> Should I get it serviced at the BMW dealer? Or, can I get it serviced
A tough question because there are advantages to each. I'd suggest if
you need basic mechanical work done, the indy can do the job, but some
electronics troubleshooting and firmware upgrades are best done by the
dealer and their BMW-proprietary diagnostics equipment. The problem for
the owner is knowing when to take it to the dealer. That usually occurs
only after the indy wastes a lot of time and money replacing every part
except the one that's causing the problem.
If you take it to an indy, insist on BMW OE parts. Some of the parts
have their flaws, but there's a lot of crap in the aftermarket and the
OE parts really aren't that expensive for the quality.
> How much should I expect to pay for a full Major service for a '99
I must point out that at 100K the car may need far more than an a
traditional BMW inspection, but here in the US an Inspection I on these
cars is somewhere around $500. An Inspection II is closer to $800. I
don't know the prices exactly because I now do all my own work...I
haven't had the dealer do an inspection in years.
Although my E36 328is is one rev earlier than your car, it shares many
of the same basic technologies as the E46 323. If you want to see one
man's experience in keeping a BMW in good shape, you may find the BMW
section of my site helpful.
Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI