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      12-09-2010, 01:54 AM   #1
gtabfknkdnme
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Buying a 2006 3, Need advice

So I've been eyeing the 2006+ 3 series for a while and think I'm going to be buying one soon and have a few questions.

I come from the VW world, I've owned almost 10 different vw and audi's and I'm not an expert with cars, but definitely not a noob. Very new to BMW though. So hopefully you guys and girls can give me a few tips. It'd be greatly appreciated

1. Are there any major issues with the 2006 models that weren't present with the 2007,2008 etc?

2. Anything in particular I should check before I buy the car (faulty factory parts, recalls etc)?

3. I'm thinking a 2006 330i, how much slower are the 328s or the 328xi or 330xi? I had a 2004 Audi A4 and a 1999 VW Passat (they have the exact same engine, but the quattro on the Audi killed the power) Is this the case with the xi models?

I know the 330i is ~250 hp, 328 is ~230, and the 325 is ~215. Also, do the automatic gear boxes suck/make the car seem slower?


4. How do the non-xi models handle in the snow? How do the xi models handle in the snow compared to the non-xi models?

I know it's a lot of questions, but any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
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      12-09-2010, 02:27 AM   #2
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I have the 2006 330i and it is an excellent car. Mine has pretty much everything but active steering, it has a auto transmission. BTW 255 hp not 250. They are excellent cars. In my opinion a nice alternative to the 335 if you don't want to spend more for the turbo and to get 300hp. The auto transmission in the 330 is the same as the 335. The 328 has a gm transmission that is not as smooth but seems reliable from what I have read. As far as major issues go some 330 and 328's suffer a metallic lifter noise. You can find posts on this issue. Most of the problems are fixed under warranty. The problem is triggered by a lot of very short low speed trips and has something to do with oil pressure at the top of the motor under those conditions. BMW says it does not effect performance (not sure I buy that). My car made noise once last year, I took it out and drove it hard for 5 mins and it went away and has not returned (knock on wood). I live in AZ so I have only driven my car once in the snow and it was just a couple of inches. Maybe someone from another climate can chime in. What I do know is the XI changes the balance of the car and adds weight neither is great for the car but if you need awd it is a reasonable trade off. Overall my 2006 330i has held up very well. I am at 90,000 miles and compared to our nissan murano the BMW is in much better shape in terms of material durability, rattles etc.

The folks on this board are great and will help you a ton. There is a great wealth of information already posted here so take some time to look around before you buy. Best of luck, Tom
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      12-09-2010, 02:34 AM   #3
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I also have an '06 330i and love it. I did have the metallic clicking problem and unlike pruett if I drove it hard, it only got worst, but thankfully bmw fixed it under warranty. It comes back from time to time but I don't notice it affecting the performance in any way. As for any other problems, I have a major oil leak problem when I first got my car but bmw gladly fixed it. Besides those two problems, I love my car. It has about 55k miles on it and is still a joy to drive. I have an auto but definitely regret not getting the stick. If you like driving a stick and don't mind the occasional traffic jam, I suggest you look for a stick instead.
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      12-09-2010, 02:56 AM   #4
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^ Both really good reviews and i agree.
I love my 330i, its a great car. I never had the metallic clicking sound but did have a oil leak from the gasket but the cost for the repair was only around $400.
The car has 74k miles and runs great. its been though a lot. 2 accidents (neither my fault) and has been driven pretty hard but has been very reliable. still have the original battery which surprises me since all my other cars the factory battery seemed to die within 2 years.
Materials are very good on the car. I got the extended maintenance so thats been nice.
I think this car would have been more fun if it had a stick shift tho. I like the auto but it does shift for you sometimes even in manual mode and even tho its a good tranny i think a manual would have fit the car a lot better.
The car isnt slow, its a lot of fun, its safe, has a great all around feel to it.
Only thing i can think that is a down side is the i-drive lags a lot and you dont get the traffic update on the 2006 and no oil temp gauge and the side mirrors are a little small you learn not to trust them as much as i used to on other cars.
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      12-09-2010, 03:15 AM   #5
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I love my 330i...I think overall its more reliable than a 335i. No real problems here and i have stick shift btw. I had a bluetooth recall but i bought my car in july of 05 and got it fixed a month later. No real issues. Fun car to drive.
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      12-09-2010, 08:19 AM   #6
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I had the 330 prior to my 335d, and it when it was shod with PS2 RFT's it rode and handled like a dream.

Something to keep in mind. IF your car has RFT tires and sport pkg there is a 99% chance that one or more of your rims will be bent. Just and FYI when your tire guy starts cussing because he can't get your tires perfectly balanced.

Service history on my car:
New Cylinder head which resolved valve tap.
New Radiator @ 30k miles
Replacement of Mechtronics sleeve on the ZF 6HP automatic transmission (it had been seeping AT fluid for such a long time that it started causing abrupt 1-2 shifts).
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      12-09-2010, 08:21 AM   #7
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RFT is an issue you should look up

RFT (Run Flat Tires)is an issue you should look up
you don't get a spare
The problems are rough ride due to stiff sidewalls
half the tire life at twice the cost and a lack or repair ability

The Free maintenance program is skimpy
so have a car with a lot of miles inspected for sludge build up
if the owner didn't get the oil changed yearly or more than scheduled

It has a timing chain instead of belt that doesn't need to be replaced as
far as I know which is one of the major maintenance expense's with other cars

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ting+for+fools

The base stereo for the US is kinda of weak(called the Premium or HI Fi should be called medium , also easiest to modify) , but better than what Europe got (the euorpean base model has no tweeter or amp). Logic 7 is the top of the line also called (Top Hi Fi) I think that was standard in the 330 that year(06).
Most people would consider the L7 a pretty good system.
Its not easy to modify because it uses a fiberoptic cable between the head unit and amp.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/attach...2&d=1266451970

No dipstick its electronic

The battery has to be registered when changed
You have to tell the car it has a new battery so it adjusts the charging rate
it can be done at an Independent BMW shop or you can buy a scan tool to do it

If you are considering a 335 even at all be sure to look up HPFP, Turbos mean trouble

The above are issues with all years the newer cars have been decontented do to hard times
so in a way the older cars are better.

Last edited by ctuna; 12-09-2010 at 05:57 PM.
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      12-09-2010, 08:51 AM   #8
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There is some good info in the last post, but to write off the 335 by saying turbos mean trouble and HPFP is silly. I have 88k+ miles on my 335, 28k+ tuned. Still on original turbos with no problems, still on original fuel pump. It is a problem with 335s, but it is not as wide spread as people on these forums want to make it out to be. No car is perfect.

If you can afford it, you should go with the 335. The 335 started in 2007.

The free maintenance program IS skimpy! Oil change every 15k miles doesn't seem right to me. I personally do it every 5k. No dipstick is really annoying. It makes oil changes kind of annoying, personally.

Good luck in your search!
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      12-09-2010, 08:55 AM   #9
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I am with everyone here, I have a 2006 330i and I bought mine used. I haven't any major issues with it (knock on wood!!)...i find it to be one of the most reliable bmw's out there...you may already know that the early production 335's have had recalls for the hpfp (if someone wants to chime in about this, please do so)...i hope this helps in your decision
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      12-09-2010, 09:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtabfknkdnme View Post
So I've been eyeing the 2006+ 3 series for a while and think I'm going to be buying one soon and have a few questions.

I come from the VW world, I've owned almost 10 different vw and audi's and I'm not an expert with cars, but definitely not a noob. Very new to BMW though.
I am a long time VW/AUDI gearhead myself. Welcome to the dark side!


Quote:
Originally Posted by gtabfknkdnme View Post
3. I'm thinking a 2006 330i, how much slower are the 328s or the 328xi or 330xi? I had a 2004 Audi A4 and a 1999 VW Passat (they have the exact same engine, but the quattro on the Audi killed the power) Is this the case with the xi models?

I know the 330i is ~250 hp, 328 is ~230, and the 325 is ~215. Also, do the automatic gear boxes suck/make the car seem slower?
Not considering the 335i or the 335d? The 335i is probably less reliable than the naturally aspirated engines, but this is mostly due to the high pressure fuel pumps for which there is an extended warranty (12 years I believe).


Quote:
Originally Posted by gtabfknkdnme View Post
4. How do the non-xi models handle in the snow? How do the xi models handle in the snow compared to the non-xi models?

No issues whatsoever and I live in Chicago. Last winter I drove from Chicago to Denver through one of the biggest winter blizzards the Midwest has seen in the past several years. I did the trip with all-season tires, and not dedicated winters. In Nebraska, we saw over 20 semis overturned, close to 30 SUVs and cars in the ditch in a small stretch of about 20 miles. Yes the roads were VERY tricky, but my RWD 335i went through it just fine.

Proper winter driving has a lot more to do with preparation, mental state and driver awareness of the road conditions and the car itself than AWD...
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      12-09-2010, 09:45 AM   #11
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things that come up more often:
-check to see if the door handles sorta stick when you pull on them
-the passenger air bang sensor is a common problem
-the metal ticking like some already mentioned
-check the interior trim aroound the door handle. Not the handle to open the door but the one u pull on to physicaly move the door. Its made out of some rubbery material that scratches super easily and tends to look like crap.
-the steering column in the 06 models has locks. Its common for the locks to eventually screw up and you end up having to get a new steering column that doesnt have locks to solve the problem

stuff ive had done since getting the car used:
-replaced starter and sticky door handles under warranty
- just recently noticed its leaking transmisison oil. There is a service bulletin about a mechatronic seal that leaks so thats probably my problem.

ive got an xi cuz we get a lot of snow here. If we didnt, id pass on it,,.saves a few hundred lbs. An xi also sits higher.

the rfts are loud and expensive. i wouldnt buy another set..but since theres no spare tire, its an issue if you get a flat.

my auto 325 is fairly slow off the line..there is sort of lag and the car kinda takes off slow. That can be fixed with a powerbox to adjust the mappng. costs about 350$.
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      12-09-2010, 09:53 AM   #12
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Although the E9x 330i and 328i both have N52B30 engines, the 330i produces more power due to its better intake manifold and other subtle differences. The 330i was also the top-of-the-line (non-M) 3-Series in 2006, so it came with better standard features than the 2007/2008 328i (such as power front seats, Xenon HIDs, Logic 7, etc.). It's a great car.
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      12-09-2010, 10:35 AM   #13
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another 330i owner here. Love it. Only issues have been some minor fit/finish trim items inside the car and some buzzing under the throttle body that was corrected under warranty. It's a great car and I get about 20mpg with city and over 30mpg on highway.

That said, 330s are coming up to 5 years old now. You might be better served looking into a 335 at this point. Drive one and find out if the torque curve is intoxicating enough to spend the extra dough on a slightly newer model.
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      12-09-2010, 11:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtabfknkdnme View Post
So I've been eyeing the 2006+ 3 series for a while and think I'm going to be buying one soon and have a few questions.

I come from the VW world, I've owned almost 10 different vw and audi's and I'm not an expert with cars, but definitely not a noob. Very new to BMW though. So hopefully you guys and girls can give me a few tips. It'd be greatly appreciated

1. Are there any major issues with the 2006 models that weren't present with the 2007,2008 etc?

2. Anything in particular I should check before I buy the car (faulty factory parts, recalls etc)?

3. I'm thinking a 2006 330i, how much slower are the 328s or the 328xi or 330xi? I had a 2004 Audi A4 and a 1999 VW Passat (they have the exact same engine, but the quattro on the Audi killed the power) Is this the case with the xi models?

I know the 330i is ~250 hp, 328 is ~230, and the 325 is ~215. Also, do the automatic gear boxes suck/make the car seem slower?


4. How do the non-xi models handle in the snow? How do the xi models handle in the snow compared to the non-xi models?

I know it's a lot of questions, but any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
Get a 330i, you wont regret it. Personally I think its a great blend of performance, comfort, and technology
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      12-09-2010, 11:35 AM   #15
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i hear that the '06 idrive has a lot of problems. mine works fine except for the navigation feature, which works intermittently. my dealer believes a CCC replacement is necessary at an estimated cost of $1,500.
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      12-09-2010, 02:47 PM   #16
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wow you guys are excellent. thanks for all the feedback, so it's seeming like the 330 is a solid choice. def. dont want to get a 335, i'm done with cars with turbos lol.

my closest alternative was an 04+ 545, but hp per lb ratio is lower and it's less fuel efficient. plus, i dont think it's as attractive as the 06+ 3's.

more input will be greatly appreciated
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      12-09-2010, 03:18 PM   #17
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I would highly recommend the 330. I personally have an '06 330xi and I couldn't be happier. I personally love the xi and would recommend it (I don't want to start a full blown debate of xi vs. i so I hope people don't go there). I love the peace of mind the awd gives ME in winters. I travel a lot and don't want a decent snow fall to hinder my return home. I’m not saying the xi turns your car into an artic cat z1 turbo but it does help (my opinion). I have had countless storms where I make it by many other cars, trucks, and suvs because they are stuck.

Either way 330i or 330xi I promise you one thing…you’ll never have a turbo issue or a hpfp issue. That is a fact. Good luck with the purchase! Post some photos when you do end up with the keys!
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      12-09-2010, 03:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob.g View Post

the rfts are loud and expensive. i wouldnt buy another set..but since theres no spare tire, its an issue if you get a flat.

my auto 325 is fairly slow off the line..there is sort of lag and the car kinda takes off slow. That can be fixed with a powerbox to adjust the mappng. costs about 350$.
I agree on the runflats. They are a waste of money! If your car comes with them when you buy it, I would go ahead and use those until they die, but when you have to replace them, go with non runflats. It will save you a lot of money in the long run. Also, if you are worried about a flat, you can get the spare tire kit from Tischer (getbmwparts.com). The kit was something like $350-400 when I bought it, but considering 1 (one) runflat was $450 and a whole set (4) of normal tires was $660, I thought it was a good deal. Plus, I use the jack for other maintenance items (the car doesn't come stock with a jack!). You should get better mpg and handling with normal tires than the runflats, also.
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      12-09-2010, 05:03 PM   #19
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I also have an '06 330xi and I love it. No complaints whatsoever. I don't even mind the RFTs. What run flat tire is $450? My dealer charges $225 for all-season ContiContact Pro runflats (tirerack charges $188).
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      12-09-2010, 06:30 PM   #20
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Sport Seats are a must

The Sport seats in this car allow you to wear the car instead of just ride in it.
They come with the Sport Package.
I would always go with a manual if you like to drive the car rather than ride in it.
Also the manual is less in maintenance costs.
In town gas mileage kind of sucks expect around 18 ,Highway gas mileage is pretty good expect around 28 average in the flats.
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      12-09-2010, 06:32 PM   #21
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I had an 06 e90 330 RWD and only got stuck once with winter tires on. My advice dont park on packed snow on the street. Other than that you'll notice that the RWD will be faster than the AWD.

My opinion is if you drive year round in winter and all go for the xi, Im not a huge fan of driving RWD cars in the snow, but thats just me.
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      12-10-2010, 02:30 AM   #22
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BEST CAR I EVER HAD. Still enjoy the drive to work everyday. People ask me why the almost 40 miles roundtrip every day doesn't make me tired. I Realize now why not... I drive an 06 330i (70,000 miles) still enjoy every minute of it. In regards to maintenance, nothing major( knock on wood) 330i RELIABLE 100%
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