BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • crayorcrayor Member Posts: 8
    Thank you sooo much for your time and information!
  • mnatalemnatale Member Posts: 2
    When I start up my 2003nbmw 325c it sounds like a pump bering or belt is squealing it stops a little if we are driving and is noticable again when accelerating from a slow idle. is it most likely the water pump going? if so, how long until it goes or is it possible to be just the belts need replaced?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Probably a belt or idler pulley. A water pump that is screaming for mercy is not likely to stop and start again with making noise. And usually, a bad water pump is a growlling noise, not a squeal.
  • ccasterlineccasterline Member Posts: 1
    I just acquired a 1980 BMW 320i that is blowing the oil filter off after running for a few minutes. I have pulled the spark plugs and cranked the engine for a while, but the oil pressure didn't come up. What should I do next?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Must be a stuck oil pressure relief valve.
  • mnatalemnatale Member Posts: 2
    thanks for the tip. parked at the airport for a couple of days, got back in the car and no noise. go figure. ill check them out this weekend.
  • rhmassrhmass Member Posts: 263
    I noticed recently one of the key pods used for my 2006 3 series occassionally wouldn't work in locking or opening the car door. Although it always worked after numerous trying. Is this a battery issue, since the car is over 4 years old? I hope it is not a key pad malfunction as I know it is quite expensive to replace one.

    Anyone has the experience of replacing the battery in the keypad? TIA
  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    I would replace the battery first. It should be fairly straightforward. On most of the ones I've seen, the top and bottom halves just snap together. Just twist a knife blade along the seam and the two halves should pop apart. Look carefully though to make sure there's not a small screw someplace holding the top and bottom together.
  • rhmassrhmass Member Posts: 263
    Thanks for the advice and suggestion. Are these batteries available at BMW dealers only or it is the generic kind one can find in electronic stores such as Best Buy? I do see the two snap points, so it seems pretty straightforward to open it.
  • koimankoiman Member Posts: 12
    I want ot change out my antifreeze the dealer is 45 miles away can I purchase anti freeze at a auto zone or napa that is compatible. Also any internet supplier suggestions I see amazon has the oes coolant. 2004 325 xi
  • ponytrekkerponytrekker Member Posts: 309
    Just remember you can't use anything but BMW spec'd antifreeze. Your block is likely a two alloy block. Some antifreezes may promote electrolysis which basically turns your engine into a battery. Not good.

    They say if you're ever stuck to use distilled water until you get to a dealer.
  • hollywouldhollywould Member Posts: 2
    True. BMW antifreeze only. Maybe you can order it from, but I'm not sure. I know they sell OEM parts, but not sure about the antifreeze.
  • jmillernjjmillernj Member Posts: 1
    I bought a certified 2008 328i last month and it has the same issue with voice recognition. This is obviously a problem with the BMW audio system's voice recognition capability. It usually recognizes my voice more often than it understands my wife, but overall, it's pretty poor. Does anyone know if there's a fix for this issue (like perhaps, a dealer installable software upgrade for the audio system)?
  • mlifxsmlifxs Member Posts: 2
    I may have a problem similar to this on my 07 328i. It seems to recognize names most of the time, but then it asks me "would you like to dial name", and when I respond "yes" it doesn't seem to register. I have tried increasing the speaker volume and also speaking louder the second time, and it seems to help.
  • bhill2bhill2 Member Posts: 2,444
    with a 335i. Regular readers may remember about my burning smell issue that turned out to be an oil leak. Now, at 3300 miles, the 'oil can' figure transiently came on in the instrument cluster, and a check of the oil level indicated that the level was down a quart. I consider it possible that the dealership didn't top the level up after fixing the leak, but I would have thought that would have shown up sooner. I added a quart and am now going to monitor the level. However, I wanted to know from those with experience if it is reasonable that a new BMW would consume a quart of oil in its first 3300 miles.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

  • kominskykominsky Member Posts: 850
    If you go back through this and the 2005 and older 3-series forums, you'll find almost this exact post many times. Many of us (myself included) have seen the car use a quart of oil in the first several thousand miles. In most cases, this ~problem~ goes away. My car did the same thing and it now has 160K miles on it with no noticable oil loss (since I replaced the oil separator) between 7.5K mile oil changes.

    That said, I would definitely have the dealership look at it and get it on record just in case there is a problem.
  • bhill2bhill2 Member Posts: 2,444
    Thanks, kominsky. I am a newby to this forum (1st BMW) and you saved me some searching. As luck would have it, in 1991 I bought an '85 Mercedes with 70,000 miles and was concerned when it burned oil at the rate of a quart every 3000 miles (i.e. it was down a quart at every oil change). 190,000 miles later it's still doing it. As long as it isn't a problem I am happy.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

  • sschucksschuck Member Posts: 7
    I have a 1999 323i and the check engine light came on 4 days ago and engine is running rough. Scanned the code and got P0304 #4 cylinder miss firing. What would be causing this?
  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    Well, here are some suggestions from

    A code P0304 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:

    * Faulty spark plug or wire
    * Faulty coil (pack)
    * Faulty oxygen sensor(s)
    * Faulty fuel injector
    * Burned exhaust valve
    * Faulty catalytic converter(s)
    * Running out of fuel
    * Poor compression
    * Defective computer
  • ilovebeemersilovebeemers Member Posts: 7
    I have a 2003 330xi/SP and have an issue where after about 7-10 minutes of driving, my tire pressure warning light comes on (yellow) and stays on until car is turned off and turned back on.
    I noticed it happened right after the caliper was changed on the front left wheel due to it locked up and got VERY hot! Could it be that the tire pressure sensor on the left front wheel went bad due to heat? any other parts that are part of TPMS? How to be sure? I have tried to find the answer on the web and here and can not get a straight answer if I have 4 sensors (1 per wheel) and main control unit or there are some antenas too? where are they?
    I know if I go to dealer, they will try to find the problem and it will take them several hours at $118/hour and then - who knows?
    there are must be a way to surely tell what is wrong? code maybe?

    any and all your help is highly appreciated!!!!

    Thank you in advance!
  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    Your car probably has an "indirect" TPMS, which is described below in a post from Tire Rack:

    Indirect systems work in conjunction with the ABS wheel speed sensors that "count" the number of revolutions of each tire. If the right front tire is low (25psi) it will spin faster than the left front tire (35psi). The ABS system will recognize this change and alert the driver with a flashing light and possibly a loud chime. BMW's indirect systems do not affect the fitment of aftermarket wheels.

    Note that this technique uses the speed sensor on the wheels that's part of the ABS system. That sensor is very rugged and, if it is not working, I'm sure you would be seeing your ABS warning light come on.
  • aviator01aviator01 Member Posts: 5
    my 2006 330i has only 24500 miles and its warrant expired 6 months ago,is there any warranty service campaign for these pumps?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    There is a TSB for this known and frequent problem but not any kind of official extended warranty for it that I'm aware of. Maybe, given the low mileage, you can petition BMW for some relief. Or you can ask the dealer to advocate for you. Some dealers are given discretionary funds for goodwill settlements.

    The TSB info is:

    SI B12 04 05
    Engine Electrical Systems

    October 2008
    Technical Service
  • ilovebeemersilovebeemers Member Posts: 7
    Thank you for your reply...
    My ABS light is fine and the tire pressure warning is not flushing.. just stys lit for the remainder of the ride until the car is restarted. and then, again 7-10 minutes have to pass by for it to come on again.

    I know that i have a tpms sensors on the wheel by the valve
    any clue what i need to fix to make it go away?
    Thanks again.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,249
    Over the last two months I've had the car in the shop 24+ days for engine related problems.

    It started in October - my doors locked, the starting crank was really long and the navi didn't work. A trip to the dealer and the actuators were replaced, they did something to get my navi working and they reflashed my ecu.

    A week later the engine was taking even longer to crank. I brought it in. 1 week passed and I had new injectors.

    The problem persisted. Another visit and the HPFP (fuel pump) was replaced. Over 6 or so days.

    The next day I got an engine malfunction light. A week passed and they gave me my car with a set of new turbos.

    Another week passed and I got the engine malfunction light once more. This time they replaced my manifold over 6 days.

    One odd thing, my SA refused to give me details on the car's previous visits to the dealership before I bought it. I wonder what's in there...
  • paddy159paddy159 Member Posts: 9
    Sounds just like the kind of experience I had at Roseville BMW. Lousy service, and if they break something, they deny responsibility. Tried two other BMW dealerships, and was totally unimpressed by all three. I'll do as much of my own work as possible and if it's something I can't handle, I'll try to find an independent shop. They don't pay their technicians enough to get talent. I suspect the only reason BMW dealer service has satisfied customers, is because the customers don't know enough to realize they are getting screwed by incompetents.
  • ponytrekkerponytrekker Member Posts: 309
    Might be a buyback -- essentially privately lemoned to BMW by the prior owner.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,249
    According to CA law BMW and the CA DMV would list it as a buyback. Looks like it was a lease return.

    I finally got all the records. Over 2 years the original owner had 2 HPFP's replaced and one HPFP sensor replaced. He also had his navi replaced. Those two areas have been common problems for me too.

    Thankfully the 2006 changes to the CA lemon law allow for used cars with a warranty to still have access to the buy back option. I've already begun discussing this with BMW.
  • aviator01aviator01 Member Posts: 5
    Yep, its the only way,unles :mad: s you are rich and can afford to change cars before warranty expires.beware of the replacement thermostat on N52 engines it just don't fit on the hoses with quick connectors
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Member Posts: 16,172
    BMW doesn't know who they're messing with!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe, 2023 Toyota Tacoma SR 4WD

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,249
    To put it simply it's going very well. Love the :lemon: law. :blush:
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Member Posts: 16,172
    so what will you get next? inquiring minds want to know!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe, 2023 Toyota Tacoma SR 4WD

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,249
    Many outside influences will shape that - sadly. New house, 1 year old, health issues are all going to influence the next vehicle. The 335i was great for the kid though.
  • lqoverlqover Member Posts: 1
    I had 1 xenon light on my 2005 3 series go out and it cost $1500 to fix. I was told all 3 of the following failed simultaneously the bulb, ignitor and module. Total parts $1000 labor $400. Is this ridiculous or what? Anyone else with similar story?
  • yvkyvk Member Posts: 1
    2005 330xi with 45K. Garaged for some time, fell behind on maintenance. Any good source on what is required maintenance schedule at this point? Also, any recommendations on repair shop in central/northern NJ?
  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    No, not that bad. My son just replaced one of his HID bulbs in his 2002(?) Acura TL. Only needed the bulb which was around $90, if I remember correctly. Had to drop the bumper in order to remove the headlight trim. Took him a couple of hours in my garage.

    He wasn't sure if it was just the bulb or something else. So, he started with the cheapest thing and was going to work his way up from there. Luckily, it was just the bulb.

    I wonder if the dealer (assume this is where you had the repair done) just shotgunned it and replaced everything that could be the problem, without doing any real troubleshooting.
  • steven48steven48 Member Posts: 21
    Hi Everyone,
    I'm going to be buying my first BMW, the 328 with a manual tranny. Is this a good move? I know they are basically good cars, but they do have there share of problems. Will I be happy, or should I keep my G37S coupe. The G runs great, just bored, want to see what a bimmer feels like, will I notice a difference? Thanks for your help.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,249
    Yes they feel different. The 328 is a bit more button-down and predictable in terms of handling and refinement. That said, be prepared when it's out of warranty. They can run forever with proper maintenance.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Member Posts: 16,172
    how old is your g37S? How many miles are on it? Bored... your boredom is gonna take a huge depreciation hit.

    Make sure you go with the Sports Package as well as the manual transmission!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe, 2023 Toyota Tacoma SR 4WD

  • kenbodenkenboden Member Posts: 1
    I just purchased a 2010 328i xdrive. I have had it just a few days and noticed some scratches on the interior molding. Does anyone know of a product that I can use to minimize the appearance of the scratches? Thanks, I appreciate it.
  • hal56hal56 Member Posts: 94

    '08 335 with key fob and comfort access entry.

    Should be able to keep fob in pocket and be able to unlock and then open door simply by placing hand on door handle.

    About 75% of time that does not work. Dealer saying that they cannot find anything wrong and it must be other radio frequency interference. I say BS.

    My other car-a Lexus--works perfectly.

    But what do the folks here say? Does the hand on door handle/no fob work most of the time or not?

  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    The RF interference sounds like BS to me.

    I have never had a problem with a similar type key FOB on my Infiniti G37S. Only difference from what you described is that I have to push a button on the door once the FOB is in range, not just place a hand on the door handle. But, it has always worked.

    The problem could be the remote, or it could be the sensor in the door handle - some sort of capacitive sensor, I would guess. Did you try it with the other door? What about the trunk?
  • qaliqali Member Posts: 60
    I also have a 335i with Comfort access and I'd say it works for me all the time. Try the passenger side door to see if it works better. You can then possiblly rule out the whole system and focus on just the driver side door. Also, you should be able to lock all doors simply by placing a finger on the top of the door handle on either the driver or the passenger side door. If that works, it may just be a defective sensor on the inner side of the handle that unlocks the door.

    Good luck,
  • hal56hal56 Member Posts: 94
    I'll have to try passenger door.

    I also have the convertible and all too often the trucnk will not lift when I get close using the "touch" method. So I think its system based.

    The dealer is a problem, I think.

    Last year I had a problem at stop lites where when I took foot off brake the car lurched forward. No findable problem said the dealer 4-5 times., Then took a drive with chief mechanic and he saw/felt the problem--software update fixed the problem.

    which all tells me the guys are lazy even at BMW.
  • paddy159paddy159 Member Posts: 9
    Sounds like routine BMW service to me. If the computer doesn't tell them what to do, they can't troubleshoot the problem. I had a 100K maintenance agreement with BMW and they did alright with routine service, but anytime something less than simple needed fixing they were totally helpless. Truthfully, they broke as much as they fixed. I fought with Roseville BMW for over 18 months, when they broke the clockspring in my steering column, which disabled the drivers airbag and some of the switches in the steering wheel. Best I was able to get out of them was they only charged me half of the $1500 they wanted to fix what they broke. The clockspring broke after they removed and replaced the steering column to fix the ELS. I would have tried fixing it myself except I wouldn't have been able to reset the airbag fault without taking it to them, and they won't reset what they don't repair. I had to wait until I could get a manual before I could try to prove to them that they had broken the clockspring. That's another thing, I couldn't get a manual for a 2006 325i until October 2009! What kinda crap is that? My 100k agreement has expired and I'll be damned if I'll ever let another dealer service department touch my car. I'm lookin for an independent shop in the Sacramento area for the few things I can't handle. Anybody knows any good independents within 50 miles of Sacramento, I'd appreciate it if they could pass it on to me. BMW service departments suck big time. I've tried three different dealerships and wasn't impressed by any of them. I been wrenchin for over 45 years and I know when someone knows what they are doing and they damn sure don't!. I've maintained, troubleshooted, and repaired computers and other electronic systems, mechanical, electric, electromechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, refrigeration, vacuum and hi vacuum systems. So, I'm not just talkin out my [non-permissible content removed], like their service writers.
  • hal56hal56 Member Posts: 94

    one problem about BMW vs say Lexus--is that BMW owners are a bit more anal about our cars and performance--expectations run high in both circumstances--

    But some of the attitude I see in BMW service reminds me of the Buick, Pontiac, Chevy , Chrysler attitude of years ago.

    And I have taken in cars for service across the country.

    The entire thing is difficult to explain--if i gave my customers the same attn level I get from car dealers in general, the clients would fire me in a NY minute
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,249
    On the flipside I've had 3 BMWs the past 7 years and my service experience has been very good. Very good. Polite, they try to fix issues, they give me updates and overall I feel BMW dealers in my area and BMW NA are exceptional at listening to customers. I love working with BMWNA and BMWFS as both are top notch when it comes to professionalism.

    This weekend I'll probably buy my 4th BMW and I'm not going to hesitate even though my third is a :lemon: . It happens. The dealer and the manufacturer were classy about it and I can't say those kind of positive things about other manus I've owned in the past.
  • hal56hal56 Member Posts: 94
    ok--I will flipside you:

    On my second trip to my dealer I go to pick up my car when I see it driving out of the service bay driven by a couple of kids.

    The service dept gave my car to the wrong party--the kids were picking a car up on behalf of someone else--they were thriiled to be getting a 335 HTC-as far as the door.

    I undertand there is good and bad service and skiiled and not so skilled people--
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    That story reminds me of one I read in the papers, about a kid who worked at the airport and drove a forklift into the belly of a 747. His last quoted remark was "This isn't going to go on my record, is it?" :P

    GEEZ, that dealer needs to tighten up a bit.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Member Posts: 16,172
    and what pray tell will the 4th one be? Another 335i?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe, 2023 Toyota Tacoma SR 4WD

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