Need some car help - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-12-2004, 11:49 AM
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Hello all. I have been a long....long time Honda owner, that is now looking at BMW's. Besides price, the main reason I have always driven Honda's is because of the "horror" stories I heard about BMW maintenance costs. Can those of you who "really" know the deal, inlighten me. Is it true that cost of owning a BMW is 3x's if not more than that of a Honda? And as for your very 3000 mile oil change, is it true that the days of Jiffy Lube are done? I am looking at a 2001 330i, with 6700 miles on it. Seems like a sweet ride but I'd like to know what I might be in for before I sign the dotted line. Thanks
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-12-2004, 01:44 PM
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welcome to bmw-forums


moving to e46
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-12-2004, 04:16 PM
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While BMW maintenance costs may be high, the actual time you spend at the dealership is minimal. If you get a well taken care of BMW, you shouldnt have to go to the dealer more than a few times a year, and spend minimal amounts of money.

Now, if you get a not-so-loved car, you are probably in for an expensive ride.

When in doubt, buy a warranty! There are several companies that do it for private purchases, and Heritage does it for most dealerships.

As for the oil changes, i am new to the BMW world, however, the onboard computer informs me oil changes only need to be performed every 10,000 miles? The BMW manual states : "Determining the maintenance intervals according to the actual use of the vehicle covers every kind of operating situation. However, even those who drive only short distances – i.e. significantly less than 6,000 miles (10,000 km) annually – should have the engine oil changed at least every 2 years since oil deteriorates over time, regardless of use."
The onboard computer (OBC) calculates based on the driving style used before the last oil change reset, the mileage you will be able to travel before it recommends the oil change.

I would suggest you A. take it to the BMW dealer for oil service (will cost you minimum 60 bux probably. B. Do it yourself (requires a small level of mechanical appitude) C. Take it to a certified BMW mechanic shop.

The e46 is the greatest car i have ever driven! You will not be disapointed if you take care of it!

Update: Make sure you use Synthetic 5w-30 or 5w-40 oil! Dont go back to normal oil, it can cause damage to the vehicle if used after synthetic oils have been used.

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#4 (permalink) Old 05-14-2004, 12:40 PM
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Thanks Killfox for the info. I appreciate it. I have been going back and forth between a 2004 Acura TL and the 2001 330i. I guess it is flip a coin now. Thanks again.
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2004, 02:11 PM
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I have had my 330Ci far just a over a year now...first oil change? 18,000 miles. Correct me if I am wrong, but the 2001 should still have about one year of factory warranty remaining on it. This warranty covers everything...to include wear and tear items...unless they just started doing that recently. So theoretically the no maintenence cost for the first year. Theoretically.

I echo killfox that if the car is treated nicely you will not have much for maintenance cost over the life of the vehicle. I have heard many stories of owners going 200-300,000miles without any major bereakdowns. Also the 5 year ownership cost (including insurance, gas, wear and tear items, etc.) is $1,000 less than the average of cars in its class.

On the other hand, if all you have ever owned is Hondas....then I can say with a fair amount of certainty that you have never owned a car that you will enjoy driving as much. For me it is almost an addiction. Good luck in your decision..we here KNOW you will make the right one!!

2003 330Ci Midnight Sapphire Black
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-14-2004, 10:59 PM
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Congrats on BMW!
I also switched from Hondas, owned honda cars since 1990, to 2002 325i.
The only one bad thing about BMW: it is addictive! Can't wait for excuse to drive it. And I am not a youngster.
I bought mine used almost year ago. It had 11000 mi. Next service visit was at 15k. On board computer consistant with indication, that next oil change is at 30k.
Drive it almost every day to work about 40mi round trip on Massachussetts highways, that looks like parking lots.
Though I bought mine used and not through authorized BMW steeler, service department at BMW dealership did all the service work needed and returned car cleaned and vacuumed without a penny out of my pocket.
As I see it 2 oil changes at $25 every 7500mi on honda =1oil change every 15000mi at $50.

Enjoy ultimate driving machine,
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-15-2004, 12:25 AM
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Thanks again to all of you. Your input has been extremely helpful. Now that I have settled on a BMW, which one? I think I'm going to hold out for an xi model since I live in the beautiful NW. Thanks again!
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2004, 02:04 AM
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wait wait wait. oil change every 15,000 miles??? Are you guys sure about this?? Im an honda owner myself. What happen to changing oil every 3000 miles? I dont know much about BMW so help me out.
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-15-2004, 03:38 AM
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@ reasons: 1. BMWs use synthetic oil that does not break down as fast as natural oil. 2. The engine compartment has closer tolerances and does not let as much debre and other foreign matter into the oil well.

The end result is an oil change about once a YEAR!! Sure it is $70-80 but an average car would have had 4 for $30 in that same period (based strictly on teh fact you are supposed to change your oil once every 3 months...I am not making a statement about milage based changes) In the end BMW owners actually come out ahead.

Even better you never have to change the tranny fluid for the life the vehicle...you cannot even check it!!! The compartment is completely sealed.

Makes you wonder why they are consided "high-maintenance" doesn't it. You do not even have a break in period...BMWs empaphasis is on hassle free ownership.

2003 330Ci Midnight Sapphire Black
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#10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2004, 08:48 AM
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My experience is a little different than many of the other posts. I too went from Hondas to BMW about 2 1/2 years ago. Driving a BMW is a thrilling experience unlike no other I've experienced. I drive windy back roads to work and it's awesome.

BUT... compared to a Honda, I consider the BMW much heavier on maintenence. Since I bought my 99 323i with 26,000 miles (65,000 today) I have had to replace the following... ALL 4 power window regulators, 3 ribbed v belts, front lower control arm bushings, the front hood roundel (wore off), power steering hoses, and an entire AC compressor unit.

Also, rotate those tires... I only got 25,000 miles on a set of rear Continentals that were supposed to last for 65,000. Check out the story I posted on battery replacement also ($209). There are also stories posted here about a whining noise when you press the accelerator... I've got that too. Oil changes are nice to only have to do annually... but my dealership charges $152 for this service (includes micro filter change). The Inspection II service was $626.

Many of these items are the wear and tear of a high performance vehicle and you should expext them to go quicker more so than in a Honda where you can drive 100K with only oil, air filter, and fluid flush services.

Get a warranty... it has saved me a bundle. Happy driving!
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#11 (permalink) Old 05-15-2004, 03:25 PM
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Dakbimmer,
Your experience with failures is strange: not that I don't believe, but I am looking for something else here:
You mentioned extended warranty...
Who detirmined that AC compressor needs to be changed? You or Service department? same with PS hoses, suspension bushing, belts and windows regulators.
From limited experience of my friends, that own BMW of various ages I can sustpect, that service department, was happy to drum-up buisness by doing more, than needed to be done. By the way, I am surprise they didn't change pulleys, while changing belts.

Owner doesn't care, insurance will pay, if service department will justify work...
Everybody is happy family...

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#12 (permalink) Old 05-16-2004, 09:15 AM
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Hello folks this is my first involvement with the forum. I too just came to buy a 02 325CI. I traded in an 01 Acura CL and I'm stoked. But my question is....I've always used Mobil 1 and changed my own oil. Whats the deal with the BMW...can I do it myself? I'm use to changing it every 3000 mi. Where is the filter? I haven't looked yet. Just got it Friday the 14th. I did manage to find the battery...ha

The other thing is the sticker says its Steel Gray Metalic, but I don't see that listed is it a disc. color or did they change it slightly.

Anyway I look forward to hangin out, and what an upgrade for the Acura to BMW..Awesome car all around. (insert smile)
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#13 (permalink) Old 05-21-2004, 09:09 PM
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Relevart - 2 of the 4 windows (rear) were complete failures where the glass slid into the door and you could hear a chain rattle. The other 2 were slow and clicking on up and down. The AC compressor left the car inoperable as it took out the belt which evidently is required to drive other neccessary components under the hood. The mechanic said this isn't totally unusual as the E46 compresssor continuously runs. The power steering hoses also were confirmed as I would see fluid under my car in the garage... do you smell lemon?
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#14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2004, 09:31 PM
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Check Consumer Reports Annual Auto Buying Guide at your local library or book store to find out which bimmers are considered reliable based on repair history. Some years are and some aren't. That's a fact as can be attested to by some of the forum members who, though covered under warranty, have had many repairs. What happens when there's no more warranty?

You can also get the same info at ConsumerReports.org and pay for an on-line subscription. Based on possible future repairs, etc. , I think it's worth the $20.

Obviously since I own a new bimmer, I've weighed these things out. With my old bimmer, I sold it when repairs started costing more than the car was worth.

btw, I also own a '97 Honda Accord that has only had one window motor go out. Never broken down or cost anything extra besides reg. maintenance. Saved me money so I could buy my new ride

2004 E60 530is, Delivered 12/12/03, TiSilver/LGrey, PP, SP,PS, PDC, ACC, FRS, Step, Xenons, clear bra, body colored rear inserts. (Retired, 1983 henna red 320is)

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