How good IS BMW's 6 cylinder engine?

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I'm thinking of buying a 2006 or 2007 3 series. I was wondering what the consensus is around here about BMW's engines. I had a bad experience with my current car, an Audi 1.8 turbo, and don't want to go
through that again. I've heard good things about BMW's 6 cylinder motors. How do you folks feel? Thanks for your input.
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T snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

BMW 6 cylinder engines are the best engines on the market. Period.
--
-Fred W

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They are great but.............. watch out for the vanos units they can present problems and are expensive to replace. Otherwise - no cam belts all chains and a sweet revving motor. The shorter the stroke the sweeter - 2.0 6 nice as is the 2.3, 2.8, 3.0 and the 3.3 & 3.5 but the last two are old units now.
Almost bullet proof -------------------- but change the oil regularly.
One thing - from past experience they can drop valve seats if overheated and the plastic impeller water pumps can break and try to replace with the iron impeller type.
Hugh Sir Hugh of Bognor
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I used to be an Egotistical Meglomaniac - but now I'm just perfect!

Hugh Gundersen
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snipped-for-privacy@h-gee.co.uk wrote:

Hasn't anything made in the last 10+ years been "vanos"?
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Of course but if buying and the vanos packs up it still expensive to replace that's all I was saying NOT don't buy a vanos.
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Sir Hugh of Bognor

The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.
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The small straight sixes are sweet, and probably the best you will find.
The old large straight sizes were not quite so nice, but extremely robust.
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They're very good engines. Much more bullet-proof than the 1.8T, although with a chip that was a fun engine, too. It just required more meticulous maintenance, proper synthetic oil (somehow nobody bothered to tell the US dealers about this) and proper turbo warmup/cooldown procedures (which many people who never owned a turbo engine did not adhere to).
Every car has its problems though. Like the previous poster mentioned - sudden overheating issues due to a cooling system failure were common on the previous e46 and e39 (and probably a few others). Not sure if BMW finally took care of it with the latest 3 series. It's probably too early to tell.
Pete
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I normally drive another well-known German marque that is not what you have, that has a range of very good engines but even I join the chorus of approval of the BMW 6-cyl motors. Widely recognised as being very good.
DAS
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I have a 2006 E90 (330xi), that's the new 6cyl 3.0 255 hp unit (not the dual turbo).
Very nice, very smooth, very pull-y. On occasion, when the engine is cold, at idle I do notice what sounds like a bit of a clicking, as in valve lifter ticking or light rattle. Once engine warms up with driving (5-10 min), all is quiet. Again, only happens occasionally.
BMW dealer tech rep said this is normal, and is a result of some slight foaming of oil into the hydraulic lifters thus the audible sound, until the air bubbles clear and you get solid oil, and no sound.
I checked the oil and it said "OK", but the orange line showed halfway between the lines. Wonder if this engine truly needs to be kept topped off with oil.
The tech did not seem concerned. I did not notice this the first several months I had the car (got it Sept. 2006).
Anyone else get this with the new E90?
Mike

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The BMW I6 is a sweet motor, and one of the main reason to buy a BMW.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.invalid says...

I think that everyone responding so far was in agreement...BMW makes a great engine. That has always been my impression from what I've read and heard. I am now looking for my next car...a BMW 3 series. Maybe 2006 or 2007 since I can't quite see paying for a brandy new one. Any options I should stay away from, or any I should definitiely get? Once again, I appreciate all responses. Thanks to all.
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wrote:

Easy, stay away from BMW NAV and idrive. Compared to the Japanese version, its garbage!
What you should get: if you're buying new, definitely get the Xenon light option. At about $800, its a bargain. Further, a 5 or 6 speed manual is a must for any enthusiast. Moreover, don't forget the sports suspension. Are limited slip differentials still available? If so, get one!
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What makes you think enthusiastic drivers don't like autos? I am and I do.
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*I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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wrote:

Fair enough. Then you'll probably like the latest auto tranny offered. According to several of the writers in Roundel, its suppose to be the best ever!
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wrote:

"Enthusiast" implies a degree of enthusiasm for the activity and precision control of driving which is well beyond that which can be exhibited with an automatic transmission.
-- Larry
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wrote:

Oh boy, here we go....
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wrote:

The OP was asking about small straight sixes. For the smallest of these the power is reasonable but the torque is not so great. These are usually better off with a manual transmission, since the clutch is small and light, and with an auto lots of oomph would be lost in the torque converter.
Conclusion for a small straight six BMW get the manual and enjoy.
For a larger engine the clutch needs to be bigger, is harder to use, and unless you want to burn it out or break things it is best to wait for the revs to line up before hitting the throttle again. They are quite good on the open road, but hard work in town or traffic. I have had several large engine cars and they stack up like this
1970's
BL 2200 4sp Manual Poor. Undergeared in top. Triumph 2.5TC 4sp Man + OD Good. Overdrive nice when touring*.
1980's
2 off Rover 3500SD1 (V8) 5sp Manual good, but heavy clutch 2 off BMW 735i (i6) 5sp Manual good, but heavy clutch
1990's by mid 90's 7 series with manuals were very rare.
BMW 735i (i6) 4sp Auto adequate (bought on medical advice after two broken ankles).
2000's
BMW 740i (V8) 5sp switchable auto good, but not quite as good as a manual BMW 735i(V8) 5sp 'steptronic' excellent, probably better than a manual
I haven't tried either the 6 speed manual (available in 645i) or 6 speed auto, but I understand both are very good.
Conclusion. Unless you are a driving fanatic (as opposed to an enthusiast) then for recent big engine BMW's auto is best.
* it was possible to overspeed the engine by dropping out of overdrive 3rd at > 100mph - modern autos won't do this.
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And I thought the purpose of a torque convertor was to increase torque at low revs. You live and learn. ;-)
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*The statement below is true.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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London SW

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Whilst this is true the larger cars usually have more sophisticated autos. With a six (or more) speed auto, the TC can be locked out apart from starting off and to cushion changes.

Small cars also tend to have more pleasant to use gearboxes and clutches. The bigger they get generally the more notchy the shift and heavier the clutch.

Interesting that Jaguar for a while only supplied a (very good) TC auto on their XK - but the replacement I was reading about the other day will have a true manual option.
Of course BMW have at last seen sense and will be replacing their clunky SMG transmission with a twin clutch type so my objection to those will hopefully be done with - a smooth shifting auto with the efficiency of a manual.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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