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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • I just purchased a 2003 330ci. The car is very clean so we negotiated out the price of replacing a broken windshield. I contacted a local windshield replacement shop and they have a source that offers PPG glass with the automatic rain sensor circuitry. They got the VIN number from my car and passed it along to their glass source. I assume to make sure that the glass on order is correct. I was told that BMW uses PPG in new vehicles. The only thing missing on the replacement glass will be the BMW logo. I haven't been asked for a deposit and was told that when the windshield arrived they would call me for an appointment. No muss, no fuss no up-front money. Their quote is around $600.00. Forgot to mention.... no insurance is involved.

    Went to BMW for an unrelated problem. The car still has 3 months remaining on the original warranty. The headlight ignitor was repaired and I was given a quotation of $1,000+ for a windshield replacement. The BMW Service Advisor said my windshield wipers may never work properly again if I have this work done at an independent shop.

    Price is an issue but I want to make sure the installation of the windshield is done to OE standards. Any reason I should forego the better price and go with the BMW original?

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,691
    My BMW dealer doesn't do glass.. They recommend a local independent... So, using the independent, should not be a problem... I'm sure they have much more experience replacing glass than your dealer.

    I had mine replaced with BMW glass, so I can't speak to the sensor in the PPG glass... As long as the independent guarantees that your sensors will work correctly, I'd give it a shot...

    Even with BMW glass, my total bill was only around $500.. The dealer is really over-priced, original glass, or not..


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • stl540stl540 Posts: 67
    In 2004 I had $2000 worth of hail damage to my 2002 540i. I had a local BMW repair shop fix the car. As they were replacing the strip around the windshield, the windshield cracked. It was replaced by insurance as part of the repair. Windshield cost $329, installation $125, R&I B/Glass $125. The total cost of $579 is comparable to your $600 quote. My car is a 5 vs your 3, so there may be other price differences.

    I have the rain sensing wipers. The part number is a BMW part number (51-31-7-059-697), but I did not see the BMW logo on the windshield. It looks exactly like my other one. The rain sensing wipers work fine after the replacement.

    Do a google search on the part number and you will see what others are paying.
  • celkancelkan Posts: 27
    I have a new 2006 325i stickshift. If I drive with the windows down, often there is an unpleasant organic smell. The first time I smelled it I actually checked to see if I had animal excrement on my shoes. It doesn't smell burned at all and it is strongest right after starting the car. With the windows closed it's not noticeable.

    Does anyone know what could be causing this smell?
  • Is this car 4 door? If so, it's cool to have a stickshift sedan. Any ways, back to the topic. Organic smell? Does it smell like manure or swamp? Check the engine bay, under the car and all else because this might lean towards being a flood car. The whole car doesn't have to be completely submerged for it to be a flood car and I'm not saying it is, but that's what it could be. Check behind door panels, under interior carpet, check hoses, lines, engine parts, etc. Is there any moisture, water, weeds, mildew smell, "plant smell" under the hood, near, or in places that are very suspicious? Does the car's performance change or is it altered? Basically rip the car to shreds and go blood hound on it. Check your fluids. Anything wierd smelling or suspicious outside normal mechanical realm?
    If not that, keep in mind the engine could be burning that stuff off when it is hot, but because the engine is cold, the engine heat really aggravated it. That why it smells so bad. Also check the sunroof really good.
    Tell me more about the car's history. did you buy it new, used, preowned? Did it come from a BMW dealership or another dealer? Does it have a clean title? What kind of maintenance has been performed on the car?
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I sometimes get a little musty smell if i have the AC blasting then turn off the car and walk away, with the car sealed up tightly.

    A little mold can grow in the condensate on the A/C coils.

    If i remember to turn off the AC for the last minute or two, it doesn't happen.
  • same problem here. 330d 2001 model. water starts leaking into the driver footweel and a few months later the front passenger footweel. The door seals looks in good condition. Dealer quoted £100 min just to investigate. Hinted to me that it could be blockage but i have no idea where?
  • celkancelkan Posts: 27
    Yes, it's a 4-door. I bought the car new in Arizona from a BMW dealer so I don't think it is a flood problem. (For the purchase story see celkan, "BMW 3-Series: Prices Paid & Buying Experience" #6818, 12 Sep 2006 9:36 pm).

    The car had 44 miles when I bought it and was manufactured in June of 06. The smell is precisely a dog poop smell, not a swamp or musty smell. It seems to be from outside the car, not from the a/c. There is nothing weird about the car's performance or under the hood.

    My intuition is that the smell comes from organic brake pads. Is this possible? How could I be sure?
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Huh. That's weird. I'd try to track down the smell.

    I've heard of animals getting into the engine bay and dying or defecating.
  • Whistling noise from my 330ci when the throttle is activated.
    Before going to the dealer I would like to investigate the
    vaccum lines at the engine. Being new to the car, how do I
    remove the top engine cover to investigate?
  • Mice and rats love a warm engine area, they will crawl up and
    chew on the wiring,friend of mine spent hundreds to repair
    mouse damage that ocurred to a garage parked vehicle.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,578
    Could be your catalytic converter. They can sometimes smell like rotten eggs. They might let off a stink if forced to process a very rich fuel mixture, which sort of ties into your complaint occurring soon after start up.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • Maybe your car stepped in dog doo?
  • Hi... I have a 92 318I convertible, last year of the E30 platform. Anyway, it recently (1000 miles ago) had replacement brake pads and rear rotors.

    Over the past few days while driving, I get a faint smell of something burning... I checked under the hood and the belts look fine. Last night when I got home, I discovered that the rear wheels (driver side worst) were very hot.

    Does this sound like an issue with the brakes causing the wheels to heat up? or is there maybe something wrong with the wheel??

    Any help is appreciated.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Does this sound like an issue with the brakes causing the wheels to heat up?

    If both wheels are VERY hot, then it sounds like the parking brake is dragging. If one wheel is significantly hotter, then my guess would be a stuck caliper.
  • etomorietomori Posts: 11
    Am in process of purchasing a low mileage 2003 330i (235 HP - 6 speed) under factory warranty. On test run engine developed a constant miss over 3500 RPM. Appears to be in "limp home" mode. Feels like it is running on three cylinders. It ran right from a cold start, but once it was warmed up, it started to misfire. Did the same thing eight hours later. Can anyone give me a clue what may be happening?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,578
    Hmmm...sounds like some kind of "lean misfire". I'd check fuel pressure first off, also scan the car's computer for any trouble codes...I'd hold off buying this car until this is squared away if you can.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • etomorietomori Posts: 11
    Car was at dealers w/ confirmed trouble on no. 5 cylinder. To further narrow the problem (fuel or ignition) the coil pack was exchanged with no. 1 cylinder. Told to bring back to dealer if problem arises. Got car from shop and no more problem so far. Runs smooth with no hint of any misfire. Will bring it in for scheduled service (2500 miles to go) or earlier if problem again surfaces. Think that electrical connections were loose or corroded to cause intermittent firing or loss of connection. Thanks for your suggestions. Car is under warranty w/ 35,000 miles.
  • Sorry for the long delay in updating. The CDV replacement was a complete success, and using the directions provided online, it only took about an hour to do, and most of that time was just trying to bleed all the air out of the system after installing the new valve. The clutch now functions as a normal clutch should (there's a novel idea!). However, I'm still not happy with the programming of the drive-by-wire throttle. Still has a sluggish/flat spot about one click off idle that's frustrating when starting out and on the 1-2 shift. Also had an instance where the car hesitated when pulling out into an intersection and sounded like it back-fired back through the intake...not sure if it was just pre-ignition or what, but didn't set off the check engine light and hasn't done it since, so maybe it was some bad gas. Overall, this is an ok car, but falls well short of the high expectations I had for it...I'm eyeballing the new 335i coupe with an auto transmission as a possible solution to my less than satisfying first BMW experience. I just wish you could get the 335i coupe with all-wheel drive, as the performance of the 328i coupe with auto trans is only adequate. Not as interested in the sedan, as it's extra girth is a drawback when navigating the narrow streets of D.C. I'd highly recommend replacing your CDV, you'll be amazed at the difference it makes! :)
  • Hi... looking for E30 wiring expertise. I self installed an Alpine CDA-9847 to replace my dead factory unit in a 92 convertible 318I. I thought I had the correct wiring hookup, and in truth everything works correctly, including antenna up/down with selection/deselection of tuner.

    The only thing that is pesky is the dimmer function that is supposed to auto dim the display when headlights are turned on. That doesn't work. I think that I found the correct wire according to the E30 wiring, but maybe the diagram is wrong or I'm misinterpreting the color. Does anyone have experience or can anyone point me in the right direction??

  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    I have the CDV replacement in my trunk and just are looking for a time to do it. How long did it take to bleed??? How much fluid did you have to put in the master cylinder. You don't, I am asking have to bleed anything except the 7mm bleed nut on the slave cylinder right??? The service manual had a more complicated bleeding process which has me slight concerned. Otherwise, it looks straight forward.

    I have to tell you I am probably not as young, not as good a driver as you but I bought a 04 BMW couple manual with the sports package, and live in upstate rural NY, not in DC. With a front strut bar, and some other minor tweaks, I find the performance of the entire car puts miles of smiles on my face, and only cost me $27.5K. Yes, more power would always be appreciated as the suspension seems to outperform the power, but it goes over the limit in no time and anything else would seem to be a waste of power and gas. Even my German friends in Munich don't understand why we buy cars like this here in the first place, so???? I perform my Avalon with four snows on it with a bench seat to most AWD vehicles. Why would you need AWD in DC???? I don't get it??? Do you go skiing in the mountains alot???

    Thanks for the CDV replacement comment. I just have to get to it at some time before the snow falls.

  • snsnsnsn Posts: 56
    I posted a while back about the leather scuffing in small areas on my 2006 325i. I have now noticed that the leather veneer on the rear air conditioner unit has peeled in certain areas to where you can see the white plastic showing through. The leather is also flaking in a small area on my driver's seat.

    About two 1/2 weeks ago, I took my car in for it's annual maintenance and also due to the steering wheel locking almost every morning and afternoon. A warning light would come on showing a steering wheel and a padlock. I had to jiggle the wheel for about 5 minutes before it would unlock. The service advisor had to order a new computer part. They kept my car for a whole week. They said that there was a recall on my car. I don't remember what for because when I questioned the service advisor about not receiving anything, he said it was for a minor issue that would be fixed whenever the cars came in for servicing. I now have another appointment because my car is now not accelerating as smoothly as it used to (before taking it in for servicing). You can feel it shifting hard. Yesterday, the steering wheel locked and it happened again today.

    Anyone else having similar issues? :sick:
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Anyone else having similar issues?

    I'd be happy to help but right now I'm busy trying to solve a software problem that is locking me out of a couple of Edmunds forums. I'll look into your situation once I get things sorted. :D
  • I leased a 2006 325i in August 2005. Great car - but both front door panels and the armrest "delaminated" (so sayeth the dealer) and were replaced under warranty. Now, the leather is flaking on the driver's seat, and the steering wheel developed raised spots on the spokes (the black plastic area) which, when I attempted to clean, chipped off! The dealer now claims that I caused it! And, to add insult to injury, the right rear door handle is now "delaminating", along with a portion of the center console... oh, mechanically, the car is a gem. But to fall apart like this? I keep the car totally spotless - always have kept my cars spotless - and to see the inside fall apart....this is not a good sign. Especially on a leased vehicle! I'm going to try to get it all fixed - at BMW's expense - I can't believe the low quality of the materials in question. Sigh. Anyone else have these issues?
  • is it true that power steering fluid for bmw 325i is also the same as the tranmission oil?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Did you lose your owners manual? If the PS cap reads "ATF Oil", you should use Dexron III.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,578
    I've seen delamination issues on newer BMWs but not the leather degrading or the steering wheel chips...that is very weird indeed.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • chile96chile96 Posts: 330
    wife has an '03 325 that she uses as a daily driver. the wood shifter knob delaminated after 2 yrs of use (10,000 miles). Service rep replaced it no questions asked even though i thought it was because of the lotion that women use ;) but maybe it's a commonplace occurrence
  • i can't find my book for the definitions of the warning signals that appear on the dashboard..06 325xi....just had a yellow circle with straight lines extending from the circle...any assistance or direction is much appreciate...marcy
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Go to the BMWNA home page. There is a PDF file of the 3er manual in the Owners Circle.
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