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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • manngcmanngc Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 330Ci and a year after I had purchased the car I noted a relatively loud noise coming from the rear of the car. The car had to be going above 80 and the accelerator has to be only slightly depressed (otherwise it doesn't happen). I took it to the dealer 2 times, and they had my car for almost 2 weeks until they returned it the second time (having changed the differential). I thought that I had fixed it, but no, it was still there. I also noticed the noise (although significantly more faint) at 40mph. I basically just gave up on it since it was either very faint or too fast to fix.
  • For message number 963 - rear end noise at high speed - don't give up on getting satisfaction, especially if you own the car. If you're leasing the car and plan on turning it over I'd agree with your approach. If you decide to further pursue this issue, try contacting BMW USA and expressing your concerns directly to them. They have a broader perspective on technical issues because they get to see all of the tough cases in North America from dissatisfied BMW drivers. They also have direct contact with the engineering support staff to help research the issue. Good luck and I hope you get satisfaction.
  • jwbcoxjwbcox Posts: 1
    Glad to hear your good luck with the marque- you have had more of them than I with one . My one has been a nightmare/ A 2000 with 12 trips to service in 3 yrs and 3 mos and not for oil chmges - if you want to be depressed, mail me back and I'll fill you in Jim
  • This is driving me crazy and no one replied to my last post. Please, if you own a 2004 or 03 325xi with auto trans, tell me if your car makes a high pitched whine while in idle. My 323i purred like a cat when in idle, my new 325xi makes a high pitched noise from the engine when at idle, i can hear it in my house while it's warming up in the driveway. I took it to the dealer and they said it's normail. Today at the street corner a 325xi pulled up next to me and it was just as quiet as my old 323i!!!! Please, let me know if your 325xi is quiet or makes that noise!! What should I do!!!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I might suggest that you post this question over in the 3-Series area as you are not getting any traction here.

    FWIW, the noise does not sound normal, however, I haven't owned a 325xi, just a 328i and a 530i. To help your dealer, I might also suggest that you try to isolate the sound.

    Is it coming from the front (engine and accessories) or the rear (electric fuel pump) of the car?
    Is it coming from the transmission (do you have a manual or an automatic)?
    Is the sound louder above or below the car?
    Is the sound louder of the hood is opened?
    Is it coming from the actual engine?
    Is it coming from the accessory area (ie. power steering pump, A/C compressor...)?

    Good Luck.

    Best Regards,
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    Sorry to hear you have had lots of problems with your '00 BMW. Of course my experience with the BMW is on very limited bases (four over 12 years), so it is not representative of others' experience necessarily.
    Since BMW tends to retain good resale value, you may want to trade it in while it is still "young".
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Oops, I just read the 3-Series messages and saw that you actually posted there before here. Good call. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • haldolhaldol Posts: 1
    I also have a 2004 BMW 325i. Every morning the transmission will not engage when I put it in drive. Topdownbadboy posted in 957 that you had a copy of the bulletin about replacing the transmission. Where can I get a copy?
  • For haldol, I obtained a copy of the bulletin from my service manager at BMW. Perhaps he shouldn't have given it to me, but he had two printed copies and I simply asked him for one. By the way, my 330cic was in for service with only 600mi on the clock and it took service two days to figure out all of the issues and locate this bulletin. Also, they first could not recreate the problem with the cold Steptronic and they brushed off my inquiry. Then after a cold overnight (they had the car for two full days) they experienced the problem and then decided to look into it further! Good luck.
  • loubctloubct Posts: 39
    Topdown. When was your 330CIC built. There is a TSB on March-July 03 builds. Some software issues with the climate control. If you change settings on the unit and let the car sit for a few days, it will drain the battery completely. If its going to be in the shop, you may want them to reprogram your car.
  • My cic has sat for a four or five days at a time without issue. However, I will check it out. Thank you.
  • 330iii330iii Posts: 71
    Can anyone recommend a dealer in the NYC/NJ metro area that will provide a service loaner even if you did not purchase from them? Thanks!
  • None in NY metro area that I know of, plenty in New Jersey. Prestige BMW in NJ has excellent service from first hand experience. I am taking my car to Park Ave. BMW next week which is closer to the NY metro area and also offers loaners.
  • 330iii330iii Posts: 71
    So Park Ave BMW will give me a service loaner even if i bought the car from Bayside BMW in Queens?
    Did you purchase your BMW at Park Ave? If you don't mind me asking!
  • Just bought 330i; I noticed that its engine runs quite hot; I can feel the heat over the hood after engine stops. My Japanese car, I can hear the engine fan starts running after engine stops to cool off. Is this normal in BMW cars? Should I have it check out? No alarm signal anyway...

  • ted49ted49 Posts: 6
    BMW is aware of the problem of forward gear not engaging when the car is cold. I have a 2003 330xi with that problem and BMW is going to replace the 'forward-gear drum'. They said the problem is a fluid leak caused by the cold. They do not need to replace the entire transmission.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    If the temperature gauge reads mid point, you should be fine. If it is higher, or if it warns of overheating, contact your service department immediately. If your car is brand new, you may notice some unusual smell (or heat) in the first few miles of driving.
  • This is following my message #958. The mechanic at the local garage changed the Idle Control Valve (costed me GBP113 from the BMW Spares Store). Even after changing the part, there was no improvement.

    I then took the car to a BMW dealership thinking that local garages might not be able to find out the cause of the problem. The dealership kept my car for more than two days. They also suspected the idle valve because the computer was logging that as the problem unit. When I told them that it already has a new valve, they pulled out one from a 'good' car, put that on my car and tested. Still the same problem.

    They checked loads of other things that can go wrong. Finally said it looks like the control unit is faulty. Will need replacing and is coded for the VIN, so has to come from BMW directly. Will cost me GBP600. Now that is a lot of money. Anyway, I took the car from them 'coz they said if I disconnect the wire from the Idle Valve, it runs fine. So I did. But then later on, I reconnected the wire on it. And the car has been running fine after that... for about 100 miles.

    Then the problem happened again - Just once. Hasn't happened since, I've driven about 20 miles after that. (I drive short distances to work).

    I am very confused. Don't even know if the dealership is right in saying that the control unit is faulty, 'coz it runs fine most of the time. But obviously there's a problem. It's specially risky driving in slow traffic when suddenly there's more gas burning and the car jumps ahead. Thinking of contacting BMW directly now. Has anyone had similar problem before and what fix was made? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Our 2004 "whistling" 325xi has this problem also. 4 out of 5 mornings when I back the car out of the garage and onto driveway, when I put the car in drive, there is no response to my pressing the gas. This happens for about 2 to 3 seconds. Our driveway is on a downslope and it's scary because the car keeps rolling backwards until it engages. I am so frustrated with this car, there is a clunking sound comimg from the rear passenger side strut everytime we make a right turn or hit a bump, the car "whistles" so loud it's embarrasing and the transmission slips. I really feel cheated by bmw. I have sent 4 emails via my account in bmw's owner circle bmwna, and no response yet. My dealer calls the "whistling" normal, see for yourself and tell me what you think, i posted a mpeg of it in action, here is the link:
    It's a tripod account, so sometimes it runs over it's limit, but it restores within the hour. We would appreciate anyone's help on this situation!!!! Ahhhhhh!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    1) It ain't normal.
    2) It sounds like one of the devices driven by the belt (A/C compressor, hydraulic pump, radiator fan, one of the three idler/tension wheels or the alternator*)
    3) Your service adviser is deaf

    * Alternator!?! I just checked my 530i and found that it had a belt driven alternator! What’s so strange about that? Well, I thought I read back in 1998 that BMW had combined the starter and the alternator into a single unit and mounted it near the flywheel. So, why does my 530i have a belt driven alternator? I cannot remember if my 1999 328i had one or not. Could one of you kind souls check your E46 3-Series and see if you have one as well.

    Best Regards,


    After thinking about it for a moment, it occurs to me that both the alternator and the hydraulic pump are on the left side of the engine where it seemed your noise was concentrated. I would suspect either of those two first.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Seems like mine has a belt driven alternator.
  • Loubct,

    I have a 7/03 build 330Ci (purchased 10/03) that just sat for 4 days and now has a dead battery. Do you have the TSB # for the software changes to the climate control? Thanks.
  • loubctloubct Posts: 39

    I am at work now and do not have access to this info. I will send message later in the day from home with the TSB info. Sure sounds like the same problem.
  • Loubct,

    Thank you very much. At least I can go to the dealer with the TSB number and tell them to get this fixed. Thanks again.
  • loubctloubct Posts: 39
    Sorry for the delay. The link is below. I heard that BMW is supposed to start notifying owners. 6
  • The computer module that controls these two just went out on our 2003 325i at 3500 miles. After checking the car,the dealer said the standard braking system will work until the replacement part comes in. Has anyone else run into this problem? And, are we safe in continuing to drive this car while waiting for the part?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,331
    I haven't had this problem, but what the dealer says is consistent with what I have always heard. Failure of the ABS system will not affect the ability of your brakes to function normally.



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  • In August, my 2003 325XI AUTO Tranny dashboard light went on. Open Road BMW and BMW NA said it needed to be replaced even though it only had 3000 miles on it. I was informed that the dealer would replace it with a used rebuilt tranny. I thought this was unacceptable for such a new car, especially a BMW.

    I complained to the dealer manager and up the ladder at BMW NA. The dealer said that their hands are tied because they must follow BMW NA's directives. BMW NA said the problem was not out of the ordinary for a new BMW with 3000 miles and therefore follow standard procedure of installing used parts at Open Road BMW in Edison NJ.

    I found it hard to believe this problem is common amoung BMWs with 3000 miles. But after reading some the messages it seems to be a trend.

    I wonder if owners are aware that BMW only replaces transmissions with USED parts and no compensation for lower residual value.
  • jasondjasond Posts: 28
    Like others in this forum, my 2003 BMW 330 xi has a transmission that will not engage when I put it in drive each morning. I was beginning to learn to live with it since the delay in engagement was about 2-3 seconds. My car was recalled to have the climate control module recoded since it could drain the battery by not turning off. I took this opportunity to leave the vehicle overnight at the dealership for them to see whether they could confirm the transmission slip. They confirmed the problem and have ordered a new transmission for me. I am concerned about having a major job of this type performed on a new vehicle. Should I learn to live with the transmission slip instead of having the transmission replaced? If I do have the transmission replaced how will this likely affect the general performance and value of the car in the future? The BMW dealership is relatively small and has performed about 3-4 transmission replacements on these vehicles. One assumes that the car is manufactured in Germany by much more experienced technicians. I'd appreciate opinions about this matter. Thanks, Jason
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