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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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2002 BMW 330i


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7 replies to this topic

#1 hohieu

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 07:14 AM

I'm thinking about picking up this used 5-sd. manual transmission BMW with 112K miles for my wife. The car has been dealer serviced, though BMW's maintenance protocols do not call for much of it. The throw-out bearing is making noise, so it needs a new clutch asap, as well as new front brake pads & rotors and some other routine maintenance, but I can do these things myself.

During my test drive, however, the oil light came on and stayed on for last mile or so. I had to add two full quarts to get the oil back up to "full." After some poking around on the net, I learned that this car has both an oil level and oil pressure sensor, and I believe that it was the light for the former that I saw. I'm thinking (hoping) that the engine should be fine because the car has a 7-qt. sump . What are your thoughts?

Does anyone have experience with keeping a used BMW going? Is it true what that say that "only a rich man can afford to own a used BMW?" I'm certainly not a rich man, but I can do all the work myself. And I've seen that decent quality aftermarket parts for this car aren't too expensive. Am I being foolish in even considering buying this car or should I go ahead and do something nice for my other half?

Edited by hohieu, 19 July 2012 - 06:41 AM.
clarity


#2 grossgary

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 07:50 AM

as long as you avoid dealers i think you'll be fine, they are beyond insane to maintain at a dealer. that's probably why yours is on the market, they got a price quote for the clutch job...

probably a good idea to see if there are any huge looming issues with the exact motor in that car - like bottom end issues or something.

7 minus 2 leads to 5 quarts, doesn't sound that bad to me...i'd be more worried that it at some point was run lower than that.

friend of mine is a BMW fiend and knows everything about them, but i'm sure you can just look it up online too. i sent him a text.

#3 hohieu

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 08:47 AM

Thanks, Gary. I wish there were a one-stop resource like USMB for other makes. As so often happens with my other cars, I have to sort through so much crap to get any decent info.; and much of the time there's none to be had.

I had a friend who worked at a local BMW dealership who said that those Bavarian engineers don't trust their mechanics to do anything. If there's any major transmission or engine work that needs to be done, they just replace the whole shebang.

#4 grossgary

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 08:56 AM

by buddies response to a "give me a 1 minute synopsis of an 02 330i that needs a clutch":


"I like the 330i but depending on how the clutch failed the engine's output bearings are susceptible to heat and failure. The clutch, itself, is not a necessarily difficult or expensive fix. The things that are expensive are all the electronic sensors and motors that fail because of leaky seals. The oil loss, if not internal, is par for the course with a high mileage engine. Check compression, do a visual on the head gasket edge near the back. The head is not machinable (from experience). On a low mileage engine oil consumption most likely from leaking recirc check valve or vacuum pump."

"Also listen for valve noise - the oiler lines are tiny small and starvation happens quickly with low oil pressure. The M54 engine in this car also has classic cornering low oil pressure problems, but OK for everyday driving."

#5 grossgary

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 08:59 AM

If there's any major transmission or engine work that needs to be done, they just replace the whole shebang.

some of the stuff can be rebuilt but he's definitely told me stories of transmissions and such that literally can not be repaired. doesn't mean there's not a work around but they don't make it easy.

GD has a funny way of describing german vehicles, maybe we will chime in here LOL - something like they are built for the driving experience....at the cost of everything else. if it takes a hit monetarily, or reliability, or ease of maintenance or functionality or practicaliy...it doesn't matter so long as they maintain that "german driving experience" or "engineering".

#6 hohieu

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 10:11 AM

Thanks. That's a lot of great info. Can he suggest any good forums?

The only reason I'm even considering this car is because I'd be buying at the low end of trade-in value.

The throw-out bearing is in the early stages of failure. It makes noise only with the clutch pedal depressed to the floor. Otherwise, it drives great with no engine or drivetrain noises. So I may just be catching this car at the right time.

Your friend is really on the ball. The light came on after I took it through some twisties to check out the suspension. The oil was last changed about 17K miles ago, but with a 7-qt. sump, I'm not too worried -- just normal consumption.

The inspection is from 11/11 so you're probably right that they didn't want to pay for whatever the dealer mandated in order to pass. As I looked through their records, I saw that they charged them around $1200 to replace the rotors and pads a few years ago. Along with some other pretty routine work, that total bill was over $2200 alone.

Edited by hohieu, 17 July 2012 - 10:16 AM.
clarity


#7 hohieu

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:26 PM

So it's a done deal -- less than $3K after title and tag transfer fees and tax.
It just needs a cleaning and a new clutch along with some routine maintenance.

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#8 hohieu

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:54 AM

I finally found time to do a few things on the car -- replaced oil & filter, cabin & air filters, and spark plugs.

The engineers made these tasks very easy to perform on the straight 6, or so called "slant six," especially for a 3.0 L packed tightly into relatively small chassis. I've had plenty of experience with other cars where the engineers didn't seem to put much thought or care into how folks would maintain and repair their final products.

The last oil fill was in service for 17.5K miles, and consumption was probably the 2 qts. that I added as I doubt the po ever topped off. The filter cartridge still looked good (no sludge).

All I need to do now is to find some time to do the clutch.




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