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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. I love this forum. I've been driving a '07 e92 335i for 6 months and I'm in love with it. I am a college student. I am on a budget, I will take the car to a mechanic for the first time. I got a pre-purchase inspection done before I bought the car and these are the issues I have:

  1. Engine block coolant line to thermostat is swollen
  2. Upper radiator hose is swollen
  3. Left front strut is leaking
  4. Front brake complete near sensor (I have no idea what this means)
  5. Oil pan gasket is leaking
  6. Splash shield missing
I'm looking to get these issues fixed. Which one of these issues do you think is a must fix ? I definitely want to get my oil pan gasket replaced but I heard it takes a long time to reach that component in the engine. What would be a reasonable labor cost to replace that? I refill my oil every other week, it is leaking like crazy.

Do I have to get a splash shield? They are so expensive.
 

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Certifiable BMW Whackjob!
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The cooling system is extremely crucial with an all aluminum engine, one quick overheat and you'll be looking for a used engine to get swapped in. Get a second opinion on the cooling hoses and consider these a high priority if they are even questionable.

How much oil are you putting in every other week? Are you sure it is coming from the pan? Other possibilities would be VCG, OFHG or just burning it. An indie mechanic will be cheaper but the dealership will be about $1300 for the oil pan gasket and it will probably start leaking again within 2 years (just enough to dirty the bottom of the car, not a real problem). The issue is they have to drop the front subframe. And on that note, although you are on a budget, this is an excellent time to change the water pump and thermostat due to their position (now how old they are?).

So where is Binghamton? If you are just driving on smooth paved roads in mostly dry weather I'd say don't worry about the splash shield, but if you get lots of snow or rain put it in your budget.

Not sure about the wording on the brakes, but obviously the car won't stop if you let them wear too far. If you have a place to work this is a beginners job and can save you a fair amount of money by DIY.

If there isn't any noticeable road handling issue and you don't do a lot of freeway driving put the shocks at the bottom of the list.

Sent from the future using the app downloaded to my neural implant.
 

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Breaking in the Pony
2019 Mustang GT / 2005 Toyota Tacoma
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If the hoses are truly starting to swell (I'll second the opinion to get a second opinion), change them soon. The time between the yellow "you should slow down and let the engine cool" over-temperature warning, the red "stop now!" over-temperature warning, and "too late, you've killed it" can be quite short in a 335. If you ever see the red thermometer-in-water pop up, stop as soon as you can if it is safe to do so.

If you're changing the hose to the thermostat, that's a large labor charge. In fact, it's about the same labor charge as to change the thermostat (and water pump). If you do that hose, and if the car is on the original pump / thermostat, you should consider changing them as well. Yes, it's hard to know if they're the originals if you're the 2nd/3rd/4th owner, but paying the labor to swap the hose now and then paying about the same 6 months from now to do one of the other items is just a killer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The cooling system is extremely crucial with an all aluminum engine, one quick overheat and you'll be looking for a used engine to get swapped in. Get a second opinion on the cooling hoses and consider these a high priority if they are even questionable.

How much oil are you putting in every other week? Are you sure it is coming from the pan? Other possibilities would be VCG, OFHG or just burning it. An indie mechanic will be cheaper but the dealership will be about $1300 for the oil pan gasket and it will probably start leaking again within 2 years (just enough to dirty the bottom of the car, not a real problem). The issue is they have to drop the front subframe. And on that note, although you are on a budget, this is an excellent time to change the water pump and thermostat due to their position (now how old they are?).

So where is Binghamton? If you are just driving on smooth paved roads in mostly dry weather I'd say don't worry about the splash shield, but if you get lots of snow or rain put it in your budget.

Not sure about the wording on the brakes, but obviously the car won't stop if you let them wear too far. If you have a place to work this is a beginners job and can save you a fair amount of money by DIY.

If there isn't any noticeable road handling issue and you don't do a lot of freeway driving put the shocks at the bottom of the list.

Sent from the future using the app downloaded to my neural implant.
Thank you so much for your response. Every other week I fill 1qt. It goes from max to min level in like 10 days. My car is definitely burning oil especially just after I start driving. I can see the oil burn in my rearview mirror. Pre purchase inspection told me it is a oil pan gasket leak. Is it a different thing if the car is burning oil?
 

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Breaking in the Pony
2019 Mustang GT / 2005 Toyota Tacoma
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Thank you so much for your response. Every other week I fill 1qt. It goes from max to min level in like 10 days. My car is definitely burning oil especially just after I start driving. I can see the oil burn in my rearview mirror. Pre purchase inspection told me it is a oil pan gasket leak. Is it a different thing if the car is burning oil?
Very different. An oil pan gasket leak leaves oil on the ground under your car when parked. Blue smoke out of the exhaust means you are burning oil, with a variety of possible causes. Blue smoke from under the hood is likely a leaking valve cover gasket.
 

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Lost but making good time
'11 335xi; '03 330Ci
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I am a college student. I am on a budget....
Do I have to get a splash shield? They are so expensive.
I hate to be a wet blanket but based on these remarks you should hear this, even if you choose to ignore it: Give serious thought to getting out of this car and replacing it with something less expensive in better condition.

$260 for an underbody shield is not "expensive" as BMW parts go. Let's review some of the rest of your list.
  1. Engine-to-thermostat hose - As stated, labor-intensive (=$$) to replace; penny-wise but pound-foolish to not replace additional, failure-prone components "while you're in there" (=$$$). Electric water pump + thermostat + ancillary parts = $450, minimum. Plus the hose you're after in the first place. Plus the aforementioned labor.
  2. Upper radiator hose - Inexpensive; reasonable to tackle yourself.
  3. Left front strut - As stated, can be ignored for a while but probably not as long as you'd like. Figure $300-$500 because struts should be replaced in pairs. Plus, may need to budget for a suspension alignment afterward (another $150-$200, when done right).
  4. Front brakes - Inexpensive and a good learning experience, if you already have tools or can borrow them. Otherwise....
I hope you're getting the picture. To set this car right, where you can drive it day-in/day-out without a care for any deferred maintenance, will set you back at least $1,500-$2,500. That assumes you can do some work yourself (or with friends) and have enough experience/skill to not screw up, incurring further expense to set things right. It further assumes your heavy oil consumption is due to leakage, not combustion--if it's internal, kiss your disposable income goodbye. :(

Honestly, as a college student on a budget, you should have done some homework after that PPI and passed on this particular car. Maybe everything works out and you end up with a reliable car that you love. Remember though, this is an 11-year-old vehicle (what's the mileage?) that cost over $45,000 when new. Things will continue to need attention and repairs will not often be cheap. "Quit while you're ahead" is an option not to be ignored.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I hate to be a wet blanket but based on these remarks you should hear this, even if you choose to ignore it: Give serious thought to getting out of this car and replacing it with something less expensive in better condition.

$260 for an underbody shield is not "expensive" as BMW parts go. Let's review some of the rest of your list.
  1. Engine-to-thermostat hose - As stated, labor-intensive (=$$) to replace; penny-wise but pound-foolish to not replace additional, failure-prone components "while you're in there" (=$$$). Electric water pump + thermostat + ancillary parts = $450, minimum. Plus the hose you're after in the first place. Plus the aforementioned labor.
  2. Upper radiator hose - Inexpensive; reasonable to tackle yourself.
  3. Left front strut - As stated, can be ignored for a while but probably not as long as you'd like. Figure $300-$500 because struts should be replaced in pairs. Plus, may need to budget for a suspension alignment afterward (another $150-$200, when done right).
  4. Front brakes - Inexpensive and a good learning experience, if you already have tools or can borrow them. Otherwise....
I hope you're getting the picture. To set this car right, where you can drive it day-in/day-out without a care for any deferred mainteance, will set you back at least $1,500-$2,500. That assumes you can do some work yourself (or with friends) and have enough experience/skill to not screw up, incurring further expense to set things right. It further assumes your heavy oil consumption is due to leakage, not combustion--if it's internal, kiss your disposable income goodbye. :(

Honestly, as a college student on a budget, you should have done some homework after that PPI and passed on this car. Maybe everything works out and you end up with a reliable car that you love. Remember though, this is an 11-year-old vehicle (what's the mileage?) that cost over $45,000 when new. Things will continue to need attention and repairs will not often be cheap. "Quit while you're ahead" is an option not to be ignored.
I appreciate your thoughts. It made me realize I need to take of the car more. But this car is my baby and I'm not thinking of selling it soon. It has 110k miles on it. Was 103k miles with 1 owner when I bought it and I'm really happy with my purchase actually because it was really hard to find a car with good maintenance records. I will take the car to maintenance for the first time and I have 700 dollars to spend. I am trying to spend around $150 in visual mods and the rest to the mechanic to fix its problems.

I did not have an issue with the car other than the oil leak and:
-When I'm over around 60 miles, and I'm trying to keep a steady speed, the car does this every 2 seconds:
It kind of increases power and pulls it back. It is like the car wants me to accelerate more. This also happens when I put it on cruise control. When the car is speeding up to keep up with the cruise speed, there is no problem. But when the car is trying to keep a steady speed, it kinda feels like the rev increases and decreases back again after a second​

Do you think this issue is also something important and I need to take care of that too? or can that be something really dangerous? or can this and the thermostat hoses somehow related and cause a major failure? I am just trying to find out as much info as I can before I go to the mechanic so they dont overcharge me. I am going to buy all the parts myself, how should I tell this to the mechanic to have a better deal?
 

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This person has been fishing on the forums for months (since September as far as I can tell) about which car to buy, what problems they can expect with a used BMW and various other things...every single instance of them asking ended up having someone telling them that they would be MUCH better off NOT buying a used BMW. And...yet they did, and now have no money to repair it. This will be yet another poor Bimmer setting by the side of the road because they didn't listen to reason. GAH!
 

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Lost but making good time
'11 335xi; '03 330Ci
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I will take the car to maintenance for the first time and I have 700 dollars to spend. I am trying to spend around $150 in visual mods and the rest to the mechanic to fix its problems.
Forget the accessories. Your budget is tight just to set the car straight, assuming no surprises.

Expect surprises. Good luck to you.
 

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Breaking in the Pony
2019 Mustang GT / 2005 Toyota Tacoma
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It kind of increases power and pulls it back. It is like the car wants me to accelerate more. This also happens when I put it on cruise control. When the car is speeding up to keep up with the cruise speed, there is no problem. But when the car is trying to keep a steady speed, it kinda feels like the rev increases and decreases back again after a second.

Do you think this issue is also something important and I need to take care of that too? or can that be something really dangerous?
Could be a bunch of things, some safety related, some not.

You have a 10-year-old N54 with 100k miles on it. Looking through the repair records you seem to have, have the intake valves ever been cleaned (walnut blasted)? I had a surge / stammer issue with mine before I had that done.


or can this and the thermostat hoses somehow related and cause a major failure?
Unlikely that they are related.


I am going to buy all the parts myself, how should I tell this to the mechanic to have a better deal?
So, sort of like walking into a nice restaurant with a raw ribeye and asking them to cook it for you.

From my experience, if you're using a good mechanic, you need a long-term relationship with him for him to let you do this.



EDIT: Per your post in another thread, you stated you have used 13 quarts of oil in 7000 miles of driving. I'd put that issue fairly high on the list as well.
 

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$700 is not going to be nearly enough to turn this into a reliable daily driver. I don't even think $700 would be enough if you were BMW master-mechanic trained with access to a 335i-only Pick-A-Part wrecking yard lol.

Zeichen311 recommended you look to sell it, and get something else. I highly recommend you listen - wait until you have enough disposable income to afford repairs and maintenance on an old BMW, or buy one new. In the meantime a used Accord V6 Coupe is an excellent choice for looks, performance and reliability.
 
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