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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair



  • ez2doez2do Member Posts: 9
    I have a 2009 328i. Has anyone noticed that the rear a/c at max doesn't blow very hard? I want to hear from the masses if this is normal. Thanks.
  • idoc2idoc2 Member Posts: 78
    I'm soliciting comments on purchasing an extended warranty and maintenance agreement for my 2007 328xi with 47K miles. The car has been a bit of a lemon with regard to electronic gremlins so I'm concerned about ongoing problems after the warranty expires. The price I've been quoted is $2975 for the warranty and $1595 for the maintenance both to 100K miles. Neither covers AC, suspension radio and a variety of other minor issues. The dealer has said that the price is essentially non-negotiable for both. He said the maintenance agreement is worthwhile because a brake job alone which likely will be needed is covered and would be $2,000. What do people think and what are their experiences?
  • ponytrekkerponytrekker Member Posts: 310
    a car that's given you problems is not one you want to keep. I'd look to move on, by trade or whatever.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Sounds like it might be one of those "demon seed" BMWs you see once in a while. I'd consider just trading it in or selling it as the factory warranty expires and putting the $4570 as a down so that you'd start off with equity or near equity on a new one. Basically at the rate you're piling up miles you'll be at 100K in 30 months or so--so this warranty is extending your payments by $152 a month. Gee you could lease a new 328i for $350 a month with $3500 down.

    And suspension is not a BMW strong point, and yet its an exclusion on the extended warranty. If this were a 750 I might think differently but this doesn't sound like all that good a deal for you.
  • idoc2idoc2 Member Posts: 78
    Interesting point of view. I own the car. Of course I'll get hammered on the trade-in as they'd give me only about $18K, That amounts to $10K depreciation/year. Leasing a BMW does not seem like a good option for someone who drives about 20K miles/year. A new car will also depreciate at that high rate whereas the current car which looks and drives like new will depreciate much more slowly at this point. I believe its almost always fuzzy logic guided by the desire to have a new car that makes one conclude its cheaper to re-lease every three years as opposed to own for 6-8 years. I agree that the $4600 over two years is a big hit but I think I have to suck it up. Of course one really has to separate out the extended warrant ($3000) from the maintenance agreement ($1600) and view each on its own merits. If the car had a perfect track record I wouldn't buy the warranty but might buy the maintenance agreement so the unplanned hit is $3000. The "electronic gremlins" have never effected the cars operation. The "check engine" light was repeatedly coming on. The dealer was never clear as to why this kept occurring. Each time I was told it was a different error code. Everything from a fuel system leak (never found) to oxygen sensors. It was not clear to me if these codes were simply false positives due to a computer malfunction or real sensor errors. Again the car has always run 100% its just that I'm gun shy about being exposed given the very high cost to repair a BMW. Honestly I have not had a problem now for 6 months so perhaps its all behind me. The other issue is the wife. No way would she let me buy another BMW if I had to tell her after 2 years I needed a new car. I'd be heading directly to some Asian auto dealer.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Oh, well, that's a somewhat different scenario from what I first interpreted. I thought the car was bedeviling you, but really it was just annoying you. As for the "check engine" light, I think on German cars this is randomly programmed to go on and off for eternity. They should have a voice command that says "ENGINE LIGHT OFF!" :P

    And you're right, leasing is not an option if you are high miles driver.

    My main gripe with extended warranty is the EXCLUSIONS. One has to very carefully read and understand the yes list and the no list..sometimes the sneaky weasels will not state the exclusion directly, only infer it by not including it on the *Inclusion* List!! Now that's dirty.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
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  • idoc2idoc2 Member Posts: 78
    Assuming that I take the leap and buy the extended warranty and perhaps the maintenance agreement has anyone had any experience with price negotiations? Its hard to believe in this economy but the two dealers I've spoken with here in CT have basically said "the price is the price."
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Member Posts: 16,191
    Leasing actually can make sense if you do 20K miles per year, but you are not going to be paying anywhere near the advertised price for a 3 series. Your lease payment will be higher than usual, but the best part about leasing is that you are guaranteed no matter what happens the car will not depreciate more than the bank's set residual value.

    My Dad pays $960 per month to lease his '07 X5 3.0si with Premium/Sport/Cold Weather. He leased the truck for 30 months with a 20,000 mile per year allotment. So after 2 1/2 years & 50,000 miles he walks away from the truck (He's under the warranty/free maintenance period for the duration of the lease). He drives to work every day with 2, 2 year old Great Danes who shed like crazy no matter how often he gets the car vacuumed out.

    Lets say for arguments sake that he financed the X5 and his payments were $1000 per month for 5 years. After 5 years he'd have an X5 with 100,000 miles (which is not unreasonable) worth how much? Now in addition to the $1000 per month he pays for his hypothetical loan, he'd have to shell out for an Inspection II major service (60K), an oil changes (75K), & another Inspection I major service (90K), plus since the X5 isn't exactly a light vehicle there is a good chance he'd chew through a set of (4) pads and rotors. I know all about indie mechanics, but they don't provide loaner cars and my Dad CANNOT be without a vehicle (He is the president of our family's plumbing supply business & my boss).

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe, 2023 Toyota Tacoma SR 4WD

  • idoc2idoc2 Member Posts: 78
    I'm sorry but your math is very fuzzy. Frankly every time I work the numbers with our company's accountant its ALWAYS cheaper to own not lease. This assumes you plan to keep your car for 6 or more years. Now if you want a new car every 30-36 months the difference becomes marginal. With that said the accountant prefers we lease because its cleaner to write-off a lease payment than to run a depreciation schedule on a car you or the corporation owns.

    Your analysis fails to mention the "capitalization reduction cost" (down payment) on the lease. Also, there is no way you can buy a $60K car and pay $1000/month for 60 months. And yes after 100K miles an X5 would have at least $10K of value if you sold it.

    Don't kid yourself, leasing is not cheaper in the long run its simply a play on cash flow. The most cost effective way to buy any vehicle is pay up front with cash (and if you can aggressively depreciate it as a business expense)
  • joann3joann3 Member Posts: 3
    I rencently bought a 1999 BMW 328 I and I have to do my first oil change. I called 2 people to inquire on price and 1 told me that the price includes a German Filter, the other one didn't mention anything about a German Filter. Is it necessary to use a German Filter? If so, why?
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    In the case of BMW filters, pretty much all of them are "German". Why? Because as far as I know, there are only two or three manufacturers of filters for these cars, all from Germany, and at least one of them sells their filter with common American names on them such as Fram.

    Best regards,
  • joann3joann3 Member Posts: 3
    Forgive my ignorance as I know nothing about cars. Is there a filter made specifically for BMW's that should be used when doing an oil change or can a generic filter be used?
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    I've used Mann and Bosch filters with no problems, however, to me at least, the Mann filter seems a bit better constructed.

    Best regards,
  • idoc2idoc2 Member Posts: 78
    I enjoy changing my own oil because not only can I do it at my convenience but I can do it in less than 30 min. Taking it somewhere reliable and waiting is an hour or two. Doing it myself also saves me a bundle. My dealer charges $130 for an oil change!! I have bought filters at the dealer in a BMW box for about $15 and at AutoZone in a Purolator box for $18 both made by Mann & Hummel of Germany. In my car, a 2007 328xi, these are not the typical filters that one tends to see on American or Japanese cars. They don't come self-contained in a screw-on can but rather are an uncontained corragated filter that one inserts into a canister like assembly attached to the engine. I suspect what is of equal or perhaps more importance is that one uses the correct type of synthetic oil. My car requires 7+ quarts of a BMW LL-01 certified oil. One can buy this at the dealer ($8/quart) or for somewhat less Mobil 1 0W-40 (not just any Mobil 1) as well as a few other LL-01 certified oils can even be bought at Wal*Mart. Be sure whoever changes your oil doesn't cheat on these issues.

    Good Luck!!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Member Posts: 16,191
    Please forgive my "fuzzy math" as I just started typing and got lazy because it was late.

    The cap cost reduction on the lease is $0. We don't put money down on leases.

    It is cheaper to buy cash and keep a car for 8 - 10 years.

    Leasing isn't cheaper, but sometimes does make more sense (no pun intended).

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe, 2023 Toyota Tacoma SR 4WD

  • hgeyerhgeyer Member Posts: 188
    Changed my oil yesterday (as well the oil level sensor). I couldn't help noticing that my Mann filter had "made in Mexico" stamped on it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Why should that matter? Either Mann is known for quality or it isn't, so if the filters are built to exacting Mann specs, no problemo.
  • hgeyerhgeyer Member Posts: 188
    It doesn't matter to me at all - I wasn't trying to imply that Mexican manufacturing was a problem (sorry if I came off that way). I just thought it interesting that there is no such thing as a German/American/etc part out there. Anything can be made anywhere these days.

    BTW - I love the Mann filters.
  • occir511occir511 Member Posts: 1
    I have a bmw 330ci and having aproblem opening the luggage compartment by my remote key and open only manually but sometimes its from my remote key please give advise
  • bmwguysbmwguys Member Posts: 6
    We have an '06 330xi 6-speed manual that we bought w/68k miles on it just over a year ago. Car was a one-owner from our BMW dealer, had a full service history, and looked and drove like it had 5k miles on it. It had the exact color combo (alpine white/terra) and options we were looking at on a new 335xi (6-speed manual, sport w/17s, premium, cold weather, nav, sat radio, ipod/usb, comfort access). After warranty, tax and fees we saved $25k+ off the new 335xi. It was a no-brainer. (The money we saved was put toward an alpine white sport pkg X3 a few months later.)

    My question ... because this is exactly the car we wanted, we want to keep it a long time. The car is babied. What preventive maintenance should we make sure we do now that the car has 75k miles on it? Should we stick with the 12-15k mile oil change schedule, or do it more often because of the high miles? What wear items (other than the obvious tires/brakes/etc.) should be checked and when?

    Any input is appreciated!
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Member Posts: 5,455
    Go back and read messages 3675 & 4237. There's a "go to message # _____" thingme at the top & bottom of this page. Fill in the blank and. . . There's quite a bit repeated between the two, but they are a little bit different -- there's no better advice anywhere.

    It's doubtful that the car was taken care of this way before you got it, but if you start now by replacing all the fluids and essentially zero-timing it, you should get a lot of excellent service from the car. Since BMW made themselves responsible for all service for the first few years, it's interesting how the maintenance schedules got "streamlined."

    Good luck.
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Gotcha. Yeah you're right about that.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    I got a notice in the mail today re a class action suit re rear control arms, for the '99-'06 3 Series. It said owners may be eligible to either have the control arms replaced by a dealer, or be reimbursed if they have already done so. Something to look for in the mail if that applies to you.
  • jscholderjscholder Member Posts: 24
    I also had problem with my 2001 330 ci and it turned out to be the wires were broken in the cable harness from the trunk. My trunk light was also out and my rear middle tail light was out due to faulty wires. It started with the trunk release not working.
  • jscholderjscholder Member Posts: 24
    Any contact information so that I can look into this problem?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 228,389
    The notice I got was about rear subframe failure... Shock mounts actually tearing away from the body of the car..

    So far, it looks like the only payoff is reimbursement for any previous repair work, or inspection to see if you have the problem.

    Neither of our two E46s had the problem, and we don't have either of them now, so I tossed the notices.

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  • kominskykominsky Member Posts: 850
    I got the same notice... subframe. In addition to inspection, they will repair if damaged. I still have my '01 (155K and climbing!). I don't ~think~ I have the problem.. it seems like it would be noticable... but I will get mine inspected when/if the suit settles.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Yes, subframe, thanks for the correction. I had control arms on the brain when I typed the post from a different car. I tossed my notice also since I don't have the E46 anymore. But as for contact info, I would think a search on google etc. would find that pretty quick--these attorneys want to be found.
  • ponytrekkerponytrekker Member Posts: 310
    Presumably the case has settled. That's why you got the notice.
  • ventureventure Member Posts: 2,761
    The case is expected to settle around the first of September. You can opt out of the settlement with the notification. There is also a form to fill out and mail if you already had the repair made.

    $1,100,500 attorney fees and $22,000 in expenses. Yikes!

    2020 Ascent Limited, 2024 Subaru Legacy Sport

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,249
    AC in all three of my BMWs is limp at best. I used to complain but now recognize BMW puts weak AC compressors in their cars. Learn to live with it.
  • ez2doez2do Member Posts: 9
    I am a bit surprised because the AC on my '03 X5 was quite capable and the kids were always comfortable when they controlled the rear AC. Thanks for the reply, good to hear some commentary.
  • jmarounjmaroun Member Posts: 151
    I bought a new 2008 335i (SA [South African build], sedan, manual, with sports package) about a year ago. Within 2-3 months of my purchase, got long crank up times and the dealer replaced the fuel pump. Lately, crank times have been creepping up again. This morning was the longest (about 6-7 seconds).

    Very dissappointing. Sure they'll fix it for free I'm sure..but what about after the warrenty? I should have leased.

    San Diego
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Sounds like the fuel pressure regulator might be the problem. If that leaks down, the poor pump has to re-pressurize the entire fuel system every time you start up.
  • densmith1densmith1 Member Posts: 9
    When I unlock my 2007 328i sedan by pushing the button on the remote control, The passenger's side mirror changes the angle from where it was when I parked the car. Does this mean there is a problem with my mirror or is there a problem with the remote or some other issue where the setting is not being saved correctly. I am using the reveserve tilt setting by keeping the mirror swith pushed all the way to the left position. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • kenshirokenshiro Member Posts: 16
    I own a 2006 330i. My factory warranty is about to expire in 2 months and I am deciding if I should buy the extend maintenance program. I dont drive much, the car has about 37,000 miles. I asked around and the lowest quote is $2000 for 6 years/100k. Basically, I am paying $2000 for 2 more years of maintenace.
    Is it worth it based on the miles I drive each year? I heard is very costly just to replace the brakes.
  • advice2advice2 Member Posts: 1
    There is a known problem with the cylinder head, and it had to be replaced, luckily my car is still under warranty. The car went into the dealer numerous times before they heard the sound. They first thought it was air in the oil pump and had to bleed the line, but of course, that didn't help.
  • orangedaveorangedave Member Posts: 1
    I have an '02 325xi, have been getting car serviced in Darien BMW center. They are fine, but expensive, can anyone reccomend a good mechanic who knows BMW's but is reasonable?

  • ccrowderccrowder Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98' 318i which recently overheated. I turned off the key and the fan kept running. Is this normal?
  • samuel70samuel70 Member Posts: 17
    Looking for the some input regarding using the Steptronic, (auto Tran) and driving the car, like its a 5 speed all the time. I have been told by a dealer service advisor not recommended to drive like a stick all the time. Others have said go ahead...anyone on this forum have any thoughts. Will driving it like a stick, cause some transmission issues down the road. My thoughts were if you drive it like a stick buy one...
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Ummm, overlooking the obvious fact that it is impossible to drive that car like one would drive a car with a stick because it doesn't have a manual transmission and a clutch pedal, no, driving it in manumatic mode shouldn't be any harder on the transmission than leaving it in full auto.
  • r34r34 Member Posts: 178
    I just bought a CPO 2007 335xi sedan. I found that I need to use more force to turn the steering wheel. My Saab 9-3 and Audi A4 are not like that.

    Is it because of the runflat tires? Maybe it is lacking of power steering fluid?

    I expected the Bimmer has better handling than the Audi but I found out not much difference (the Audi may be a little bit "nose heavy").


  • idoc2idoc2 Member Posts: 78
    I have a 2007 238xi. Since the car was new I have noticed a gentle wooshing sound coming from the passenger-side rear quarter when the doors are opened (but only after the car has been parked for aprox>10 min). I have no idea what this is but I have always assumed it was some normal electro-mechanical function that was "awakening" after the car had been "asleep" for a while. Recently, the tone of the noise changed to a raspy rattle and now I fail to hear it at all. I have not noted any change in the function of the car but am wondering what I might be missing. The car has 49K miles and therefore is still under warranty for a few more weeks.
    Dose anybody have any insights? Thanks
  • jmarounjmaroun Member Posts: 151
    I just got my second high pressure fuel pump replaced for my 08 335i (sports package, 4dr, manual). Seems to fail roughly every 9000 miles. I was told by my service rep that free warranty has been extended to something like 120,000 miles and 10 years. But I usually put 200k+ miles on my cars within 7 years easy before I sell or junk'em. I expect to hit 120k within 4-5 years easy. My point,..unless BMW actually designs a better fuel pump or solves this means I paid full price for half car life. Does anyone know if BMW is actually going to fix this problem(which has existed since 07)..and/or.. do any of you who've had fuel pumps replaced actually experienced over 20k+ miles with no issue with the fuel pump?

    On a lighter note, dealer service for this was excellent! Fast, professional, and really polite and nice. I am greatful and appreciative to BMW and the dealership in San Diego.

    I even got a 2009 Z4 (M version) convertible with manual as a free loaner!! It was interesting to compare it to my 335i even though the M is a convertible (my 335i is not). Steering feel on the M was dead or numb I thought comparatively and it lacked the 335i's refined drive and especially its superior low end torque. The M's engine tone has a growling raspy bark that is more satisfying than the 335i's less audible yet more refined and higher pitched wind up. The relative lack of low end torque (even with sport button pressed) in the M somewhat took away from the pleasure of its bark. By the way, I found it more pleasurable to not engage sport mode most of the time. I would imagine that on a track however, the sport mode would be better. While the 335's handling is absolutely superb, it could not match the M around tight turns. The M's lower body and huge rear tires ate up turns with ease where the same turn in a 335i would have more lean. It's just as easy to let out the back end on both cars with perfect control. The M got looks though, and many complements...where I've never gotten a compliment on my 335's looks :(
    I had alot of fun with the M, yet although I had an option to keep it for another day, I just missed the 335i's low end torque and refined drive. The experience makes me appreciate the 335i's manual transmission which seems butter smooth compared to the M's knotchy engagements. The M had a shorter shifter but maybe it just needs to get broken in more...I did not look to see what the miles were.

    I'm not sure what my next car will be..but I know it will have to be at least equally refined and low end torque endowed as my 335i, yet I hope it will be lighter and sportier looking while still having that BMW business suit aspect. I'm not willing to give up the two rear seats although I do not require them to be as spacious as the 3's. That leaves a couple options that exist now..
    - 997 911S (used say 06 or 07)
    - Lotus Evora : a used one in a few years.. (has anyone read the amazing reviews on this car???
    - Or whatever BMW comes up with in a few years..and I have faith that BMW can pull off a great new design as a worthy successor for the 335i and the current M3. I'm just hoping that they will. BMW's current trend with their GT and hatch back models are worrisome. Fingers crossed and wishful thinking..but I hope BMW management reads this...not that I expect them to cater only to me.

    Till then,..I'll be enjoying the next 9000 miles before the expected new high pressure fuel pump replacement. Who knows,..maybe I'll get a 135 or M3 loaner.


    San Diego
  • ursamajorursamajor Member Posts: 127
    I had the same problem at 7000mi on a 2008 335xi. I wrote BMW N.A., and voiced concern after hearing from several people employed by dealers that there had been a recall. Well, mine was replaced around last Christmas, and I received a recall letter this March. That in itself is disconcerting, as a failed fuel pump could occur in a most inconvenient, if not hazardous situation. Why not notify the owner and effect a preemptive change before the inconvenience or even jeopardy?

    Mine failed in the midst of Beverly Hills at Noon, so my jeopardy was absolutely minimal, and I proceeded to the local dealer, where the replacement occurred with dispatch, on Christmas Eve, no less. What I have read on this board and heard from the warranty personnel is that there was a defect which was remedied, and this shouldn't occur more than once. You are proof that they either lied or are misinformed by "headquarters." Now I must be concerned when I approach the second 7-9000 miles whether I will experience the same failure as you. If that should occur, I will not be leasing a BMW again. I had never experienced a vital part failure in over 25 years of leased Hondas, Toyotas, Infinity, and five Lexus's. Granted, a defective fuel pump is bad enough on "the ultimate driving machine," but to not have replaced the defective one with a perfect, modified version is unforgivable and leads one to question the company's engineering integrity and quality control system.
  • birdrulesbirdrules Member Posts: 8
    I am looking to replace all four OEM Continental tires on my '05 325i with about 52k miles. I drive mostly city with some highway driving in the DC area. I would be interested to hear your experiences (good/bad) with specific brands and any recommendations for brands/tire types (Goodyear, others). Thanks in advance!
  • dhsieh9dhsieh9 Member Posts: 44
    My 0'7' 328i coupe automatic transmission when enggaging to either reverse or forward gears, occasionally it produces an audible metal contact cluncking noise. I wonder if this is considered to be normal from other owners.
  • pdude1pdude1 Member Posts: 47
    I noticed that sometimes after driving the 335i for a long time (i.e. an hour driving in the 80F-90F + weather) I notice when I'm in stop and go traffic I will have a squeaking in noise when I engage from stop and start moving. But it only happens when I start from a stop. It's about 1 second noise and then doesn't happen again. Unless I stop and go back to 1st gear and move forward then I hear the sound again. I tried testing it yesterday and I didn't hear anything at all. So don't know if it only happens when it's warm or some other weird reason. The sounds sounds like a brake squeak, but I'm only engaging the clutch and the accelerator.

    Anyone else have an issue like that?
  • ponytrekkerponytrekker Member Posts: 310
    It's not normal.
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