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BlueZX6r
02-10-2011, 09:28 AM
So, I've decided i am getting rid of my SUV. Now I am considering a vehicle but the vehicle has to be a 6 cylinder, decent on gas and fun to drive and Bmw 3 series was one of the choices, a used one of course. PA is full of back roads and twisties... My Motorcycle is only for the weekends/track so i need a fun DD.

I know BMW makes very sporting vehicle but what is the maintenance like? Parents always have driven Lexus and never have any problems with any of them except for those recalls..

Girlfriend drive g35 and that thing is sweet but manual is only offered with rear wheel drive configuration. I prefer AWD and manual... so it might come down to a 330xi or 328xi.

I went and test drove one and man, it is very sporting. A bit under powered but the handling makes up for it.

So over your BMW's life, what were the major repairs that needed to be done? What problems are the 330xi 2001-2004 known for? Can most service be done at home? I own a Nissan and have always owned Nissan's and have always service it by my self. I have 132,000 miles on and never had a single problem ever.

I need something just as reliable.

Thanks in advance.

Elias
02-10-2011, 11:53 AM
Reliability is not one of BMW's strong points but if your a diy kind of person that will help you in keeping repair and maintenance costs down. What you don't get in reliability more than makes up in pure driving enjoyment.

x3brian
02-10-2011, 12:03 PM
I think folks tend to blur reliability and preventative maintenance together most of the time.

From a mechanical reliability standpoint a BMW is no different than a Toyota or a Nissan. But...you do have to pay attention to areas that will require pm before the part fails...ie the cooling system, "lifetime" fluid changes etc. I am a firm believer that a BMW will give you the same reliability for the first 100k as a Japanese car for less money (included 50k maintenance plan).

BlueZX6r
02-11-2011, 09:25 AM
Thank you. I don't think BMW is for me. Parts are scary expensive. Did some research and that a lone just scared me. I did love how it drive though. Maybe someday when I can afford to get a new one I'll consider it. Thank you for your input guys.

bmw_n00b13
02-11-2011, 09:34 AM
Not even. My mom's Honda costs consistently 2-3x what my car costs in parts and it is a complete POS to drive. Maybe parts are expensive compared to a GM or Ford.
BMWs are built to go 100k miles (extended warranty distance cutoff) before needing any significant service. Hondas are the same, Toyotas are suffering a bit but are roughly the same.
Japanese cars are terrible to drive.

Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse typos and lack of links.

BlueZX6r
02-11-2011, 09:48 AM
Not even. My mom's Honda costs consistently 2-3x what my car costs in parts and it is a complete POS to drive. Maybe parts are expensive compared to a GM or Ford.
BMWs are built to go 100k miles (extended warranty distance cutoff) before needing any significant service. Hondas are the same, Toyotas are suffering a bit but are roughly the same.
Japanese cars are terrible to drive.

Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse typos and lack of links.

Sounds like someone has never driven an infiniti G or IS. Parents old ES300 never needed anything except timing belts and regular maintenance. That thing had 160k on it.

KingJaffeJoffer
02-11-2011, 10:39 AM
The 330 is not going to be as "reliable" as your Pathfinder. Main reason: you will not drive it like a Pathfinder. I've never driven a 330, but I'm assured that the fun factor is there. I have a 4Runner with 147K miles. It is rock solid. It has been taking this harsh winter in-stride (as it has done for over a decade) while the M is safely ensconced in the garage (I take it out once a week when the roads are dry). I value them both, but I do not need to tell you which one is more fun to drive. Even if you do not get the 330, maybe you can find something else which satisfies your need for fun. One board member had a signature line that read: "Life is too short to drive a boring car." Couldn't agree more.

wag-zhp
02-11-2011, 10:50 AM
If you are a Nissan fan, why not look at a the 350Z? I know they don't offer a 4WD variation, but the fun factor more than makes up for it.

BlueZX6r
02-11-2011, 11:20 AM
If you are a Nissan fan, why not look at a the 350Z? I know they don't offer a 4WD variation, but the fun factor more than makes up for it.

I would, but insurance and the fact that it doesn't have any room just doesn't work out for me. Bmw's are awesome and definitely an awesome car if you have the money for it.

Now it comes down to either the 4 door IS300 or G35 sedan. I didn't even consider an Audi A4... LOL.

x3brian
02-11-2011, 11:25 AM
At 160k miles that was 2 timing belt changes at $1k each. Plus $100 every 6,000 miles for oil changes or roughly 26 oil changes.

Assuming nothing else, that's $4,600 in repairs

A BMW would just be about 16 oil changes or only $1600. That other $3k buys a lot of brake pads, and other parts.

Parts are no more expensive on a BMW when you look at this three dimensionally.

BlueZX6r
02-11-2011, 11:31 AM
At 160k miles that was 2 timing belt changes at $1k each. Plus $100 every 6,000 miles for oil changes or roughly 26 oil changes.

Assuming nothing else, that's $4,600 in repairs

A BMW would just be about 16 oil changes or only $1600. That other $3k buys a lot of brake pads, and other parts.

Parts are no more expensive on a BMW when you look at this three dimensionally.



Don't forget about cooling system overhaul... yikes. 10,000 mile intervals for BMW's? Since when?

On the Lexus, Timing belt was changed at 100k and My parents always did there own oil so... it costs 30-40 bucks for oil changes every 5000 miles or depends on the oil.

x3brian
02-11-2011, 02:15 PM
You have already made up your mind, so not trying to change that. Enjoy what ever you buy!

In my 20 plus years of driving I have owned many different cars including the makes listed above. My least reliable cars have been from them. Not to knock them...they make darn good cars.

Virtually all new cars are extremely well built and you CAN go 100k to 150k with nothing but oil changes and brake pads. Every manufacturer has bad days and a few bad apples get out there. With that said I am convinced you have the same odds of getting a lemon no matter what you buy. I owned a 2000 gmc Sonoma, bought new, that I put 350k miles on with nothing but oil changes, brake pads and tires (plus 1 clutch and water pump). That car still runs strong. I owned another car, 2005 model , also bought new, that needed 4 different engines at 44k miles.

In my experience (I have 2 late model BMWs) they are solidly built.

I have 35k on my 08 128i vert not a day of trouble. I have an 09 x3 with 50k and same is true. Both even still have significant tread on original tires.

Cooling system pm is every 5 years and basically no different than a timing belt (you replace the water pump in most cars when you change the timing belt)

Bmw Oil is synthetic and the on board CBS computer averages 15k to 18k on recommended change. I do mine half way because I drive the snot out my cars (200 mile daily commute).

Good luck with your search and have fun! New cars are rewarding!