BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > Africa > Anyone else with problems described as "normal" by BMW?

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      12-01-2009, 10:28 AM   #1
Stan Bezuidenhout
South Africa

Drives: 2009 BMW 320i E90
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

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Anyone else with problems described as "normal" by BMW?

Ok - so I bought a brand new BLACK 320i E90. When I got it, it was all fine. Runs like a dream - no problems... Um. Until you use the aircon. I found that the car would just totally FILL UP with water -sloshing around inside the cab (exposing me to risk of fire). I took it back and got given a loaner (a WHITE 320i E90) to drive. Drove this for about 3 weeks and heard nothing, so I went to see BMW. They "gave" me my car - the 320i E90, but in dark grey. So far, so good.

Then I felt a small high-frequency vibration on the gear-lever. Went back and a tech drove with me. He explained that the low mileage (<500Km) means the clutch had not seated properly on the pressure-plate yet and "it will go away."

After about a month, the vibration went away (or am I used to it?) and became an intermittent shudder. This only happens on SOME take-offs, only from stand-still and with different drivers (me and my fiancÚ).

It also started with this "flat spot" problem. Now - although the E90 320i is (obviously) not fitted with a turbo, I could best describe it as a sensation of "turbo lag." Again, from stand-still, again only on take-off, as you start to accelerate, the engine just "dies" then it "pauses like that" for a second or so, and suddenly, the "power returns" to its full glory...

So - at the first service, and after numerous references, I added these points to my "list of issues and also included abnormal tyre wear, asking for wheel alignment to be checked (there were more, but are unrelated)." When I got the car back, there was now suddenly also a wheel balancing problem (that was not there before). The next service (according to OBC) was in 8000Km, when the rear brakes needed to be replaced.

When I challenged them on this, they told me that "this is impossible," and asked for me to bring the car back. So, I took it back. They "checked it" and then asked me if I "hit a pot-hole," since they saw scrape-marks on my wheel mags. I explained that these came from a U-turn in town, that I knew exactly where this happened and that the problem only started AFTER they worked on the car. So - they gave it back to me and told me that the "one wheel is not too happy."

I then asked about the clutch shudder and was told that "this is totally normal" and that "only 320i's do this." I asked them why this was not advertised as an additional feature and asked if I was charged for it, if it was "so normal." They were not very impressed with my sarcasm, but had no answer.

I then took the car and left. After about 1000Km, the OBC then "Demanded that I take the car back for a service - rear brakes need replacing." But - remember, ALL this is within less than a week! So, I took it back (again) and asked them to replace the brakes. They confirmed that the OBC now stated that the brakes should be replaced in 164000 (minus sixty four thousand) Km. They also told me this was "normal" and that the computer was just like that. They fitted rear brakes (within an hour) and kindly washed my car for me.

I then left again. Knowing that the wheel balancing problem was only noticeable at 140Km/h, I took a drive up the Westcoast to go and test to this speed. On the way, my "coolant light" came on. I stopped at the first gas station and - lo and behold - water (coolant) all over my engine and inside the engine compartment.

So I had to call BMW assist to come and help. After waiting 2 hours in teh searing heat (35 deg Celsius, with no aircon), the tech dude arrived with a replacement (second hand) bleeder screw.

Then he popped that in, let the car run a bit and told me to drive BACK to BMW. I went back and they "checked the car" again. So the water problem was solved.

But - here's what I am stuck with, by logical deduction (according to BMW):

1. The clutch will shudder sometimes. It's normal. Get over it.
2. The "flat spot" is normal. Just don;t take any chances and be sure to leave enough space, so you don't have a truck run over you.
3. Replace your tyres, then the wheel balancing issue should be sorted. It is like that because a "tyre is unhappy."

So - I have told them (Parts Manager, Sales Manager and Service Manager) that I do not want this car anymore and that I would like to upgrade to an X3.

NO ONE has offered me a test drive, I have NOT had anyone "do the figures" for me and I do not even have a QUOTE yet...

Any thoughts on THIS? Has anyone else experienced problems (specifically) with the E90 320i that was described as "normal?" And - do you think this means that all cars do it, like Audi, Merc, etc?

Stan Bezuidenhout
Forensic Collision Homicide Reconstructionist
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      12-02-2009, 12:29 AM   #2
Menno11's Avatar
South Africa

Drives: 320d
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cape Town

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Man Stan,
sounds like you got a real Friday afternoon car!!
What dealership is giving you this crap service? I use Forsdicks Tygervalley and they have always been happy to assist me with any problems.
The fact that you bought a black car and then received a dark grey car would already have put me off and I wouldn't have accepted this!

The E90 does have a minor shudder on the clutch on hard take-offs as the clutch bites for traction on the pressure plate, but should not happen on normal take-offs
The flat-spot on the 320i I can only guess as being the time between the double vanos system kicking over, but should not be noticeable (not like in the old Honda V-tec motors).

My recommendation would be to take the car to a different dealership and get a second opinion. Then also request a trade-in at the other dealership. I feel sorry for the next bloke then buying that car!!

Good luck!
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      12-04-2009, 12:51 AM   #3
Saffa_G's Avatar

Drives: BMW M240i
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Roswell, GA

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Howzit Stan,

To be honest the 320i was more underpowered and less repsonsive than my old 318i E46. I wa not happy with the E90 320i at all. I have tested it back in 2005, then once i had my new car this year, I had a 320i in manual and another in auto...neither of them made me happy and these were 2009 LCI models too

I would say, dnt spend big bucks on an X3 ... get urself a nice 320d ... the diesel engine in auto is simply sex on wheels! I hae had problems too with BMW, but I have a solution

Now what you must do is:

Call customer care ...
0800 600 555
Lay an official complaint
summarize your issues
facts only, no sarcasm etc etc
and you must be clear on what you want as a resolution, by this I mean, do you want a new paint job (like me) or do you want a new gearbox or ... you get my drift ... then thy can take it forward in a fair manner.

The customer care dept puts huge pressure on the dealer and they will move quick to help you because they get financially penalized if they have real customer complaints.... good luck and let us know
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      12-22-2009, 06:00 AM   #4
///M 328i
South Africa

Drives: 13 F30 ///M 328i
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Africa

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My 07 320i also leaks water & i have just figured it out that it actual does happen with the A/C on.

My car is out of warranty as the previos owner was an Idoit!!!
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bmw 320i clutch shudder, bmw320i flat spot

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