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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I'm considering the possibility of buying a 3-Series within the next year. But money will be tight because I will be going back to school in Sept. What I was wondering is how E36's cost in terms of parts and maintenance. BMW is a luxury brand so I'm afraid of paying premium prices to maintain the car. Parts for my bike already cost me an arm and a leg so I dont want a car that will do to.

How would you compare the price of parts and maintenace to the Japanese makes?

Thanks, Kevin.
 

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Hmm..You gonna pay for what you get..I would gladly pay for a BMW because my car is a 96 and makes all other 96s..cept BMWs..look like trash..they run better and hold up longer..no noisy rattling when you driven down the road...but parts are high..but made very well...
 

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Parts are not cheap...labor at a BMW dealership can be prohibitive. If you are somewhat mechanically inclined for at least basic maintanence, it can be ok. Realize if something major breaks that you can't fix....you're gonna fork over some dough...but its worth it I'd say... :thumbs
 

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Been in your situation man ... I sold my bimmer. But not because of the parts , because the fuel was pretty expensive and a 325i with a Hartge engine is hard to keep in resonable consumption limits.

By the other hand , if parts are more expensive they won't break so easy as the japanese cars. Don't know in USA but in Europe , the parts for the japans are more expensive than the ones for the German BMW ...

You have to think that you have to eat , drink and have fun in the same time ... I'd go for the bike as long as you are in school or some smaller chaper car .. my 2 cents opinion.
 

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Originally posted by DeefNDorf@Nov 11 2004, 05:14 PM
Hmm..You gonna pay for what you get..I would gladly pay for a BMW because my car is a 96 and makes all other 96s..cept BMWs..look like trash..they run better and hold up longer..no noisy rattling when you driven down the road...but parts are high..but made very well...
[snapback]228912[/snapback]​
Lot of '96 E36 rattle cause the stupid heat sheild for the exhaust get loose.
 

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I don't think you have to be rich to afford a bmw. If your buying an e36, I'd say go for it. It's a bmw so you know maintenance is going to be expensive. You can save a few $'s by performing basic maintenance yourself. I'd say invest in a service manual. Good Luck.
 

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I dont think you have to be rich at all, all though everyone sees the BMW roundel and thinks you are rich. Weird BMW thing here. But the maintence can be expensive, stay away from the dealerships and invest in a manual, some tools, and a set of work clothes. If you are in school it may eat you alive. I have a friend in school right now who only rides his bike (motorcycle) and loves it! If you have a couple of grand in the bank just in case then cool, or if you have really loving parents that works too!
 

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on average i'd budget $100-$150 a month at least to cover repairs. Definitely worth it. If you take it to the dealership expect to pay outrageous prices. Depending on the mileage as in my case- 125K ran fine, took it in to have it looked over and the bill ended up over 1500. And this a car in good running cond to begin with.
 

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It all depends on how comfortable you are with working on your car and if you have access to a decent size garage (not a total necessity, but I've worked on too many motorcycles and cars in the rain and cold - there's a few vehicles I used to own out there that are missing a quarter of their bolts and screws because of me :).

I always budget about $1000 bucks of preventative maintenance and repair into a new car when I first buy it. I probably spend about $50-$75 a month on my car (including oil changes and other mechanical and cosmetic maintenance items). I do pretty much all of my own maintenance - so that definitely helps. I've saved about $600 in the past couple months on labor.

Main thing is finding a good reputable independent shop - they'll tell you whether certain repairs are needed now, or can wait a few months (rather than just dumping a $1000 estimate in your lap).

The inline 6 engine and trannys seem to be pretty bulletproof - no timing belt that needs to switched out every 60k miles. Parts aren't really that much more expensive either - then again, whether you take it to a dealership or an indie - labor on a BMW is never cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the advice guys. I do all the maintenance on my motorcycle myself and will do as much as I can on my car. I have never taken any mechanical/auto shop courses, I just learn as I go. I called my insurance company and surprisingly the rates are not much higher than for my current car, a 93 mx-3. And there was only a $5 difference between the 318is and the 328is.

I will definately have to think things over though, because I don't want to be "car poor". I would love to get a 328, but I'm sure I would be satisfied with a 318 also. I don't need a car to get my speed fix, that's what the bike is for. I just want a nice, small, rw drive car.
 
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