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Old Wed, Sep-09-2009, 03:00:49 PM   #3
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CONTINUED.. (we ran out of space in the original posting..)

QUESTION - What's the difference between OEM and OE parts - how come OE is more money?
ANSWER - (DonE) OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer, OE = Original Equipment.

An item marked OEM is made by a manufacturer who once made something for BMW - they were a manufacturer of original BMW equipment. That doesn't mean they were the manufacturer of what you're buying. It doesn't mean the item you're buying is BMW quality. ALL it means is they once made something for BMW. Could have been a paperclip for all we know.

An item marked OE - is a claim by the seller that it is the same part as BMW would sell you. That actually happens - I've bought suspension components from a vendor that were Lemdorfer parts - with the BMW Roundel ground off the part. They are obviously over production parts made for BMW that Lemdorfer produced. They were really "OE" parts. And a very good buy.

The two terms are often used interchangeably - perhaps intentionally by some vendors, perhaps because they don't understand what they mean, or perhaps intentional to try to sell something. There is no agency enforcing what the vendors say - so OE/OEM really means nothing. I put very little credence into "OE" and "OEM" when buying parts - I buy based on the manufacturer's reputation, and the vendors reputation.

QUESTION - What's the deal with the rearview mirror? I see a line in it.. (thanks to HerrSMiG for the suggestion!)
ANSWER - (DonE) This isn't a good thing. It means the caustic fluid used in the mirror is leaking out. If it hasn't already - chances are excellent it will damage your console area.

Link to a diagnostics posting:

What to do about it? First thing - bag the mirror. Tape a baggie or sandwich bag around the mirror so no fluid can leak out - or remove the mirror from the car. Then arrange to purchase the replacement - not from BMW, but from a manufacturers distributor:

Sybesma's Electronics
581 Ottawa Ave. Suite 100
Holland, MI 49423
Phone 616-392-6911 or
Tollfree 1-800-456-4265
Fax# 616-392-9885
Hours of Operation 8:30am - 5:00pm Eastern Time Monday - Friday
There is an informative thread on the forum that the above postings are from - it's a bit long, but you'll learn all about the mirror problem, removal of the mirror and how to obtain a replacement:

Thanks again to HerrSMiG for the suggestion to get the information together in one place where it won't disappear..
Don Eilenberger AKA bellymeisterburgermeister and denilegiiiiiiiiiiiiibennnnegerieragher (but that's misspelled..)
  • About a dozen other BMWs through the years..
  • 2001 M-Coupe - TiSilver/Black - Das Boot.. - SOLD
  • 2002 M3C/6 - Imola Red/Black - SOLD
  • 2003 525iT - Green/Tan - SOLD - replaced with Lexus
  • 2006 Cayenne/S - Iceland Silver Metallic/Stone-steel Gray - Truckster. - SOLD
  • 2007 R1200R - Roadster, black mit/white pinstripes - SOLD and not forgotten..
  • 2012 R1200R - Roadster, Ruby Red - the new REAL BMW..
  • 2011 Lexus RX-350. SWMBO's toy.
  • 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo, white/black. My new toy..

Last edited by deilenberger; Thu, Mar-11-2010 at 04:05:44 PM. Reason: Moarstuff
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