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BMW 330ci Problems

What is the BMW 330ci?

The BMW 330ci (also known as the E46) introduced the fourth generation of the BMW 3 Series and entered the market in 1998. Initially only the sedan model was released, but coupe, convertible and hatchback versions followed. The 330ci was hugely successful and, at the time, set the benchmark for performance for cars in this class. Although known for reliability BMW 330ci’s are complex pieces of engineering and problem solving and troubleshooting can often be difficult. Experts on JustAnswer have helped many BMW 330ci owner find solutions to their car problems.

The coolant light in my 2001 BMW 330ci came on and I topped up the coolant. Then had to do it again a day later. Today the car smoked, the temperature gauge went to red and the engine ran rough and then cut off. If there is a coolant leak how do I fix it and get my car running again?

There are two issues here. The first is that of the coolant leak. The most common places for this o occur are from the coolant reservoir, the hoses or the radiator. But it could be from anywhere in the system. You will need to get the system checked to identify where the leak is. However, this will not solve your rough running and cutting off problem which, since it happened when the temperature gauge went into the red, could be caused by overheating. The aluminum parts of the engine are susceptible to damage if they are overheated. Take the car to a shop and have the engine checked for heat damage. Even if the car starts after the coolant leak is fixed, any damage that may have occurred will become worse with continued running.

I just brought home a used 2001 BMW 330ci coupe. The mechanic who checked the car said it was in good condition. But when I try to lock it, I do not get the indication that the alarm is activated. The red light on the radio blinks but the one under the rear view mirror does not come on. Do I need to take it to a BMW shop?

Every BMW 330ci has a red light on the mirror but this does not mean an alarm is installed. The alarm is a very expensive option and since the car is almost impossible to steal, very few cars are fitted with one. If the car is locking okay, I am fairly sure that your car does not have an alarm. If the car is running well, I do not think you have anything to worry about.

I have only 1 key form my BMW 330ci convertible. I bought a new master key from the dealer. The lock and ignition work fine with the new key, but the remote does not. The old key works fine. Can you help?

Programming the remote is simple but you need to work fast. Get in the car and close all the doors and windows. Put the new key in the ignition and turn it to position 1. Now turn the ignition off. The next step must be completed within 10 seconds. Push and hold the unlock button down while pressing the lock button 3 times. The lock should now recycle to indicate that the programming has been done. If this does not work, repeat the procedure using your original key but this time turn the key to position 2. Once the locks cycle, immediately repeat the procedure with the new key or the initialization will be lost. If you do have any success, the dealer who sold you the key will normally program it for you for free.

How do I replace the window switch on my 2002 BMW 330ci?

Take hold of the leather boot around the shift know and pull it up sharply – it should pop out. Push it out of the way to give yourself a clear work area. There should be 2 Philips head screws holding the wood trim in place. Remove the screws and the trim should be free. When you pull it up you will see the window switch which will be held on place by tabs, When you pull back on the tabs, the switch swill be free and will come out towards the bottom. Disconnect the electrical connector carefully by pulling at its base. Do not pull on the wires. Now fit the connector to the new switch and repeat all the steps you have taken in reverse order.

When troubleshooting BMW 330ci problems, the owner’s manual is your best resource and guide. However, if you do not find the help you need there, getting the help of experts is the best and safest way to proceed.
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