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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    It's kind of interesting to see how many BMW forum members also contribute to the Jeep forums.
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    okay, '01 330i with manual tranny and getting close to Inspection II (58K miles):

    - the manual says to not change the transmission or differential fluid ever;
    - independent mechanic says to change these at 60K with Inspection II
    - dealer's Insp II doesn't cover these items.

    What do other people recommend and/or have done?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Your mechanic is right on the money. I follow the same schedule on my 1995 Club Sport; in fact, that is the interval BMW recommended back then. Some people recommend 30K changes but I doubt that the more frequent changes provide a significant benefit.
  • amt7565amt7565 Posts: 165
    Anyone can advise on how to prevent water spot buildup? My apartment sprinkler system is ruining my car.

  • iz4detailiz4detail Posts: 9
    Hello everyone!! I bought my first Bimmer 3 months ago! It is a 2004 330Ci Orient Blue. Beautiful Car!!!. I have a question regarding the Oil dipstick in this car which I keep getting varying answers from different dealerships. Anyway the dipstick
    looks something like this 0----------[[[[[-----]]]]]]----]]]]]]}]> .The dipstick has 3 plastic segments with bare wire/metal in the middle. There are no indicators for high and low levels. Additionally, there are no etchings to indicate levels. This drives me crazy!!! Being somewhat "anal", I like knowing where the oil level is and keep it at a certain point. FYI, this car was built in 01/04....I guess last one before the 05 models came out. Oh, one additional item, this stick looks nothing like the one in my owner's manual. Anyway, I would appreciate any help and/or feedback regarding this issue. Thanks
  • gojuicegojuice Posts: 2
    I have a 1998 323 convertible with a manual top. The car has 56k miles with no significant problems. However, I have noticed that the deck lid that comes down on the folded convertible top has several spots where the simulated leather covering is separating from the substrate and forming bubbles about the size of a quarter. Has anyone had similar experiences with their convertibles. any advice on how to repair?
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381

    -- remove said sprinkler head, plug and replace hole with sod.

    Seriously though, A good wax/polish will help protect your paint, and make it easier to clean. But there is nothing i know of that would prevent hard water spot's on a Black car.

  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    Thanks... any preference for Redline vs. OEM fluids?

    I do find it odd that BMW does not recommend changing these (as it would be outside the free maintenance period).
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Well, as a practical matter you rarely see a BMW manual transmission or final drive fail unless it has been abused and/or run low on lubricant. I didn't change the final drive oil in my wife's E39 until it hit 99K and it is still quiet and problem free. I like to use the factory final drive oil on cars with limited slips. On an open diff I'd run any good synthetic-I prefer Mobil 1. As for the transmission, I like Mobil 1 ATF but the factory fluid or Redline D4 should work just as well.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I see your id, and I see myself. That used to be my userid when I worked at a previous employer.

    Go BMW and Jeep are both AWD/4WD AND the same color too! I need to get some pics of them side by side. Though I doubt the LCA's on the BMW will let it flex too much. :)

    The BMW gives me the nice ride and the luxurious feel. I love the Wrangler just as much, but for totally different reasons. It is simple and rough. Totally opposite from the BMW.

  • bmwmadbmwmad Posts: 1
    Just lost my reverse gear in my 2000 323ci steptronix transmission the dealer here in Irvine Ca, said it is goin gto cost me $5000
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I find it verrrrrrry interesting that a number of "my transmission lost reverse" posts have suddenly appeared-and virtually all of them have come from individuals have never posted on Edmunds before.
    I think not.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Not only that but Ive seen several early production E46's with well over 100k on the clock trouble free. Not to say that a few of the over 500k E46 sold have not developed some problems, but i share your suspicions.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    Yeah.. don't get me wrong.. I'm not surprised that some BMW automatics have problems.. But, these posts do seem sort of similar...


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  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Like you all, I'll be the first to admit that BMWs are not problem-free, but this latest "epidemic" of faulty automatics looks contrived. I've seen similar things happen on a couple of the Jeep boards.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    It seems that there is a spate of "First and only post" reports of transmission failures for various models from various marques all over the TownHall and elsewhere on the internet. I wonder of Edmunds is going to once again show the total number of posts a member has made when we look at their profile. I saw this feature for about five minutes last year and then it was gone. If we had it here, we would be able to better judge the veracity of certain claims made by posters.

    Best Regards,
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    I'm afraid seeing that statistic next to my name would make me ill....


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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152

    Member Name: kyfdx
    Member Since: 6-Oct-2002
    Number of Posts: 9,482 posts


    Best Regards,
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    That's it....

    I'm going home now.. Plus, if my boss sees that, I'm probably fired... ;)

    I've got tickets to the Reds game tonight, anyway..

    How did you find that?


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  • I have got it fixed for 50% off from dealer. I have also filed complaints in Please file complaint there.

    It will help every one.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Take it easy... Take a few deep breaths... It was just a joke, I'm figuring you probably only have half that many posts... Errr, no, that was a joke too. ;-)

    All seriousness aside, I have no idea how many posts you have here, or div2 or anybody else here in the TownHall (including myself) for that matter. I'm just wondering, it seems that the statistics are available. :confuse:

    Best Regards,
  • Dear Div2,

    How iranic it could be that 2000 323I for most people touching 50K now and failing.

    This is what I indicated ealier as well that it is a chronic problem. All posts would look same as problem is same ;)

    I hope you understand everyones frustration for buying an expensive car which gives up tranny at 50K.

    Searching google will give more insight into that even in Canada some have got this issue.

    Sooner or later it is going to hurt BMW.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    You did a nice job formatting it.. You had me sold..

    You had me doing the math... 28 months, 350 posts per month... seemed about right.. lol.

    I'm pretty sure they do have that info.. I bet one of the Hosts could tell us.



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  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,094
    Shipo was off by 2K. Make that 32 months x 242 and you'll be close.

    And now I'll slide in a request that you stay on topic. ;)

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    Thanks.. I feel a lot better now... lol.

    Getting back on the BMW topic...

    I wonder how many of those posts are in forums linked to BMWs? ;)


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  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Oh, don't worry-you've got me convinced- it's just "iranic" that I never noticed it before.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    It seems that every person who has reported one of the mythological "reverse gear gone" incidents in this forum are people who have just registered at Edmunds-and their complaint is the very first post that they make. For example, you haven't even been a member for two weeks. In contrast, most of the "regulars" have been here for six months to five years. Consequently, I think you will find that it takes a while to build up significant credibility in this forum. Iranic sadly, but true...
  • armandarmand Posts: 178
    I would like a XM radio in my '05 325XiT but it came only with Sirius which I didn't get. And I don't want one of those XM Radios that you stick on the dash and run wires to the lighter and to a dash mounted antenna.

    I just found out the XM now has something called a "Universal Tuner for Satellite-Ready Car Stereos" that requires dealer install and works with the existing radio. And they make one for BMW's!

    Has anyone looked into this or bought one and what is your experience with it?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363's "iranic" that "breaks" don't fail more often, don't you think?

    Wish I had a buck for every misspelling of those things that retard the car from speed on the umpty-ump number of boards I follow on Edmunds. I could afford a new E90 and have some change. Do brakes break? Now and then...
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Two more of my faves:
    "front bumber"
    "gas peddle"
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