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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • r_l_edisonr_l_edison Posts: 14
    I wouldn't expect much from the dealership on this one. The CDV is funtioning they way it was designed to (in their opinion), so it's doubtful that you will get them to even admit that a problem exists (since that would obligate them to the time and expense of correcting it). I just recieved my "new" CDV in the mail yesterday and plan on installing it this weekend. I have high hopes that this will make a huge difference in improving the driving experience of this car. I'll post an update with the results. The link I included in my last posting covers the details of the CDV, how it's suppose to work and how to fix this driveability issue. It's suppose to be a fairly quick and easy fix, so hopefully other BMW drivers will discover this and benefit from it :)
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    Be sure to post your results! I'm definitely waiting to hear about it.
  • stan1911stan1911 Posts: 12
    I had the Zeckhausen CDV replacement done in my 2001 Z3 Roadster. I also thought I was a slug for not being able to time my clutch/shifter consistently without jerking. After the replacement, and a bit of getting use to the new feel, my shifting improved dramatically. I now have control back. Definately a worthwhile modification.

    01 Z3 3.0L 5-spd
    97 528i
  • vortex1vortex1 Posts: 4
    My 1994 BMW 325i brake lights are stuck on and I saw on that this was a recall issue. My vehicle has 170,000 and I am not the original owner so I am sure the recall fix will not apply to me.
    Any clue what the recall fix was so I can do it myself?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Your problem is almost certainly caused by a bad brake light switch. Since the problem involves a safety-related recall, it wouldn't hurt to drop by the dealer and have them check to see if the recall was ever performed on your car. If not, replacement of the switch is cheap and easy- see here.
  • vortex1vortex1 Posts: 4
    OK, looks easy enough and I'll order the part.
    Thanks for the help.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Sorry, I cut and pasted the wrong link. Try this one.
  • vortex1vortex1 Posts: 4
    Appreciate the help as it directed me to the real issue.
    There's a triangular metal plate that holds the brake light switch in place (as well as what looks like a clutch safety switch). That metal bracket had come unscrewed from it's brace so the switch was just dangling there.
    Screwed the plate back onto the body frame and it works like new.
    Thanks again.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I'm just glad you were able to fix the problem so easily!
  • vortex1vortex1 Posts: 4
    Me too, now I have cruise control back =)
  • Thanks to the input from all concerned. I had the damage repaired at Boyce Body Werks in Batavia, Illinois. Total cost was $498. They did a superb job. I was advised, however, that they can not pull this rabbit out of the hat least not on this bumper cover. Any future damage would warrant the replacement of the cover as further sanding and repair of this renovated cover would be ill advised.

    My reason for writing however, is to pass along a lesson I learned when I picked up the car. The shop owner brought my car around and parked it where I was standing near the front door. He shut the engine off, pulled the key fob out of the dash and handed it to me, which I placed in my pocket with another fob I brought with me from home. I immediately got in the car and put a fob in the dash and...nothing. I pushed the start button and got nothing. No click whir or whine. I switched fobs and got the same result. We went inside and he called one of his maint techs over (they do a lot of work on BMWs) and he tried and the car started right up.

    I had to pass the BMW dealership where I bought the car on my way to work so I stopped there to see a service rep about the dead engine syndrome. He took both fobs and demonstrated that if I use one, pull it out and switch to the other without waiting about 60 to 90 seconds the car's security system will not recognize the new fob. Accordingly it will not start the car. If I immediately switchback to the first fob, same result.

    Long story but could save someone a service call. When the car does not start after inserting the fob, the natural tendancy would be to go back and forth a few times with two fobs before assuming that the problem is with the car electircal or ignition system, but the rapid exchanging of the fob is enough to shut 'er down for a few minutes.

  • msim2020msim2020 Posts: 12
    i am considering getting an extended warranty for my 325i that expires in september 2006. wondering if anybody here has ideas on what warranty is appropriate (coverage benefits and deductible) and value for money.

  • unboringuyunboringuy Posts: 90
    I've got a 2001 330xi, bought new, that has been using about 0.5 quarts of oil every 3,000 miles or so. Had it checked at the dealership and it supposedly is in spec to use up to one quart every 1,000 miles. Just recently (6 weeks ago) had the oil changed, and now I'm using about a quart in 1,000 miles. Took it back in and they said the same thing...normal and in spec.

    This is my first BMW, and I must say I am rather disturbed by this use of oil!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    You can have a "cylinder leakdown test" performed for about $100 and this will definitely tell you if your engine has internal issues or if maybe you miscalculated or perhaps there's just a leak somewhere.

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  • pattiluvpattiluv Posts: 9
    Advice wanted/needed.

    Have purchased beautiful, brand new 330 ci --owned for two and a half weeks.

    Mostly freeway driving, a little in-town stuff. Have been getting average 15 mpg on highway, tho this number is actually dropping! It drops to about 11 or 12 mpg sometimes.

    Took it to a dealer -- who says -- right on paper --- "15 mpg" is normal. They say they checked emissions, computer, etc. and there is nothing they can do, it's in perfect condition.

    I do not live in especially hilly, cold or hot area so have no reason to suspect unusual circumstances. Mostly flat where I drive and avg. termperature is mild 60's and '70's. And I drive conservatively, (especially during the break in.)

    I am concerned about the following: In addiion to much higher fuel costs and inconvenience in having to fuel up, lower performance from car, and something wrong with engine, leading to shorter life.

    Of course I am concerned, since others seem to be getting much better mileage --- and also this challenges my sense of fairness. I would also like to know if I am alone in this issue?

    I would love suggestions/creative ideas as to how to proceed? Any ideas welcomed and appreciated from the BMW community.

    The broker (who was great in all other ways before this) now says, "Well, it's a high performance car". So, he wasn't very sympathetic. He said, go to the dealer. I am at a little loss here for what next, but I suspect something is truly amiss in this whole situation. (And yes I even did a VIN check!)

    Thanks in advance for any help,
  • aticatic Posts: 3
    Before I take my 1997 318ti to the dealership, I would like to know somewhat of whats going on with my car..whenever I accelerate and my ac is on, a light comes on that looks like a circle with three dots around each side (i dont have a manuel so i dont know what that and then when i first start up the car with my ac on and press the gas it makes this scraping i have possibly thought the problem is the ac..does anyone know what that light is and whats going on??? thanks...
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    You must be driving a heck of a lot to be able to calculate and have concerns about your mileage in only a 2 1/2 week period! That said, it does seem like you are a good 5mpg below what is common for an E46 330. Then again, mileage is often a good bit worse on a brand new car, and will improve as the engine breaks in and loosens up a bit.

    I would suggest getting some more time and miles on the car, and then start bugging the dealer if your mileage does not improve to at least the high teens or low twenties. Fifteen mpg might be within what BMW would consider the "normal" range, but I wouldn't consider it "usual".
  • pattiluvpattiluv Posts: 9
    thanks--- i have a mpg reader right on the dash so i can watch it in motion, it takes a moving average all the time. there is also a second one in the nav system that makes not one, but two sligthly different calculations... don't know the difference but there are within one tenth of a gallon apart.

    what concerns me is my mpg has actually been dropping since i got the car. it was about 16.6 when i got it which is bad enough since most people report low 20's (tho some "drive off the lot" and get 30) --- and now mine is down to 11-14 range. that's right. my average was 13.4 getting off the freeway last night. so i am not doing any math. this is real time.

    thanks for your post.

    best, patti
  • nkeennkeen SE PennaPosts: 313
    I have about 2,300 miles on my 2006 325i with SP and manual trans. So far I'm averaging a little over 25 mpg on my commute (mix urban, suburban and highway). Last weekend I averaged 31.3 mpg on a trip to New England with the a/c on, 70 to 80 mph. I have seen a 34 mpg average over several miles, 65 to 70 mph with the a/c off. I don't know what the older technology coupe's numbers officially are, but from what I remember the E90 325i and 330i figures are comparable, so 11-14 sounds very low with that frame of reference.
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    Reading some postings with average mileage of 25 and above will surly concern you on your new car. My current mileage of the 02' 325 AWD wagon gets around 19 in mixed driving on highway/local and 25 on straight highway. My 06' 330i gets 21 in mixed roads and 28 on straight highway. I've never got over 30 as some claimed and I don't really drive with a lead foot.
    If you are getting 16 during the break-in period, I think your mileage will improve as I had experienced. You may have a problem if it stays at this level.
  • pattiluvpattiluv Posts: 9
    thanks.... by the way, what was your break in experience? where did you start at in mpg, how long did it last, etc?
  • pattiluvpattiluv Posts: 9
    hi, wow, now that's what i am looking for, at least hoping for. let's be honest, was dreaming of, when i bought my car... at least something close to those numbers.

    would love to hear about your break in experience. did you by the car new? if so what happened when you drove off the lot and how has anything changed since then?

    thanks much, patti
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    I recall that my 02 wagon used a quart of oil during the first 3,000 miles and never a drop since, but I don't remember the initial mileage.
    You may really want to make an issue if your mileage continues to be at 16 or under after a few thousand miles. Both engines in the E90 models are quite fuel efficient. Call BMW Customer Service if your dealer refuses to respond to the problem.
  • brianm4brianm4 Posts: 33
    I am thinking of purchasing a 325ci convertible and was wondering if the Bluetooth is useable with the top down. The dealer said it is, but might be hard to hear. Not that unusual, but how about with the top up, the convertible is louder then the coupe and I want to make sure I will be able to use my Bluetooth phone.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,320
    The bluetooth works fine, either way... The car isn't noisy enough with the top up to have much effect.. The volume can go up as loud as the stereo controls, so you really shouldn't have any trouble with the top down, unless you are riding next to a semi-truck.. Not sure how good the voice recognition will be during high noise levels, though...

    The biggest thing is the battery drain on your phone, while connected to bluetooth. Unless you leave it plugged in while in the car, or have the charging cradle installed, it will go dead in a couple of hours...


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  • gio100gio100 Posts: 6
    I'm in the Boston area and would like a recommendation of a good mechanic. I need to replace my engine due to overheating and don't really want to spend $2000.00 at the dealer. Suggestions please...
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I need to replace my engine due to overheating and don't really want to spend $2000.00 at the dealer.

    Please give me the name of the dealer who will replace an M54 for $2000-I'll have them stick one in my Club Sport. :P
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I don't know if Hudson, NH is too far away, however, these guys do very good work for (relatively) resonable prices.

    Best Regards,
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,461
    He probably means a head gasket at that price. A replacement engine would be triple that.

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  • canman1971canman1971 Posts: 61
    A couple times when it's been really hot, my temp guage would go up and I'd have to turn up the heat for it to go down. It immediately goes down and hasn't happened again. I called the dealer and asked them and they said it could be some air pockets in my lines. So I added water and the level never went down again. It happened once after I added the water, which was about 2 weeks ago and hasn't done it again and the fluid levels are fine. Should I be concerned? I did have to replace a reserve tank a couple of months ago, which is why he said there could be air pockest.
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