Last post on Apr 30, 2013 at 3:31 PM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Sedan
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
Oct 08, 2005 (6:48 am)
Will a BMW cost more to service and repair than a vanilla FWD family sedan? Probably. Significantly more? Depends. A lot of the so-called experts who claim to know about high BMW running costs base their comments on something they heard from the best friend of their second cousin's first wife's dermatologist's barber.
The truth is that a BMW 3er is not all that expensive to maintain if you can do some minor work yourself AND you know a good independent BMW tech.
As for the specific car you are considering, I'd want it inspected by a good BMW tech,and I'd also want to see a full service history. Was the coolant replaced (using BMW coolant ONLY) every three years? Was the brake fluid changed every two years with a good DOT 4 fluid?
I have a 1995 3er I've owned since new with 99,000 miles on it. Service and repair costs have averaged less than $500/year. I also have a 1997 528i with 128,000 miles. Maintenance and repairs costs for it come to a bit less than $1100 per year.
Oil changes are cake and can be performed in your driveway for less than $45 using Mobil 1 and a BMW filter. Brakes are dead simple as well. How much is a superb driving experience worth to you? In my case, any additional servicing expense my 3er and 5er incur is more than offset by the enjoyment I relieve from driving them.
Oct 08, 2005 (7:55 am)
I think div2's estimates are pretty darn good. You'll notice that yearly maintenance and repair costs go up as the car piles on the miles. This has also been my experience with BMWs that I have owned. So at the 150K mark, you should plan on spending at least double what you'd pay at the 75K mark, per month.
As a general rule of thumb I always tell people that even IF you do minor work yourself and use an Indy shop for repair and maintenance, still, with any high miles German luxury car (150K+) you should plan on $125-150 a month and if it exceeds that by a fair margin over the course of say two years you really need to bail on the car.
#2373 of 5349 Re: High Mileage BMW 3 series [hus6]
Oct 08, 2005 (8:21 am)
My experience has been similar to Div2's. I've put 113k miles on a '95 318ti and it has never been in the shop due to a mechanical breakdown. The two times it wouldn't start were due to battery issues (i.e.: they were dead).
As far as maintenance costs go: Not much experience with labor costs, but I think they're pretty competitive; I'm finding prices for parts are what you'd expect to pay for just about any car. All I can guess is that people speculating about high maintenance costs are lumping BMW with Ferrari because they're both European.
"I hear that bmw at high mileage is very risky..."
In my opinion, all cars at high mileage are risky. Just because Div2 and myself haven't had major reliability issues doesn't mean that you're going to do as well (no matter what brand you buy). If it's any consolation, CR gives the 3-series a 5 (out of 5) for reliability*.
Now, if you'd posted that you were looking at an '87 Mustang with 80k miles that you wanted to drive for another 100k... I'd unequivocally tell you to run away from it as quickly as possible.
P.S.: [Confession:] My 318's reliability is all the more remarkable considering I've been pretty lax as far as routine maintenance is concerned -- I've just now gotten around to changing the fluids in the transmission and differential (for which I'm very sorry).
* Data for the 2001 thru 2003 models.
#2374 of 5349 Re: High Mileage BMW 3 series [potemkin]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Oct 08, 2005 (8:39 am)
You gotta play the averages with high mileage cars, regardless of the make. ANY high miles luxury car, even a Lexus, is not a good idea.
What's "high mileage"?
Here's my view: Engineers make a car that will run, or hang together, probably on average 175K-225K. After that, so few survive that one has to believe this lifespan as pretty accurate.
So if you buy a luxury car with 175K on the clock, you are essentially buying something that can drop dead any minute.
If it has 150K on the clock you are at best 3/4 of the way through a car's normal life, and it won't be the BEST 1/4 either (hey, just like US!!!)
#2375 of 5349 Re: 1994 325iC Convertible Top [msh1]
Oct 08, 2005 (9:53 pm)
For my 98, the dealer is quoting me $3500 - $4000 for a top. An aftermarket top is about half that for my car. Labor varies
#2376 of 5349 Rear floor subframe
Oct 08, 2005 (11:32 pm)
I don't have this issue, but just read about in a magazine at the local bookstore. Anyone aware of this being an issue (tearing of the rear floor subframe) in E46s after 2001? (the article and other research I've done indicates this being an issue primarily in MY2000 and earlier years).
I'm planning to keep my car for a long time, but this potential issue could really irritate me.
#2377 of 5349 Re: Rear floor subframe [sunilb]
by kyfdx HOST
Oct 09, 2005 (4:39 am)
The only car that I've heard this is about is the E36 model... ('92-'99), and then.. mostly in coupes and with cars that have been auto-crossed or tracked..
I've never seen anything in print about this problem with the E46s...
(not the expert)
#2378 of 5349 Re: Rear floor subframe [sunilb]
Oct 09, 2005 (3:07 pm)
"I don't have this issue, but just read about in a magazine at the local bookstore. Anyone aware of this being an issue (tearing of the rear floor subframe) in E46s after 2001? (the article and other research I've done indicates this being an issue primarily in MY2000 and earlier years)."
The subframe tear is issue with Z3s. The subframe was designed for 4 cylinder, and BMW stuffed a I6 in it.
You sure you're not confusing the 2 cars?
#2379 of 5349 Re: Rear floor subframe [dave330i]
Oct 09, 2005 (7:39 pm)
kydfx -- thanks... that's good to hear.
dave330i -- The magazine I read this in was "Bimmer", in the Tech Q&A section. The person who wrote in had a '00 E46 with this problem.
#2380 of 5349 Re: Trouble with '95 3-series not starting [jtodd]
Oct 10, 2005 (5:22 am)
I live in the UK and am having exactly the same trouble with my 2001 - 330d. I too have taken it to the garage but had no joy in getting it fixed. I was wondering if you have managed to get yours sorted - and if so what was done?
Thanks in advance