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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 01-26-2011, 08:57 AM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Need Advice to Keep or Sell - Lengthy Read

Guys/Gals,

Well, if you're in the mood for a lengthy read, continue. I would REALLY love to get some advice from you all, as I just cannot make up my mind and am consequently driving myself and my husband nuts about this.

Here's the issue....Back in 2007 we leased an '07 X3 AT. Nothing extra on it except for the 18" wheels I wanted. My lease ended in March 2010 and after a lot of deliberation, we decided to go ahead and buy it as we got a fair deal on it. In fact, that was the last time I was on the boards here...asking for pricing advice. Ended up adding some nice running boards and also CPO'd the car.

Well, it's almost a year later, and I have continued to deal with certain 'issues' that have had me running to the dealer too often over the past almost four years. It's one thing when you have a full warranty, but now that I'm about to lose it, I'm seriously considering selling the car. Yes my CPO will kick in after that and I'll have it for two more years, BUT it is so limited that nothing I've taken it in for thus far would even be covered.....and I'm concerned about what this car is going to start costing me.

This is my first BMW and as much as I've loved the whole 'I get to drive a bemer everyday' thing, I've never had to take a car in to the dealer so often as I have with this one!!! Makes me miss my previous Hondas and Toyotas. But yes, I know you can't exactly compare the brands.

I've listed below the issues I've had to deal with over the last 4 years....as recently as of yesterday. I must have about 15 or so service papers in my glove compartment. It's a joke.

I know these cars are costly to maintain and if the past is any indication, while I haven't had really major issues, I predict more visits to the dealer. A bit of paranoia? Maybe, but I am particular and I DO EXPECT more from a BMW. Am seriously considering whether I should trade it towards the new 2011 Toyota Highlander....will have a new car, more options, new warranty, and would probably purchase an extended one too. But no, it's not a BMW.

Thoughts?


-- Acceleration issues noted in the STICKY (dealer informed me I was using 'bad gas'...yeah right!) WENT IN THREE TIMES FOR SAME ISSUE
-- Air bag emlem came loose (dealer reinstalled)
-- Creeking/popping noise coming from windows (dealer replaced rubber guides)
-- Ticking noise coming from engine when starting up (dealer replaced exhaust camshift hydraulic valve lifters)
-- Rattle noise coming from tailpipe (dealer repaired vacuum hose where it was separating)
-- Creaking noise from doors (dealer cleaned door seals) WENT IN TWICE FOR SAME ISSUE
-- Driver and passenger seat frames squeaking (dealer lubricated frames and reassembled seats) WENT IN TWICE FOR SAME ISSUE
-- Sunroof squeak when tilting (dealer cleaned and lubricated sunroof rails_
-- Steering wheel cover peeling (dealer removed/installed new covers)
-- Excessive clunking/banging noise from rear when driving over bumpy roads (dealer tightened tail gate trims and latch)
-- Clunking noise from underneath vehicle when entering into a sharp incline (dealer replaced rubber mounts of tension struts....something to do with excessive play in bushings)
-- Squealing noise coming from steering column when turning left/right...BEEN IN THREE TIMES FOR THIS AND STILL NOT FIXED
-- Center cup holder peeling (dealer replaced)
-- Left rear brake lightbulb went out (dealer replaced)
-- Battery DIED after 3.4 years....was told that it was due to me not 'driving enough'...dealer replaced but made the point that it was a 'one time only goodwill' replacement due to 'lack of usage /unfavorable driving condition'.
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2011, 09:23 AM
UberXY UberXY is offline
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Nine noise complaints. Think another car will solve the problem?
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2011, 09:25 AM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Originally Posted by UberXY View Post
Nine noise complaints. Think another car will solve the problem?
Well I never had issues with any of my other cars
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2011, 09:34 AM
T1T2GRE T1T2GRE is offline
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My '07 E83 was a rattle-trap. I don't think that was a good year for the E83s. Not sure if was a Magna-Steyr related issue or design flaw.

I traded for an '09 and it's been like night and day. Only had (knock wood) one minor issue so far.

I think BMW quality has become very bipolar. It's either 1) a problem car with billions of annoying rattles/creaks etc. or 2) it's old-school BMW-built-like-a-tank.

Was in a situation similar to yours and shopped around/drove tons of other brands. Admittedly I am a BMW foamer (been a long-time CCA member), but objectively, there is nothing like a BMW at the end of the day, SUV or otherwise.

My input = consider a trade and ask the dealer for some assistance on it.
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  #5  
Old 01-26-2011, 09:37 AM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T1T2GRE View Post
My '07 E83 was a rattle-trap. I don't think that was a good year for the E83s. Not sure if was a Magna-Steyr related issue or design flaw.

I traded for an '09 and it's been like night and day. Only had (knock wood) one minor issue so far.

I think BMW quality has become very bipolar. It's either 1) a problem car with billions of annoying rattles/creaks etc. or 2) it's old-school BMW-built-like-a-tank.

Was in a situation similar to yours and shopped around/drove tons of other brands. Admittedly I am a BMW foamer (been a long-time CCA member), but objectively, there is nothing like a BMW at the end of the day, SUV or otherwise.

My input = consider a trade and ask the dealer for some assistance on it.
Thanks. I'm nervous to go for a preowned...worrying about someone else's history, etc. Ideally I'd get a new one, but it's not really in the budget. I'd use mine as a trade, but I don't want to spend anything additional out of pocket.
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2011, 09:46 AM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Forgot to mention that my car has 14,900 miles on it
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  #7  
Old 01-26-2011, 09:50 AM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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As far as seals on doors, sunroof etc, unfortunately you should learn to lubricate them yourself. Every 6 months or so depending on weather. Very fast process.

Peeling black coating on plastic - I had that too. Has not come back.

Stuff you had tightened - I have not had that type issue, even though I live on a dirt road which is very bumpy at times.

Valve tapping and battery could be due to lack of driving. I am not sure how much you drive it. If short distances, perhaps take a nice long drive on the highway 1x per month. You could also use a battery maintainer if needed. There are a lot of power hungry electronics on your X3.

It is your choice. You only have to answer your question for yourself. If you are having that many issues, perhaps a switch to Toyota is best.
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2011, 09:53 AM
T1T2GRE T1T2GRE is offline
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BMW CPOs are usually pretty good deals. Shelling out the cash for a new purchase is hard to justify, and their CPO warranty is not too shabby.

Personally, I think the E83 is not reflective of the best BMW build quality, but if you comb through the posts, you will see that different model years had different problems, as with any marque. The problem with BMW/luxury marques is that expectations are also extremely high (understandably so) so folks get pretty upset when there are issues (as I was with the 2007 E83).

I'm a long-time BMW owner (back to the E30/E21 days) and my experience with the 2007 E83 was so frustrating I almost gave up the brand. Which says a lot, because I am die-hard BMW. I wrote letters, etc. and received a luke-warm response.

The 2009 has, thus far, been much better.

The problem may be multifactorial:
1) bad year/"Monday" car (most likely)
2) suboptimal dealership service/support (though their willingness to give you a new battery suggests otherwise). I have now switched to a newer dealer with my new X3 and their service is impeccable.
3) tough expectations (though I mean no offense; only that I had and still have high expectations for BMW. In my job, we get sued for mistakes. For BMW and a lot of manufacturers, they can shrug off a lot of negative energy unless it hurts the bottom line).

Good luck with your decision making. I am glad I made the leap to give them one more chance!
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2011, 09:56 AM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T1T2GRE View Post
BMW CPOs are usually pretty good deals. Shelling out the cash for a new purchase is hard to justify, and their CPO warranty is not too shabby.

Personally, I think the E83 is not reflective of the best BMW build quality, but if you comb through the posts, you will see that different model years had different problems, as with any marque. The problem with BMW/luxury marques is that expectations are also extremely high (understandably so) so folks get pretty upset when there are issues (as I was with the 2007 E83).

I'm a long-time BMW owner (back to the E30/E21 days) and my experience with the 2007 E83 was so frustrating I almost gave up the brand. Which says a lot, because I am die-hard BMW. I wrote letters, etc. and received a luke-warm response.

The 2009 has, thus far, been much better.

The problem may be multifactorial:
1) bad year/"Monday" car (most likely)
2) suboptimal dealership service/support (though their willingness to give you a new battery suggests otherwise). I have now switched to a newer dealer with my new X3 and their service is impeccable.
3) tough expectations (though I mean no offense; only that I had and still have high expectations for BMW. In my job, we get sued for mistakes. For BMW and a lot of manufacturers, they can shrug off a lot of negative energy unless it hurts the bottom line).

Good luck with your decision making. I am glad I made the leap to give them one more chance!
Thanks. You're right about having high expectations. Overall I have been surprised and disappointed, but I know there are huge numbers of people out there who have had the opposite experience to mine. Glad you're enjoying yours!
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2011, 09:58 AM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
As far as seals on doors, sunroof etc, unfortunately you should learn to lubricate them yourself. Every 6 months or so depending on weather. Very fast process.

Peeling black coating on plastic - I had that too. Has not come back.

Stuff you had tightened - I have not had that type issue, even though I live on a dirt road which is very bumpy at times.

Valve tapping and battery could be due to lack of driving. I am not sure how much you drive it. If short distances, perhaps take a nice long drive on the highway 1x per month. You could also use a battery maintainer if needed. There are a lot of power hungry electronics on your X3.

It is your choice. You only have to answer your question for yourself. If you are having that many issues, perhaps a switch to Toyota is best.
Thanks. I do work close to where I live, so that explains the low mileage. I do about 3600 miles a year. The dealer did once mention the battery maintainer which I passed on. Just seems like it takes a lot of work to keep this car going well.
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  #11  
Old 01-26-2011, 10:04 AM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Believe me I get your frustration but the good thing here these are minor, and your dealer is working with you.

I have owned many, many new cars including ones that had zero issues in the first 36k miles (bumper to bumper expiration). One of those cars then developed an oil leak at 44k and spent the next 18 months going through 4 engines before the dealer got it right. Luckily that was covered under extended warranty. not to shame that manuf but it was one of the "reliable" ones you mention above.

Cars are cars. Some have issues others don't it is like the lottery. Boards like this are great because you can sort out major from minor common problems.

In my experience, and I put 200k to 300k on cars before I get rid of them, the ones that I have small annoying things during bumper to bumper become my most reliable commuter cars (I drive 50k a year and HATE rattles).

My 2009 x3 has 42k on it and I have had the following (all covered):

Brake light bulb burnt out
Steering wheel trim peeling
Cup holder trim peeling
Window washer pump failed pumping fluid all over my garage
Passenger seat weight pad sensor failure
Right rear tpms sensor wire worked loose

None of the above give me any reason to believe this car will not hit 300k miles mechanically. Sure small things will happen but with regular PM issues are minor.

Keeping your car is your choice, but I love my X3 and plan on keeping it a long time. The quality is better than any car I have previously owned.
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  #12  
Old 01-26-2011, 10:15 AM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3brian View Post
Believe me I get your frustration but the good thing here these are minor, and your dealer is working with you.

I have owned many, many new cars including ones that had zero issues in the first 36k miles (bumper to bumper expiration). One of those cars then developed an oil leak at 44k and spent the next 18 months going through 4 engines before the dealer got it right. Luckily that was covered under extended warranty. not to shame that manuf but it was one of the "reliable" ones you mention above.

Cars are cars. Some have issues others don't it is like the lottery. Boards like this are great because you can sort out major from minor common problems.

In my experience, and I put 200k to 300k on cars before I get rid of them, the ones that I have small annoying things during bumper to bumper become my most reliable commuter cars (I drive 50k a year and HATE rattles).

My 2009 x3 has 42k on it and I have had the following (all covered):

Brake light bulb burnt out
Steering wheel trim peeling
Cup holder trim peeling
Window washer pump failed pumping fluid all over my garage
Passenger seat weight pad sensor failure
Right rear tpms sensor wire worked loose

None of the above give me any reason to believe this car will not hit 300k miles mechanically. Sure small things will happen but with regular PM issues are minor.

Keeping your car is your choice, but I love my X3 and plan on keeping it a long time. The quality is better than any car I have previously owned.
Thanks for your insight. You're right in that it's about luck. I had a Ford Explorer when I was about 17 or 18 and that thing was a complete NIGHTMARE! Made my BMW list above look like nothing. But, I also don't want a money pit. If I assume that I may need to continue visiting the dealer 2-3 times a year for issues like the ones I've had, what will it cost me? Labor will be bad I'm sure. I already know that my warranty is up in March. I've been told that in April I will need to do a brake fluid flush for around $170, and in May I'll need an oil change for around $100. I called a few indys to compare pricing but they were in line with these items. Not big money here, but at the same time, considering what the other items in my list WOULD HAVE cost, it is a concern. I'm still making payments on the car as well.
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2011, 10:18 AM
solefald solefald is offline
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Cup holder, light bulbs and battery are a typical wear and tear on a 4 year old car. You can't get around these.
For everything else, perhaps another dealership should take a look?

I used to have a '01 Jetta that i bought brand new. While the engine was more or less fine, the interior of the car was literally falling apart. *All* trim finish peeled off during the first 2 years, hazard switch just fell apart all on its own, armrest latch I replaced 6(!!!) times. $17 each time. After that the armrest just fell off completely. Passenger side window disappeared into the door on my way to work during a torrential downpour (apparently a "known issue") and by the time i got to the dealer i had about 3" of water in my car. And don't get me started on the light bulbs. I had a glove compartment full of various light bulbs because i had to replace them at least once a month.

Can't comment about X3 yet, as I only had it for a little over a week, but my '08 3 series coupe was rock solid. Leatherette ripped on the drivers seat couple of months ago, but I am not convinced it is BMW quality related. A friend of mine was driving the car at the time, so I never got the whole story...

My gripes were mostly with the dealer. Scratched center console, which I was told "was there" when they got the car (complete BS). And one day i brought the car for front brake service and got it back with paint chipped around lug nuts on my week old rims... which also "were there" when I dropped off the car. Thankfully I took before and afte pictures of the wheels, so they had no choice but to fix it and kiss my ass for 6 months after that.
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Last edited by solefald; 01-26-2011 at 10:19 AM.
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  #14  
Old 01-26-2011, 10:25 AM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Thanks for your insight. You're right in that it's about luck. I had a Ford Explorer when I was about 17 or 18 and that thing was a complete NIGHTMARE! Made my BMW list above look like nothing. But, I also don't want a money pit. If I assume that I may need to continue visiting the dealer 2-3 times a year for issues like the ones I've had, what will it cost me? Labor will be bad I'm sure. I already know that my warranty is up in March. I've been told that in April I will need to do a brake fluid flush for around $170, and in May I'll need an oil change for around $100. I called a few indys to compare pricing but they were in line with these items. Not big money here, but at the same time, considering what the other items in my list WOULD HAVE cost, it is a concern. I'm still making payments on the car as well.
See if they can pull in the brake fluid flush to March or at least schedule it in March. That should cover you.

Oil changes are part if any vehicle. Either learn to do it yourself (cost about $50) or pay dealer charge. You can check for an Indy which might save some money.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:30 AM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
See if they can pull in the brake fluid flush to March or at least schedule it in March. That should cover you.

Oil changes are part if any vehicle. Either learn to do it yourself (cost about $50) or pay dealer charge. You can check for an Indy which might save some money.
I thought about asking for the brake fluid flush early, but lately my service guy and I haven't exactly been the best of pals. I'm tired of going in there and he's tired of dealing with me. I once tried to get an oil change done a month or so early since I was there for something else (I do mine yearly based on time since my miles are so low) but was told that 'the computer' wouldn't allow them to do it earlier than 12 months, so I had to go back to get it done!
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:32 AM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solefald View Post
Cup holder, light bulbs and battery are a typical wear and tear on a 4 year old car. You can't get around these.
For everything else, perhaps another dealership should take a look?

I used to have a '01 Jetta that i bought brand new. While the engine was more or less fine, the interior of the car was literally falling apart. *All* trim finish peeled off during the first 2 years, hazard switch just fell apart all on its own, armrest latch I replaced 6(!!!) times. $17 each time. After that the armrest just fell off completely. Passenger side window disappeared into the door on my way to work during a torrential downpour (apparently a "known issue") and by the time i got to the dealer i had about 3" of water in my car. And don't get me started on the light bulbs. I had a glove compartment full of various light bulbs because i had to replace them at least once a month.

Can't comment about X3 yet, as I only had it for a little over a week, but my '08 3 series coupe was rock solid. Leatherette ripped on the drivers seat couple of months ago, but I am not convinced it is BMW quality related. A friend of mine was driving the car at the time, so I never got the whole story...

My gripes were mostly with the dealer. Scratched center console, which I was told "was there" when they got the car (complete BS). And one day i brought the car for front brake service and got it back with paint chipped around lug nuts on my week old rims... which also "were there" when I dropped off the car. Thankfully I took before and afte pictures of the wheels, so they had no choice but to fix it and kiss my ass for 6 months after that.
Yikes, I bet you were thrilled to get rid of that Jetta!

Perhaps I should try another dealer for service.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:56 AM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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You are only looking at $150 a year in normal maintenance with an annual oil change at a dealer. Brake fluid every 2 years should be no more than $100. Cabin air filter you can do yourself for $30.

So...maintenance only you won't find a cheaper car at $200 a year. No issues above were major to prove that you have other hidden costs.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:03 AM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Originally Posted by x3brian View Post
You are only looking at $150 a year in normal maintenance with an annual oil change at a dealer. Brake fluid every 2 years should be no more than $100. Cabin air filter you can do yourself for $30.

So...maintenance only you won't find a cheaper car at $200 a year. No issues above were major to prove that you have other hidden costs.

BMW charges $170 for the brake fluid flush....cheapest I found at an indy was $140. Anyway, I know that's not a huge amount of money.

As far as my list, you're right in that nothing major has happened...not like the engine has conked....just the battery. But things like the tailpipe vacuum hose and the exhaust camshift hydraulic valve lifters, and the play in the bushels....what would all that have cost me to fix? To some degree there's been a theme with my car....me having to go in to repair the same things more than one time. I just wish I knew what I was in for. That is the concern.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:10 AM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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My dealer charges $77 for brake fluid but $150 for oil (I do my own changes mid cycle for around $50), so prices do vary.

I suggest you test drive some new cars and then make a decision.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:38 AM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Originally Posted by x3brian View Post
My dealer charges $77 for brake fluid but $150 for oil (I do my own changes mid cycle for around $50), so prices do vary.

I suggest you test drive some new cars and then make a decision.
I think that's what I'm going to do, thanks Brian.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:03 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
I thought about asking for the brake fluid flush early, but lately my service guy and I haven't exactly been the best of pals. I'm tired of going in there and he's tired of dealing with me. I once tried to get an oil change done a month or so early since I was there for something else (I do mine yearly based on time since my miles are so low) but was told that 'the computer' wouldn't allow them to do it earlier than 12 months, so I had to go back to get it done!
Mine has always gone above and beyond with me - a top notch dealership. Your dealer should work with you if they want repeat business!

Anyway, if you can't get it done early, I saw others posted reasonable prices for the flush. Any other dealer you can go to? My plan at the end of my CPOs on my cars is to get the once over just before expiration and get anything addressed under warranty if needed.

After that, if I begin to see issues, bye bye X3. However, I expect to get 150k or more miles out of this X3 easily.
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  #22  
Old 01-26-2011, 12:26 PM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
Mine has always gone above and beyond with me - a top notch dealership. Your dealer should work with you if they want repeat business!

Anyway, if you can't get it done early, I saw others posted reasonable prices for the flush. Any other dealer you can go to? My plan at the end of my CPOs on my cars is to get the once over just before expiration and get anything addressed under warranty if needed.

After that, if I begin to see issues, bye bye X3. However, I expect to get 150k or more miles out of this X3 easily.

There are other dealers in the area which I could try. It's something to consider. I thought about doing the same....having things checked out before my warranty is up...but how likely are they to tell me something needs replacing if they have to pay for it? After March, my CPO kicks in and expires 2 years after that. Doesn't seem like the CPO covers much though....the dealer told me that not even the radio is covered. Does the engine pretty much have to have issues for a CPO warranty to be useful? No 'little stuff'?
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:54 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 Z4+X3, 2006 530Xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
There are other dealers in the area which I could try. It's something to consider. I thought about doing the same....having things checked out before my warranty is up...but how likely are they to tell me something needs replacing if they have to pay for it? After March, my CPO kicks in and expires 2 years after that. Doesn't seem like the CPO covers much though....the dealer told me that not even the radio is covered. Does the engine pretty much have to have issues for a CPO warranty to be useful? No 'little stuff'?
CPO covers the major systems. I had to use mine for my wife's 530xi. The sunroof seals were bad. It was a new sunroof cassette 2 years earlier, so very fast seal degradation. Cost me the $50 deductible to fix. That is my only CPO use so far. My X3 has been on CPO for a year, but no issues yet.

As far as exact coverage, check the BMW site for terms. Major systems covered, wear and tear is not. Not sure how my dealer got the seals covered, but they did.

Squeaks, rattles - not covered. I did hear some door seal noise on the X3. They lubed the seals for no cost.
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Madurodave

My garage: 2007 BMW Z4 3.0si Manual, 2007 BMW X3, 2006 BMW 530xi

Retired: 1998 BMW Z3

Member of BMWCCA!
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  #24  
Old 01-26-2011, 12:58 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Location: Sacramento CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 989
Mein Auto: X3
The CPO warranty is essentially a power train warranty. It covers the expensive stuff:

Engine
Transmission
Final drive assemble/transfer case
Steering
Hydraulic brake parts (not pads or rotors)
Abs
Electrical (not accs like the radio)
Hvac
Cooling system
Fuel system

All else excluded including wear and use items
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  #25  
Old 01-26-2011, 01:23 PM
kcmo kcmo is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 198
Mein Auto: '07 X3 3.0si
Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
CPO covers the major systems. I had to use mine for my wife's 530xi. The sunroof seals were bad. It was a new sunroof cassette 2 years earlier, so very fast seal degradation. Cost me the $50 deductible to fix. That is my only CPO use so far. My X3 has been on CPO for a year, but no issues yet.

As far as exact coverage, check the BMW site for terms. Major systems covered, wear and tear is not. Not sure how my dealer got the seals covered, but they did.

Squeaks, rattles - not covered. I did hear some door seal noise on the X3. They lubed the seals for no cost.

I'm surprised you got the seals covered...that's great!
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