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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • Probably a 328i. The 335i is totally gone for me. They took today and gave me a check.

    Tried the 10 GTI, TDI and Mazda3. G37/G35. X3 and 525/528. I like the 3 with ZSP the most. I drove one tonight and I really find the balance of the car ideal compared to the 335i. Can't explain it except that the 335i does weigh a couple hundred more and I can never seem to get the car set for a corner the way I can a 328. I've found two in irvine and I'm waiting to hear back on my offers (also found two locals in non-black but the dealers are fairly inflexible on pricing here and sadly one is a pretty stripped red one).
  • I was driving home today from work and my 2009 BMW 328i started losing power. The car went from 80 to zero in about 5 seconds while I was still pressing the gas pedal. The check engine light came on and when I tried to restart the car it started shaking. I know nothing about cars but I do no there is no way a 2009 BMW with 10,000 miles on it should be losing power on the road. I am highly pissed. Does anyone have a clue as to what could be wrong? I dropped off my car at the night drop off area and am waiting to rip my dealership a new one. There is no excuse for what happened today
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Suggestion: don't rip your dealership a new one. They didn't design the car, they didn't build the car. But they can help you get it fixed. They're more likely to want to help you if you treat them as you would like to be treated.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,583
    Congrats on getting rid of your lemon CPO 335i - I guess they don't check those cars out as much as they say they do.

    I trust you are happy with the settlement.

    The 328 is a sweet car. It doesn't have the cajones of the 335i, but it is a great motor that you just have to push to get to the sweet spot. I'm sure it is great with the 6 speed manual/sports package that you'll get. My Mom has an '08 328xiA that I think is a blast to drive, even saddled with the slushbox & extra weight of AWD.

    Good luck my friend & please keep us posted.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2017 Pilot Touring AWD, 2019 Tacoma TRD Sport 4WD

  • be nice to your dealer. It's not the dealer's fault. It's probably something simple to fix. The 328i isn't know for failures like this.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 136,932
    When a sensor goes off, the engine goes into limp mode... It's an engine protection feature.

    Most of the time, it's just a bad sensor.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • xeyexeye Posts: 168
    I've had my '07 335xi since '07/'07. I had read about BMW speedometers being inaccurate (under) by 2-4 mph, but didn't believe it. After all, how could a BMW be anything but Germanic precision and accuracy? I recently installed a Garmin 765T GPS. With the cruise control set at 67 mph (digital readout as it engaged) on flat reasonably straight highway, the Garmin read a consistent 63-64 mph. This would seem to confirm the original post I'd read a couple of years ago. I have the original rims and ContiProContact tires, and inflation is spot on at 33 front/36 rear.

    Which one would you think is more accurate? My plan is to find a measured mile, ideally somewhere in the Metrowest Boston area, and clock the speed on repeated time trials. If I lived in Utah, I'd try the Bonneville Salt Flats. Now, THAT would really be a lot of fun.

    Any thoughts?
  • Xeve,

    I recently sold my 2007 328i and experienced the same results when compared to my Garmin. Makes no sense to me.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,646
    is bang-on. You can take that to the bank.

    BMWs are known for having dead-accurate odometers & speedometers that read high.

    It must be a feature.
  • skobolaskobola Miami, FLPosts: 207
    I believe that it is not only for BMWs but for any other car that the actual speed is less than shown on the speedometer due to "tire diameter variations due to temperature, pressure, vehicle load, and nominal tire size" (see Wikipedia, Speedometer, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speedometer). Also, this helps police if they catch you speeding, because any excuse of not actually driving fast and/or being aware that you were driving fast would be inaccurate as your speedometer was actually showing a higher than the actual speed, so you should have been pretty aware that you were driving at a higher speed. I believe that in US, the allowed overage is 5 mph, so where a speed limit is 40 mph, you can freely drive at 45 mph, which would be about 48-49 mph on the speedometer. However, as it is very difficult to know the exact speedometer's error, if one drives 45 mph per the odometer, no police should stop you, because the actual speed would be about 42 mph, which is well in the allowed/tolerated speed overage.
  • xeyexeye Posts: 168
    If you don't mind me asking, how did you determine the Garmin was right on? I'm also curious that the odo would be accurate and the speedo not so? Presumably both are electronically reported and it should be a simple matter of basic arithmetic?

    I suppose I should be grateful - I've not had a single speeding ticket since I've owned the car!

    By the way, should any MA, NH, NY, CT or VT troopers be reading this, my car is painted bright green with large yellow polka dots.
  • 3 BMWs and all 3 read 3 MPH higher than my actual speed.
  • qaliqali Toronto CanadaPosts: 60
    335i..Speedo shows approx 4km/h (3mph) faster than a Garmin 255W GPS.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I think the GPS, any GPS for that matter, is far more accurate than your speedometer. Their use of the doppler (frequency shift) and phase shift in the signals from the GPS satellites allows their speed estimates to easily be better than a fraction of a mile per hour. Their accuracy depends a lot on how many satellites the receiver has a "view" of. I think 3 satellites is the minimum needed to establish a position fix. More just improves the accuracy.
  • xeyexeye Posts: 168
    3 points of reference would be the minimum for triangulation, but the speedometer should be the most accurate measurement. All of the variables are fixed and known quantities: tire circumference, # of revolutions/time unit, and time span. All can be measured very accurately. Even with tire wear, it's hard to imagine that there could be such a higher % of error. 3% error at 100 mph, and increasing as the speed decreases?

    GPS has a margin of error as well, it depends on the sampling rate of the signal if the tracking is not constant from at least 3 satellites. I am not sure if the current GPS technology is as accurate as military GPS. It definitely wasn't as good, intentionally, only a year or two ago.

    Based on the number of consistent replies regarding the 3 mph under measurement on the BMW 3 Series, I am led to believe that the speed could be accurate, but is intentionally set this way. Maybe it's BMW's attempt to help their customers from getting nailed slightly less than otherwise?

    Once I find my measured mile and can validate which measurement is the more accurate, I'll report back and eat my words if the GPS proves out.
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    I have a 2008 335xi. The engine malfunction light (yellow) came on yesterday, as it took about 12 cranks to start, with lots of vibration. I drove two miles and prayed that a garage would be open today. Fortunately, Santa Monica BMW was open and took my vehicle in at 8:30 am and did indeed replace the HPFP again, by Noon. The original part failed on 12/23/08 after 6000miles; today's occurred at about 14,200 miles. Svc. rep tells me that about five modifications have been made on this part since inception. They did not pay for my car rental, which I needed for about five hours. I know many dissatisfied customers of SM BMW. I must emphasize that I had an annual service there on 12/11, and the standard tests revealed no problems, but I immediately noticed an irregular idle, which I brought to their attention, and they hadn't noticed, as I'm certain it wasn't test driven. Apparently, there's no shame in having the HPFP failing three weeks after a "comprehensive" computerized system check--right.

    What that tells me is:
    a. The computerized system check is not reliable
    b. BMW established the "free maintenance" marketing program based upon their conviction that the car was so well engineered and fabricated that they could "gamble" on this conviction.
    c. The result is that BMW dealers perform the very least work in order to generate the most profit out of the least time.
    d. The company commits a subterfuge in imputing great value to not paying any maintenance costs during the lease or period of ownership. In fact, based upon my owning or leasing at least 12 cars, the only time my annual service costs exceeded $ 500 were with older models of Mercedes and a lemon Toyota Supra, which had a valve job at 18,000 miles, and I received factory accomodation for that.
    Since the major exposure to mechanical disaster is alleviated during the first four years through a warranty, the scheduled maintenance isn't worth more than $ 400-600/yr., tops, at least in Los Angeles. So what is the basis for charging $ 10k for a 3-series over a comparable Infiniti or Acura, or Lexus IS 250, 350? Purists will insist the handling, acceleration and braking are sufficient justification, and I would affirm that my expecations of performance have more than been met. However, the prospect of unreliablitiy and possible undetected problems, with limited scheduled regular maintenance more than offsets the performance edge. I conclude that the car is overpriced, notwithstanding the subjective superior driver experience. How much time do you lose when major parts fail or diagostic lights appear much too often? Why experience anxiety approaching a long road trip, especially in climactic extremes, when a major "organ," like an HPFP fails? What happens when you're doing 80 on the Interstate and the "engine malfunction" light appears, and your vehicle quickly "chokes" and reduces its speed drastically? What are the chances of a major rear-end collision or dangerous experience in trying to move to the next off-ramp or the shoulder of a freeway when the throttle doesn't engage?

    This first-time BMW owner needs to know.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Yes, I would be interested in your measured mile vs GPS comparison.

    BTW, the selective availability "feature", which deliberately degraded the publicly available accuracy, was turned off in 2000.
  • I agree with you a 100%. This is absoutlely not acceptable. We spent too much money on this car to have this happen to us so early in our car's life. I am now afraid that this will happen to me again after this post. I have yet to receive my car back since last Wednesday and I am pissed. I am very happy that this is a lease and I did not purchase this car. I am reconsidering remaining a BMW customer after this. I am highly disappointed.
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    The limp mode is not the same as a fuel pump failure is it? In that case, wouldn't limp mode engaging during high speed be extremely dangerous? My second rant #4488 says it all. I know there is a strict CA lemon law, and two failed HPFPs may not cut it, but I am outraged. Remember, I have had only one incident of a vehicle "die" on me, beginning in the 60's with: VW, Mercedes,Toyota (the original Supra was a lemon and died in Mammoth Lakes in Winter), Honda, Lexus (5 in 14 years), Infiniti. Now I have two impediments within 13 months. Pretty serious case of mediocrity. Why has BMW been no where near the top of the J.D Power surveys of fewest mechanical problems per 1000 drivers, satisfaction after one year, etc? Why are German vehicles not capable, seemingly, of combining superior engineering (dubious), driving characteristics, reliability and value. I am not retired, have my own business, and work 6 days/ week all year 'round except for a very rare vacation. I don't have time to deal with unscheduled visits, in this case, driving disruptions requiring immediate attention. And what would occur if I drove as aggressively and as fast as I used to, and in remote areas? BMWs should be made to perform for skilled and aggressive drivers without the seeming tradeoff of requiring excessive maintenance.
  • chewy2chewy2 Posts: 19
    ">Some time ago, I think I saw something about BMW brake pads and rotors having nearly the same hardness. Therefore, pads and rotors will wear down at the same rate and, consequently, a brake job entails replacing both the pads and the rotors. Anybody know about this? I can get a good deal on a 2006 330i, but this sort of expense gives me cold feet.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,583
    It does stink that you (& so many other 335 owners) are experiencing these HPFP (High Performance Fuel Pump?) failures. I don't know why BMW doesn't just issue a recall, it seems like they're just waiting for these things to fail on a case by case basis. If they don't issue a recall for pr purposes or whatever, then they should replace these HPFPs at the next scheduled service interval.

    The dealer should provide you with a loner car or reimburse you for your rental when this known problem happens.

    The "free maintenance" isn't free - we're all intelligent enough to realize that. It is built in to the price of the car. So many BMWs are leased (less now than before due to the fact that they pumped up residuals during the past 10 years or so) that it really is a good deal. Our '07 X3 has cost us nothing besides gas & insurance. It has also proven to be a dead-on reliable truck. My best friend for example has an '09 MB E350 4matic that he just brought in for the first "A service" & got a bill for $450 (and they gave him a hard time about giving him a loaner car).

    BMW did specify for frequent maintenance when it was not included. Some complain that they'd rather not have "free maintenance" & have the car be $2000 cheaper (or whatever the dollar amount is).

    Good luck!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2017 Pilot Touring AWD, 2019 Tacoma TRD Sport 4WD

  • I actually have a 328i and I have the fuel pump issues. It must be a 3 series issue. Either way we should all get some type of extended warranty for this nonsense.
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    The letter from BMW of North America, which I am reading, is undated, but I believe was received around Feb. 2009. This problem had been prevalent for at least two years prior to the letter's issuance. There has not been a recall. Such decisions are made, I am now quite certain, by the NHTSA, a Federal agency. I agree with those who think the problem should have been remedied through engineering, not an extended warranty, however, there is no compensation, without litigation, for lost time, including being stranded in the middle of nowhere, or at the worst, as I have mentioned, coming to an abrupt halt in fast, heavy traffic. The final paragraph does little to support BMW and its acolytes' contention that the company has peerless design and possesses integrity:

    "Please be assured that we at BMW are totally committed to the highest standards of product excellence and owner experience, and are determined to maintain a level of service that exceeds your expectations."

    I think the least BMW of NA could do is acknowledge the extent of the problem in an honest fashion (how many units have failed), and explain what has been done and is being done to eliminate the HPFP failures, not just replace them. And they should certainly cause each and every dealer to reimburse every owner/lessee affected for our-of-pocket costs, such as car rental, when this problem occurs.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Such decisions are made, I am now quite certain, by the NHTSA, a Federal agency

    NHTSA usually only gets involved when the issue is one of safety - not just a problem/defect with a product. Have there been any deaths associated with the failure of a HPFP? Any really bad accidents directly attributable to the fuel pump? If not, the NHTSA is not concerned.
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    And did you deal with N.A. or your originating dealer? You mention repurchase, so it's obvious that you didn't lease it, correct? I would like to discuss this process with you, as I have shared several posts here regarding my two failed HPFPs, one this recent Friday, after 14200 miles and 22 months. Not sure how to initiate contact on a public forum, but would appreciate your response, how to be in direct communication with you about returning the vehicle.
  • Don't count on BMW for accuracy. The speedo on my 2006 325i was off by 10%. At 80mph on the speedo, actual speed was 72. At 30 actual was 27. Stock tires with correct pressure. Verified with gps and radar. Took it to the dealer, who tried to tell me they were specced at 10%. I had to fight with him to get it fixed, and after they fixed it it was off by 3mph across the whole range. Verified with radar and gps. Incidentally, at 10% off, I lost 2500 miles of warranty coverage, because I had to fight with the dealer to get it fixed and I was at 25,000 miles before it was fixed. BMW might be a nice ride, but their dealer network sucks! I've tried three different dealers and they all sucked! All three talked to me like I didn't know [non-permissible content removed] and I would believe anything they told me because they are the experts. I been workin with my hands for 46 years on all kinds of mechanical assemblies and I recognize incompetent [non-permissible content removed] when I see them. So far, all three dealerships qualify as IAs.
  • I would like to know also. If this problem is going to occur over and over again I might as well get rid of the car now. Please give us more info.
  • There was a thread specifically addressing this but oh well...

    I have confirmed that the speedo on my '09 328ix reads 4 mph faster than the actual speed using 3 methods: My garmin nuvi, GPS radar detector and my Bushnell radar gun. ;)
  • Probably.

    I had my 335i lemoned (engine problems). 30+ days in the shop over less than a year. I couldn't take the idea of that car leaving warranty and turning into a financial nightmare.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Remind me again what your engines problems were, and why they couldn't be fixed? This is valuable info for others.
  • It started with engine stutters and long cranks. It then moved to my navi displaying a warning "engine malfunction"

    Over the course of a few months the car had the ecu flashed, injectors changed, HPFP replaced, turbo replaced, manifold replaced. Some research turned up that the previous owner had 3 HPFPs replaced by 28k miles.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,583
    so you were able to finally verify the car's history. What'd you end up getting? Inquiring minds want to know. :lemon:

    Happy New Year my friend

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2017 Pilot Touring AWD, 2019 Tacoma TRD Sport 4WD

  • How likely am I to get another HPFP? Is it something that is likely to never get fixed. I am hoping that I have a lemon so that I can get out of this car
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    consider a 328i. Yes, it's fuel-injected, but it doesn't have a twin-turbo, and has the same chassis. I just spoke to a first-rate mechanic at Glendale (California) BMW, from which I leased. He owns a 328i and loves it, although you have 70 less horsepower than a 335i, and absolutely dosn't contain an HPFP. I am pursuing a collateral swap out of the 335xi, which said mechanic acknowledged is "dangerous" or will invoke the Lemon Law, which in CA, can apply to two major failures, which I have now had, one HPFP at 6000 mi, the next last Friday at 14300mi. Leasing a 328 will, of course be less expensive, too, and the body style will be changed in two years, according to some experts on this board. So, the price will be right, and financing is cheap these days. The key is that the engines in the 1-,3-, and 5- series ending in -35, like 335 535,for example, have this fuel pump and twin turbo engine design prone to failure. I will not drive my car any longer than I have to, and am essentially confined to commuting around Los Angeles County, where there are many dealers and high "assistance density," but I can't even think of driving to ski in the Sierra or to Vegas, for that matter, although with a very new pump, I suppose I could last another year, but not willing to take the chance after reading extensively on this board and www.bmwblog.com, etc.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,583
    Sorry you feel that way. I remember you got the Xi in so cal because you're into skiing. good luck.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2017 Pilot Touring AWD, 2019 Tacoma TRD Sport 4WD

  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    I will fly to Utah or B.C. to ski, that's all. No problem. I just like the drive to Mammoth, and once there, you take local trams anyway from town to the base. If you know the route, you would not want to have a failed fuel pump in the high desert in Winter, and roadside assistance could be three hours coming, unless BMW uses helicopters. And in Mammoth, well there might be a replacement part, but more likely not nearby and then you're stranded and if you need to return to work, ...you get the idea. I once had to fly back to LA and arrange to have a local drive my Toyota Supra (26 years ago, I recall) back to LA after being repaired in Bishop, and the pickup was an hour drive from my residence. What a hassle that was!
  • My HPFP happened on my 2009 328i so I think the problem is across the board. I am driving scared now hoping that I don't get stranded again. When my lease is up, I am going to get out of the 3 series family and purchase a 5 series.
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    As I just wrote, two trusted mechanics with many years of experience, and employed by BMW told me the problem is with the HPFP, which is not present in a 328i. Your experience implies that it's the "i" or injection system or something closely connected to the fuel pump causing the problem. Which really concerns me because it implies fundamental engineering flaws in what is a perennial "category" champion. I have searched for, but not found any complaints on the Internet about the 328i fuel pump until I read your post #4494 and the latest one. The mechanic who owns your model was and has always been very frank with me, so I accept his opinion that "I won't have a fuel pump problem with the 328i," but read of your experience with bewilderment. Well, first things first--I'll keep you all posted of my attempts to retire my 36-month lease after 24 months. But it looks like a change of "brand" is in order.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,646
    ". . .you would not want to have a failed fuel pump in the high desert in Winter, and roadside assistance could be three hours coming, unless BMW uses helicopters.

    Indeed, I know the road well, and you make an excellent point -- applies to RFT tires as well. Bishop is as good as it gets, and I'll wager there isn't an RFT tire anywhere in the town, especially outside of normal business hours. 395 at 3 in the morning is a great drive, but not in a car that can't either be depended on or repaired quickly & easily.
  • That's correct, they told me it was something with the fuel system and I am afraid it will happen again. This should not be happening to us because we pay a premium for this car. Good luck with getting out of the car and keep me posted. Thanks
  • Funny thing. Every older car I have with an analog speedo has been dead on. Completely accurate. 66 ranchero, 87 fiero, 93 t-bird, 2000 dodge intrepid. all very accurate. all still running too. 250k on the t-bird, 180k on the dodge.
    Sorry I ever bought the pos bmw. Worst automotive investment I ever made.
    BMW dealerships, worst service I've ever had.
  • I put my car in the shop because the service engine soon light came on. I had also just began leaking oil from the oil filter housing ($600 to fix). They reset the light and said it was probably the Mass Airflow Sensor but for me to drive it a while to see if the light comes back on. Could this be caused from the oil leak or is this still a seperate problem?
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Separate problem.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Not related. Oil leak wouldn't throw a code. You don't have one of those "free-flow" aftermarket air filters installed, do you? If so, remove it immediately and get the OEM one. Otherwise, if this happens again, have them clean the MAF and throttle body for you.
  • ursamajorursamajor Posts: 127
    I am in the midst of a negotiation with N.A. to cancel my 36mo. lease on a 2008 335xi after HPFP replacements in Dec. 2008 and Dec. 2009, with low mileage. After considering Audi A4, Infiniti G37 and Acura, I returned to the possibility of replacing the lemon with a non-turbo engine 2010 328i, as the turbo may be the primary source of most of the HPFP problems. One owner on this thread, however, reports HPFP problems on his 2010 328i. I am confused. Two "trusted" mechanics working for BMW dealers in LA assure me that the 328 is highly unlikely to have HPFP problems, and one of them owns one and has had zero problems with reliability in two years. A phone rep at N.A., in response to my original complaint and inquiry, responded that the problem with the HPFP is present in the entire 3 series. I love the performance of my present car, and the 328i is 70HP less, but will handle similarly, but I am torn between patronizing a company that has created a three-year engineering blunder and been cavalier about it. Is there anyone on this thread who can vouch for the newest 328s as "safe" and should I even consider replacing the 335xi with a new 328 or am I a glutton for punishment? I am inclined to go Audi A4. I believe the 3's are all redesigned for 2011, in any case, and by then, the line may be trouble free. But again, the issue of integrity and openness arises, and I have a big problem with that. Apparently, there will not be a 3-series recall until someone is dead from an accident caused by a BMW coming to a rapid stop on a freeway, or dying on a winding highway with blind curves.
  • There is no HPFP problem on a 328 because a 328 doesn't have a HPFP. The TSB only refers to the turbo engines.
  • There may not be a HPFP on the 328 but I had a fuel issue that sounds very similiar to ursamajor. I was driving my 2009 328i and the engine went into limp mode. The shop told me that it was a fuel issus and a part had to be replaced.and that it is a common defect on the 328i. The fact that we are having a conversation about new BMW cars is alarming. I love my BMW and will probably lease another one but I no longer consider the BMW as a super reliable car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    The idea of going to Audi to solve problems doesn't strike me, on the face of it, as a strategy that's likely to pan out.

    I thought it was just the N54 engine that has this problem?
  • we have a 2006 330xi which is still under warranty. we had it serviced as the battery was weak. as we work close to home we do not put a lot om milage on it the dealer told us that we had to pay for the battery replacement because we didn't drive sufficient miles to recharge it. we put only 6,000 a year on it. i find it preposterous that it is not covered. it is a no win situation if we put too much on it wouln't be covered either. does anyone have any info on this.
  • lehrer1lehrer1 Posts: 54
    Dear tborchman,
    I have 2006 325i bought in August 2005, still very little miles-5000. Last winter I did not drive the car for a month.
    It started only on the second attempt and I saw lots of signals that everything was wrong with the car. The dealer told me that the battery is low and recommended to idle the engine for two hours to charge the battery. It worked and all wrong signals disappeared. Later I checked the battery and it was OK. Now I use the battery tender (a small charger to keep the battery charged) when I do not drive the car for several weeks. It works beautifully. But now I am in the fifth year and plan to replace the battery in the fall of 2010.
    Lehrer 1
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