Greetings, and I need some 2002 325i help
Well, might as well introduce myself; I'm a 27-year-old mechanical engineer, who has mostly driven turboed RWD Volvo wagons (4 of them). The first burnt to the ground, the second crashed, the third went to the yard, and the 4th my wife flipped on the highway. So now I drive a 2002 BMW 325i wagon in manual. nearly 300k kms.
I'll keep this short to avoid any "TLDR"; I've got problems:
#1, when going over bumpy roads, the front suspension "chatters" a little. It was safetied about a month ago, and a tierod replaced. at time of purchase, I inspected those rear a-arm bushings that seem to go in the front suspension (apologies for not the correct term), and they checked out. I haven't crawled underneath yet, but I'm suspecting the anti-roll bar. It sounds like the chatter or knocking you'd get from a strut not seated properly.
#2, on warmup, the idle fluctuates. When the car is cold, it's ok. When the car is warm, it's ok. when the car is nearly at operational temperature, the idle fluctuates, sometimes stalling. I've heard about the plastic intake boots cracking, but wouldn't that affect the car all the time, and also throw a code (no engine light on dash)? I don't want to automatically attribute it to this, but it seemed to arise after I siphoned gas from a parts car which makes me question the cleanliness of said gas. however I've gone through 4 tanks since then, so the only possibility would be the injectors. With all the stories of Vanos going, could it be this? I seem to lose oil very slowly. what are the indications of a Vanos needing fresh seals?
#3, at time of sale, the seller said that the previous owner had put in a shorter gear in the diff (or, he attempted to communicate this to me but I had to read between the lines as I don't believe he understood completely). lower gears don't seem unreasonable, but on the highway and in 5th, the car is operating at 3500 rpm at around 110-120km/h. this means I don't need to downshift to pass, but I'm also skeptical of the fuel efficiency. seems like I cruise around 8L/100km which isn't bad, but perhaps this could be better? what are you guys running?
Other than those things; it's a great car. I'm glad I've put the mid-80s and early 90s Volvos aside to join the rest of the population in the new millenium.