Thread: E90s suck.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:04 PM   #3
JST's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 20,037
Originally Posted by John V View Post
At least the AWD ones do, as far as working on them. It's as though BMW went out of their way to make them difficult to work on (perhaps this was not accidental).

I happen to have one of these in the garage right now for what are some fairly basic repairs. A front lower control arm bearing (literally, a spherical bearing, not a bushing) failed. To replace the control arm, which has two attachment points, would normally be pretty easy. Remove the bolt holding it to the front subframe, remove the nut securing the outer ball joint, break the taper, and replace the arm.

But because it's AWD, the nut for the outer ball joint is directly below the outer CV boot. That's annoying but not a huge deal - there's plenty of room to get a box wrench in there. Except BMW cast a "guard" into the knuckle that interferes with a typical box wrench AND the open end of the same wrench. You have to use a socket (and not an impact socket - a thin-wall, deep socket). Which means the axle has to come out of the hub.

Simple stuff like the rear brakes - one of the suspension links interferes with a hex bit on a 3/8" ratchet when attempting to pull the slide pins. And the rear CV boot interferes with a socket and ratchet when removing the caliper brackets, so you have to use a wrench.

And I guess everyone knows this, but when you replace a battery on one of these things, the battery has to be "coded" to the computer. Awesome.

I feel a little better after ranting. It's good to remind myself when I see cars for sale cheap that I have zero desire to own a newer BMW.

The battery coding thing is so freaking weird. What happens if you don't do it?
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