It is the exterior that is not worth washing. I wash my car every two weeks. Washing a black car is a chore. You see every imperfection known to man. It does look good when it is clean. I live in Houston and find that tinted windows does help keep some of the heat out of the car. Regardless of what colour you get, your car will be hot as hell in Texas. I like the Ecru interior available on the BMW individual cars but I would never purchase this unless I was single.
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    I have lived in East Texas for 25 years, so I know what you are talking about. Getting into any car during the summer is about like walking into a sauna. I used to live in the Texas panhandle - cars are like ovens during the summer there. There are very few dark colored cars out there; the sun is just too brutal.
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    For sales, Shelly in Buena Park was great for me. I haven't been through the service dept yet.
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    Saw yor post about the buzzing sound. I had this annoying sound coming from the same areas you describe. The sound was intermittent and not very loud so I decided not to pursue it with the dealer. I figured that they would have to take 1 or 2 doors apart along with the B pillar to figure it out, which may in turn lead to new sounds and rattled. I initially thought that it was the speaker in the rear door but that did not turn out to be the case.

    I let the issue rest and the sound just went away after 1 or 2 months. At the time, when the sound reared its ugly head, I would just rev the car a bit higher to let the "growl" take over.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I think that buzzing/rattling sound is the seat belt. I just don't see thing as worth fixing. It seems that many have taken their car in to get this fixed. It just seems that none of them really get rid of the problem. If you play your music loud enough, you would hear it.
  • Yeah, color is subjective. I pretty much find myself lusting after practically every 3 series I see. I just think the E36 and E46 are beautiful cars. I have not seen a color combination yet that did not catch my eye.

    I have not had any trouble keeping black leather interior clean. The dashboard does show dust, but that just gives me an excuse to clean it..I feel better that way.

    Cutting people off: I like to think that I very rarely cut people off in traffic. I am guilty of "exhibition of acceleration" however. I just love the sound of my engine roaring. People around me may think that I am just some testosterone laiden man who is trying to draw attention to himself. I actually am a little embarrassed if people notice me in the car, but I cannot get enough of the engine roar. I take it to the redline in 1rst and 2nd every chance that I get.

    I have not noticed many rattles in the new car, but the engine tends to drown them out.
  • Ten days ago took delivery of 330xi w/auto trans.
    Transmission has VERY noticable hesitation when
    shifting to next {higher] gear. Most evident when starting out on cold days. Previous cars: maxima, lexus ,infinity, acura, etc. did not exhibit this pause. Is this normal? Or, should I return to dealer. Thank you for comments.
  • rghesselrghessel Posts: 122
    This evening I bought (to be picked up tomorrow)
    a SILVER 330xi...which was immediately available as I wanted (with the exception of no xenon).

    Silver was a very close second choice to my first choice which was the steel grey (which would have to be ordered).

    Now I'm panicking...should I have ordered the steel grey with xenons and waited for 2 months?

    Putting aside the "get what you want" arguements, any opinions about silver vs. steel grey?? Think silver would be MUCH better at not looking crappy in our salt-infested (chicago) climate...
  • I have intentions of going for the Steel Gray myself. At first I was dead set on the silver but when I saw the gray I changed my mind. At this point I haven't made any comforting replies to your friend has a siver 3 series and it is a very nice classy color. It will also be a better color than the darker gray in terms of not showing dirt/salt. Salt spray makes any color car look awful though.
  • rghesselrghessel Posts: 122
    Any opinions about the sport package??

    I love the seats, but could take or leave the "aerodynamic package" and and wheels and the 3-spoke steering wheel... Are there any disadvantages to the run-flat wheels on the (2003) sport package? Wish I could just get the seats...
  • jean7of9jean7of9 Posts: 192
    People can bash the AWD for ever if they want too, It is their right to speak their mind in a free country. However none of these people is "paying" for my car neither will drive it for me in snow, ice, slush, mud, heavy rain etc. Obviously most of these people are fortunate to live in Florida or California and not on the snow belt. I am driving a E320 4matic since four years. After such a rich experience in all the above slippery conditions I elected never to buy a car without AWD. The AWD system can hamper the performance by 0.3s in 0-60, but hey I seldom push the pedal to the floor, I do not need to. My E-320 has plenty of power at 3500-4000 RPM and my next 330xi will be even faster at that level. For those who race every day maximum performance is required. I even advise them to remove the back seats, spare tire, tools, passenger seat.. for better performance. But for every day driving the performance of 330xi or 325xi is more than adequate. Beside its superior traction, AWD provides you with better stability and security all year round (ie Porsche Carrera C4). It is not an accident that all German manufacturers are moving to AWD across the board. MB will offer a 4matic S this Spring.
    After a miserable winter with his 03 SL-500 my next door neighbor got a ML-430 for winter. For those who will claim that he does not know how to drive please hold on to your guns: He is a racing driver/trainer and test driver for an F1 House. At last, around me there are lot of amateurs and professional car racers who race every week-end, almost every one has either a truck or an AWD car for winter beside his 540, Z8 or 745. Last month an F1 Grand Prix Champion attended a charity event at a ski resort in my town, he was driving a truck.
  • jean7of9jean7of9 Posts: 192
    Run Flat Tires are Pre-assembled on their wheels by BMW and are delivered as such to the dealers. If you order the the Sport Package and elect to replace the Run Flats with Standard Wheels in the future then you will have to ask the dealer to disengage the Tire Monitoring System.
  • Thanks for your input. I, too, notice that it is intermittent. I hope it goes away soon as it is driving me crazy. I've tried the loud music fix but it's not a good solution for me. I remember seeing a service bulletin about it somewhere---perhaps not in this thread. I'll keep investigating.

  • nobeenobee Posts: 194
    Steel Grey is a fantastic color but that's not the main reason why you should wait a couple of months for your bimmer. It's the Xenon lights that you should hold out for. I'll never get another car without it. Check out my old ride ('02 325i, Steel Grey, PP, Cold WX, Xenon, STEP). and then go to the nurburgring folder

  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    The Xenons are a plus. Outside the base where Nobee used to work, the Xenon were excellent especially on the road that heads to Nurburgring. If I stilled in Miami, I don't know if I would buy them because of the lighting. If you drive in alot of areas that are well lit, you might not notice the difference. You really have to do a night drive to determine if you need them. I personally would not drive another car without them. I am actually to find some Xenons for my trunk too!
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Wow! Incisive commentary. Did your 4-Matic come with training wheels or did you pay extra? :)
  • eyc1eyc1 Posts: 3
    I am looking to buy a new 2003 325xi. Can anyone tell me how it handles in bad weather (snow/ice).
    Is it worth it to buy the 325xi verses the 325i
  • bgt1bgt1 Posts: 50
    I just got a 330i and it does NOT have the sports package and I dont miss it. If you get the 325, DO get the sp. If you get the 330, you might not need it. First, the 330 already has an upgraded suspension that is not included in 325 unless ordered with the sp. The 330 also comes with standard 17" rims whereas the 325 comes with 16" w/o sports package.

    Yes, I sometimes wish I had the sports seats and the wider tires but one, I dont care for the look of the 3 spoke as opposed to my 4 spoke steering wheel and two if the sp for the 330 makes the suspension even more stiff, I dont think id want it anyways. Its stiff enough as it is!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    There is nothing like the security blanket of AWD/4WD in deep snow. RWD with snows is not the same thing. You can always limp along, but I'd rather not get stuck or have the rear of the car keep swinging out with the DSC engaging.
  • eyc1eyc1 Posts: 3
    I will be purchasing the 325xi soon but would like to know if anyone has any idea what year BMW will change the exterior look for 3 series.
    I do not want to purchase a new bmw to find out next year the exterior look will be different.
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