What is the sound of one piston slapping?
What is the sound of one piston slapping?

It’s been about a month since I picked up my 1 owner, low mileage, close to my apartment BMW 325i, and so far, I’m a huge fan of it. Here’s a picture to catch your attention. I need to take some interior photos. (NO WARNING LIGHTS ON THE DASH WHOOOO)

Illustration for article titled Everything Wrong With My 2002 BMW 325i (And maybe you can help!)
Illustration for article titled Everything Wrong With My 2002 BMW 325i (And maybe you can help!)

Right after buying it, I immediately had an oil change done at a local indie shop, because the P/O only drove about 8k miles in the last 8-9 years.This number is backed up both CarFax, and the METICULOUS service records that he kept. I have all but 2 records that show up on the CarFax - one is for the Takata airbag recall, one is for a water pump & thermostat replacement.


I emailed both of these dealerships to see if I could get the records emailed to me, but got no reply (If anyone works at BMW & would be willing to email these so my records are complete, that’d be amazing).

I Screenshotted the service records that I put into a G-Doc, if you’re interested:


Jerry (we’ve named him) sits at just over 80k miles.

So, on to what’s wrong with it:

Honestly, not much.

  1. The number 1 thing that I want to figure out, is a rumbling between 55-65, that I can feel in my seat.
    I had 2 rear wheels repaired after buying the car that had bends in them. The rumbling (it doesn’t realllly feel like a vibration, but must be somewhat) seems to be most apparent when lifting off the throttle at about 60MPH. Below 52 or so, it drops out completely. Since the wheels have been repaired & balanced already, I don’t think it’s them. My guesses are:
    Center driveline support bearing (and/ or Guibo flex disc)
    Bad tires (The tires do need to be replaced soon - they have almost no wear, but are 8 years old)
    Bad bushing somewhere - maybe rear diff?
    Front wheels need balancing? - there’s not much vibration through the steering, but possible.
    I’d love some input on this one. It got better after the rear wheels were repaired, but I don’t think it’s coming from them.
  2. The P/O claims that the A/C needs a recharge, or has a leak.
    This one, i’ve been unable to verify - it might be fine. When pressing the A/C button, the compressor kicks in, and I can see it visually clutch in and spin. It’s been too cold to use the bottle of ACPRO that I bought, and frankly, too damn cold here in NYC to even notice the AC not working. The heat works like a charm, and he had the blower motor replaced once.
  3. Driver’s door weather seal needs to be replaced. Add image credit, source, and caption (see photo at the bottom - Kinja wouldn’t let me put this in a list..)
    I don’t know how this one happened. The rubber’s in great shape, but I can hear some air leaking through. It’s pretty tight in the rain, but if I pour water right onto that spot, some gets in can this be repaired instead of needing a new part?
  4. The drivers & passenger’s door window regulators definitely need to be replaced soon.
    They pop & crack, so I sprayed some silicone grease in the tracks to help. This is a temp fix and I know I’ll need to do this one. I can probably do it myself.
  5. The windshield cowl needs to be replaced
    Just some worn rubber. Easy fix that I’ll get to when it’s not 4 degrees in NYC.
  6. I should probably change the transmission fluid
    Again, not a super pertinent repair - BMW said these were “lifetime fluid” transmissions, but I don’t believe that. When it gets warmer out I’ll have it done.
  7. I need new screws for the radio
    They repaired the business radio volume knob once before I did and obviously lost the screws that hold it in. It’s pressure fit in right now, and I just need to find the part number on these 2 basic screws, and find somewhere that’ll ship them to me.
  8. I’m not sure what this wire goes to... (Photo below again...)
    If you know, pls help. It seems to run along the same line as either the fog light, headlight, or headlight washer. All three of these things still work, so I have no idea...
  9. Passenger fender liner should probably be replace
    This one was my fault. I nicked a curb with the bumper.
  10. As previously stated, new tires will be needed fairly soon
    There’s very little wear, but they’re 8 year old rubber.

Photo of the driver’s door seal:

Illustration for article titled Everything Wrong With My 2002 BMW 325i (And maybe you can help!)

Photo of mystery wire - this APPARENTLY is the thermoswitch that activates the heated washer nozzles (the car has the cold weather package). So I guess I’ll have to get a new lower splash shield & sensor + connector Not sure how to figure out which wire goes to which side tho.

Illustration for article titled Everything Wrong With My 2002 BMW 325i (And maybe you can help!)
Illustration for article titled Everything Wrong With My 2002 BMW 325i (And maybe you can help!)

Other than that, the engine is smooth as can be, the transmission shifts like a dream and it’s overall a great car. The insurance is lower than my 2004 Civic was, somehow, and I enjoy the car like crazy. I’d love any input you’ve got to fix any of these problems, if you’ve got a few minutes <3 Love ya Oppo.

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