Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 47 total)
  • E90/E91 320d BMW – What do I need to know?
  • Premier Icon eyestwice
    Full Member

    Needing a larger car to carry bikes in as I no longer want to put them on the roof. Because visibility and thieving b’tards.

    The E91’s top of my list at the moment, plenty around and seem good value. MY2007 – 2013.

    Not really after recommendations on other cars/vans as I’ve already discounted the A4 Avant, Legacy and V50 (which is my favourite alternative). There’s nothing else that floats my boat.

    This page on Wikipedia has some info about the N47 engine and common problems with it.

    Has anyone got/had one and can give me a heads-up on what else to look out for?

    TIA.

    Premier Icon MartynS
    Full Member

    i’ve got a 2010 320d Msport

    Run flat tyres (if fitted) can give a harsh ride on the rougher roads we have

    Check the rear tyres for wear on the inner edges. Possibly a sign of bushing wear.. as its a BM you can’t get the bushes.. its the whole swing link..

    check its been serviced, and id check the headlights are fine.. I’m told the angel eyes (silly name) lights are stupid expensive to sort if they’ve gone. Could be wrong though.

    it’s not as big on the inside as you think.. we put the bikes in, front wheel off, rear seats down. Have a good stock pf old sheets to protect car and bikes!

    Mine has 101000m on it and still looks really good inside and out. I’ve only really had wear and tear issues with it, Needed shocks and the aforementioned swing links at the last MOT.. that hurt.

    I really like it and don’t plan to change it anytime soon, its comfy (on main roads!!) quick enough and does everything I need

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Free Member

    Check that the ABS hydraulic block has been replaced. Very common but expensive repair. Happens so often that BMW sell the component you need separately from the hydraulic unit, but at typical BMW prices.

    Premier Icon frogstomp
    Full Member

    I’ve had a 325D E91 (2008) for the last 9 years and love it.. now up to 235k on the clock (bought at ~60k) and planning on running it for as long as I can.

    Aside from the usual (service history etc.) I think the main potential issues with that engine are the swirl flaps and timing chain – both well-documented.

    As with most modern diesels, the DPF can be a bit of ticking time-bomb depending on mileage and usage patterns but mine lasted to over 200k before I eventually had to replace it (not cheap!).

    Electrics have been good generally other than tailgate wiring early on and power steering ECU last year (had to replace the whole rack, but got a good second hand one). Worth checking if there is an upgraded main ECU box available too – mine flooded from the bottom drain hole up last year taking the main ECU with it (ouch!).

    Best advice is probably to find a good local BMW specialist.

    Premier Icon breadcrumb
    Full Member

    I’ve an E91 318d. I wouldn’t class or as a bike car. Long bonnets and RWD don’t make for loads of cabin space. I’d be looking at a 5 series of I wanted bikes on the inside. Generally more car for your money too.

    My car will roll on to 140000 the next time I go out in it. Still drives nicely and feels tight/we’ll put together. 318d is only £30 VED too. M-Sport kit so looks the part IMO.

    Premier Icon FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    The next generation was a much bigger car if you can go for that?

    I had a 320d Touring 2014 for a couple of years and was a great car.

    Premier Icon singletrackmind
    Full Member

    Try a 330d or 530d, iirc the lci models were a newer better engine

    Premier Icon JonEdwards
    Free Member

    I’ve had a ’55 plate E91 320d for 11 years and 90k miles now (its on 175k total). Indicators WERE fitted as a factory option <<shock horror>>

    On the whole its been excellent. Never left me stranded and only once failed to start (and there was a bleeding obvious external influence that caused that). Fast enough, but the real strength is the balance and handling. Its taught me an awful lot about driving, and its noticeable that whilst many cars pull away on the straights, I usually end up catching them again as soon as it gets twisty.

    Mine’s starting to show signs of grot underneath, but I still get plenty of complements on how good it looks for a 15 year old car. Things have gone wrong, and stuff has worn out, but nothing fatal and its still on the original clutch and exhaust. Mine has halogen (non-angeleye) headlights which are fine in isolation, but don’t cut it against more modern on-coming traffic on a wet road. The only thing that’s “failed” is the bluetooth module, which is fine as I just don’t use the phone in the car.

    Mine is an M47T2 engine – the later N47 2.0d has some major issues.

    Budget to get rid of the runflats (if still fitted) and also plan on winter tyres – they make a hell of a difference (I have a 2nd set of wheels). If you enjoy driving consider some better springs and dampers, and a proper geometry setup (everything is adjustable and can get knocked out of whack easily enough). The ride on mine (M-Sport) managed to be both soggy and harsh simultaneously. Eibach pro springs and some nice Bilstein dampers with a slightly pointier setup made things LOTS better.

    Its an OK bike carrier. Modern LLS bikes are a bit more borderline than I’d like. My med. Rocket Max with 780mm bars goes in just about OK with the front wheel off, but then trying to tesselate another similar bike on top starts to get awkward. Conversely my summer roadbike fits straight in with both wheels on. Me’n’her can do a fortnight alpine trip with bikes with everything packed below the windowline and the luggage cover in place, or similarly – a weekend away camping.

    Seats up, the boot is tiny (but rear legroom isn’t bad at all). Seats down, its a decent space, although a bit narrow between the wheel arches.

    I’m starting to think gently about replacing it and am really struggling to come up with something. Another E91 but 330i or d with less miles on is quite tempting!

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Full Member

    I had a 2007 E91 325D. Did 60K miles in 4 years and only got rid because it got written off in a motorway plie-up. Got a large 2016 Nukeproof Mega 275 in the boot with the seats down and one wheel out. Replaced it with a 2010 F11 520D which is better in every way except handling when pressing on and fuel economy. I had the failed ABS ECU, was about £600 for an exchange unit, and a broken front spring at about 140K miles. I’d happily have another, but not the 2L; it’s not a small car and in my experience the 3L is more economical.

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    Most of it’s been said. I have a 330D LCI so know nothing about the 2 litre engines apart from noises about the usual BMW timing chain issues.

    I love mine, just over 100k and still drives nice and tight, doesn’t feel like it’s done the miles. It handles well enough and is plenty quick for a “sensible” car. I use non run flats and winter tyres. The only rattle is the rear view mirror which occasionally needs a squeeze to sort it.

    Mine’s M sport and tbh I wouldn’t get a non M Sport, both for the looks, ride and seats. I can sit comfortably in it for 10hrs.

    Others have said it already, it’s not a big boot, the arches take a lot of space.

    When test driving if it judders under braking it could be needed new front bushes. Mine did it and I swapped the discs, judder still there. Swapped the front arms and it’s been fine ever since.

    Stiff E91 tailgate is likely needing new hinges. I have to lift mine up to get it to open fully, it’s a bit annoying and I keep meaning to look in to changing them.

    Get the dash with the idrive in it, it’s much nicer and gives you options to add CarPlay etc.

    Angel eye bulbs are about £40 from BMW but last, cheap ones don’t.

    All in its a great car, my only complaint is I don’t drive it enough at the moment and it sits looking a bit neglected on the drive while we buzz to work under electric power.

    Premier Icon mikertroid
    Free Member

    Mines an E91 325i, but I had an E46 320d previously. Current one is on 155k and will run for a few more years yet.

    Angel Eyes: cheap but hassle to replace on pre LCI models. About £50 per side and a doddle on post LCI.

    The 2.0d on my E46 had it’s swirl flaps removed. That’s a must to stop the engine lunching itself. May be the case on the E91 too…?

    ABS wheel tachos are going on mine at the moment. 2 done recently.

    Rear shocks and bushings worth checking.

    Rear parking brake can bind. New calipers are a couple of hundred quid each. This needs to be done as a seized brake can cause loss of control.

    Mine had the professional (read crap) audio unit (non-idrive). It failed and to replace like for like would have been silly money. A half decent Kenwood has turned out to be a great option.

    Poor radio reception can be a sign the receiver has packed in-its located in the spoiler. Its where the remote sensor is too (should plip key stop working). Chafing wires might need a re-solder to get back to normal.

    Boot struts don’t last; 2 minutes to replace each side though.

    Wheels will need refurbishing after about 5 years….not great finish from new.

    My bike(s) and boards tend to go on top; its been a great 2-person fun-wagon. Interior is still lovely. Mine’s been driven into thrice, but still looks great at 11 years old.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    Not much to add – my 07 325i e91 has been great. I haven’t had a single big bill in 5 years.

    Mine is non M-Sport which means softer (better?) suspension. The 6cyl cars (325+ I think) have better seats and more toys inside (more advanced cruise control etc). M-Sport looks nicer IMHO though. I don’t have iDrive but that’s never bothered me. The inside looks quite dated / almost retro with orange lights on black dials.

    Issues: The only thing I’d be wary of is that they are relatively complex cars. Perhaps that’s true of all cars now. My central locking stopped working a couple of years ago – turns out the boot hinge had munched the wires to the receiver. Once I identified the problem I rejoined a single broken wire and it’s all good again. Seems like a common problem.

    I also had a scare where it threw up an error about the ABS pump failing which is an MOT fail and >£2k to replace. My mechanic cleaned up the pump, reset the codes and it’s been fine for 6 months. He said it might seize over time if the ABS is never activated. Fingers crossed.

    Oh, and the boot isn’t that big. I had a Civic hatch before this and the Civic boot was better for chucking a bike into. I absolutely love the dual rear tailgate though.

    Premier Icon breadcrumb
    Full Member

    On the LCI model you can carefully open up the special angel eye bulb and inside is a £6 bulb, no need to spend £40+.

    I changed both of mine a couple of years ago.

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    On the LCI model you can carefully open up the special angel eye bulb and inside is a £6 bulb, no need to spend £40+.

    I changed both of mine a couple of years ago.

    That’s what I did but it went again after a week, so I tried again and the same. BMW one has been in for 2 years now.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Full Member

    @Superficial

    I also had a scare where it threw up an error about the ABS pump failing which is an MOT fail and >£2k to replace. My mechanic cleaned up the pump, reset the codes and it’s been fine for 6 months. He said it might seize over time if the ABS is never activated. Fingers crossed.

    That’s what happened to mine. Started off as an intermittent fault but eventually it was more off than on so I replaced it. I had my pump reconned which avoids the need to code the replacement pump to the car. It also stops the cruise control working which I found to be far more annoying. Total cost inc labour was under £600.

    Premier Icon breadcrumb
    Full Member

    That’s what I did but it went again after a week, so I tried again and the same. BMW one has been in for 2 years now.

    Odd, what make of bulbs did you use? I got a pair of Ring bulbs from the motor factors.

    When the original popped I discovered the price of the “bulb”, I removed the blown one and opened it up to remove the bulb from the very expensive holder. A few days later the dashboard lights up to tell me a side light had gone. I assumed my cheat had failed, but in actual fact the other side had blown. Luckily I bought two bulbs.

    They would be in 2½ years minimum.

    Premier Icon Fantombiker
    Full Member

    Previous owner of 2 x BMW e91 335d here. Agree with most thats been said. I’d buy another. I did 150K in last one. They eat miles in comfort and safety. Never, ever, go to a BMW dealer, find a local independent. Recommend to get rid of the run flats. There are bits and pieces that go wrong most of which can be fixed at home except that is for the DPF, which I got cleaned out rather than replaced and it was fine. Never let me down. Not great in snow but winter tyres would sort that. BMW diesels respond well to remaps. Many helpful forums for DIY.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    BMW diesels respond well to remaps

    Interested in this comment although I have an F31 320d.  I’d like to get mine remapped for all the usual fun vs economy reasons –  how does the drive train rate / do you know the limits you can go to without risking adverse affects ?

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    Odd, what make of bulbs did you use? I got a pair of Ring bulbs from the motor factors.

    Can’t remember, might have been Halfords own? Either way after the second time I got annoyed and just bought the proper thing.

    I’ll try again if it ever goes again.

    Premier Icon DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    Had a 330i E91 M-Sport and it was one of the few cars I look back on and regret selling. Build quality was head and shoulders above anything else I’ve owned (mostly VAG stuff with a token Mondeo) and didn’t need anything in the admittedly shortish time I had it. Had bikes in it/on it without ever having a problem.

    Keep looking at B7 RS4 Avants but to be honest, given how much I loved my E91 I reckon a 335i would suit me better. Would definitely get another 3 series of that era.

    Premier Icon hooli
    Free Member

    I’ve had an e90 and e91 320d and would have another. The e90 got to 170k before being sold with very little needing doing to it other than a clutch and DMF and consumables.

    The e91 got to 150k easily enough but had a few more issues, clutch and DMF, prop shafts as these rust and cause issues with the ABS/traction control sensors and a lot of rubber components started to fail – Hoses, pulleys and seals. Apparently it is expected on these at a certain age.

    The e91 was the msport package and handled brilliantly, ate miles and did silly speeds without realising but my god was it a harsh ride. Large, low profile run flat tyres and sports suspension on uneven roads were painful. Both on the body and tyres/wheels. It was also pretty noisy on the motorway. The leather sports seats were the most comfortable cars seats I’ve ever sat in.

    One last comment is the e91 is surprisingly small inside, being rear wheel drive and low you lose a lot of space at the back.

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    I’d be looking at a 5 series of I wanted bikes on the inside.

    I’ve a 2018 320d and my pal has a 2019 520d and surprisingly my car is wider internally between the rear suspension ‘turrets’ than his.

    Mine is the later F30 model, 320d xDrive M Shadow spec auto. As Chris Harris says, “Do you need anything more than a BMW 320d?”

    Oh, and a large Cotic 29 FS fits in with the rear seats down (make sure you’ve this option if you’re looking at the saloon) with just the front wheel out.

    Premier Icon Hob-Nob
    Free Member

    I had one years ago. One of the lucky ones without timing chain rattle, which is not a cheap fix.

    It was tiny inside – did me fine at the time, but even the little Seat Leon estate runabout lease we have now is significantly bigger inside.

    Also if it’s an M-Sport check for cracked alloys on the inside lip.

    Premier Icon alibongo001
    Full Member

    Lots of useful info above

    I would add that mine is now on 113k ish and Ive had it from new

    When I last got some new tyres they noticed that there are a couple of small cracks in the rear alloys (MV3)
    Apparently, this is quite a common thing with BMWs in general and may be related to the runflats

    I’m now debating finding some second-hand wheels to swap over to as a welded wheel may not be as strong?

    Any experience or thoughts? hive mind??

    Premier Icon Fantombiker
    Full Member

    Interested in this comment although I have an F31 320d. I’d like to get mine remapped for all the usual fun vs economy reasons – how does the drive train rate / do you know the limits you can go to without risking adverse affects ?

    The BMW (auto) gearbox I had was ZF and good for high bhp, not sure what box is in a F30 though. It might be that the same box is specced for higher power models anyway so it should cope..I would avoid all the boxes/plugins and go for a dyno remap with a reputable outfit.

    Premier Icon mikertroid
    Free Member

    A001: Having just put 18″ wheels (vice 19″ originals) on my Cupra ST after lots of research, I’d advocate new wheels. Second hand could land you in as much grief as you’ve tried to avoid.

    I got 4 wheels fitted with All Season Goodyear Vector G3s for about 1k. It’s transformed the driving experience, which was the intention. They’ll pay for themselves by the third set of tyres.

    I’m going to get my E91’s alloys refurbed soon, however, as they’re not cracked or buckled.

    Premier Icon timc
    Free Member

    I had a 2006 E90 320d that blew its Turbo at 57k, well documented on those earlier models I recall.

    Premier Icon tonyd
    Free Member

    Didn’t read most of the above as limited time but some sound advice there. If it wasn’t already mentioned….. swirl flaps! I had a 2004 320d M-Sport, it started losing power at random and eventually made a horrible noise and stopped working. Turns out the plastic swirl flaps had shattered and the engine ate them, then ate itself as a result. Outcome was a new (recon) engine at great expense.

    It’s a well documented problem, and one that BMW never took ownership of. Google it for more info, but I think they resolved it with the later models (2006 onwards) so you’ll probably be OK.

    Other than that, I absolutely loved it. I put over 100k miles on it before finally moving it on.

    Premier Icon johnners
    Free Member

    I’ve had an 320D E91 auto for 5ish years, it’s coming up to 150k miles. It’s needed new front shock and rear disks since I’ve had it and the only problems I’ve had was an issue with the DSC/ABS caused by a rusty reluctor ring swelling and taking out the sender, it’s apparently quite common. BMW will try and sell you a new half-shaft assembly but you can get after market reluctors for a tenner or so and any decent mechanic can fit them. And you’d be wise to ignore the absurd oil change interval the car calculates – my oil was changed 5000 miles ago and the service indicator tells me it’s good for another 19000. That probably made servicing costs look good to a fleet buyer moving cars on after 3 years but for a private owner in for the long haul…

    The car still feels tight and drives well, and has returned an average of 50 mpg since I bought it so it’s decently economical and it’s fast enough for me. I’m sure the sixes are nice but you’ll pay for it at the pump and in insurance. I must say though, I wouldn’t choose it if bike-lugging was to be its primary use!

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    I’m sure the sixes are nice but you’ll pay for it at the pump and in insurance.

    My 325i is pretty terrible for efficiency. I do only short journeys which obviously won’t help, but my average speed and mpg over the last 10,000 miles are both 22.9. Perhaps that extrapolates to 70mpg on the motorway.

    I only do ~3000mi/yr at the moment so it’s not really an issue.

    Insurance seems cheap, but tax is quite expensive.

    It’s also neither fast nor economical. I suspect the 330/335 engines are much more exciting. Still, the sixes seem reliable and make a nice noise…

    Premier Icon bigdog
    Free Member

    Hi
    2010 320 se touring here. Mate had a m sport so I chose se grippy enough but bit more comfortable for family. Avg 50mpg local upto 60mpg on run. bought at 3 years ol & 70000 now at 155000. No big bills except traction control sensors last week £300. Mate local garage services every year.
    Like the way you can pop the left boot inner panel and fit the bike in both wheels out with out folding the seats.
    That allowed me to take my bike on most family holidays.
    Though now kids older and come out less fancy at Golf gti next.

    Premier Icon mikertroid
    Free Member

    @superficial
    My N53 325i does low 30s on motorway and high-ish 20s on my A & B road 65 mile journey to work. It doesn’t do any short drives however. Perhaps yours is coked up?

    It’s pretty rapid: Hasn’t got the punch of my Cupra ST, but never feels slow. It’s a great all-rounder and sounds great at high RPM!

    Premier Icon TheGingerOne
    Full Member

    I’ve had an N52 330i for past 5 years. It’s 14 years old and only done 78k miles. Wearing its age very well in my opinion. Had to replace a cracked 18″ alloy and that is it from memory on the repairs front. Oh and the headlight washer cover in the bumper never retracted fully so I removed the fuse for them. Put the fuse back in a year later for MOT and they don’t work at all anymore. Luckily though, due to its age and having halogen bulbs, this is not an MOT failure.

    However, the standard halogen headlights are really not very good so if you can get one with xenons I would recommend it.

    I now have a very ocassional sensor issue with the throttle I think as every so often I put the pedal down at traffic lights and nothing happens, no revs or anything. Have to release the pedal and press again.

    I see no reason to replace it for a few more years yet even with high tax and 27 mpg avg

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    Oh and the headlight washer cover in the bumper never retracted fully so I removed the fuse for them.

    I pushed mine back in tonight before I left for work. I’ll probably pull the fuse, but things not working properly annoy me so I keep thinking I’ll fix it instead.

    Premier Icon eyestwice
    Full Member

    Thanks all for the info.

    Biggest reason for me to change car is for something with regular bike-lugging capability. As @johnners says, maybe it’s not the car that I’m looking for after all 🤔 I’m quite surprised but it didn’t occur to me that boot space/shape would be dictated by RWD.

    That means that I can’t now discount the cars that I’d discounted! So back in the frame are an A4 Avant, V50 and a MK4 Mondeo TDCi.

    Volvo because I like to be different. Audi because I’m old enough to be a badge snob. Mondeo because they’re incredible value, cheap to both buy and repair and supposedly an excellent drive. Plus, a Mondeo estate will reputably swallow Wales and all of its inhabitants before you even think about packing for your holidays.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    My wife has a B8 A4 Avant and it’s a very similar size to the e91. I reckon the BMW is slightly more practical because of the split rear hatch and boxier roofline (the Audi slopes noticeably which eats into boot space).

    It’s a nice place to sit (feels much more modern than the e91) but it’s nowhere near as engaging to drive.

    I flirted with a V50 and test drove a couple. They’re a nice place to sit and are practical. The diesel engines are a bit agricultural but pull well, whereas only the later ones are available in (an underpowered) petrol version. But they look smart and respectable (although I have my suspicions that Volvo may become the new Audi/BMW and their drivers will get a bad rep).

    IMHO the Mondeo is a totally different car to all three of your other choices. Much bigger and more of a barge. Probably better for bikes.

    Id still choose my e91 over all of them 🙂

    Premier Icon RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    V70 and throw the entire contents of a bike shop in the back. And a grandfather clock. And a sofa. And a dog.

    Premier Icon eyestwice
    Full Member

    Heck no. My dog is what the passenger seat is for!

    I’m back to square one then, I guess. Bangernomics.

    Needed for me and my other half. Two dogs. Camping trip with both dogs and two bikes.

    Day to day though I just want to sling a bike in the back with the greatest ease possible.

    Then the usual – style, repair costs, economy. 0-60 below 10s. Budget of 4k but I like to factor in a service and some new shoes.5k tops for what’s essentially a workhorse.

    The MK4 Mondeo actually reviews better than the equivalent age A4 and 3 Series in terms of driver involvement, which is the main reason that it’s on my list. I really enjoy driving.

    As a curve ball like the V50, a 9-3 Sportwagon has potential too. I’ve wanted a Saab since my stepdad turned up with a brand new black 900 Turbo whale-tail back in the day. I’d jump at the chance to own one now (on a tangent here) but they’re like hens-teeth.

    Premier Icon eyestwice
    Full Member

    V70

    Not allowed, apparently it’s ‘not cool’ 😁

    Saw a beautiful retro 850 GLT once outside 18 Bikes. Very nice indeed.

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    If you want the BMW and you only need to get one bike in the E91 will be fine.
    Get a roof rack for the camping trip.

    Oh and get a 330.

    I’ve just driven mine to work tonight having not been in it for the last week or so (we have an i3 for usual commuting duties) and it’s reminded me that I really do like it.

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