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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    They won't be finding out anytime soon, as I am relegated to driving the Caravan for some time yet. That said, I can hear the comment now, "Hey Shipo Jr., what is you Dad doing with that stick thing up there?"

    "Why, he is shifting the gears silly." (or some such adjective)

    "What's he doing that for?"

    "He wants to."

    "Why on earth would he want to do that?"


    "Dad, they just don't get it, do they?"

    "No son, they don't." ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • denkdenk Posts: 75
    Is the idle speed after the engine is fully warmed up supposed to vary? My 2002 325 with auto trans idles at about 600 rpm sometimes (which seems normal) and at about 800 rpm at other times which seems too high. Is this something that should be checked. It isn't one of the symptoms of the sticky gas pedal syndrome is it?
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    is this high idle when warm immediately following a long stint at cruising speed, by chance?

    like pulling off a highway and stopping at a light at the bottom of an off-ramp, for example.

  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    My son just turned 9 also (1/26) and all I can say is you are one brave man to have 5 of the monsters in your house over night!!! How much of your duct-tape supply did you use up keeping them under control?? hahaha!

    BTW, (forgive the delayed response) when we head up to Boston, we'll be in my wifes Odyssey so the Caravan wouldn't be shunned. ;-)
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    nyccarguy: Good to see you're still around, and things are going well. How's your car treating you with all the snow?

    shipo: Not sure if I want to laugh or cry. Those of us prefering a 3rd pedal are a dying breed.

    There's a very good article in the Feb issue of Roundel concerning snow tires, suvs, awd, & rwd. If you haven't read it yet, it's a worth while read.
  • denkdenk Posts: 75
    Sometimes it happens when coming off the highway and stopping at a light, and sometimes when in stop and go city traffic. One light it will be at 600 rpm, the next at 800 rpm, then back to 600, then up to 800rpm. There doesn't seems to be a pattern.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My understanding is that the better the duct tape, the less you have to use. I use the stuff made by 3M, and OHHHH does it stick good. I only needed half of a roll before their bed time. ;-)

    Cool, we can park the Odyssey and the Caravan side-by-side, and let them growl at each other. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Thanks for the "Heads Up", I will check it out.

    Best Regards,
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    get the BMW. re-consider the need for the metallic paint & options. why: "better handling", better resale, & (imo) better looks. But you're posting on a bimmer board so my answer is pat. I'd go drive them all again if still undecided.
  • Wanted to introduce myself. I have been following your posts for about a month or so. Was trying to decide between an Audi A4 series and a BMW. Your discussions, as well as the horror stories I was reading on the Audi sites re:ignition coils, helped me decide on the BMW.

    Got a 325i with premium package, sports package, and cold weather package in 5 speed manual for a little less than $1000 over invoice -last day of the month, paid cash.

    Just passed the 1200 mile break in last night. Looking forward to driving it a little more aggressively now.

    One comment, the SP has some very nice, meaty performance tires. They haven't given me any real trouble in the snow, but in this sub-zero Chicago weather, they freeze up as hard as rocks. Thus they are unusually slippery even on dry pavement. Can't wait to get out when the weather is a little warmer.

    This is my first bimmer, and I am very excited about the car. It is a true pleasure to drive it.

    Thank you all for your posts. They were very helpful in my decision. I do not regret it.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    denk-- based on that, there is a good chance then that what you are experiencing simply a by-product of your BMW's intelligent OBD-II engine management. idle speed can sometimes be a bit higher than normal when the computer is attempting to burn off excessive crankcase pressure. this is normal operation.

    high crankcase pressure is normal when you are cruising on the highway at low throttle and high manifold vacuum.

    if you want to confirm this with your dealer, ask what they think next time you're in. it could be something else but this is a decent guess.

    (professional computer guy, hobbyist greasemonkey)
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    It has appeared that you son has learned more than my 14 year old daughter. She has convinced herself that she will not learn to drive a manual. She still wonder why I row my own gears everyday.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Shipo Jr. cannot wait to drive, and to him, driving means "Rowing your own gears", he is convinced that it looks like fun. I am going to try to keep the current 530i until he is of age, by then, it should be 8 or 9 years old and have somewhere around 100k miles.

    The only problem will be what I will replace it with when the time comes. Will BMW still be offering the 5-Series with a manual transmission (with three pedals) by then? If not, I will have to buy one of the last, maybe even a couple of them.

    Best Regards,
  • denkdenk Posts: 75
    Colin--Thanks for the input. I'll ask about it next time I'm in for service.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Welcome aboard! Great options and an awesome deal. What kind of tires did your car come with - was it the Pilots?
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    My 325i also idles at anywhere from 600 to 800 RPMs but the needle hold steady at whatever level it's at. I think Colin's explanation makes a lot of sense.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Had to fill up yesterday. Price for premium was $2.15. Regular wasn't too cheap at $1.95. It's a good thing I have a 5 mile commute.
  • The 325 SP came with Continental performance tires, 225/45 17". I think they are a German make.

  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    I just filled up here in Michigan, gas is still sitting at about $1.83 for premium. Regular is .20 less at $1.63 or there abouts. I hope this Iraq thing and the Venezuela thing gets resolved soon.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,334
    mfeldma: Welcome aboard (actually technically I can't say that 'cause I don't own a BMW, but what the hay). Great Combo with the SP & 5 speed. Did you say you got 1K over invoice around chicago... Was the car a cancelled order or sitting around for a while? Good luck with it. Not to start the dreaded winter tire debate again (has it surfaced anymore since I've been gone?), but the Performance Tires on your SP equipped 3er are not meant for colder temperatures. The only reason they were somewhat decent in the snow is because they are so new. Tires are key. My best friend has an Audi A4 3.0 Quattro with a 6 speed and Z rated Conti's, he's been driving around in his Ford E350 Econoline Delivery Van during the snow here on the east coast.

    dave330i: Yeah I'm still around. My Prelude does OK in the snow considering its V Rated Bridgestones thanks to FWD. I actually parked it in a garage on Sunday night and just took it out this morning (that only cost $105), otherwise the poor car would have been buried. I didn't take it out in the deep snow due to its low ground clearance. I'm definitely going to go for a set of winter tires (minus 1) next season.

    I just paid $1.69 a gallon for 93 octane on Rt. 46 in Jersey.

    I love rowing my own gears (like many of you) and taught my girlfriend how to drive stick in case she ever needs to (or wants to) drive my car or 1 of her parents' cars (her Mom has a VW Beetle GLX 1.8T w/ a 5 speed and her Dad has a VW GTI VR6 w a 6 speed). At first she asked me why I would choose to do this when there is a device that can do it for me. That was frustration talking. She's getting the hang of it now and is taking a liking to it. Hopefully a few years down the road I can convince her to trade her Protege in on something w/ a manual tranny.

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

  • Hey guys I'm just getting into the whole BMW deal now that I've figured I want a more mature car. I'm 21 in CT and have a 96 civic cx hatchback and I do enjoy the great gas mileage but now I want to have more adult car. I was looking in my classifieds and found 323-325-328 and M3's all under $21,000. I wanted a car from 97-and up and in the area of 50k or so miles. Edmunds doesn't really give a lot of detail on all these models so I'm looking for more sites and really any info. Also I read that the 528 or 540 could be in neighborhood price range. I am a spirited driver with no tickets and at first I really looked at lot at the M3. Any suggestions or info?
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    drive some of the cars first. if you can appreciate what an M3 has to offer over the others, get one. look at -- there are tons of E36 M3s available. low mileage is doable, but somewhat uncommon.

    I wouldn't buy a 5 series unless you have a need for a sedan that sits 4+ in good comfort. being 21, I doubt it.

    don't expect to get financing like a new car, of course. and get some insurance quotes-- you probably will get creamed on an M3 being 21. I was getting creamed at 27 until I made another vehicle my primary driver. (and haven't cheated that, putting only about 500 miles on my M3 the past 3 months.)

  • Hi!
    I was wondering how much a BMW alarm system for a 3-series went for and if you could still get it after the vehicle has been purchased. It's not a manufacturer installed system, is it? Haha, gas here in Georgia is only $1.25/gallon for premium.

  • nyccarguy-

    Actually, I'm not sure how long it had been sitting on the lot. I live in Chicago, and you have no idea how hard it was to find a manual. There was only one dealership in the STATE that had ANY manuals! They had three. One of them was exactly what I wanted. I guess that is fate.

    In any case, I hit them up on the last day of the month after dicking them around for about 2 weeks. I offered them cash, and in this economy, they bought it (after about 4 hours of 'Oh, well I have to talk to my manager' and such)

    Well, as I mentioned, I hit my break in period this weekend. Chicago is a tough place to drive given the traffic, so I have taken to driving the freeways late at night. Hit 130 mph tonight without the car even so much as flinching (before the governor kicked in). I was at about 5600 rpm's. Makes me want to chip the thing pretty bad.

    Well, as I said before...I love this car. Can't wait for it to warm up.

    By the way, I have heard some pretty nasty things about my Continental tires. I suppose I will have to replace them with some Michelin Pilots when these things sh*t the bed.

    Thanks again everyone

  • OEM Alarms for an E46 can be purchased at a discount for about $225 (try Circle BMW or Pacific BMW). Yes, these are custom BMW alarms.

    Good news is that your car likely is prewired for it, and a self-install is easy. It took me only 1 hour install mine. You need to install the siren (under the hood), tilt sensor (in the trunk) and motion sensor (in the headliner above the back seats). Because all three parts are plug-n-play, it's quite easy.

    But the alarm will not function until you take it to your dealer for "activation", which will run 50-75 dollars.
  • After more thought about the 5 series I have decided against it and decided to stick with the 3 series. I have to find out about my insurance with an m3. Could anyone recommend then or tell what the differences really are between the 323-325 and 328? Thanx
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    I just bought a 528i about 4 months ago. I love it but it was a big jump from my 2000 Civic Si. I needed the size since my kids are bigger even though I only have them every other week. I wanted the 4 doors and I wanted to stay near $17k since I was in the middle of paying off all my bills from the divorce. Well, I ended up getting a CPO'd 98 528i 5sp. Manual are very hard to find in the 5ers, especially if it isn't a 540. That being said, I probably could have gotten a 3ers as long at it had the fold down rear seats. I never take more than two people in my car so I even could have gotten a coupe. In a few years I think I will trade this car in for a 325Ci or 330Ci. I just love the coupe body style but I will have to make sure it is a manual and has fold down rear seats. The trunks are the 3ers is a little small for my taste. Happy shopping, and oh yeah, the insurance might be a little stiff for a 21 yr old in an M3. I just got my insurance premium bill and it is $716 every 6 months.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Off the top of my head, the main differences are Torque and Content. The 323i and 325i have (if I'm not mistaken) the same basic engine, with just a different Cam and different computer settings. Both cars share the same manual transmission (Getrag), and similar content, however, that varies with which packages were ordered, and model year (newer cars have slightly more content).

    The 328i (my former car) is more contented that either the 323i or the 325i, and it has a larger engine with a lot more low end torque. One interesting note, the brakes of the 328i are the same ones as on the 325i, while the 330i brakes are larger still. The transmission used in the 328i/330i is a unit built by ZF, and it is heavier than the Getrag unit, and as such, has a different (stiffer) feel, and a slightly different shift movement (the gears are all in the same place, however, when transitioning between the 323i/325i and the 328i, you will notice it.

    If you want a good comparison between my 1999 328i and Brave1Heart's 2001 325i (he and I swapped cars back on 6-Dec-2001), you can navigate back to message number 11851, or you can Search (use the Advanced Search) on "My date with Stroumpf", start on "Part 1" and scroll forward from there. Brave and I spent a day and a half with each others cars (mine was equipped with the Premium Package, his with the Sport Package). Given the cars that you are currently considering, you should find this educational.

    Best Regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Great news from my Orthopedic Sturgeon today, my right leg is "Almost healed". Off came the rigid fiberglass cast, and on went an "Aircast", which is kind of a funky Go-Go boot with three big Velcro straps and foot print that gives "Gun Boats" a whole new meaning. ;-)

    Better still, my range of motion at my ankle is a whopping 10 degrees, I know it doesn't sound like much, however, my OS said that it was very good, and that I should be almost completely recovered within 4 to 6 weeks (strength however, is another issue).

    With any luck (and some good PT), I will be back in the drivers seat of my 530i in three or four weeks, which is about three MONTHS earlier than I had initially hoped. In the mean time, I will still have to live vicariously through y'all.

    Best Regards,
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