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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks, I'm looking for my first BMW, a 330D. I see that the 320Ds have had some problems with turbo failure and wondered if the 330's were as bad?

Is the 203 bhp car really worth the extra over a 183 and how do they respond to chip tuning? - I know they can be made to go better but how long do they last :silly

I used to have an Alfa 156 2.4 JTD which was a lovely torquey engine and gave up an extra 50 bhp with good chip tuning and never gave me any trouble. A lovely car but unfortunately wrong wheel drive...

Finally at what mileage do (expensive) things start going wrong!

Any advice welcomed - many thanks:chat
 

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Hi folks, I'm looking for my first BMW, a 330D. I see that the 320Ds have had some problems with turbo failure and wondered if the 330's were as bad?

Is the 203 bhp car really worth the extra over a 183 and how do they respond to chip tuning? - I know they can be made to go better but how long do they last :silly

I used to have an Alfa 156 2.4 JTD which was a lovely torquey engine and gave up an extra 50 bhp with good chip tuning and never gave me any trouble. A lovely car but unfortunately wrong wheel drive...

Finally at what mileage do (expensive) things start going wrong!

Any advice welcomed - many thanks:chat
Hi there

The 330D is a milestone of a diesel engined car for BMW...it luckily does not suffer from the same turbo failure issues as the 320d does (and we see a lot of posters with that problem on here)

If you have the extra cash then if it was me I would definately go with the 330D.....If not then a 2003 plate 320D and upwards have the turbo failure problem solved and do not seem to suffer from it.

With regards to remapping/chiptuning,
the 330D responds stunningly well to a professionally done custom remap and I have heard figures of 550nm (newton metres) of Torque for remapped stock 330Ds!! (I think the new M5 is only about 600nm)

In a head to head against an E46 M3...a remapped 330D was neck and neck with it all the way up to about 80mph when the M3 started to pull away due to its revvier nature.

The running costs for a 330D will obvisouly be more than a 320D, but not by a huge amount unless you thrash it everywhere!

Engine and car life wise....BMWs are very over engineered to be honest and they happily handle the increase in power with no ill effects..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Excellent news :)

Thanks for the info, I lust need to find the right one now...

There's a 2003 330D SE on ebay atm with no bids at £6.5K - but it's a cat D - do you reckon that looks cheap enough considering it's on the register - or should I get down to the auctions?
 

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Excellent news :)

Thanks for the info, I lust need to find the right one now...

There's a 2003 330D SE on ebay atm with no bids at £6.5K - but it's a cat D - do you reckon that looks cheap enough considering it's on the register - or should I get down to the auctions?
I would avoid it without question.....
and I would also avoid auction cars to be honest unless its to sell on....!

The best place in my experience is pistonheads and autotrader...

how about this one

2004 330D sport on pistoneheads at £7200


:thumbsup


and theres loads more

Here
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've no experience of cat D cars - but never had a problem with good quality auction stock.

Thanks for the link - looks like a possibility.
 

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I've no experience of cat D cars - but never had a problem with good quality auction stock.

Thanks for the link - looks like a possibility.
Agreed.
If youve bought cat Ds before and know what your looking for, you can get a bargain :thumbsup

I was talking from the viewpoint of advising 'your average man in the street' who is not auction hardened :hihi

Post the ebay link and I will take a look if your keen on it :thumbsup
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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We have a 56 plate 330D with 225000 miles on it but that's an E90. No engine problems whatsoever and still pulls like a train. It's had 2 recon starter motors though.
 

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184 manual with 200k on it and (touch wood) nothing horrendous to report over 15 years of ownership.

They are not cheap to keep in good condition though - be warned, they're at least a grand or so per year in general maintenance and bits falling off.

Stuff to watch for (some if general E46)
  • Rusty front wings
  • Rusty rear wings
  • Propshaft guibos (esp 330ds)
  • Diff mounts, and diff carrier/sub frame mounts
  • Brake pipes over the diff carrier
  • Injectors
  • Injector wiring harness (can degrade with age - causes same symptoms as failing injector)
  • Radiators don't last forever (mine was falling apart by 160k
  • Water pumps known to give up - mine was however fine when changed at 150k as preventative
  • Random electrical sensor failures can be a pain - had to diagnose as they often don't throw lights/codes.
  • Front window regulators made of chocolate
  • Swirl flaps - all except 184 manuals which never had them.
Manuals are much quicker and more economical - the auto boxes of that generation did neither any favours. Performance is still current even as standard - 0-60 about 7 and 45 mpg for the manual.

OEM xenon is desirable - and a nightmare to retrofit so get it if you can.

Regular oil changes (as in 10k) are key to longevity - there's a good reason why newer models are having timing chain issues and these generally don't.
 

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It's only really the newer 320ds (N47) that have timing chain problems.
My old 330d e46 (184hp) had done 192k miles when I sold it to a mate, myself & previous owners stuck to dash advised oil changes (~15k). It's now done 220k & is still fine :). No need to do 10k oil changes unless you're hitting the time limits.

Never needed to replace the diff or subframe mounts, I almost never launched it from a standstill :p
Rear brake pipes are a PITA, I had to clean & underseal them a few times, caught it before they had rusted too bad though.
As above, changed water pump @100k, it's still got that replacement!
Electrical sensor problems can affect any car, amazingly I never had any electrical faults! Bar replacing the glow plugs (they all eventually wear out).
Needed to put cable ties on some of the window regulators to stop them clonking, fixed worked for years afterwards :). Can't remember if it was front or rear.

184hp 330d 0-60 isn't 7s (that's for the 203hp version), it's about 7.6-7.8, still decent though :). When I was commuting with it (~25min drive with quite a lot of traffic) I would get ~40 MPG average, when I changed job & stopped commuting it went up to ~43 MPG. If you do a long m-way journey and can restrain yourself to 65-70 it'll do near 50 MPG, otherwise mid to high 40s.

A few things missed earlier, do not remap an auto version, at least some of them had their torque reduced in 1st gear as the boxes were rated below the engines torque rating!
The 184hp 330ds can suffer turbo failure if the cotton breather filter gets blocked, so either change it regularly, or as I did, ditch it & fit the vortex filter, which does fit the 6cyls despite what realOEM or BMW might tell you!

Despite the 203hp 330d only having an extra 19hp over the earlier version, it is much quicker (as I found out after driving a customers one years ago). The 203hp engine has much more torque at low & mid RPM. Also it has a 6spd box, which some prefer. Only snag with that engine is you'll have to deal with the swirl flaps, if it hasn't already been done.

Ignore BMWs 'lifetime' oil BS for the gearbox, change it at least every 60k miles, diff oil too.


PS Avoid auction cars like the plague unless you're willing to take a near blind gamble! I've seen some of the cars that go there!
rusty front & rear wings. Still original injectors, wiring and radiator though! :)
Only just seen this thread has been seriously necro'd! lol, oh well, I've written my reply now :p
 

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Ah yes, only just noticed the original date on it! What a revival we're having here!

Interestingly different experience between us with similar mileages - I've never launched mine but the diff mounts and sub frame mounts needed doing (clonking from the back) so I did the brake pipes whilst it was all dropped as they were on their way.

And electrical sensors have been quite a pain for me: been through two aircon pressure sensors (they corrode given their location); and an intermittent arcing of the manifold pressure sensor which too six months to manifest sufficiently to be able to accurately diagnose and resolve. Not being able to track it down p!ssed me off more than the actual fault!

Still on original turbo and 5 out of 6 injectors are original (touch wood).
 

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Odd, re mounts, maybe previous owner abused it??
 

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Might have done, but I don't think so as it is a touring and was a 'family' car so not a prime contender for being caned. I bought it with 45k on it 15 years ago so I know it's 'recent' history. The diff mounts started giving clonking at about 130k, and the sub frame mounts were up in the 150s - although the latter was more about a bit of play and them looking shot on inspection rather than any really terminal movement.
 
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