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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I sort of agree, price and service sell the car. Except 1) I'll never find any other vehicle that been as reliable as mine: 5 times in 3 years for service. 2) If my next move isn't German, maybe Mercedes, it's going to be one of the new breed of American muscle cars with a large displacement engine. I want a car, that when I step on the gas it moves with no uncertainty, and the engine doesn't need a turbo and rev to 9000.
  • My question too,about brake service to a 328i, 1997. Had pads and rotors replaced and the sensor light won't go out. Does it needto be reset by the dealer. Also my airbag light won't go off? I can't remember the web site for recalls, which I read something about them(the airbags) were recalled for some reason. Can some one out there help me?
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Silly question perhaps, but did you get the brake wear sensor replaced too?
  • You're right, it's not as fun. But I can't put a price not having to deal with BMW service. However, the Legacy GT has quite a bit more power than the 330 and is much faster too. Even if it needs a turbo, 250hp and 250 lbft torque is 250. Still up 15hp on the 330 w/PP for 1/2 the price and it's a lighter car. And for anyone wondering, you don't have to rev it to 9000, only about 3600 for max torque with the turbo. I would say the Legacy has an equivalent, if not a faster throttle response than the 330. Not quite as refined and doesn't have all of the little niceties, but for minimum 20K less, I'll live with it.
  • Honda's S2000 is 9K rev and it's awful. I've driven it. It's tiring. However, max torque for Subie is 3600 rpm. I believe BMW is at least 4K on the revs. Plus Subie is 250hp & lb ft, BMW is 225 and 215. 250 is 250 no matter the country of origin. Or for $4K more than the $42K you're already spending, you can get an additional 10hp on BMW. Whoopeee. I think a hp per dollar cost analysis is clear. Yea, less panache with Subie, but I can get a new Subie every 5 years for 10 years...or 1 BMW.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    kewl - enjoy your Subie, I'm sure it'll be a great car for you.
  • Wow, where's your dealer I'll go there. Mine makes you wait two months for a loaner even if your BMW is dead on the side of the road.
  • Momentum BMW in Houston. Why am I not suprised about 2 months? It seems to me the BMW dealers have more cars to service than their ability to handle. What does that tell you?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    It doesn't tell me anything except that BMWs are immensely popular and at some point, some cars will need regular maintenance.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,880
    I have no doubt that your dealer is terrible... but, if Honda offered service loaners, the wait would be the same... Only, if you buy a Honda, you don't expect a loaner.. You get a ride, or wait.. Actually, my Honda dealer has a shuttle service.. but only one way.. when my car is ready, I have to get a ride back..

    My BMW dealer uses only BMWs as service loaners.. I think they have about 20-25 of them.. I won't be surprised when I can't get one, just unhappy about it.


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  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    You should have been focusing your energy on complaining to BMW not looking for validation around here, especially if you are already out of the bimmer. I have both a BMW and Subie and can tell you that my service experience with BMW is impeccable and it’s the pits with Subaru. Heck, it’s literally Ford service. But I’ve gone through Subaru corporate offices and have gotten results. It works with most companies. Sounds like you had a horrible dealer. When you complain to corporate, the dealer tends to shape up at least on your case. The key is to know how to be a gadfly and work your contacts up the corporate chain right to the people who have influence, not the minimum-wage employees who answer the phones. The world is the world, cars are cars, and we are all vulnerable.
  • kdogkdog Posts: 23
    After talking to a BMW service advisor about my 2004 330i's light having condensation inside the headlight covers, he said that it's normal and as long there is no puddle of water then it's ok. BTW, it's a xenon. Comments from anyone who also experienced this? Thanks.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    There was some condensation inside the covers of my early production 1999 328i (built in early December of 1998) when it was delivered to me. After a couple of drives with the headlights on (Xenon's), the condensation vanished and it never returned while I owned the car (traded for a 2002 530i in April of 2002).

    I don't know if any of this helps, please keep us posted.

    Best Regards,
  • True, when I had my Honda my loaner was big and white and required $2.00 in exact change.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,880
    Boy, do I have a good comeback for this one..

    Anyway, hope everyone is having a good weekend.


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  • webby1webby1 Posts: 209
    kyfdx....I have a 2004 330i...12,000 Km and so far perfect.....except for in the morning when going in reverse from the garage...(going from Reverse to Drive) it feels like the brakes are on trying to go forward...when I rev it up ( in D ) it moves slowly forward and after that it is perfectly normal.
    I am taking it to the dealer on Tuesday to check it out.
    Any idea what it may be....I hope it not the tranny?!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,880
    Is it a delay before dropping into D, when the engine is cold? I believe there is some kind of software update for that.. That is a common problem, and I think an easy fix.

    Don't worry too much.. Even if it turns out to be a tranny swap.. That is really a routine repair, that is much better than having some guy at the dealership tearing yours down...



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  • webby1webby1 Posts: 209
    "Is it a delay before dropping into D, when the engine is cold?"

    Thanks for the response.
    When I drop it from R to N and D it feels like the brakes are locked...and then after applying more gas to accelerate it pulls away slowly...and yes it is getting worse with cold weather but it is still fairly warm comparing what is coming here in Ontario. Other then that the tranny has been fantastic..can not feel the gears unless of course you go into the manual mode.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,880
    I didn't mean necessarily when the outside temperature was cold, just the engine temperature (as in: when it has been sitting overnight)... It feels like the brake is on, because the transmission isn't dropping into gear.. I doubt it has anything to do with the brakes...

    As I said, a fairly frequent problem with '03 and '04 3-series, at least from what I have heard.

    Your dealer should have a software update for it.. Just tell them it delays going into drive two or three seconds when the engine is cold, and that you feel unsafe backing out on to your street... They should take care of it right away.



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  • webby1webby1 Posts: 209
    I tried last night without the hand brake on and same thing it had the I went into manual mode ( in first gear ) and no problem, no delay. I think you are correct kyfdx....sounds like software issue.
  • My BMW is a 325i(E46), recently I always heard sounds like "" from the rear wheels when someone getting in or out the car in parking mode.
    I tried to fix the problem by sending the car to BMW's official service center. The technician said it's the normal sounds that if the hand brake applied.
    I just wonder have anyone got the same problem and why I never heard the same sound from other brand of cars?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Relax; it's a common characteristic of BMW cars.
  • Hello Mr. B

    Did you meant the sounds of my BMW is normal?Please advise....Thanks!

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Yes, the noise is normal-just the nature of the beast.
  • I have a two month old 330xi with sport seats and a 6-speed. Inspite of all the available seat adjustments, I'm having a hard time finding a comfortable driving position (I'm 5'8" and 140lbs, so it's not that I don't fit well in the car). One part is that the seat feels like it is turned slightly to the left, while the seat cushion seems to tilt back and to the center of the car. I've also noticed that the angle of the seat cushion can't be lowered as much as the passenger seat, which would help somewhat with at least one portion of this strange feeling. It's especially noticeable in that the passenger seat is completely absent of this problem...I can very easily adjust the passenger seat to a comfortable height/angle/distance. At first I thought maybe the seat cushion just needed to be broke-in, or I just wasn't used to the car yet...but it's been two months now and 2,000 miles and it doesn't seem to be improving significantly. Also, the gas pedal seems positioned much closer to the driver (than the dead-pedal, and also in relation to keeping a comfortable distance from the gas pedal while still being able to depress the clutch all the way to the floor...most noticeable when trying to cruise at a constant speed on the highway), and at a much steeper angle than other cars I've driven, including my Boxster, which has the same accordian-style gas pedal, but an almost ideal driving position for angle and distance with the pedals. A friend of mine says there are aftermarket kits available that can at least reduce the angle of the gas pedal. Is that something the dealership can do, or even endorses as a modification, or is it purely an aftermarket thing and something I'll have to do on my own, at the risk of violating my warranty or lease restrictions? These are both things I did not notice in the car I test drove (I ordered this one from the factory), which also had sport seats and a 6-speed manual. I've even asked several friends to drive the car and they all agree with my observations. Has anyone else experienced/noticed a problem like this? I'm very frustrated that a car I bought primarily for the pleasure of driving, and is billed as the ultimate driving machine, has become so unpleasant to drive because the driving position is less than ideal. Thank you for your insight and help on this.

  • rdr1rdr1 Posts: 4
    picked up my baby a week and a half ago ... 325i, silver gray, blk ltte, sp, pp, xenon, AUTO ... Love it! So I'm real careful about not reving past 4K and vary my speed on the hwy to break it in but i noticed something today ...

    When I was trying to switch lanes, I accelarated and instead of the rpms going up, they started to drop off to 2.5K and then jumped to 4.5K. There seems to be a resistance now around 3K when I know I didn't notice that before.

    It just doesn't seem right ... I expect the car to accelarate when I give it gas - in this case, the speedometer starts increasing, the pedal feels heavy, the RPMs start dropping and then boom - they shoot up to 4500 and then the speed picks up.

    I should mention that this happens only when the car is in 4th and on the move. Off a stop, its great.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks ...
  • lojaklojak Posts: 7
    Your auto transmission is adaptive, meaning it learns the shift points as you drive it more to try and match your driving style. This is all computer driven. Just like any computer program, however, they can malfunction or simply calculate your "personal" shift points incorrectly. You can drive it some more and hope that it picks up your more "usual" shift points, or take it to the dealer and have them reset it. Also, have them run a check on any software updates that might be available. The new 5 series were notorious for their "immature" software builds, especially with the auto tranny.
  • A very similar feeling occurs in my 2001 530 auto. It started around 20,000 miles and is steadily getting worse (now at 65,000)and in 2,3 and 4 gear. The dealer has done the new software route a couple of times which usually helps for a while, BMWNA says it is "normal" and the folks at Roundel say it is the nature of the automatic beast to think for itself. I have given up trying to get it fixed and learned to live with it - mostly by keeping the RPMs above 3000 which is easy to do with the steptronic transmission and not without some inherent joy. If you find a different solution please post it.
  • I read some posts that it is kind of "normal" that a bimmer will lose some Engine oil every 4-5K miles, thus require adding a quarter motor oil. However, my own experience is much worse than that. In the last 6 months, the engine oil light came up three times, which means almost every two months, I had to add a quarter of motor oil. I mainly use the 2001 330i for daily commute and drive no more than 1200 miles/month. No heavy traffic and no hard driving (even though the baby is built for that). BTW, if it matters, I do take the car to a back road with nice curves from time to time (every 2-4 weeks) and the engine oil warning light almost always came up after one of these enjoyable mountain road curving.
    Do you folks consider this normal? Other than the mysterious loss of engine oil, the car drives like a charm and I don't see any other problems.

  • I am waiting for my beamer to be born in about 4 more weeks. I can't wait. does anyone have a 2005 330 convertible? What do you think?? Anyone with the steel blue color? i also purchased a hard top. Any comments appreciated
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