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2011 328 xDrive - First time owner question

Discussion in 'E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006-2011)' started by mfranklin313, Dec 29, 2014.

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    mfranklin313

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    I am a first time BMW owner and I have a 2011 328 xDrive with ~45,000 miles on it. No major work has been done to it while I owned it or before I owned it. My manfacturer warranty recently expired so I had a few questions...
    - Are there any "known problems" with this model? Is it something that will cost me a lot in repairs down the road? My dealership suggested a third party warranty. Said it would be $4500-5600 for 3 years which seems really high. Would you recommend that or just "chancing it" and fixing things as they pop up?
    - Using CCA tools, how would I go about finding recommended mechanics? I have only taken this car to the dealership for service and I imagine that will be significantly more expensive than taking it to a mechanic.
    Thanks!
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    dmmai

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    Congrats !
    Hope your BMW experience is fun and rewarding.
    Glad you've joined in on the forums.

    You have the last of the naturally aspirated 3.0L inline 6-cyl cars. We've had one and liked it. The inline six is silky smooth and is actually pretty reliable. The eight speed automatic is a little clumsy but helps the car get good gas mileage. If you are one of the unlucky few and it should fail, the costs will be very disappointing.
    The drive-line shouldn't be a major worry for you in the near future.
    What many are discovering with modern BMWs (and other brands) is that the ever increasing technology / complexity of these cars leads to increased maintenance costs down the road. There are literally dozens of systems in these cars that "can" fail, one at a time or in groups. Every time a pump or relay or motor or window regulator or computer module fails, the checkbook takes a heavy hit.
    Some owners are lucky and get virtually trouble-free driving for many miles/years. Some are not so lucky.
    How long do you plan to own the car?
    What is your personal risk tolerance?
    What (exactly) does the warranty cover? What doesn't it cover? What deductible?

    If you're one of the lucky owners and your car is relatively trouble-free, it might take quite a long time to recover the warranty cost + deductibles. The warranty might time out before you put enough miles on the car to get into many of the later maintenance issues. Only time will tell.

    In general, I've promoted the idea of extended warranty for late model BMWs and there are plenty of horror stories on these forums from unlucky owners.

    07 335i concerns from new owner

    2012 335i

    extended maintenance program for an 07 335xi

    What you don't often see on the forums are reports from the thousands of people who don't experience all of the horror stories.

    There have been some owners for whom the cost of an extended warranty has been or would have been, by far, the cheapest option.
    Again, it depends on your personal risk tolerance.

    Good luck and enjoy the ride.
    .
    MGarrison likes this.
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    mfranklin313

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    Thanks for the reply. I will probably own the car for 3-5 more years. Not sure if I can answer how risk adverse I am in terms of cars because of the fact I am not familiar with the amount of $ I would have to pay out. $5600 for coverage seems like an absurd amount [unsure of deductible]... I also don't see myself hitting the 100,000 miles before the time runs out.

    My dealership recommended Fidelity Warranty... to the point where they have a representative at the dealership for a full day once a week. The price they told me was for the coverage that was as close to factory warranty as they could get. But it still looks like a lot of parts arent covered and a lot of people are dissatisfied with them. They mentioned a transfer case going and quoted the $5000 for the repair. So that scared me a bit haha.

    I've spoken with a few people and they have recommended being extremely vigilant with the changing of my fluids and just generally taking care of the care more than a "normal person"... but they also acknowledged the complexity of cars now and the possible domino effect.

    A lot to think about...
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    Ken.S.330

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    To find a local BMW shop you can go to bimmershops.com and get a listing. You may be better off contacting your local BMW chapter and ask who those members use. Some of the local chapters maintain their own forums. I have an '06 330i with 105K and I am just hoping for the best.
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    eliot3b41

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    I just purchased a 335i drive. Nice car. I am hoping I did not do something stupid here. The car has 39,000 miles on it and is still under original factory warranty. It is also a CPO which does provide some comfort. I turn down the extended maintenance. should i purchase this?
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    dmmai

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    In my opinion, you definitely have the most important component - CPO.

    It's not difficult to estimate the costs of routine maintenance over the life of CPO.
    If the numbers don't add up to the cost of the maintenance plan ...
    One down side to the pre-paid maintenance plan is if you sell the car early.
    Sure, maintenance on BMWs is expensive but, I don't know of any brand that isn't expensive to maintain these days. All cars have become technology platforms with countless systems, destined to fail ... sooner or later.
    You might as well enjoy the ride in a BMW ... under warranty.

    As to your particular car, what generation 335i is it?
    If it's an earlier car, you might have the HPFP issue to face but, that's under warranty.
    If it's an F30 you shouldn't encounter that.
    Either way, if/when the car is sorted, it'll be a Lot of fun. Great fun for the money.
    Getting CPO was a Very wise decision.
    Enjoy!
    .
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    eliot3b41

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    So, last night on the way home from a rehearsal (around 10:00 pm), the car slowed down on its own, and there were yellow lights all over the place. The symbol for the DTC (?) showed up on the dash, and there was a huge yellow circle was 4x$ showing. The screen stated there was a malfunction in the ABS system and to avoid hard braking, etc. Yikes!!!!!

    I did call BMW assist, but was able to drive home. I have called this morning to Bmw and a tow truck from a closer dealer is going to pick it up. am thankful I am home working today.

    Any thoughts on this? The car is a 2011 335i drive, around 40,200 miles, and it is a CPO. I just purchased this on December 31, 2014. It is not even a month I have owned this and already there is a huge problem.

    I hope I did not make an error in buying this.
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    eliot3b41

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    The repair facility just called me and stated the right wheel speed sensor failed. Also the right wheel bearing needs to be replaced.

    Any thoughts?
    • Member

    dmmai

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    This is just my $.02 but, I wouldn't read too much of anything into this.
    Literally every car make and model can and does have things fail.
    Such a wheel bearing / sensor failure is bound to be a Low volume thing. You were the lucky winner.
    I wonder just a bit about both failing at the same time ... possibly one causing the other ... ?
    Any way, one service incident, regardless of the timing shouldn't shake you up too much. Especially since your car is CPO.
    If ... this turns out to be the first of a dozen failures ... like some have suffered ... then you will indeed have reason for disappointment.
    Until then, man have Fun with your new ride.
    .
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    I'd be inclined to quiz them a bit about the wheel bearing (like, what's the problem and why the failure), or search bimmerfest.com & bimmerforums.com & see if there might be any others finding issues w/ rear wheel bearings on E9x awd models.

    I can't speak for E9x's, but wheel bearings on the older BMW's I'm familiar with were pretty long-lived, like 150k+. Replaced the wheel bearings on my E34 at 180k+, and one of the rears was completely shot by that point. Perhaps wheel bearings on newer bimmers don't last as long, for some reason.

    I don't know why an abs issue would seemingly put it into limp mode. Perhaps the abs malfunction had the caliper clamping the brake and that's why it slowed, although seems to me that would be kinda odd. The reason for the heavy braking warning is the risk of wheel lockup with dysfunctional abs; if you lockup one or both front wheels, the tire(s) are now sliding instead of rolling, and especially with both front brakes locked-up, you lose the ability to change direction - the car will go in whatever direction you were headed when the brakes locked, for as long as the brakes remain locked up and the tires are sliding instead of rolling. Locking one or both rear wheels might induce an oversteer skid and subsequent loss of control, particularly if not recognized and reacted to appropriately.

    The old thing that used to be taught in driver's ed to 'pump the brakes' in an emergency braking situation was to provide your average driver with an easy means of dealing with wheel lockup under hard braking. If you're of a certain age, you may have gotten that bit in driver's ed, although it's a simplistic and crude method compared to properly executing threshold braking technique and finessed brake modulation in the event of brake/tire lockup.
    Though the abs message sounds alarmist, as long as the brakes are working otherwise, the car should be drivable - just exercise care to avoid situations that might mean the likelihood of an emergency braking situation, particularly in any low-traction road conditions where reduced available tire grip means brake/tire lock-up might more easily happen. Hopefully replacing the sensor resolves that issue with no further complications.

    Time will tell if your particular car might have any problems, but with CPO & hopefully a clean carfax, I'd tend to think you should have little reason to get discouraged. If you've bought it with the plan for long-term ownership (north of 100k+ miles, and then some, for instance), Charlson here (&/or Mike Miller of Roundel tech talk) might have some specific preventive maintenance suggestions. For automatics, for instance, I think there's relative consensus that it's not a bad idea to flush the trans (using the specific proper fluids, etc.) every 50k to yield a better chance of avoiding transmission failure above 100k; but if a higher-mileage trans has never been flushed, better to leave it be than suffer the chance that dislodged dirt/debris from a flush quickly kills it.
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    eliot3b41

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    I have a photo of the bearing, and its not good. The bearing has rust, etc. Looks like a car with 200,000 miles on it instead of 40,000. Looks like the car was in standing water.

    I tried posting it here, but the image is too big.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Standing water up to the axles never sounds good - hopefully it's one-&-done with the wheel bearings. If you're on a windows machine, you can downsize pics in Paint (possibly found under "Accessories" in the program list).

    Open the picture in Paint, under "Image" click "Stretch/Skew" and in both Stretch boxes, enter the same % number to reduce the picture size (50% for instance). Saving it as a .jpg also makes for a smaller file size compared to .bmp. Not sure what the equivalent for a Mac might be.
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    eliot3b41

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    Attached is a painter of the wheel bearing.

    According to the work order, the Cause: Left front wheel sense defective, left front pulse sensor was replaced, wheel bearing, dxc pulse generator.

    Checked battery charger, performed short, found faults for left front speed sensor. Replaced right rear wheel bearing.

    another concert: i was told by the dealer they had "just put new tires on the car". According to this report, front tires measure at 4 mm of depth, rear measure at 4 mm of depth. The brake pads measure at 10 mm front and 7 mm back.

    so is it possible to decipher this for me? will I be replacing these tires in another 10,000 miles? And the brakes??

    Thank you for your assistance. 2011 bmw 335i drive brake bearing.jpg
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    eliot3b41

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    Sorry for the mis-spells....the first line should read "picture" and not painting. I guess this is what the lack of sleep does to a person. I am really not very happy at this point with this vehicle. I love driving it, but am really concerned I have purchased a nightmare.
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    MGarrison

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    Look up your tires on tirerack.com and check the specs. Most new street tires seem to be molded with 10mm tread depth. The wearbar minimum tread-depth marks on tires typically are at 2mm. Once down to the wearbars hydroplaning in wet conditions can happen easily, so replacement isn't a bad idea. Obviously you have a ways to go before that point.

    I wouldn't automatically assume the worst that what you were told about the tires was an intentional lie, it could just be a mistake on their part. That being said, since it's just been a few weeks, I also think it's fair to go back and not let them off the hook, explain that you trusted them and now find your expectation about when you'd need to replace the set of tires substantially different from the expectation you had at the time of purchase based on what they told you.

    This seems like one of those good-will situations, as I'm guessing once you're out the door, they have no legal obligations beyond the warranty, and I wouldn't necessarily expect them to offer or be willing to put a new set of tires on the car now - however, it never hurts to ask if they would. If not, I'd probably expect them to offer something like a discount when tire replacement time comes if you bought the replacement tires through the dealer. The downside to that is you might find much better tire prices from the Tire Rack or elsewhere, so I'd counter with asking if they'd price-match from the Tire Rack and include free mounting or balancing, and if not, then at least free mounting & balancing on a set of tires you'd source yourself. Might be worth asking if they would install non-runflats if that was your preference eventually, possible they wouldn't since that wasn't an original-spec tire. In which case you'd have to have someplace else mount/balance them anyway. If they are willing to do something later on, I'd get it in writing & signed, or at least in the form of a specifically-stated discount coupon or something like that. Once bitten, twice shy, y'know. They might refuse to do anything, but it would be a shame for your dealer to be so stand-offish and leave you, uh, flat, as it were, even without any legal obligation.

    Unless you drive hard/fast a lot, and do a lot of hard braking, you should be good on brakes for awhile. With it being under warranty, they ought to have the maintenance history and whether prior services included brake-pad replacement & when. The fronts typically wear more than the rears, so it may be that the front pads have been replaced.

    Looks like a fair amount of grease in the bearing, some rust on the outer steel parts - I would have expected it to look worse, but it's not like I've had countless old wheel bearings in hand for close examination, either. Presumably they did the job right, and I'd be optimistic the wheel bearing ought to be good for the next 100k.

    I understand that such an issue coming up so quickly after purchase can have some doubt putting a chink in your confidence about the car - my general expectation and hope is that it's unlikely your particular car is exceptionally problem-prone, or anything warranting nightmare status.
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    eliot3b41

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    Thank you for your reply. I am saddened a salesman would tell me the tires were just “put on”, and then find out they are not brand new. Part of my decision in buying this car were the tires, as new tires are expensive. There were other vehicles I had been looking at this, and the tires being new on this car tipped the scale so to speak to this car.

    What disturbs me is the overall picture with this dealer. I do need to write a letter and address the issues with them directly, but before I fired the first shot across the bow I thought I would have all of my facts in order with this car, which is why I have been asking so many questions. And, I greatly appreciate your thoughts.

    I am overall dismayed. This was supposed to be something fun for me to drive with few worries for a little while. I gave up my 2013 VW Jetta Sportswagen that was getting 40 mpg (it was a TDI), and it was in awesome shape. I was looking for an all wheel drive vehicle, with Xenon Headlights, as I do a lot of driving into Boston on I-95 and Route 128. I did not want a 328 and wanted something a little different. I was willing to give up good fuel mileage for safety.

    I feel this car is rock solid, but the upcoming maintenance, in what appears to be around 50,000 miles scares me a lot. Man, I do not need any car hassles right now and I am rather sick over the entire situation I am now in. coming home at 10:00 pm on a cold winter night and having a car issue greatly upset me.

    My primary concern is this: since the dealer has not been honest over issues such as the tires, what else has this dealer hidden from me? What does he know about this car that I have not been told?
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    MGarrison

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    Well, if it's any encouragement to focus on the positive - you have both the original warranty for awhile, & the cpo warranty well beyond that. I presume this whole wheel bearing deal was under warranty. Safety, you got - E90 is a great chassis, better than all prior 3-series - also better looking than the F30's by far, if you ask me. I guess you guys are getting pretty buried by now with the snowstorm - awd is good for that, and if you want to really up the ante for winter safety, get some snow tires or blizzaks on some dedicated rims; then all that'll stop you is an icestorm or the snow being too deep to charge through. As for car hassles, of course you don't need any car hassles - by the same token, who ever does? There isn't a person in the world who's out there like Arnold Horshak on Welcome Back, Kotter shouting out "Ooo! Ooo! Car Problems! Yeah! Me! Now! Pick me! Yeah! Give ME car problems!" ;)

    Is it disappointing to have an issue so soon? And, though not mechanical, find the tires more worn than expected? Yeah, sure, of course - however, worrying yourself to death speculating over unknowns isn't going to help you any either. Cliche'd as it is, things could be worse (besides the old Young Frankenstein line "Worse? How?" "It could be raining" - cue thunder and drenching rainstorm). The tires for instance - if the car hadn't been in for the repair, would you have checked their tread-depth yourself prior to them wearing out? (might not be a bad idea to doublecheck yourself and make sure the tech reported correctly... trust, but verify). If not, at tire replacement time you'd have no idea where you started and find yourself wondering why a new set of tires seemed to wear out so quickly, and long after any chance of questioning your salesman or dealer about initial statements about tires. Wheel bearing and sensor issue, as disoncerting as that was, at least it wasn't something that left you stranded on the roadside, with that whole inconvenience; the car apparently went to limp mode, but the warning systems did their bit, and, you still got home. Imagine how much more upsetting all that would have been had you ended up immobilized off the highway or road on a cold winter night. I wouldn't have been happy either, but I would have been bitterly disappointed & livid to have been stranded!

    In any case, I'm hoping you don't get too down about your choice of this car based on one, though unfortunate, mechanical issue. Having been around BMW's for a long time, and generally enthusiastic about most of them, I ideally want everyone's choice of BMW to be perfect in every respect for them, whether it be brand new or have five-hundred thousand miles on it, from the time the car rolled off the line to when it melts into the ground in a pile of rust. However, since cars are complicated machines (ever more-so), and BMW's are no exception, the reality is that there is no perfection - but, that doesn't mean we can't have owner satisfaction. No matter what car you drive, even if it's brand-spanking new, there is always the potential for problems - I guess I'm saying I hope you can be realistically positive about your choice here; me, I'd be much more concerned if the same thing happened, but at higher mileage with no factory or cpo warranty and a large repair bill - if that's also any encouragement... because, y'know, it could be... raining!
    Ken.S.330 likes this.
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    eliot3b41

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    Thank you for your reply. I have bought and sold more cars than I care to remember. This is really the first car purchased whereby I felt the salesman probably made misstatements in order to get me to buy his car.:(

    Having gotten over the entire situation and also speaking with the dealer's shop foreman, I am hoping we can move forward on a more positive note.

    As for the car, I love it! I love all of that power in the engine. Having driver a VW diesel, etc, although very few fuel efficient, the performance in terms of being able to maneuver around traffic was less than stellar. The first time I actually stepped on the gas to get on the highway it felt like I was riding a rocket! Whew!

    Yes, being in Maine right now, we have had a lot of snow! More on the way this evening. The knowledge I have a 4 wheel drive car has helped me a lot. Plus driving up a steep hill into my driveway could only have been done in a all wheel drive vehicle, the bimmer shines in this area. I am looking at snow tires and maybe rims for winter driving.

    So I am tempering my excitement over this vehicle with a wait and see attitude and pray there are no more major issues.
    MGarrison likes this.

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