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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    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: 58,890
    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.

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  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    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: 10,697
    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 / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,163
    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: 58,890
    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.

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  • 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: 10,697
    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 / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,890
    Well if there's good feedback online for Monroe, that's compelling evidence. I've never used them on a BMW.

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,697
    Well if there's good feedback online for Monroe, that's compelling evidence. I've never used them on a BMW.

    Me either; the one the E39 guys use is the "Sensa-Trac". Another good shock is the Sachs Super Touring.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,890
    I'm just wondering if they can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'?

    I agree with you about Bilsteins---I never regretted paying a bit extra for them.

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  • pylt1pylt1 Posts: 12
    :lemon:

    For many of you on the board with a long history of tail light problems, be sure to save your receipts.

    :lemon:

    This was on another board, but it looks like you can get your money back once the recall starts. Better is the fact that BMW might actually stop having us fix our own cars with parts from Radio Shack . . . . Geesh, have they no shame?

    It's time to stop with the "homemade" fixes. This is a serious safety defect and BMW knows it. The post below is a cross post--read and heed:

    Just a quick update on this problem. Among my circle of friends we have five post-update E46 sedans. Four of them have had tail light, turn signal, brake light failures all caused by BMW's screw up when they updated the tail lights: not enough grounding wire(s). See the BMW service bulletin SI B 63 03 06 on this at the link below:

    http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/...p/B630306g.htm

    Since the ne'er-do-wells at "Screw The Damn Customer" BMW HQ Customer Service (what an oxymoron) have never heard of Ralph Nader, we're giving 'em a little help. The nice folks over in Washington D.C. have these things called Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and EVERYONE selling cars here has to meet them for ten years after a car or truck is built. That means if our lights have design defects (they do), BMW is under potentially criminal liability to fix the things with a safety recall at NO cost.

    BMW's service bulletins basically say, "Only fix the cars under warranty; screw everyone else for whatever you can get away with so you can buy a bigger boat." WRONG ANSWER BMW!

    The ball is in motion on this; more later. For now, BE SURE TO SAVE ALL YOUR RECEIPTS IF YOU HAD YOUR STEALER RAPE YOU FOR $400 (per side) TO FIX BMW'S LIGHTING SCREW UP.

    I expect to see something in a few weeks so hang in there.
    :lemon:
  • O.K., normally you would be correct...however I recently found an oil change special from advance auto with 5 quarts of synthetic oil at 24.99 and an oil filter included, and they let me change out a filter that would fit the BMW. It was a great deal. The 740i takes around 7 quarts. I was exagerating alittle, but I was close.
  • Sorry to disagree with you on this one, but if you want to take true ownership in your car and enjoy learning to do things yourself, a great start is learning to do your own oil change. They can look at all the other things when something serious breaks down, (which inevitably happens enough to keep up with an overview of leaks, belt wear, etc). Buy yourself a container that catches the oil and you can take it to your nearby autoparts store and empty it free. More importantly, many of the repair shops today will find something to recommend that you need to have done when you give it to them for an oil change. They will try to "sell" you something that isn't needed, but might be needed if you don't have it done. I like having control over what gets done if I can.
  • Has everyone forgot that there are ramps that can be purchased and the car can be driven up these ramps so that you can get under the front to change the oil? I know that it takes me about 20 minutes to do everything and I feel real good about not giving someone $75-$90.
  • Hey guy, why not do all of us with 01 330 ci's a favor and document with pictures your experience and then we can use you as the expert. I'm sure you're going to have alot of fun and learn alot. I changed the window regulator on my passenger rear door for the 740i 2001 and I thought it was a nightmare until I finally finished it, and I'm glad I tried it.
  • Engine turned off seconds after starting and driving 200m; restarted immediately; however, the resting idle was elevated at about 1500 RPM, vs. 700 normally. Opened hood after three miles at 80mph and idle speed was indeed high and noisy. Turned off engine, took two seconds for engine to "shut down." Problem didn't occur after restarting after one hour meal break. Has anyone else experienced this? One week after 1st service, including "30-point" inspection!
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