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BMW 3-Series: FAQ



  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Actually , they do. If you 1st hit the unlock button, depending on your settings then simply hold it down, all windows and Moonroof will open.

    only used it a few times, but wait till after dinner , while everyones standing around admiring your ride and descretly hold it down and watch them react, lol

  • rshaw11rshaw11 Posts: 52
    Thanks, I'll give it a try. I'm still discovering things about the car, even after 4-weeks. It must be the window close by remote function that doesn't work in U.S. cars. I know that the key/window functions work well, but not something I do often.
  • wlypwlyp Posts: 4
    You probably didn't press the unlock button on your key long enough. When we got the car, we also thought remote window opening didn't work. But we discovered you have to be patient and hold the button down long enough (at least several seconds). Also you have to press the key twice (or once depending on your key setting) to unlock every door before that works.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The 1992-1993 3ers had quite a few teething problems. Also, prior to 1994 the 1.8 engine had a problem with failures of what BMW calls the "profile gasket". I would want a qualified BMW tech go over the car with a fine-toothed comb. I would also want a full service history showing that oil, coolant, and brake fluid were changed at the specified intervals. If I couldn't afford a 1994-up, I would get a 1991 318is. The E30 body has a timeless charm and will be just as much fun to drive.
  • bjjones1bjjones1 Posts: 1
    What kind of maintenance cost can I expect for a 323is Coupe. Terribly expensive?
  • rghesselrghessel Posts: 122
    Does anyone know (even if minor) what changes will be made to the 2003 3-series? I know it was just recently redesigned, so I'm not expecting anything major...but the little changes might push me to getting the BMW over some of the other cars I'm looking at...
  • pearl2000pearl2000 Posts: 12
    I take possession of my new 320i on Friday. What can I/should I expect in terms of what the dealer will go through with me in terms of operation of all the bells and whistles. I got a mini lesson on the test drive but I think I was in information overload as I was just having too much fun driving. Also, what kind of "give-aways" if any can I expect or should I request...floor mats, extra key etc. Thanks!
  • phillkyphillky Posts: 1
    Well I have decided on getting a BMW 325 Convertible 1994 Model with Japaneses specs, are there any backdraws for this model or the country of manufacture another thing is does it leak air from the outside at high speeds coz here in the gulf the heat is like HELL !!
  • carjimcarjim Posts: 155
    Regarding BMWs built in South Africa, read today's Wall Street Journal (7/31). In a nut shell, the quality level at that plant is their best, topping the German plant.
  • I've had my 325i for a day that throaty growl! Two questions: 1. The black vertical trim between the windows (outside) seems to be a fingerprint magnet. Suggestions for cleaning? (Yes, I'm really trying to use the door handle only.) 2. I have the Steptronic automatic and want to try shifting. Where is it most useful? I figure I might be able to downshift on highway exits to avoid breakpad wear. Does that sound logical?

    Well, I'm leaving. Roads to drive!
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    I sort of gave up on engine braking, except on special occasions after an old-timer asked me, "Which do you think are cheaper, brake parts or transmission parts?"

    As for the black fingerprints, I haven't found a good solution yet myself. Anyone have one? I don't recommend anything oily or with silicon as they tend to streak, which is a variation of the same annoyance.
  • I am picking up my new 325 this friday but I was wondering if there are any golfers out there who own this car and if they have trouble fitting golf clubs in the trunk, any info would be appreciated thanks
  • HI, I'm a new owner of a 325i with 170k mi.
    It has a few problems already, and I don't know who to turn to. Tried one mechanic in Davis, G & R, and I absolutely do not trust them. My door panels are loose and causing damage- is my most pressing problem. I'm desperate for a trustworthy mechanic, for this as well as a few electrical problems.

  • tgravo2

    We own a 01 325Ci. My cart and clubs just about fill up the total trunk space. I can get two sets in the trunk without a cart. If you have a large bag, you may have trouble. My one bag just fits across the trunk. But, we did not buy these cars to be golf carts, did we?

    The trip to the course is much nicer now.
  • For 2002 models, does any body know if there is a difference between suspensions for 325xi vs 325i? If a sports package is added to both, do they both get same suspension?
    I just got a 325xi a week ago, no sports package, and did not get a good answer from the dealer.
    Thanks for the reply.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    The xi does have a sport suspension, but it is NOT the same as the sport suspension for the i.

    I drove a 325i while my xi was in for it's 15,000 service. The suspension did feel a bit different, but I think it felt more since just because my wheels are a bit narrower on my xi and my ride height is .7" higher (on the xi).

    But there indeed is a different suspension. As for 2003, I dunno.

    -Paul (My 325xi)
  • tgravo2tgravo2 Posts: 70
    I was wondering if you had trouble cleaning your rims. Your car looks great. I dont have the xi I just have a 325i with the sport package and I have to clean my rims almost every other day. That has been my only little quirk about this car is the brake dust that collects on the rims. I have 6 spoke rims so I know you must have trouble with yours. Also how do you like your xm radio, I thought of putting one in mine but I just cant get myself to like the antenna, also did you install it yourself because I was looking to put the deck in the same place and I wanted to know if it was a tough job.
  • tgravo2tgravo2 Posts: 70
    can anyone tell me what the button thats shaped like a speaker do? I think you have to have the harmon kardon stereo for it to be there its right above the stick next to the DSC button, the dealer told me it turned off the subs but it does not, it just makes the music sound different, a little worse in my opinion, thanks for any help
  • jsh139jsh139 Posts: 42
    If it's anything like the Harman Kardon system in the E36 3-series, it's called the Spacializer Switch. The manual says that turning it on makes the music sound as if you're in a much bigger area.

    It sounds like it turns down the treble or something when you turn it off. But what does it actually do? I have no clue :( I leave mine on the side with the bigger speaker picture.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Thanks for your comments about the car and the XM.

    Actually, the rims are very easy to keep clean. I have a tool that I picked up at the auto shop to get between them. You can also use a soft paintbrush to clean between them. Works well for me.

    As for the XM, I am wishing a bit that I had gotten the Terk antenna and mounted it up on the roof, but I wanted magnetic mount so I could hide the antenna when I wasn't in the car or in a bad area. I had somebody install it. The shop is the only place around that my BMW dealership will honor warranty work on. So if something goes wrong with my head unit, BMW will still work on it. That was very important to me.

    As for mounting the display where I did, it was a bit of work. They made a custom piece of plastic to fit the display unit, then brushed it and added some trim work to make it match the rest of the car. That was the longest part of the installation. But well worth it. I only wish I could have tilted it just a bit so it was easier to read. The remote stores perfectly in the armrest.

    Another issue with the installation was making the RF unit fit into the dash. Apparently, the space back there is a premium, so it took some packing. Do NOT go to a place like Best Buy to have it installed for 'free.' You will get what you pay for. My installation, while not perfect, is much cleaner and there is not 1" of cable to be seen in my car at all (except for the antenna in the trunk).

  • tgravo2tgravo2 Posts: 70
    Thanks for the advice, I was definitely going to get the Terk antenna or the sony antenna which are both roof mounted, the sony is a little smaller than the terk. I am not a big fan of the pioneer fin antenna. I am leaning more towards just adding a nice Pioneer cd player with XM capability to replace my factory CD player, that way I have a nice radio and all I need to get is the receiver and antenna.

    Anybody out there change out their factory CD player to an aftermarket one, anyone have pics of it??

    I am really worried how it will look sitting right above the A/C controls because it looks so clean right now, It fits together well, also I have the H/K system, it is 12 speakers and the cd players are listed as 50x4 for 50 watts for 4 speakers, anybody know if a new CD player will not improve sound quality because of the number of speakers, and also if I get a CD player with preamp outputs and a subwoofer output, can I use this subwoofer output with my factory amp and subs???

    Also has anyone ever replaced the factory amp for a better one, anyone know the location of the amp on an 02 325 with H/K, and anyone know the specs on the amp.

    Sorry for so many questions, I just got this car, thanks for all your help guys.
  • I own a 325i as well. It's a [non-permissible content removed] to clean the rims. The other fellow that has no problem with it, must wash them everyday. I once did not clean them for about 3 weeks. When I started washing them, I realized it was going no where. Needless to say, I went at it for so long that it damaged the paint and I had to get the rim re-painted. I guess frequest cleaning is the only way to avoid it.
  • What tool you use to clean the rims? Do you use any washing liquid to remove the brake dust easily? I read a post on putting wax on the rim to minimize the brake dust accumulation but I think the post didn't specify what brand/type of wax is used.

    I just got my 330i last Wednesday. After 3 days of driving the car for about 100 miles, there are considerable accumulation of brake dust on the rims. I used orange cleaner (degreaser) and paper towel. I think I spent more than 30 minutes.

    A appreciate any suggestion/help on this matter.


  • hgeyerhgeyer Posts: 188
    Use caution with the "orange stuff". I bought some of this at Costco for my 330i rims. The fine print on the label says "not for aluminum". I called the customer service department of the manufacturer and they told me that the product is not recommended for aluminum rims.

    I promptly threw the stuff out, so I couldn't tell you the brand.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Use BMW's proprietary wheel cleaner or P21s. NEVER EVER use paper towels on your wheels- you will scratch the clearcoat. Use a sponge and a soft bristle wheel brush. Once you get the procedure down it shouldn't take more than five minutes per wheel, tops.
  • I recently purchased a new 325I last week. It was an over the phone deal so I really had no salesman to explain all the goodies and gadgets with me. For example, the headlight washers, seat memory, etc. I also have heard that they can program some things for me at the dealership such as automatic locking doors, etc. Could anyone let me in on some of the secrets so that when I return to the dealership, I know what to ask about. Thanks for your help guys!!
  • Thanks hgeyer/div2 for your advice. Appreciate it very much.
  • I purchased wheel brush from and wheel liquid cleaner from Has anybody tried these products?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I don't know about the wheel brush, but in my experience Griots products tend to be of high quality but sometimes a bit expensive. Their customer service is excellent.
  • jsh139jsh139 Posts: 42
    I use "automotive" Simple Green on my wheels. It's a very mild detergent. But, it strips wax, so if you have wax on your wheels (a very good idea) you will need to reapply.

    I've been using it for a year and a half and have not noticed any ill effects. It also works great on removing bugs and road tar from the front bumper :)

    I think it cost something like $3.00 for a nice sized bottle at Pep Boys.


This discussion has been closed.