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      11-18-2012, 06:55 AM   #1
Efthreeoh
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Just a Rant on BMW Engineering

So yesterday I just did my (2nd) 100,000 mile tune up at 195,000 miles. Of course this means spark plugs and an engine airfilter. The first time around I thought it was neat that all these precision-fit plastic parts have to come off to get to the plugs, and the airfilter box is so well-built and robust.

This time around, not so crazy about the design. Okay, so I kinda get the big plastic cowling tray (BMW calls it the bottom half of the cabin airfilter housing). It's kind of necessary because the I6 is so long and sits back behind the front axle for weight balance, but was it really necessary to have the battery cable and whatever other cable it is go across the engine and sit in an over-extravagant, fragile clip-on plastic housing. And then there is another cable in another housing that hangs behind that one. I mean couldn't those cables, which have no serviceable maintenance requirement, be routed along the firewall instead? Or better if they need to be over the engine, couldn't the cowling tray just have a nice molded in channel for the cables to sit in and just pop out when necessary? And why couldn't the cowling tray just be bolted in four places rather than just two, with fancy, breakable clips in the back? Itís all just too time consuming to take all that unnecessary shit a part just to change spark plugs.

And why does the right-side cover (opposite the one that covers the master cylinder) have to have the washer supply line clipped to the underside of it?

And the airfilter box, does it really need six screws to hold it together? Most cars have a few clips holding the box together, no tools required.

Okay, rant over. Thanks I feel better now. Car runs fantastic.

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      11-18-2012, 07:49 AM   #2
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Congratulations on 195k!!! But i just did mine and agree w you to much junk.
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      11-18-2012, 09:34 AM   #3
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So you rant about their engineering while doing a 195,000 Mile Service... WTF???You don't see any irony in that?
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      11-18-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
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Maybe I'm chea^H^H^H^Hfrugal, but I *expect* 200K miles+ out of a car, even ones much less expensive than a new BMW. Had an old Scirocco with 24x,xxx miles and it ran like new when I sold it.

I would hope that a newish 3-series, given regular maintenance, could double that, although sadly I expect that "maintenance" includes new turbos and a HPFP at some point.
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      11-18-2012, 10:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N8N
Maybe I'm chea^H^H^H^Hfrugal, but I *expect* 200K miles+ out of a car, even ones much less expensive than a new BMW. Had an old Scirocco with 24x,xxx miles and it ran like new when I sold it.

I would hope that a newish 3-series, given regular maintenance, could double that, although sadly I expect that "maintenance" includes new turbos and a HPFP at some point.
+1 including the Scirocco
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      11-18-2012, 10:15 AM   #6
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you might have the highest mileage E90 to date.

Thats pretty steep lol. I'm at 84k in my 06 and was growing concerned with how many miles I put on a year.

Sounds like keeping up with the maintenance is worth it. I really hope so...
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      11-18-2012, 10:29 AM   #7
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195k is impressive, did you buy car new ? would be nice if you listed problems that you encountered during ownership
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      11-18-2012, 11:06 AM   #8
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N54? what motor?
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      11-18-2012, 11:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
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N54? what motor?
+1 335i N54 or 328?
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      11-18-2012, 11:44 AM   #10
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Yes..inquiring minds want to know more than just the nondescript "E90" you have listed! 328i N52? What'chew got man!
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      11-18-2012, 11:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasVS View Post
So you rant about their engineering while doing a 195,000 Mile Service... WTF???You don't see any irony in that?



n52 OR n54 THIS! LOL
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      11-18-2012, 11:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolyan2k View Post
195k is impressive, did you buy car new ? would be nice if you listed problems that you encountered during ownership
I'm interested in knowing this as well, would love to know what kind of bumps you've had along the way to 200k
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      11-19-2012, 12:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straightcashhomie View Post
N54? what motor?
Quote:
Originally Posted by psmitty95 View Post
+1 335i N54 or 328?
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeMWeh View Post
Yes..inquiring minds want to know more than just the nondescript "E90" you have listed! 328i N52? What'chew got man!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigOn. View Post
n52 OR n54 THIS! LOL
He has a 2006 325i 6MT (so, N52)
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      11-19-2012, 12:25 AM   #14
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Subbing for additional thoughts
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      11-19-2012, 06:53 AM   #15
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It is a 2006 E90 325i.

Just for shits and grins, attached is the service record. I keep a detailed Excel file. I had to convert it to Word. I did most all the service DIY except the AC rebuild and driver's seat rebuild; and tire mountings/alignments (1) of course.

I expect any car to go 200,000 to 250,000 miles with no major issues. BMW over engineers a lot of stuff IMO and under engineers others - like the water pump (I'm still pissed about that one...)
Attached Files
File Type: doc E90 MAINT WORD.doc (255.5 KB, 112 views)
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      11-19-2012, 09:55 PM   #16
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I think it's pretty awesome that the car is coming up on 200K and the worst you're complaining about is some cumbersome aspects to servicing it.
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      11-19-2012, 11:16 PM   #17
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yeah my mitshubishi airfilter was held in by two clips, 5 minute job. but the beamer, oh lawd
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      11-20-2012, 05:49 AM   #18
Efthreeoh
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Quote:
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I think it's pretty awesome that the car is coming up on 200K and the worst you're complaining about is some cumbersome aspects to servicing it.
Well it’s more than that really. The cumbersome aspects of servicing it have nothing to do with the car's longevity. My background is in manufacturing engineering. The issues I've mentioned bring a whole lot of unnecessary expense to designing and manufacturing the car. It's a classic case of engineering challenge that is unnecessary. I was taught long ago by an Engineering Manager that "engineers are like horses, they will eat until they die". In other words a lot of engineers don't know when to say "good enough."

If you've ever taken the parts I discuss above you'd appreciate the preciseness of the fit of each part with the other, but it takes a lot of engineering time (even with CAD/CAM) and manufacturing cost to get these levels of fit (i.e. part tolerance). And the point is none of it is necessary for the car to run any better or last any longer. BMWs are expensive, but I'd rather see the costs of designing and manufacturing these parts (the car has many others just like it) into either a price reduction, or better part performance, say like a HPFP, or A/C compressor, or an electric waterpump that lasts the life of the vehicle like it should.

In particular the waterpump. It fails due to heat that can't be properly dissipated from the control electronics, or in some cases the motor windings. I'd rather see a less precise fit of under-hood engine cowlings and a more robust electric-motor water pump, or at least some obvious warning system that indicates a failing waterpump before it actually fails.
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