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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • 3iowner3iowner Posts: 1
    I have the same "reverse gear" problem this morning, 323i 2000. Can someone give me some pointers? I talked to bmw customer service and they asked me to go the dealer for trouble-shooting.
  • mloseymlosey Posts: 5
    About 6mo. after I bought my new 330Ci, I noticed that the bottom front & back corners on both the driver & passenger door windows leaked water when I was driving in the rain with the sunroof vented/cracked. I have taken it to the dealership 4 times for it to get fixed. They have managed to fix one of the leaks but are now essentially telling me that there is nothing they can do & I need to change my driving style. I told them that I drove my previous Hyundai ($10K) and Mitsubishi ($25K) cars the exact same way & the windows did not leak. They are telling me that I am creating a vacuum when I crack the sunroof and the vacuum is pulling the water in. I can't understand why BMW can't seen to figure out how to fix this design flaw when other manufacturers have obviously figured it out. Has anyone else had similar problems? Does anyone else have the same model car and drive the same way with no window leaks?
  • mloseymlosey Posts: 5
    I have a 2004 330Ci. I have seen a similar leak on my car. I have also been having problems with my driver & passenger door windows leaking when I drive in the rain with the sunroof cracked/vented. I thought the foot well leak was associated with these other leaks. I have had my car in the shop 4 times now trying to get them to fix the leaks. They have only been able to tell me that it is the way the car is designed and I will have to drive with the sunroof completely closed. I have tried to tell them I have owned previous, non-BMW cars the exact same way and have had no problems with leaks. I have now entered a complaint with the Better Business Bureau in an attempt to get some better response.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    A couple of things occur to me:

    1) Given that all of the four cylinder BMWs that I've rented in Europe have had smaller brakes than even the smallest that we can get here in North America, I suspect that the unsprung and rotational mass of 18" wheels is well beyond the design spec for a 316. As such, I'm guessing that you "Hot Spotted" (or "Hard Spotted" depending upon where you live) your rotors. Assuming that is the case, you will need to buy new rotors to temporarily eliminate the pulsing. I say temporarily because if you leave the 18s on your car, you will most likely need yet another brake job a year or two down the road.

    2) I'm guessing (although I don't have any experience with an E46 316) that the 316 has a lighter weight suspension than say an M3 or a 330i SP, and as such, the extra mass in the wheels is what caused you to need to replace your suspension and steering components. Having said that, I don't think those work components had much (if anything) to do with your pulsing/shaking problem.

    Best Regards,
  • Does anyone know how to remove minor scratches on the wheel? I have the M-Double spoke rims and lightly scratched the rear one parking the car. The scratch is about 2" long.
  • My gas gauge is faulty, only registers half full after fill up. Dealer service advised me that it is probably the sending unit that needs to be replaced. I have made an appointment, but failed to ask if the gas tank has to be dropped to get at the unit. Has anyone else had this problem? The service advisor acted like this was a common problem for the E46. My car is an 03 330i.
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    The Better Business Bureau?? I'm not belittling the problems you've had with your car, and agree that this probably should not happen, but if it is a basic design problem then there is really not much that your dealer can do with it. If you want to complain, you'll have to look up someone in the engineering department in Munich ;) .
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    I'm pretty sure they will have to drop the tank.
    Nowadays the fuel pump is part of what is referred to as a Fuel Delivery Module (FDM) [insert your own words for the letters here] which also includes the float and sending unit.
    I wouldn't be all that worried about them having to drop the tank. It shouldn't be a big deal for a dealership.
    I'm not convinced it's the sending unit however. It could be multiple things that could cause an error in the reading. I'm curious as to what they eventually find out on it.
    Please keep us posted.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    On the E30 and E36 the gas tank is directly under the rear seat bottom cushion. Dropping the tanks on these platforms is unnecessary-just pull the seat cushion out and have at it. That's what a friend of mine and I did when the fuel pump went south on his 325is the night before the TSD Rally at 'Ofest 1999-after an extended Happy Hour no less :surprise:) .
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    I stand corrected. Thanks div2. Sorry for the incorrect information.
  • Thanks for the info on the gas tank. I hope the problem is the sending unit and not the gauge itself. I would imagine a partial dash removal if thats the problem. The gauge registers one half full when the tank is full, but seems to go down correctly as I use fuel. We shall see Monday. Thanks again.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I would assume that the E46 tank is under the rear seat, but given Munich's recent penchant to fix things that aren't broken I wouldn't bet the farm on it...
  • shipo
    Thanks for the advice
  • amzamz Posts: 8
    Sorry to hear it. But welcome to the club, you are going to be the 7th person on this forum with transmission problem (rear gear doesn't work). All people own 2000 3 series. My suggestion is talk to the dealer. If they tell you that you need transmission replacement, then ask dealer to contact BMW and see if you can get discount on repair. I got almost 50% from original price. Let me know what happens. Good luck.
  • 330blast330blast Posts: 49
    I have a 2001 330i with 68K miles on it. There are two major safety issues:

    1. Starting early Feb. this year, my winshield wiper has stopped working for three times during the rain. Each time, the wiper worked fine when I turned it on, but after a while, it suddenly stopped working and totally lost all wiper actions regardless which position I put the lever at. One dealer where I did a major service ran a thorough diagnose, but could not find any problem. Other dealers told me that if I can not reproduce the problem, they can not fix it. But I don't know when it will happen. In the last several weeks, every time I tested the wiper, it worked fine.

    2. My engine stopped at low speed. This is also an intermittent problem. It happened 3-4 times in the last 6 months. Each time, I was driving on a local road (not certain if I applied brake or not), all of a sudden, all lights came up and the car was dead. I had to restart the engine. I always warmed up my car and the weather in California is no where close to cold.

    I love the car very much. However, these safety problems make me start to think of replacing it with a Japanese car (Acura TL or Infinity G35), which usually is more reliable, especially with electical parts.

    Any help is very much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
  • nmrtnmrt Posts: 56
    i just bought a new 2005 325i yesterday. i have noticed that even after leaving the car overnight (around 50F outside temperature), and while turning the car on in the morning the engine coolant gusage has not gone all the way to the coldest. it is in the higher part of the blue shaded portion of the guage. is this normal? while driving though, it stays in the middle so i guess it is not oveheating. the car has 100 miles on it. is this a normal occurence during break in or is this a normal property of synthetic oil? should i be worried? my jetta vr6 coolant temp woudl go way fast to 0 when i left it out even for 3 hrs. please advise.
  • jevansjevans Posts: 2
    I have a 1995 325i and when my airconditioning is turned on, my engine idles erratically. When I am driving the car it is not that noticeable but when I come to a stop, the car surges forward like it is going to "take-off". This problem only happens when the airconditioner is on position. I have had 2 BMW (Certified) Repair shops try to correct the problem. One of them took the Idle Valve Control off and replaced it with a new one and it made it worse so they put the old one back on. At this point, both repair shops are at a loss as to what the problem is or how to repair it.....has anyone had this problem or know of something I might be able to do to correct it? Thanks
  • jevansjevans Posts: 2
    Did you ever figure out what the problem was? I am having a similar problem with my car surging when I come to a stop and the engine idle being erratic when the air conditioning is in the "on" position. The mechanic changed out my idle valve to a new one and it didn't help the problem. They are at a loss? Let me know if you ever got a resolution to your problem and what it is was. Thanks.
  • jasondjasond Posts: 28
    My wife has got a 2003 330 xi. She only uses it for shopping and taking the kids to school so she's chalked up only 6,000 miles after 2 years. The dealership told her that all that was needed was for them to change the oil and oil filter. They say that nothing else is needed. However, with previous vehicles (such as a Lexus ES300 also at low mileage) after two years a fairly extensive service was required according to the manual. Are there any other items that my wife needs to get checked at 2 years and 6,000 miles? If necessary, we'll pay for the extra items just to keep the vehicle running well. I'd appreciate the advice from the BMW experts at this site. Thanks, Jason
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The only other items that I can think of off of my head are complete flushes of your cooling and braking systems, and your dealership is responsible to provide those to you as part of the maintenance program as well.

    Best Regards,
  • jamesspotjamesspot Posts: 57
    Newer E46 vehicles use BMW "lifetime" coolant. While I don't expect it to last 20 years, changing it at the end of the 4 year free maintenance cycle (which doesn't include coolant changes) should be fine.
    The car definitely gets a brake system fluid change at 2 years from production date along with the annual oil change. I would get new wipers, too, as two years in the sun will wear on the rubber inserts.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My Bad! My very early E46 required the 2-Year coolant flush, I didn't realize that that had been changed. Thanks for the "Heads-Up". ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    not sure about #1, but #2 could be due to bad coils...? perhaps an independent mechanic can check it out for you.
  • Hi - could anyone tell me which are the best years from the 90's for a bmw 325 i series? I am planning on using the car for regular driving, as well as learning to race a bit, and I am wondering which are the best years for racing/reliability.
    any info would be really appreciated
  • mloseymlosey Posts: 5
    Do you have any suggestions on how I can find someone to complain to in the engineering department in Munich? The dealer had the field engineer from BMW North America come look at the car last week, and he essentially said that there was nothing that could be done. He was not going to press the issue any farther, and I couldn't get a name from him so that I could go any further with the issue.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I'd look at a 1993-1995 sedan. You'll want to reinforce the anti-roll bar mounts and rear subframe mounts if you plan to do a lot of track events.
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    Why not just drive it with the sunroof closed? (written by an engineer who gets to answer complaints like this).

    Seriously though, if you're only getting water in the footwells with the sunroof cracked while it's raining, it seems like there is a pretty easy fix to this.

    It would be impossible (not to mention pointless since the E90 is now out) to redesign the car because you have the sunroof open while it's raining.
  • I'm no expert, but my '05 330i coolant temp shows the same thing, top of the blue, when started up after over-nighting in mild temps. Far as I can tell, it's fine.
  • My wife drives a 2001 325i. We have never had good radio reception on the AM side. The dealer ship said it was a faulty antenna and replaced the rear window. Seemed to be better for awhile but it has gotten worse and we can barely use the AM side of the radio because of the static. Anyone else had this problem?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    While it was never really an issue for me because I usually listened to FM, my 1999 328i had fairly poor AM reception as well. I heard somewhere that there was some kind of a resistor that BMW had developed that was supposed to take care of this problem. I think that my dealership might have put it on, and I even sort of remember my AM reception improving, but once again, I never really paid too much attention to the AM side of the dial.

    Best Regards,
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