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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • khoskhos Posts: 1
    Our two month old 2006 325i was attacked by a bird bomb on the hood. I caught it within an hour and washed off what I could. It appears to have etched the clear coat! Any ideas for what to try next or any help? Yes, we have a black car! Thank you.
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    You might want to take a look at this: Proper Auto Care
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    It should buff out if someone knows what they're doing.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • mfo1mfo1 Posts: 1
    My 2001 330ci steering wheel makes a constant hissing sound now. I know it is related to the power assist pump as when I step on the gas and get the revs. up, the hiss lowers and stops. I keep checking the steering fluid but there is no leak, no fluid level loss. My mechanic and a I have thrown up our hands. Any ideas????
  • fcaofcao Posts: 31
    After several trips to Irvine-BMW regarding a couple of minor and major problems happened on my '05 325i, I start to wonder what is a "service consultant".

    Everytime, I go there for a vehicle check or service, I got assigned to a (different) service consultant.

    A service consultant does not do customer relationship, so he/she doesn't need to show extra consideration for a customer. Hence, he/she can throw you to a corner seat and tell you to wait for the next shuttle service in 1 hour.

    Also, a service consultant is not a technician either. So, if you have any real question about what's wrong with your car, he/she will say:"hey, don't ask me, I'm not a technician." In fact my discussion with several service consultants went through a common path:
    1) first, he/she (service consultant) try to explain to me what's wrong or what's not wrong with my car;
    2) then, I realize his/her explaination doesn't make logical sense. So, I ask him/she to clarify what is really going on.
    3) finally, he/she will say the keyword:"hey, don't ask me, I'm not a technician."

    The same trend has happened again and again. I really want to know why the dealer (Irvine-BMW) sent a non-techician to explain technical issues in the first place. The even funnier fact is that I am not allowed to talk with any real technician either.

    I'm wondering whether a unique case only true for Irvine-BMW, or a common case in all BMW dealers.

    "what is a service consultant?" :confuse:
  • Daughters car loosing washer fluid from reservoir; low fluid light comes on a couple days after filling with no use. no sign of leak when sitting filled but some blue spots on garage floor. headlight washers not doing anything. any help appreciated
  • fcaofcao Posts: 31
    If you observe that the washer fluid level has actually decreased (don't worry about the fluid light first), then the washer fluid tank is leaking.

    A 2003 car should be still in warrantee (its mileage is not crazy high). Send the car to a certified repair shop or dealer for a tank replacement then.
  • Hi,
    I love my BMW 318i, and use it every day to travel 20 miles to work and back with no problems whatsoever. However, every time I go off on a jaunt I end up getting the RAC out. I drove to London 240 miles, stopped at lights and that was it. It cut out and refused to start again. This week I drove to Cornwall 100 miles or so and the same thing happened. The RAC thought it was an electrical fault and eventually got me going, but only to break down again after another 30 miles or so. This time they thought it was a faulty temperature sensor causing it to flood and bypassed it to get me going, but only for the next 30 miles. Finally they lorried me home. Anyone got any ideas as to what is wrong? I can't afford lots of exploratory work at expensive garages.
  • Good day folks,
    Just got a '97 318is automatic that is a bit of a slug. It must have been driven in 4th gear all its life. I have a couple questions;
    1.- I want to change the exhaust to give a little boost, anyone with an ebay or other link?
    2.- Looking for a good BMW parts and accessory shop in the Ft. Lauderdale area (no rip-off merchants please)
    3.- Need an owner's manual to decipher all the german symbols on the panel. Couldnt find one on amazon.
    many thanks in advance for any help given. L
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Just got a '97 318is automatic that is a bit of a slug.

    They all are. A manual transmission is needed to make rapid progress. The M44 1.9 doesn't develop significant power below 3500 rpm.

    1.- I want to change the exhaust to give a little boost, anyone with an ebay or other link?

    Supersprint makes one of the best cat-backs for the M42/M44 motors, but even then you won't see more than a 2-3 bhp gain- BMW OEM exhausts are very well designed. In all honesty, you'll be very, VERY, lucky to extract more than 5-10 extra bhp from an OBDII M44 with simple bolt-ons. If you want a significant power gain you need to fit a Downing Atlanta supercharger. Or Nitrous.

    2.- Looking for a good BMW parts and accessory shop in the Ft. Lauderdale area (no rip-off merchants please)

    Can't help you there. I'd look at some of the better mail-order companies such as UUC Motorwerks, Turner Motorsport, and Bavarian Autosport. I've dealt with all three and they are all excellent shops.

    3.- Need an owner's manual to decipher all the german symbols on the panel. Couldn't find one on amazon.

    Try eBay or else have your local BMW dealer order one.
  • thanks div2! great response, appreciate it.
  • div2, what would you recommend for a good muffler tip, to get a deeper growl? thanks L
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    div2, what would you recommend for a good muffler tip, to get a deeper growl?

    Several people on another BMW list have had a local muffler shop replace the rear muffler with a Magnaflow.
  • Hi,

    Just bought a 2003 BMW 325xi and when you start the car and put it in drive and step on the brake (the car is not moving) there is a loud vibration. The vibration is more apparent on the passenger side. We took the car back to the service center and they said it was the engine mounts and they changed them but the problem was still there. Then I took it again and they changed a tie rod, off course the problem was still there. Now they took it to the BMW dealership and told me that they said it's the engine mounts, but they are waiting for a final diagnosis on Monday.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank You
  • Hi folks. After a long search, I finally bought the 3-series of my dreams (manual, sports and premium package). It is a lovely dark blue, with tan leather interior. An absolute blast everytime.

    I wanted to ask for wax/leathercare advice. I did a quick search, and there were thousands of confusing products. I am looking for classic stuff that works on BMWs.

    1) What wax/polish for the outside of the car
    2) what leather care for inside
    3) what products to keep break dust off and make rims look nice?

    thanks for all help.
  • I'm looking at an okay looking 1989 BMW 325i sedan with automatic trans. A guy is selling it for $500.00 and it has 123,612 on the clock. But, it needs to be towed 50 miles to my home, replace the head (I can find a good one for 300.00,) change the timing belt, redo the ignition timing, and as some others said, it wouldn't hurt to change the tensioner.

    Now, what would be involved on a job like this? I know this car uses special BMW edition tools to work on. How do you do the ignition timing on a car like this? What type of BMW tools would I need to crank the #1 cylinder into its proper position? How much would it cost if a mechanic did this for just the labor if I have all the parts?

    I was looking for an okay, cheap enough BMW to last me for a while until I go to school and learn how to work on BMWs for real. Should I go for this or just wait and spend 1,500 on a working car that might have higher mileage? Some I've talked to said it would be better for me to spend more money on a newer model. The year of the car doesn't matter too much to me, so long as it has low miles and has been properly taken care of. Besides, when I do go to school, I was going to rip the car apart and redo it any ways. What do you think, should I take it or leave it?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I'd leave it. If you want to learn about BMWs you should find a car in decent shape, buy the applicable Bentley manual, and begin by performing simple maintenance and repairs.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724
    And.... find one with a manual transmission..


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • BTW, what's this I heard that a BMW that is driven low miles should use higher octane gas to keep the engine clean and give it longer life (such as low mileage, stop and go cars like in NYC)? But if it is driven higher miles, low octane can be used since it'll burn off the carbon deposits any ways? If the engine does have carbon deposits, is it easier to warm the engine up, blow a little carb cleaner through the intake and drive it down the highway for a while? Is there anything that won't run risk of damaging engine gaskets?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Total hogwash!

    Use "Premium" fuel at all times for best engine operation, fuel economy, power and cleanlyness. Consider anybody who tells you anything else as having drank too much of the aforementioned hogwash.

    Best Regards,
  • Hi there,
    I have 2006 325xi which makes a popping noise from the rear deck, when going over a bump.It also makes popping noises from the AC.The dealer technician say's that he hear's it ,but since it is intermittant he does not know what to do,as he is only allowed one attempt by BMW to remedy the problem.
    Anybody have the same problem?any ideas?
  • Hi,

    I got into an accident with my 2006 bmw 325i. The driver side front bumper was ripped off with the headlights. The left front wheel was pushed inside. no one was injured though. I need to have the car repaired in an auto body shop. Does anyone have any recommendations for body shops in the Long Island, New York area?

    I bought the car from Habberstad BMW. They do have a collision center, Should I have it done there? Or is it better off to find an independent body shop?

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,609
    I would advise ONLY using a BMW shop. (I had my rft changed a t a Goodyear shop and they damaged the rim.) I think BMW advises the same.

  • chile96chile96 Posts: 330
    Hey Shipo - My last service advisor in Atlanta (very good & knowledgable) recommended that I use plus and not premium for our '03 325i saying that it caused more "sludge" or buildup. I questioned him about this and he said they received some memo from BMW about this.

    I still didn't buy it and have kept using Premium for all our cars(except chevys :) ). Does this make any sense? I thought, in general terms, the higher the octane, the cleaner the gas?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I questioned him about this and he said they received some memo from BMW about this."

    I'd call his bluff and ask to see the memo. I'm thinking that he's full of hogwash and then some. Using Premium in an engine that isn't being driven hard will in fact cause more deposits to build up in the combustion chamber, IF you're driving a 1969 440 Magnum Charger and using leaded 100 Octane gasoline. In a modern car with fully dynamic fuel injection, valve timing and ignition timing systems only someone woefully misinformed (and very much in love with their own opinions) would suggest that Premium fuel will do anything other than allow the engine to extract the greatest mixture of power and economy that is possible for that engine.

    Best Regards,
  • Hi all...

    I have a sturdy '92 318i convertible, likely in need of a new top, but that isn't the main issue.

    When I close the driver door with the windows up, the rear edge of the driver window "locks" in the front edge of the rear window. Requires some force to open door, and I'm afraid will injure the glass eventually. Solved by closing/opening with the window down a bit 1 - 1.5 cm.

    I think the rear window needs some minor adjustment to make it tilt forward less. Problem is, I don't know how... does anyone know how to adjust the front/back tilt on these windows?? I have (many times) taken the rear inner panel off, and can "get at" the mechanism, I just didn't see anything obvious to adjust...

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,579
    oh lord where do this "advisors" dig up this stuff? Just put in what the factory says to put in, and be happy.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • fcaofcao Posts: 31
    Is it a good idea to replace it in local BMW dealer, or glass specialty shops?

    2005 325i
    front windshield now has a 1/4 inch crack, hit by a debris on freeway.

    Called a local BMW dealer quoting $354(material)+$180(labor).
    An internet quote from is $307(total).

    My comprehensive insurance deductable is $500.
  • fcaofcao Posts: 31
    Has any body tried windshield repair service, or repair resin?

    I found several places offering windshield repair service, for example:

    I think, if it's done correctly, repair may work just fine for my case, and save quite some money.

    The crack on my windshield is quite small (less than 1/4 inch), it is fresh, and it's on the lower part of the passenger side not really blocking my view.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I've had the repair done on each of my last three cars. In every case they were lease cars and VWoA Credit and BMW-FS didn't ding me for having a repaired windshield at lease end.

    Best Regards,
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