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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 04-07-2014, 01:06 PM
Kafkaesque320 Kafkaesque320 is offline
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Disappointed by Lack of F30 Aftermarket or "OEM" Retrofit Options

I recently reached out to BimmerTech who are supposed to be The OEM retrofit go-to for BMW, inquiring about swapping the halogens for the xenons on my 320i. I have heard from a lot of F30 3 series drivers who don't want the halogens on either their 320 or 328 and ended up with them most likely because they got their car off a dealer lot vs. special order. LA is the land of the 3 series and it seems like every 4 cars or so is a 3 series with a lot of F30's cruising around and I would say the vast majority that I see are no-line 320 or 328's with halogens. I got mine at Irvine BMW and that's how it came.

So, one would think that there would be a demand for this sort of retrofit. I am sure it's not 'cost effective' since you have to get the parts, housing, probably different wiring and then there is the coding but I've inquired about it with a few sources and no one wants to touch it. Since when do people not want to take your money? There have been a few brave souls who have done this F30 halogen to xenon swap retrofit themselves and I have combed through the pages of jargon and electrical schematics and that DIY is NOT for the faint of heart. But still, if you are dealing with a reputable shop, installer etc and you are willing to pay, what's the problem? Can't be that hard for guys who work on these cars all the time.

I just don't get it. With the Mk6 GTI, these kind of swap and retrofits were easy and inexpensive. People buy those cars to mod them. Halogen to Xenon swap with the GTI is common, cheap and a no brainer. It seems like BMW has it set up in a way that if you don't special order their cars exactly to spec, then you are out of luck.

I recently reached out to Bimmer Tech and this is what I was told:

"We are not offering the retrofits you are interested in.
They are definitely possible but we do not have a ready solutions for you so we do not want to get involved in such a project. There is no demand for the retrofits you requested so we have never done any R&D. I am sorry."


No demand?? So does this mean that everyone who has halogens couldn't care less about not having xenons on a car that costs $35-40k? This baffles me.

Anyway. I know the F30 is a relatively new platform but still.. I like the car a lot and if they come out with some decent OEM retrofit options by the time my lease is up I'd consider buying it out.
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'14 Black 320i | Sport Pkg | BMS Stage 1 | 8AT | Moonroof | Poverty Pkg. | Govt. Assistance Pkg.

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Originally Posted by Tunk99 View Post
You drive a 320 so pretty sure you have nothing of value to contribute.

Last edited by Kafkaesque320; 04-07-2014 at 04:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2014, 04:57 PM
stevehecht's Avatar
stevehecht stevehecht is offline
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Mein Auto: 2014 328d;1990 325i coupe
Have your contacted your dealership, or a local dealership in the area with a good, "adventurous" service department? I had my dealership replace the OEM SportLine steering wheel with the MSport. Labor is more than at most indie shops but it doesn't seem you have a choice at this point. I'd be willing to bet my service department would do it for you if asked, you just need to find one like it.
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2014, 05:07 PM
diablo2112 diablo2112 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2014 335i F30 & 328d F31
I understand your point. I also read dozens of forum posts where members complain about some aftermarket add-on or mod, and that they're having trouble. They trash the supplier of that mod, etc. We can't have it both ways. We can't ask dealers to go out on a limb, offer a risky mod that may have problems, and then complain when such problems arise.

I don't blame Bimmertech from staying away from this mod. Swapping out to Xenons is NOT for the faint of heart, its a very difficult job and its very expensive. Honestly, the better choice in these cases (also including retrofitting Nav into F30s) is to sell your car or try swap-a-lease to get out, take the loss, and repurchase the model with the options you want. In the long run, this is probably cheaper and preserves the factory warranty, etc.
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  #4  
Old 04-07-2014, 06:25 PM
Kafkaesque320 Kafkaesque320 is offline
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Mein Auto: 320i ZSP, AT, BMS Stage1
Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo2112 View Post
I understand your point. I also read dozens of forum posts where members complain about some aftermarket add-on or mod, and that they're having trouble. They trash the supplier of that mod, etc. We can't have it both ways. We can't ask dealers to go out on a limb, offer a risky mod that may have problems, and then complain when such problems arise.

I don't blame Bimmertech from staying away from this mod. Swapping out to Xenons is NOT for the faint of heart, its a very difficult job and its very expensive. Honestly, the better choice in these cases (also including retrofitting Nav into F30s) is to sell your car or try swap-a-lease to get out, take the loss, and repurchase the model with the options you want. In the long run, this is probably cheaper and preserves the factory warranty, etc.
This is a good point, re: the risk factor for them. I just had no idea I guess how difficult a swap that is. It's not that big of a deal though. I don't get rid of cars early because they are lacking one or two options. But I see your point. It's like, if you are going to pay x amount of money to retrofit something on a current car, why not just pay to get out of the current car to get into a car with those options. But no, that's not going to happen. What is funny is that when I had a GTI I never paid much attention or noticed the angle eyes really. I only started thinking about it when I got this car and was like "oh, it has halogens." It's one of those things with me though, I'll essentially never be 100% happy or content with a car, or if I will, I haven't found that car yet. What I wanted most going in was an F30 335i but I'm just not quite there yet. I think the 320 is a good entry to BMW car and knowing me, it's not worth putting any money into this car since in 32 months, I'll most likely want to get a CPO 2013 or '14 335i or something @ lease end. The car is a great little car, I guess I'm just amazed at how complex these retrofits are since like I said, they are pretty run of the mill in VW land. Options are one thing and the way the car drives and feels is another. I LOVE the way this car drives. Just bummed on the lack of a few options. Way it goes.
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'14 Black 320i | Sport Pkg | BMS Stage 1 | 8AT | Moonroof | Poverty Pkg. | Govt. Assistance Pkg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tunk99 View Post
You drive a 320 so pretty sure you have nothing of value to contribute.

Last edited by Kafkaesque320; 04-07-2014 at 07:08 PM.
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