Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

17879818384105

Comments

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293
    Makes you think about the BMW organization and their approach to over the top repair costs.

    You have to remember that the US dealer franchise laws make if nearly impossible for manufacturers to get rid of a dealer short of actionable fraud or established criminal activity. I know for a fact that BMW NA is not pleased by this conduct, but their hands are literally tied. I've found that dealer prices for identical work can vary by a factor of three or more. Some dealers-like mine-do good excellent work at a fair price. That said, I also have a good indie BMW tech I use for some work, especially on my "vintage" BMWs.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,475
    Just like roadburner said. Different Dealers will give you different prices for the same work. A few months ago my wife backed into a rock wall trying to turn around in a driveway in her '07 X3. Thankfully she only cracked the right tail lamp. I called the dealer where I leased the car from and was quoted $120 for the part. I called a local dealer (a BMWNA owned store) and was told $85 + tax. I then asked if they give BMWCCA discounts...$75 all together. The best part is that I performed the repair myself and saved money just by making a few phone calls.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2017 Pilot Touring AWD, 2019 Tacoma TRD Sport 4WD

  • I have this same problem with my 2004 330 Ci. I don't drive the car daily, its normally in my garage but it has done it twice this month. Also, last month while looking at new BMW's the doors wouldn't open, windows wouldn't come down nor would the top. It took about 10 minutes before the doors would unlock and everything seemed normal. My car seems to require antifreeze to be added more frequently than I am use to. I filled it up the first of December but had to add more again about a week ago. Is this normal??
  • asi12asi12 Posts: 46
    What of regular maintenance is required for 3 series?
    Would regular oil and filter change at 6 months (for less than 5K/m month driving) and big stuff like fluids (transmission, radiator, brake, steering wheel) change every 3-4 years are enough or it need more than that?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Oil and filter: 15,000 miles
    Coolant (flush and replace with BMW approved coolant only): Every 4 years
    Brake fluid (flush and replace with DOT 4 only): Every 2 years
    Manual transmission fluid (no recommended replacement): Probably should be done at least every 100,000 miles
    Automatic transmission fluid (no recommended replacement): Probably should be done at least every 100,000 miles
    Steering wheel: Last time I checked, those were good to go for the life of the car
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293
    I think BMW now does call for a 100,000 mile ATF change. I'm still on the cautious side; I change the oil at 7,500 miles and the transmission-slushbox OR stick-at 50,000 miles. Ditto for the final drive. If I use the car on the track I still use the 7,500 engine oil change interval, but I change the remaining driveline oils at 30,000 miles- and the brake fluid gets changed every six months. Having said all that, for the street driven BMW I'm sure Shipo's recommendations would be more than adequate. I just have a bad case of OCD when it comes to automobile maintenance...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • asi12asi12 Posts: 46
    I drive mostly city (stop and go) and like 5000 miles a year. What is best interval for driver like me, 6 months or a year?

    Does BMW requires to do maintenance by their dealer only? Now with the digital advancement, more and more cars (even camry too) have electronics/computers in it. Does other repair shop needs to have some sort of computer?

    For example, I have heard most German cars require you do tire rotation or changing all 4 tires at once (esp. in AWD and which is not necessary in my opinion) or changing all season to winter tires by them otherwise car computer senses a mismatch. Is this the case with BMW?

    These are thing which I asked has to be done on every car, is there any thing special needs to be done with BMW?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293
    I drive mostly city (stop and go) and like 5000 miles a year. What is best interval for driver like me, 6 months or a year?

    A annual oil change should be fine.

    Does BMW requires to do maintenance by their dealer only? Now with the digital advancement, more and more cars (even camry too) have electronics/computers in it. Does other repair shop needs to have some sort of computer?

    If the car is under the new car warranty have the work performed at the dealer as it is free. Out of warranty a good BMW tech can handle most all maintenance and repairs. That said, many dealers-such as mine-often can perform work at prices as good or better than some indie shops.

    For example, I have heard most German cars require you do tire rotation or changing all 4 tires at once (esp. in AWD and which is not necessary in my opinion) or changing all season to winter tires by them otherwise car computer senses a mismatch. Is this the case with BMW?

    The work doesn't have to be performed by a dealer, but if you only replace one tire on an AWD car there is a very good chance that it will cause additional wear or set a malfunction code- especially if the remaining tires are over 25%-30% worn.

    These are thing which I asked has to be done on every car, is there any thing special needs to be done with BMW?

    Follow the BMW service schedule and you'll be fine.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • asi12asi12 Posts: 46
    Thanks roadburner
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    A friend of mine who owns a 2007 (??) 328xi needs to have this vehicle equipped with hand controls. Any idea of where I might find some info about this, so I can investigate this for her?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,934
    Did you know that BMW will pay to have a new or certified BMW equipped with hand controls? I didn't.

    http://www.murraybmwofdenver.com/bmw-mobility-program.aspx

    Don't know if this program is retroactive, but it's a pretty new car so it wouldn't hurt to check. Anyway, there's a link at the bottom of the page to find facilities that will do mods like this.

    Here's what looks like a low-cost, even do-it-yourself hand control mod:

    http://www.quickconnectionhandcontrols.com/benefits.htm
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    EGG-cellent backy...thank you so much!
  • I'm interested in buying a used BMW 3 series, somewhere in the 1998 year range. I'm curious as to what I'm looking at when getting into the mechanics of the car, and what it's going to need from me. Would anyone be interested in giving me some tips? I'd appreciate any information you can give me.

    What known common mechanical problems are there?
    What is the price range for repairs on these vehicles? Would something that is normally a $250 repair cost me $500?
    Will I need to take this ONLY to a BMW specialist?

    Basically, I realize that owning a BMW is obviously going to be an expense higher than something such as a Honda, but I'm wanting to get a general idea of what that expense is actually going to be, and if I want to get myself into that or not.

    I'm seeing the common asking price for used 3 series 1998 BMWs at roughly $5500-$6000 (autotrader.com)....
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    I would not buy a 10-11 year old BMW if 1) I didn't know how to turn a wrench and so 2) was dependent on a BMW dealer or private mechanic for all the repairs and maintenance.

    I bought my 87 '325 when it was 12 years old (back in 1999), so a little older than what you're looking for. In the past 9 years, I've spent around $4500 on maintenance and repairs, with me doing most of the work. Besides brake pads and rotors, tune ups, headlights, that sort of stuff, the two major things I had done was the timing belt and water pump replaced and the lower control arms replaced, which were done by a private mechanic who I have used over the years and does good work.

    If every thing I had done myself I had done by a dealer or my mechanic, I'm sure that $4500 would have been more like $9K or $10K.
  • Oh, I am definitely capable of doing my own repairs, and I plan on doing most of them. My thinking: I just got rid of a '98 Ford Taurus SHO V8, in which I had many spur of the moment problems; one of which was when a break down turned out to be an axle popping out of the transmission resulting in a tow. After that happened the second time a few days later, I got rid of it. Obviously, that was relevant to that specific car; I know I'm most likely not going to have that problem with a BMW. But what AM I looking at mechanically when I stare at a used Bimmer with shiny and clean cosmetics?

    I'm just wondering what people's mechanical experience with the car is. Like I said, I don't expect many issues at all from the 3 series; from what I've heard it's a very good car (by comparison, I've heard that the 5 series has many cosmetic faults, depending on the year). I'm just making the double check.

    Thanks.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293
    I've owned a 1995 3er since new. No issues of any consequence. The sixes need a water pump every 60K miles or so, and there are some glitches with the electronic HVAC controls, but overall the cars are very robust. Around 75K-100K you may need some suspesion parts, but again, it's no biggie. I'd try to find a car that has been maintained by the book, as BMWs don't tolerate neglect very well at all.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • I'm waffling on a used 2006 3 series (I'm also waiting for next week when I expect BMW will sweeten the pot on new 08 and 09 cars). The car's only got 19k miles on it and it drives perfectly. According to the cpo report it's in great shape and about the only pending repair will be the brakes in 9k miles (included maintenance warranty is out Dec 09 - so I should get brakes by BMW).

    I know the dealer or rather I've had my two BMWs serviced with them.

    What kind of yearly upkeep (beyond oil changes) will an e90 require? I haven't owned an out-of-warranty car since 2001. And that car which I had for 7 years was grossly mistreated by me, always receiving reactionary repairs instead of preventative maintenance.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 131,225
    Didn't you get rid of your leased E90, because you didn't like it? :surprise:

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,228
    i definitely recall lots of complaints of an obese car with uninvolved driving characteristics, i should never have given up my ZHP, etc.

    ya know, blueguy, they've only gotten heavier and softer.

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293
    What kind of yearly upkeep (beyond oil changes) will an e90 require? I haven't owned an out-of-warranty car since 2001.

    Well, I'd change the brake fluid every two years, and the coolant every four(even though BMW doesn't call for it. As for mileage related services, I'd change the transmission and final drive oil every 50K. If you keep it past 100K I'd throw in a new fuel filter along with new plugs. As for everything else, I'd just go by the book.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • I have little choice. I must get a 4 door as I drive my son daily. The options at 4 door and fun are limited to...well I've not found anything much. Given the circumstances I've lowered my expectations. Fun isn't really the only goal here so after driving everything again (G37, 09 A4, CC, GTI, WRX, C, CTS...if it's got 4 doors and sporting pretensions I drove it), I've come back to the fact that 3 (and WRX) are about my only chance of having a halfway fun car and at least 4 doors.

    A used 3 might be a better deal than a new leased 3 - depends on expected maintenance costs v. depreciation.

    FWIW, I've found the 325/328 with 17s to be a better ride than the 330i/335i with 18s. I simply can't get used to the way 18 inch RFTs skip on the roads of San Diego. :D
  • Thanks. I guess it's the by-the-book thing that vexes me. I've never looked into maintenance schedules on a 3 (always leased so quite frankly the cars got BMW service and that's it).

    By the book come down to 1k a year? More or less on average?
  • I am looking at buying a 2006 330i with the 6-speed auto. The car seems to hold for 2-3 seconds before moving when first put into gear (either forward or reverse) and if you are at a complete stop and release the brakes. It is more pronounced when first put into gear but does seem to do the same thing to a lesser extent when stopped. It has about 3k left under the manufacturer warranty so if it's a problem I should be able to get it fixed. If it's a design characteristic then I have to decide if I can live with it or if I should hold out for the manual I really want.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    Wait...you came out of a 2006 3-er! What gives?

    Regards,
    OW
  • Baby.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293
    By the book come down to 1k a year? More or less on average?

    A lot depends on where you live. My local dealer(Swope BMW, Louisville) performed an Inspection II and brake fluid flush on my wife's X3 for just $374. Santa Monica BMW charges $1105 for the same work. I know that the cost of living in California is higher than that of Kentucky, but 295% higher? That said I'd say $1000 per year may be a bit high.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • Thanks. I like to plan for the worst outcome and be happy when it all plays out better. :)
  • Hope it works out. I bought a used 335i manual this weekend. Two years left on the warranty. Then two years CPO.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 131,225
    How bout some details? :)

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,475
    congratulations are in order! Please give us the gory details. Their asking price & what you paid for it. Colors & Options? What did you do with the MINI? Sell it privately or trade it in?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2017 Pilot Touring AWD, 2019 Tacoma TRD Sport 4WD

  • I was set to buy an 09 WRX but Saturday I stopped in for a spin in a 335i manual. Well that sold me but the price was more than the wife wanted to pay. Looked online and found in so cal we had a total of 3 335is with manual. One dealer had a model with only sport and navi (no interest in the navi). They ended up selling me the car, cpo, for 27k (not including bmwcca rebate). According to Edmunds that's less than trade-in value. Edmunds claims 33k for that car at a dealer with CPO. Even if it's off, I feel like I got a nice deal.

    28k miles on the odometer, silver, not a scratch on the outside (nicks on the driver's door trim aluminum), otherwise pristine.

    Given my profit on the cooper and my payments on the 335i match the cooper's, I basically paid $500 to switch to a larger, faster, more family friendly car. Hard to argue with that. And the 335i has more included maintenance left, plus a longer warranty and 4 brand new tires (my cooper needed new tires).
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,475
    Good luck with the car!

    Do you feel your 335i rides different than your 330i that you got rid of?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2017 Pilot Touring AWD, 2019 Tacoma TRD Sport 4WD

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    Excellent! Now we can see how you like it compared to your recent rides. I'm interested on your take vs. the '06 330.

    Best of luck! Hope you don't flip it, though!

    Regards,
    OW
  • Can anyone tell me where the fuse is located that operates the trunk release for the 2001 330 ci. Both the remote key and inner release has stopped working and I'm guessing it's a fuse...any other ideas out there? Thanks for the help.
  • $90.00 is a bad price for any oil change...especially when it's only about $35 to do it yourself. Who's got more money than God out there?
  • I own a 2001 330 ci and regardless what others tell you, it's usually going to cost you around $150-200/month in anticipated repair costs. Less if you do them all yourself. At 97,000 miles you start to see things like oil manifold leaks, broken hoses, belt issues, and even water pumps and steering pumps that exhibit problems. Thank God I haven't had an issue with the convertible top yet. I also drive a 740i and ditto for that model. Good Luck.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "$90.00 is a bad price for any oil change...especially when it's only about $35 to do it yourself. Who's got more money than God out there?"

    Thirty-five dollars for an oil change on a BMW? Where are you buying your parts? Last time I checked, oil that met the BMW LL-01 oil specification was around $7.00 per quart (times 7 for the oil change), and filters were typically between $10 and $15. With that in mind, my math suggests that the cheapest one can do an oil change on a 3-Series is $60. Yes, no?

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 131,225
    Last time I got the parts, they were around $40 at my dealer, with the CCA discount.... That was a little over three years ago...

    So, assuming 1/2 hour labor, I don't think you'll get much cheaper than $85-$90, total... The last time I paid for a change (at least 4 years ago), my dealer charged around $95... I could see an independent doing it for $75-$80, if you are a repeat customer...

    I'm sure prices are higher now..

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Yeah, I used to be able to buy Mobil 1 0W-40 and Castrol Syntec 0W-30 for about $5.00 per quart, however, these days $7.00 per quart seems to be the norm. Granted we're not talking about a lot of money here, but I don't think I've been able to change the oil in a BMW with a ~7 quart sump for $35 since at least the mid 1990s.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think that a) paying someone to clean your bathroom or b) change your oil, has got to be not only one of the world's best bargains but a great humanitarian act on their part. Not only do they do the recycle for you but if the person is qualified, they can scope out the car underneath for you, check all your fluid top and bottom, replenish all your fluids---in other words see and do things you can't do in your driveway.

    Unless you have a lift at home, I think paying $75 bucks for an oil service is well worth it....presuming they use a quality product and presuming they really do check everything for you.

    I stay away from Quickie-Change places, however.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    The beauty of changing the oil on a late model BMWs (pre dipstick delete) is that you don't need a lift. Simply open the hood, open the oil filter cannister, pluck out the old filter, suck out the remaining oil, pop in a new filter and screw the top back on. With that complete, slide out the dipstick, slip the tube down in its place, suck out the oil from the pan, put the dipstick back in and pour in the new oil. The total job takes all of ten minutes. Geez, I can't even drive to a place that I trust that quickly.

    FWIW, our town recycles our used oil. :)

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yeah but you don't get to look underneath, was my point. I like having eyeballs under there and even as slim and buff as I am :blush: I cannot scooch under a BMW that's on its wheels.

    Doesn't this no-dipstick thing make you crazy? It feels like we're being led at gunpoint to the dealership.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    I have ramps so the occasional "eyeball" job is pretty easy, however, that whole no dipstick thing is still driving me crazy, and I don't even have a BMW at the moment. :P

    Best regards,
    Shipo
  • Hi guys:

    I have a 2009 BMW 335i. It has a dual muffler, the pipe on the right hand side tends to exhaust more than the pipe on the left hand side, which makes the pipe on the right looks smoked. Anyone knows what the problem is? Or is it just normal?

    Thanks a lot.
  • Let me preface by saying, I've owned a Benz and a VW, never BMW. Most of the maintenance on the priors was self-maintained once you buy the proper set of sockets and learn to think like a German...

    I'm test driving a 98 328i 4dr, I6, automatic on Friday, what do I need to be checking for mechanically to make sure I'm not buying someone elses BMW nightmare? Tranny's, valve leaks, wiring malfunctions, high dollar fixes.

    Also, don't know that having a service tech run the codes will be an option.

    Something about this deal seems too good to be true, less than 90k miles, for under $4k...
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293
    The price is a bit on the low side. If you aren't familiar with BMWs I would not buy the car until it was checked out by a good BMW tech. If the radiator, thermostat, and water pump haven't been replaced you should count on doing so around 100K. The slushbox is a question mark. Has the ATF ever been changed? BMW claims that the ATF is a lifetime fill, but those of us who plan to keep our Bimmers change it at 50K. A documented service history would be nice. Some of the front/rear suspension bushings and/or shock mounts may be tired. Make sure all the windows, seats, and power locks work(trunk included). Ditto for the automatic climate control. None of the fixes are all that expensive, but you do need to know what costs you are looking at.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,615
    Doesn't this no-dipstick thing make you crazy? It feels like we're being led at gunpoint to the dealership.

    Amen, brother. Something tells me that in 20 years Roundel articles aren't going to be about modifying today's cars, but rather crutching along 2002s & other early models that can actually be worked on.

    It took the trifecta of RFTs, big drops in lease subsidies and the dipstick/take everything to the dealer attitude to keep me out of my first BMW 3-series. Oh, and it didn't help that the early oil level sensors quit working on a regular basis -- there was no way, short of draining the oil & measuring it, to know how much there was in the car. Wonder what the oil level sensor costs, relative to the stick, to say nothing of the warranty costs of replacing all the defective ones.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    The price depends on the cosmetic condition. If it had some dings, dirty carpets, scraped up bumpers and a few "problems", then the price is market correct. These are not high dollar cars after 10 years.

    The usual BMW suspects. You'd best have the car professionally checked out or you might have to spend enough $$$ to square a neglected car away, that you could have gone out and bought a pristine '98 for $6,000.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    I'm going to be replacing the struts and shocks on my '01 330Ci (gonna try doing it myself... yikes!). Before I do my car, I'll be doing a practice run on my daughter's Cabrio. When researching the parts for her car, most sights recommend doing strut bearings at the same time. I haven't come across any additional part replacement recommendations for my car, however.

    Is there anything else that I should plan on replacing on my car while doing the struts/shocks?

    The VW requires a special wrench to remove the top strut bolts... my experience so far is that VWs require a special tool to do everything. Is there a need for any special tools when doing the BMW, besides a spring compressor?

    Any recommendations on brand/model of parts for my car? I'm thinking Bilstein HD's or Sports. The car has 150K miles on it so I will definitely consider other brands w/less of a warranty.

    thanks!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293
    When researching the parts for her car, most sights recommend doing strut bearings at the same time. I haven't come across any additional part replacement recommendations for my car, however.

    I'd repace the upper and lower spring pads and the upper spring pocket- part numbers 7, 8, and 11 on the ETK. It only amounts to @$20 more per wheel.
    As for shock selection, Bilsteins are the gold standard; if I was going to keep the car that's the route I would take. I know Shifty won't agree, but I've heard good things about Monroe shocks. Their BMW shocks are made in Europe and several guys over on the Yahoo E39 Group have used them with no complaints. Me, I'd go with the HDs. And I probably don't need to mention that this is an ideal time to fit new sport springs as well... :D

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

Sign In or Register to comment.