First BMW. Wow, Have I Been Missing Out All These Years!
Greetings! After my Focus ZTS was totaled I decided to pay cash for an old car rather than get another car loan. My local mechanic had a 323i for sale, so I thought, "Hey, if I'm buying a 'beater,' what not own a bimmer beater?" I'd never even sat inside one before. One test drive is all it took. The difference was immediate, the superiority to my other rides obvious!
You can imagine my frustration then, when I'd owned it for only 1.5 hours, only to experience that it would not go into reverse. I had to call for a tow and was not happy. My research revealed this was a notorious bimmer issue. GRRR! Before I even took it in to the shop (my mechanic said the part was on order), my rear window regulator broke. AAGH!!! I began to wonder about the "reliable" dimmer.
My mechanic was good for it though, replaced the solenoid and fixed the window. HOWEVER, he said to me that he just learned while seeking an opinion from Benchmark about which solenoid to replace, that my 323i also has a 'reverse drum' which "could be" broken. He has offered to buy the car back or split the cost of a new transmission IF it turns out to be broken. Well, while researching this reverse issue, I thought for sure I read that depending on the bimmer, it will have EITHER a solenoid-based trans OR a reverse drum, the solenoid being a relatively inexpensive fix, the drum an expensive one. SO I'M CONFUSED and WONDERING WHAT I SHOULD DO. Is my mechanic lying? He knows I'm ignorant about cars. Does a 323i have either one or the other system or is it possible to have BOTH? He "fixed" the solenoid and my reverse works right now, but even before the "fix" the reverse would work sometimes but not always.
APART FROM THIS bummer about my bimmer, I love the feel of it and think that if it works out, my next car will be a bimmer, though a newer one.
David, the confused, new-to-bimmer, guy