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6 Series
The BMW 6 Series builds on BMW's sporty heritage with aggressive lines and an incredible motor to back the design up. Available in coupe and convertible trims with a standard 4.8 liter engine producing 360 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque, the 6-series is a popular choice that exceeds expectations.

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  #1  
Old 01-21-2013, 09:26 PM
Diesel117 Diesel117 is offline
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Looking to buy '05 - '06 6 series

I am looking at two '05-'06 6 series cars with about 125K miles on them. I am looking at them because they are priced in the mid-upper teens.

My car was totaled the other day and I have to make a replacement decision quick. What repairs tend to show up these? Any insight would be great. My default is just a 3 series. I know they are fairly inexpensive.

Thanks,
Brian
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2013, 06:39 AM
Diesel117 Diesel117 is offline
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Any specific things I should look for when I go look at them? I know every car has its concerns.

I have read about***********:

Camshaft position sensors failing
Oil leaks in the line for the variable valve timing system
iDrive's going haywire for "rollover protection fault"
Coolant may leak near the timing cover

Thanks.
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  #3  
Old 01-22-2013, 06:44 AM
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greco2000 greco2000 is offline
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Oil leaks and more oil leaks... Valve cover gasket, alternator housing gasket... pretty much every gasket in the car. Know what your getting into when buying an older 6 series... and keep a fat emergency expense account! The older ones are inexpensive for a reason.

I used to drive a 2002 745I. Invoice price was $121,000, in 2011 they sell for $10,000! The year I sold it, I spent over $7000 in maintenance! This N62 engine is a beauty, but comes with its issues. Not trying to scare you, but people forget that the cost of the BMW is the maintenance costs, along with the sales price.

Thats why I laid down the lumber and bought mine from the dealer with CPO and only 40,000km.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:19 AM
Diesel117 Diesel117 is offline
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So you are saying the engine has a lot of issues? Bad engineering design? It does sound like a car to stay away from.
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  #5  
Old 01-22-2013, 07:26 AM
Gnice Gnice is offline
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Definitely check for oil leaks valve cover gaskets alone can cost $2000 + to repair. I've got a 06 and it has multiple oil leaks.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:42 AM
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GetMeABeer GetMeABeer is offline
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125k is a lot of miles on any car, most problems usually start to occur around 80 to 100k. You have to remember, the year and model you're looking at is a $70 to $80k sports car, so upkeep and repair costs will fit the bill. Problems will occur, just like with any car, but the bills will be more pricey given its an exotic car.

It's not an issue of bad design or engine problems, this is the BMW 6 we're talking about! Once you drive it and see that baby parked in the driveway you'll never look back, it's drool inspiring. Don't be afraid of the car, it's not even a car really, it's a finely engineered machine and a beastly one at that. Just purchase rationally and wisely, proper maintenance is key. If a CPO is out of your price range and you're worried about problems, an after market warranty might be a good idea, but they are pricey too and sometimes confusing as to what's covered.

The specific cars you're looking at are in the teens for a reason. Check the service history, how many owners, things like that. These cars are made to be driven. And some people drive harder than others, that will takes its toll. If you can find a 6er with one owner, they most likely babied it because they bought it new. If you find one with 3 or 4 owners, who knows what went on! Browsing the board, you'll see that there are some common problems with the 6er, others know more about them than me as I'm new to the game, but overall it's a solid car. I think it's an issue of no one posts when everything is running smoothly. My 2000 328ci had plenty of problems, most occurred in the 100k mile range as little things add up.

I'd say keep shopping around until you find one with lower miles, but you have to be willing to spend a little more. It will save you money in the long run. I got a great deal on an 05 with 43k miles, one owner and it's in mint condition, looks and runs brand new. I'm totally in love.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:23 AM
Diesel117 Diesel117 is offline
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Originally Posted by GetMeABeer View Post
125k is a lot of miles on any car, most problems usually start to occur around 80 to 100k.

...an after market warranty might be a good idea, but they are pricey too and sometimes confusing as to what's covered.

I think it's an issue of no one posts when everything is running smoothly.
I am not afraid of miles on a car if it has been taken care of and has a good reputation for reliability, quality, etc. I have a truck with 180K miles and counting, my car had 155K when it got totaled,and the vehicle before that had 300K before I got rid of it. That being said, I do not want to end up with a problem vehicle as I will be driving it daily. I can wrench on my own vehicles but I don't want to make it a part time job.

I have heard of many nightmare stories of aftermarket warranties being confusing and not covering something.

I agree that you see more negative in forums. Trying to feel out the likely hood of having the same issues is always the tough part.

I will probably take to safe way and buy my neighbor's 3 series.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:18 AM
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BMW engines are still awesome. The problem is, especially with the BMWs with high MSRPs, most owners stop performing the preventative maintenance that makes these cars live VERY long lives. The typical owner of a 6er is not going to do much on their own after the warranty, and probably won't notice anything wrong until it is too late. On the other hand, there are some folks that do maintain the cars well after warranty. This is the kind of car you want to find. Unfortunately, most 6ers that make it over 100k are a high risk used car to buy. If you can make sure the car was properly cared for, then it will go another 150k with proper maintenance.

My advice is to find a nice '06 650i with less than 60k miles. Should be doable under $30k. Take proper care of it and it will last you 10 years or more.

Otherwise, get an '08 E92 (or an '06 M3) and have less heartache.
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  #9  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:09 AM
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GetMeABeer GetMeABeer is offline
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If the 3 available is in better condition and has lower mileage, that's certainly a selling point. Since it's you neighbor, you'll probably know the car's history and how he maintains his vehicles and so on. What year is the 3 BTW? Mileage?

But I don't think it's a question of a safer choice though. Just saying, you can't look at it like I'm going to have definitive/ certain problems with a 6 over a 3.

I had the exact same concerns as you in purchasing, as it's my daily driver as well. After browsing the forums and reading about the common issues, it almost scared me into not buying it. Basically, convinced myself that I'm going to have guaranteed issues. Like this is going to happen here and that is going to fail when I hit so many miles and so on. But I'd say proper maintenance and low mileage are the two most important things when looking at 6ers. But all BMW's are going to be expensive to maintain and the repair bills will mirror each other. Like greco said, it's built into the price. Just depends on how well the car has been maintained.

In terms of quality, from my experience, there is no question, the 6 destroys the 3. You'll see that when you get behind the wheel of each. And then as you blow by a 3 on the highway, leaving behind nothing but the faint sight of the active LED taillights and the sound of its throaty V8 exhaust lingering in the air, as cruel reminder to the guy in the 3 saying to himself, I should have bought the 6!

In terms of reliability, I can't really say yet. But I find it hard to believe that the 6 is that much more riskier than a 3. My 3 was no pillar of reliability, had more problems with that car than any other. Maybe I'll eat my words in the future, but right now it was a no brainer in my mind. One test drive sealed the deal for me and there was no going back. Honestly, after driving the 6, I can't ever see myself in another 3, it's like two different worlds.

Coincidently, I just started looking into buying my girlfriend a 3 hardtop vert. Since I got my 6, she keeps saying how much she misses her 3 that she traded in last year. I keep telling her to drive mine, but she won't because she says the iDrive screen is annoying...huh? Finally, got her to drive it once at least and she said its not as bad as she thought. Really want to get her a new 4, which is probably what I'll do, of course I'll want to drive it all the time though!

So was doing some research on the 3 for her yesterday and started looking over some old repair bills from mine. Didn't realize how much I spent keeping that car on the road. When I hit 100k miles, it went to hell. Over a 2 year period, spent well over 10k. The car only had 23k miles on it and got a great deal at 22k, like 8k off asking price, pays to know people! Plus I had 3 years left on the CPO warranty. But that was long gone when the problems started. Bills went like $600, 400, 1200, 500, 1300...etc. Was shocked! Not including the transmission that went around 50k miles but was covered by the CPO. I put so much money in it and a minor accident totaled it. Even just got brand new tires on it, which pissed me off even more!

My friend just got rid of his 2005 3 series and he said he had nothing but problems with it. I think he had 130k on it. But than again, I have a friend that has 150k on his 2003 5 and he says it runs great and has been a tank. So it's a crapshoot. But the more miles you put on a BMW, the more problems, it's just the way it is. Read people on the board who automatically trade in or sell their car as soon as the warranty expires just over fear.

Anyway, not trying to sell you on the 6. Just saying don't be afraid of the car. Some people have problems, others don't, same thing with any car. Don't think you're automatically going have the same problems, like the car comes with a built in recall button.

I'm already planning my next car, it's going to be a brand new F12, 2014/15. Might even go for the M. I'm officially hooked on this car.

But my main advice is if you're sold on the 3, don't test drive the 6!

In any event whatever you decide, let us know how the 3 works out for you. Goodluck and happy hunting!
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  #10  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:16 AM
tampamark tampamark is online now
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Look at the thread below for the flawed coolant pipe design. BMW is a great company and make a great car. But they do not make a car designed to last forever, at least not in the current time. I don't know about previous generations.

The car is designed for performance and luxury not for longevity. Just my observation in owning my first BMW! There are many parts that can fail, the one that has not been mentioned is the poorly designed coolant pipe through the middle of the engine:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...t=coolant+pipe

It would be nice to see if either car had already had this replaced...

If you are buying the extreme of what you can afford and cannot handle a $1000 - $2000 repair, or are not a DIY wrench guy, then I would avoid this car. If not go for it! The 6 is a great ride.

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  #11  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:17 AM
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Not to offend, but much of that is directly correlated to maintenance. In general, the I6 engines in the 3 series are less expensive to maintain than the V8 engines in the 6er. A poorly maintained 3 will be more expensive over the ownership period than a properly maintained 6er, though. My point was that in general, high mileage 6ers are NOT as well kept as high mileage 3s. There's a much larger base of people properly maintaining their 3s than there are 6ers. There are outliers in each. In my case, I found a nice gem, ~41k miles on my '04 6er and you could tell it was in great shape. My only issue was with the crankshaft position sensor, which I think was due to someone learning how to drive stick in the car. Metal shavings on the sensor...


Anyway, the choice is yours. In my opinion for most driving on public roads, the 6er is a league above many cars, even ones with 2x the MSRP... But for motorsports and reliability, the 3 series wins out.

If you're comfortable with a wrench, and you find a good 6er (read, well maintained), then go for it. You will not regret it.
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Quote:
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Jared, why don't you just put "It's Giubo" in your sig? Save a lot of typing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by e36 miguel View Post
this jared guy sounds intimidating lol.
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-------------------------------------------------------------------
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:52 AM
bedstuyguy86 bedstuyguy86 is offline
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Others have already chimed in on potential issues so I'll just offer a suggestion. No offense, but I would never consider buying this car with over 100k miles on it. You are asking for problems. The 6 series, much like other higher end niche vehicles are not meant to be driven into 100k/over miles. They are designed to be a niche car for the weekend driving types. Some would say you shouldn't even use this car as your daily driver, although I don't really agree with that. If the only 6er you can afford at the moment has over 100k miles on it, you may be reaching alittle. I would go with the 3 series and save yourself alot of potential headaches.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:56 AM
tampamark tampamark is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petriej View Post
Not to offend, but much of that is directly correlated to maintenance. In general, the I6 engines in the 3 series are less expensive to maintain than the V8 engines in the 6er. A poorly maintained 3 will be more expensive over the ownership period than a properly maintained 6er, though. My point was that in general, high mileage 6ers are NOT as well kept as high mileage 3s. There's a much larger base of people properly maintaining their 3s than there are 6ers. There are outliers in each. In my case, I found a nice gem, ~41k miles on my '04 6er and you could tell it was in great shape. My only issue was with the crankshaft position sensor, which I think was due to someone learning how to drive stick in the car. Metal shavings on the sensor...


Anyway, the choice is yours. In my opinion for most driving on public roads, the 6er is a league above many cars, even ones with 2x the MSRP... But for motorsports and reliability, the 3 series wins out.

If you're comfortable with a wrench, and you find a good 6er (read, well maintained), then go for it. You will not regret it.


No offense taken, I can see your point. I can't speak to other BMW's since I have never owned a 3 series for any other for that matter. You are correct in that if the car he buys has had the seals and common leak points fixed then he is good for a while. But if it is a used car dealer they will probably clean it up to hide the obvious signs of any leaks.

I am not sure the OP will be able to determine repair history for a car that is 7 to 8 years old and probably been through multiple owners. Unless they are one owner cars taken to BMW dealer it will be impossible to tell what the history is.

When I compare maintenance in the 6 I can only compare to what I know growing up and working on all my cars through high school/college/professional career. That is that simple maintenance tasks such as replacing spark plugs is a less than simple process. Certainly replacing valve cover and other gaskets are progressively more difficult for a DIY, which because the are difficult and time consuming, make them more expensive to have a shop repair.

So the bottom line is this, ask the question of anyone on this board who has had a 6 for a while, would you recommend someone to buy a 6 series with 125k miles on the premise that if maintained it will be problem free? I would think most would say NO, that is not realistic to expect. If he buys the car he will have to hope for the best and pray he doesn't get the worst! Even if it is well maintained, the chances of not having some type of failure in a 7/8 year old car is rare, and when something does fail it costs more than most cars to repair.

Last edited by tampamark; 01-22-2013 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:03 PM
HerbP HerbP is offline
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If you pay 13k to 16k for a 150k mile 645, you could easily spend that much on repairs in the 1st year of ownership. BMW's have been designed to make it very hard for the average mechanic to work on. If you are a good mechanic with great aptitude & computer skills, go for it. There is a huge learning curve that needs to be learned, to work on these cars.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:36 PM
tk123 tk123 is offline
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It depends on the previous owner and how lucky you are.....I was the second owner of my car. (Knock on wood.) Nothing major so far. In the 4 years that I have owned my car I have had my brakes, transmission fluids/pan, water pump. I drive a lot in my car. I currently have 115k miles on it and it runs like it was new. (Your normal oil change and tires.) I have also installed AUX input. I hear a lot of negativity but I still love the car and can't wait to buy another 6er. Educate yourself in regards to the 6er and you can make an intelligent decision. I take my 6er to an INDY and not the dealer. Good Luck.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:59 PM
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07 E63650i 07 E63650i is offline
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Most first owners of these cars lease them and turn them in when the contract is up. The thing is, I wouldn't use the word reliable on these cars. Rather, more wear and tear as this is a performance car. Once you get a 6, you don't want any other car. You get what you pay for, but this car really is the "Ultimate Driving Machine." Just be sure to keep up on maintenance and don't follow the 15k mile oil change interval. Do the oil changes at 7.5k or 5k miles. I believe this car can last over 150k miles if the preventative maintenance is done.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:02 PM
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07 E63650i 07 E63650i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greco2000 View Post
Oil leaks and more oil leaks... Valve cover gasket, alternator housing gasket... pretty much every gasket in the car. Know what your getting into when buying an older 6 series... and keep a fat emergency expense account! The older ones are inexpensive for a reason.

I used to drive a 2002 745I. Invoice price was $121,000, in 2011 they sell for $10,000! The year I sold it, I spent over $7000 in maintenance! This N62 engine is a beauty, but comes with its issues. Not trying to scare you, but people forget that the cost of the BMW is the maintenance costs, along with the sales price.

Thats why I laid down the lumber and bought mine from the dealer with CPO and only 40,000km.
The 7 is a nightmare when it comes to ownership. The N62B44 has problems, but the N62B48 is less prone to issues since it's updated, but it doesn't mean that it's trouble-free.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:13 PM
tk123 tk123 is offline
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correct, I have owned the 3 and 7 also. When I got rid of them both, they had well over 200k miles on them. The 3 is still driven by my brother, 250k and counting. These cars are meant to last.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:40 PM
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correct, I have owned the 3 and 7 also. When I got rid of them both, they had well over 200k miles on them. The 3 is still driven by my brother, 250k and counting. These cars are meant to last.
I'm hoping that our cars will get to live that long. It's hard to find another car to drive, as I'm not a big fan of the F12/F13 style and engine.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:53 PM
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Best of luck! New to the forums and in the market for a 6 as well. If you need a quick carfax on any 6 series, let me know, I have 2 more reports left to pull. I might sign for mines by end of week
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