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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Virtually ALL of the problems you've listed are indeed genetic with this era's BMWs - cracked radiator/coolant connectors [see above], brake switches [not the wiring], window regulators, and the sunroof. A GOOD BMW tech/mechanic will know all of these problems, and their solutions, which often mean updated and improved parts. Won't be cheap, however - no used German car should be purchased without a healthy reserve for maintenance costs. If you want something relatively trouble-free, especially late in the car's life, you buy Japanese.

    Over the years, I've had 14 MBs, 4 BMWs, and at least 15 Toyotas - I know how this works.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,612
    I agree with your methodology on the repair costs for the Europeans. You either factor those in or just lease and get out.

  • amiramir Posts: 97
    my 330i sedan has the sport has a slight ratteling sounds @ times on rough roads.mostly from somewhere in the dash,possibly from ac vents.mostly when engine is cold or its below 70 degree.the dealer says it happens with sport package says cause their suspention is stiff so the cars with sport package can rattle.
    Is it true.and has someone else experienced the same?please help
  • My insturment cluster hasn't worked properly for a couple of years. I just recently had the transmission rebuild on it and the transmission light and check engine light still comes on. The shop says that i have to get a new instrument cluster becuase they can't reset the computer. The car still seems to have transmission issues at take off and the shop guy is telling me that it's related to the instrument cluster. I think this guy is ripping me off. please help.
  • My exhaust lifters were all just replaced, with temporary resolution of the problem for 2 days, then it recurred briefly, and has gone away for the last 2 days. BMW has a major design flaw on its hands with these engines. Will keep you posted about how things go.
  • Well, good luck. The noise came back on ours after one week, but we haven't really heard it again. We are waiting to hear back our SA for further instructions.
    This will be our fourth service visit. :lemon: ?
    It may come to that...
  • melody3melody3 Posts: 3
    Hello All:

    I have a chance to buy a 2002 325 Convertible with only 20K miles that was agarage-kept second car for $29K. However, the dealer cannot certify it simply due to age. The car is in wonderful condition, and I was hoping to spend no more than 30K for my first BMW.

    Do you think age is a problem for this car? My other choices on the dealer's lot are 2005's for 34K and they are certified.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    I think the point isn't really the age or the mileage, it's more about how risk-adverse you are. If something big gives out on this car, you are completely on your own with it--so you have to weigh that risk, however small, with the additional cost of going CPO and having that assurance.

    Sounds like it's about a 4K difference between rolling the dice on a 5 year old car without warranty or having one with warranty. Given that, what do you think?

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

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    When did that 2005 go into service? If it's mid-2005, that means you'd have two years of free maintenance, and 4 years and a whole lot of miles of warranty.

    Probably not going to save you $5000 in work, but it will save you some.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,720
    My '05 went into service in November, 2005... It wasn't even built until October of that year..

    Point is... you are correct.. there can be a big difference between warranty expiration dates, even with the same model year..


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • emmhead1emmhead1 Posts: 1
    hey i have the exact same problem with my 99 323i i hear the noise about 70-80 percent of the time while shifting the 5 speed manual transmission.. i was wondering if you found out any new information about what the possible problem is...
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Anyone know how the felt trim around the front windows mounts? I have a piece hanging down about 1/2" on the passenger side. Not far enough for me to see what's up above, but I didn't really want to pull down on it for a better look in case it's glued. If it is glued, does anyone have any recommendations on a product to re-glue it?
  • i bought a certified, 2003 325xit wagon with 35k miles two weeks ago. earlier this week, i pulled out of the driveway, drove half a block and, as i was making a right turn at the corner, the car lost all power. i re-started it without any problem and it hasn't happened again---at least not yet. i called the dealer from whom i bought it; the service manager was responsive and scheduled me for a service sppointment in a few days.

    has anyone else had a similar experience? would the car's "computer" show a fault code that could help explain what happened and why? --seminole2
  • davidd3davidd3 Posts: 582
    Reporting back after finally having my car (2006 330i) serviced today. Mrs. D did the honors. Engine was not making the ticking noise at drop-off. At first it was just as I feared. No noise + no OBC problem indicator = no problem from their point of view. A call late morning to say the car was ready. Mrs. D picked it up after work. Written report stated "unable to duplicate or verify at this time." Then we got lucky. Engine suddenly started making the noise again just as my wife was taking delivery. They listened and said it is the lifters. Said they just finished working on a car with the same problem. They are ordering parts. In the meantime we are back in our car and they say there is no damage being done by driving it.

    And the loaner? That was a bummer. No 335. At first they put Mrs. D in a 5-Series for the first time. She was admiring it inside and out, but soon realized the power seat wasn't working and she couldn't get close enough to drive the car. Had to give it up for a 328xi in what she referred to as an embarrassing bright blue color. She went on to complain that it felt sluggish as compared to our car. Must be the combination of less hp (328 i/o 330) and added weight (xi i/o i).
  • Well, hopefully that takes care of you. We've heard ours tick loudly once since we had the lifters replaced, but not since.
    You guys should keep updates here as well, we have a huge thread going on this problem... (unfortunately!! 2 people have declared lemons and gotten new cars from this)
  • kochankochan Posts: 2
    Has anybody experienced a problem with their 2000 328ci (or similar other E46) where the revs suddenly dip while idling, dropping to 100-200 RPM for a split second and then shooting up to 2500 for a second, before returning to idle? It's intermittent, occuring randomly but usually only when I first start the car. Turning it off and on after the engine is warm usually fixes the problem. I am out of ideas. Doesn't sound like vacuum. Oil? Fuel pump? Computer?


  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Please DO keep us updated here on this issue!
  • skj109skj109 Posts: 8
    I have a 2006 330i sedan with sports package. I do not have any rattling. There was a noise from the fan blower but they replaced it and no noise since then. Even in weather below 20 degrees - no rattling. As far as noises, I've noticed some type of noise when I leave up on the brakes slightly from a parked position. Have you experienced anything like that?
  • jdiorio1jdiorio1 Posts: 1

    I have a 2001 325i, and have had a similar idling problem. The rpms drop, and the engine seems to over correct and the rpms shoot back up. Once the engine even shut off because the oscillations got so bad. It occurs randomly, and only while idling. I found this to be particularly bad in colder weather. Unfortunately, I don't know what's causing it, so I can't answer your question, but I'd be interested to know if you have tried anything, or if anyone else has any ideas.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I believe that the problem is worn out oil pressure control "O" rings in your VANOS cam timing system. That said, while I've heard of this problem occurring on 1999 and 2000 vintage 2.3 and 2.8 liter engines, this is the first I've heard of a 2001 or later having the problem. That said, I don't think there is much difference between the VANOS design between 2000 and 2001 so I guess the problem was just a matter of time before it cropped up on the later model cars.

    Best Regards,
  • kochankochan Posts: 2
    Thanks, Shipo.

    I will bring this up with my dealership and see what they think. So far, they've mentioned only in passing that it might have something to do with the timing system, so I'll have them investigate further.

    I appreciate your help, and will keep everyone posted!

  • amiramir Posts: 97
    i havn't noticed any noise from brakes.but can u explain a little more of what kind of sound u were noticing b4 they replaced ur fan blower cause i do hear a tickling sound at low tempreratures but not over 70 or 80 from somewhere in the ac vents.
  • skj109skj109 Posts: 8
    That's what was happening with mine too - only at lower temps. They said it was the fan blower and replaced it. I haven't heard it since.
  • ritaoritao Posts: 5
    I overstuffed my bmw trunk with big bundle of toilet tissue. Had to slightly force the trunk close. Since then, the dash indicator light for trunk is on. Trunk locks okay manually. Remote control will not work trunk lock. key only operation. Could you tell me what to look for?
  • megrdh1megrdh1 Posts: 9
    I have a '01 325i, this is my first BMW. During the first 4 years I had the car stalled few times then it needed the "cam sensor" replaced; hand brake did not release completely caused by the "spring". Then, 10 second after the engine is on, the yellow oil light turns on for 15 second; dx: faulty oil sensor, estimate for replacement $500. Now, the passenger rear window is broken, I can hear the buzzy noise, but it does not move. Any idea how much will it cost me to fix it. Just minor things but it drives me crazy, should i trade it in without fixing it? It seems that I cannot keep a BMW more than 6 years. I heard people like to lease rather than buy a BMW because of this reason. Is it true? :sick: Thanks in advance.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,612
    I heard people like to lease rather than buy a BMW because of this reason. Is it true?

    It is true for me. I have the first year E90 and decided to lease because I can keep the miles relatively low and do not have to worry about ANY repairs.

    My take is if you need to purchase a car for high miles, keep it as simple as possible with few options because of the depreciation effect. The repair costs are higher on the more premium cars also so you need to factor that in to the buy decision.

    I estimate your window will be $300 - $500.


  • I am being quoted $1,399 for the extended maintenance warranty and $2,775 for the bumper to bumper extended warranty. Is this what others are being charged now? I am mainly thinking of buying the maintenance warranty right now, because it seems like that one is pretty likely to pay for itself with one brake job and oil changes. Does anyone have any input on that?

    Much appreciated,
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    I bought the extended maintenance contract for my '02 and had both the front and rear brake done completely as well as all belts replaced. With the annual oil change and the additional one brake fluid and coolant change, I think the cost is well worth it.

    I am not sure about the extended warranty contract which sounds high, so I have chosen to take my chance on that.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Hope I'm not too late to help...

    Refer to Post #3207. Nalley BMW was offering the extended maintenance for $945 earlier this year.
  • skj109skj109 Posts: 8
    Where is Nalley BMW?
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