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  1. #1
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    Member No: 184770 djbenzi is an unknown quantity at this point djbenzi's Avatar
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    First Time BMW owner

    I'm 23 years old and just bought my first BMW! its a 2001 325i sedan with manual transmission. I paid 5000 bucks for it ( Canadian, cuz i live i Ontario) it has 130 000 miles. Came with new tires and a replaced clutch. There are however some problems already, the bushings need to be replaced and the passenger side windows are also shot.. the front passenger still goes down about six 8 inches but after that it has trouble and doesn't wanna go back up without a little help

    This is also the first manual car i ever owned... needless to say i'm not the best with the clutch, i stalled her about a dozen times my first week of driving. i got a lot better with it tho.

    My biggest worry right now is that there wasn't very much paperwork that came with the car, i don't know when or if the previous owner did a transmission flush, i heard regardless of the manual, this should be done.

    The car feels great!!! Picks up like new, i get about 350 miles per tank of gas and sound system bumps! I've become a Bimmer fan for LIFE!!

    any feedback, advise, warnings would be greatly appreciated!!
    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
    jayb
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    Re: First Time BMW owner

    good luck with your car. The rule I follow when not knowing if something was done on the car like a trans flush is to just do it. I would always try to get paper records, but if none are available and it is not logged in the BMW book, assume it was not done. I would change the brake fluid immediately and also the anti-freeze. Also check the Lower Control Arms, they have a history of going bad, and with new ones the car will feel much tighter. In regard to the windows on the passenger side, the cars have a history of bad window regulators, and I have changed the ones on my E46 at least once. If you are handy, follow the DIY instructions and save money. Tires are most important to me, so if the tires are not ones I like--and I consider not the best---I would keep an eye on them and get rid of them. NEW tires does not mean they are good tire for the car. At 60 to 80 mph I want excellent tires of a make and model that I researched and consider the best. SNOW TIRES are a must for handling in snow. Just in case you missed this--SNOW TIRES are a must (all 4 in case you are not aware how tires are applied). Again, do your research for quality tires. Plain all season tires are dangerous in the snow for a BMW, and the performance is weak also. What bushing need to be replaced? If the rubber under the hood (hoses/belts) are the original--change them now. Check the shocks--I like bilstein sport. I do not know what you mean by 350 miles per tank. On that measurement, I am getting about 425 miles--but the mpg for me is about 33 on the highway, 25-28 city. Since you are new to the clutch--learn quickly. I would have someone experienced go with you a few times to confirm you are not riding the clutch and shifting at the right time--otherwise you may be reducing the clutch life. And lastly, I would change all filters--gas, cabin, main air---the last two are easy DIY. Do not forget about doing an oil change--I always use 0w40 mobil 1. Oil changes I do at about 4000miles, never more than 5k--easy DIY with a oil extractor from top. With no records, I would do oil change now. My E46 is pushing 200K and is in showroom condition. The above is a good start to get your new car in shape, guarantee long life and trouble free.

  3. #3
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    We all stalled our first clutch car for days after

    we first got them, so relax!
    Use the search function here and explore all the back posts you can handle to get some real world perspective.
    You can start here for a listing of many recurring trouble areas.
    Consider getting a Bentley manual for your car or perhaps a copy of the BMW TIS available on eBay.
    Use Realoem.com as a resouce to learn about your car.
    Do change all fluids such as trans, rear diff, coolant, and brake fluid. Natch air filter and oil filter too.
    Make sure you read up on proper fluids to use exactly.
    Replace those bushings soon. Safety and you'll love the feel of new bushings. Consider polyurethane bushings by Powerflex.
    Learn where all the DIY's are posted and read up on them.
    Probably need new window regulator to fix your window.
    Come back here and post what you are doing when you are doing it to get tips from those who have done it before.

    And Welcome! And Good Luck!

  4. #4
    jayb
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    Re: First Time BMW owner

    I do not know your skill in autos, but one important thing is not to just take your car to any corner auto repair shop for work to be done. Unless the shop does mainly BMW's they probably will not know what they are doing on your car, will not know the spec's and the best service for BMW's and incorrectly substitute their general knowledge from other cars for what needs to be done. BMW's are quality cars, local auto shops as a rule do not work on these cars and can do harm.

  5. #5
    PKile
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    Re: First Time BMW owner

    I would also look to join the BMW Club of America (BMW CCA). They have a great monthly magazine called Roundel. When you get your first issue, e-mail Mike Miller who writes the Tech Talk column, and ask for a copy of his "Old School Maintenance Schedule". That will give you a good idea of what to do at regular intervals with your car.
    Miller's schedule is called "Old School" because when BMW went to free maintenance for new cars in the late 1990s, they scaled back all their maintenance intervals to save money. Fifteen Thousand miles between oil changes, for example! Miller's schedule denotes much more realistic intervals.
    Cheers,
    Paul

  6. #6
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    Member No: 35540 TCACEK is an unknown quantity at this point TCACEK's Avatar
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    Re: We all stalled our first clutch car for days after

    Try replacing the window switch first before the regulator. Costs about 45 bucks. Mine was the switch. Easy to do but regulators a pretty bad in these cars.

  7. #7
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    nobody has mentioned the CDV

    I'm not an E46 owner yet (Saturday is the big day), but I thought the CDV was the same problem in this car as in the E39.
    The CDV (clutch delay valve) will make even the most experienced manual driver look like a rookie.
    I loved the change in feel of my clutch when I switched mine.
    I think there are two options... simply remove the CDV or replace it with a modified one.

    http://www.my330i.com/mod27.php
    http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_cdv.shtml


    Also, here's a nice DIY site for ther E46 that I have been sniffing around to see what I want to tackle.=========================================== ==============

    Michael G. vH

    1999 528it
    1994 325i (sold)

  8. #8
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    Re: First Time BMW owner

    The front bushings are loose, and need to be replaced. The mechanic I go to is an overseas specialist, he does work only on BMW, Benz, VW, etc so I trust he knows what and how to do it. But My brothers also a body man so I will have him to some of the work i need as well (especially the windows) Thanks to everyone for all the advise!!! The first item on the list will be researching some new tires, the winter's here are brutal so the tires are gonna be on by next week probably. The bushings are just loose, there isn't any noise coming from them so i'll wait till spring to replace those, other than that i'm doing an oil change this monday and replace the belts and hoses as soon as i can!

    Thanks again to everyone! This site is great due to the amazing people that contribute thier knowledge and expertise to those who lack in it!

    Cheers!

  9. #9
    jayb
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    Re: First Time BMW owner

    You got thing in the right order--do not know where you are, but snow tires are a must--all 4. Make sure to research on this site different types, not all are born the same. I also suggest getting wheels for them. I have BMW wheels and BMW wheel covers that look great for the winter.

  10. #10
    BMWlover
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    Re: First Time BMW owner

    I know how you feel! I bought my first BMW in April '10 - a 2003 325i wagon 120k on the cheap. It also didn't come with much info, but I had it checked and it only needed a minor thing to correct a slight oil leak and new tires. No new problems and it runs great. I already put nearly 20k on her. If I would've known how freakin' awesome BMWs are to drive, and that used BMWs are affordable - I would've bought a used BMW over all my past new vehicles! I also picked up a 2005 Z4 3.0 last month. :)

  11. #11
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    Re: First Time BMW owner

    I agree with PKile, BMWCCA is a well worth the $40 yearly membership. Once you pick up Roundel, you may find it hard to put down! Mike Miller's tech advice is great.

    I also agree with JayB regarding maintenance. BMWs are not inexpensive to repair and you gotta pay if you wanna play, so don't try to find a false economy by having it serviced a "normal" shop. If you don't see at least a few BMWs, MBs, Audis, and/or Porsches in the service parking lot, you are probably at the wrong place. You may try posting on this board inquiring where members have their Bimmers serviced in you area.

    As far as what to do, I will also echo JayB's advice about changing fluids. In my opinion, this is the cheapest insurance you can buy for a car. If you don't know when they were last changed, I would immediately change all of the following fluids:
    1. Engine oil (synthetic a MUST)
    2. Transmission fluid (Synthetic desirable)
    3. Rear diff fluid (Synthetic desirable)
    4. Brake fluid (do not deviate from what it says on the reservoir cap)
    5. Engine coolant

    If the thermostat, water pump, and/or radiator look(s) the slightest bit suspect, then replace it (them). These are wear-out parts that can cause a big-old problem if they fail on the road: overheating.

    I don't drive my BMW in the winter, but if I did you could bet it would have 4 snow tires on it.

    Welcome to BMW ownership; you will soon find out why BMW is know as the Ultimate Driving Machine. There are a lot of car out there that are fun to drive, but nothing drives like a BMW. (Damn, I wish it wasn't winter.)

    BMWCCA

  12. #12
    corys530
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    Re: First Time BMW owner

    welcome to the club!
    Bimmers are the only way to fly!

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