Last post on Mar 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Sedan
#15580 of 30250 Shipo- re: cylinder liners...
Mar 29, 2002 (9:14 pm)
The first BMW V8s-- introduced in 1994 and designated M60 and available in 3.0 and 4.0 displacements were aluminum block V8s whose cylinder walls were impregnated with a compound called Nikasil. I believe this is some combination of Nickel and silicon. It was discovered some years later (possibly in 1997 or 98) that Nikasil was breaking down when the engine was run w/ high sulfur fuel found in the US. Engines that were affected lost some compression in their cylinders.
BMW switched to using a compound called Alusil (not sure what it is) in the late 90s and this seems to have stopped the problem.
With the I6, my understanding is that for the US only the cylinders are lined using cast iron sleeves--the rest of the world gets Alusil as in the current V8s (and the brand-new Valvetronic N62 V8s). I agree w/ you that the iron is probably the most durable- i suppose the trade-off is weight. I guess BMW doesn't want to use the iron sleeves on the V8s because it would add too much extra weight.
Its hard to say just based on the design of the 2 engines which one would be inherently more reliable.
here are some pros and cons for each design in terms of reliability:
+due to greater torque the engine doesn't need to spin as fast to generate sufficient power thus less engine, camshaft, and valve wear.
+90 degree V8 is inherently balanced
-Alusil cylinder liners may not be durable in the long run
-2 banks of cylinders means that there needs to be 2 valvetrains and so there is some extra complexity and things that can go wrong.
+cast iron cylinder liners are very durable
+only 1 valvetrain -- less things to go wrong
+Able to have a more free flowing exhaust
-Longer block length could mean greater tendency to warp and cause head gasket problems
-models w/ I6 engines tend to be geared to run at a higher engine speed for a given road speed-- meaning more engine wear than a V8.
-On the latest M54 engines, the cats have been moved very close to the manifold. Some have speculated that the great heat generated by the catalysts could cause problems down the road-- BMW had a similar design in the late 70s on the 533i - and those engines constantly overheated.
From everything I've read, my gut feeling tells me that the I6 is a simpler, sturdier design and thus more reliable design. BMW has also been refining the I6 for a lot longer than the V8.
#15581 of 30250 I drive a
Mar 29, 2002 (10:30 pm)
1993 530i (V-8) and has over 122,000Km and so far the car drives like a champ!
Hippo, to test to see if your xenons self-leveling actually works, this is what I do (and also because it looks cool!):
Turn the car on and immediately turn on the lights. You'll see them adjust!
#15582 of 30250 Thanks for the advice! Now, what about the 2003 5 series?
Mar 29, 2002 (11:12 pm)
Thanks all for the advice about the 3 Series and 5 series. It looks like the fives series offers a little more luxury then the 3, but the 3 series such as the 330i is still one fine sports sedan! Now, what about the 2003 5 series? I read it being redesigned and will be bigger and better. Does anyone know anything about this new BMW? Is it worth the wait?
#15583 of 30250 vkwheels - oc dealers
Mar 29, 2002 (11:46 pm)
>> i bought mine last year. not sure if the mkt changed much this year.
>> normal prices were: $1500 over invoice.
>> among the oc four: irvine is a no-go. do not waste your time there. tina - fleet mgr at sterling is pretty straight forward and decent price ($1500 over). i felt crevier guys were too "sales" type. shelly guy never wanted to give me a quote unless i went there. cutter has a good reputation but i do not know it is worth to drive 100+ mi to save hundreds $. tried few in SD and riverside but were not compelling.
>> i ended up buying mine at alhambra. talk to eddie yeh. he's cool. hope this helps.
#15584 of 30250 woobah 3er vs 5er
Mar 30, 2002 (12:10 am)
another perspective: 5er drivers are typically older than 3er. though there are lots of crossovers, dare i say 40 is the line? :->
actually you'll probably get better deals on 2002 5ers as the model changeover is coming. i personally will not wait for the 2003 model year - statistically first model year of a brand new car design is in the same category of "user acceptance test" phase of a system development cycle if you know the IT term. still require debugging.
#15585 of 30250 Just returned from ED...a "dump" for you. (long)
Mar 30, 2002 (6:12 am)
WOW....I just returned last night from 10 days in Germany. Picked up a 330i with PP,SP and CWP. Sorry, no pictures as the only thing we did manage
to forget was the digital camera. In my wildest inagination...I can not imagine anyone who can afford a week or so to pick up the car of their dreaming and driving the Ultimate Driving Machine on the finest high speed roads in the world...with some of the most disciplined drivers in the workd...not doing this. As a summarry, the food is great, the beer and wine are the best in the world. The prices for hotels run around $85 a night with WC and breakfast for two. Most dinners for four, including beer, main course and dessert, run a bout $80-90 for four. I should be on the tread mill right now. Here are some specific recommendations. I would strongly recommend you stay at the Hotel Mark (www.hotel-mark.de) They have a gated underground garage for about $8/ a night. You can get the train from the airport (follow directions at airport...easy to find train station...it's right down stairs). Take the S1 line to the Hauptbahnhof (main/central train station in the heart of Munich...ride takes about 45 minues). We paid 15 Euro's (aprox $13) for all four of us to ride the train all day around Munich. In my opinion...public transportation in Munich is the only way to go. Efficient, fast, dependable and fun. All you have to do is try and drive in downtown Munich where the street names (if you can even find them) change every three blocks. Trust me, take public transportation. Dropped off the wife and daughter and son-in-law and I got on subway and headed toward Euro Delivery Center. That little subway map that BMWNA
sends is invaluable. No problem with pickup at all. I was a little disappointed in their gift shop. I was expecting to see more shirts and jackets with BMW logo's on them. Lots of little model cars, however. Folks very friendly. You can purchase city map of Munich there (about $8 as I recall)...Note: Purchase the most detailed map you can find as many of the little "here's how you get to my place" maps are missing the details (like 40% of the streets) you'll need to drive around town (getting back to hotel after you pick up the car). If you're going to do the Factory Tour...better make sure you have reservations. I did the drill with BMWNA and it was no problem. Factory tour was fantastic. While you're waiting for the tour to start (English tours are Monday and Friday...starting promptly at 1:15 PM)...don't eat the food at the little snack stand they have. I was an Army Helo pilot, stationed in Germany, so I've eaten a few German meals over the years, and it's the only bad meal I've ever had in Germany. Places we visited: Rotenburg (highly recommended), Schwaebish Hall (about 30 minute drive from Rotenburg) where we used to live, Heidleburg (recommended, but not a must see), Baden-Baden (great resort location for Spa's and gambling). Garmish (a MUST see with the Zugspitze...the highest mountain in Germany). Great place to ski, and hang out. If you have ever seen God's Country...this is it. It's only about 45 minutes south of Munich. Notes on the car: If you think it was great on your dealership test drive...wait until you get it on the Autobahn and the back country roads. It's fantastic. The gentleman at the Delivery Center said to keep the RPM below 4,000 (book says 4,500). Not sure why, but the book also says keep speeds below 100 MPH. I kept the RPM's below 4K but frequently hit speeds of 105 to 110 MPH. I used to be a helo test pilot and I figured that the RPM was more critical the top end speed...and, hey, I was on the Autobahn so I went for it. As I recall the RPM at 105 MPH did not exceed 3600-3700. This car will cruise all day at this speed...and if you need to pass...it has the legs to do it. Vehicle Turn In at E. H. Harms...not easy to find without a good detailed map...but if you have the appropriate map...it's a no brainer. I personally would not want to try and turn the car in and then try and catch a flight. We turned the car in on Thursday afternoon and then caught the bus and subway out to see Dachau concentration. A sobering visit...but one...in my opinion every American should see. Stayed the last night at the Hotel Mark...got up the next morning, ate breakfast...walked across the street, got on the train to the airport and flew home. I'm sure I've left many unanswered questions...I remember having so many prior to my trip. If you need any help or have questions I can help you with...just yell. Shipo and Brave and the gang...thanks for all of your help....I've got to go get back on the treadmill . TC
Mar 30, 2002 (6:46 am)
Has your 530i ever been fed a diet of US "High Sulfer" fuel? If your car has spent most of its time (or all of it) in Europe, my understanding is that you should no experience any problems with the cylider walls. That said, if you ever get sent back State Side, I would be inclined to leave the 530i there.
#15587 of 30250 rhmass - tire pressure, etc
Mar 30, 2002 (8:46 am)
Congratulations on receiving your new 325xiT. To have both performance and utility in the same vehicle is a rare find. And the smile does not go away . I'll have to check out your color, interior and option combination if you have already posted it.
The dealer inflated my tires to 35 psi front and 40 psi rear. Since those values were 'close' to the recommended 38/32 and tires typically loose air over time, I kept those vales. I've never had my tires squeal at the limit, have not encountered understeer (higher than recommended front pressure) and the ride is smooth. Your question gave me the incentive to measure middle to outside tire wear and find no measurable difference (less than a 64th) after 11,350 miles.
I would measure tire pressure about once every three months - my tires retained air quite well (less than 2psi over the summer months) but strongly recommend checking them on a cold morning in late November. Both my daughter's 330xi and my 325xiT were down 5psi in cold weather.
I, and more importantly, your BMW's owner's manual disagree with two-thirds of your salesman's statements. 1. As hard as it is going to be, vary your engine speed often and keep its maximum value under 4500rpm. On other engines, I have been rewarded by their lives exceeding 150,000 miles with oil consumption less than 1 quart in 6000 miles. 2. I use 93 octane and believe the higher octane gives better performance as well as better economy (mileage and cost) than lower grades. 3. The 15,000 mile oil change is rational because the BMW uses 8 quarts of synthetic oil. My other cars carried 3.5 quarts with recommended 6000 mile intervals.
I find the steering to be delightfully heavier than my previous two cars. I owned 20 years of Japanese FWD cars which (in my case) forced a straight-arm steering style. I started the BMW with the steering wheel as far away as possible but have been moving it closer (about in the middle now) because that position feels much more comfortable.
I find the downloaded version of owner's manual to be very helpful because you can 'find' (<Ctrl> + <F> in the pdf document) subjects a lot quicker. Be glad to 'talk' to you more as you have other questions or observations.
Mar 30, 2002 (8:57 am)
I'm older than er 40 but younger than 50. IMHO the 530 is drop-dead gorgeous, but I really wanted the 330.
#15589 of 30250 Crossover
Mar 30, 2002 (9:22 am)
I will be almost exactly (I mean like, to the day) 45 when I get my 530i here in the States. Maybe I should look at it as a "Rite of Passage".