Input wanted from BMW owners

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Boats day
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Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by Boats day » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:28 pm

Aloha bogelheads,

I just purchased a 2005 x-5 model 3.0 bmw with 55000 ordinal miles. Vehicle was driven by mature adult and had all required service done at bmw dealer in Kailua kona Hawaii.

My neighbor who was trying to sell this car refused to put it on craigslist or in newspaper he didn't want to deal with the
Tire kickers. His condo is for sale and he is going back to canada and he sold it to me for $11000 which is a smoking hot price as the vehicle is spotless and well cared for. I dable in buying and reselling cars maybe 1 or 2 a year and make a few bucks because I enjoy doing it.

I am currently driving a old honda civic which is a perfect island car.

I am torn between keeping the bmw or the honda. My only concern is the repair costs on the bmw... Since we are snowbirds we only put 4000 a year. I have never owned a bmw before so I Would love to hear from bmw owners on how much I should budget for repairs maint. and how reliable the x5 is.

Mahalo

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htdrag11
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Re: Input wanted from BMW OWNERS

Post by htdrag11 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:20 pm

Congrats and enjoy!

BTW, there is no such thing as a mature adult behind a BMW or maybe just me. :twisted:

Our was a 1st year car, so there were quite a few issues but some were fixed under warranty.

- rear lift gate (probably several thousands if you have to pay for it)
- battery was $300 including labor, back in 2004
- power driver window; couple hundred dollars
- seat belt sensor with the airbag light on, $190
- oil/filter change is about $130
- miscellaneous electrical gremlins
- cd changer (the one in the trunk; did not bother to fix)
- HK sound system (option); driver side speaker buzzing (did not bother to fix)

Got rid of it after only 25k miles. My 1999 325i convertible was better (last year model) except for the inner cloth soft top, $2.5k back in 2011.

It's a love hate relationship, driving a boring Lexus now.

user5027
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Re: Input wanted from BMW OWNERS

Post by user5027 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:43 pm

We have a 1991 BMW 325I and constantly get asked if we want to sell it. People have knocked on the door and just last week the AC service guy asked while he was here. I've been told it was last good model BMW has made. The car runs great with minimal repairs and is a blast to drive.

My daughter had a 2002 325XI and it was eating her alive. She traded it in on a 2012 Nissan Altima last year and is tickled pink (green). :moneybag

Good luck.

The Wizard
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Re: Input wanted from BMW OWNERS

Post by The Wizard » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:01 pm

Why does an oil/filter change on a BMW cost $130?
I sometimes do my own changes for the cost of 5 QTS of 5W-30 and a filter.
Do BMW's need to have part of the engine removed to access the filter???
Attempted new signature...

eucalyptus
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Re: Input wanted from BMW OWNERS

Post by eucalyptus » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:07 pm

I have found that, the more recent the model year of a luxury car, the more expensive it is to own out of warranty. Too many micro switches and other gizmos to malfunction and, now, nothing is fixed , it is simply replaced. Keep the BMW if there's value added- if it's just a car, get rid of it.

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Will do good
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Re: Input wanted from BMW OWNERS

Post by Will do good » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:14 pm

We have our BMW 530 for 10 years, all our schedule maintenance does cost a little more than our Honda. But the BMW is so much more fun to drive.
Our BMW is trouble free, changed tires, break pads etc, I really don't remember any major repairs, just as reliable as our Honda.

Enjoy it.

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LadyGeek
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Re: Input wanted from BMW OWNERS

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:15 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (cars).
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

TRC
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Re: Input wanted from BMW OWNERS

Post by TRC » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:22 pm

They are expensive to maintain and repair. Do you have other more specific questions?

DFrank
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Re: Input wanted from BMW OWNERS

Post by DFrank » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:27 pm

We had a 2002 530i for about 10 years, putting about 115k miles on the car in that time. We had more than an average amount of problems:

Radiator housing sprang a pinhole leak
Replaced the alternator
The display in the center stack failed
The multi-way adjustable seats misbehaved - e.g., if you reclined the seat back one side would recline and the other would not.
The fan for the heat/AC system failed

As far as routine maintenance, we found that every time we needed brake pads the brake rotors also needed to be replaced. Front tire lifetime is poor, especially if you put the recommended sport oriented tires on the car. I'm told this is the result of aggressive alignment specs that help produce the handling feel BMWs are renowned for. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the way the car was driven. :mrgreen:

Expensive car to drive, but nobody makes a 3400 pound sedan that handles like a BMW.
Dave

sambb
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Re: Input wanted from BMW OWNERS

Post by sambb » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:46 pm

I have owned SEVERAL BMWs

Yes, stuff can go wrong. Most of mine have been mostly reliable except for small things.

BUT at 4000 miles a year in a nice climate, i think you will be ok

Enjoy the nice car. You deserve it. It is nice. Keep it.

The ideal BH car is an old camry I have learned here. Or an old civic. This is a splurge, just like going out to dinner or anything else.

I love how BMWs drive. Ive owned everything from camry to accord to hybrids to BMWs and porsches. All have their plus and minus points.

BruDude
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Re: Input wanted from BMW OWNERS

Post by BruDude » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:33 pm

Boats day wrote:I Would love to hear from bmw owners on how much I should budget for repairs maint.
A lot. I have an M3, fortunately with extended warranty. A few months ago the evaporator unit for the a/c went out, would have cost $3,400 to fix without the warranty. I had a 335 diesel, the gas tank sensor broke (again under warranty), would have cost $3k to fix. You get the idea. Just imagine what you would think these repairs should cost and then multiply it by four, that's what it will cost.

bogledogle
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by bogledogle » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:24 pm

If you got a great deal on the car, maybe keep it if you like to. But definitely budget another 4K in repairs over the next 50,000 miles.

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Chan_va
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by Chan_va » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:30 pm

Budget roughly 1.5-2k/year - that has been my experience.

Just yesterday, I had a DSC warning light come on in my 2007 530. Internet research seems to indicate that its a steering angle sensor. Probably going to cost 4 digits.

jmcgxx
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by jmcgxx » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:52 am

I also have a 2005 BMW X5 3.0, I love the car and it is a ball to drive. Repairs can get pricey, I have 100,000 mile and recently rebuilt the transmission for about $4,000.
To get a good feel for the car see the website xoutpost.com. I would not be frightened by all the problems discussed, they can't all happen to everyone.
If you do decide to sell it, I would believe you could get a good premium in Hawaii.

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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by TheOscarGuy » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:06 am

We spent about 6K when our 2008 X5 was out of warranty and I foolishly decided to not buy the extended warranty. We got rid of the car last year. We will probably stick with buying them under warranty and buying extended warranty if one is offered to us.

My wife still says she missed her old BMW. For all its problems, the car was a total pleasure when driving. It left me stranded twice and that is two - too - many. It had to go.

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alpenglow
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by alpenglow » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:21 am

I had a 1991 325i (last year of E30 body). Loved the car - fun to drive but costly to repair. It was a dumb purchase for a younger person (bought it used in my 20's). My parents had an E36 body 325i ('94?) with lots of problems. As fun as they are to drive I'll never own one again. Toyotas and Subarus for me now.

barnaclebob
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:38 am

Jeeze, why would anyone buy one of these things. In laws friends were describing how it costs $300 to change a battery because some setting on the car has to be reset and you cant do it yourself. What a ripoff.

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:47 am

AH, the love-hate with German branded vehicles. I have been through my share of BMWs, Audis, VWs and near the need of each period of ownership I take a solemn oath "never again buy a German car" and a few months/years later I am back, like a crack addict, putting my $$ down on a German car. I know I need help, but so far haven't found anyone certified in german cars anonymous. :happy

I think it is summed up by the comment one of my repair gurus related: The Motto of German Car engineers, "why make it simple when you can make it complicated?"
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

Wolkenspiel
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by Wolkenspiel » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:32 am

TheGreyingDuke wrote: I think it is summed up by the comment one of my repair gurus related: The Motto of German Car engineers, "why make it simple when you can make it complicated?"
"Warum einfach wenn's auch kompliziert geht". I admit that for a German the thought of not re-engineering things for decades is somewhat horrifying. I shake my head everytime I see a school bus or any of the public transportation appliances around Boston - how can you not want to redo this junk from scratch?

Regarding the OPs question: Our current X5 (bought in 2011), has needed nothing so far but the yearly oil-change.

ubermax
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by ubermax » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:27 pm

http://www.bimmerfest.com/

the link above is another resource , click it & then click on forums at the top , it's then further broken down by particular model of BMW - if you create an account , username and password you can then ask questions.

we have an '08 X3 and have been very pleased with it , at around 80K it needed brakes & front struts , the water pump was replaced at about 105K - maybe around 3 grand for all those things ?? ; it's a trucky ride but handles very well and has been great in snow and very reliable on longer trips that we've taken to SCarolina .

we got a MT since there were negative discussions on BFest regards the AT for some of those earlier years , can't remember which years or if it was just an issue with the X3 but as I recall it was a GM transmission , i.e. the GM6 for short .

we would buy another X3 .

Good Luck !!!

BruDude
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by BruDude » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:37 pm

barnaclebob wrote:Jeeze, why would anyone buy one of these things. In laws friends were describing how it costs $300 to change a battery because some setting on the car has to be reset and you cant do it yourself. What a ripoff.
Because the V8 revving to 8200 RPMs with a catless exhaust is just incredible :sharebeer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-Q-ura4M5w

bigred77
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by bigred77 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:54 pm

My wife and I drive an 07 x3 and an 08 328i.

I bought them just off of warranty for tremendous prices. I knew they would be expensive to maintain. I figured that into my decision. it still really hurts to write the check when something needs to be done.

We've paid about 1,500 - 2,000 each year for combined maintenance on both cars (small fixes, bigger fixes, oil changes, new tires, etc.) I now dread seeing that "check engine" light pop up. I have a trusted independent mechanic that I have work on the cars. I would never, EVER, take it to a BMW service center.

They really are a blast to drive though.

playtothebeat
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by playtothebeat » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:07 pm

I have a 2010 528i. Absolutely love to drive it and hope to continue driving it for many years.
We purchased the extended warranty (6 years, 100k miles) as well as the extended service plan for it. Cost us about $5k total I believe. I consider it worth it, for the reasons many people have described. Repairs on a BMW aren't cheap.
For what it's worth, I took mine in for the 75k service last month. Cost me nothing out of pocket due to having the extended service plan contract. I asked the guy what it would have been otherwise, he said $1600.

Topic Author
Boats day
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by Boats day » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:17 pm

Thank you very much for all the input so far.

I am learning a lot and am always amazed at the knowledge of the contributors on this forum

I have always driven a boglehead vehicle ...like honda and toyota so I appreciate all the input.


boats day

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htdrag11
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by htdrag11 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:51 pm

If I recall, the X5's battery is underneath the seat, pretty hard to get to. Also it needed to be vented. It was the most expensive $300 I ever spent on any car battery.

As for the $130 oil change, it was done at the dealer vs. $100 by my local mechanic. The bill said 8 quarts of synthetic oil, plus filter.

DFrank
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by DFrank » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:28 pm

BMW will tend to put the battery in a location to try to optimize overall weight distribution, not ease of access for maintenance. In my 530 it was in the trunk.

More generally, they tend to optimize the design of he car around performance, not low cost of ownership, or ease of maintenance or other factors.
Dave

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sunny_socal
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:54 pm

Used to have a 325i.

- Most "fun" car I've ever owned
- Most unreliable car I've every owned

Now drive a Honda Fit - is that a good BH car? :annoyed Boring reliable! :mrgreen:


Enjoy your new BMW OP :beer

TexasMu
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by TexasMu » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:43 pm

I own a 2004 545i with 115k miles. Road feel, stability and braking are second to none. This car puts a smile on my face every time I get in it.

The reality of owning a BMW has been mentioned above .. expensive maintenance, tire wear . LOTS of things wear out and need to be replaced. Basic stuff that almost never fails on Japanese cars

A couple of things I'll throw in. Buy quality gasoline to prevent carbon buildup. I always go with Chevron.

I change my oil every 5K. I believe BMW recommends 10K, but I'm trying to keep this thing going for a few more years at least.

There will be some things in the I drive that might be confusing. Youtube is your friend. Youtube has helped me with a number of strange situations .. yet one more thing non-BMW people will wonder why we put it up with this BS.

Good luck and have some fun with your new ride 8-)

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:20 pm

Boats day wrote:Aloha bogelheads,

I just purchased a 2005 x-5 model 3.0 bmw with 55000 ordinal miles. Vehicle was driven by mature adult and had all required service done at bmw dealer in Kailua kona Hawaii.

My neighbor who was trying to sell this car refused to put it on craigslist or in newspaper he didn't want to deal with the
Tire kickers. His condo is for sale and he is going back to canada and he sold it to me for $11000 which is a smoking hot price as the vehicle is spotless and well cared for. I dable in buying and reselling cars maybe 1 or 2 a year and make a few bucks because I enjoy doing it.

I am currently driving a old honda civic which is a perfect island car.

I am torn between keeping the bmw or the honda. My only concern is the repair costs on the bmw... Since we are snowbirds we only put 4000 a year. I have never owned a bmw before so I Would love to hear from bmw owners on how much I should budget for repairs maint. and how reliable the x5 is.

Mahalo
Why not keep it for a year or two, enjoy it, then sell it and get something else. You enjoy doing this stuff, remember?
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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ginmqi
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by ginmqi » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:47 am

Not a BMW owner myself but from a recent anecdote from my coworker:

Owns a 2008 BMW 335i. $4000 spent this year on repairs. Last week car died on way to work, needs motor work totaling $6000 in estimated repairs.

So unless you are ready to pay for much expensive repairs/increased maintenance costs. I personally would not see the value in the cost of owning a BMW.

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fire5soon
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by fire5soon » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:27 am

htdrag11 wrote:..... As for the $130 oil change, it was done at the dealer vs. $100 by my local mechanic. The bill said 8 quarts of synthetic oil, plus filter.

8 qts for a 3.0L??? My 5.7L takes 6 qts (and would tear that little bimmer up... :twisted: :beer )
A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. - Bob Dylan

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kingsnake
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by kingsnake » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:41 am

Wouldn't it be better to lease a BMW every 3 years than to own the thing?

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Will do good
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by Will do good » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:53 am

ginmqi wrote:Not a BMW owner myself but from a recent anecdote from my coworker:

Owns a 2008 BMW 335i. $4000 spent this year on repairs. Last week car died on way to work, needs motor work totaling $6000 in estimated repairs.

So unless you are ready to pay for much expensive repairs/increased maintenance costs. I personally would not see the value in the cost of owning a BMW.
I hear these costly BMW repair expenses from "friends" of "friends", yet as a 10+ year BMW owner and few of my BMW "friend" don't seem to run into any break downs you describe.
I believe BMW is a well built car and a super fun car to drive.

rjaycox
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by rjaycox » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:07 pm

Here's my 2 cents:

Its a solid car and if it checked out before you bought it, it should be good for you. I would highly recommend seeking out an INDEPENDENT mechanic who specializes in BMWs. I went to the the BMW Club site for Hawaii, and they list several shops: http://bmwccahawaii.net/sponsors/. Also, ask around other X5 owners. Not knocking the dealer (much) but you'll save money with an Independent shop and get a discount on the service.

For general info and DIY help, check out http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/forum.php which is a forum site for BMWs. Scroll down to the X section and then: 1999+ X5, X6 )E53, E70, E71).

I have a 92 E30 convertible and a 97 E39. I have had 14 BMWs from an E30 M3 to a 750i and count them just as reliable as my Honda Civics, Camrys, Corrolas and my Toyota Landcruiser (though my Landcruiser has been far and away THE most outstanding vehicle for reliability). Of course I kept them up and did what was needed/when needed. Cost of ownership for me was comparable to many other cars I've owned.

Do the regular oil changes, fluid checks, etc...Take care of it and it'll take care of you.



Russ

AZAttorney11
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by AZAttorney11 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:33 pm

BMWs are overrated and far too unreliable. Stay away. They do not pass the grocery store test. I see tons of older cars made by Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and plenty of American made cars in the parking lot at various grocery stores, but I rarely see an older BMW or Mercedes.

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ginmqi
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by ginmqi » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:34 pm

Will do good wrote:I hear these costly BMW repair expenses from "friends" of "friends", yet as a 10+ year BMW owner and few of my BMW "friend" don't seem to run into any break downs you describe.
I believe BMW is a well built car and a super fun car to drive.
Mine was not a friend of a friend, it was a friend/co-worker.

But you do have a point. Not all BMWs are going to be terrible in reliability and not all Hondas are going to be perfect machines.

Of course anecdotes vs anecdotes are not going to be useful. I'm sure there are Honda owners who have had terribly unreliable Hondas.

But there is a general image in that cars like Honda/Toyota are in general more reliable overall than say BMW/Audi. And so there seems to be some underlying reason why. Is it a conspiracy of Americans to favor Japanese over Germans? Or is it some truth beneath this belief? Unfortunately, for the automaker reliability world, unlike in science, there is very difficult to do a large scale, placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized research study to find out truth....best we have is some surveys, which of course can be flawed.

I acknowledge my bias against BMWs. I am personally a car guy and one of my future cars may be a E39 M5. I am going against my prior statement to mean I don't think for the average person a BMW is worth the value, imo.

For those who are more enthsusiastic and handy with their mechanical skills, owning a fun car is great joy. And for others who are quite well off, the repair bills are not much of a worry.

rjaycox
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by rjaycox » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:49 pm

ginmqi wrote: I acknowledge my bias against BMWs. I am personally a car guy and one of my future cars WILL be a E39 M5.
I fixed your statement for you. :D
You will love that car! Just sayin'....


Russ

BruDude
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by BruDude » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:40 pm

rjaycox wrote:
ginmqi wrote: I acknowledge my bias against BMWs. I am personally a car guy and one of my future cars WILL be a E39 M5.
I fixed your statement for you. :D
You will love that car! Just sayin'....


Russ
x2, just keep it out of the shop :shock:

SRenaeP
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by SRenaeP » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:05 pm

Will do good wrote: I hear these costly BMW repair expenses from "friends" of "friends", yet as a 10+ year BMW owner and few of my BMW "friend" don't seem to run into any break downs you describe.
I believe BMW is a well built car and a super fun car to drive.
I think it depends on the model. I have a 2004 Z4 (admittedly very low mileage) and haven't had many problems at all. Other the other hand, I made DH get rid of his 2005 545 last year after numerous issues with the final straw being almost leaving me stranded.

-Steph

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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by dognose » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:36 pm

Yes, a BMW is expensive to buy and maintain. But of the 32 cars I have owned in my life, nothing has come even remotely close to the BMW in terms of pure driving thrill. If you don't understand this, that's perfectly fine. If you get a tummy ache over $200 oil changes or $500 batteries, please, please, please shop elsewhere. Go buy a Honda or a Toyota or a Subaru -- all great cars, and if you buy them used, you will stay out of Bogleheads Prison for a while longer and everyone will high-five you on this forum. If you want to buy a luxurious appliance, buy a Lexus; it's like a perfect vacuum cleaner that will never wear out. But if you should ever want a real car, a driver's car, go with the BMW, repairs bills and all. You won't be disappointed. And by the way, my 2006 BMW has never needed anything beyond routine maintenance.

Bacchus01
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by Bacchus01 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:53 pm

I think you get the picture, but I will add anyway.

We owned a 2002 330XI. Blast to drive, nightmare to maintain. Fortunately I did a lot of work myself otherwise I'm certain we would have had 25K in repairs over 12 years and 130K miles. Front axles, lower control arms, ball joints, away bar links, rear springs, radiator, water pump, secondary air pump, AC meter, oil filter housing, valve cover gasket, window regulator after window regulator, can sensors, MAG sensor....

And yet, I bought a certified pre-owned 2012 528XI to replace it. Will ditch it as soon as the 100K extended warranty expires.

srqfacc
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by srqfacc » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:06 pm

I bought a 2005 X5 off lease in 2008. Drove it for 4 years and traded it in for 12k. The last year I had numerous issues- motor for the electric window (1k), bent axle which I chose not to fix (was not in any accident so unclear how that came about) and finally the AC went just prior to summer. Let's just say there is a reason the warranty runs out at year six. Be prepared. I later found an Infiniti provides a much better value and just as nice a ride. After crunching numbers I would have broken even with a $600 lease (and had a new car w new technology) vs buying the used x5 after accounting for repairs. the novelty of driving a bmw wears off once that big bill comes. and it will come.

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dianna
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Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by dianna » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:24 pm

rjaycox wrote:Its a solid car and if it checked out before you bought it, it should be good for you. I would highly recommend seeking out an INDEPENDENT mechanic who specializes in BMWs. I went to the the BMW Club site for Hawaii, and they list several shops: http://bmwccahawaii.net/sponsors/. Also, ask around other X5 owners. Not knocking the dealer (much) but you'll save money with an Independent shop and get a discount on the service.

For general info and DIY help, check out http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/forum.php which is a forum site for BMWs. Scroll down to the X section and then: 1999+ X5, X6 )E53, E70, E71).
Russ
+1 on independent mechanic specializing in BMWs. Own a 2001 325ci with < 95,000 miles; drooled on by mechanics who want the car. Yes, there are some high maintenance costs, but IMO the overall joy of driving the car is quite worth it - - handling is smooth and tight and responsive. At nearly 14 years old, it's a dream compared to what other cars might feel like with that age. I have used Bimmerfest.com for repair questions in the past, although I haven't done the repairs myself. A knowledgeable mechanic is key.

SDBoggled
Posts: 369
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:35 pm

Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by SDBoggled » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:58 pm

Hi,

+10000 for an good independent repairer, we found ours via yelp and love him.
e.g $5k estimate from dealer... but only fix that was needed was the cross threaded drain plug. We opted to replace the oil pan as wanted to keep car forever but could have gone a lot cheaper with just the plug repair.

Trouble is that parts are generally expensive (even tires as it is a "sport vehicle") and engine control electronics is very expensive: $2k+.
I would budget $3k-$3.5k/year for maintenance... and then you will be pleasantly surprised and enjoy your car :-)

I do a lot of the niggly repairs e.g. stuck sunroof (not X5), broken bits of plastic in window winders, broken door locks using instructions from the forums that others have noted. I don't come anywhere near my suggested budgeted number... that would be the single worst year ever.

No major unreliability issues with 2006 X5 (water tank leak required replacement, door lock, window winder), 2001 X5 had dramatic radiator hose fitting failure ($20? part, but could have been an engine if you ran without water) and water tank leak onto computer which caused that expensive part to become unreliable... we chose to do an exhaustive pre-emptive "replace everything in the water path" replacement as kid was taking 12 year old car out of our rescue and maintenance reach. This could have been avoided if we trusted him to monitor the car for the $20 -$100 part failure.

We have the 2 X5s and old M3 and 325 and love them all (different reasons) and think it is worth any hassle or cost, your value will vary. BTW never smart enough to own a honda, previous Ford gave us more trouble than any of the BMWs.

Johno
Posts: 1883
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 4:14 pm

Re: Input wanted from BMW owners

Post by Johno » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:36 pm

Just starting on BMW, few month old 2015 328i which I adore so far. I would just mention that the routine maintenance cost issue is not limited to BMW or German makes. We had a Lexus for 10 yrs, hardly any actual reliability issues, sold it to a kid and it should go on for many more years. However for scheduled/wearing parts I don't think it's a lot different. You pay absolutely through the nose at dealer (we generally did, for the peace of mind) or find a good independent but latter is not automatic and I think there might be a selection bias in people's reports of success with that. And even if BMW is even more outrageous in that respect, several years of scheduled is included in the price of the car unlike Lexus.

I'm not a complete rookie on expensive German cars, had a new 2000 Mercedes E. I dumped it after 5 yrs (rare short tenure for me) because the reliability problems got annoying. However per Consumer Reps data the 2000 E320 was a quite unreliable car. The current generation 328i xdrive is above average. As was mentioned, those results are not strictly scientific but more scientific than random anecdotes or highly generalized brand images.

Also I think it depends on the mentality of the owner. It's not only the subjectivity of what's a big problem or not (in the broad surveys) but the phenomenon where people might stretch financially to buy a car like a BMW, or get a used one when they'd really prefer new for the same $ reason, then their mental budget doesn't have room for high or unexpected extra costs. If our BMW turns out like the Mercedes I will again be annoyed, but the money is not going to be really material. I'm not kidding myself that it has a low expected cost of ownership. I just lahhhk it, as Matthew McConaughey says about his Lincoln :D (no particular prejudice against US makes, but Lincoln's disqualify themselves on looks, weird to me; and new Lexus styling isn't moving in my direction either; I really like the BMW's looks even in addition to the driving experience).

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