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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, everyone. I just bought a 2003 325Cic (ah, finally got my convertible!). I bought it from a specialty cars dealership rather than a BMW dealer. I know, I know. I took it in to the BMW dealership yesterday morning to find out why that little red light under the rear view mirror, which my son who owns a 2006 325i told me is the indicator for the alarm working, doesn't flash. Also, I wanted to find out where the audio auxilliary plug is on my car, which the place I bought it from told me I also had, in addition to being pre-wired for a cell phone, etc.

Long story short, I was told not only do I not have the alarm, but I am not wired for it. And this little grey antenna at the top of the inside of my windshield he told me is for a remote starter. All the people I've spoken with, including Internet research, tell me this assistant service manager is wrong. I was told the antenna is for a pre-wired car phone, which someone must have had or ordered as part of the car's packages when originally purchased, and the alarms were standard in the 2003. I've also read online that sometimes in order to get the alarm working, you need to have the key programmed.

I would welcome greatly any input on these subjects. I'm lost. I don't want to pay someone for installing an alarm if I already have one (they'd be laughing as they took my money, if they were dishonest) and I do not want to deal with this BMW dealership is one of their "asst. mgrs." has no clue what he's talking about.

Thank you very much for any info you can offer.

Lori :dunno:
 

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D'oh, You Kids!
1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
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Try posting that in the E46 forum. That's what ya got. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why do you think I belong in E46? I looked for my year when I went to post and that is why I posted here. It's a 2003, so why don't I belong in this area?

Regardless, the bottom line, I've found out that I have to install a deck that had the ability for me to plug in or live with the mediocre quality that an FM transmitter gives. I did find out that if you choose one that plugs in at the earpiece input rather than connecting underneath, like where you'd plug in to charge the phone, it will give the ability to go through the speakers. Any one that connects from the charging input won't work that way. I just can't seem to find a transmitter that isn't tempermental. I am very unhappy with the radio that came in this car anyway, so I'll probably end up changing it.

Thanks.
 

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D'oh, You Kids!
1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
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Why do you think I belong in E46? I looked for my year when I went to post and that is why I posted here. It's a 2003, so why don't I belong in this area?
This is why:

E36 (1991 - 1999)
E46 (1999 - 2006)

This is the E36 forum.

Glad you figured out your problem, anyway. Very common for us Bimmer owners to upgrade radios/systems. Most of the OEM units are :thumbdwn:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is why:

E36 (1991 - 1999)
E46 (1999 - 2006)

This is the E36 forum.

Glad you figured out your problem, anyway. Very common for us Bimmer owners to upgrade radios/systems. Most of the OEM units are :thumbdwn:
I was told when I bought this vehicle that the system was upgraded to a Harman Kardon stereo system and the door panels have a little chrome plate over the speakers with the name on it, but the stereo is horrible. I'm so disappointed. My Infiniti had a Bose system which was really great. There are a lot of trade downs, I'm finding, about this car. Maybe the newer ones are more appealing. I know once the summer weather gets here, I'll be happy I made this trade-in since it is a convertible. But so far..:confused:

Meanwhile, thank you for the heads up on the wrong area to post in. Next issue I have, I will post in the E46. I don't really get what those numbers are, but I did find out my son's 2006 is an E90, I believe, unless I'm wrong on that, too (LOL). Wouldn't be the first or the last time, I'm sure.

Thanks for the input.
 

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I Am The Machine
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:rofl:

Hey Starmate, we're not trying to be dicks, it's just that each generation is obviously different and we're trying to get you to the right place that can help you the most. Also, be sure to look through the Wiki in the E46 section. Lots of good info, your problems may already be solved.

Yes, your son's 06 3 is an E9x (E90 is sedan, E91 touring, E92 convertible, E93 coupe (might have 92/93 reversed...iono, don't care). Yours is definitely an E46. The codes are just internal project numbers assigned to the chassis in development. Every BMW has them. Tells you a lot about the car just from that designation. They start with E and now F. Just like engine codes are primarily M and N. They don't follow any pattern, just roughly follow chronological order of when the project started, which makes it hard for non-Bimmerphiles to remember what is what.

BMW stereos are horrible. That's life. Even the $1800+ DSP option on 5/7 models. They're a total joke, and we've learned to accept that. It's about the drive, just turn the stereo off and let the engine be your music!
 

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Can I Scream?
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With every new chassis platform comes a slew of problems that may or may not be similar to the previous platform. E46's have a ton of problems that the E36's may not have, and vice versa (obviously).

Butttt, across every platform, I've found anything electronic or plastic in BMW's just sucks. Horribly. It's horrendous. It will break, explode, and just be an overall headache. Then you ask yourself why you drive one, and how crazy you are to be dumping money in it. Then you shrug and take it on the road, and it allll comes back to you.

My 318 has so many little problematic nuances it makes me near suicidal. But I will be damned it it doesn't drive better than most brand new cars.

I remember I took a road trip to Phoenix, and since I didn't want to put the miles on the 318 my friend and I just snagged the cheapest rental we could find. 2008 Chevy Cobalt (LOLLLLLLLLLL!!!) This thing was seriously the biggest POS I have ever seen, and liked to drift off the road when going over 60 mph. We tried to return it to Enterprise and said it drove funny, and instead of taking our word for it and switching us out, their absolutely ridiculous desk people have to "test drive" it and see if they can locate a problem. They take it for a 5 minute spin, come back, "nothing's wrong, this car's great!" And then "well, it did this on the highway more..." so they do that, come back, "this car's great!" Even after we got rear-ended by this stupid b**** in a Pontiac they wouldn't switch it out because there was "barely any visible damage." WTF?! My retort was always, "look, my 14 year old car drives a million times better than this thing, explain that."

Sorry for my rant, but these cars are amazing, they just like to send you to the poor house often ;)
 

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D'oh, You Kids!
1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
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these cars are amazing, they just like to send you to the poor house often ;)
+1...and we go willingly! It's worth the trouble and expense.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you to all who posted. I read each and every post and appreciate your feedback.

My take on it all? Maybe I shouldn't have bought a BMW. Sorry, but there is more to a car, at least IMHO, than a great ride. Yes, top priority is a well built car that drives well, but the little extras I used to have, in addition, made it worth keeping for as long as I did. I do like the ride, but so far I'm not finding the splendor, so to speak, that everyone is raving about with BMWs. I know, I'm getting booed right now - I can hear it. But I've owned many a car, including my last Infiniti that I never had one day's problem with in seven years, that not only drives great, hugs the road, is mechanically efficient or above, but that has all those extras that don't break, crack or explode, including an insane stereo which is a top priority for me since I'm a music fanatic, and think it should have come with a car that originally cost $45!

I find it offensive that the manufacturer of this car thinks the lack of standard equipment excluded that can only come in packages that you CAN have IF you pay extra for, such as an all important alarm, is acceptible just because the car drives great. In this day and age, I expect more than just a car that holds the road and is well built. Man, I hope when the weather gets nicer here on Long Island and the convertible is down, I change my mind. Otherwise, I may seriously reconsider holding onto this for my usual length of time. In all my years of driving (about 35), I never bought a car and felt unsure as to if I traded up. This time, I question it.
 

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I Am The Machine
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That's why there are many other brands. People have different priorities. It's why I have a Jag right now instead of my beloved Bimmers. :dunno: Most of us are here cuz we love our BMWs for how they drive. That's why I loved my BMWs. Hell, the E36 interior, for example, is total sh*t. I hated that. But it cornered on rails and had great feedback.

No automaker has an acceptable stereo system, IMO. Either live with sub-par sound from any car, or change out for much more high quality goods. BMW's is worse than most, but still, all the other brands are pretty iffy.

Infiniti's lack character and precision, IMO. They look good, and the interiors on the newer ones are pretty decent, but overall they're a little bland. Ultimately, it's in the eye of the beholder. If you're not happy with it, don't let a bunch of us on the internet tell you what to do. But I can definitely tell you if you haven't owned a convertible in a while you'll love that. I recommend you get the little wind screen that attaches behind your seats to cut down on buffeting. And, look into some events with your local BMW CCA for auto-crossing and such. It's a cheap way to have thrills and your BMW will really shine.

Yeah, BMW does nickel and dime you, it's something I've never understood. They've got the cache to get away with it, I guess, so they do.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I guess this is what makes the world go round. I didn't find the Inifniti bland at all. It was two tone leather interior and beautiful wood grain. It drove like a dream and never had any problems with it for seven full years. No flying around curves and hugging the road, granted, but a smooth and very comfortable ride, I must say. And the Bose stereo was amazingly good for a dealer installed stereo. Of course after markets are going to be much better, but I didn't have the need to do something about it (and the radio stations actually held their channel). I just found out something about the DICE Silverline that I want to look into. Don't know if it will work for me, but gonna check it out.

I don't know what CCA is. Maybe you can fill me in? Also, what is buffeting? That's another new word for me. Sorry, guess I'm a real newbie when it comes to BMWs and convertibles alike! Who knows, maybe after I learn a lot of new things here, I will be able to customize this car and make it something I won't want to part with.

Thanks again for your kind input.

Lori
 

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I Am The Machine
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LOL, Mona do you even read the links before you post them? :rofl:

Buffeting is basically the wind turbulence in the cabin. It swirls around in the cabin and makes noise and messes up your hair and such. That little screen when you're driving with the top down will help create a little pocket of air in the cabin that the outside air pretty much flows over, making it more peaceful and quiet when you're driving with the top down.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Whoopsie! I pasted the wrong link. :brent:

Fixed! ;)
I didn't think it was the wrong link, was it? It took me to a BMW Car Club site. I don't know if I belong there at this point but...thank you for the link, Mona. Is Mona you or the kitty? Cute cat, kind of looks like my Buster.

And, Chad, I love that idea about the screen. Where would you get it and is it something I can install or has to be installed by the dealer? We're pretty handy around here and do a lot of thing ourselves, car related and otherwise. So if it's not crazy where I'll end up ruining my car, I could probably take it on.

Thanks, guys, for the replies. This is a really nice site, I must say. I really appreciate the help I've received.

Now, does anyone know anything about the DICE Silverline??? :eeps: Sorry, but I had to go there. That's what started this whole thread.

Lori
 

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I Am The Machine
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No, she had another link up about buffeting on a motorcycle....:rofl:
She took that one down. The CCA is right. And it's a great organization. Also, for $40 a year to join, you get discounts (usu. 10-15%) at BMW dealers and some shops for being a member, so it could save you money. It may not, but it could.

I'm not too familiar with details on the screen, but I believe BMW sells an OEM one that's probably overpriced, and I'm sure other companies do to. This is a good question for the E46 section. Check the Wiki there to see if it's been mentioned or try searching, then feel free to ask away. You can easily install it, it probably just clamps on to the headrests, but I'm not totally sure. They're designed to be taken on and off, though. Not sure about the Dice, but Dice is generally known to be a good product I think. Again, E46 section for that.

Good luck with whatever you choose, Lori.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ah, I must have missed that wrong link in Mona's prior post. I figured the CCA on was correct.

Thank you for the info on the screen, too. Will look into that and see what I can find out. Sounds very much worth it.

Have a great day,
Lori
 
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