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
#25546 of 30250 nissancar
Jan 25, 2004 (1:13 pm)
When older BMW radios are disconnected from their power source they require that a unique five digit code be entered using the numbered buttons on the faceplate. New owners are given cards containing the code. You might check your owners manual and related booklets to see if the cards are there or if the previous owner wrote them down. Otherwise you will have to pull the radio and get the serial number off of it. Any BMW dealership will then be able to give you the code-though they should require you to prove that you are the registered owner. You can remove the radio yourself by opening the two little doors on either side of the faceplate and loosening the screws behind them. You should really use the proper tool(available from several BMW vendors for less than $20) but an allen wrench of the same approximate size will do in a pinch-though be careful that you don't strip out the socket.
As for batteries, many have found that BMW replacement batteries are not nearly as long lasting as the original battery(my 1995 3er has has it's original battery, as does my wife's 1997 5er). Most Bimwads I know have bought a DieHard or Interstate Mega-Tron to replace the OEM battery. The MTP-91 is a popular choice: http://www.ibsa.com/estore/view_product_detail.asp?part_number=MT- P-91&mscssid=P07NX6N7KXPA9P14ENVX52AXXFVW3DEA&js=1
Make sure that whatever battery you buy is fitted with a vent tube that hooks up to the vent hose in the trunk of your car; failing to do so will allow explosive gases to accumulate in your trunk. It's a simple D-I-Y job:
1. Remove negative cable
2. Remove positive cable
3. Disconnect vent hose
4. Remove old battery
5. Clean cable terminals with a battery cleaning tool
6. Install new battery
7. Install vehicle vent hose
8. Fit anti-corrosion washers over battery terminals
9. Install positive terminal-DO NOT over tighten
10. Install negative terminal(ditto)
Regardless of what many believe, most so-called "maintenance free" batteries still need to be topped up with distilled water from time to time. Checking and topping up your battery every six months or so will greatly extend battery life.
Jan 25, 2004 (3:21 pm)
I work for a company that is the world leader in automated, robotic paint systems for the auto industry. I talked to one of our experts about this. Yes, metallic paint does cost more than the solid colors. It is also more difficult to apply correctly, but this is all automated these days. Our guess was that it costs about $50/car more for the metallic paint-job, or $100 at the outside. So they take the opportunity to make some money off of this option.
There's nothing inherently wrong about this -- it is apparently a European tradition. For instance, GM does not charge extra for metallic paint, but GM-owned Saab does charge for it even on cars sold in the U.S.
They either get their money from you in the base price, or they get it in the options .
Jan 25, 2004 (5:04 pm)
Congrats on your car! Enjoy!
Jan 25, 2004 (7:55 pm)
Well we did it - ordered a new 330ci last night (SP, PP, heat seats, septronic, Xenon, titanium with black leather and black top). Are we nuts ? That car cost more than 2 new Miatas. we have never owned a BMW before and will be selling our 2000 TL which has been an absolutely terrific car in all respects (it has 33000 miles and is fun to drive although so smooth and predictable my wife got bored with it). Please - somebody tell me I am not crazy !
Jan 25, 2004 (8:01 pm)
Good luck with your car! Sounds like you did your homework. Might as well get the mask with the smile painted on it.
#25551 of 30250 Electrical Issues
Jan 26, 2004 (12:14 am)
You were all helpful back in December when I contemplated getting winter tires for my '03 325i. I bought a set of Blizzaks, and the purchase was worth it.
Regarding electrical problems, I have to report that my 3-series has been a pain. In the first month of ownership, the car refused to start and stranded me in CT(I live in NYC). The engine was turning over but not starting (not sure about the technical jargon here). I had to get the car towed and me, my sister, and 3-year old nephew had to ride shotgun in a tow truck to BMW CT. After a couple of days, the service people diagnosed some faulty computer behind the glovebox and replaced it.
A couple of weeks ago, I'm driving down the road and started to smell a "burning" smell in the car. I had the car checked-out and was told twice that the car was "fine" and my driving style was too aggressive, and I was abusing the clutch. In my defense, I told BMW that I'm really not an aggressive driver, BUT the mechanic had the service people convinced that I was the problem and NOT the car. I brought the car back to the same dealer(VOB in Rockville, MD) for the third time last week b/c I could no longer deal with the smell. I dealt directly with the service manager and not one of the lemmings behind the counter. "Magically," they discovered that a bad wiring...once again behind the glovebox...was the cause of the offensive smell and they replaced the fusebox unit, etc. I can't begin to tell you folks how frustrating this ordeal was.
Lastly, I got a letter from BMW regarding a recall of an electrical switch that's suppose to stop the windows from "pinching." My car was checked and wasn't part of the faulty lot. (at least a little good news)
For the most part, I love my BMW(I've owned in the past) but now I wonder if I would have been better off with a G35 or Lexus. Perish the thought, right!?!
#25552 of 30250 misc. questions
Jan 26, 2004 (12:59 am)
I'm into my 2nd year of BMW ownership (330cic) and I want to thank everyone for sharing your knowledge/time. Great board and I enjoy reading it!
My q's are: 1) correct ft/lbs of torque for lug
2) normal service interval for
a) antifreeze change and flush
(covered under warranty?)
b) brake fluid bleed and change
(covered under warranty?)
3) new BMW rotor thickness and re-
Jan 26, 2004 (4:43 am)
"Perish the thought, right!?! "
They have had their share of problems as well, at least according to some of the posters on the G35 board.
Jan 26, 2004 (5:42 am)
The new spec is 88 lb-ft or 120 nm, contrary to what many Owner's Manuals (including mine) say.
Jan 26, 2004 (7:18 am)
Shipo is correct on the lug bolt torque; as for your other questions-
The coolant change interval is three years; use BMW coolant ONLY! Anyone that tells you some off-the-shelf brand is just as good is either misinformed, a liar, or an idiot-or possibly all three.
Brake fluid gets changed every two years-though I would shorten that interval by 50%-75% if I tracked the car. Use only DOT 4 fluid; I like ATE Super Blue Racing Fluid, but other good choices include BMW Brake Fluid, Castrol LMA, and Valvoline Synpower.
I don't have the rotor thickness specs, but I'll go out on a limb and state that I've always been able to make the rotor survive two sets of pads-at least on every BMW I've owned. That said, most dealers want to replace the rotors with every pad change on the theory that the rotor will wear down below the minimum thickness before the second set of pads is worn out. That may be true, but I suspect that the only way that could cause a problem would be if the car was driven very aggressively on the street and/or was being tracked.