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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-05-2009, 11:19 PM
robdokwon robdokwon is offline
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pothole explosions!

Don't get me wrong, I love BMW as much as all of you - I'm on my second one now - 09 335i sedan w/ spt pkge (1st was an 03 325i w/ sport pkge). But, after owning various crappy new and old American cars (including an 86 Mustang GT that was wood-glued and loosely screwed together), as well as a recent 06 Porsche Boxtser S (987), I can say without reservation no car emits a pure force 9 explosion in the cockpit upon hitting a pothole or off-grade sewer manhole like a BMW with spt. pkge. It's like an atomic bomb goes off in the front of the car upon each hard impact. I've hit the same bumps in my Boxster S and yes, the entire chassis responds directly, but it doesn't have the same "POP" that the E90 has. The sounds are so nasty that I feel the need to pull over and check for bubbles with my flashlight. By the way, I am running on non-RFT tires and still experience this.

Guys, no other car explodes on impact like ours do. I understand the sport package is stiffer but why the detonation sound? It's like a Jerry Bruckheimer production. The Porsche was built so solid it was a like a single piece of billet. Over rough pavement it would crash through the potholes like a Russian Ice Breaker crossing the Arctic in January. It was simply indestructable -no other car is built that solid. I never bubbled my 18" PS2 or bent a rim. I never felt like the car bottomed out like the E90 does. Even the old Mustang GT didn't POP! in potholes (but the dashboard sounded like it was going to fall into my lap over each bump - what a piece of raw s**t that car was (but loved the posi rear)).

Anyway, I love everything else about the car - it's superior in nearly every way to the class competition. Maybe BOSE can build a "noise cancelling speaker" to put in the firewall to offset the volcanic eruption over potholes.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2009, 11:32 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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I saw the thread title "Pothole Explosions" and thought "this guy is from New York City"

It is inevitable that there will be a "Why didn't you get a Lexus" response to this post by an 18 year old that has 20' rims, coil overs and lives in the Mojave Desert but I (and anyone else who drives a 335 with sport package and RFTs in NYC) know what you are talking about. I bougjht my 335i in Florida and drove it there for a while. No complaints. Then I had it shipped to NYC. Compared to South Florida it is like driving on another planet. As you are aware getting rid of the RFTs will makes a HUGE difference, literely night and day. It is like driving a different car but it still does not solve the problem.

This is an issue that BMW is going to have to deal with and I equate it to poor engineering on BMWs part. I will probably get flamed by the fanboys but I have a resonable amount of experience with suspension set up and I know it is possible to engineer a high performance suspension that does not loosen your fillings and sound like a Chinese New Year celebration when you hit a pot hole. In spite of the fact that I ditched the RFTs I still have destroyed 3 tires and 1 rim in 14,000 miles.

On highways or on the twisty New England roads that I spend a lot of time driving on the car is great. It is smooth, quiet and has lots of grip. But as a New York City car it is unbearable.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 01-05-2009 at 11:48 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2009, 12:16 AM
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galahad05 galahad05 is offline
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Hey Cap'n, I read in some other thread that you were going to test drive one of those M3s with the selective ride. Anything yet?
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:15 AM
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mryakanisachoad mryakanisachoad is offline
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'nother ny'er checkin' in.

running over a slightly raised manhole cover or a pothole is a frightening experience in my 335i sport.

it is literally more violent sounding than a 30mph++ impact.

i blew out my first sidewall last week (right front). goodyears. i think it was the succession of 3 or 4 good hits which compromised the tire.

this bmw is literally the worst bad road car i've ever driven.

still love it but i feel sort of sorry for it. good thing it's a lease.
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2009, 01:16 AM
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mryakanisachoad mryakanisachoad is offline
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my 2 911's handled the bad stuff waaaaaaaay better.
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2009, 05:07 AM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galahad05 View Post
Hey Cap'n, I read in some other thread that you were going to test drive one of those M3s with the selective ride. Anything yet?
Not yet. I've been out of comission with a pinched nerve in my neck for the past few weeks. It seems to be getting better now (than God - another couple of weeks and I would have been ready to call Dr. Kervorkian). Once I am back in reasonable shape I will schedule the test drive.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:13 AM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mryakanisachoad View Post
'nother ny'er checkin' in.

running over a slightly raised manhole cover or a pothole is a frightening experience in my 335i sport.

it is literally more violent sounding than a 30mph++ impact.

i blew out my first sidewall last week (right front). goodyears. i think it was the succession of 3 or 4 good hits which compromised the tire.

this bmw is literally the worst bad road car i've ever driven.

still love it but i feel sort of sorry for it. good thing it's a lease.
I don't care what anybody says it is plain and simply bad engineering on the part of BMW. I rented a Ford Escape (I think that's what it was - Small SUV) last week to move some file boxes). I was such a pleasure to dirve on the FDR drive and not be in total fear of pot holes (hit one in the 335i on the FDR Northbound at about 80th Street last month and had to replace the right front tire). Now that's pretty pathetic. If I only drove in the city I would go as far as to say I would prefer a Ford Escape (well maybe an X6).

As much as I enjoy the car I would not get another without test driving the competition.

In spite of the opinions of the "Get a Lexus" fanboys when the people complaining are Porsche owners (former or present), drivers with extensive track experience, etc. this is a serious problem that BMW needs to address.

I had a Lexus (1992 SC300 5 Speed Coupe). It was a wonderful car. I am sorry Lexus stopped developing it and dropped the model. It was a very good road car (not up to my 335i but still very good - and I am comparing a 1992 Lexus to a 2007 335i). It was a good compromise between ride and comfort and was a far more pleasant city car - not even close. Ms. Audio has a 2007 Jaguar XKR Coupe (Ms. Audio is also a car enthusiast). The Jag is usually in Florida but it is much better on bad surfaces than the 335i and is definitely in the 335i league in terms of performance. So I know that it is possible to design a suspension that can provide crisp, precise handling without being overly harsh on poor surfaces.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 01-24-2009 at 08:33 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2009, 06:42 AM
robdokwon robdokwon is offline
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thanks for the support. By the way, it's really not a NYC argument either - all it takes is one bad spot in anytown USA ad you're totally F'd.

Another way to describe the unusual behavior of the car over road depressions is it seems that the car all of a sudden has the compressed mass of say a white dwarf, wherein an immense gravity instantaneously draws the car down to the center of the earth via the that 2 inch pavement misgrade you just ran over at 40 mph.

Yes, the non-rfts did make a huge difference - night and day. But it's still a patent risk driving the car around NYC. I used to tear up and down the FDR in my Boxster S - but just can't do it with this car. It can actually go faster, but it can't handle the poor pavement without a potential blowout or rim bending experience.
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2009, 08:34 AM
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I drove our 325i sport up to NYC before Christmas with the non-RFT 17" winter tires. I kept tires inflated to around 210 kPa (31psi) and had no issues in Manhattan, the god-awful BQE, or even the atrocious ramps in the Bronx. Sure there were a couple places where I saw it coming and braked (and cringed) but there wasn't anything spectacular. Rode better than my X3 non-sport.

Y'all should move to a place with better roads. Just like the AC system, the 3er was designed by Germans in Germany. The roads there are slightly better than what we have here, just like how their summers aren't as hot as the ones we have here.
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2009, 08:42 AM
beshaw81 beshaw81 is offline
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thanks OP. this confirms my thoughts as well. love the car, but the other day the pop scared the poop out of my passengers when I hit a minor pothole. SF is not much better from what I can tell, unless NYC is like the scene from Ghostbusters where the entire cars fall into the pothole.
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2009, 08:50 AM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is offline
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thanks OP. this confirms my thoughts as well. love the car, but the other day the pop scared the poop out of my passengers when I hit a minor pothole. SF is not much better from what I can tell, unless NYC is like the scene from Ghostbusters where the entire cars fall into the pothole.
it is unfortunately.

even though my winter tires are runflats, i keep a compact spare and sealant kit in my trunk. i've had quite bad experiences over the past 8 years in NYC
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2009, 09:00 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is online now
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I don't believe it's an engineering problem. Maybe there is limited suspension travel causing this but the solution does not bode well for good handling and chassis stiffness. I live near Detroit and while our streets are not as bad as those in NYC we have some huge potholes. I don't suffer the problems you describe.

Thanks, Mike.
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:00 AM
JakeBaker JakeBaker is offline
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Originally Posted by robdokwon View Post
Another way to describe the unusual behavior of the car over road depressions is it seems that the car all of a sudden has the compressed mass of say a white dwarf, wherein an immense gravity instantaneously draws the car down to the center of the earth via the that 2 inch pavement misgrade you just ran over at 40 mph.


Even at 30 mph, sadly.

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Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
... the 3er was designed by Germans in Germany. The roads there are slightly better than what we have here...


Upon ED this summer, we had no problems in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or the Netherlands. But after USA redelivery, only a few urban drives were needed to learn about pothole explosions, and the need to "keep my eyes on the road" - in a different sense than is usually meant.
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:32 AM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
I don't believe it's an engineering problem. Maybe there is limited suspension travel causing this but the solution does not bode well for good handling and chassis stiffness. I live near Detroit and while our streets are not as bad as those in NYC we have some huge potholes. I don't suffer the problems you describe.

Thanks, Mike.
Mike,

Since there are other cars such as Jaguar, Porsche, etc. that combine good handling and high performance with decent ride quality on bad roads there is no reason why BMW can't do it as well.

CA
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:56 AM
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My 911 felt as stiff as my E92 335i now and rode even lower. The cars are not the whole story.

I also hate the roads in NYC. I have called 311 to report potholes and bad road sections numerous times.
It's like driving downtown in a third-world country.

Sure it's tempting to blame BMW but holy cow, the roads are in bad shape.

Until you have driven here, you won't fully comprehend why SUVs were such a success even in a urban setting (it's not like we live in the desert or the jungle after all and need a Range Rover Challenge team car to go visit a friend or run errands).

Damn it, this is frustrating.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:01 AM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is offline
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my E46 suffered accelerated control arm wear, a blown shock, mushroomed shock towers, two blown tires and 4 rims bent into squares.

my S60R suffered 6 blown tires, two bent rims, a blown shock, and blown swaybar endlinks

my 335i has lost two tires, three rims, and my fillings are replaced yearly when i go in for my oilservice.

NYC is NOT like the rest of the country.
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  #17  
Old 01-06-2009, 10:44 AM
robdokwon robdokwon is offline
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the funny thing is, you can never be 100% vigilant for the approaching snag. Driving this car is like being a fighter pilot in the sense that my situational awareness is divided up among too many categories: the police (for pacing in the rear and hiding with sudden laser shoots), my V1 radar arrows, the traffic, the Idrive/Nav, and now the potholes and pavement defects that in NYC seem to evolve on a daily basis (literally). I think I need an extra set of xenon fog lights to see the pavement at night (perhaps Luke's targeting computer from his X-wing would help - i'm not skilled enough in the Force to push my targeting computer aside yet, obviously).

Most of you guys around the country know exactly where those troubled spots are in your regular route and you of course prepare to avoid them or slow down accordingly. Here in/around the Big Apple, there are new holes or even mid-atlantic ridge-like pavement cresting each day along your route - no explanation -it's just a "holy s**t, that wasn't there yesterday!"

But again, it not a NY issue, it's a BMW sport package issue, because other sport tuned cars don't have this problem to this degree. My lay opinion is that there's an engineering flaw at hand. BMW, please call Porsche and ask them to solve this problem for you. We'll all soon see if the Panamera has the same crash over the bumps that the 335i has.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:35 AM
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I have no qualms slowing traffic behind me to take an irregularity in the road I can't avoid.

Stupid cab/ other drivers try and overtake bouncing in their cockpit with no regards for the comfort of their passengers or the impact on their car.

The fun part is when the road is clear again: I love this engine!

Edited for spelling. Thanks.

Last edited by octopump; 01-06-2009 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:59 AM
robdokwon robdokwon is offline
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It's "qualms." I love this engine too. But again, it's not a NYC issue, it's BMW issue. Other sport suspensions don't "explode" like ours do.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:09 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Originally Posted by robdokwon View Post
It's "qualms." I love this engine too. But again, it's not a NYC issue, it's BMW issue. Other sport suspensions don't "explode" like ours do.
I totally agree.
This has been very frustrating. Racing coaches taught me to look as far ahead as possible. I worked like hell to break the habit of not looking far enough down the road. Now I look far ahead and miss a pothole that just about tears the suspension off of the car.

CA
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:30 PM
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It is not just BMW. I am here to tell you Lexus can have the same issue.

I have a Lexus IS350 and I am on this board because my next sedan is 90% likely to be an E90 with Premium, Cold Weather, Nav, Comfort Access, iPod, PDC etc. Basically EVERY option EXCEPT Sport purely because of my horrible experience low profile 18" wheels and tires. Listen to my tale of woe:


Very few IS350s are sold in the NE - maybe 1-2 per month per dealership - everyone seems to buy the IS250 AWD with 17" all seasons. A base IS350 comes with 17" staggered wheels and tires but they must be custom ordered (4 month wait). Every available IS350 will have either Sport or Luxury package and both come with 18" wheels and unidirectional summer performance tires: 225/40 YR18 in front and 255/40 YR18 in rear.

When I picked up my car in Dec 2006 there was snow on the ground and temperatures in the 25 degree range - a real fun 60 miles drive home on new summer tires with the glaze still on them. I wrote to Lexus saying this was insane and at least give some kind of option for all-seasons, and for the 2009 models Lexus now offers the IS350 in a choice of summer or all-season on the 18" wheels.

The next day I had my tire shop put on new 17" wheels and Dunlop Winter Sport 3Ds which I had ordered the week before. The snow tires were stunning (noticably better than all-seasons I have had in the past) and my tire shop would store the summer wheels/tires for free. All was well and the IS350 was a wonderful commuter car for a almost a year. Note I live in farm country in PA and work in Princeton NJ - all empty rural back roads along the Delaware River - really great driving.

In the last 15 months I am visiting clients more and travelling around PA more. The PA Turnpike and other major roads are unbeliveably bad in places - hitting potholes sounds like a shotgun going off next to my ear in the normally hushed Lexus.


My tally so far in just over a year is:

Bent OEM 18" rim - had to replace (tire was fine by some miracle) and fix allignment
Blown 18" summer tire - replace
Bent 17" winter wheel and blew tire - wheel model no longer sold, heat treatment to fix wheel cost more than a new wheel, plus new tire of course, and another allignment fix

Finally last month I bent BOTH 17" wheels on passenger side and blew BOTH tires on ONE pothole on a single lane road - tow truck time

Now I had a crazy situation - do I get 4 new 17" wheels (as old wheel no longer sold) and two new winter tires for a car I am leasing and returning in 7-8 months? Instead I threw away my two good winter wheels and tires and went back to my 18" wheels. One of the summer tires was pretty worn so I replaced all 4 summer tires with all-seasons to keep me going for the next few months. Plus had to fix allignment again.


At this point I have spent so much time on my space saver spare tire that it is getting worn out, and about $3000 in just over a year replacing damaged wheels and tires. I have decided that, much as I love driving, my next vehicle is going to be a pickup truck. Or perhaps a car that comes with 17" wheels and tires that are not staggered and can take a hit and be rotated for longer wear - no more fragile low-profile summer tires for me.

Hence no Sport on my loaded E90 - or am I being silly?
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by robdokwon View Post
Don't get me wrong, I love BMW as much as all of you - I'm on my second one now - 09 335i sedan w/ spt pkge (1st was an 03 325i w/ sport pkge). But, after owning various crappy new and old American cars (including an 86 Mustang GT that was wood-glued and loosely screwed together), as well as a recent 06 Porsche Boxtser S (987), I can say without reservation no car emits a pure force 9 explosion in the cockpit upon hitting a pothole or off-grade sewer manhole like a BMW with spt. pkge. It's like an atomic bomb goes off in the front of the car upon each hard impact. I've hit the same bumps in my Boxster S and yes, the entire chassis responds directly, but it doesn't have the same "POP" that the E90 has. The sounds are so nasty that I feel the need to pull over and check for bubbles with my flashlight. By the way, I am running on non-RFT tires and still experience this.

Guys, no other car explodes on impact like ours do. I understand the sport package is stiffer but why the detonation sound? It's like a Jerry Bruckheimer production. The Porsche was built so solid it was a like a single piece of billet. Over rough pavement it would crash through the potholes like a Russian Ice Breaker crossing the Arctic in January. It was simply indestructable -no other car is built that solid. I never bubbled my 18" PS2 or bent a rim. I never felt like the car bottomed out like the E90 does. Even the old Mustang GT didn't POP! in potholes (but the dashboard sounded like it was going to fall into my lap over each bump - what a piece of raw s**t that car was (but loved the posi rear)).

Anyway, I love everything else about the car - it's superior in nearly every way to the class competition. Maybe BOSE can build a "noise cancelling speaker" to put in the firewall to offset the volcanic eruption over potholes.
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I saw the thread title "Pothole Explosions" and thought "this guy is from New York City"

It is inevitable that there will be a "Why didn't you get a Lexus" response to this post by an 18 year old that has 20' rims, coil overs and lives in the Mojave Desert but I (and anyone else who drives a 335 with sport package and RFTs in NYC) know what you are talking about. I bougjht my 335i in Florida and drove it there for a while. No complaints. Then I had it shipped to NYC. Compared to South Florida it is like driving on another planet. As you are aware getting rid of the RFTs will makes a HUGE difference, literely night and day. It is like driving a different car but it still does not solve the problem.

This is an issue that BMW is going to have to deal with and I equate it to poor engineering on BMWs part. I will probably get flamed by the fanboys but I have a resonable amount of experience with suspension set up and I know it is possible to engineer a high performance suspension that does not loosen your fillings and sound like a Chinese New Year celebration when you hit a pot hole. In spite of the fact that I ditched the RFTs I still have destroyed 3 tires and 1 rim in 14,000 miles.

On highways or on the twisty New England roads that I spend a lot of time driving on the car is great. It is smooth, quiet and has lots of grip. But as a New York City car it is unbearable.

CA
Why didnt you get a Lexus? I'm 24 and I have an M3 with Eibach/Koni suspension and I live in the suburbs of Atla....
Dammit.
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2009, 01:26 PM
SJK SJK is offline
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Location: Houston
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 564
Mein Auto: 2008 335i Sedan
I've experienced it in Houston as well. It doesn't have to be a big pothole or even dent the rim or blow out the tire to experience the shock and awe of a 335 pothole explosion.
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  #24  
Old 01-06-2009, 01:40 PM
Bimmerista Bimmerista is offline
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Location: Montreal, Quebec
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 72
Mein Auto: 135 vert
Hello there,

I live in Montreal and I wish that our roads were as good as those in NYC.....

I fully understand the crash and explosion argument of the OP.

I have RFTs and have until now suspected them to be the culprit.

Now I have to say one thing, if the rim is bent, it has nothing to do with the suspension or BMW engineering and everything to do with the state of the roads.

As for those who still have the crash complaint without the RFT - I have no experience with other sports cars; but other owners of other makes of cars I know AND who also have sports suspensions (i.e. stiffer suspension all together-not just a sports car), have all the same compaints (Audi, MB, WRXSti, Evo). So I really don't think its BMW, I think its the price of you want the sports suspension (there is more travel in a normally suspended Boxter thatn a sports suspended e90 - Boxter S has the sports suspension that Porsche provides as standard, I believe that is not the case for the non-S Boxter).
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  #25  
Old 01-06-2009, 02:07 PM
Chabas Chabas is offline
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I got to say that PotHoles are a huge problem in NYC.... TRUST ME (read my sig)
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