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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    Mike Miller wrote a thorough and informative buying guide for the E46 and E90 in the latest issue of Bimmer magazine. I was surprised to learn about BMW's decision to limit information that they share with technicians on the E90... he indicated that the E90 will actually be more expensive to maintain over the longer term (more complex + less information from BMW).
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    So my E90 is 6 mos old w/ 12.5k miles on it and I have my first "warranty work" pending. :mad:

    1)There is a "cracking" sound coming from the stereo speakers that sounds almost like a watch ticking. Hind sight being 20/20, i think this cracking has been going on since day one but has gotten progressively louder so that now I can't stand it.
    2) The SOS light comes on now when I start the car and the "exclamation" symbol stays on.
    3) The radio will just cut out and I have to turn it on again w/ the knob.

    Are all these problems connected? Who knows!
    It'll be in the shop next monday. :(
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710

    BMW has had my car for a day and a half now and still doesn't know what's wrong w/ it. Stay tuned, that is all.
  • lwyselwyse Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 BWM 330 that recently overheated for no apparent reason. I had added water to it 2 days prior to the overheating incident. My mechanic told me that the ext warranty company needed my authorization to cover costs to tear it down, in case it wasn't covered by them. He also warned me that they may try to say it was caused by "negligence" on my part so they can avoid paying the claim. The only problem he found so far is a crack in the resorvour (which IS a covered part). Has anyone heard of overheating problems and causes? I couldn't find anything on (technical service bulletins). H E L P!!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,278
    Well, you shouldn't have to add any coolant at all. There was obviously a leak somewhere. How did you know it was low on coolant? Did the car overheat in traffic or at highway speeds? Was the system bled in the correct fashion? Is the cooling fan operating properly? How about the t-stat? Cars simply don't overheat "for no reason"...

    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

  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    Well this is embarrassing but I'll post it anyway as a teaching point. My car had the above symptoms for a while, well it turns out the guy who installed my laser jammers damaged the main "bus" cable which controls many of the cars functions. After working on it for many hours, BMW replaced the cable and only charged me $120. I think I'll bring them coffee and donuts tomorrow. :blush:
  • xeyexeye Posts: 168
    This is interesting. My auto detailer in Natick, MA also installs alarm systems, stereos, radar systems, etc. When I asked him about installing a better alarm system in my 2011 335i instead of the factory alarm system, he told me that he doesn't touch most European brands especially BMWs as the electrical/inter-component system uses fiber optics and can easily be damaged by installers unfamiliar with the complexities and nuances of the system. The recommendation came straight from his alarm system regional sales representative. You should consider yourself lucky that BMW even did the work let alone charge you far more for the repair.

    One interesting comment that he related is that an alarm system, on the average, only delays the thief stealing your car by 3 minutes and doesn't deter anyone from a "smash 'n' grab". With the engine immobilizer in the Bimmers, (theoretically at least) the would-be thief would have to tow, drag or put the vehicle on a flatbed truck.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    Yeah, I looked into getting a Viper car alarm at Best Buy and was told by the Tech that they don't do BMW's.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,323
    Are simply a waste of money. If someone really wants your car, they're going to take it. When's the last time you called the cops when you were walking down the street or to your car in the mall pkg lot and heard a car alarm going off?



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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,323
    I know you're getting rid of your 335xi ('08?) for a new '11 335xi (I hate the X drive badges on the cars & much prefer the xi monkier). How come you are ditching your current 335xi? How many miles are on it? What are they offering you on the trade? I know you keep your car in immaculate shape.

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

  • xeyexeye Posts: 168
    edited May 2010
    Well, now you're asking me to second-guess myself as to why I would trade-in a perfectly fun fully paid-off 2007 335xi with ~28,500 miles and take on a new payment of a couple hundred a month!

    Now that you mention it...

    It started when I went in for routine service for the 30,000 mile check, basically just an oil change and they gave me new wiper blades. It was about 7:15 AM on a weekday and I wasn't properly caffeinated! I was sitting having a double cap when someone in a loosened tie came up to the espresso bar (this is a classy joint! - BMW of Sudbury, MA). He turned out to be the dealership GM. I asked what was new in a turbo and described my car. He worked up some numbers that didn't immediately depress me. I went away but stayed in touch. (Isn't that how it invariably gets you into trouble with cars and women?!) Within a couple of weeks of e-mails, he put me in touch with a sales rep who, surprisingly, was quite pleasant.

    I had been all over Edmunds and the BMW site, but could find no information on 2011s and they weren't taking orders for 2010s in Germany.

    I figured that my 4 years free service would be up in August '11, and although it is still 15 months away, I decided that to wait might reduce the trade-in value more than I was willing to accept and didn't want to be in a bind regarding buying an extended protection plan (ripoff? comments?) or having no warranty. I decided I liked the idea of having no maintenance expenses despite a relatively small car payment ($200-250/month with any luck).

    I figured on $26,000 trade-in value based on the high end of KBB and Edmunds. I was offered $25,000 and asked for, and received, a middle ground offer of $25,500. With the new ride priced at invoice less $1,840 Option Credit plus $750 dealer profit and the chorus of miscellaneous charges like TAX, it came out under invoice, as they say, OTD.

    This is what I have now:

    2007 335xi, manual naturally
    Sparkling Graphite Metallic
    Grey Leather
    Cold Weather
    Logic 7 Stereo (it was standard back then (*sigh*))
    Park Distance Control (rear only)

    This is what I'm getting:

    2011 335i xDrive
    6 sp MANUAL. I can't believe anyone would pay EXTRA for an automatic!
    Tasmin Green Metallic (I read a comment that driving these days is like watching a B&W movie. I figured I'd add a little color. Besides, the bright red LEDs look cool against the green.)
    Oyster & Black Leather
    Sport (No M - the front looks like someone punched out the front teeth of the car)
    Cold Weather
    Harman Kardon Surround (the Owner's Circle web site doesn't show it as included but the GM swears it will have it - it better be there!)
    Satellite Radio
    Park Distance Control (rear AND front, this time)
    Heated seats (Included)
    Heated Steering Wheel (Included - that should be cool!)
    Fold down rear seats
    Dark Burl Walnut wood trim
    BMW Assist

    HD Radio is standard now (even on *ugh* Fords)

    I think that's it. The car is at the Vehicle Prep Center in New Jersey and hopefully will be here by the weekend. That may be optimistic. The sad thing is that the first thing the car saw when the Prep Center wiped the wax out of its headlights was NEWARK!!

    As for the xDrive stick-on, it sucks. I posted a few weeks ago that someone should tell BMW that it makes the car look like a Toyota, and these days, that is NOT a good thing! I say let it be a 335i, period. Let the guy in the other lane in a mid-winter snowstorm wonder why you're leaving him spinning when the light turns green! I feel no shame whatsoever when Lamborghini is putting 700 hp at all four corners in the new Jota. 0-100 km/hr in 3 seconds???


    Does this help?!
  • Firebird_EOUFirebird_EOU Posts: 250
    Let us know if the new turbo is better than the old...
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,323
    Yeah - thanks for the deatiled info. great story btw. When you get your '11, make sure you check their website to see what they're asking for the car. My guess is they'll ask $32,500 for it.

    Your info helps me because I am a BMW nut. We currently lease a 2007 X3 (Montego Blue/Black Leatherette) which goes back at the end of July. When we return the X3, our stable will consist of a 2010 Acura TSX tech (black/black/sulushbox) which will become my wife's daily driver/family hauler & my 2001 Honda Prelude Type SH (Milano Red/Black/5-speed stick/120K+ miles). We are actually going to be New Englanders soon (Trying to buy a house in Stamford, CT). We're also going to be BMWless. Once the finances clear up, I'm going to start searching for a new ride for myself. Our new home will bring me further away from my job & by the end of next year, my Prelude will have close to 140K miles on it.

    I've always wanted a 3 series. I can convince myself 7 ways from Sunday that they are too expensive & too small, but everytime I get in one it is like a magical journey. I love BMWs so much that I'd actually consider a CPO car when the time is right. The fuel pump problems & turbo failures really scare me away from the 335, although the acclereration is simply intoxicating. The 328i is a great car too, but their asking prices aren't that much lower than the 335 (used).

    I'm also going to check out the Infiniti G37S Sedan & an FX 35 Sport (only automatic though).

    What you got for ur trade will help me gauge what to offer for a CPO 3 series. Thanks again!

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

  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    "Car alarms ........... Are simply a waste of money"

    Maybe in the city.... ;)

    I know I take a look around if I hear a car alarm just to make sure there's no funny business.
  • xeyexeye Posts: 168
    I will definitely update on the N55 vs N54. I'm very curious about the twin scroll vs twin turbo, and what diffference, if any, Valvetronic makes as well.

    The car still has the OEM ContiProContact all-season SSRs. I estimate that they have another 7-10,000 miles of tread left. They are all wearing absolutely evenly, too. I have had no trouble with them at all. I don't know what I'm going to get with the new ride. The dealership GM swears that the Bridgestone issues are a thing of the past. The new G3 SSRs should be available, but I'm wary at this point. I should find out in a day of two. Delivery date is scheduled for tomorrow.
  • xeyexeye Posts: 168
    My tee time is 80 minutes from now, so I have to slip out of work soon, but I just wanted to wish you good luck with all you have going on. I hope the house purchase goes smoothly! I'll post a picture of the new car when it's been properly detailed. The Shadowline trim should look really good with the window tinting I plan to do.

    By the way, the only issue I had with my '07 was a noisy right front wheel bearing that was replaced in the first year. I never had any fuel pump, starter, limp home, turbo or overheating issues at any time and in any weather, sub zero or >100 degrees.

    Maybe I was lucky, but I always treated the car well, including a gentle pat on the dashboard after a close call. I believe that if you take care of the car, it appreciates it and will return the favor!

    Ever seen the movie "Christine"? ;)
  • Firebird_EOUFirebird_EOU Posts: 250
    edited May 2010
    I cannot find any availability info on G3 SSRs from Bridgestone in 2010. They announced it last year, but then haven't heard anything since.
  • xeyexeye Posts: 168
    I have also searched high & low for definitive information from Bridgestone or anyone else including the dealer and no one has anything to say about the G3's. That really concerns me as I have to make a decision whether I raise a big stink if my new 2011 335i xDrive comes shod with these tires. It appears as if Bridgestone is staying under the radar. I did, actually, read a couple of mag reviews that say the G3's are the best thing since the Model T. Do they come as OEM on the cars? Who knows? Is there a way to identify the tire as a G3? Who knows?

    I don't trust any tire company that doesn't represent themselves; certainly not with this kind of investment, speed, handling, etc.
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    Xeye... are you saying that the 2011s are going for less than invoice?? Edmunds only indicates the special financing offer, but no mention of rebates on the 2011s.

    Appreciate any info you can share.
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    The car arrived in six weeks, intended to replace the defective 2008 335xi which had 16680 urban miles on it when it was repurchased last week. Two failed fuel pumps, failed electronics (requiring days in the shop, during which I was given a 2010 328i loaner), battery drain at 8000 miles, etc,- BMW N.A. was so compliant and the settlement so generous that I immediately ordered a non-turbo xi Tasman Green, beige leather, lots of good equipment. The 2010 models could no longer be ordered, so I went for the 2011 despite the absence of incentives, all of which were focused upon the 2010. Lease rates were very high. I attenuated the surrender of the vehicle until May 3rd, when new incentives and lease rates were hopefully going to make the lease attractive. The best offer I received from Pacific in Glendale, CA was invoice, but there were no incentives and the lease money factor actually increased from .0022 to .0033. Bottom line, my payment was going to be only $ 20 less/mo. than my previous "well-equipped" 2008 335xi which I also had factory-built. Not much to justify a straight-six with uninspiring acceleration for the same price, to a lessee. I also think that without incentives, the cost to a purchaser for a 328 is a poor value.

    I am now driving a new Audi A4 Quattro which I would say is quicker than the 328, has conventional tires, not those damn run-flats, and considerably better mileage--of course, it's a 4cyl, but the turbo, although not broken in yet, seems promising. The cap cost was $ 7000 less than the BMW and hard to believe, the a.p.r. of the money factor was .624% (that's about 5/8ths of ONE PERCENT) vs. 5.5% for the BMW. There may be BMWs in my future, but at $ 150/mo. less of a lease payment, slightly lower drive-off, and Quattro with a more docile ride, I'm glad I could make this choice.
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    On 2011 328xi, 36 months, minimal driveoff, residual .52
  • xeyexeye Posts: 168

    I went back to Edmunds, re-configured my car with the options ordered and compared it with the Motor Vehicle Purchase Contract & worksheet I was given by the dealer . It all works out as I figured. There are a number of additional charges like MACO ($250) and a Training/Service fee ($200), plus registration, documentation, inspection, etc that comes to about $423, plus 6.25% tax.

    The deal I got was:
    2011 335i xDrive $39,190
    ZPP $2,410
    ZSP $1,230
    ZCW $910
    688 $795
    508 $685
    A81 $500
    655 $320
    All Weather Floor Mats $100
    Destination & Handling $875
    Everything was at invoice price: $47,015
    Option Credit (listed as Incentives & Rebates on Edmunds TMV page): $1,840
    Dealer Profit: $750
    Net: $45,925

    Without adding in all the other stuff above that everyone pays, to me, that comes out $1,090 under invoice. This is NOT Out-the-Door, just the bottom line. I also paid tax on the net AFTER trade-in, so I "saved" about half the tax.

    Am I missing something?

    You mentioned financing offers? I didn't see that...

  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    Just took delivery (3 weeks ago) of a new (2011) 328 convertible- list about $52,800 with all the goodies. Two competing dealers both at $2000 off the sticker. This was the only convertible the dealershad in stock. 3.9% financing if I wanted it... lease rate about 5 1/2%. They also offered a terrrific trade allowance. (side note...this is the second BMW that I bought from this dealer in a month... the other being an X3), Maybe that had something to do with their generosity. I think business STINKS and they've finally learned to compete. Granted...we're talking big city. Smaller markets may differ...but we've got 5 BMW dealers within 20 miles. Friend (who is president of a large American-made US dealership) tells me that the BMW has a net of 12-14% in the car depending on his volume....don't let them tell you otherwise.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,323
    That's a steep MSRP for a 328i - enjoy!

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

  • skinhealerskinhealer Posts: 33
    Have 328 XI 2008 and already have about 35,000 miles on it, so far got every service which was indicated by the car.

    Don't know if I should buy the maintenance warranty. When i was buying the car it was 1599.00 and now it is 2099.00.

    Don't know if it is worth the money and would need some advice on this,

    Thank you,
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 190
    I am considering purchasing a 2007 328i wagon - CPO, with three years. I test drove a couple of new 328i's. Both seemed to hesitate when I was doing about 10-15 mph and tried to punch it (e.g. curved freeway onramp). I googled it and found several such complaints. Some claimed that an adjustment would fix it. Others say that any 328i has this problem with the auto transmission. Any thoughts?
  • rflrfl Posts: 100
    Don't know if you have a stick or Steptronic trans. If it's the steptronic, try the DS mode. I think you'll notice the change
  • rnahouraiirnahouraii Posts: 22
    With Steptronic, is that with the shift lever pushed to the left?
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 190
    Yes, auto. (I understand the stick is better but won't be getting a stick.) I just can't remember if I tried the DS mode in those circumstances. You would think I would have figured that one out as my current A4 has a similar issue in Drive mode due to Turbo Lag. But in Sport mode my A4 is fine. So I will give that a shot. Any other comments welcome.
  • clane493clane493 Posts: 1
    Here is the quick synopsis:

    1. Car interior lights started blinking, then died about 5 miles later.
    2. Mechanic said to disconnect battery and then reconnect after 5 minutes and try starting again.
    3. Tried #2 and car wouldn't start, only interior lights would come on and clicking sound when turning ignition.
    4. Was able to jump start car, but after running for awhile, car wouldn't start again.
    5. Bought replacement BOSCH battery, installed it and car started right up, at least 4 times, then after driving for a bit, wouldn't start.
    6. Tried a few more times to start it and then finally started.
    7. When got car home turned off and wasn't able to start again.

    Any advice??? Girlfriend's car and I'm not familiar with BMWs and their electrical systems.

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