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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • bmwguysbmwguys Posts: 6
    We have an '06 330xi 6-speed manual that we bought w/68k miles on it just over a year ago. Car was a one-owner from our BMW dealer, had a full service history, and looked and drove like it had 5k miles on it. It had the exact color combo (alpine white/terra) and options we were looking at on a new 335xi (6-speed manual, sport w/17s, premium, cold weather, nav, sat radio, ipod/usb, comfort access). After warranty, tax and fees we saved $25k+ off the new 335xi. It was a no-brainer. (The money we saved was put toward an alpine white sport pkg X3 a few months later.)

    My question ... because this is exactly the car we wanted, we want to keep it a long time. The car is babied. What preventive maintenance should we make sure we do now that the car has 75k miles on it? Should we stick with the 12-15k mile oil change schedule, or do it more often because of the high miles? What wear items (other than the obvious tires/brakes/etc.) should be checked and when?

    Any input is appreciated!
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,598
    Go back and read messages 3675 & 4237. There's a "go to message # _____" thingme at the top & bottom of this page. Fill in the blank and. . . There's quite a bit repeated between the two, but they are a little bit different -- there's no better advice anywhere.

    It's doubtful that the car was taken care of this way before you got it, but if you start now by replacing all the fluids and essentially zero-timing it, you should get a lot of excellent service from the car. Since BMW made themselves responsible for all service for the first few years, it's interesting how the maintenance schedules got "streamlined."

    Good luck.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Gotcha. Yeah you're right about that.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    I got a notice in the mail today re a class action suit re rear control arms, for the '99-'06 3 Series. It said owners may be eligible to either have the control arms replaced by a dealer, or be reimbursed if they have already done so. Something to look for in the mail if that applies to you.
  • jscholderjscholder Posts: 24
    I also had problem with my 2001 330 ci and it turned out to be the wires were broken in the cable harness from the trunk. My trunk light was also out and my rear middle tail light was out due to faulty wires. It started with the trunk release not working.
  • jscholderjscholder Posts: 24
    Any contact information so that I can look into this problem?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 128,103
    The notice I got was about rear subframe failure... Shock mounts actually tearing away from the body of the car..

    So far, it looks like the only payoff is reimbursement for any previous repair work, or inspection to see if you have the problem.

    Neither of our two E46s had the problem, and we don't have either of them now, so I tossed the notices.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    I got the same notice... subframe. In addition to inspection, they will repair if damaged. I still have my '01 (155K and climbing!). I don't ~think~ I have the problem.. it seems like it would be noticable... but I will get mine inspected when/if the suit settles.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Yes, subframe, thanks for the correction. I had control arms on the brain when I typed the post from a different car. I tossed my notice also since I don't have the E46 anymore. But as for contact info, I would think a search on google etc. would find that pretty quick--these attorneys want to be found.
  • ponytrekkerponytrekker Posts: 308
    Presumably the case has settled. That's why you got the notice.
  • ventureventure Central PAPosts: 1,349
    The case is expected to settle around the first of September. You can opt out of the settlement with the notification. There is also a form to fill out and mail if you already had the repair made.

    $1,100,500 attorney fees and $22,000 in expenses. Yikes!

    2018 Legacy 3.6R, 2015 Crosstrek, 2015 Forester

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    AC in all three of my BMWs is limp at best. I used to complain but now recognize BMW puts weak AC compressors in their cars. Learn to live with it.
  • ez2doez2do Posts: 9
    I am a bit surprised because the AC on my '03 X5 was quite capable and the kids were always comfortable when they controlled the rear AC. Thanks for the reply, good to hear some commentary.
  • jmarounjmaroun Posts: 151
    I bought a new 2008 335i (SA [South African build], sedan, manual, with sports package) about a year ago. Within 2-3 months of my purchase, got long crank up times and the dealer replaced the fuel pump. Lately, crank times have been creepping up again. This morning was the longest (about 6-7 seconds).

    Very dissappointing. Sure they'll fix it for free I'm sure..but what about after the warrenty? I should have leased.

    San Diego
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Sounds like the fuel pressure regulator might be the problem. If that leaks down, the poor pump has to re-pressurize the entire fuel system every time you start up.
  • densmith1densmith1 Posts: 9
    When I unlock my 2007 328i sedan by pushing the button on the remote control, The passenger's side mirror changes the angle from where it was when I parked the car. Does this mean there is a problem with my mirror or is there a problem with the remote or some other issue where the setting is not being saved correctly. I am using the reveserve tilt setting by keeping the mirror swith pushed all the way to the left position. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • kenshirokenshiro Posts: 16
    I own a 2006 330i. My factory warranty is about to expire in 2 months and I am deciding if I should buy the extend maintenance program. I dont drive much, the car has about 37,000 miles. I asked around and the lowest quote is $2000 for 6 years/100k. Basically, I am paying $2000 for 2 more years of maintenace.
    Is it worth it based on the miles I drive each year? I heard is very costly just to replace the brakes.
  • advice2advice2 Posts: 1
    There is a known problem with the cylinder head, and it had to be replaced, luckily my car is still under warranty. The car went into the dealer numerous times before they heard the sound. They first thought it was air in the oil pump and had to bleed the line, but of course, that didn't help.
  • I have an '02 325xi, have been getting car serviced in Darien BMW center. They are fine, but expensive, can anyone reccomend a good mechanic who knows BMW's but is reasonable?

  • ccrowderccrowder Posts: 1
    I have a 98' 318i which recently overheated. I turned off the key and the fan kept running. Is this normal?
  • samuel70samuel70 Posts: 17
    Looking for the some input regarding using the Steptronic, (auto Tran) and driving the car, like its a 5 speed all the time. I have been told by a dealer service advisor not recommended to drive like a stick all the time. Others have said go ahead...anyone on this forum have any thoughts. Will driving it like a stick, cause some transmission issues down the road. My thoughts were if you drive it like a stick buy one...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Ummm, overlooking the obvious fact that it is impossible to drive that car like one would drive a car with a stick because it doesn't have a manual transmission and a clutch pedal, no, driving it in manumatic mode shouldn't be any harder on the transmission than leaving it in full auto.
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    I just bought a CPO 2007 335xi sedan. I found that I need to use more force to turn the steering wheel. My Saab 9-3 and Audi A4 are not like that.

    Is it because of the runflat tires? Maybe it is lacking of power steering fluid?

    I expected the Bimmer has better handling than the Audi but I found out not much difference (the Audi may be a little bit "nose heavy").


  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    I have a 2007 238xi. Since the car was new I have noticed a gentle wooshing sound coming from the passenger-side rear quarter when the doors are opened (but only after the car has been parked for aprox>10 min). I have no idea what this is but I have always assumed it was some normal electro-mechanical function that was "awakening" after the car had been "asleep" for a while. Recently, the tone of the noise changed to a raspy rattle and now I fail to hear it at all. I have not noted any change in the function of the car but am wondering what I might be missing. The car has 49K miles and therefore is still under warranty for a few more weeks.
    Dose anybody have any insights? Thanks
  • jmarounjmaroun Posts: 151
    I just got my second high pressure fuel pump replaced for my 08 335i (sports package, 4dr, manual). Seems to fail roughly every 9000 miles. I was told by my service rep that free warranty has been extended to something like 120,000 miles and 10 years. But I usually put 200k+ miles on my cars within 7 years easy before I sell or junk'em. I expect to hit 120k within 4-5 years easy. My point,..unless BMW actually designs a better fuel pump or solves this means I paid full price for half car life. Does anyone know if BMW is actually going to fix this problem(which has existed since 07)..and/or.. do any of you who've had fuel pumps replaced actually experienced over 20k+ miles with no issue with the fuel pump?

    On a lighter note, dealer service for this was excellent! Fast, professional, and really polite and nice. I am greatful and appreciative to BMW and the dealership in San Diego.

    I even got a 2009 Z4 (M version) convertible with manual as a free loaner!! It was interesting to compare it to my 335i even though the M is a convertible (my 335i is not). Steering feel on the M was dead or numb I thought comparatively and it lacked the 335i's refined drive and especially its superior low end torque. The M's engine tone has a growling raspy bark that is more satisfying than the 335i's less audible yet more refined and higher pitched wind up. The relative lack of low end torque (even with sport button pressed) in the M somewhat took away from the pleasure of its bark. By the way, I found it more pleasurable to not engage sport mode most of the time. I would imagine that on a track however, the sport mode would be better. While the 335's handling is absolutely superb, it could not match the M around tight turns. The M's lower body and huge rear tires ate up turns with ease where the same turn in a 335i would have more lean. It's just as easy to let out the back end on both cars with perfect control. The M got looks though, and many complements...where I've never gotten a compliment on my 335's looks :(
    I had alot of fun with the M, yet although I had an option to keep it for another day, I just missed the 335i's low end torque and refined drive. The experience makes me appreciate the 335i's manual transmission which seems butter smooth compared to the M's knotchy engagements. The M had a shorter shifter but maybe it just needs to get broken in more...I did not look to see what the miles were.

    I'm not sure what my next car will be..but I know it will have to be at least equally refined and low end torque endowed as my 335i, yet I hope it will be lighter and sportier looking while still having that BMW business suit aspect. I'm not willing to give up the two rear seats although I do not require them to be as spacious as the 3's. That leaves a couple options that exist now..
    - 997 911S (used say 06 or 07)
    - Lotus Evora : a used one in a few years.. (has anyone read the amazing reviews on this car???
    - Or whatever BMW comes up with in a few years..and I have faith that BMW can pull off a great new design as a worthy successor for the 335i and the current M3. I'm just hoping that they will. BMW's current trend with their GT and hatch back models are worrisome. Fingers crossed and wishful thinking..but I hope BMW management reads this...not that I expect them to cater only to me.

    Till then,..I'll be enjoying the next 9000 miles before the expected new high pressure fuel pump replacement. Who knows,..maybe I'll get a 135 or M3 loaner.


    San Diego
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    I had the same problem at 7000mi on a 2008 335xi. I wrote BMW N.A., and voiced concern after hearing from several people employed by dealers that there had been a recall. Well, mine was replaced around last Christmas, and I received a recall letter this March. That in itself is disconcerting, as a failed fuel pump could occur in a most inconvenient, if not hazardous situation. Why not notify the owner and effect a preemptive change before the inconvenience or even jeopardy?

    Mine failed in the midst of Beverly Hills at Noon, so my jeopardy was absolutely minimal, and I proceeded to the local dealer, where the replacement occurred with dispatch, on Christmas Eve, no less. What I have read on this board and heard from the warranty personnel is that there was a defect which was remedied, and this shouldn't occur more than once. You are proof that they either lied or are misinformed by "headquarters." Now I must be concerned when I approach the second 7-9000 miles whether I will experience the same failure as you. If that should occur, I will not be leasing a BMW again. I had never experienced a vital part failure in over 25 years of leased Hondas, Toyotas, Infinity, and five Lexus's. Granted, a defective fuel pump is bad enough on "the ultimate driving machine," but to not have replaced the defective one with a perfect, modified version is unforgivable and leads one to question the company's engineering integrity and quality control system.
  • birdrulesbirdrules Posts: 8
    I am looking to replace all four OEM Continental tires on my '05 325i with about 52k miles. I drive mostly city with some highway driving in the DC area. I would be interested to hear your experiences (good/bad) with specific brands and any recommendations for brands/tire types (Goodyear, others). Thanks in advance!
  • dhsieh9dhsieh9 Posts: 44
    My 0'7' 328i coupe automatic transmission when enggaging to either reverse or forward gears, occasionally it produces an audible metal contact cluncking noise. I wonder if this is considered to be normal from other owners.
  • pdude1pdude1 Posts: 47
    I noticed that sometimes after driving the 335i for a long time (i.e. an hour driving in the 80F-90F + weather) I notice when I'm in stop and go traffic I will have a squeaking in noise when I engage from stop and start moving. But it only happens when I start from a stop. It's about 1 second noise and then doesn't happen again. Unless I stop and go back to 1st gear and move forward then I hear the sound again. I tried testing it yesterday and I didn't hear anything at all. So don't know if it only happens when it's warm or some other weird reason. The sounds sounds like a brake squeak, but I'm only engaging the clutch and the accelerator.

    Anyone else have an issue like that?
  • ponytrekkerponytrekker Posts: 308
    It's not normal.
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