Familiar Follies of the BMW 328i
The famous BMW 3-series debuted more than 30 years ago and has been successful in capturing the hearts of people all over the world. Its impressive list of credentials is highlighted by being BMW's best-selling line up in the United States. It has spawned numerous models to date, including the BMW 328i. The BMW 328i was introduced in 1996. It became the successor of the 325, which was reintroduced as a 323. With a larger and more powerful 2.8 liter inline 6 engine, the 328i dishes out 190hp. Despite its popularity, there have been some unlikely and frequent missteps here and there. These are the things owners or potential owners should look out for in the 328i.
One of the most common problems encountered with the BMW 328i is the failure of its cooling system. Various parts have been verified to fail uncharacteristically at some point in time. One instance that got the most complaints is the lower fan resistor failure. There have been reports of the heater fan being unable to read its speed setting. Another problem like this stems from the fan not able to be turned on and off. The 328i's affected by these are the 1997, 1999 and 2000 models.
In much recent models, vibrations are prevalent due to low Air Conditioning refrigerant. Vibrations start when the AC is switched on and they stop once it is switched off. Technicians have concluded that leaks may have started to appear from AC system. The 2007-2010 models have reportedly had this concern.
In an improbable event, the BMW 328i had been recalled for issues pertaining to safety. The safety gaffe is found within the air bag deployment system and the safety belt tensioner. A connector was improperly installed on the side air bag and belt tension wiring, creating inadequate contact for it to deploy properly. In September 16, 2009, 2,350 recalls began to address the wiring in order to eliminate further risks. It has been one of the most recent high priority recalls in BMW history.
The plastics inside the BMW 328i may experience some morphing. There were some instances of bulging on the dashboard center air vents and the glove box slumps over time.
Interesting Facts about the BMW 328i
The 328i belonged to BMW's 3 Series, which included models that make up 40 percent of the brand's total sales from various countries all over the world. It was part of the series' third generation, sold globally from 1992 to 1998.
The BMW 328i is known to be the standard of all sports sedans when it comes to measurements. But aside from sports cars, the model was also hailed as a benchmark for other popular car models such as the S60, the C-Class, and the Audi A4. It was initially launched as a hybrid of luxury and high-performance cars with the combination of features that are unique in sports cars and touring vehicles.
BMW also went a notch higher on the 328i with its infotainment system by adding a very innovative in-dash LCD that projects a clear image of the playlist that people are usually trying to browse even while driving. This newly feature allows drivers to use some of the 328i entertainment add-ons without taking their eyes off the road.
Aside from a top-rate entertainment feature, the BMW 328i also boasts of more luxury features like a top-view camera, active blind spot monitoring, heated steering wheel and rear seats, collision and lane departure warning, keyless-go, and automatic high beams among others.
The 328i model is known to be among the easiest cars to drive because of its smooth steering and turbo engine. Its overall design is suitable for fast and aggressive driving, which is also one of the reasons why a lot of people are drawn to the model since plenty of consumers are sold to the idea of being able to drive in the fastest way they could nowadays.
Models from BMW's 3 Series are currently being used by professional racers in various competitions such as the SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Touring Car Series and the Grand American Road Racing Association, where drivers have been reaping awards over the last couple of years.
The 3 Series consistently made it to Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 21 consecutive times, from 1992 to 2012. It is the longest running entry on the annual list that ranks various car models based on performance.
Common Problems on the BMW 328i
From the moment it was officially launched in the global market, BMW 328i has continued to draw so much attention from consumers all over the world. It is one of the most popular models in BMW's 3 Series, and was considered as a standard for all compact sports sedans. The 328i also made an impact by being part of the series that gave BMW 40% of its total sales. But despite these accomplishments, the 328i is still susceptible to problems. Here are some of the issues that car owners and interested buyers should take note of:
One of the most common issues that owners of the BMW 328i complain about is oil leaks. This becomes such a hassle for a lot of consumers because it causes a lot of problems on the engine. Also, an oil leak increases the risk of fire incidents, especially when they are driving on a hot summer day. Oil leaks are usually manifested by a burning smell in the car or oil drips on the pavement even while the car is parked.
Constant overheating is also another complain of BMW 328i owners. Quite a few number of 328i owners claim that their cars frequently stall in the middle of the road due to overheating. This causes them to be late on respective appointments such as business meetings and family affairs. People can't seem to understand how the overheating happens because the car is relatively new and the engine is still in good working condition.
Many BMW 328i owners also agree that it is very expensive to maintain the vehicle. Aside from the fact that this particular model is pricey, car owners also end up spending more money whenever there is a need for replacements and repairs on some parts. A lot of 328i owners complain that most of the parts are priced quite high considering that they are looking for items that are compatible with their BMW models. Also, most car detailing services are priced higher when dealing with a BMW car, perhaps because of the car brand's unique construction and demanding needs. Those planning to purchase a BMW 328i anytime soon are advised to prepare themselves well for more spending after a few months or years of using the vehicle.
Practical Tune-up Tips for Your BMW 328i
Since its debut in 1975, the BMW 3 Series has made its mark on car enthusiasts, mechanics and Bimmer owners. It earned praises from industry experts and established car magazines. In fact, the 3 Series was listed 22 times as one of the "Ten Best Cars" of Car and Driver. BMW will always be synonymous to durability and superior driving comfort. If you happen to own a 328i, then, this guide is for you. Microcomputers may be powering our Bimmers but a proper tune-up is still important. Follow these practical tips to keep your 328i at the top of its performance.
Filters are responsible for keeping out contaminants which can damage essential car components. BMW owners must check their sedan's filters regularly. Oil filters, for example, need replacement every 3,000 miles. A worn-out oil filter can't filter solid contaminants that can cause premature engine wear. Breather filters are responsible for siphoning moisture and blow-by gases created the engine's combustion. Ideally, it should be replaced every 30,000 miles but replacing the breather filter annually is recommended. Sedans with automatic transmission need their transmission filters checked. Clogged filters can cause engagement problems and transmission slippage. Replacing them every 12,000 miles helps ensure the longevity of the car's transmission.
The BMW 328i's exterior body is a design marvel. It is your responsibility to keep it clean and make it shine. Avoid using household detergents when cleaning your car. Their chemical components might damage the sedan's paint, glass and even the body panels. Use car shampoo instead. Water spotting can also be a problem for most car owners. This is due to the lime scale residue left while washing under bright sunlight. Move your car to the shade and rinse it carefully to avoid water spots. Cover the darker panels of your 328i with masking tape to avoid leaving smudge marks while waxing it. Take time to clean your sedan to remove road salt, bird droppings or tree sap. This will help preserve your sedan's exterior paintwork.
- Don't forget to check under the hood.
The engine is the sedan's power plant. It also needs attention. Preventive maintenance is the best way to keep the car running smoothly. Only use the specified engine oil when doing an oil change. Avoid using cheaper alternatives. Since your car's brake fluid absorbs moisture, it should be replaced every two years. This is to ensure that your brake system is functioning properly. Hoses such as vacuum hoses also need thorough inspection. Worn-out hoses may result in "check engine" errors and other engine-related problems. When in doubt, have a BMW-certified specialist inspect the 328's engine for you.
- Give those windscreen wipers a little "TLC".
Without windscreen wipers, how can you drive through torrential rain or heavy snow? Most drivers are guilty of ignoring their sedan's wiper blades. These wipers also need a little "tender loving care" or TLC. Check them for any signs of wear or cracks on its rubber components. Clean the wiper blades with water and car shampoo. If you see any signs of damage, have these wiper blades replaced annually for optimum performance.
Following these tips and doing them on a routine basis can definitely extend the life of your BMW 328i. Simple maintenance can go a long, long way.
BMW 328i: A Car with a Lot of Magic
Not all automakers can bring a car to the world along with magic infused with it. When BMW released the 3 Series in 1975, the company never expected that the model would become its best-selling unit across the globe. The release was such a magical experience not only because the model was able to touch trends, but also because of the innate beauty and sophistication of the car. Until today, the cars are still running through the assembly lines ready to capture the public with its sedan artwork.
1975 – 1981: First generation (debuting with a fuel-efficient car)
The first-generation models were tailored with the body style of a two-door sedan. In these models, BMW introduced a new cockpit design in which the center console angled toward the driver. Safety also became paramount; all edges in the interiors of the units were padded and rounded off. The first releases run with a four-cylinder engine and were available in three fuel capacities: 1.6 liters, 1.8 liters, and 2 liters. Successive changes to the fuel and engine followed, but the more important one was the upgrade in the braking system in which disc brakes were installed on the four wheels.
1982 – 1989: Second generation (focusing on performance)
In this period, the models were available in a sedan and convertible form. Also, drive could be on the front, rear, or all wheels. BMW focused on performance rather than economy, the reason why engine displacement was reduced as well as torque and horsepower. However, the revolution per minute was increased by 1,500 from the previous 5,000. The standard features included were a roof-liner, electrics package, and Basketweave wheels, while options were sports seats, a sunroof, and a leather interior.
1990 – 1998: Third generation (making a bigger, rounder 3 Series car)
These models used the Z-axle multi-link suspension for better drivability and the VANOS variable valve timing technology for better power. Front- and rear-wheel drives were available with a five-speed manual transmission. From the outside, the body looked rounder and bigger, which was due to the several active safety features installed into the cars. The weight distribution was equal and the engine was moved a little rearward. The standard features included the anti-lock braking system, driver airbags, child safety lacks on rear doors, side-impact door beams, electric windows, power steering, alloy wheels, halogen lights, and fog lamps. Some of the luxurious specifications could be had as optional additions or depending on the model.
1999 – 2004: Fourth generation (introducing a manual-automatic transmission)
In this generation, the manumatic transmission was introduced. The cars had inline-six engines with either a 2.5-L or 2.8-L engine displacement. The major facelifts included a stiffer chassis, new bumpers, and restyled headlights as well as new exterior colors, LED tail lights, and side-marker lights. However, some standard features in the previous generations were untouched, including the M-styled bumpers, mirrors, spoiler, seats, and instrument cluster.
2005 – 2011: Fifth generation (altering crucial components)
This generation included major alterations to the important components of the car, including the suspension, engine, transmission, and passenger compartment. On top of these changes, there were new technologies, features, and options offered. There were twelve engine options available, but the most notable one was the aspirated inline-six engine that was 15 percent more fuel economic and produced a more powerful yet lighter motor. The main features included HID adaptive headlamps, Active Steering, Active Cruise Control, and Comfort Access.
2012 – present: Sixth generation (beefing up on safety features)
Like in the previous generations, several body styles were offered in the new models. Naturally, some latest technologies helped beef up the cars, including a night vision, a lane departure warning system, a radar-based adaptive cruise control, a collision-mitigating automatic braking, and a system that could prevent the driver from dozing off. Power was still maintained with the aluminum four-cylinder engines that could yield 135- to 245 horsepower.