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Hi, everyone! I just purchased my 2006 BMW 325i two days ago - I'm in love with it! The only problem? I know nothing about the care and maintenance of these cars. Any suggestions for those new to the BMW world? It has 60k miles... it didn't come with maintenance records (unruly, I know). What are the routine maintenance measures I should be aware of? Also, I have a few other questions, please see below:

- Does it really matter if I take it to a BMW dealer to have it serviced? Is it a big 'what were you thinking' if I take it somewhere else?
- What is the best oil to use? I looked on the BMW site and it says 5w40... but when I called yesterday and asked the BMW dealership, they said 5w30. I'm confused!
- There is a small chip in the paint on the back bumper and I'd like to fix it. Should I have it fixed professionally or is there a touch up paint I can purchase and do it myself? It's about the size of a dime. If fixable myself, I don't want it to look like it's been cheaply done. My car is Alpine White.
- My car does not have a warranty left... any good warranties out there, outside of the BMW dealership?
- Lastly, the front passenger side door lock will not unlock/lock with the remote. It's so annoying! What would be the most economical way to fix this?

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading!!
 

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Putting the O in O face
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Hi, everyone! I just purchased my 2006 BMW 325i two days ago - I'm in love with it! The only problem? I know nothing about the care and maintenance of these cars. Any suggestions for those new to the BMW world? It has 60k miles... it didn't come with maintenance records (unruly, I know). What are the routine maintenance measures I should be aware of? Also, I have a few other questions, please see below:

- Does it really matter if I take it to a BMW dealer to have it serviced? Is it a big 'what were you thinking' if I take it somewhere else?
- What is the best oil to use? I looked on the BMW site and it says 5w40... but when I called yesterday and asked the BMW dealership, they said 5w30. I'm confused!
- There is a small chip in the paint on the back bumper and I'd like to fix it. Should I have it fixed professionally or is there a touch up paint I can purchase and do it myself? It's about the size of a dime. If fixable myself, I don't want it to look like it's been cheaply done. My car is Alpine White.
- My car does not have a warranty left... any good warranties out there, outside of the BMW dealership?
- Lastly, the front passenger side door lock will not unlock/lock with the remote. It's so annoying! What would be the most economical way to fix this?

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading!!
The car has an on-board computer system that will tell you what maintenance needs to be done and when. For the oil it says in the owner's manual to only use BMW High Performance Full Synthetic 5w-30 motor oil every 15,000 miles. Most people don't like to wait that long, and I'm one of them. I change mine every 5,000 and use Mobil-1 Full Synthetic 5w-30 instead of the BMW High Performance. Many people on here do the same.

You don't have to take it to a BMW dealership, but you need to take it to somewhere that does maintenance under BMW specifications. You live in Charlotte, so I would expect you should be able to find an indy shop close by. Just do some research, but be willing to possibly travel a good ways to find a shop.

As for the paint chip, I would get a quote from several different places around where you live. Unless you're a pro at fixing it, don't try to do it yourself. Don't want to mess up that beautiful Alpine White color.

Since you didn't buy you're car before 50,000 miles, you are not under factory warranty. And I'm guessing you didn't buy CPO or you wouldn't be asking this question. I don't know of any extended warranty programs out there. Hopefully someone else can chime in.

The door sounds like you should take it in to have it looked at. Probably looking at a few hundred doll hairs to fix the locking mechanism if that's what is broken.

As with any other maintenance issues, I've had none so far or don't know of any recurring problems with our year and model. Of course, since you don't have a warranty, any little sound or thud you think you hear is going to freak you out. Like I said before, your car has an onboard computer and any serious issue should throw a warning or caution light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response!

So, with the computer system, is this something that is automatically reset when maintenance is performed? I wasn't sure if this was reset by the user like in other cars... e.g. when I got my oil changed in my last car, sometimes I would forget to reset the oil change reminder.

I bought the Mobil 1 oil last night but I waited to put it in - I wanted confirmation!

I'll definitely get the pain chip looked at... I don't want to mess anything up. I'm afraid to get the estimate for the door but it needs to be done. I'm almost finished reading the owner's manual... lol, it's been a pleasure to read.

Thanks, again.
 

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Putting the O in O face
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Yes, it can be reset, but that is why you need to take it to a place that works under BMW specifications. Once they change the oil, brake pads, radiator flush, etc... they plug into the computer and tell your car what has been done. The car wont do it on it's own.

I don't believe you can reset it manually, but I've never tried or have never heard any way to do so.
 

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Pillaging the world's oil
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The door sounds like you should take it in to have it looked at. Probably looking at a few hundred doll hairs to fix the locking mechanism if that's what is broken.
Before you rush out and get the door checked, have you checked the initial setup configuration to see if the remote has been set to unlock only the driver's door or all the doors when pushed? Read the manual about setting that up.
 

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Find a good indy BMW shop

Find a good independent BMW shop. Have them Service all the fluids and do an old school 60k Maintenance on it called and Inspection 2 . There are many threads on maintenance on this and other boards. You should also be aware of the issues with Run Flat Tires also covered on this board and others. Also you will probably want to get some cleaning and leather conditioning products. Maguires is good do not use cheap cleaning products,such as ArmorAll, check the boards for the best stuff .
If you pull a Car fax on the car you probably will see the BMW Service Records in the maintenance section and it will show other things like accident history if any. The free maintenance BMW performed on these cars is generally skimpy by old school standards
I''m wondering on the door lock situation if the drivers side lock affects this. (There is a lockout button) do you have a coupe or sedan If its a sedan an the other doors unlock then its probably a real problem.
Also read the manual as this may be a programming issue you can resolve yourself. It took me about week of reading the manual and going through all the buttons
and knobs before I learned to operate everything on my 06 325xi wagon and its my second BMW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@Cali311soca I'll def. take it to a shop that works under BMW Specifications. It may sound stupid to ask, but do I just ask the job if they do so? How will I know for certain?

@Petroboy - Yeah, I checked the manual and the settings in the car... it should unlock all 4 doors but it only unlocks the driver and the back two.

@Ctuna - thanks for the tips... I'll certainly check out the boards/threads that you mentioned. I'm looking forward to making this car last a while. It almost feels like a hobby!
 

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Putting the O in O face
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Most shops will have websites with their listed ASE certifications and specializations. You can try that or call them and ask. That way you don't feel embarassed walking in there and asking.
 

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You probably have BMW only shop in your town

I have two in my town they both had good reputations but one turned out to be not so good. Ruined my Rims when putting on
tire rack tires on my 330ci e46
Search the boards for reputation reviews etc..

(BMW's free maintenance is marketing for fools) Search for this thread

read this thread I have included some links in my comments in this section that will
tell you about old school maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Find a good independent BMW shop. Have them Service all the fluids and do an old school 60k Maintenance on it called and Inspections 2 . There are many threads on maintenance on this and other boards. You should also be aware of the issues with Run Flat Tires also covered on this board and others. Also you will probably want to get some cleaning and leather conditioning products. Maguires is good do not use cheap cleaning products,such as ArmorAll, check the boards for the best stuff .
If you pull a Car fax on the car you probably will see the BMW Service Records in the maintenance section and it will show other things like accident history if any. The free maintenance BMW performed on these cars is generally skimpy by old school standards
I''m wondering on the door lock situation if the drivers side lock affects this. (There is a lockout button) do you have a coupe or sedan If its a sedan an the other doors unlock then its probably a real problem.
Also read the manual as this may be a programming issue you can resolve yourself. It took me about week of reading the manual and going through all the buttons
and knobs before I learned to operate everything on my 06 325xi wagon and its my second BMW.
It's a sedan... yeah, unfortunately I think there is a problem. I've read the manual and messed with the settings and nothing has changed. The remote triggers the lock but doesn't actually unlock/lock it... it seems like something is loose?
 

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might be something simple

You probably will need to have someone look at it.
Could be lot of things it probably won't be that bad .
Fuse , Solenoid or connections.

As for your dime size blemish if you are not afraid of touch up paint you might try a Dr Chip Kit Kit.
White looks like it would be the easiest color to fix. If you mess it up I don''t think the price for a paint
shop will be that different. About the minimum for a body shop to do anything were I am is 500 bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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Congratulations on the car.

Hobby? Hmmm.... my family claims it's more like an obsession.

If the chip were truly small... less than 1/8" in diameter... I'd try it myself. Anything larger than that's going to be a challenge. You can probably do something yourself to make it look less noticeable from a distance of a few feet, but I bet it's going to be really hard to fix a dime sized defect yourself that will pass close inspection.

I'd recommend the oil change kits and other parts and filters from Tischer. I've used them on a number of occasions and I get the items quickly at a fair price.

There are plenty of threads, often with pictures, on how to do several standard maintenance things and modifications yourself. I've followed such advice a few times... it's always worked out great.

There's also the Bentley repair manual out there... pretty pricey, but it's supposed to be great. (I've got one on order.)

Good luck!
 

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Calm down

Read the manual should tell you where. If you have a Volt Ohm meter check the fuses.
If you are in the middle of a blizzard wait till its over to start working on your car unless you have a heated garage . Fuse panel is probably behind the glove compartment or under steering wheel. Also thats the Dr color chip kit . You will probably need one anyway for road chips . You should have your favorite body shop look at it first.
 

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Also if front door and rear door fuse are the same

Also if front door and rear door fuses are the same and you found out there proper locations you could swap the front and rear door fuses to get the front working till you could get another fuse. I would go right into a BMW dealership for a fuse they can't be that bad even there.
 

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Putting the O in O face
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Just read my manual and the fuse box is located behind the glove compartment. You can remove it by twisting the two knobs on either side of it and pulling it out. It says spare fuses and plastic forceps are provided for you. And the fuse assignment is also on there. Can't tell you which one will be for the door locks, you'll just have to look and figure it out.
 

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Putting the O in O face
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I just did some research in my service manual, and it says to talk to your dealership about upgrading to a 6 year 100,000 mile warranty. Don't know if that's still possible since you're not under warranty, but it would be worth a shot.
 

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if you want your car to last beyond 100k

The BMW Service Warranty won't give it enough maintenance it might protect you from catastrophic failure through 100k though.
 
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