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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 09-10-2013, 06:52 PM
BLNDINABMW BLNDINABMW is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 25
Mein Auto: X3
My yearly trip for repairs - Any and all advice appreciated!

Hey everyone!

I just dropped off my 2004 X3 2.5i with 119,000 miles at the dealership for it's "yearly" check up as I like to call it.

Dealer wants to do the following and Im having a little bit of sticker shock...

A/C repair.
One of the a/c refrigerant hoses is leaking it's freon. Need to replace, then recharge the a/c system.
$1,076
----- Less than a year ago they worked on the AC and now the AC had the same problem and the shop fixed it for around 250 or less..


As far as the suspension goes; the right front lower control arm bushings is cracked and leaking it's oil.
$756. + the recommended suspension alignment. $160

Only other thing noted was the valve cover. It's gasket has begun leaking some engine oil.
$626
----- What is the lifespan on the valve gasket cover? This will be the 3rd in less than 3 years.

I would love any and all advice at this point. Im beginning to feel like my "yearly" check in with BMW costs me around 2500-3000 is that normal on a car this old and with this many miles on it?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2013, 07:04 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 881
Mein Auto: 08 e83 LCI
That big shiny building they are in doesn't pay for itself.
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2013, 07:07 PM
BLNDINABMW BLNDINABMW is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 25
Mein Auto: X3
You are right I wonder if they will just take it and trade it for a 2013? The body and interior are perfect, I love this car.
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2013, 07:54 PM
can0n4 can0n4 is offline
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Location: Upstate NY
 
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Mein Auto: '04 BMW X3, '04 330xi
I have same car, same mileage. I did all my own work, so you can make a call on how much they are looking at for labor charges, and make your own assumptions.

I just did my entire AC system with new parts minus the evaporator (part inside the car) for under $400 with all new parts including the charge. I did it myself in four hours.

Valve cover gasket will continue to leak unless done right. I'm on my second on this car, but found that RTV sealant will help stop the leak on my other car. Gasket kit was $50.

Control arm bushings don't leak oil. New bushings can run $75.

Front axles can leak, new boot kits are $50.

You need to find an independent mechanic. Good luck with a trade, you'll get a percentage of what you would get selling outright.
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  #5  
Old 09-10-2013, 08:04 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,068
Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLNDINABMW View Post

.....One of the a/c refrigerant hoses is leaking it's freon. Need to replace, then recharge the a/c system.
$1,076

...... right front lower control arm bushings is cracked and leaking it's oil.
$756. + the recommended suspension alignment. $160

...... What is the lifespan on the valve gasket cover? This will be the 3rd in less than 3 years.

...... my "yearly" check in with BMW costs me around 2500-3000 is that normal on a car this old and with this many miles on it?
If they are not going to warranty what A/C work they did less than a year ago, it had better be something quite different this time and more than just a hose at that price.
Maybe get a second opinion and quote from an independent A/C shop?
BMW A/C is not anything special and A/C pros. are probably better equipped to diagnose and repair it than highly-trained BMW techs. (IMO).

Control arm bushings do wear out. Do both sides at that price I hope?

VCG does not have a well-defined lifespan. 8 years might be typical, but could be much longer.
Cost should be closer to $400 AFAIK, and again should have at least a 1-year warranty on parts and labor.
3 in less than 3 years is ridiculous.
They either are not putting RTV sealant where required in the half moons or the cover itself is warped.

Ditch this dealership and check out independent BMW specialists.
Annual repair and maintenance costs will vary year to year, but reasonable to expect more like $1,500 on average per year for a 2004 model with 12K miles per year.
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2013, 08:07 PM
BLNDINABMW BLNDINABMW is offline
Registered User
Location: Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 25
Mein Auto: X3
Quote:
Originally Posted by can0n4 View Post
I have same car, same mileage. I did all my own work, so you can make a call on how much they are looking at for labor charges, and make your own assumptions.

I just did my entire AC system with new parts minus the evaporator (part inside the car) for under $400 with all new parts including the charge. I did it myself in four hours.

Valve cover gasket will continue to leak unless done right. I'm on my second on this car, but found that RTV sealant will help stop the leak on my other car. Gasket kit was $50.

Control arm bushings don't leak oil. New bushings can run $75.

Front axles can leak, new boot kits are $50.

You need to find an independent mechanic. Good luck with a trade, you'll get a percentage of what you would get selling outright.

Thanks so much! That helps a lot with figuring out the price of everything! I do not have experience doing much to my car so any all information is greatly appreciated!

What is the correct way to request a Valve cover gasket be done correctly?

So control arm bushing don't leak oil? Great.

You are right the dealers will give me pennies.

I still think this is an awesome car! Just insanely difficult to find a good honest Mechanic!
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2013, 08:24 PM
can0n4 can0n4 is offline
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Location: Upstate NY
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 210
Mein Auto: '04 BMW X3, '04 330xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLNDINABMW View Post
Thanks so much! That helps a lot with figuring out the price of everything! I do not have experience doing much to my car so any all information is greatly appreciated!

What is the correct way to request a Valve cover gasket be done correctly?

So control arm bushing don't leak oil? Great.

You are right the dealers will give me pennies.

I still think this is an awesome car! Just insanely difficult to find a good honest Mechanic!
I think finding a good BMW independent mechanic might change your opinion, unless your already set on getting out of the X3. Plus most independent mechanics (that are any good) will want to stand by their work.

AC work can be done by any shop certified in AC.

If you speak with a BMW dealership they will do the valve cover gasket how they want to do it regardless of your opinion. An independent mechanic might consider your opinion if you mention making sure to use RTV on the gasket. Its like glue.

Control arm bushings don't have anything to do with oil. I'd double check that one.
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  #8  
Old 09-10-2013, 09:05 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 881
Mein Auto: 08 e83 LCI
I think the control arms are a bit different on the X3, being single sided. Not sure if oil filled either. you seem to have some classic 100k miles bills there, control arms, a few hoses, plugs and coil packs. Also I strongly recommend having het fluids in the gearbox and the transfer box done.

In a slight defense of the dealer (whom are usually indefensible) the work they recommend is to try to keep the car as close to new as possible, possibly for a liability or for a reputation stance. It may be possible there is 40k miles left in the control arms, and maybe not (they must be done as a pair).

But yes above all, find a good independent mechanic.
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2013, 06:17 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Location: All Over
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 918
Mein Auto: A Gamma Goat
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLNDINABMW View Post
Hey everyone!

I just dropped off my 2004 X3 2.5i with 119,000 miles at the dealership for it's "yearly" check up as I like to call it.

Dealer wants to do the following and Im having a little bit of sticker shock...

A/C repair.
One of the a/c refrigerant hoses is leaking it's freon. Need to replace, then recharge the a/c system.
$1,076
----- Less than a year ago they worked on the AC and now the AC had the same problem and the shop fixed it for around 250 or less..


As far as the suspension goes; the right front lower control arm bushings is cracked and leaking it's oil.
$756. + the recommended suspension alignment. $160

Only other thing noted was the valve cover. It's gasket has begun leaking some engine oil.
$626
----- What is the lifespan on the valve gasket cover? This will be the 3rd in less than 3 years.

I would love any and all advice at this point. Im beginning to feel like my "yearly" check in with BMW costs me around 2500-3000 is that normal on a car this old and with this many miles on it?

Thanks!
There is a 2 year warranty (parts and labor) on all BMW parts installed at the dealership. It's one of the reasons I have some stuff done exclusively at the dealer. We travel a lot and the warranty is good at any BMW dealership.

http://www.bmwofbloomfield.com/parts_warranty.aspx
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