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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > How fragile is e90 due to clearance?



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      01-15-2006, 01:40 PM   #1
hades281
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How fragile is e90 due to clearance?

I've noticed (and it's been discussed) that the e90 sits rather low, especially with sport package - and I have noticed a few posts here and there where people scrape. I know with a car this low, it's inevitable.

My question is, what happens if you're driving quickly and there's a dip in the road, causing the front to scrape/impact the road just after the bottom of the dip? Does the bumper cover absorb all of the impact or is it hazardous to the radiator, etc sitting behind there?

We've got a lot of bad roads in my part of Houston, and often turning off the road and into a parking lot involves clearing a short, steep and sometimes rough "hill." I'm afraid if you take one of these a little fast, you're really going to tear up the front. Opinions?
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      01-15-2006, 02:36 PM   #2
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You're right. You'll tear it up. Just like you would in any low car.
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      01-15-2006, 03:07 PM   #3
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I have had my car for 4 months, not a single scratch.....just be careful...the most important thing is to take bumps, humps, holes, etc slow!
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      01-15-2006, 06:01 PM   #4
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I've already scratched up my front air dam, just like I did on my E46. I try to be careful when turning into driveways and when parking in spaces, but you can't always avoid it. What got me this time was a parking space at work. It was early am, I was tired and not paying attention, and I pulled too far forward, scraping against the concrete block.

Oh well that's life. The damage isn't visible, and I'd bet 90% of all BMW's on the road have the same thing. It's still worth it.
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      01-15-2006, 08:22 PM   #5
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bottom line, if you don't drive like a wanker you'll be ok. Just watch out in parking lots. The concrete barriers have disaster written all over them.
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      01-15-2006, 09:02 PM   #6
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If I ever scrach the front valance, I will probably just get the front CF lips, instead of having the whole front bumber re-painted.
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      01-15-2006, 09:29 PM   #7
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Does the bumper cover / front valence absorb most of the impact? Or, is it transmitted through to the radiator, fans, core support, etc?

It's much less a big deal if you bump something if it's only going to flex the bumper cover some rather than letting all these other components take the brunt of the hit. Letting a radiator flex some is a great way to make it leak - and it seems like a lot of e46 guys ended up replacing radiators early in the car's life.
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      01-15-2006, 10:17 PM   #8
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I had an e46 with sports suspension prior to trading it for my e90 also with sporst suspension.

Just like the others said, be careful and use common sense on certain roads, intersetions, driveways, mall car parks etc. The bottom of the bumber is low but I did not have any problem with my e46 and lower e90 to date.

I don't know about the radiator or anything else in the front but the bumpers absorb a horizontal impact up to I think around 4 - 6 km/s and supposedly bounce back out. Damaging the bottom of the bumper is more vertical and I doubt if there is any bounce back there.

No need to worry either if you are as careful as you can practically be.
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      01-15-2006, 10:35 PM   #9
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the front end of any E90 is plenty high

as long as you know how to park (i.e. you stop BEFORE you ram into items) you will be fine
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      01-16-2006, 10:54 PM   #10
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straight roads...fine.....any bumps unless it's a crater are okay.....pulling on a ramp or driveway is something to take extra care of.
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      01-16-2006, 11:00 PM   #11
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I have managed to scrape and bump the front spoiler on my ZSP E46 many, many times. Never any damage to vital organs. Just the occasional ego bruise.
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      01-17-2006, 12:34 AM   #12
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Half the time, when I think I've scraped the bottom of the bumper, it's just been the plastic shields in front of the wheels. It's not that low, quit worrying.
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      01-17-2006, 02:34 AM   #13
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e90 is not low at all in my opinion.........

just be careful.
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      01-17-2006, 02:54 AM   #14
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Before this i always drove a high car and never worried about the stoppers. Ive already scratched my front on a damn parking stopper because of carelessness. I hate those things with a passion now, but Im also extra careful.
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      01-17-2006, 06:19 AM   #15
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The E91 is much better than my previous Audi A4 and S6. In the winter we often get very bad road conditions up here, and on the worst days I used to "touch ground" almost on a daily basis with the Audis. Ending up crushing the undertray plastic and other expensive stuff.


The E91 is much better in that respect. Even with the sports package. I haven't had a single incident yet! I was almost buying a X5 to avoid the problem, but I'm glad I went for the much more agile 3-series! Even though it's lowered, it has good ground clearance.


And with the 17" ContiVikingContact 3 tires it's an very good winter car! I never miss the quattros.
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      01-17-2006, 06:55 AM   #16
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The E90 is not very low IMO. Just be careful when you park, exit driveways, going thru speed bumps. The most likely stratch parts of the car are:

The 2 little rubber flaps under the front bumper in front of the wheel (But will not cause any damage)
The 2 little rubber flaps under the side skirts in front of the rear wheel (But will not cause any damage)
The 4 plastic square shape jacking point (Will stretch them so be careful!)

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      01-17-2006, 11:12 AM   #17
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I've damaged (a little) front plastic protection panel underneath the car when pulled into touchless car wash. Eventho the panel is not expensive and easy to replace I will never go to auto wash again. Thankfully there is a great car wash service close to my place where the car washed and detailed and waxed by hands.
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      01-17-2006, 11:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b1mmer
I've damaged (a little) front plastic protection panel underneath the car when pulled into touchless car wash. Eventho the panel is not expensive and easy to replace I will never go to auto wash again. Thankfully there is a great car wash service close to my place where the car washed and detailed and waxed by hands.
Aren't those flaps made of flexible rubber?
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      01-17-2006, 11:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RD Sport
Aren't those flaps made of flexible rubber?
Not flaps but protection pan in the middle under the front side of the car. It is plastic and I got it cracked
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      01-18-2006, 02:35 PM   #20
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