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Thread: The be all and end of all of my questions (hopefully)

  1. #1
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    The be all and end of all of my questions (hopefully)

    Okay, I've been pestering around these forums for awhile now looking for a the right car with good handling and practicality.

    I've been bumbling around A4 quattro's (my friend warn me that they're a serious fixathon)

    and now I'm looking at BMW's like this:
    http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/cto/976015955.html

    question is, JUST how expensive is it to maintain a 5+ year old european cars? Are they absolute nightmares? Or their reliability are understated from previous owners?

    I know euro cars are costlier (and sometimes A LOT), but do they truly need 600 dollars worth of maintenance every 6 months, and breakdowns costing 2K+ frequently? Some people claim their car hasn't needed a repair for years, while some have the car in the shop 60-percent of the time.

    I'm all confused.
    Waiting for Crysis

  2. #2
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    I have two European cars, but we won't talk about them since they're 1992 and 1978. Although I'm not eager to drop the $240 for a reman starter for the '92 Mercedes...

    A buddy of mine has finally sworn off the Euros, though. He took a bath on a 944 some years back, and most recently on a 5 series, I don't recall what family it was. He makes a good living, but got fed up with the maintenance costs. It became quite apparent that the cars aren't indestructible machines that purr on like sewing machines forever, contrary to the general image of German engineering.

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  3. #3
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    2.5litre inline 6 with that much weight to move= slow.
    If you want that 5-series, I would try to get one with the 8 cylinder.

    Now, my buddy use to have a 1997 M3. Everytime it broke down, it cost him between $500- $1000.
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  4. #4
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    I own a 330ci. Never had any major mechanical problems in 4 yrs of ownership. I had to replace the window regulator and the washer fluid pump, but these are known to go out on any E46. I pampered the car, did a lot of maintenance on my own and I always replaced the oil every 7500miles instead of every 15K as required in the owner manual. Bottom line, if you take good care of it, an E46 will last for 150K without major issues. If you buying used, verify that the previous owner has all the receipts of the maintenance done. Go on bimmerfest.com or e46fanatics.com and search for common problems on '02 525, then see the car and take your time to fully check it out.

    Here is a great link to find out what to look for when buying an E46
    http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php?title=BMW_E46
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  5. #5
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    They aren't really THAT expensive. Yes the parts on a German car will cost more in the states but they'll last alot longer.

    Also a Straight 6 BMW isn't slow at all. But with a BMW, make sure you know a bit about working on them because service labour is costly for some reason.
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    BMW, Audi, Mercedes and even VW are all more expensive then the average Euro car brand.
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  7. #7
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    if i were to get a E39 (later models with angel eyes) what are the likely maintenance costs for a BMW?

    I assume that I can do engine oil top off until large service intervals for a flush.
    Waiting for Crysis

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celeron Gamer View Post
    if i were to get a E39 (later models with angel eyes) what are the likely maintenance costs for a BMW?

    I assume that I can do engine oil top off until large service intervals for a flush.
    If the engine is in good condition it shouldnt eat oil. So you dont need to add oil yourself. If you have to regularly add oil to the engine it means that there's something wrong with it (unless it's an rotary engine). Oil changes arent that expensive so you shouldnt worry about it. Generally the part prices for BMW's are more expensive than ones for Toyota or other jap car. Though if buy a car that has a good service history and is in good condition you dont have to worry too much about the part/service prices.
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  9. #9
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    They are expensive to maintain...
    The window regulators going out is common... fix it, and it will break again, so right now, my 2 rear windows don't work.
    cup holders are going to break for sure lol, i think bmw might have put them in there to trick us into thinking they were actually there for us to use.
    hmm... i forget, there is something else that is small about them that keeps happening, but whatever... a lot of small things just don't last long in them.
    also, the dead pixels on the screen- it will or has already happened to this car for sure LOL

    bmw dealership maintenance is costly for sure. those guys know how to take your money. be prepared to give them a lot if you decide to take it there and don't have your own mechanic.

    on our 2002 530i, the radiator just sprang a leak 2 days ago. overheated(obv) -> had to be replaced.
    on our 1998 528i, the ac condenser fan started to go full blast when the car was on. had to replace that. from bmw this thing would cost $400... also, once the serpentine belt just broke, wow... was that fun. my radiator, piping, etc had some fun with that one had to replace a pulley or two here too...

    besides those two incidents, the cars have been running strong (drivetrain-wise), so if you don't care about little blemishes here and there, then go for one!
    but don't get a 525i. those are for noobs. unless you get it for cheaper than the guy is selling it for on the ad. that is too expensive.



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    look into those headlights and tell me you don't feel anything in your pants... yea, that's what people see in their rearview mirrors when you tail them haha
    have fun, if you have the money to maintain such a sweet ride, then more power to you!

  10. #10
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    yea, if i'm getting one, then i'm getting a 540i.

    I just love the angel eyes!

    I was hoping around for a 2002 540i or something like that, but i was afraid of the costs of a mid-size german mobile
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  11. #11
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    Be certain to ask for detailed maintenance records. Make sure they did all the scheduled maintenance, not just oil changes. Most cars will last 200K with solid regular and proper maintenance but most people only change the oil and then complain when their cars die. German cars are more expensive to fix, I'd find a reputable NON dealer mechanic as well. They are not built quite as well as people believe, but they are built better than most North American cars. If I was gonna spend the $$$ on a mid size luxury car it would be a used Lexus or Infinity though. Those cars are built to last longer than any other car (as long as they have also had the proper maintenance as well).

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