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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Thanks... that was the filter that I thought it was. No biggie. I will be going to my dealer next week to get oil, filter, a/c filter, wiper fluid (man that stuff works great).

    As for wiper blades, do you guys use BMW blades or some other make? My BMW blades worked great when they were new, but that was almost 2 years, a cold winter, and 120 degree summers with 100% sun ago. :)

  • I have been browsing quite a few BMW boards and I have seen no evidence of people reporting South African build quality being any different from German built quality. You can search this site to get the JD Power survey where they had reported that the BMW SA plant had fewer build defects than most of their German plants. Though I got my car ordered from Germany I know a few people who have SA cars and they are just as good.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Correction: the filter cover does not say "36 mm 16 Nm" as I thought. It says "25Nm" only - I am sure we are talkikng about the same one:
  • I found the answer myself. All E46 330i are built in Germany, a break down of the VIN number says that mine is in Regensberg, Germany. The e46fanatics website has quite a lot of info.
  • I am interested in hearing from anyone who has SMG. Now that it is an option on all 3's with sport package (except ZHP for some reason)it may become a bit more common.

    I would love to hear what you like about and dislike about it. Do you keep it in "auto" mode mostly and if so how does it perform? Or are you more likely to "shift" yourself.

    And finally, would you order it again if given the chance.

  • HELP!!! I am torn on what to get between the two. The interior will be black leatherette with titanium trim and navigation. Any pointers/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    I say silver gray because its a newer color and looks awesome. I saw a M3 with that color and it looked really good.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I use the BMW wiper refills. They are a bit fiddly to install but they work great. I change the blades on my cars every year or so.
  • I have it! Get something else. Like blue. :D
  • I was looking into purchasing a dinan system for my 330i and needed to know if they were actually worth it.
  • abcnycabcnyc Posts: 101
    I only drive about 11,000 miles per year. I've had the oil change at 15,000. Should the Inpection I or II be perform strictly on the mileage or time ? It would take me 3 years for Inspection I and 6 years for Inspection II. I thought the computer also tracks your driving conditions to determine the time for inspections.
  • dbs8dbs8 Posts: 13
    Getting ready to order 2004 325ci. I want the PP & SP as well as H/C system and Zenons. The only way I can get the car to my "target" price is by deleting the leather. Does anyone have experience with the fake stuff? How does it look/smell in comparison to leather?? I know that vinyl usually keeps it's original appearance longer.
  • looks and feels like leather. doesn't smell like leather but it doesn't smell like vynl either. imo you wouldn't be able to tell the difference unless you did a side by side comparison. even then its hard to tell. and in 3 yrs it'll still look new.
  • dbs8dbs8 Posts: 13
    After much consideration I am going with silver-gray. The titanium silver is nice but so common. If I go with leatherette, I will get black interior. I my check out the natural brown if I go leather. The steel blue looks really good too, IMO.

    Also..I see on this site that satellite radio is an optional accessory. Does anyone have this in a new BMW? If so, how is it?
  • eve123eve123 Posts: 12
    I also debated . I was ready to purchase a titanium because I liked that colot the best. However, when I saw the silver grey I thought it looked very elegant and it blended in very nicely with the black interior. I also chose the leatherette over the leather simply because of the titanium interior. I velieve it looks much nicer against the black than the wood trim; sportier looking. The M3 in the showroom also was a silver grey with black leather and the aluminum...looked real sharp. I understand that more than half the cars sold are titanium or black, so they really don't stand out. I think you'll be happy with your choice.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    BMW wiper blades are ~ $6. I get a pair at least once a year (20K+ miles for me).

    Silver gray: it's down to personal choice but I would not get any car in silver/gray. Over 25% of ALL cars sold in the U.S. are silver. Another quarter is black. Blue is a very good alternative.

    Dinan: only get it if you like and own Rolex watches. Most of what they sell has an equivalent product from another shop that is cheaper and usually works at least as well. Their honored by BMW warranty is great for marketing Dinan products but not worth it and good luck figuring out who's reposnisble for what.

    Oil change - I thought it was whatever the OBC determines or 1 year, whichever comes first. I am not entirely sure, although oil does get old over time even if you don't drive too many miles. FWIW, all the OBC uses is strictly fuel consumption, not time...

    Leather: I was planning on getting it until the night before I put in the order. I couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money on such a small difference in feel and looks, so I passed on it. I'm glad I did. After 57K miles, the vinyl still looks great and smells neutral at worst.
  • kennynmdkennynmd Posts: 424
    with the silver gray. If that color was avalable when I got my car I would've got it.I ended up with steel blue with sand leather.
  • There is an elegance with silver gray that I just couldn't find in titanium silver. True, the titanium accents with black interior looks high tech and sportier. I choose not to get the wood trim because i feel it is for a more "mature audience (lol)."
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    everything is white, black, silver or gray variations, sometimes with champagne/gold muddled in it.. lately even the burgundy reds are seen everywhere...
    there are about 500 million colors that the human eye can see with about 96 prominent segregates... can we not have some more cars that are not in the boring mainstream?
  • Go back to reds! Or yellows. :D

    BTW, I'd have gone leatherette on my car had it been an option. Unfortunately, BMW insisted either leather or that crummy Alcantra stuff. Oh well, at least it's not cloth.
  • are all easier to keep clean. You can only tell my steel blue needs a wash by looking at the wheels.

    Leatherette is easier to keep clean than leather. Leather isn't worth it.
  • andergtrandergtr Posts: 101
    i have a 2002 325ci in black sapphire metallic with the sport and premium packages. as such, it's got the tan leather. my brother has a '95 325i with the leatherette.

    honestly, you can't tell the difference. the 3-series (i think the M3 is different) leather is pretty average. i think the leather in infiniti and lexus is light years better, and if i could have ordered a car--instead of buying one off the lot--i would have gotten the leatherette. the leather isn't worth the upcharge.
  • white6white6 Posts: 588
    I originally ordered my 2004 330Ci in jet black/black 'ette; then recanted and changed it to silver gray with natural brown leather. Cost me an additional $2,000 (had to upgrade to leather and metallic paint) and after swapping out the titanium trim for birch, I really like the look. After six months, I still occasionaly wish I had stuck to the jet black, though. Especially after spying a spotlessly-clean black 3-series on the road. Jet black paint is a lot easier to match if something happens, too. The new silver gray actually has a blue cast to it and, like all metallics, requires an accomplished pro to match in the event of damage.
  • honestly, you can't tell the difference. the 3-series (i think the M3 is different) leather is pretty average.

    Honestly, you must have a really poor sense of touch then. I wish I had the leatherette (and an extra 1400 bones) but I can tell a marked difference between my leather and my bro-in-law and friends' Bimmers with the leatherette.

    I still wish I had that but it definitely feels different. The material just feels rougher and also it's softer than my leather seats.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Thanks for the pricing on the BMW wipers. I have to go pick up some other maintenance stuff from them (filter, wiper fluid, etc) so I'll add the wipers to the list. :)

  • Thank you for the feedback to my question on snow tires (#24654). After back-burner-ing the that purchase (along with a number of other things) due to a crazy set of deadlines at work, I've finally reconnected with this discussion group.

    I read your posts, Tire Rack and CR, and just ordered a set of Dunlop Winter Sport M3's. Here's hoping I have good luck with them!

    One of the things which helped me to decide was a recent test drive. I have a friend who just mounted some Blizzak WS-50's on his '03 325i. I did not have the benefit of driving in the snow or on the ice, but I have to say the the dry road performance was an eye-opener. During modest or agressive cornering, the tires would "wander" on the road - considerably. Any quick movement of the steering wheel (even slight ones) would result in the same.

    I've had winter tires before, and do not recall having that much of an "issue".

    I'll be throwing on the Winter Sport M3's before you know it. It'll be interesting to get a good side-by-side comparison between the Blizzak and the M3's, since both are class leaders, but never tested against each other. Apples and oranges, as they say.

    Who knows, I might even order the Dunlops for the wife's Odessey.
  • I was wondering if any of you have converted your 3-series 5 or 6 speed with a short-shifter kit? Are you happy with it? Is there product advice to share?

    Also, how does that impact the warranty? My car is only a few months old and it's probably even less of an option for me since I am leasing (though I may buy it out at the end).

    Also, anyone here feel that their '03 330 6-speed is a little notchy as compared to the 5-speeds? I have a friend whose 325 has the 5-speed, and that is much more smooth than my 6-speed... especially for 1st and 2nd gears.

  • I am accustomed to having a cold engine (e.g. on 25 degree mornings) idle high until the engine warms up part way. I don't know if that is stilled called a choke with EFI carbureted engines, but I’m guessing you know what I am talking about.

    No matter how cold the weather or my engine is, my car always idles the same (low) when I start-it. Is that normal with these engines? (This is my first BMW.) It’s an ’03 330i.

  • Also, anyone here feel that their '03 330 6-speed is a little notchy as compared to the 5-speeds? I have a friend whose 325 has the 5-speed, and that is much more smooth than my 6-speed... especially for 1st and 2nd gears.

    I find all BMW manuals atrocious (yet own one...go figure) but most definitely the 6 speed manny is notchy and more mercurial than the 5. All told, that's the one thing BMW does poorly. If only they had honda manuals...ahh
  • andergtrandergtr Posts: 101
    and they had comparable mileage, too, at the time. you couldn't really tell much difference between the two.

    maybe i'm no leather connoisseur, but i'm not the first guy to say this.
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