iXchange Issue #14

March 1997

A newsletter for BMW 325 iX Enthusiasts.


Members' iXperiences


Please! Please! Check your transfer case ATF level regularly. I've heard of too many instances of transfer case replacement due to lack of fluid !!

Members' iXperiences

ABS Light: Tim Supler of Charlottesville, VA, says:
I had been having a terrible time getting a ABS problem fixed. The ABS light would come on periodically without any real rhyme or reason. When the light was on the ABS wasn't working, though if you shut the car off and restarted the ABS would work again until it had the same problem. My mechanic had a heck of a time diagnosing the problem. It was a hit or miss over several months, first he replaced the main ABS control unit, no good. Next he replaced the hydraulic unit, no good. Luckily for me we did this with used parts and he didn't charge me since it didn't fix the problem. Rather nice I thought since at a lot of shops you can't return electrical stuff.

Anyway to make a long tedious story short it turns out to be the left front ABS sensor was damaged and low and behold I had had the left front wheel bearing replaced right before all the problems started. The sensor was all dinged up, apparently to replace a wheel bearing you have to really just pound it in. I had gone back to the dealership who had replaced the wheel bearing at the start of all this and they said there was no problem that they had caused. The long costly lesson: don't trust this particular dealership.

Antenna Cleaning - James.Ferguson from Calgary, Alberta, Canada provides this tip: While inquiring into how to keep my retractable antenna clean I found out that the antenna mast is removable. Simply unscrew the 13 mm threaded connector at the bottom of the mast while the antenna is up. With the connector free, lower the antenna part-way and then raise it again. Be on hand to grab it and pull the nylon strap free of the motor. Once the mast has been removed it may be thoroughly cleaned using a solvent. I find that applying a liberal amount of grease and then rubbing it off with a cloth works best for keeping the antenna working. With moderate use I have to clean it every 6 months. To reconnect the mast to the motor, turn the radio off and feed the nylon strap in with the teeth pointing across the trunk.

Auxiliary Transmission Replacement by: Martina Culik Moore of Nottingham, PA

My husband, Jerry, has been a member of BMW CCA for many years. Just after we got married and began living in his house in the countryside of southeastern Pennsylvania, he suggested that I look for an iX for the winter months.

After calling as far away as Illinois and as luck would have it, I found an ''89 iX 4 door automatic transmission about 10 miles away. The car appeared to be in pristine condition with just about 58,300 miles on it. Since the owner had all the service records from the date of purchase, we studied them carefully. During the test drive the car sounded fine on both country road and interstate-like driving. I bought the car.

About 1 month later, I noticed a noised which occurred when I started from a full stop or when the car shifted under load, such as going up a hill. The noise could be described as clunking and grinding in nature. When I drove the car very gingerly with very slow, smooth accelerations and very slow, smooth braking there was no noise; this technique is the one that would be used with a rear drive vehicle in slippery, snowy driving conditions.
I first took the iX to my mechanic, who had worked on Jerry's 528e and on my Fiero. He diagnosed the problem as a malfunctioning auxiliary transmission, but was reluctant to tackle the job.

I then took the car to the previous owner's mechanic, for a second opinion. He was surprised to hear of the problem for when he had serviced the car it had no serious problems and he performed routine maintenance on it. He put the car on the lift and performed some acceleration and braking tests. During the tests, he noticed shaking of the auxiliary transmission unit (transfer case) and also the drive shaft to the front differential. Then he pulled the cover on the front differential and the drain plug from the auxiliary transmission. The front differential appeared to be in good condition. However, the metal chain in the auxiliary transmission unit appeared to be loose.

At this time, I contacted Otto's BMW in West Chester, PA. I had my iX flat-bedded from the shop to Otto's since there was no oil in the transmission cases. Otto's inspected my car and contacted me.

Apparently the standard play for the chain in the auxiliary transmission unit is in the range of 15mm and the play on my car's chain was 30mm. All three shops told me that if the chain had broken or come off, the car would immediately stop and be undriveable. The auxiliary transmission unit would have to be rebuilt or replaced.

After some thought, and much consultation with my husband, I decided to have Otto's perform the repair. The faulty auxiliary transmission was to be replaced with a BMW remanufactured part. My reasons for choosing Otto's to do the work were two-fold: 1. Otto's shop has an excellent reputation of having well-trained technicians; and 2. Auxiliary transmission failure was a rare occurrence on the iX and the replacement was non- routine.

I am pleased to say that the replacement went smoothly. That winter we were hit with the most snow that our area had seen in 25 years with many snowstorms. The car traversed poorly plowed roads and slush wonderfully! I am also pleased to report that at 86,000 miles the car is still running well and looks great.

Wet Floor Fix: from Jack Kleiner of Morrisville, PA. After discovering water traces on the front passenger side tunnel and a WET floor under the mat I went looking for a leak. After checking the usual, sunroof drains, windshield clip and floor pan plugs I discovered a drain tube in the engine compartment. The drain tube is located directly above the exhaust down pipes and the heat had sealed the end closed. This allowed water to build up in the area under the wipers and let water into the car. After trimming the end of the tube the problem has not reoccurred. A friend with an E30 M3 had the same problem with the same solution.
Control Arm Replacement by John Martineau of Kalispell, MT.

Past articles (Issue 9 and 12) were a help and many thanks to those who wrote in, especially Gary Purdy of Nova Scotia. My '88 has 103K miles and needed a new outer ball joint. MY survey of parts sources indicated new control arms at $249 - $321 each. And that's just the part!

After reading Gary's report I called Zygmunt Motors and talked to Zygi who said, " It is stupid to buy the complete arm."; I should buy the ball joint from him ($42 each.) My mechanic also found joints available from NAPA for $53 each, but didn't identify the manufacturer.

Labor for replacing both outer joints was $112. My mechanic said it took about 25 tons of pressure to pop the worn joints. The joints from Zygmunt were manufactured by Lemforder Kugelgelenke Metallwaren, part #027-290-194-515 (Zygmunt part #31121701077). You will also need 14mm self-locking nuts to refasten the joints.

While installing my joints, my mechanic found more bad news: a split front axle CV boot. Gordon wrote an article in the Sept. '95 issue on replacing these, but the "EPS Maintenance Kit, 325IXE30" which he mentioned was not what was needed, and that I needed a $139 kit which contained both kits. Anyway, thanks to all you iX'ers that contribute, thus helping the rest of us deal with the cost of owning a great car!

New shocks & Tires by Jeff Morganstern of Lake Grove, NY.

At about 48K miles I began to feel every bump in the road about 10 times harder than before. I knew it was time to replace the front shocks. I got the Boges from Bavarian Auto Service for $71.95 each. I considered Bilsteins, but I'd need to do the rears too, and it would have been a lot more expensive ($370 vs. $144.) I had a mechanic install them at a cost of about $200. The dealer wanted about $650 for two shocks installed.

I also got a new set of tires. I liked the stock P600s so I decided to give the new all-season P600M+S a try. I went with the 195/60-15 and they did noticeably better in the New Hampshire snow. Unfortunately I did notice some loss of traction on the dry roads. I'm not sure whether it's due to the new size or the new tread compound or both. They cost me about $78 each after some haggling at the local Pirelli dealer. Considering what it would cost to ship, mount and balance them, this is pretty competitive with The Tire Rack.

Of course I turned down the road hazard warranty and guess what happened on the George Washington Bridge? Think the Port Authority of NY will buy me a new tire?
iXperiences : Chuck and Dave Aiello of Gilroy, CA.

Der Rot just passed 120,000 miles and 7 & 1/2 years this past month. To celebrate, I changed the oil! I typically change oil and filter every 3000 miles but must admit since using synthetic (Castrol) I'm changing @ 6000 miles.

I experienced loss of low beam lights and the lesson learned was to a) Check Bentleys, b) don't expect the parts person to be able to research the suspect low beam relay part number and pull the part. Take the part with you to ensure proper part since the microfiche catalog is not very informative. (There's no schematicby fusebox relay-position nor relationship to electrical function included.)

My first set of brake pads lasted ~ 100,000 miles - really. The second set ~ 16,000! The OEM pads for the replacement set apparently were much harder and resulted in overheated & warped front rotors to boot. This was a first time experience for me. So far so good with the new set. I have to contribute to the standard car washing phenomena we all read about. I've never understood why, but I too experience at least one cylinder missing when restarting if I had cranked up, moved into/out of the garage, and shut down (528e, 325iX, and 325iS). My solution was/is to always run around the block before shutting down. I believe as the Roundel editor states, that the Motronic computer is tricked and the missing occurs.

Just replaced the windshield washer relief valve (the line splitter under the aft end of the hood). Problem manifested itself when the driver side washer shut down. After checking for washer port cleanliness I noticed the fluid would squirt from the relief port and passed no fluid to its line. I used mini-clamps vs. the clamps that come with the splitter/relief valve. The gizmo clamps that come with the part are great but a screwdriver is much more straight forward!

One last thing involves my experience with fuel pump failures. For whatever reason I've experienced failure at approximately the 40K and 80K mile points. I just recently had a third pump replaced based on history, i.e., preventative maintenance. Since failure means instant stop, I consider this a major weak spot for the car. I personally like redundancy when it makes sense.

(Ed. note: anyone else had a fuel pump problem? I'm not aware of any . Perhaps bad fuel: a filter change might help.)
Add a "Lights On" Alarm: Paul Reitz of Palmyra, PA:

Every spring and fall, the morning commute begins before dawn but ends after sunrise, and I often forget to turn off the headlights when I arrive at work. Recently, after twice returning to a car with a drained battery, I realized that it might be possible to add a "lights-on" alert to our iX using its existing chime module and ignition key sensing switch. Like others, I had previously disabled the ignition key sensor so I could listen to the radio while cleaning the car. But if you don't mind losing the "ignition on, door open" and "fasten seat belt" alarms, it's fairly straightforward to use the ignition key-sensing switch to produce a "lights-on" alert while retaining chime functionality for the time/temperature alerts.
Our iX has the multifunction clock, and the ETM provides no indication of how the wiring may differ for cars with on-board computers, so beware. Referring to the wiring diagram on the back page, notice that the modification removes power to the chime alarm from the normal fuse 21 source, supplying it instead from the Accessory Connector pin "E", which is fed from the headlight switch in either ON position. The ignition key sensing switch is used to trigger the chime, but it is necessary to invert its logical function using a relay also powered from the light switch. It's also necessary to bypass the driver's door jamb switch so the chime doesn't sound whenever the driver's door is closed. The series connection from the key-sensing switch to the driver's door jamb switch is removed and the key-sensing switch is grounded directly. Although this could be done via C200, I couldn't readily locate C200 without excessively disturbing the wiring harnesses, so I made the changes in the driver's kick panel. The chime sound circuit remains separately powered via the multifunction clock/fuse 21, not shown.

When the light switch is turned on, power is applied to the chime module and it bongs once. As long as the key in the ignition switch is on and the lights are on, the relay is energized. This keeps its NC contact open, which prevents the module from chiming. If the key is turned off while the lights are still on, the relay is de-energized, closing the NC contact, triggering the chime - which is still powered by the headlight switch. The chime also chirps briefly when the light switch is turned off. The extra bong and chirp were unanticipated, but they provide satisfying feedback.

What You'll Need:

You'll need a 12 volt relay with normally closed (NC) contacts. Since my "used BMW relay inventory" turned up relays with only normally open contacts, I scrounged one from another source. A BMW dealer or even Radio Shack are likely to have ones with NC contacts. You'll also need some insulated crimp connectors to use with the relay - likely, 0.250" female flat-blade quick disconnects - and a few feet of 20 or 22 gauge stranded ignition wire. An assortment of crimp-on wire taps, in-line butt splices (red ones for the wire sizes you'll encounter), a ring-stud or fork-style wire connector, and a female contact (socket) that fits snugly onto the pin in the Accessory Connector block are needed. It would be best to get an Accessory Connector plug (circular female contact with shaped plastic shroud); again, the dealer may have these for accessory installations. I used just the bare metal female contact; it had sufficient retention on the pin to stay in place.

Some common Phillips screwdrivers, 10 and 13 mm sockets or wrenches, wire cutters, and a crimp tool and/or soldering iron, and electrical tape complete the picture, although a volt-ohmmeter is also very helpful to identify one of the wires you'll need to reconnect, and to verify that the various connections have been properly done. The chime module is the black plastic box attached to the panel under the driver's feet. It has an oval speaker grille on one end that faces a similar opening in the lower panel. Here's how:

1) Remove the lower panel and the knee bolster metal bracket, to gain some working room. There are two connectors plugged into the module, one with four pins, one with two. Cut all (three) wires running to the 2-pin chime connector a few inches away from the plug. Two of the cut wires should be brown/green, the other one red/green. Leave the plug on the module.

2) If you didn't buy an Accessory Connector plug, make one up with about 18 inches of ignition wire and the connector female contact that will plug onto the Accessory Connector pin. The Accessory Connector box itself is white plastic, with a number wires plugged into it, and other exposed electrical pins. It's under the dash, ahead of the pedal assembly. The connection points in it are sectored off with plastic insulating walls. Plug the contact onto pin "E", which is along the outer edge of the accessory connector housing adjacent to, but not in line with, the 6 in-line pin area.

3) Wire the other end of the Accessory Connector plug to two points: (1) either of the relay solenoid connections, and (2) to the red/green wire still attached to the chime module plug.

4) If you have an ohmmeter, identify which of the two brown/green wires in the harness (cut in step 1) goes to the ignition key sensing switch. If you had not previously defeated the "ignition-key-on/door open" alarm, put the key in the ignition switch and turn it to the first ON position, make sure that the driver's door jamb switch is electrically closed (door open, interior dome lights on), and check for no more than a few ohms resistance to ground.

As an alternative, just take your chances. Pick either of the two br/gn wires going into the harness - but not both! - and proceed. If, at the end, the relay energizes, you got lucky. Otherwise, just connect to the other wire - no harm done. Either way, run or jumper this br/gn wire to the other relay solenoid connection.

5) Wire one of the relay NC connections to either of the brown/green wires attached to the chime module plug. The figure depicts this as the relay common, but it doesn't matter which of the NC connections is used as long as the contacts are isolated from the solenoid, as they usually are. Check the pictogram on the side or bottom of the relay.

6) Wire the other relay NC connection to ground, which is conveniently found on the other plug on the chime module. It's the brown wire, on the end pin separated from the other three. Use a wire tap or strip some insulation and solder to it. Since it's ground, it doesn't require re-insulating.

7) Remove the driver's side kick panel and speaker. The green/violet wire going to the driver's door jamb switch must be unplugged and permanently grounded. I butt-spliced the gn/vi wire to a jumper, adding a crimped fork lug on the other end. This gave sufficient length to run the wire out from behind the speaker and to ground it under one of the hood release lever attachment bolts, after reinstalling the speaker and kick panel.

8) Tape up all wire ends and relay connections, secure the relay (to the side of the chime module works), and test before reinstalling the bolster and panel. Put the key in the ignition and rotate to the first ON position. As you pull the headlight switch, listen for the chime to bong and for the relay to energize. (If neither happens, the Accessory Connector plug may be on the wrong pin, or you may have picked the wrong br/gn wire in step 4.) Turn the key to the OFF position. The chime should bong repeatedly until you push the headlight switch off. YO!

Exhaust Recommendations Wanted: Tania Brice Coffin of Lancaster, NH has a question for iX Exchange members about exhaust systems. Per suggestions in Dan Guliano's article "Gofast SIDEWAYS?", I am about to modify my stock '91 iX. As the exhaust system has rusted (hard to believe that we have corrosion in northern New Hampshire) I will start the chip/air filter/plug wires/exhaust upgrades with the exhaust system. I have come up with 3 choices: Sebring, B & B/ Tri-flo, Remus. Dan has had success with a Sebring system and also recommends a B&B/Tri-Flo system. Bavarian in Plymouth, NH added a Remus system to the list, Remus apparently makes exhausts for A.C. Schnitzer. They also say that the Tri-flo system, while constructed of stainless steel and adding 10 hp (both pluses in my view), is much louder than the other two, perhaps obnoxiously so inside the car. The Remus system was Bavarian's recommendation.
My questions: Do members of the iX Exchange have experience with either Tri-flo or Remus exhaust systems on their iXs? How noisy are the Tri-Flo systems? Any other systems to consider?

A general note, I have just finished the first season with Dunlop SP800 tires. I really like this tire. Great wet and dry adhesion for street driving and great performance at the White Mountain Chapter Driving School this Fall.

Editor's note: It may be a little late to help Tania, but I would appreciate hearing from all members who have installed an aftermarket exhaust. I'll include your input and recommendations in the next iXchange to help other members.

Do I like this car! - Lee McKay of Port Townsend, WA.
Last July I called you in a panic. I had just purchased my '89 iX in Seattle and it had refused to start when it was time to get off the ferry! The engine compartment was completely new territory to me and I had no idea what I was looking for under the hood. Your long distance trouble shooting/hand holding filled in a lot of voids quickly, but after three weeks of grease up to my armpits I threw in the towel and started looking for a competent mechanic. The telephone book was little help, only one ad had BMW in it, was 50 miles away, and when I called he said he really worked on Mercedes Benz. At least he is honest! And he gave me the name and number of a place just a few miles from me. Another Atta Boy!

Circle and Square Automotive assured me they had to necessary diagnostic equipment and could handle the job. And they did. The voltage lead to the fuel injection rail had corroded through at the cylinder head connector. The connector had become wet and had probably been wet for a long time. Retto (the technician) replaced the connector pins and sockets and now it runs fine. He also commented on how clean the engine compartment was. I told him I had cleaned it, mostly with my sleeves. I did finally wash the engine down with 409 detergent and hosed the whole mess off before I took it to him.

The car had just over 100,000 miles on it when we got it home. It had just come out of the shop with a complete head rebuild due to a broken timing belt. The car's first 100k had been spent as a daily beater, but the body was sound - no apparent rust and only one small ding on the rocker panel. It had probably never had more than the perfunctory vacuuming on the inside and the cosmetic car wash with bucket and sponge on the outside. A day on the inside with a shop vac, rag, spray bottle of detergent, more rags and Pride furniture polish and it looked pretty good. A couple of weeks later a good cleaning and waxing of the painted and anodized surfaces and that looked pretty good on the outside too. When the weather warms in the spring I'll get under it and clean the six years accumulation of crud off the chassis and suspension.

When it was finally running I put it over my pit and checked everything that was supposed to have been done in the "Inspection II" when the head was rebuilt. All filters were new but the transmission, auxiliary transmission, and rear differential oil levels were low -- no obvious oil leaks but I washed everything down so I can keep an eye on it.

In the meantime winter was closing in fast and we have a steep driveway that is impossible to navigate in my 2wd pick-up with studded snow tires in even a light dusting of snow. In fact it is difficult in the summer when the gravel is dry and loose. Thanks to your very informative newsletter I knew that steel wheels for snow tires were going to be hard to find so I started looking for them in mid October. Everybody struck out on aftermarket wheels but BMW Seattle told me the could be air freighted from Europe in ten days. That was just before Halloween. It has snowed twice since then and I still have bald summer tires. My wife refused to go out in the snow without snow tires, a friend told her the iX wouldn't make it up the driveway even with snow tires!

The original plan was to mount Blizzacks on steel wheels for the winter and have the basketweaves repaired, trued and straightened. (All five have been chewed up by the curb monster, one bad enough to bend a control arm. It does a little hula down the highway when the runout of two or more wheels get in sync). Then in the spring have D40M2s mounted on the now straight and true basketweaves along with Bilsteins all around and an accurate suspension alignment. I prefer to keep the basketweaves for originality; I think these cars will appreciate in the future and that usually means extra points for originality.

Do I like this car? You bet I do! Despite the use and abuse it had in its first life as a daily beater it is still solid and rattle free, the paint isn't peeling off and the upholstery looks as good as the day it came off the showroom floor. And I don't think I paid too much for it; I could see how much work it needed.

A couple of additional points: the hydraulic clutch has no feel to it, it took a lot of concentration to learn how to make smooth shifts. Proper adjustment of the clutch overcenter spring would likely improve the feel. Have to play with that in the warmer weather. When I back out of a parking stall with the wheels cut hard right I get a clunking that seems to originate in the right front outer CV joint. I suppose all eight of the CVs need to be cleaned and repacked. That is a thirty thousand mile service on my 25 year old 911S. I hope this doesn't portend a catastrophic failure. The iX doesn't seem to ask to be driven aggressively like the 911S but responds happily and competently when it is. I suspect this is because of the tired shocks and mismatched tires. I suspect you all ready know that the Haynes manual is worthless and the Bentley manual is completely inadequate for point to point electrical troubleshooting. I hope the ETM is better.
Keep the good tips coming. As an old Porsche nut I know this stuff gets more valuable as the car gets older. Eventually it becomes the only source.

North to Alaska by Glen Smith of Palmer, AK:

I had an interesting trip home from Seattle with the '89 iX in November. I planned to have it checked out mechanically at the BMW dealership in Bellevue, Washington, but the car was so fast that I was 100 miles north of them before I realized it!

As night fell, it was immediately apparent that both high-light bulbs of the headlights were burned out, as were both fog light bulbs, and the headlights were aimed much too close to drive safely over 35 m.p.h. So I drove onto the Alaska Ferry and 3 days later was safely in Haines, Alaska. (Ed. Note: Yes, it was founded by a distant relative.)

That evening I proceeded to Tok, Alaska via the Yukon in Canada, and had all night to check out the BMW's low-speed handling. It was fortunate in a way, because there was only one other car on this road that night-- a big old T-BIRD from the late 70's or early 80's which was traveling about 60 m.p.h. About 5 minutes after it passed my iX, it hit a large male wolverine, killing it instantly. Seeing it dead on my arrival, I moved it off the traveled portion of the highway. It was as large as a small wolf, and would have been a serious hazard after it was frozen (hazardous to your transfer case and bank account). The previous owner had just had a rebuilt transfer case installed, having remarked that someone who had borrowed their car had allowed all of its ATF to leak out. The cost for this operation was $3000.

The trip from Tok to Palmer was rather uneventful, allowing somewhat higher speeds with an excellent margin of safety. Considerable snow fell, and the iX seemed to come alive, enjoying the challenge of having that snow to play in. There are many hills and curves on this route, so it was that much more fun. At 95,000 miles the iX seemed to be well broken-in.

Sometimes there are so many maniacs on this road, one has to really fly to stay ahead of them all! Fortunately, traffic was light, and the BMW was only passed when it wanted to be. They call this highway the "Glenn Highway." No doubt it's named after me!
More iXperiences from Patrick Lum of Vancouver, B.C. Canada:

We acquired a stock 88 ix black four-door in mid-November. It seems that only Canada received four-doors in 88. (I am not even certain if two-doors were ever available here in years after--I have never seen one in iX form.) It was bought on my advice, and although it wasn't what my brother was looking for (88-90 Legend Coupe), it caught my eye in the classifieds because of the low price--$7,400US. (I'll convert all prices from CDN to US.) Expecting a lot of problems, the car turned out to be in pretty good shape, so we later went for a test drive and bargained him down to $6,577. Small world--ends up the guy used to go to my high school a few years before I did, and used to live two blocks down the street! A subsequent BCAA inspection found a few other things, and the final selling price was $6,105, plus 7% tax. (Kelly Blue Book wholesale for the car, with 107K, is $7,150--check out http://www.kbb.com.) Ends up the dealer had offered him only $5,180 on trade-in for his new Jeep.

The PO was not a gearhead, but took the car in for fairly regular servicing and we have almost all the records dating back to purchase. It doesn't seem as if he was planning to get rid of it yet, as recent expenses for him included a clutch at 85K, set of XGTV4s at 97K, and a big $597 job at 101K: water purnp, timing belt, a/c recharge, tune-up, valve adjustment, v/cover gasket. Since purchase, we have taken the car to the local $$$ dealer (est. 1969) to get the car properly back up to top-running condition. Mainly diagnosing/fixing oil leaks, a coolant leak, preventive maintenance, and some cosmetic things. Prices are in US fluids without 14% local sales taxes:

Front diff fluid $44 Brake fluid flush $49
Shirt knob replaced $25 ABS relay $67
Trip Comp. Light $96!! Heater control light $15
Oil Change $38 Oil Pressure Switch $54
Undercar Wash $25 SteamClean Engine $20
Coolant Flush $43 Fuel Hoses $138
Transfer case $37 Oil Filter gasket kit $93
Hoses/Thermostat/E30 coolant recall $warranty!
Additional minor work required is a left/rear shock mount, and changing the transmission fluid. So far, we have spent $7,600 total including all taxes, and everything should be taken care of without pushing the price above $8K Not bad compared to my friend spending over $26K for a '97 Pathflnder XE. We are missing the rear middle seat armrest in gray leather; if anyone comes across one, we'll be happy to compensate you for your troubles.

To help make the decision to buy the car, we visited several places to get an idea on the costs involved in fixing problem areas. At the dealer, the service writer told us that the local Budget car rental place bought a fleet of iXs in 1990/91. Likely for rental to skiers heading to the award winning Whistler ski resort 100 miles north of Vancouver. (I would imagine most/all of these were automatics.) These cars have since been sold off; and we were told it has been common for the new owners to bring them in to get quotes for major drivetrain/tranny repairs. Due to the high cost of the quote, none of the owners has gone ahead with the repairs at the dealer.

* Canadian Service Costs:

I thought I might forward this as a baseline for comparison shopping. BMW Canada has come out with what they call "Perfect Sense" Service Packages. Things done that for a set price are parts/labor all-inclusive. As you can see, some of the prices are fairly reasonable, while others are off-the-deep-end. In US funds, before taxes, here is a list for the 3-series (84-current):

Front pads $111 Timing Belt $170
Rear pads $103 Clutch $422
Frt&rrpads $192 Battery $141(!)
Frt pad&rotor $266 Water Pump $163
Rrpad&rotor $199 RrMuffler $311
Frt/rr pd&rotr $459 Front Shocks $266
Rear Shocks $185 Oil Change $ 38

* K&N Filters:

I read B. Ritchey's entry in Issue 13 with great interest because of my interest in getting a K&N installed on the ix and in general. I pulled this off the Volvo Internet newsgroup:

"About 2 years ago, a fellow netter was working for a mining company. They wanted to reduce cost by using the cleanable (not throwaway) filter The cost was about $l00/filter for the large trucks, so -S it was not insignificant, especially since they required frequent replacing. They ran a couple of their trucks with the K&N, and most of them had major engine damage within a short period of time since too much dust was getting through the filter. From those in- field tests, they found the overall K&N performance not acceptable, since the reduced filter cost did not compensate for the extra engine damage."




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