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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    My new Sumi's have zero tramlining. Tramlining is more common with wider low profile high performance tires but a lot depends on the tire itself. Keep in mind that there is much more to the sport package than tires.

    As far as rattles and squeaks, I've had 3-4 different types that have all been resolved by the dealer. My 325i has a solid feel that I think will last for many miles and years. If luxury is more important than performance, though, you will be happier with a 5-series.

    Happy 4-th, gang! It's right smack in the middle of 3- and 5-...a nice compromise for those who can't decide between the two cars ;o)
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    and soon to be a reality, judging from the latest roundel... :)

    as far as the "overly picky" person... uhhh... yea, you might be a little overly picky... the suggestion above of a lexus probably is correct for you... my old man's es is completely soundless... of course, that equates to characterless in my book, but that's just me...

  • Well, I can't wipe the grin off my face. Just took possession of my 325Ci yesterday, just in time for the holiday. She's a beaut, titanium silver, black leather, PP & HK. Production was completed on 6/8, shipped on 6/19, hit port of Charleston on 6/28, and I was driving her on 7/3. So far, everything has gone without a hitch and everything seems to be working perfectly. Interestingly enough she came with Pirelli all season tires (205/55R 16 91H). Was curious as to the general consensous with regard to the Pirellis? Also, I am having trouble interpreting the tire pressure chart on the inside frame of the driver's door. If I am reading it correctly, I think for two passengers I should have the rears at 35psi and the fronts at 30psi. Does this seem correct? Currently it looks like they have 35psi all around. Anyway just stopped home for a bite to eat. Time to hit the road and work on that break in period! Thanks for all the great info.
  • petrarchpetrarch Posts: 28
    NH is such a beautiful state, and I'm a bit homesick. Guess I was getting excited for you. :-) Thanks for the info.

    Oh, btw, is the company you'll be working for hiring? Sorry for the shameless networking, but Silicon Valley isn't looking too promising. Although gainfully employed now, it's only a matter of time...

    May I at least send you my resume? ;-)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ummm, well the company I will be working with is still quite small (like $3.5 million per year) with only a few dozen employees in the U.S., three or four in Europe and they have a small semi-captive prototyping/tool and die/manufacturing outfit in Taipei. So, at this point, it may be a little early for them to be doing any hiring, that said, give us a year or two and things may change. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    I'm on your side about the rattles and such, although I'm a bit more relaxed about them. I've had my car in to the dealer 3 times now for the seat belt rattles. The first time for the TSB "click" in which they broke a trim peice that necessitated two more trips to fix (one to order and one to install). The second time they just said they couldn't hear anyting so I told them to forget it. The last time (I had to try again cause being two inches from my ear, it drives me crazy), they just sprayed silicon everywhere. I took me 90 minutes to clean the car. I'm done trying, and living with it. Even though I'm 6'3", if I move the height adjuster down to the lowest level, the current "creaking" noise is better. The seat belt now goes around my shoulder instead of over it.

    I also have occassional "popping" noises coming from the parcel shelf, but I'm not even going to try to get that fixed.

    Like you, I still love the car for it's driving feel and handling (don't want a Lexus). I'd be surprised if you could only spend $6,000 for the upgrade even with ED. I've had the same thoughts about moving to the 5, but for me, I would want the 530, and without ED, I would be talking nearly $20,000 (including taxes) - that is crazier than living with a few rattles!
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    The latest Automobile magazine had the new Z4 on its cover and some pretty good spy shots to boot. The rear looks totally like an S2000 to me and I have mixed feelings about the front (the Mercury Cougar does come to mind) but overall, its styling looks fresh.

    I read the article on long-term boots in Roundel last night. I thought you'd love that "2% science and 98% marketing" comment they made on all-season tires. Also, I think that although they try to sound upbeat about all the tires they reviewed, I could detect some irony when they were talking about those bionic Contis. They must have had a few chuckles writing that part ;o)
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    Here's an article on the new Z4:

    I kind of like the new look.


  • orkwisorkwis Posts: 82
    I want to comment on the professionalism of my salesman here in the States, Ed Besl, The BMW Store in Cincinnati. I took my ED about 5 weeks ago and got a very quick run through in Munich. The guy was very young and appeared to be just getting comfortable with fluent English. His briefing was sufficient for safety but not entirely thorough. To be fair, I had 2 hours of sleep on the plane and was anxious to get 5 hours of driving in that day, that should also be coupled with the fact that it was the day before a holiday and very busy at the Friemann delivery center. That said, I've got to say that Ed at the BMW Store really did a thorough job of explaining EVERYTHING before I took it out on the road again, even though it was the very end of his day. I now really understand what I was tinkering with on the Autobahn while driving 95!

    FWIW, try to avoid taking delivery before a holiday in Germany. I'd also have gotten in a day earlier or scheduled an immediate stop in Munich if I'd had a little more control over my schedule. Places to go, people to meet and all. Of course, sleep is overated..anyone with young kids will understand. Lastly, keep in mind that they give you a 50 Euro coupon for food at the cafe in the delivery center. Had I been thinking I'd have taken something with me!

    Final word: Just took delivery yesterday and now the wife wants to replace her SUV as well. X5 is a possibility but doesn't have the 3rd row seat (an absolute must with 3 boys). It is interesting to see, without exception, the reaction to my new 325 from the salesman at the other dealerships. It's like their cars don't exist anymore!
  • ddblueddblue Posts: 117
    The future of BMW design has me worried. I took a look at the link for the Z4, and I can't say I'm too happy about it.

    - The use of too many lines take away from any fluidity that the Z3 had. I wasn't a huge fan of that design, but at least it was classy and elegant. What is with the Roundel behind the front wheel arches and the line that bisects it? Who's the MENSA reject who came up with that one? Bring back the Z3 vent!
    - I have nothing good to say about the posterior of the Z4. Clearly a case of trying too hard or the answer to a question no one asked. What's with the brake lights? The whole end just looks like a pregnant S2000 .
    - The headlights are too busy, esp w/ the parking lights that wrap around the bottom.
    - The kidney bean grill is too far below the headlights. This is consistent with the new 7, breaking up the line along the front. Looks like someone with their facial parts in the wrong location.
    - Other than the crisp and clearly roomier interior, there's not much I can say that's positive about this car.

    I'm sure it will look better in person than in photos (like the new 7 does), but I'm still not a fan. The new trend in BMW design has me stumped. What are they thinking over there? I want to hold onto my E46 for as long as I can. Wonder how they're going to bludgeon the 3 when the redesign comes around?
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    in all likelihood, the e46 might be the last of the 3-series...

    i like the way the z4 looks... but as someone pointed out to me on another board, that might be because i tend to like all things bmw...

    yea, brave, i got a kick out of that line... :)

  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    I've been giving some consideration to the 5-series, also. I test drove an '02 525i manual with PP and SP. I was greatly..., no, stupendously impressed with everything on this 525i except for one important factor: It did not have the low- and mid-level torque that I wanted in an automobile. The acceleration was just a little too slow for my style of driving. I, too, expected a 525i to accelerate similar to a 325i. Unfortunately, I noticed the difference, and I'm now ruling out the 525i.

    Instead, I'm going to keep an eye on a good deal for a used and/or CPO 528i or 530i. More likely, I'll be ordering a 2003 3-series. '99 528i CPO models seem to run between $33k-35k, and '00 models are a few thousand more. It's hard for me to pay as much for an '00 528i as I would pay for an '03 330i.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    Like all BMW's the designs seem to grow on folks over time. Like it or not, it seems that Mr. Bo-Bangle and company know how to design cars that sell. Everyone is entitled to their personal subjective opinion (ain't life grand?), but the sales numbers keep going up for newly designed BMW's. That is simple objective fact.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    WOW i never expected all those issues. it seems the early E46 ala mine and Shipos former were the best.... i did fail to mention i had a headlight bulb go out and stopped in the nearest dealer who replaced it in 2 minutes and did not even hold me up to write it up.I consider myself pretty picky and i dont have any of those noise/squeak issues you describe.

    Just from light reading it appeared the E46 , being the newer has been more reliable the the former and current E39 ? 5er. That said i drove a 528i for about a month and only issue was reaching in the center console for the window lifts that were not there ! habits hard to break ... lol

    Good luck in your choiceDL
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Bo Bangle lol thats funny...

    Happy 4th

  • rascal8rascal8 Posts: 54
    Congrats on your delivery! I bet someone is going to need pry you out of the drivers seat sometime this weekend ;) Just running to the QuickyMart for a loaf of bread will now be a small adventure.
    Your car is configured very similar to mine. I have a 2001 325ci, silver/black leather(the best combo out there), PP, SP, HK, 5-speed. The only modifications I have made include installing clear lenses (it does make the car look much cleaner and sportier), a lite window tint job, and a UUC clutch stop (it does make a big difference). Again congrats, and what are you doing reading this you should be out driving!
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    <<<the sales numbers keep going up for newly designed BMW's>>>

    If the new 7 is any indication, the above statement would be incorrect - see link below -

  • kyyuankyyuan Posts: 12
    I hope everyone had, or are still having, a good Fourth celebration.

    Quick question/survey: What is everyone's thought on fold-down rear seats? I've heard that the rigidity of 330i sedan may suffer a bit from it. Practically speaking, is this "reduced" rigidity something that I would notice?

    Thanks. I'll definitely ask for items such as tinting, floor mats, and cargo net. Hey, I just got a quote from Autobahn--pretty darn good.


  • idletaskidletask Posts: 171
    Hi kyyuan,

    Dismiss that myth. The whole rigidity of a car is dictated by its chassis, seats have nothing to do with that. The chassis simply has to be large enough to accomodate the seats within, that's pretty much all :)
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    If there is a slight difference, you won't notice it. That said, I had folding rear seats in my old car and I probably used that option twice over the 4 years that I owned it.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,586
    Maybe I'm showing my (young) age here, but I like what I see in the photos of the new Z4. The front looks aggressive and (looking at the glass as half full) the rear to me resembles the back end of a Ferrari 550 Maranello (before the flaming starts, I said resembles:) IMHO. The car is going to look great when we see it in person. When is it coming stateside? Is this new Z4 going to be built on the E46 platform?

    As far as BMW designs growing on me, I have to say that when the E36 came out in (1992?) I didn't like it. Granted I was 16 and wanted a 5.0 Mustang GT, but I was still a fan of the old E30. E36s still manage to turn my head to this day. I like many of you was not a fan of the new 7 when it was released, especially in the photos (The interior is still funky looking to me). I really likt the looks of the 7 series with the optional 19" wheels. It is a long, wide, & tall car that (to me) has the presence of the previous generation (1992-1999) Mercedes-Benz S-Class. I'm a HUGE fan of the old 740i SP and put one of those next to a new 7 and it looks out dated already.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • zer2zer2 Posts: 11
    Hate to beat a dead horse, but what I was once told, and have found it works very well to get rid of blind spots: Adjust your mirrors so that when a car leaves your rearview mirror it begins to enter your side mirror. If your mirrors are set up this way there will usually be very little if any blind spots and cars will be beside you as they leave your side mirror. The easiest way to do this is to get in the center lane of a three lane street and drive just a little slower than traffic so that cars come up from behind, then pass, very slowly. As the cars pass in the lanes to your left or right, adjust your mirrors so that the front bumper of the passing car is entering your side mirror as it is leaving your rearview mirror. This gives you a sort of panoramic view toward the rear of your car (from left side, to rear, to right side). I've found this works really well and eliminates all but maybe a quarter of a car length of blind spots. Needless to say, but I'll say it, is your side mirrors will be adjusted way farther out than most people are used to, but this way you can see what is to your side/back rather than three views, from the three mirrors, of the same thing behind you. You don't need to see the side of your own car. Hope this helps, it worked for me.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    They might not get used much, but when they do you really needed them and are glad you have them. (My 540i6 has 'em but my wife's 323iA doesn't. I've only used a couple times, but was glad. Also have 'em in my beater car. Use 'em there for things like taking yard waste to dump and taking kids bicycles to gas station when their tires are flat.)
  • idletaskidletask Posts: 171

    If ever your assertion came from someone who 1. has fold down seats and 2. feels they squeak, then it's very good indication that there is a problem with the chassis itself. In this case I'd urge this guy to go visit his local dealer. Altered chassis rigidity is many the worst thing that can happen to a car.
  • rascal8rascal8 Posts: 54
    Last year I puchased a product called an Autobahn Mirror. It is real small mirror that adheres to the lower left corner of your windshield. It completely eliminates blind spots and is especially usefull for high speed highway driving. I don't even turn my head anymore to execute safe lane changes. I highly recommend it. Several on-line sites sell it (,, etc.) or do a Google search on "Autobahn Mirror".
  • hgeyerhgeyer Posts: 188
    I have a MY2002 (post 9/01 build) 330i with 4,000 miles on it. I enjoy the growl that comes with this model, but over the past 2 weeks I've begun to notice a very loud noise coming from under the hood.

    The noise resembles that of a very loud fan and it occurs when I accelerate from a stop and only after the car has warmed up. I've noticed this only on super-hot (100+) days - it began on the first hot day of this summer.

    I recall there being an issue with auxiliary fans on the E46, but thought that this had been resolved prior to MY2002.

    I haven't noticed a drop in performance, yet I wonder if this noise may be the engine trying to increase airflow, given the hotter climate. Is this noise common or should I have it looked at by the dealer?

  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    The easiest way to do this is to get in the center lane of a three lane street and drive just a little slower than traffic so that cars come up from behind, then pass, very slowly. As the cars pass in the lanes to your left or right, adjust your mirrors

    Why not just park in your driveway and adjust to the details in the mirrors? ie find a detail (tree, neighbors garage, etc.) at the edge of the rearview mirror and adjust the side mirrors to that detail.

    Sounds a lot safer and easier than doing it on a highway.


    p.s. Ever wonder why we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I hear the same noise or sound. It sounds like the intake. It does not bother me. I guess I would probably have to drive someone elses car or one with a CAI. But that is my conclusion, got to be related to the intake. Does sound like the car trying to inhale air.
  • joes230joes230 Posts: 94
    I'm thinking about getting a 330i SP. I like the look and handling of the SP. However I do lots of interstate driving. During a test drive, it's hard to evaluate noise and fatigue factors that might only appear after several hours.

    Can 3-series SP owners comment on the long distance comfort (including seats and noise level) of their cars?

    - joe
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