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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • Have a 328xi 2008 with 67000 without a problem so far.

    Did all the regular maintenance in the car. Yesterday saw the service light go on.

    Can someone tell me what are the most common reasons for this light to go on?

    Will be going to get it checked out. BMW dealership stated that it will be $140 to diagnose the problem. The gas cap is perfectly fitted on...
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    An autozone type store will generally read the code for free and possibly point to a part. Will also give you part price. They may even know of a good shop.
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    edited February 2013
    Well, a belt tensioner is usually just a pulley with a bearing(s) in it and can be manually adjusted or spring loaded. At some point, the bearings dry up and the pulley can become loose on the shaft. Sometimes they get noisy first, sometimes not. One can usually check by loosening the tension and checking the bearing by turning, feeling for roughness or wobbling on the shaft. Of course most won't do this, so another method is to take a long shafted screw driver or similar item, touch it against engine metal on the front of the engine while running, then place ear to shaft and listen for roughness, grinding or squealing. Be very careful of moving parts. Auto parts stores and Harbor Freight may sell stethescopes for this purpose for 10 bucks or so. Again, most BMW owners won't do this, but you could ask the dealer or shop to demonstrate why they think it's bad. I hate to say it, but some lie, then amazingly find other 'problems' in the process. As a check and balance, ask for your old part. I mark my part to make sure they don't pull another one from the scrap bin. OK, I don't readily trust. Read these forums to see why.
  • Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. I dont hear any sounds, just a mild shaking since the iginition coil was replaced. Prior to that the shaking was pretty bad.

    Im taking it back to the dealer. See what they say.

    Thanks again!
  • 96_318i96_318i Posts: 1
    edited March 2013

    This is my situation, i was driving with A/C Heater working perfectly fine, then all of a sudden i started to smell something that smelt like burning rubber, and the A/C heater stopped working once i shut off the car and turned it back on. Since then i have switched out the blower motor, the resistor, and the fuzes. But with no luck i still cannot seem to find out the reason. The animatronix panel still works but there is no blowing air out of any vents at all. What could my problem be?
  • It could be your car has bad relay or the wiring could be burnt somewhere. It can also be both.
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    Our '02 E46 has problem keeping freon in after recharging. The technician checked it out and told me the leak was at the inside part of the AC unit, so would entail taking the whole unit out to repair. He thought it would cost close to $1,000 or more because of the labor involved. He siad had the leak was nearing the front side of the unit, it would take less money without having taking the unit out. I don't quite get it. Just based on the problem presented (inability for the AC unit to hold the freon), anyone can hazard a guess? What could be the ball park cost for replacing the AC unit. We love the car and really want to keep it. It has just reached 70,000 miles with everythingelse opreating perfectly. TIA for suggestions.
  • A quick question... Any idea what the spark plug change interval is on a 2009 335i? I read through the manual which states 45K, and that it is not in the CMS (Computer Maintenance Service), but the dealer keeps claiming it is, and that 45 K is not applicable. Has anyone else run into this issue, and if so, how did you handle it? Many thanks!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,120
    It is definitely 45K, per BMW SI B00 01 07; if the dealer still plays dumb then escalate the issue to the regional manager.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • Any idea how to get to the regional manager? I tried to call BMW customer service, who says BMW's factory rep still insists it is on the key and they don't use 45K, despite the manual, and the TSB on the subject?
  • try someone from the corporate office
  • You can buy a scanner and read the codes to see where the problem is.

    Most common reasons for a BMW is typically:
    1. Oxygen sensor failure
    2. Vacuum leak
  • dan12dan12 Posts: 114
    I'm hoping for some advice...

    I have a 2007 335i with 80K miles. It's had its share of problems over the years, but luckily most of them have been covered by the warranty. My extended warranty runs out at the end of the year and I'm seriously considering selling the car now. I still love how it drives and I would keep the car another 6 years but I am very concerned about repair costs. If I'm going to pay $$$ for maintaining it, I might as well use that money for a new car. Am I overly worried? Or should I sell it before it gets to 100K?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,800
    well, if you are that worried about it, I'm afraid it wouldn't be a very pleasant ownership experience. Every hiccup or noise is going to send you into a paranoid spiral.

    Additionally, if you have to rely on a BMW dealership for maintenance and repairs, then, yeah, I'd suggest moving on with another car.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    If the car has a problematic history, I'd punch out after warranty.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,232
    Can you go into a little detail about "share of problems?"

    Did your fuel pump fail & your engine went into "limp mode" while driving 90 mph in the left lane of a busy highway?

    Or are we talking defective power seats & faulty window regulators?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • dan12dan12 Posts: 114
    Close. The fuel pump failed at midnight in the middle of nowhere while driving home from a long trip. I was still about 6 hours away. Luckily I was able to limp home despite the "engine malfunction" lights in the dash. (I called BMW assist and they assured me it was ok to continue driving.)

    The engine also overheated and left me stranded while driving to work. I had to get the car towed to the dealership.

    The turbos had some other issues.. I'm no mechanic, so I can't really go into the details. But the mechanic at the dealership maxed out my extended warranty to fix whatever was wrong and then advised me to come back again so he could do more work. I did that and now the car runs ok, but it's kinda hard not be concerned.

    I do have a local mechanic who I can use and he is much, much cheaper than the dealer. He specializes in BMW's and he advised me to sell my car and not touch any turbo engines from BMW for a while.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,232
    I think you've got your answer my friend. Sell or trade now.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 2,007
    with a 2009 335i. Mine hasn't had very many problems (it was delivered with an oil leak, which the dealer fixed, and I have had some false alarms with the malfunction light) but it only has 25K miles on it. Any wise advice for me when I get closer to the end of the warrantee?

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,800
    Honestly, there isn't a whole lot to be worried about (that we know of yet). The fuel pump is covered for something like 100k miles now, I believe (maybe 120k? I forget). Same goes for the turbo wastegate problem (I'm not even sure either of these apply to your '09, though). That only leaves coils and vanos sensors as far as common failures go. Both of which are very easy to do yourself if so inclined.

    Anyhoo, as you start getting close to the end of your warranty, I'd be looking into getting the walnut blasting service of the valves done on BMW's dime. Not all service advisors will do this under warranty, but if you have a good relationship with yours, it is quite possible. The other is that the spark plugs are technically due just before 50k miles. Doesn't sound like you'll be coming near that in your 4-years free service, though.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 2,007
    Thanks for your response. The fuel pump has already been replaced under a recall, so I don't think it is an issue. The wastegate issue I will look into. I got the extended warrantee (I know it's not a good gamble but modern cars scare the hell out of me, what with the tendency for malfunctioning turn indicators to require replacing a $1000 module), so I have 7 years for spark plugs and such.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,800
    edited April 2013
    you got the extended warranty, but what about the maintenance plan? That's where the spark plugs would come from. They are a normal replacement item around 45k miles. But its not a big deal.

    With the extended warranty, at least the valve cleanings should be covered.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    One an buy a lot of spark plugs for the cost of the extended maintenance plan. IMO, unless you're into putting tons of miles on our car, the maintenance plan doesn't get you much.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,800
    Agreed. I wouldn't want to be forced to follow their maintenance schedule anyway.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • dan12dan12 Posts: 114
    I didn't get the maintenance plan on my 335i which would have basically amounted to me pre-paying all the maintenance. But I did get the extended warranty and I'm very glad I did. It definitely paid off in my case, although statistically speaking it's generally not worth it.
  • tlw6tlw6 Posts: 15
    We have a 2004 325i. The last time when I drove it, the engine stalled on the road. Towed it to a mechanic (not a bmw expert). He replaced the coils, but which didn’t do any good. Then towed it to a bmw mechanic, who showed me low engine compression -- readings of 40 and 50 on a couple of the cylinders. He told me later that a couple of the valves were not closing, so, the cylinder head has to be replaced as there is no point to repair in a piecemeal fashion. The cost would be about $2500. The addition repair needed include the timing chain guides.

    The car has only 125k miles. So it wasn’t driven harshly, but we did overlooked a couple of maintenance items, like spark plugs were not replaced until about 110k miles and the air filter was replaced late too.

    Any advice for me for the diagnosis of cylinder head replacement? Thanks in advance.
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    Was it running fine prior to stalling? What led guy #1 to think it was ignition? Not competent? If running good, what would all of a sudden cause the valves to not close? Was the oil level good? Lack of upper end lube could cause the valves to bind. In an interference engine, severe damage could occur if a timing belt were to break and the valves collided with a piston. Baaaaad news. Not consistent with ignition or coils. Opposite issue. I would want to know why he thinks the valves aren't closing. A compression test would show this. ALL cylinders? If just one or two, it could still run. I guess I would get another opinion and maybe look for a good shop that deals with foreign/European cars. There are good ones out there that won't rip you like a dealer. Ask around. For $2500, I would certainly get a couple more estimates. Hard to do when the car won't run, but describe the problem to them and see what you hear.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 122,747
    If I read it correctly, the 2nd guy they took it to, is a BMW mechanic..

    If he says it needs a new head, it probably does... (plus, he did a compression check)

    Now, do you want to pay $2500 to fix a $7K car? Seems like you almost have to...

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

    Edmunds Moderator

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,800
    I dunno. Are you sure you are relaying the info right? "Not closing" and "40 and 50" psi on a couple of cylinders are very very different. That would be NO compression vs LOW compression.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • tlw6tlw6 Posts: 15
    The first guy was incompetent. That was why I towed the car to the second shop, which deals with European cars. I am not very familiar with these issues, but saw him pulling a spark plug (closest to the radiator) out, hooked up his pressure gauge, showed me the readings of about 40 or 50, and said that the min. to get spark should be ~75. He did this for the next 2 cylinders, with similar readings. I assumed that he knew what he was doing and that must be the compression test. Is it?

    But I don’t know whether the first guy had anything to do with these “low pressure.” This first guy wasn’t able to start the car, I believe, during the stay of the car in his shop. He also changed the thermostat b/c it was one of the shown codes.

    Once in a while in its history, this car felt like the engine was slow and kind of struggling when first started. On average, it would also stall once every several months, but we could always restart it. But, for this last time, I just felt that the engine got slower and slower on the road and eventually stalled and would not start again.

    In terms of the oil level, the low oil warning light always came up when the car first started, even right after an oil change. But the light always went away after we drove for 100 ft or so. The first mechanic (who I use for other family cars, Japanese) said that it should be an oil sensor issue and don’t worry about it. So I took his word for it. But now I begin to wonder whether the oil pressure has been low now that you asked about it. We do change oil regularly.

    I just dug up my scribbly notes about what the second guy said after I left my car with him. He said that Valves #3 – #6 were not closing and the head gasket was blown. I will ask him what you asked “why he thinks the valves aren't closing” tomorrow. He also said to change the timing chain guides.

    Any further inside with these additional descriptions? Really appreciate your opinions.
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