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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 05-27-2011, 01:02 PM
niceguymr niceguymr is offline
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Cabin Air Filter Choices - OEM, Bosch, NPN

I know this is probably one of the lesser important choices I'll be making for my routine maintenance but ECS offers 3 different choices for the cabin air filter. OEM, Bosch, and NPN. They are all charcoal lined and all look almost identical but the Bosch and NPN are almost half the price of OEM. If it were for anything mechanical, I would not hesitate to spend the money for OEM parts. I'm just curious if anyone has used the Bosch or the NPN filters and can comment on them. I'm leaning toward the Bosch simply because it's the cheapest and the better recognized brand (at least for me anyway).

P.S. The reason I'm limiting myself to these choices is b/c I've used ECS in the past and am about to order some stuff for my next oil change.
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  #2  
Old 05-27-2011, 02:32 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Had an NPN on the X3 a few years ago, and found that odor from 300D's, Rabbit Diesels, etc. ahead of us didn't get toned down at all.
Discarded it fairly quickly.

I deduced at the time that the charcoal impregnation was fake, and resolved not to buy any more cabin filters made in E. Asia

As it was a few years ago, they could be better now through marketplace forces.

The Bosch option should be safe.
I know they use factories in Europe and Japan for sparkplugs - don't know about their filters.

I'm sure we don't expect too much from cabin filters - just that they do what they are supposed to.
I think the O.E. is a Corteco/Freudenberg.
Unlike a few years ago, lots of choices now in X3 cabin filters:
WIX, Filtertech, Mahle, Meyle, Mann, Fram, Hengst, etc.
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  #3  
Old 05-28-2011, 10:49 AM
ncord ncord is offline
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I replaced mine with a Bosch and it seems fine.Mann makes a good one as well.
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  #4  
Old 05-28-2011, 07:23 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Bosch is a generally safe choice. For something like that, I wouldn't worry hugely about OEM.
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2011, 09:35 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Question Replace Cabin Air Filter

Sending my X3 in the shop on Tuesday for rotors and figured after three years they should change the cabin air filter as it is not eliminating allergen's from the air like it used to.

Is this something they should replace without a hassle or is there some little indicator or catch to them doing this (like replacing my rotors had to be worn a certain measureable degree).

It seems to me that the hassle free 4 year warranty always has some little catch here or there (and is not "Hassle Free"). And I want to have an immediate answer should they throw down their typical excuses to get out of it.
Thanks,

EE
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2011, 09:47 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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It's part of a BMW Engine Oil Service,

along with check brake pad thickness, and check parking brake & adjust if necessary.

So every 15K miles or annually - under the no-charge scheduled maintenance.

Hard to believe yours hasn't been changed in 3 years.
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2011, 10:30 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
It's part of a BMW Engine Oil Service,

along with check brake pad thickness, and check parking brake & adjust if necessary.

So every 15K miles or annually - under the no-charge scheduled maintenance.

Hard to believe yours hasn't been changed in 3 years.

Hmm will check my paperwork, but don't recall seeing that on the invoice. Sure you arent talking about the engine air filter?

Thanks,
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Last edited by Evlengr; 08-28-2011 at 10:34 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-29-2011, 08:48 AM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
... Sure you arent talking about the engine air filter?
I seem to recall that BMW's recommended change interval on the engine air filter was something absurdly long; like 50-60k miles...

The cabin air filter, I thought, was every couple years, coinciding with the brake fluid flush...
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2011, 04:50 AM
fivepointnine fivepointnine is offline
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I want to say its only on the inspections, Ill have to double check....but Im in the process of doing my own inspection II so Im picking up one this week, probably a Bosch
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2011, 07:51 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Don't know about leaving a cabin filter in for 3 years, but .....

there was an early Frasier episode where Niles (a Mercedes owner) berated Frasier (BMW 7 series) for not having changed his cabin filter in 6 months.

The episode was called, "When bad things happen to good BMW owners".

Frasier comes in, even wetter than before. He angrily shakes out the
skeletal ruin of his umbrella, then drops it in the wastebasket.

Martin: Wow. Frasier, what happened?

Frasier: What happened? I went six months without replacing my pollen
filter in my car, so it was in the shop. Couldn't get a cab,
so I took the bus home. Which splashed me! And I fell down,
missed my stop, and had to walk home ten blocks in this
downpour!

Niles: You went six months without changing your pollen filter?
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  #11  
Old 08-29-2011, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timfitz63 View Post
I seem to recall that BMW's recommended change interval on the engine air filter was something absurdly long; like 50-60k miles...

The cabin air filter, I thought, was every couple years, coinciding with the brake fluid flush...
That's about right. Too long an interval for my location but easy enough to change.
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2011, 07:44 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
Ok so get this. I drop the car off today. They agree to replace for the second time the worn/torn rubber finish on my steering wheel.

However they tell me that the rotos cant be done as the min spec 23.40 and my rotors are 23.47.

Well 3 months ago I brought them in and they told me they were 23.46. So they are either inaccurate in their calibrations which they swear by or my rotors are now getting thicker than thinner.

Or if the several 100'ths of an inch is not so big a deal then they should have done them three months ago in the first place.

This is why I never trust them.
So your finish came off again? You don't actually touch the steering wheel trim, do you? Sorry - a little BMW humor.

I don't think the .01mm will do much. Just technician inaccuracy or they picked up more of a raised area.

So were you trying to get them replaced under warranty and the said they are still in spec?

It is frustrating!
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Last edited by madurodave; 08-30-2011 at 07:46 PM.
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2011, 08:30 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
So your finish came off again? You don't actually touch the steering wheel trim, do you? Sorry - a little BMW humor.

I don't think the .01mm will do much. Just technician inaccuracy or they picked up more of a raised area.

So were you trying to get them replaced under warranty and the said they are still in spec?

It is frustrating!

Yes I want them replaced under warranty which runs out in 8k miles. i don't think .01 is much as .05 but that is why they are arguing they can't replace them. So if they want to split hairs I figure it is only fair for me to bust their chops over it.

They are reporting that after three months of wear with new brakes that the rotors are actually the same or more in thickness. C'mon what kind of BS is that.

Probably going to a seperate ASE shop and ask them to measure them. If they are 23.40 or less which they argue is the point they will replace them, I am going to raise the roof on this one.

Something you don't play games with is braking.
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2011, 09:58 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
They are reporting that after three months of wear with new brakes that the rotors are actually the same or more in thickness. C'mon what kind of BS is that.
I'll play Devil's advocate here .......

Rotors do build up a microscopic layer of pad material, because of the nature of disc brakes and the heat involved.

They are both sacrificial components, but not independent of each other.

This is why bedding in of new pads can be important - to get that initial transference as evenly distributed as possible.

And it's why using old pads with new rotors is not normally advised, because the old pads are not likely to be worn perfectly evenly.

Using new pads with old rotors is more acceptable, but also not optimal, regardless of min. rotor thickness considerations.

New pads and new rotors provide the best starting point for establishing long-term braking performance.

So, after a few months with new pads on old rotors, could the rotor thickness really have increased?

Nah, not really - but other that inaccuracies in measuring, they could be measuring now at a spot that has a high point of pad material transfer (as already mentioned by madurodave).

So that could account for the 0.01 mm. but the point is that there is still a way to go until min. thickness is reached.

More than measuring inaccuracy I would say, so in hindsight it might have been best to wait until closer to the 8K miles remaining under no-charge scheduled maintenance.

If an independent measurement finds min. spec. reached, would this really lead to the dealer readily coming up with new rotors?

Or more time-consuming back and forth discussion?

Scuff up the rotors with emery cloth for a fresh start, do the belated bedding in process, and try the dealer again in a few months?
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  #15  
Old 08-30-2011, 10:25 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
I'll play Devil's advocate here .......

Rotors do build up a microscopic layer of pad material, because of the nature of disc brakes and the heat involved.

They are both sacrificial components, but not independent of each other.

This is why bedding in of new pads can be important - to get that initial transference as evenly distributed as possible.

And it's why using old pads with new rotors is not normally advised, because the old pads are not likely to be worn perfectly evenly.

Using new pads with old rotors is more acceptable, but also not optimal, regardless of min. rotor thickness considerations.

New pads and new rotors provide the best starting point for establishing long-term braking performance.

So, after a few months with new pads on old rotors, could the rotor thickness really have increased?

Nah, not really - but other that inaccuracies in measuring, they could be measuring now at a spot that has a high point of pad material transfer (as already mentioned by madurodave).

So that could account for the 0.01 mm. but the point is that there is still a way to go until min. thickness is reached.

More than measuring inaccuracy I would say, so in hindsight it might have been best to wait until closer to the 8K miles remaining under no-charge scheduled maintenance.

If an independent measurement finds min. spec. reached, would this really lead to the dealer readily coming up with new rotors?

Or more time-consuming back and forth discussion?

Scuff up the rotors with emery cloth for a fresh start, do the belated bedding in process, and try the dealer again in a few months?
I agree on all accounts. I wouldn't even bring up the point if they weren't so dogmatic about their approach. Kind of live by the sword, die by the sword. If you are going to belabor the point over a 100'th of a mm, then you better be darn sure you are correct.

If a private ASE cert mechanic comes back and say hey man these are 22.xx, then yes I will make them measure them right in front of me as braking is not something you argue over. I'd rather crack the engine than find out my brakes won't work the way I expect them to.

If he says eh 23.xx then I will wait a bit and come back in Feb.

So far BMW has lied to me more than told the truth so I think everything they do is subject to scrutiny. Chances are I will borrow a micrometer from work and check myself as well.
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Last edited by Evlengr; 08-30-2011 at 10:27 PM.
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  #16  
Old 08-31-2011, 09:50 AM
spokelizard spokelizard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
Yes I want them replaced under warranty which runs out in 8k miles. i don't think .01 is much as .05 but that is why they are arguing they can't replace them. So if they want to split hairs I figure it is only fair for me to bust their chops over it.

They are reporting that after three months of wear with new brakes that the rotors are actually the same or more in thickness. C'mon what kind of BS is that.

Probably going to a seperate ASE shop and ask them to measure them. If they are 23.40 or less which they argue is the point they will replace them, I am going to raise the roof on this one.

Something you don't play games with is braking.
I fully agree that standard practice should be replace rotors with the pads, and that the rigid BMW policy is silly.

That being said, if you really feel that strongly about this being a safety issue, I'd suggest just paying for new rotors yourself, and if necessary new pads (again) to bed them properly.

Not worth dancing with the dealer for 3 more months, standing on principle while you have a constant safety concern, then having them win the staring contest and you've got to pay for it anyway.
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  #17  
Old 09-02-2011, 07:39 AM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spokelizard View Post
I fully agree that standard practice should be replace rotors with the pads, and that the rigid BMW policy is silly.

That being said, if you really feel that strongly about this being a safety issue, I'd suggest just paying for new rotors yourself, and if necessary new pads (again) to bed them properly.

Not worth dancing with the dealer for 3 more months, standing on principle while you have a constant safety concern, then having them win the staring contest and you've got to pay for it anyway.
Told them I would be back in three months. I will take an emery cloth to them 3 days prior and measure them myself.

If they try to reneg at that point I will ask to see them measure them with me standing there. If they refuse I will take to an ASE mechanic have them measure them (if they are 23.40 or lower) and then sue BMWNA and dealership for breach of contract.

I don't like being bs'd and BMW does this kind of thing way too often.
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  #18  
Old 10-08-2011, 12:18 PM
trader37 trader37 is offline
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Is the Cabin Airfilter something one can do on their own? Does it need a lot of elbow grease? Can anyone tell me where it's located on a 2004 X3 and I would go about changing it?
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:29 AM
Gwos25 Gwos25 is offline
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I just picked up a 2005 X3 and am doing some research. My plan is to give it a complete tune up/service including all fluids and fitlers. My question, in keeping with the original topic of this thread, is will the carbon type filter fit in the X3 without climate control? I found two listings for cabin filters, the carbon type for vehicles with climate control, and a simple paper element for those without. Anyone know if they are interchangable?
Thanks!
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  #20  
Old 08-31-2011, 10:43 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Anyone know if they are interchangable?
Yes, they are.

Don't know why they would be listed as different - not seen that on any supplier sites I have used.
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  #21  
Old 10-08-2011, 12:39 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trader37 View Post
Is the Cabin Airfilter something one can do on their own? Does it need a lot of elbow grease? Can anyone tell me where it's located on a 2004 X3 and I would go about changing it?
Very easy to do. Open hood, look towards windshield. There is a plastic cover that runs along windshield. I believe there are 2 attachment points on ends. Turn 1/4 turn, lift off cover. Voila! There it is. Lift out, vacuum out, inspect inside for water, debris, wear. Insert new filter, cover on, turn screw attachments. Close hood, open beer, pat self on back for job well done!
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  #22  
Old 10-08-2011, 12:42 PM
trader37 trader37 is offline
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Lol, sounds easy to do....

Do I order the carbon or the paper? I have a basic stock x3 without automatic controls...
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  #23  
Old 10-08-2011, 01:11 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trader37 View Post
Lol, sounds easy to do....

Do I order the carbon or the paper? I have a basic stock x3 without automatic controls...
I would go with carbon filter. Anytime you have fresh air coming in it will help.

Let me know if you need any pictures. Do a search and you should find some though.
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  #24  
Old 11-23-2012, 04:28 PM
jvest2000 jvest2000 is offline
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I got a 2006 X3 two years ago (2010) for my wife so we're well out of our maintenance period but when i checked the cabin air filter it looked pretty bad. I would hazard a guess that it may never have been changed in 60,000 miles or was maybe once.

I like to stick to Mann or Hengst filters. Here's a little write up I did on replacing it on X3 models with links to the Mann filter I used on Amazon:

BMW X3 Cabin Air Filter Change DIY Guide

Save yourself some money and get the parts yourself and install it ...takes 10 minutes and you can have peace of mind that you're not being ripped off...

That is obviously overkill for simply changing a filter but i wanted to document the process so anyone thinking about doing it could see how easy it is.

Last edited by jvest2000; 11-30-2012 at 03:28 PM.
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  #25  
Old 11-30-2012, 03:22 PM
jvest2000 jvest2000 is offline
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Just for kicks ... here is what my old filter versus the new filter looked like...
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