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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • It started with engine stutters and long cranks. It then moved to my navi displaying a warning "engine malfunction"

    Over the course of a few months the car had the ecu flashed, injectors changed, HPFP replaced, turbo replaced, manifold replaced. Some research turned up that the previous owner had 3 HPFPs replaced by 28k miles.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,265
    so you were able to finally verify the car's history. What'd you end up getting? Inquiring minds want to know. :lemon:

    Happy New Year my friend

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • How likely am I to get another HPFP? Is it something that is likely to never get fixed. I am hoping that I have a lemon so that I can get out of this car
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    consider a 328i. Yes, it's fuel-injected, but it doesn't have a twin-turbo, and has the same chassis. I just spoke to a first-rate mechanic at Glendale (California) BMW, from which I leased. He owns a 328i and loves it, although you have 70 less horsepower than a 335i, and absolutely dosn't contain an HPFP. I am pursuing a collateral swap out of the 335xi, which said mechanic acknowledged is "dangerous" or will invoke the Lemon Law, which in CA, can apply to two major failures, which I have now had, one HPFP at 6000 mi, the next last Friday at 14300mi. Leasing a 328 will, of course be less expensive, too, and the body style will be changed in two years, according to some experts on this board. So, the price will be right, and financing is cheap these days. The key is that the engines in the 1-,3-, and 5- series ending in -35, like 335 535,for example, have this fuel pump and twin turbo engine design prone to failure. I will not drive my car any longer than I have to, and am essentially confined to commuting around Los Angeles County, where there are many dealers and high "assistance density," but I can't even think of driving to ski in the Sierra or to Vegas, for that matter, although with a very new pump, I suppose I could last another year, but not willing to take the chance after reading extensively on this board and, etc.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,265
    Sorry you feel that way. I remember you got the Xi in so cal because you're into skiing. good luck.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    I will fly to Utah or B.C. to ski, that's all. No problem. I just like the drive to Mammoth, and once there, you take local trams anyway from town to the base. If you know the route, you would not want to have a failed fuel pump in the high desert in Winter, and roadside assistance could be three hours coming, unless BMW uses helicopters. And in Mammoth, well there might be a replacement part, but more likely not nearby and then you're stranded and if you need to return to work, get the idea. I once had to fly back to LA and arrange to have a local drive my Toyota Supra (26 years ago, I recall) back to LA after being repaired in Bishop, and the pickup was an hour drive from my residence. What a hassle that was!
  • My HPFP happened on my 2009 328i so I think the problem is across the board. I am driving scared now hoping that I don't get stranded again. When my lease is up, I am going to get out of the 3 series family and purchase a 5 series.
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    As I just wrote, two trusted mechanics with many years of experience, and employed by BMW told me the problem is with the HPFP, which is not present in a 328i. Your experience implies that it's the "i" or injection system or something closely connected to the fuel pump causing the problem. Which really concerns me because it implies fundamental engineering flaws in what is a perennial "category" champion. I have searched for, but not found any complaints on the Internet about the 328i fuel pump until I read your post #4494 and the latest one. The mechanic who owns your model was and has always been very frank with me, so I accept his opinion that "I won't have a fuel pump problem with the 328i," but read of your experience with bewilderment. Well, first things first--I'll keep you all posted of my attempts to retire my 36-month lease after 24 months. But it looks like a change of "brand" is in order.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,044
    ". . .you would not want to have a failed fuel pump in the high desert in Winter, and roadside assistance could be three hours coming, unless BMW uses helicopters.

    Indeed, I know the road well, and you make an excellent point -- applies to RFT tires as well. Bishop is as good as it gets, and I'll wager there isn't an RFT tire anywhere in the town, especially outside of normal business hours. 395 at 3 in the morning is a great drive, but not in a car that can't either be depended on or repaired quickly & easily.
  • That's correct, they told me it was something with the fuel system and I am afraid it will happen again. This should not be happening to us because we pay a premium for this car. Good luck with getting out of the car and keep me posted. Thanks
  • Funny thing. Every older car I have with an analog speedo has been dead on. Completely accurate. 66 ranchero, 87 fiero, 93 t-bird, 2000 dodge intrepid. all very accurate. all still running too. 250k on the t-bird, 180k on the dodge.
    Sorry I ever bought the pos bmw. Worst automotive investment I ever made.
    BMW dealerships, worst service I've ever had.
  • I put my car in the shop because the service engine soon light came on. I had also just began leaking oil from the oil filter housing ($600 to fix). They reset the light and said it was probably the Mass Airflow Sensor but for me to drive it a while to see if the light comes back on. Could this be caused from the oil leak or is this still a seperate problem?
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Separate problem.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,375
    Not related. Oil leak wouldn't throw a code. You don't have one of those "free-flow" aftermarket air filters installed, do you? If so, remove it immediately and get the OEM one. Otherwise, if this happens again, have them clean the MAF and throttle body for you.

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

  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    I am in the midst of a negotiation with N.A. to cancel my 36mo. lease on a 2008 335xi after HPFP replacements in Dec. 2008 and Dec. 2009, with low mileage. After considering Audi A4, Infiniti G37 and Acura, I returned to the possibility of replacing the lemon with a non-turbo engine 2010 328i, as the turbo may be the primary source of most of the HPFP problems. One owner on this thread, however, reports HPFP problems on his 2010 328i. I am confused. Two "trusted" mechanics working for BMW dealers in LA assure me that the 328 is highly unlikely to have HPFP problems, and one of them owns one and has had zero problems with reliability in two years. A phone rep at N.A., in response to my original complaint and inquiry, responded that the problem with the HPFP is present in the entire 3 series. I love the performance of my present car, and the 328i is 70HP less, but will handle similarly, but I am torn between patronizing a company that has created a three-year engineering blunder and been cavalier about it. Is there anyone on this thread who can vouch for the newest 328s as "safe" and should I even consider replacing the 335xi with a new 328 or am I a glutton for punishment? I am inclined to go Audi A4. I believe the 3's are all redesigned for 2011, in any case, and by then, the line may be trouble free. But again, the issue of integrity and openness arises, and I have a big problem with that. Apparently, there will not be a 3-series recall until someone is dead from an accident caused by a BMW coming to a rapid stop on a freeway, or dying on a winding highway with blind curves.
  • There is no HPFP problem on a 328 because a 328 doesn't have a HPFP. The TSB only refers to the turbo engines.
  • There may not be a HPFP on the 328 but I had a fuel issue that sounds very similiar to ursamajor. I was driving my 2009 328i and the engine went into limp mode. The shop told me that it was a fuel issus and a part had to be replaced.and that it is a common defect on the 328i. The fact that we are having a conversation about new BMW cars is alarming. I love my BMW and will probably lease another one but I no longer consider the BMW as a super reliable car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,375
    The idea of going to Audi to solve problems doesn't strike me, on the face of it, as a strategy that's likely to pan out.

    I thought it was just the N54 engine that has this problem?

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

  • we have a 2006 330xi which is still under warranty. we had it serviced as the battery was weak. as we work close to home we do not put a lot om milage on it the dealer told us that we had to pay for the battery replacement because we didn't drive sufficient miles to recharge it. we put only 6,000 a year on it. i find it preposterous that it is not covered. it is a no win situation if we put too much on it wouln't be covered either. does anyone have any info on this.
  • lehrer1lehrer1 Posts: 54
    Dear tborchman,
    I have 2006 325i bought in August 2005, still very little miles-5000. Last winter I did not drive the car for a month.
    It started only on the second attempt and I saw lots of signals that everything was wrong with the car. The dealer told me that the battery is low and recommended to idle the engine for two hours to charge the battery. It worked and all wrong signals disappeared. Later I checked the battery and it was OK. Now I use the battery tender (a small charger to keep the battery charged) when I do not drive the car for several weeks. It works beautifully. But now I am in the fifth year and plan to replace the battery in the fall of 2010.
    Lehrer 1
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,265
    My Mom actually has an '08 328xi that she despises (too small,tiny trunk,terrible ride...nothing major). Anyway, she is thinking about a leftover E60 5 series. I spoke to my service advisor (who's the assistant service manager) about the N54 engine and its HPFP problems. He said too many have been brought in for fuel pump issues. If she likes the 528, then go with that.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • No HPFP on a 328i. That engine is fantastic compared to the N54. I still can't trust the N55.

    As for Audi. We've had both and I'll stick with BMW when it comes to reliability and maintenance. With our BMWs everything gets fixed. With our Audi they refuse to fix anything under warranty always claiming the problems as normal wear and tear.
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    One disconcerting occurrence: I had an annual service, with the "full computer scan" 20 days prior to the engine light warning coming on Jan 1. Amazing that the BMW dealer couldn't detect the longer crank time, and other early waning signs. They seem to be totally dependent upon what the computer tells them. Yes, they replaced the fuel pump promptly the next morning, but do any of the authorized garages really know what they're doing?

    If my 2008 335xi is "repurchased" (actually the lease would be terminated early), I am considering a 2010 328xi, which I would have to order. There are no xi s in Los Angeles, although after recent heavy rains, the AWD is very comforting, and more rain is on the way. The comment by Romboggie refers to his 2009 328i, not a 2010. I wonder if BMW has cured the fuel problem R refers to in the newest model. Can't seem to get an answer except that the 328 clearly doesn't have a HPFP and twin turbo, so if the car limps in 2010, the undiagnosed problem hasn't been reported.

    My understanding is that the 2010 3s were not introduced until about three months after the normal Sept.-Oct. rollout. I would like to stay with a reliable BMW, as I agree, the driving experience is superior. I will shelve the Audi idea for now. I would like a defintive answer to this series 3 fuel issue, however. Remember, a rep at N.A. told me that ALL of the 3s have a fuel delivery problem--that in response to my thought about getting out of the 2008 335xi, a flawed car, and into a new 2010 328xi lease. It's too early to have any data on the 2010s, I'm certain, so perhaps this question cannor be answered yet.
    I'm going to check prices and MF on the 2010 tomorow to see what a scale-down to a 328xi, nicely equipped, would cost, leaaed..

    Any input here is appreciated.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    we do not put a lot om milage on it the dealer told us that we had to pay for the battery replacement because we didn't drive sufficient miles to recharge i

    That sounds like a lot of crap to me. I have no problems with the battery discharging on any of my low annual miles vehicles. How often do you drive it?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,198

    This is a bit OT, but my local dealer has a CPO 128i stick. It's optioned out a bit weird- just Xenons, Comfort Access, and Premium Sound. If it also had SP and CWP it would already be in my garage...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • I need a replacement catalytic converter in my '96 BMW 328i. Any recommendations for one other than the BMW part that lists for $2200?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,375
    Do you have an independent BMW repair shop in your area? You should also join the BMW Club of America for tech tips, parts info and discounts!

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

  • millwood0millwood0 Posts: 451
    "Every older car I have with an analog speedo has been dead on. Completely accurate."

    it could just be bad luck.

    speedos are known to be engineered to show a reading higher than the actual speed.

    but once in a while, they will crank out defective ones that actually show an accurate reading. and sounds like you got a few in a row.

    here is a way to check: get the cruise control engaged, and take a gps with you. compare the speed readings on the gps with that on your speedo and you will know how accurate your speedo really is.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 21,990
    Mind you, this is just one of the choices I came up with in my 3-minute search:
    Here is a direct bolt-on replacement for $517.
    You could also visit a muffler shop and they could weld in a universal replacement.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,265
    Don't know what kind of time you have, but EVERY BMW around here (NY/NJ/CT) is an X Drive model. If you've got time, you could fly out here & drive your car back to CA.

    roadburner: How many miles were on the 128i & what were they asking for it?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

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