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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > BMW 3 Series Maintenance and Reliability?



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      08-13-2005, 11:53 PM   #45
segfault
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Quote:
Originally Posted by segfault
Timing chains can fail as well--typically, the guides or tensioners fail... I am somewhat familiar with the Volkswagen TDI engines, which use a belt, and the consensus on the late models with the 100k belt is that it will last that long unless you have a lot of aftermarket mods which place additional stress on it.
New stuff has come to light since I posted that, and I am going to eat my words on this one. My father owns a 2003 Beetle TDI, which had its first t-belt and tensioner replacement at the scheduled 100,000 miles. At 119,000 miles, the tensioner locked up, and smoke started bellowing out the back of the car. Luckily, this happened while driving around town at low speed, so the smoke was very noticeable and did not dissipate due to the airflow at higher speeds--the car was shut down before it snapped. At 119,000 miles, it had its second timing belt and tensioner replacement. All the components that the belt melted onto were also replaced.

I still don't have a grudge on all cars with timing belts, but I do have a grudge on Volkswagens, given my admittedly limited anecdotal experience with them. There are scads of Hondas, Toyotas, and Volvos that make use of a timing belt, and the vast majority have no problems with them if they are replaced on schedule. As I said before, timing chains can and do fail as well, but I thought I should confess the above in the interest of full disclosure.
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      08-14-2005, 07:42 AM   #46
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Before buying my second 325i I test drove a Lexus. It was a hot sunny summer's day here in Indiana. I could not put the transmission in drive because of the extreme heat generated by the chrome gear shift. I thought if this is an example of Japanese engineering then I'll pass. However I did manage to get it in gear with the help of a napkin and contined my test drive. My wife said it best after the drive and compairing it to the BWM, "The Lexus has no soul."
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      08-14-2005, 04:25 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace008
how many little problems have you guys experienced in your 3 series? and were they expensive to fix? For example, I bought a 2000 toyota celica gt-s, and I have not have a single problem in 5 years of driving it. And it gets driven pretty wild at times. Can I expect the same quality from a BMW?
This is the problem exactly.

I have a 2003 330Ci and a 2005 A4 1.8T Audi. And before this starts to look as a BMW bashing post, let me tell you that I am a BMW lover since 1992. My lease on the 330Ci is up next February and I am on the fence. I die to lease or finance a new 330i E90 but I want a car for 6-7 years this time. I am sick of giving perfectly maintained cars back after 36 months, but at the same time if I look at my 330Ci it is obvious that keeping it beyond warranty would become a maintenance suicide.

The Audi has 18k miles on it and not a single unscheduled maintenance visit.

Things that broke down on my perfect driving machine... and when it works it is indeed the best car ever. See if I can remember it all.

- Transmission (auto) rough shifting right at 2000 miles then after every 2k miles again. 3 visits then fixed
- Navigation software glitches... about 3 visits for updates works good now. At one time they replaced the whole unit.
- Sunroof's rail broke several times... I think it was 4 visits the last one did it no more problems.
- Noise from front brakes 2 visits works good now.
- Door trim keeps falling off from the windows in heat (South FL). About 4-5 times they had to re-glue it. It did last through this summer so I consider it fixed. They told us that this time they have a new glue.
- Voltage regulator broke. Got stranded once. 1 visit fixed it for now.
- Engine water cooling pump leaked. 1 visit fixed it.
- AC was leaking. 1 visit so far. This was just yesterday.
- The famous HK speakers. Several replaced can't remember how many visits. I would say 3+.
- Left rear break lights kept burning out for a while. I kept replacing them and after the 2nd replacement they lasted again. Never went to the dealer for this.
- When starting the car the starter made a strange noise a few times. Did not have time to let the dealer investigate it this last time. But I am sure this will come back and haunt me.

The length of the above list is unacceptable for a car like this. Of course not every issue resulted in a separate visit. Most the times I just waited until the next service came up or until I had 2-3 things and had them fix it at once. But still I was way too many times at the dealer. I think I drove all of their loaners at one point.

So as you guys can imagine I am very hesitant to get another car for $42k especially seeing the random problems on this board. I would love to buy a 2006 330i next year I have already built it over and over at bmwusa.com. Unfortunately, I am afraid that I will get another lemon so I keep looking back at the new A4 2.0. The problem is that my Audi doesn't give the same feeling as the bimmer does. Like right now, in two hours I will drive up to Orlando for a week and I choose to drive the BMW rather than the Audi because it will be more fun... the car is just too gorgeous... I bet I will get a ticket.

I guess I will just look at these boards and see if the reliability threads will grow or not. This is pissing me off though because reliability aside it would be such a clear choice. Yesterday finally I was able to sit in a new 330i at the dealer and I am hooked. Then the valet drove up with our car from the service side and I was back to reality.

Please someone tell me that none of you have ever had this many problems with your BMW.
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      08-15-2005, 05:45 PM   #48
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Huncowboy,

Audi consistently rates lower on the JD Powers survey than BMW. The Japanese makes are consistently rated the highest, along with Buick and Cadillac. That said, those makes do not have the same feel as the German makes, although some are good and (supposedly) getting closer.

Are both of those cars yours? You could get a 330i and still have something else to drive (Audi or otherwise) to keep the miles off of it (less maintenance/repairs).

Regards,

segfault
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      08-15-2005, 06:11 PM   #49
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So far in my E90 the only problems i am finding is alignment. The first time it came from the dealer, and the 2nd time cause my bf screwed it up. But besides that.. no problems.

My mom has a 1988 325, and she loves it.. its still going strong and hardly had any probs!
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      08-15-2005, 06:16 PM   #50
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I'm just curious....if I don't want the BMW maintenance plan....will BMW reimburshed me some $$$$$$.....since we're actually paying for the maintenance as part of the MSRP, right? I'm always use to taking care of my own car.............
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      08-19-2005, 01:43 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by segfault
Huncowboy,

Audi consistently rates lower on the JD Powers survey than BMW. The Japanese makes are consistently rated the highest, along with Buick and Cadillac. That said, those makes do not have the same feel as the German makes, although some are good and (supposedly) getting closer.

Are both of those cars yours? You could get a 330i and still have something else to drive (Audi or otherwise) to keep the miles off of it (less maintenance/repairs).

Regards,

segfault
Yes both of those cars are ours. I am driving both but the BMW is driven mostly by my wife.

Those JD ratings have been under fire many times. I am not familiar with them at all. Pretty surprising about Buick and Caddi.

Anyways, what I am hoping is that there won't be many negative maintenance threads here.
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      08-19-2005, 03:14 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huncowboy
Anyways, what I am hoping is that there won't be many negative maintenance threads here.
Every car board has complaints--what differs is the magnitude of the problems people are complaining about. When I had a Volkswagen, the boards were full of "Car won't start" and "Window fell into door" posts. When I had a Nissan, the boards were full of "Foglamps don't work like I want them to" and "Poor heat at idle" posts.
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      08-19-2005, 05:41 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by segfault
Every car board has complaints--what differs is the magnitude of the problems people are complaining about. When I had a Volkswagen, the boards were full of "Car won't start" and "Window fell into door" posts. When I had a Nissan, the boards were full of "Foglamps don't work like I want them to" and "Poor heat at idle" posts.
I can relate to the window problem with the VW. You are right, every make has its problems. I am actually ok with that. As long one or two things go wrong on every other 3er that is fine. The warranty period should take care of those. Like with my Jetta I knew before purchase that the window was going to break at one point. But in case of my 330Ci things were/are random, and new things keep coming up quite often. May be I have a lemon.
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      08-21-2005, 04:31 PM   #54
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When it comes to reliability, Lexus may have the slight edge. But look at the conclusion from Inside Line at Edmunds on the new Lexus IS350. I think it says it all.

"But in the End
In fact, if you were to ask us, "What's the most advanced, refined and confident sport sedan under $40,000 today?" we'd very likely tell you it's the Lexus IS 350. And if you then asked us, "Which modern sport sedan would you most like to own and drive?" we'd tell you "The BMW 3 Series."

A very solid, capable and desirable luxury sedan the IS 350 is. And if you simply focus on acceleration numbers, you could even say it's "the new standard of class-leading performance." Now, where are the BMW keys?"
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