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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The ECM will still keep a record of the code even if the light goes out.
  • kgakga Posts: 23
    >>> My Service Engine Soon light came on today (windows are fixed BTW).

    Wow! I have exactly the same problems. At first window regulator failed (rear/right door). But I fixed it myself. One week later “service engine soon” light came on and I noticed RPMs are a little bit high at idle: it’s around 800 RPMs (it used to be 600). The light disappeared after couple days.
    I spoke with service advisor at “BMW of San Diego” and he says there are several reasons which can cause that kind of problem:
    - coils;
    - O2 sensor;
    - some kind of electric glitch.

    I have appointment in two weeks.
    By the way, can someone recommend BMW dealership/good independent BMW mechanic in San Diego area? I’m not really happy with “BMW of San Diego”.
    Thank you.

    2002 BMW330, mileage: 61,000.
  • armandarmand Posts: 178
    You're right - you shouldn't have to wait two weeks with that kind of problem. My dealer will almost always take you if you have a real problem and just appear.
  • kgakga Posts: 23
    I don’t think it’s a real problem because it emission related.
    Actually there is another reason for two week appointment – I need a loan car.
  • "Is there any type of industrial super adhesive that can be used to reinstall the existing trim? Apparently this must be somewhat common, because the dealership immediately knew what the problem was."

    Gorilla Glue- Which foams and expands (not like a volcano though)

    Second choice- Liquid Nails
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    P0369 which indicates the camshaft position sensor. Do I need to worry about the camshaft itself or is it really just the sensor?

    If it is the sensor, where on the engine is it, can I reach it, and is it something easy to replace?

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,331
    My sensor went out the first day my wife drove our car to work.. (8000 miles).. I'm surprised your car didn't go into "limp mode" when it detected the fault..

    Mine was replaced under warranty.. But, I've heard it is a feasible DIY job.. Not sure what is involved, though..

    Not that I would ever attempt it... ;)



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  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    That's not an unheard of failure. I think your car has two sensors, one for each cam(you have a 2001, right?). IIRC one is easy to reach and the other is a bit of a pain. They are both located on the front of the engine near the cam cover.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Mine is a 2002 325xi. Didn't go into any kind of limp mode at all. Drove normally as far as I could tell.


  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,331
    Ours basically shut down... had to have it flat-bedded...

    No idea of the cost.. as it was under warranty..


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  • dmanshipdmanship Posts: 1
    2001 330Ci - What does the light in the middle of the dash with the ! inside a triangle with a counter clockwise arrow around it mean?

    When driving today that light came on and a bad, burning like smell was coming out of the AC. Turning the AC off made the smell go away. I have been having problems the last few weeks with the AC randomly going from low to full blast on it's own. Anyone familiar with this problem or what it could be?

  • kgakga Posts: 23
    This is traction / stability control indicator. The indicator should flash in case of wheel spin (“the system is actively regulating drive torque and braking force” – BMW manual). It stays on in case if:
    - you have pressed DSC button (it disables/enables stability control system);
    - there is system malfunction in the DSC system.

    Sorry for stupid question - did you press DSC button?
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    2001 330Ci - What does the light in the middle of the dash with the ! inside a triangle with a counter clockwise arrow around it mean?

    I've pressed the DSC button accidentally myself a couple of times, so that's probably why your light is on. And I doubt that it has anything to do with the A/C problems or smell -- probably just a coincidence. Unless, without the DSC active, you are burning up your tires by flooring it from a stop every time ;) .
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Your BMW has a code protected radio that "locks up" after power has been interrupted. The radio requires a numeric code which is entered through the preset buttons on the radio. You(or a dealer will have to pull the radio and get the serial number off of it. Once you have the SN the dealer can obtain the code for you. To pull the radio you have to open the little covers on each side of the faceplate. Behind the covers are two screws which need to be completely loosened. You can buy a special tool that fits the screw heads exactly or youu can try an allen wrench. If you go the allen route be very careful not to strip out the screw heads or you will really have a problem. You should then be able to pull the radio out far enough to read the SN. If you are really lucky the PO may have written the code on the radio, or left a copy in the owners or stereo manual.
  • brislance1brislance1 Posts: 87
    Does the E46 have the same radio lockup system as the 98 3 series? I have an 03 and can find no code for my radio if disconnected. I might be storing my car for several months and will probably be disconnecting the battery. Do you have any tips on storing a BMW. What about th trickle charger BMW sells? Is this safe to use for a long period of time?

    Thanks for your help.
  • jim63jim63 Posts: 1
    Thank you very much for your help. I was beginning to suspect something like the set-up you describe. I bought the car on e-bay. It came with an Owner's Manual but apparently, radio manuals are separate and I did not get it. I will be in a city with a BMW dealer next week so hopefully I can take care of it there. Thank you again for your prompt response.

    Jim Brown
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I'm not sure if the E46 radios are coded. I suspect not, but I'd check the manual to make sure.
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    I'd recommend 3M weatherstrip adhesive before using a product not designed for this purpose.
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    I know the '05's do not have to have a code punched in. Apparently the ignition key which is coded to the car also activates the radio.
    This came from the dealer service manager so take it with a grain of salt but I believe he is correct.
    If you are going to store your car, disconnect the battery. You should be fine for several months with the battery disconnected.

    Quiz for everyone: Who thinks leaving a battery sitting on concrete will cause it to discharge more quickly then if you set it on wood blocks?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,331
    I do.... I have no reason to believe that, except that is what I've always heard.. I always assumed it had more to do with temperature than the actual surface composition...


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  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 613
    One of my techs is working on a 2001 BMW 325i. The cooling system fan won't run. Do any of you have a technical bulletin I can read, or any repair information?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  • pvandykepvandyke Posts: 1
    Can anyone recommend a good one around the Worcester, MA area???
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    Man, I went fishing and only got one bite!
    Kyfdx, you win the prize for being brave enough to answer my trick question!

    You are correct about temperature making a difference but it's in the opposite direction. Cold temperatures actually make your battery last longer (ever put a D cell battery in the refrigerator to keep it charged?).

    Back in the 'olden days (way before I was born), batteries would discharge if left on concrete. Modern batteries no longer have "leaky" cases and will not discharge any faster on concrete than if left on wooden blocks.

    A common misperception that still exists.
  • That's what I thought too- I went through the process of 3M weather stripping, Liquid Nails, and then Gorilla Glue finally worked.
  • drsdcdrsdc Posts: 1
    My wife's 2000 323 bmw with 52064 miles has lost the reverse gear. I mean it will not back up. I hate this car. We're trying to unload it at a hugh loss, but thats unlikely. I haven't taken the 323 into bmw yet, but am very discouraged by the notes from others on this board that have the same problem. I also have a 528 from same year which has been great but it also had a transmission problem which was repaired under warrenty.
  • paulepaule Posts: 382
    I've never used Gorilla Glue but it does look like it would do the job.
    The 3M stuff can be tricky to use. You need to use the right amount to do the job.
    Probably the difference is the 3M stuff lets you take it back off if you need to.
    I'm not sure about the GG. If it works, what do you have to lose by using it?
  • Are you speaking of the engine cooling system or the climate control/ AC system??? If it's the electric fan in front of the radiator, it's probably just a fan relay which is relatively easy to replace. (chevy dealer should be able to do it) If it's the mechanical fan on the front of the engine then you need a new fan clutch. If it's the Climate control system you probably need a new climate control module which will likely have to be installed by a bmw dealer for around $500. Always be sure to check for blown fused before you do anything else. Some times that's all it takes.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735

    Where is a good, reliable source for the Bentley manual? I found one on Bimmerzone that lists is for 82.95 (for the 1999-2005 3 Series). Amazon doesn't have it yet.

  • Please file complaints on: and

    You will find more cases there. Also talk to BMW N.A. After some talks they will agree to share 50% of cost.

    It is important that you file complaints on those two websites. They work with the manufacturer if problem is wide spread. For that they need complaint reports from several people.

    All the best.
  • holeinoneholeinone Posts: 48
    hi, my brake service indicator light just lit up and I have about 32,000 miles on my 325xi. I have never had the brakes serviced before. My question is, do I have to replace the rotors as well (in additional to the pads of course)?? TIA!!
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