BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • andynn002andynn002 Member Posts: 17
    Hi All,

    Recently i notice a tick tick noise from the rear of my car when i start the engine. Also after i stop the car and come out i hear this noise for sometime.
    Is it normal or needs checking?
    Im still under the maintenance package so will they be checking and replacing anything required under the package??
    Thanks for your help...
  • rob140rob140 Member Posts: 13
    sounds like a universal joint in the drive shaft

  • fomentarfomentar Member Posts: 49
    I am at 163K miles on my '03 330xi. I have replaced rear shocks at 155K, front and rear brakes at 92K and 115K, respectively...all factory recommended maintenance performed on schedule. The car is well maintained and doesn't look it's 'age', though I've been somewhat disappointed with sunroof failure and other such expensive repairs. I'm sure I'm due for brakes relatively soon and I recently read a post about the potential for 'catastrophic' failures above 175K. I am contemplating options, including driving the car another year, which would put me close to 200K miles...other consideration is replace with CPO vehicle...
    Am I about to be deluged by a tsunami of repairs by virtue of 'things need to be replaced'? Looking for some sage advice...thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well statistically your car at 163K is reaching the end of the normal predicted lifespan of a modern car. (175K--225K) As with life itself, some people beat the odds and some don't.

    If you are asking, will repairs increase as mileage increases, in ever increasing proportion to value of the car, the answer is certainly "yes".

    On the other hand, cars are like bank accounts. If you've been making deposits, you won't go bankrupt for a long time, but if it has been mostly withdrawals (of the car's mechanical and cosmetic wealth), then you will go bust sooner.
  • skobolaskobola Member Posts: 207
    I have a 2008 328i, with which I used to make 280 miles per full tank and it started to go about 40 miles less, while I have not changed my driving at all. I do mostly 5 miles trips, from home to work and back, which I know is not really the route in which I can get great mileage, but, well, I cannot change this. Provided that I have only 8k miles, I believe that the the consumption should go down, i.e., the car to consume less fuel rather than more. I have started thinking that the gas stations may downgraded the fuel, i.e., sell fuel with less octane than stated, but that would be highly illegal, and this is my third tankfull upon it happened, so it would be not likely that all 3 gas stations would do the same thing. Any ideas? Thanks in advance...
  • ponytrekkerponytrekker Member Posts: 309
    Definitely try a different gas station. They may have started doctoring the gas. Not the first time it happened.
  • lehrer1lehrer1 Member Posts: 54
    I was quoted by BMW service: $175 for oil change and computer resetting and $105 for just oil change. It seems to me too steep.
    1. can I do without computer resetting
    2. What equipment should I buy to change oil myself (extruction pump?)
    Thank you in advans. Lehrer
  • idoc2idoc2 Member Posts: 78
    I enjoy changing my own oil on my '07 328xi because not only can I do it at my convenience but I can do it in less than 30 min. You need low profile ramps. Rhino Ramps for about $35/pair work well. You need a filter from the dealer in a BMW box for about $15 or from Purolator for $18 both made by Mann & Hummel of Germany. A strap wrench to remove the cap on the filter housing is useful. Of real importance is that one uses the correct type of synthetic oil. Your car requires 7+ quarts of a BMW LL-01 certified oil. One can buy this at the dealer ($8/quart) or for somewhat less Mobil 1 0W-40 (NOT just any Mobil 1) as well as a few other LL-01 certified oils can even be bought at Wal*Mart. Oh year the bolt to the oil pan is hidden behind a small plastic trap door. See this link

    Good Luck!!
  • eddie61eddie61 Member Posts: 1
    Have a deal on the table for $3k. very clean car with 93k miles. timing chain changed 20k miles ago. needs brakes. seems fair. started at $3500.
    Pirelli tires are ok. interior and body clean. front spoiler/ground effect is damaged.

    does an 85 m3 have ground effects front, mid and rear? this one has them front and
    mid but no rear. can't find another 85 m3 on ebay or autotrader.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 224,204
    A 325is isn't an M3... Plus, if this is a US model, the first M3 hit these shores in 1987...

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  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 32,420
    Well, it definitely isn't a 325 if it has a timing chain.

    And, like you said, there is no '85 M3.

    Methinks the seller has a 318. Either that or it has had an engine swap.

    Fairly steady: '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel, '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP / Rotating stock, but currently: '92 325i, '97 Alto Works, '11 Mini Cooper S

  • lehrer1lehrer1 Member Posts: 54
    Dear idoc2,
    you made my day! The link you posted is wonderful and I apresiate your advice.
    The remaining question is: should computer be resetted or not.?
    Best regards. Lehrer
  • lehrer1lehrer1 Member Posts: 54
    Dear e90wraith!
    Your instructions are a masterpiece.
    Best regards, Lehrer1
  • idoc2idoc2 Member Posts: 78
    I don't know how to reset the computer, it may need to be done by the dealer but I doubt it matters except from an aesthetic sense. I remember seeing directions for doing this on the web somewhere. You might try Googling or Binging it.

    Good luck
  • lehrer1lehrer1 Member Posts: 54
    idoc2, thank you.
  • paganosopaganoso Member Posts: 1
    - I bought my first BMW recently, a 2000, manual 328i with 70k miles from a private party. All service was performed at an independent garage. My next inspection is due in 8k miles and was wondering whether to go with the Inspection I, II service, or if there is something that needs to be done asap? I know the water pump has not been replaced. I have done my research and know that maintence is key in maximizing the longevity of a BMW.
    - This is the work the prior owner had completed.
    - At 66.9k Front Control Arm Bushings Replaced as well as Pullys and Belts
    - At 65.4k The 60k Major Service and Inspection, as well as Oil Service, Front Brake Disc, Pads and Sensors.
    - At 57k Oil Service and Inspection
    - At 51k Oil Service and Inspection
    - At 45k Oil Service
    - Any help would be much apreciated.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 224,204
    As far as preventive maintenance (like water pumps), I'll defer to others... but, the next scheduled maintenance for your car is an oil service, not Inspection I or Inspection II.

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  • runningdocrunningdoc Member Posts: 32
    I'm looking at a 2009 328i manual transmission, vs. a 335i manual, vs. a 335d (obviously automatic). I wondered if anyone who had these vehicles could give me some feedback on pros and cons, mileage, and experiences. I'm especially interested in hearing thoughts related to the 335d; Any feedback would be appreciated!
  • pdude1pdude1 Member Posts: 47
    I like the 335i manual which I've had good experiences so far. The one thing I would recommend getting is the sensors for the front and back. It's hard to gauge when backing up and the front end is low so you have to watch out for those low curbs.
  • bmwxibmwxi Member Posts: 1
    My 2003 325 XI with 34,000 miles has the service engine, abs, stability, and eml lights on. Two different garages have not been able to find the cause. Any ideas?
  • handelhandel Member Posts: 17
    Upon inspecting my 2006 330xi, 55,000 mi., I noticed bubbling/blistering of the paint over the front left wheel well. I think this means a complete sanding and repainting of at least that area(and probably more) will be necessary, and the problem will probably recur over time. My car is driven in a snowy environment where road salt is used, but I've never seen the problem in such a young vehicle.

    Somebody tell me that BMW will apologize and pay to repaint the damage.
  • Firebird_EOUFirebird_EOU Member Posts: 250
    Did you do transmission fluid change?
    My 06 330xi auto is 72k miles now.
  • runningdocrunningdoc Member Posts: 32
    Thanks much, pdude1! Any concern about the turbo technology in the engine. In the past (many moons ago), I learned that turbocharged engines were synonymous with failures at higher mileages and $$$ repairs. I wondered your thoughts of same?

    Also, sports package or no?

  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    For 2006 and newer models, BMW has a 12-year limited warranty rust perforation warranty without mileage limitation. "This warranty is for defects in materials or workmanship that results in rust perforation of the vehicle body. This coverage period begins at the start of the New Vehicle/SAV Limited Warranty."

    So you should have the damage inspected by a dealer, it might be covered under the warranty.
  • pdude1pdude1 Member Posts: 47
    Yeah I heard that too and was a little concerned about the turbos. However, I did heard from a dealer that usually by 70K you will have to do some repair on the turbos (though that's a long time away!). So far 18K miles and I have no problems that I'm truly concerned about. In the last 1K I started to hear some noise after driving in hot weather. But it's only when starting in it's hard to track down as it doesn't always happen.

    Yep, got the sports and premium package! Oh yeah remember people say to change the tires every 10-15K. However, mine still look okay at 18K. Thread is good, but I know passengers have mentioned a rough ride lately so maybe I do need to change the RFT.
  • handelhandel Member Posts: 17
    Thanks, Backy. There's no perforation yet, just ugliness, but Ill give it a try!
  • jvalenciajvalencia Member Posts: 2
    Hello fellow BMW lovers and experts. I am new to BMW and new in USA so I need urgent detailed information about maintenance fees please.
    I am planing to finally get my first BMW and I just came to live to Miami so I would really appreciate advice and feedback from you dear experts about the average annual maintenance fees and normal repairs so I can inlcude it on my yearly budget.
    The car will definitely be a convertible model from around year 2004. My first option is a 330 because I've been told that is the best one for reselling. Any suggestions?
    I plan to use it as my daily driver so I consider average 10 - 12000 miles per year.
    Please be so kind to help me with this info before I go car hunting. Any buying recommendation will be highly appreciated too!!
  • dash5dash5 Member Posts: 421
    I'm considering buying a 2009 328xi.

    Given that my current car is a 2001 model with only 57k miles on it I am expecting to put a similar amount of miles on this car in that time frame. It will not be taken to a race track, just used for a short daily commute and some occasional longer trips (say 40 minute drives)

    So... is it fair to assume my maintenance/repair costs will be low on this vehicle? Right now the main concern I have with a BMW is reliability. Any resources anyone can recommend on what to expect from them?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 224,204
    Are you going to keep the new car for eight years?

    If so, the first four years will have very, very low maintenance costs.. Probably only a set of tires at the end of four years... BMW covers all of your maintenance, outside of tires, for the length of the warranty.

    After that, I'd say your costs could be fairly low... if you find a good independent BMW tech/repair shop.. Even routine maintenance at a BMW dealer can get expensive.

    On the plus side... at 7500 miles/yr, your BMW will only need one service per year...

    That's it for maintenance.... from a reliability standpoint, we've always had very good luck with our BMWs... Unscheduled visits to the service department have been very rare.

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  • dash5dash5 Member Posts: 421
    Thanks kyfdx, appreciate the response.

    The plan would be to keep the car for at least 5 or 6 years, probably more. Looking at it that way it's 2 years or so of maintenance I'd have to pay for after the warranty. Normal maintenance though I have no problem with.

    Honestly, what you said about "Unscheduled visits to the service department have been very rare." is all I really care about. The nightmare is: oh, electrical problem. next month the AC wont work, next month the engine light goes on, same electrical problem crops up again etc etc. Even if that's covered I dont want to deal with that. Far worse if it's not covered of course ;)

    I think I just need reassurance that hey, first 60k miles on this car should be smooth, statistically speaking, assuming I take proper care of it.
  • screenscreen Member Posts: 1
    I'm in a similar situation I have a 2002 bmw with low mileage (69k km) and am considering a 328ix. I have a question for you. I have had to change my battery 4 times (even changed the alternator). The dealership says its because I don't drive it enough to fully charge the battery. Have you had a similar experience ?
  • qaliqali Member Posts: 60

    I just assumed a lease on a 2007 335i Sedan with Comfort Access. The steering wheel has a button for handsfree, but I cannot find any documentation in the manual to setup/pair phones or how to use this feature. This may be a stupid question, but does the 335i come standard with this feature or is this an add-on?. I suspect it is an add-on, but can someone provide some guidance on whether this can be purchased or whether it is a factory option and what type of $$ I can expect to pay for this. I live in Toronto Canada.
    Many thanks in advance
  • pdude1pdude1 Member Posts: 47
    Does it have iDrive? On the '08 models, you can connect a phone through the iDrive which is pretty intuitive. You can just go to the phone section to connect to a phone, and then the handsfree button on your steering wheel works automatically to connect to your phone when you press it.
  • qaliqali Member Posts: 60
    Nope, no iDrive.
  • jonsdadjonsdad Member Posts: 4
    You need BMW Assist to have bluetooth capability. If your car has this capability you will have a SOS button on controls near the sunroof controls.
  • dash5dash5 Member Posts: 421
    Hi screen, well mine is a VW Jetta but I've only had to replace the battery once or twice at most. 4 times sounds really excessive. My commute is 7 miles each way so call it 30 minutes driving a day round trip since it's back roads and lots of lights heh.

    Do you drive it daily? Maybe if it goes longer stretches it's harder on battery life I'm not sure. Good luck with the 328ix! It's a gorgeous car I'm very strongly leaning towards getting it.
  • paddym34paddym34 Member Posts: 1
    hello everyone,
    I have recently aquired a BMW 330D SE tourer and I am having starter problem. I take the car for quick drive, say 5 mins and leave car for about 1 hour. the car then wont start, engine turns over OK and there are No warning lights, sounds like it wants to start initially but then wont start, Just wont fire up. Starts first time about 12 hours later. Very intermittant problem. Computer diagnostics show all clear, (BMW dealer). My guess is fuel problem, fuel pump seems OK, Is there a sensor that could stop start up? I've seen that cam sensor could cause problem. Been with BMW garage 4 days but It wont repeat the problem, so I know that if I pick car up it will let me down. ANYONE had similar or suggest remedy? regards Paddy
  • jmarounjmaroun Member Posts: 151
    I sure will miss the 335! I put almost 21,000 miles on it in just 10 months and enjoyed every single one. Even with her long cranks, due to High Pressure Fuel Pump failures, the E90 335i sedan with sports package and 6speed manual is truly a dream and worth every penny. I would've bought another one if the economy were more stable. Props go out to BMW for doing the right thing and repurchasing this car with really very little hassle. I got a full refund minus milage up to first service for fuel pump failure. WOW! I'm very impressed, but sad that I lost my babe. :(

    I've decided to ride out this economic uncertainty in a 2010 Mustang GT (V8) with 5 speed manual. I got it with a 3.73 rear axle package option that comes with upgraded brakes. Besides that, it's bone stock. Power and Torque on this Stang comes from a blasty V8 power plant and the manual's engagement feels good and solid. Exhaust note is impressive and a joy to listen to. Handling however is reminiscent of my dad's Econoline. Compared to a 3, it's van'esque. I'm thinking of getting Ford's FR3 handling package which I hope will bring her a little closer to BMW handling. I know..a Mustang can never handle as well especially due to its live rear axle. For the next two years however, she'll have to do. I look forward to the next generation 3s.

    I'll tell you one thing, in the past week, I've gotten more looks for this Stang than 10 months with a 335 and 3 years with an 06 330 combined. No one so much as raised an eyebrow for my 335. The Stang is plenny fun too. If I can significantly improve its handling, she might be a keepper! :shades:

    San Diego
  • chsmithinschsmithins Member Posts: 11
    I haven't been able to find an answer in archives to this question.

    I know BMW doesn't recommend towing a BMW on all 4 wheels. However, that doesn't mean it can't be done, its just not recommended.

    I have a 1998 323ci with manual transmission. Is there anything that should be done to it in order to tow it behind a motorhome? I've heard where some vehicles need some sort of transmission pump to keep fluid flowing while being towed. Who is best to do this kind of work, a dealer or transmission place?

    Anyone know of someone who hauls a BMW 3-Series with a manual tranny behind a motorhome and all is okay? Thanks.

    Chris Olympia, WA
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think for any long distance you'd have to disconnect the drive shaft. Probably 40-50 miles would be okay flat-towed. I rather doubt anyone makes a transmission pump for a manual transmission BMW, so you'd have to rig something up to avoid rear bearing damage from the spinning output shaft.
  • qaliqali Member Posts: 60
    Thanks everyone who responded. Alas, after several emails with a BMW rep, I discovered that the 335i is just "pre-wired" for bluetooth. If I want to add the functionality they have to install a control unit and modify the area around the sunroof control. Bottom line, it will be CDN$1300 for parts and CDN$500 labor. A bit disappointed considering this really should be standard on a car at this price-point.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Member Posts: 5,433
    Your best bet will be to get a 2-wheel dolly and tow the BMW backwards, assuming it's not AWD.
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • jonsdadjonsdad Member Posts: 4
    Hoping someone can advise.

    Recently drove my 328xi (2008) to Orlando. After driving about 800 miles (in a day) when I started the vehicle it had rough idle for about 2 minutes but then was fine. While in Orlando no rough idling.

    Return trip no rough idling, but when I started the car this morning once again rough idle for about 2 minutes.

    Any ideas.

    Help would be appreciated.

  • ursamajorursamajor Member Posts: 127
    I don't remember the page number, but the NJ National representative told me that the manufacturer states in the manual, that the battery requires sustained driving and that very low mileage consisting of mostly short trips may be insufficient to keep the battery charged. My 2008 335xi stalled at about 7500 miles, and had a very rough idle, until I took it in, and had the battery recharged, was told that should suffice for another 6000miles+, unless I took some long trips. The engine timing was also affected by the low charge, but reset during the process. The vehicle has substantial electrical components requiring sufficient power to "boot up." If one confines their driving to commuting, as I do, less than 15 miles/day, and not taking a (guesstimated) quarterly trips of several hundred miles, the problem will reoccur. I find this to be another example of idiots engineering the vehicle. The other example is the continued failure of fuel pumps with a twin-turbo engine. One writer here (jmaroun, Aug. 25th) had his car repurchased, I just read, but I don't know the frequency of fuel pump failure. I had to replace my first one at 6500 miles, and I'm now at 11,500. If it seems like sour grapes, I think that auto manufacturers should be designing vehicles to accomodate all types of drivers and have zero tolerance for major component failure or failure to drive in a certain fashion. Oh, one other thing--why does BMW refuse to provide, as standard equipment, a 6-CD changer, when all Japanese cars, even economy , and most other German autos now consider this standard equipment. I miss loading 8-9 hours of sound, and it's not safe to try and change a single disc while in motion, driving alone, that's certain.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I find the representative's explanation for the battery failure, as presented here, to be rather unbelievable. My friend's wife, who became very ill, hardly drives her 328ix at all---it sits for weeks, and its battery never goes dead.

    Furthermore, your car doesn't run all day off the battery---your alternator should be putting out more than enough juice to keep the car running happily.
  • wreckzachwreckzach Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking for a 3rd car for some cheap fun (other two are an 08 civic everyday car and 01 subaru forester which belongs to my girlfriend) and I came across a 94 325iS with 215k miles for roughly $2500. For some reason this peaked my interest. I've always loved the E36 3-series and would love to have a fun car to play with, maybe get into some local autox.

    Any 15 year old car with 200k miles is going to have issues, but am I just asking for trouble here?

    Any opinions would be appreciated. I've always thought the E36 had a good reputation for engine/transmission reliability.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well sure you're asking for trouble. The car has exceeded its statistical lifespan already. (in actuarial terms I mean).

    Reputation? Not all that good if you include the cooling system as part of "engine".

    Price is okay, but plan on spending money on it, at least to re-hab the cooling system straight way, and be sure to check the control arm bushings, the driveshaft coupler, and all the electronic gizmos.
  • lukasevichlukasevich Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2002 BMW 325 convertible. The oil was changed about 2 months ago. All the sudden the oil light comes on yellow when I start the car, stays on for about 15-20 seconds then goes off. Anybody have any idea what the problem might be? The oil level is fine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Could be just a squirrely sensor. When this oil change was done, do you have any idea the brand of filter that was put in? Cheesy filters can cause problems in German cars--I've seen it too often to doubt it, weird as it sounds.
  • lukasevichlukasevich Member Posts: 5
    I got the parts from the BMW dealer...
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