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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    Brave, I usually prefer to replace all four tires at the same time, although I know that many replace two at a time. By the way, on our track the max speed is less than 90 in the straight- I never have to get past third gear.

    Hippo, on my Conti's the wear bars are in the grooves that run around the tire. They are spaced every few inches. Just run your finger along the groove and you will feel them.

    Martini, I think they are either using Conti Sport Contacts or some type of Bridgstone, but I'm not sure since my car is a MY 2000.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    You're probably right that 50K for the fronts is too optimistic. However, when I replaced my Contis at 21.5K, the fronts still had at least half the tread depth even with all the driving schools and autoX events that I had done...
  • chile96chile96 Posts: 330
    on my new 325i I've tried resetting the avg mph and avg mpg by pressing the knob but to no avail. I've tried holding it in for > 15 secs, turning either direction but nothing. Do I have to be in a certain gear, certain key position, door slightly ajar w/ my left arm flexed at 45 degrees etc..... Thanks for any help.
  • denkdenk Posts: 75
    Check page 76 of the manual. It says that average miles per gallon and average speed can be reset by holding the turn signal stalk button in. Assume you tried with engine on or ignition on.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Unless I am missing something, you do not need to have the SP to get the steering wheel controls on a 330i or 330xi. The following is a snippet from the BMW 330xi "Standard and Optional Equipment" page on the BMWUSA web site:

    4-spoke leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with fingertip cruise, audio, and accessory phone4 controls

    The way I read it, the SP for the 330xi is basically just the Sport Seats, the 3 Spoke Steering Wheel and some cosmetic goodies.

    Regarding functionality, I had the standard wheel on my 1999 328i, and I have the 3-Spoke Sport Wheel on my 2002 530i, and there is no "Real World" functional difference in the buttons, just where they are placed.

    Best Regards,
  • jgraveljgravel Posts: 54
    Thanks Shipo. I don't know how I missed that but I did. I doubt the salesperson would have pointed that out to me so you just saved me a bundle.

    Any opinions on the headlight washers? Are they effective on winter ice and snow? I was going to order the Cold Weather package to get the heated seats and headlight washers but if they aren't worth it then I'll just order the heated seats ala carte.


  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I have a 325xi and a Honda. I had heard the comments about BMW reliability, unresponsive dealers, the whole bit.

    I've heard the same around here when it comes to Hondas (I have a Civic Si - so I sometimes get labelled a Ricer).

    I had a much better experience at my BMW dealership. This was on a day when I came in, just to look and see what was available, drool on the cars, and basically just browse. The salesman left us alone, but ready to help. I had a few questions about AWD, 2.5 vs 3.0 options, etc and he came and answered them, then left us alone again. The only time he 'bothered' us was to give us the keys to the car we were looking at (without us prompting), and told us to drive it for a while.

    We ordered that day.

    As for the service, every little nit I've had with the car, they have addressed and fixed where possible. When I had a computer controller fail, I brought it in on a day they had no service (Sunday) and gave me a loaner to drive during that time - no questions - no problems.

    My opinion is that a dealer will treat you with the same respect you show them. If you go in with attitude, don't expect friendly service. Show up with a smile and courtesy and professionalism, you get it back.

    Now not all will be the same way, but this is not a BMW issue. Most every dealer will be this way. My Honda experience was wierd because I was wanting the 99 Civic Si right after it was introduced and they took the position that they had all the cards in their hand. Sounds similar to what I've heard some say about Infiniti with the G35. That's another story though.

    Regardless of what you decide, shop around. Pick what is best for YOU. Enjoy what you pick. :)

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Hey, I live in California and Love the heated seats. We DO live in the mountains and it can get into the teens and 20's. They do take the chill off, and it is nice.

    We take the car into colder areas and it is nice to warm up the material.

    If I ever did get a convertible, I'd make sure they had them so I could keep warm on a chilly day with the top down. :)

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Please, no rice terms in the Town Hall, thanks.
  • mg330cimg330ci Posts: 162
    How much is the 36K service(if done outside first 3 years)?

    How much is the 48K service, etc.

    How much is a simple oil change? for a contemporary model?

    Just planning ahead on what to do when my lease will be a low mileage car, and perhaps I should buy it at the end of the lease and keep it for a couple more years...unless of course, the new model happens to be a hotty :)

    I read somewhere that BMW charged this person $190 for an oil change!

    I understand that the oil change will only be required every 12k miles, which on any other automobile, comes to a total of $25x4= $100. I just dislike been ripped off with the excuse that I am driving an "exclusive brand car"

    Or perhaps this is false, and keeping the car is a good idea?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I believe Edmunds has information on this. Look up your car's model and year, then select the maintenance link. That should give you an indication. You can always call the dealer with the question too.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    7 quarts of mineral 15w40 with cartridge filter replacement runs about $50 at my dealership.

    Do not dare take it to a Jiffy Lube for your $25 change... believe me that the extra $25 is worth it. While this may be an insult to your sensibility, think about what that extra $25 every 6k-8k miles really means for your overall cost of ownership.


    Although I do believe 7 quarts of synthetic 5w40 with filter is considerably more, over $100 but should be well under $190!

  • bmwshybmwshy Posts: 2
    Thanks for replying to the earlier post.
    I did a comparison test drive of the 325xi and the Acura TL-S. The 325xi was far superior in handling, performance and the "fun to drive factor".
    Does anyone know how much above invoice you can anticipate paying in Western Pennsylvania/ Northeast Ohio??
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    Drove to San Antonio this past Saturday.

    The inter city distance between San Antonio and Houston is about 170 miles. (The downtown to downtown distance is probably about 200miles).

    Beautiful weather.

    Equipment: 2003 M3 coupe, Starting odometer 10.4k miles.

    Average inter city speed going to San Antoinio: 90.3 mph (170miles).

    OBC fuel efficiency: 22.8mpg
    Calculated fuel efficiency: 21.4mpg.

    On the way back to Houston the traffic was almost nil and the weather was beautiful.

    Average speed for the first 100 miles: 98.3mph
    Average speed for the first 160 miles: 95.3 mph.
    Top sprint speed: 147mph for about 15 seconds.

    OBC Fuel Efficiency: 22.1mpg
    Calculated Fuel (In)efficiency: 20.5mpg

    Some comments:
    My average speed going to San Antonio was fast, but was compromised by the traffic -- I am very reluctant to push the limits of the car when other cars are around. The trip home was too fast. I just wanted to see how close to the edge I could get, and there was virtually no traffic. I did not enjoy travelling so fast over such a long distance as it presents for a pretty stressful ride -- mostly with the constant concern about law enforcement. There were long stretches of speeds well over 110mph. I think this will go down as my fastest trip. I know that many of you will criticize these kinds of speeds, but I would invite anyone to drive with me before being too critical -- I am careful not to overtake traffic at speeds over 95mph (The average speed of traffic on I10 that day was probably about 85mph). I am also careful not to be an aggressive or angry driver -- I do not expect people in the left lane to be going more than 15mph over the speed limit.

    Overall, I thought my fuel efficiency was not too bad given the speeds that I was travelling, but for the next roadtrip I am going to travel at lower speeds to try and maximize this. I will be sure to report my results.

    FWIW: The V1 gave adequate warning on two speed traps on the way to San Antonio and on three traps on the way back.

    Also: I know that many of you may not care about these things, but I am always interested in what others discover about their cars on road trips. Shipo posted the latest roadtrip numbers for his 530 and I would be interested to see numbers for a 5sp, 6sp and Tip 330 as well as for the 5sp and Tip 325--if anyone has them. The distance, average speed and calculated vs OBC fuel efficiency are most interesting to me.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152

    On the open road, with no traffic, those speeds are not very reckless considering the kind of hardware you are driving. After all, last year on the Autobahn, tooling along at >125, my wife was so bored that she went back to reading her book. There was simply that little drama. ;-)

    Miscellaneous stuff:

    I saw a new unbadged E60 on the Paris Pariferique last Thursday afternoon, and I have to say, it doesn't look much better in real life than it does in the pictures. My impression is that it looks like a cross between a Pontiac and a Peugeot, and maybe not even as good looking as either.

    Given my general dislike of the new E60, I just might be inclined to pop for a (relatively) low mileage used 2003 M5 in 2005 when the lease on my 2002 530i is up. Hmmm, I wonder if I can somehow do an ED thing with a CPO M5. Unlikely. :-(

    Over on the "BMW 5-Series 2004 Redesign" discussion, there has been some banter about how some folks are disappointed that the new E60 isn't being launched with the much rumored "Valvetronic" versions of the 2.5 and 3.0 liter I6 engines. I have a theory about that one, and it is just as relevant to the 3-Series folks as it is to the 5er types. Mind you, this theory is pure speculation on my part.

    Theory: Is it possible that the delay in the release of the Valvetronic I6 engines be (at least in part) because BMW is going to incorporate both the "Valvetronic" technology of recent BMW I4 and V8 fame and the "Direct Injection" technology of the new 6.0 V12 from the 760Li into the I6 product line? If this ever happens, we might find our 3.0 liter I6 pumping out more than 260 HP with at least 245 pounds of twist while attaining something like high 30s to low 40s for fuel mileage numbers. Not too shabby. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • mxpro738mxpro738 Posts: 59
    I would regard such an engine as nothing short of remarkable. I wish you were correct (who knows, perhaps you are).
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Make sure you are trying to adjust the average miles per gallon or average speed - these are the only two settings that can be reset.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    "And you run and you run
    to catch up with the sun
    but it's sinking..."

    Roger Waters might have never written these dark lyrics if he'd been driving an M3 :o)

    I average between 80 and 86 mph on a mostly 2-(some of it 3-) lane divided highway over 160 miles in light to average traffic with 4 slowdowns to 15 mph for tolls in an '01 325i manual. I get between 22.5 and 25.5 mpg, depending on the speed average. I rarely if ever get passed and I can virtually guarantee you that you'd be by far the fastest driver I've seen around here. Be careful out there.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "...and racing around to come up behind you again."

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388

    Personally, I don't have any road trips planned till June. I'll be going home to my adopted homestate of Florida. I probably will not make good time with a pregnant wife, but I'll post the numbers when the time come.

    You might want to take a trip to Germany, drive the autobahn in Western Germany and take some laps aroung the "Green Hell". I think I need to find out every time that you go to San Antonio, so that I can trail you.


    I was kind of disappointed when I saw that the engines for the E60 were the present choice of engines. I will reserve my judgement to when the car is released in the States. My wife will be in the market for a car next year and E60 does not look like it. My wife selects cars based on the rear end, since this is where most designers fall off on a car design. As far as direct injection, BMW does tend to trick down it's technology. I guess it is a wait and see. The E60 will probably get new engines at the last year of the E46. BMW has been know to do some different things during the 3er last year. I would not be surprised if the last 3er gets the valvetronic I6 along with the E60. But then again, BMW could be compromising themselves to keep up with VW/Audi and Mercedes Benz. Hopefully, BMW does not release that minivan.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,717
    Now I know what I've been mumbling along with all these years. LOL



    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    Here are stats for my 325i step on a recent trip to NYC from DC. One-way trip is approximately 240 miles with varying traffic loads and several tolls:

    Avg mph: 79.8 mph
    Avg mpg: 31.2 mpg
    Top speed: 112 (above 105 on a few occasions)

    This is car is too sweet to drive at 55.
  • katkisonkatkison Posts: 40
    My trip to Austin and back Sunday was fairly uneventful. I do not have a radar detector, so I kept it about 5-10 over the limit. On the way to Austin, traffic on I-10 and Highway 71 was sparse, so I kept the cruise control on, the sunroof open and the music blaring (I was by myself). I made it to the outskirts of Austin (the airport) in 2.5 hours, almost to the minute. This included having to pass the hundreds of MS150 bike riders on 71 outside of Bastrop, and the heavy traffic through there. I got 29 mpg, according to the OBC, so reality would be a little lower. (This is a 330i step)

    My fiance finished the second day of the MS150 in just over 4 hours. That is 80 miles of hills. His knee was hurting him pretty badly, so I drove back as well. Driving back was not as quick, but not bad. There was a nice speed trap on 71 not too terribly far from I-10. The guy I was traveling next to and I were going about the same speed (about 73 at the time), but the cop turned around behind me, and I thought he was going to grab me, even though I was hardly speeding. He then took off and grabbed a Mitsubshi Galant that passed us at about 90 a few minutes earlier. Not sure why the cop waited so long to turn around, but oh well. Now, leenelsonmd, traffic on I-10 from 71 until the west belt was pretty heavy and not going that fast when I came through there.

    I did not reset my mileage coming back, but it decreased to 27 mpg on the OBC for the complete trip. All in all, I made it to Austin, picked up my man at the finish line, and drove back to Houston in just under 8 hours. I was home in the spa before 4 pm. OT: It was quite heartwarming to see all these bike riders ride 170 miles (over two days) for charity!

  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    Thanks for the numbers brave1, tenet1, and kat.

    shipo: Thanks for the encouragement. I felt a little guilty traveling that fast -- since I am a family man and such -- I would not want to endanger others. I told a friend of mine at church this past weekend about it -- he has a G35 sedan -- and his wife was clearly a little upset with me -- I invited her for a ride sometime so that she could see what it is like at those speeds in a bimmer, but she was not too excited about it -- if they only knew...

    brave1: I think averaging between 80 and 85mph is where I want to be...with the occasional jaunt up to 155mph. That is a pretty good clip for the Northeast as I understand it. The 325 vs M3 doesn't change things much --their composure at high speeds is similar, the M just can get up there a little faster.

    seiv: My next roadtrip is also in June. I will be going to Black Mountain, NC (near Asheville) for a wedding and family reunion. My pregnant wife is going to fly with my mom and sister and my daughter. My dad is going to make the roadtrip with me. We are going to leave at 3am on 6/12 and will drive straight to Blck mnt (1000 miles). I hope to make it in 16 hours or less for an average speed of 61mph, but this includes stops for food, gas, etc. My dad is 64 years old and so I imagine I will have to take frequent pit stops -- unless we both bring a couple of Foley catheters. I will keep you posted on any local roadtrips that will occur before then.

    tenet1: That is an impressive mpg for averaging 80mph. Terrific fuel economy IMO. You are right that the 3 series hates to cruise at 55...if they only knew...

    kat: send my congrats to your fiance on the MS150. That is a terrific road trip, but I have never been able to do it--my schedule keeps getting in the way. It sounds like you had fun taking the 3er up there. Bike wasn't a problem was it? My best time from Austin to Houston was from Lakeway in west Austin (corner of 620 and hwy 71--there is a Chevron there) to my house in central Houston (Buffalo Speedway and Holcombe) in 2 hours flat. I did this on a Sunday morning 7am to 9am and doubt I could ever repeat it. The traffic was non-existent.
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    Yes, I was fairly impressed by the mileage given that I am constantly downshifting to pass and am into spirited driving.
  • katkisonkatkison Posts: 40
    Thank you, I will pass your congratulations along. The 3er was great! The bike (with a towel wrapped around it) fit upright behind the front seats without its wheels. We packed the wheels in the trunk. I felt a little silly driving into the parking lot at the finish line amid SUVs and pickup trucks with bike racks and me in my 3 series, but I had a lot more fun getting there! There were National Guards directing traffic into the parking lots and they really liked the car. It was pretty clean, and that steel gray metallic color is really nice looking when it is clean and shiny in the sun! I still have my appointment to look at convertibles on Saturday, but I may wait, so we can save up some money. I should get a promotion about the time the 3 series is due back (Sept. of 2004), so I can more easily justify getting the convertible as a present when the current car is due back.

  • chile96chile96 Posts: 330
    Just read your post and find it humorous that out of all the people "chatting" on the edmunds site, considering they can be from anywhere in the world, one of the people I get help from actually only lives 1-2 blocks from me! I live in one of the stucco townhomes on Maroneal & Buffalo. I myself am an MD as well but only a resident for now. Counting the time until my salary "bumps" and can keep the big Yukon and add a 5er to the newly formed Bimmer collection.

    I actually thought in the back of my mind that the Silver M3 on Buffalo & Quenby? was yours until I read that you've got the '03. What a fine car.

    Take care all.

    BTW - where do you get your service done? or have in your past when the Bimmer is out of warranty? Just thinkin of the future as only 522 on the odometer for now.
  • enforcerenforcer Posts: 40
    If I were you I would rotate the tires religiously and do an annual alignment as well.

    I failed to do this with my first 325i, and the Pirellis were shot after 22,000 miles of fairly tame suburban driving.

    It costs very little for a rotation (some dealers will throw it in for free with other services). The alignment runs about $50-60 at discount chains. A set of 4 new Pirelli performance tires will run you more than $500.
  • mxpro738mxpro738 Posts: 59
    Has anyone here heard if there are any significant changes in store for the MY2004 sedan due out this fall?

  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    That was excellent!

    It's the weirdest thing - I caught Time on the radio tonight on my commute home. Just weird... It still gives me the chills every time I hear it but this time it really struck a cord -

    Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
    You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way
    Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
    Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

    Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
    You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
    And then the one day you find ten years have got behind you
    No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

    And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
    And racing around to come up behind you again
    The sun is the same in the relative way, but you're older
    And shorter of breath and one day closer to death

    Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
    Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
    Hanging on in quiet desparation in the English way
    The time is gone the song is over, thought I'd something more to say

    Home, home again
    I like to be there when UI can
    When I come in cold and tired
    It's good to warm my bones beside the fire
    Far away across the field
    The tolling of the iron bell
    Calls the faithful to their knees
    To hear the softly spoken magic spells.
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