E90 2007 335i

11/5/2010-Current

My first fast car.

I searched online ads throughout the entire US48 for over 6-months before I found my car. I had very specific requirements:

  • E90 335i with N54 engine
  • 6-speed
  • 4-door
  • Some shade of blue exterior
  • Aluminium trim with black leather
  • Sport, Premium, Cold Weather, Convenience packages
  • Premium sound system
  • Extended CPO warranty and still under factory warranty
  • Excellent condition
  • Trust the seller

I found my car on autotrader.com in Charlotte, NC.  After exchanging a few calls/emails with the seller I booked a one-way flight and crossed my fingers that everything would go OK.  I arrived in Charlotte the night of Thursday 11/4/10.  Early the next morning I got a fairly frantic call from the seller who said the car was running rough and he had to bring it to the dealer.  I was not worried about the car, just worried about getting the car that Friday.  I was actually pleased in a way as now I would have a chance to see it at the dealer after they inspect it.  Turns out it needed new fuel injectors (more on those later) and Hendrick BMW and the seller went out of their way to make sure I had the car by that afternoon.  It was a great experience.

In its presently configured state (I added a few OEM options) the only option available for the car (at least through the bmwusa.com car builder) that it does not have is Active Steering – something most enthusiasts including myself would not want.  That’s it.  And at 43,000 miles the car was under the original 50,000 factory warranty and maintenance plan and came with an extended CPO warranty that was good through 100,000 miles or 6/19/2013.  I ended up getting what looked and felt like a new car with the exact options I wanted and a 2 1/2 year warranty for half the sticker price.

I made a few changes to the car within days of getting home.  Namely replaced the chrome kidney grill and silver air dam inserts with matching matte black pieces, installed an OEM alarm and purchased winter wheels/tires that came off a Z4.  I also added license plate frames and hardwired a Garmin and Valentine One.  Even though the car has navigation I still prefer the Garmin.  Lastly, I replaced the run-flat tires tires as soon as the OEM tires needed to be replaced.  Like many enthusiasts, I don’t like the feel of run-flats (or the cost).

I wanted the N54 engine as I knew it could be tuned more than the N55 engine in the later generation 335s.  As soon as the local dealer had a discount on Dinan software I had them install Dinan stage 2 software.  This took the car from 300 to 378HP (+78) and from 299 to 415 lb-ft (+116).  Driving the car after the upgrade was nearly as shocking as initially driving the car.  It definitely turns the car from fast to beast and affects mileage very little – I have fun driving (mostly in the city) and still average around 23MPG.  I will get close to 30 on the freeway.

This car had its share of issues while still under warranty but luckily it has been rock solid since the warranty expired.  I think BMW has worked out the HPFP (high pressure fuel pump) issues (they extended the warranty to 10 years/120,000 miles).  And I switched from off-market gas to Top Tier (Holiday Premium) and plan to use Techron in hopes of avoiding going through another set of fuel injectors not covered by warranty (they were replaced 11/2010 and 11/2012).

Wastegate rattles (which could lead to turbo failure) are also common on the N54 engine. The actuator cylinders (1-3, 4-6) were replaced in 5/2012 and I’m hoping that will keep the wastegate rattles at bay for a long time.  It’s also important this particular engine is carbon cleaned.

So the major problem areas of this car are the HPFP, fuel injectors, wastegates, window regulators and interior rattles (see next paragraph).  But aside from these and other relatively minor issues the car has been pretty reliable.  The original pads/rotors lasted 89,935 miles!

Overall I love this car.  I love the interior, iDrive, and most importantly the engine, steering, handling and looks.  I only have two complaints – 1) the suspension is too stiff for everyday driving on pothole-ridden roads and wish it was adjustable.  2) While this is the first BMW I’ve owned that has not had a suspension rattle yet, there have been several rattles in the interior.  Primarily the rear deck, passenger seat and center console.  All have been fixed…for now.

Specs

  • Production date: 5/14/2007
  • N54 engine
  • 6-speed manual transmission
  • 4-door

Packages

  • Exterior
    • Monaco blue metallic
  • Interior
    • Black Dakota Leather
    • Aluminum Trim
  • Sport Package
    • Style 162 18” summer wheels
    • Sports multifunction leather steering wheel
    • Sports seats
    • Sport suspension
  • Premium Package
    • Interior mirror with compass
    • BMW Assist with Bluetooth
    • Lumbar support
    • Auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors
    • Universal garage-door opener
  • Cold Weather Package
    • Retractable headlight washers
    • Heated front seats
    • Split fold-down rear seat
  • Convenience Package
    • Rear manual side window shades
    • Comfort Access keyless entry
    • Power rear sunshade
    • Park Distance Control (rear only)
    • Anti-theft alarm system
  • Convenience Options
    • Navigation System (iDrive) with Traffic
    • Active Cruise Control
  • Entertainment Options
    • Logic 7 Premium Sound System
    • Satellite Radio
    • iPod and USB adapter
    • HD Radio

Added Options

  • BMW OEM Options
    • Alarm System (S302A)
    • Luggage Compartment Package (S418A)
    • HD Radio (S653A)
  • Exterior
    • Matte black kidney grills
    • OEM Matte black air dam inserts (replace silver)
    • OEM BMW license plate frames
    • OEM Style 158 17” winter wheels
    • WeissLicht angel eyes and license plate lights
  • Interior
    • Garmin Hardwire
    • Valentine One Hardwire
    • OEM aluminum pedals
    • OEM European light switch with rear fog light button
    • OEM Sunglass holder with illumination and micro USB power
    • OEM aluminum sunglass tray cover
    • OEM summer mats, WeatherTech and OEM winter mats
    • OEM First Aid Kit
    • Warning triangle
    • Coin holder
    • Power sport smart spare system for flats
  • Performance
    • Dinan Stage 2 Software (378HP (+78), 415 lb-ft (+116))
    • K&N Air Filter
    • No run-flat tires

Programming

  • ABG
    • Disable drivers side seat belt chime
    • Disable passenger seat belt chime
  • CAPPL (CCC)
    • Disable iDrive disclaimer
    • Add auto light sensitivity control in iDrive
  • CAS
    • Add ability to close windows and moon roof via key fob
  • FRM (NFRM)
    • Windows will continue rolling up when door is opened
    • Made angel eyes daytime running lights
    • Fold side mirrors with key fob
  • IHK
    • Disable AC turning on automatically in auto mode
  • JBBF (2JBBF)
    • Continue wiper to end position when ignition is turned off
  • KOMBI
    • Display digital speed in instrument cluster
    • Digital speed shows true speed value

Fixes

  • Fuel filler flap (4 times)
  • Window regulator (3 times)
  • Fuel Injectors (2 times)
  • HPFP (2 times)
  • Blower motor (2 times)
  • Rattles (many times)
  • Interior mirror
  • Brake booster check valve
  • Hood latch
  • Brake booster
  • RR wheel bearing
  • Exhaust vanos solenoid
  • Gaskets/seals
  • Drivers side mirror
  • Actuators Cylinders 1-3 and 4-6
  • Headlight washer cover
  • Adjust parking brake
  • Ignition coil

Maintenance

  • Brake rotors/pads (1 times)
  • Spark plugs (3 times)
  • Carbon cleaning (1 time)
  • Oxygen sensors (0 times)
  • Hoses/seals/belts/fluid/filters

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