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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 07-12-2004, 03:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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hi guys, this is my first time in a forum, especialy a bimmer forum. let me start off by saying that i WAS one of the biggest bimmer fan in the world until, until i bought one finaly. last month (june 8th), i bought a 2001 325cic. it had 53k miles on it. it was awesome at first glance, convertible, hardtop, nav system, leather, cd changer, most of the things....you name it, it got it. then, two weeks after i bought it, i recieved a letter in the mail from the person i bought the car from, it was a warranty, nothing makes you happier then to know that your bimmer has a 2 year engine warranty. then the trouble started. every other day, the "service engine soon" light comes on, and goes off by it self. then last week, the brake lights came on, i didnt know what those meant, so i looked in the book and realized its the pads. i called my dealer, he refused to take responsability, and told me to call circle bmw in jersey (closest to me). so i did, and set up an appointment, and went down. like i mentioned earlier, i have a two year engine waranty, he refused to apply that to the light/problem.....he says the light is mostly for emmisions, not a problem in the engine. as far as the brake, he said that it would cost me about 800 dollars. now, im not a cheap person, but for driving the car a month, (about 1000 miles), is it fair that i have to pay 800 dollars for breaks or not. any way, the brakes seem fine, i tested them and they are awesome, so i want to delay doing them if its not a problem.....but is there a way to turn that light off? and what about that service engine soon light, why does it come on and off all the time. and the third and final problem, the thermostat meter on the display, as im driving highway, moves so weird. normal position for it is in the middle, out of no were, with the cruise control on, it spikes all the way to the end (hottest) and slowly works its way back. help, i am actualy thinking of going to nissan trading it in for a maxima. forgive me for writing a lot, but i really really need help. and if someone can email me or post i would be very appreciative. my email address is kingnader1@aol.com. thanks.
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Old 07-12-2004, 03:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The SES light is most likely an O2 sensor going out (by the way it comes on and off). They are about $120 each from Bavauto.com and not hard to replace if you are a decent wrench. As for the brakes once the light comes on then you need to replace the pads and sensor wire soon (actual mileage will vary from driver to driver) at 53K you will most likely need rotors also. If the brake warning light has come on then the sensor wire has been broken and you will not be able to turn the light off until the pads and wire are replaced. I have no idea on why the thermostat acts erradically, you may need to see the dealer for that one. Hope I have helped a little and to the forum.
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Old 07-12-2004, 03:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is all part of owning a used car. You pay alot less, but you also need to do the maintenance.

I have owned tons of cars, and I find owning a BMW is probably one of the better cars. I have a 2000 ci with 24k miles with not one problem. It needs brakes now after 4 years. I find that to be a great car!!!
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Old 07-12-2004, 04:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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From your writing it sounds like you bought a used car from a private party. But since you reference a call to a dealer that wouldn't take responsibility, maybe you bought it from a dealer. But then you mention getting a letter from the person you bought if from. used

Anyway, it's obvious you didn't have the car inspected by a dealer or the AAA or a BMW mechanic before you bought it. The brake condition would probably have been noticed. Maybe the other items as well. There are many, many websites that take you through the process of buying a used car to reduce future surprises. I suggest that you visit edmunds.com, kbb.com, consumerreports.com, etc before you trade you BMW in on a Maxima or you may end up in the same place.

Since you have a warranty on the engine, I suggest you read the fine print before calling various dealers and kinda making a fool of yourself trying to convince them your problem is with the engine. As you stated " i have a two year engine waranty, he (the dealer) refused to apply that to the light/problem.....he says the light is mostly for emmisions, not a problem in the engine".

Obviously it's either covered(as listed in your warranty) or not. No amount a conversation is going to change that.


If you wanted these things checked out before you purchased a car, you should have bought a Certified Pre-Owned car with an extended warranty from a dealer. You pay several hundred to several thousand more, but all these things would have been checked out before you bought it or fixed after the sale for no charge or minimal charge (some warranties have a small deductible).

So you bought a used car from a private party, saved thousands of dollars, didn't have it checked out before you bought it, don't understand your warranty, blame dealers (who you don't have a relationship with) for not fixing your car for items that aren't covered under your warranty, and now you're not a BMW fan and are thinking about trading a BMW in for a Maxima?


mmmm....I guess you should do it.

Good luck.
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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listen guys, im not hating on the car, but i hope you understand my frustration. i did buy it from a dealer....and i did read the fine print, and im not saying that the breaks should be covered, but im saying that its not fair that i have to clean up after other peoples crap. and by the way, the car is a certified bmw. and it was serviced before i bought it from circle bmw (new jersey). and when i was test driving it, i took it to circle bmw and they pulled up the history and garanteed me that im getting a good piece of machine. i believe i did everything i could not to get scammed. and im not saying those things are end of the world problems. the reason i wrote all that is so that i can give you a history of what happened from the past month, and see if you can help me. i looked for O2 sensor on bavauto.com, cant find it, so maybe some one can help me with that, by giving me the full name of the part. and i still love bmw, but this car doesnt give me anything to stand on especially infront of my father, who is a big Lexus car, and calls it a trouble free car.
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Old 07-12-2004, 06:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally posted by kingnader@Jul 12 2004, 06:26 PM
listen guys, im not hating on the car, but i hope you understand my frustration. i did buy it from a dealer....and i did read the fine print, and im not saying that the breaks should be covered, but im saying that its not fair that i have to clean up after other peoples crap. and by the way, the car is a certified bmw. and it was serviced before i bought it from circle bmw (new jersey). and when i was test driving it, i took it to circle bmw and they pulled up the history and garanteed me that im getting a good piece of machine. i believe i did everything i could not to get scammed. and im not saying those things are end of the world problems. the reason i wrote all that is so that i can give you a history of what happened from the past month, and see if you can help me. i looked for O2 sensor on bavauto.com, cant find it, so maybe some one can help me with that, by giving me the full name of the part. and i still love bmw, but this car doesnt give me anything to stand on especially infront of my father, who is a big Lexus car, and calls it a trouble free car.
Your post is somewhat confusing. I can't tell if you bought it from Circle BMW or another dealer. It can be frustrating to have to fix items on a car, but depending on your warranty, you may have no options. It doesn't mean the BMW is any less of a car, just that it is pre-owned and has some history.

To clarify what I have read:

You bought a certified used car, but it could not possibly be BMW CPO otherwise they could have checked out the car?

You brought it to Circle BMW to get it checked out before you bought it, but what did they check?

Brakes would be covered by a CPO BMW dealer location, I believe. Non-BMW dealers would not necessarily cover them and would have thier own certification process. There really isn't enough info here for anyone to give any solid advice.
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Old 07-12-2004, 10:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The "service engine soon" light "could" be easily solved by tightening your gas cap. The brakes may seem awesome, but that light doesn't come on when the brake pedal hits the floor - it's to let you know it's time to change them.

I understand your frustration with fixing stuff within weeks of a purchase, but that's why used cars are less than new ones. It's also why I pay extra and usually buy new, and get rid of them when the warranty is up.

Live and learn - sorry it's at your expense.
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Old 07-12-2004, 10:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey King... I'll tell you exactly what your problem is. The check engine light is because the thermostat is faulty. That also explains why the temp gauge fluctuates oddly. There is a service bulletin for this and should most CERTAINLY be covered by the warranty. If memory serves me correctly I think the bulletin was something like 11 03 01... pm TECH and ask him to check the bulletin number. He should actually know it off the top of his head because that recall was done ALLLLL the time and is very common. He probably did one today at work. I used to do 8-10 of those a day. Take the car back and tell those screw balls to fix the thermostat. DON't KEEP DRIVING IT !!!! As far as the brakes go, if the brake lining light is on then it most likely is time for brakes. Find a good local and reputable independent shop nearby to do the brakes but to use the bmw parts. This way you get good parts but save on the labor
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Old 07-13-2004, 12:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This could be different at my BMW dealer. But breaks are covered under the full maintenance, which runs out after 50,000 miles. So while you probably did buy a CPO and have warranty - the CPO won't cover the new brakes that you need. Some dealers allow you to buy full maintenance cover from them so you might ask about that. But in the grand scheme of things - $800 is a small price to pay for the good breaks that come in BMWs and last for a good long while.

Thermostat is easy enough to fix, take it to Circle BMW as this is part of your engine. Then sit down with an advisor at the dealer and find out exactly what your warranty covers and what it does not. Ask if you have new car warranty or CPO warranty. And make sure the car got it's major inspection at 45,000 or whatever mileage where they should have checked everything.
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Old 07-13-2004, 01:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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53,000 wouldnt be considered a lot.. but a lot can be used up especially at 53,000. Like all cars most brakes and whatnot need to be replaced around that time period... Did you plug in with OBD? That would have saved you a lot of time, money.. etc... maybe it wasn't the best investment. Take it to a shop.. napa can do it.. plug it in and see exactly whats going on... that way you know what it is.. and you can tell them to get it fixed.
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