Remarkable Tidbits about the BMW 323i
- The BMW 323i is part of the BMW 3 Series. The BMW 3 Series is a compact executive car that has been around since May 1975. This accounts for 30% of the annual total sales of BMW automobiles, making it the best-selling and most successful model.
- The BMW 3 Series, where the BMW 323i belongs, is a successor of the BMW New Class line. If the BMW 3 Series made the BMW brand one of the most recognizable automobile makers worldwide, the New Class was BMW's foundation that made it part of the upper tier performance carmaker.
- BMW has a unique nomenclature that is evident in its models. The 323i for instance meant that the car belongs to the 3 series as signified by the first number. The next two numbers tell how large the engine is; in this case, it's a 2.3 liter engine. The i in the end means that the engine is fuel injected.
- The 323i was one of the first models that came out from the BMW 3 series line-up. In the 1977 Frankfurt Motor Show, the 323i was unveiled to the public's eyes. It was one of the few vehicles that feature disc brakes on all wheels at that time.
- After the 323i was introduced in 1977, it wasn't to be seen again until the 90s because the second generation of the 3 series went for a bigger engine, a 2.5 liter to be exact. Thus, BMW needed to change the name to comply with its nomenclature system and the 325 was born.
- The 323 made a comeback in 1990 as a third generation 3 series model. This is when the 3 series peaked and gained momentum in the market. However, the 323 isn't all that it used to be. For one, it was the first BMW model to break their nomenclature system. Instead of having a 2.3-liter engine the 323 was fitted with a 2.5. This is because BMW has to make way for the 328i line. BMW want the numbers between the models to become far in between so that they could have a distinction.
- The 323i came back to the 3 series line-up only until the fifth generation was introduced. But at this time, the 323i was only available in Canada. In Canada, the 323i took over the 320i. However, the 2.3 liter engine didn't come back ever again because the 323i still had a 2.5 liter engine. The 323i is one of the most affordable BMWs in the market because it is priced the same with the smaller BMW 128i.
Regular Irregularities Found in the BMW 323i
A part of the prestigious 3-series, the 323i once had an apt 2.3 liter, inline-4 engine that cruised its way along the roads with great ease. However, as time passed and things progressed, BMW though that the 323i must have a bigger and more powerful engine. And this is why, the 323i has never been one to pull up various memories. However, it has experienced a renaissance period in the Canadian market. Nowadays, the 323i is still a car to be loved. But love comes also with accepting the bad and the ugly. Here are just some of those bad and ugly things that are related to the BMW 323i.
Although well built and has the BMW seal of reliability, there are some cases where a number of BMW 323i's have experienced engine troubles. The engine overheats as a result of the thermostat failing to read the right temperature. Overheating can cause severe damage to the engine and other important parts. In addition, there have been reports of oil leaks from the engine area that comes out in an average of 100,000 miles. The valve cover gasket usually fails at this time.
There are complaints about a clunk or jolt felt in the steering while braking. This is mainly because of a front control arm problem. The bracket bushings may fail due to wear and tear. Another unsettling problem is with the steering hoses. The 323i is equipped with power steering and there may be times that these hoses will simultaneously fail. This is also reflected by numerous testimonials. A failure in the power steering hoses will cause fluid leaks that will make the 323i hard to maneuver.
The electric issue prevalent in the BMW 323i is the blower final stage fan resistor failure. The symptoms of this case can be observed when the heater fan speed becomes erratic even if it is set in one mode. The fan doesn't turn off even if the car is already parked, or the fan will not switch on at all.
NHTSA began to make recalls of the BMW 323i on April 30, 1999 because of air bag problems. The air bag would accidentally deploy because of improperly sensitive sensors. Along with this accidental deployment, the battery safety terminal would also kick in, even if the car isn't in a crash. This disconnects the starter cable from the battery case. Consequently, the engine would suddenly stop running. To solve this, dealers were ordered to recalibrate the central computer control module that regulates the occupant protection systems.
In another shocking recall, NHTSA found out that the 1999 model might have improperly installed the retaining clip on the brake pedal arm. Therefore, braking won't be possible once the arm and the pushrod disconnects. On May 14, 1999, the dealers made inspections with the installation of this clip and changes were made accordingly.
What kind of gasoline should I use on my BMW323i?
High quality unleaded gasoline should be the only kind of gas used on your BMW 323i. Poor quality gasoline may result in problems with starting, drivability and stalling. Should you encounter these problems, it is recommended that you switch back to using a recognized high-quality brand.
Can I install accessories on my BMW323i?
Yes, as long as they are parts and accessories approved by BMW.
Why is tire rotation important?
Making tire rotation as a regular part of your vehicle maintenance has a lot of benefits. First, it helps to keep the tires from wearing out unevenly. The front tires usually tend to wear out on the outer edges since the front tires lean over when turning a corner. The rear tires wear out evenly on both sides since it only follows the front tires when turning. If you don't rotate the tires, the front ones will wear out much faster than the ones on the rear.
What are the other factors that cause uneven tire wear?
If the tires are not aligned correctly, it can lead to uneven tire wear. Same with unbalanced tires, it also causes uneven wear.
Can I use winter tires?
Actually, it is recommended that you use winter tires during harsh winter conditions. It provides better grip and traction on snowy roads. Just make sure to replace them every time the tread wears to below 0.16 inches. Always comply with the specified tire inflation pressures. Also, be sure to have the tire and wheel assemblies aligned and balanced every after tire change.
Can I use oil additives in my BMW 323i?
Your BMW 323i's engine is designed to operate even without oil additives. There are times that the use of additives can lead to damage in the engine. This also applies to the automatic and manual transmission systems, power steering systems and the differential systems.
Can I use synthetic oil on my BMW 323i?
The engine oil's quality is very important for BMW. In fact it has approved only certain types of motor oils. It is recommended that you use only BMW-approved high performance synthetic oil.
How do I know if the coolant is at the right level?
The coolant level is correct if the end of the red float is aligned with the filler opening's upper edge or higher, which is up to the second mark on the float.
How can I gain higher fuel economy?
There are several factors that can help you gain higher fuel economy. First is making sure that your tires are properly inflated. Tires that are not properly inflated will cause the engine to burn more fuel to be able to make the car move. Same with having excessive loads on your car. The heavier the car, the more energy it requires to move your car, meaning the engine has to burn more fuel. Another one is when you drive aggressively. The faster you drive, the more fuel is burned as well.
Featuring: The BMW 323i
BMW or Bavaria Motor Works stopped assembling aircraft engines in 1918 due to a peace treaty after the First World War. This caused the company to shift their attention to motorcycles in 1923 and consequently to automobiles five years after. Among the long line of cars BMW introduced to the fray, arguably the most successful, at least in sales, is the BMW 3-series. The 3-series accounted for 30% in annual total sales. This beloved model featured a well-known trim in recent years: the BMW 323i.
First Generation (1977)
In the 1977 Frankfurt Motor Show, the world saw the unveiling of the first 323i. The naming system of BMW back then was quite obvious. The first number, 3, stood for the series in which the car belongs. And the 23 describes the engine displacement, 2.3 L. The “I” at the end meant “injected” for fuel injected vehicles. The first 323i had 141hp engine, fairly powerful for a compact executive car at that time.
Second Generation (1998-2000)
It took a full 21 years before BMW decided to bring back the 323i trim back in the fold. However, the 323 variant was pretty much alive, even under peculiar circumstances. For instance, with the knowledge of the BMW nomenclature, a supposed successor of the 325 in 1995 sported a 2.5L engine. Nevertheless, it was sold as a 323 instead. Moreover, it seemed that in the next years there won’t be a true 323. In 1998, the introduction of E46 body produced two extra trims for the 323i, namely the 323is coupe and the 323ic convertible. Both packed 168hp 2.5L inline-six engines. In 1999, a four-door sedan was added to the trim. By the entrance of the new millennium, new beginnings were to be expected out of BMW 323i. However, it was about to be the beginning of the end of this short-lived vehicle. All new variants came about that year: the 323i four-door saloon or station wagon, the 323Ci two-door hatchback, and the 323Ci convertible. The same engine specification from the 1998 engine was brought, albeit a slight horsepower increase to 170hp. By the end of the year, the 323i was replaced by the aptly named 325i with a 2.5L M54B25 engine.
Third Generation (2006-Present, Canada only)
The 323i never existed again in U.S. territory. However, in 2006, it experienced a renaissance movement in Canada. The 323i took over the 320 as the entry-level 3-series in the market. The base price also matched that of the latest 128i, which makes them the most affordable BMW cars available. It still didn’t follow the suit though; having a 2.5L inline-6 producing a better 174hp engine. The following year the 323i broke new ground by gutting 26 more horsepower, for a total of 200. This engine became the standard for the models to come. In order to compete with invigorated models from fellow German counterparts, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, BMW Canada released an all-luxury edition of the 323i. This included A/T transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, electric front seats, Bluetooth-USB capability, and power glass sunroof.