2003 BMW 3-Series Service

03newbie03newbie Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in BMW
I recently purchased a 2003 325i BMW. I have a -1250 Inspection light being displayed and a service engine soon light displayed. The car has 28000 miles on it. Do I take it to a local shop or to the dealership this first service time?


  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    I have a -1250 Inspection light being displayed and a service engine soon light displayed. The car has 28000 miles on it.

    The two messages are not related; the Service Engine Soon light indicates that your car's on-board diagnostics have detected a fault in the emission control system. Any Autozone can read out the fault code for free. The Inspection countdown is for what BMW calls an "Inspection 1", which is nothing more than an oil/filter change combined with a thorough examination of the car. A good independent BMW shop can service your car or you can use the dealer.
  • 03newbie03newbie Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for your reply. What will the dealer do if I take it in now for its 30,000 service? Also can the dealer print out all of the services done on the car anywhere in the country/
  • etomorietomori Member Posts: 11
    You should be under warranty and w/in the 4 year/50,000 mile maintenance plan that came with the car. I just bought a 03 330i w/ 34,000 miles and got a check engine light. It went in for warranty repairs free of charge at the BMW dealer. I do not know why div2 suggested an independent garage when you have a BMW factory maintenance program and warranty for 4 years or 50,000 miles. You should go to the dealer for the repairs which should be free under warranty and any maintenance needs should also be taken care of free. You do not have to be the original owner for such coverage.
  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    I do not know why div2 suggested an independent garage when you have a BMW factory maintenance program and warranty for 4 years or 50,000 miles.

    03newbie asked if he had to go to the dealer and I explained that it wasn't required. In some cases the nearest dealer may be so far away or so incompetent that the indie shop may be a better choice. If the dealer is located within a reasonable driving and provides quality work then by all means use the dealer, especially if BMWis paying for it. That said,I'd still bring my own Mobil 1 0W-40 and change it every 7500 miles.
  • rlathamrlatham Member Posts: 50
    Call the dealer. Depending on the in service date of your 2003 car it could still be covered under factory covered maintenence. All 2003's had that.
  • shopokaneshopokane Member Posts: 4
    Hello all,
    son just purchased 1996 bmw 328i this past week from a private party. Car was really cared for, looks great, clean, etc...so we did not choose to get a mechanic to look at it in advance. Now, a week later, the check engine light went on today. I know that when a gas cap is not on tight, that can cause a loss in the vaccuum and result in the light coming on , but I checked the gas cap, and it is on snugly, so does not look like that is the source of the light going on.

    I have not had a chance to do much in tracking down a recommended bmw mechanic in my area (thousand oaks) does anyone here have any that they highly recommend, between calabasas and camarillo?
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Fast answer: http://www.bmwcca.com/

    Their web site has resources that will allow you to find a mechanic local to wherever you happen to be.

    Best Regards,
  • shopokaneshopokane Member Posts: 4
    Shipo, Thank you for the quick reply. When I go to bmwcaa.com I am not sure what sub category I should click on to pull up mechanic info. do you know what I click on from their home page?
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Unfortunately I don't remember off-hand and doubly unfortunately, their site isn't coming up for me right now. :(

    Best Regards,
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 233,119
    Also try: www.BIMRS.org

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  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    Sometimes the gas cap is bad, also. I believe they can be tested.

  • steven48steven48 Member Posts: 21
    I'm new to the site, and finding it very usefull. Has anyone had any bad experiences w/this "stupid" seat belt assist arm? I just bought a 328 / 07 coupe, this just looks like trouble waiting to happen. It kinda reminds me of when Mercedes had put mini wipers on their headlights, back in the early 80's. I find them very unnecessary, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from buying the car. Thanks for any feedback.
  • sps1sps1 Member Posts: 1
    Actually it's BMWCCA.ORG. To find the info it looks like it's in the message board area for members. I looked there but no one in the Woodland Hills-Camarillo Area is listed (and only a few on the west coast are listed). I'm going to give German Car Tech a try (on T.O. Blvd across from the Civic Arts Plaza) to put a short shifter and new pads on my M-3. You can e-mail me in a few weeks to see if i regretted it: [email protected]
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    What would be great is if you would post how it works out!
  • bemerbemer Member Posts: 20
    How the oil change service works on 2007 3 series?
    I know is every ~15K (or whenever oil control comes up).
    My car has only about 5K and was purchased in Jan 2007.
    Am I eligible for a free oil service once a year regardless of mileage as well?
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    No you are not eligible for a free oil change. BMW has long since removed the one year requirement for oil changes as research has shown that oils that meet the BMW LL-01 oil spec (and/or the VW 503.01 standard) virtually don't oxidize at all with the passage of time.

    Best Regards,
  • broiler1broiler1 Member Posts: 6
    This might seem like a silly question but what is the little square box for on the right side of the back bumper? It looks like it is supposed to open but does not. Looks like a smaller version of the gas door.

    I have an '07 335 but see these on all BMW's.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Member Posts: 5,481
    Tow hook/eye access required by Europe (Germany only?). They're on both the front & rear of any car marketed on the continent. The actual structure underneath the bumper cover may not be present in North American vehicles, but the cover itself is universal.
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the Tow-Hook port is used for tie-downs on the Ro-Ro vessels that bring our cars over here from Germany. In the case of my ED 530i, I dropped it off with E.H. Harms in Munich with the cover intact, and when I picked it up here in the U.S., the cover had gone missing and the metal underneath showed signs of recent use.

    Best Regards,
  • bemerbemer Member Posts: 20

    Your contribution to this forum is incredible, and I am sure many members are grateful to have someone like you here.
    Regarding my question and your answer, I actually called BMW dealer and apparently is still 15K or one year, whichever comes first. They told me to bring car around one year anniversary – “doesn’t even have to be exactly one year”.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Thanks. :blush:

    Regarding my question and your answer, I actually called BMW dealer and apparently is still 15K or one year, whichever comes first. They told me to bring car around one year anniversary – "doesn't even have to be exactly one year".

    Hmmm, interesting. I'm quite sure that some sort of a service bulletin of some sort was issued a year or two back that stated that the one year oil life age requirement had been rescinded. I'll dig around and see what I can find.

    Best Regards,
  • bemerbemer Member Posts: 20

    I am not sure if I want to challenge my dealer on this one…?
    I forgot to mention that I did talk to the salesperson, the one that sold me this car (actually I was sold on it before I came to the dealership -?. The story could be different when I talk to service manager.
  • broiler1broiler1 Member Posts: 6
    Thanks, cdnpinhead and shipo. One other question; I've got a dent in mine and wanted to get a new one. Do you know if you are able to buy these or you need to buy a new bumper?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Member Posts: 3,118
    2007 BMW E90 335i "painted towing eye flap" part #51120034445

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=VB73&mospid=49550&btnr=51_5828&hg=- 51&fg=15
  • cotmccotmc Member Posts: 1,081
    They told me to bring car around one year anniversary – “doesn’t even have to be exactly one year”.

    I've been getting similar feedback from service advisors at two different local BMW dealerships. They both will provide oil change services at one-year anniversaries, if the service indicator is not yet down to zero.

    However, I think your sales guy is incorrect regarding his "doesn't even have to be exactly one year" advice he gave you. From what I understand, BMW is very strict now regarding these terms. I've been told BMW will provide this complementary service only if the service indicator is all the way down to zero, or if a full 12 months have passed since the previous oil change.

    Earlier this year, I wanted to bring in my 2005 325 for its 1-year oil change service. (The indicator still showed about 2000 miles.) I asked if I could bring it in on Feb 10? The service advisor said "no"; I needed to wait until at least Feb 16, because that was the exact date of the previous year's service. So, I ended up bringing it on the 17th, instead.
  • vickikechvickikech Member Posts: 4
    Hi, I have a 2002 325i sedan with Auto trans. My car's developed a chirping cricket-like sound in the area of the driver's side front area. My mechanic says it's not mechanical. It comes and goes, and it's gotten a lot more annoying. It's not tied to speed, AC/fan operation, or anything I can tell. Has anyone else experienced this? Thank you.
  • vickikechvickikech Member Posts: 4
    According to the dealer, the fan control unit needed to be replaced. Just fyi.
  • bspechtbspecht Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 325i and am experiencing the same high-pitched buzzing, chirping sound, it seems to be coming from my dashboard. It sounds more electrical than belt-driven. I've tried to turn on/off the AC and the radio, but neither of those make it go away. It's very annoying, but typically it goes away after two or three minutes of driving. It it's intermittent, and starts after I start the car, mostly in the afternoon or evening. Anyone else having this problem? What's the solution.
  • vickikechvickikech Member Posts: 4
    Hello Bspecht, the dealer replaced the fan control unit and that fixed the chirpping, buzzing problem. Am very glad, because it was really getting on my nerves.
  • saminasamina Member Posts: 2
    I need to get my 50,000 mile service done on my 2005 BMW 325i in Houston. I heard the dealer charges around $900. Is this true? Can anyone recommend a good private mechanic who can competently do this service maintenance for less than the dealer?
  • mjones9mjones9 Member Posts: 2
    My 335Xi is approaching 6000 miles and I would like to replace the oil myself before the maintenance schedule says to, as I did on my previous 330i. Does this require a plate to be removed to access the oil drain plug and if so does it come off easily and how much are the bolts torqued when replaced?


  • kominskykominsky Member Posts: 850

    Maybe this will help.


    Looks very similar to my 330Ci, so probably very similar to your 330i also. There is a textual write-up near the bottom of the page. No torque specs given though. Aren't they in your manual?
  • mjones9mjones9 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the help. I have a manual for my 330i but there are no manuals out yet for the 335. My 330i did not require anything to be removed to access the drain plug.

  • wynn3wynn3 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a BMW 325i witn 60,000 miles, i went ahead and got the 60,000 service done but the service light is still on. They told me that was normal?? Is that true?? I am not sure what I should do. I bought an extended warranty should I take it in to get looked at?

    Thank you for your help
  • vickikechvickikech Member Posts: 4
    That's lame. It's not normal. So long as there's nothing else the matter with the engine, the sensor's probably bad. Lots of sensors on mine had to be replaced. The window guvenors (sp?) are bad too, at least for the 2002 325i.
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 17,251
    I just bought a BMW 325i with 60,000 miles, i went ahead and got the 60,000 service done but the service light is still on.

    Do you mean the Oil Service or Inspection light?

    They told me that was normal?? Is that true?

    They are either idiots, fools, or liars- or possible even all three.

    The following procedure may, repeat may work, but I have not personally used it on an E90 3er:

    Step 1
    Insert key into slot
    Step 2
    Press start/stop button without depressing clutch/brake and wait for the service reminder to dissapear.
    Step 3
    Immediately after service reminder goes out, press and hold the odometer reset. After 3 secs a warning triangle will appear, keep the odo. button pressed and after another 2-3 secs the Oil can will appear. I f you hold it too long (10 secs in total) you will overshoot the runway and some German writing will appear giving the software level/ can bus etc. of the car. Go back to the beginning and start again.
    Step 4
    You are now in the service menu, use the toggle switch on indicator stalk to scroll up/down through the various service items.
    Step 5
    When you have the item you want to reset showing, press the BC button on end of indicator stalk. Reset should now appear in the display. Press in and hold the BC button for 2-3 secs and a clock will start whirling around and hey presto, its done
    Step 6
    You can now either scroll up/down to select another item (as in step 4) or you can press the start/stop button to exit.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2021 Sahara 4xe 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • dave266dave266 Member Posts: 1
    How would we find someone to repair a blower motor/rheostat in the Appleton WI area? We're not having much luck. The dealer wants to replace the entire unit at a cost of over $1,500. We've had this happen before and it was only a rheostate that was pretty cheap plus labor.


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