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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Well, I got my car a week and a half ago but I spent all of last weekend with a stomach bug so I was unable to spend much time behind the wheel. No matter though, I still needed to get my CD changer installed and I was still waiting for my navigation CD. With all that taken care of this week, and with the opportunity to finally log some drive-time I am able to post a few opinions.

First, the good:

When I first drove into the dealer lot my car was sitting right out front -- all washed and ready to go. "Wow, sweet!" was the only thing I could say. Sporty from front to back with an unmistakable touch of class you can only get from a premium nameplate like BMW. I administered the first of a long series of pinches to my arm. :)

The power of the 3.0 engine is thoroughly exhilarating. It begs to be pushed and seems to be experiencing about as much frustration with the break-in period as I am.

I haven't really put the suspension to any significant test yet, but the car is extremely tight, but not too harsh on the road. I nice compromise between sportiness and functionality.

Everything inside the car is perfect. All the gauges, buttons and knobs are well-placed and easy to use. The power sports seats are extremely comfortable and supportive. I didn't give much weight to the steering wheel controls when I ordered the car, but it didn't take much use in the real world to make me appreciate them a lot already.



I didn't opt for the Xenon headlights, but the standards are just fine. I was amazed at the brightness of them and, for a while on the initial drive home, thought maybe the factory goofed and installed the Xenons by mistake.

I finally got the CD changer (Alpine S630 + adaptor) installed and working properly on Wednesday. Aside from the typical HK front door speaker rattle on certain songs the sound is outstanding. I read a lot of complaints about the HK system (beyond the correctable rattles) so I was worried it wouldn't hold up to my audio standards, but this is definitely an option well worth the investment.

I've been playing with the navigation a little bit for the past few days and I love it! Unlike others, I have no problems with the volume settings are anything like that. Everything is absolutely perfect so far. Some people warned that the BMW nav system was far from user friendly, but I figured most of the features out quickly without the use of the manual, and inputting addresses -- while not quite as easy as some touchscreen models -- is a pretty painless process.

One thing that started out as a negative, but has actually moved to the positive side is the clutch. It's like no other clutch I've ever driven. It has a very unique feel, and the travel is really high. However, I remedied the second problem by moving my seat back an inch, and after a week of driving it, now the clutches on my other cars feel like stiff little pieces of crap. It took me a few days, but I now fully appreciate the engineering behind the clutch.

Here are some negative comments:

Like everyone else, I'm being victimized by two common BMW problems. :tsk: The rattling in the front door speaker panels is irritating as hell and must be fixed immediately. Once I get them fixed I'll probably be able to push the system a little further which will probably just uncover more rattles. This is obviously an epidemic, so why doesn't BMW fix this problem at the factory??? Damn cheapskates. :mad:

The other problem is the breakdust. Ick! I thought most of the people saying the wheels needed to be cleaned once a week were just clean-freaks, but it's obvious that the wheels will definitely need to be cleaned with that kind of frequency -- at least. After only 250 miles my wheels were caked with brake dust. Absolutely caked! And I haven't been doing any hard driving whatsoever. Compounding the problem is the difficulty in getting them clean. I thought I'd just be able to spray the dust off with a high powered stream of water, but it took some real rubbing to get it all off. Very annoying.

Aside from that, most of my complaints are minor quibbles. The cupholders are in a horrible spot for a 5-speed. It's a constant challenge not to knock over the drink with a forearm. I'm not real wild about the seatbelt setup. The "seat tilt forward" mechanism doesn't do a very good job of keeping the seatbelt up front, so you're constantly reaching to the backseat area to find the seat belt. Furthermore, the titanium trim is right where the metal part of the seatbelt can hit it everytime you take it off. I'm carefull, but I worry that the passenger side trim is going to get scratched all to hell. Is this something I need to worry about? :dunno:

I think that about covers my first impressions of the car. I'm about as happy as I can be with it so far. It's nice to have a car so nice that people actually ask you about it. I haven't had a car like that since my old '64 1/2 Mustang back in high school. (same exact color, by coincidence). I think my neighbors have concluded my wife and I are crack dealers or something. :lmao: One of them came over while I was washing the car today and he was an unmistakable shade of "envy green". I love it.

You can see more photos here
 

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Nice write up and nice car.:thumb:

I agree about the 3.0 liter. Can't say enough good things about it. I guess I've been lucky with my HK system since I haven't experienced the rattles that have plagued some folks. I heard a lot about the rear deck rattles and now the front door rattles. Mine's been solid. As for brake dust, you'll just need to get a good spray on cleaner. The BMW wheel cleaner is good. Just be happy you have the M68's that are easy to clean and not a multispoke design. :)
 

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DSinSoCal said:
The other problem is the breakdust. Ick! I thought most of the people saying the wheels needed to be cleaned once a week were just clean-freaks, but it's obvious that the wheels will definitely need to be cleaned with that kind of frequency -- at least. After only 250 miles my wheels were caked with brake dust. Absolutely caked! And I haven't been doing any hard driving whatsoever. Compounding the problem is the difficulty in getting them clean. I thought I'd just be able to spray the dust off with a high powered stream of water, but it took some real rubbing to get it all off. Very annoying.

You can see more photos here
Some people have had success with waxing their rims to make the break dust easier to get off... you may want to try that. I still have not made up my mind if it is worth the extra effort.

A.
 

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Congrats!

Great color combo. :D

I've been lucky as far as HK rattles... none.

While I don't have any seat belt problems (probably 'cause I got the sedan), I have developed the infamous B-pillar rattle (probably because I got the sedan). :dunno:
 

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I use Eagle One A2Z Wheel Cleaner, it works really well for me.

http://www.eagleone.com/products/products.asp?catid=5006

I spray on, let sit for a minute, then rinse off with a hose. I usually don't even wipe them down, because just rinsing seems to get nearly all the brake dust off. When I do wipe it down, the wheels look spotless.

With wheels like these, even wiping down is a total pain!

 

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Hey just read your planned upgrade list. Reads just like mine. A couple of those just happened this weekend!! :D

May I recommend adding the M3 wheel and sway bars.

The sways are still the single best upgrade I have done.

BTW, don't let Alee know you plan to get the clear front reflectors. He is the BMW police here!! :lmao: :lmao:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Re: My Impressions

Adrian 330Ci'01 said:


Some people have had success with waxing their rims
A.
Yeah, I've heard that, and I'll probably give it a try. But that, in itself, is quite a pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cowboy said:
I use Eagle One A2Z Wheel Cleaner, it works really well for me.
Thanks Cowboy.

Anybody else have advice on the best (easiest) wheel cleaners out there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One thing I forgot to mention in the "negative column" was the transmission.

It's a little notchier than I'd like, and reverse is a pain in the butt to get too. Sometimes the car just plain refuses to go into reverse. Occasionally I've had to cycle through a few gears first before I could break through the "slight resistence" leading to the reverse gear.

Is this common behavior for the 3 series 5-speed?
 

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very nice and congrats. A side note, BMW will never realize they need to fix door rattles and speakers and seat rattles, so its a waste of time to complain. I am sure they have thousands. I did get my speakers fixed, just dont know why its not fixed while built..oh well.. very nice tho
 

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DSinSoCal said:
One thing I forgot to mention in the "negative column" was the transmission.

It's a little notchier than I'd like, and reverse is a pain in the butt to get too. Sometimes the car just plain refuses to go into reverse. Occasionally I've had to cycle through a few gears first before I could break through the "slight resistence" leading to the reverse gear.

Is this common behavior for the 3 series 5-speed?
Sometimes you will also find it hard to get into 1st after you stop. Just double-clutch and it fixes the problem (let the clutch out and press in again).

This may also help you with reverse.
 

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I've NEVER ever had any trouble getting into reverse. That said, people who are used to the 12345R shift pattern (as opposed to BMW's R12345) seem to have a lot of trouble with it. You'll adjust. :)
 

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DSinSoCal said:
One thing I forgot to mention in the "negative column" was the transmission.

It's a little notchier than I'd like, and reverse is a pain in the butt to get too. Sometimes the car just plain refuses to go into reverse. Occasionally I've had to cycle through a few gears first before I could break through the "slight resistence" leading to the reverse gear.

Is this common behavior for the 3 series 5-speed?
I found that to be the case for the first couple of weeks I had my car... I'm not sure if it broke in, or I just got used to it, but now I never have a problem getting into reverse. :dunno:
 

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You should see my sister try to find reverse after she's been in the WRX. :p It's funny.
 

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speaker rattles

Ok - so what's the fix for that rattle? I've searched the board here and at the "other" sites and still can't find out what the fix exactly is.
:dunno:
 
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