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.
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
Sir Hugh of Bognor
I used to be an Egotistical Meglomaniac - but now I'm just perfect!
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.
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.
For direct replies replace nospam with schmetterling
"Pete" < email@example.com> wrote in message
I have a 2006 E90 (330xi), that's the new 6cyl 3.0 255 hp unit (not the dual
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
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?
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.
Easy, stay away from BMW NAV and idrive. Compared to the Japanese version,
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!
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
BL 2200 4sp Manual Poor. Undergeared in top.
Triumph 2.5TC 4sp Man + OD Good. Overdrive nice when touring*.
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
BMW 740i (V8) 5sp switchable auto good, but not quite as good as a
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.
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
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
*When it rains, why don't sheep shrink? *
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
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