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  #1  
Old 03-07-2007, 11:40 AM
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Used BMW vs Used Lexus

On another message board, I was trying to talk someone into an E46. Someone else commented that BMW parts were very expensive.

I decided to look up a few random parts and compare the costs between a 2003 BMW 330i and a 2003 Lexus IS300. I also asked a friend that works "in the industry" to look up the shop labor times for replacing the random parts.


This is what I found (parts cost source: autohausaz.com - always the least expensive choice selected):


Obviously this speaks nothing of reliability, but it's interesting nonetheless.
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2007, 11:45 AM
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interesting & thank you..just proving more to me why i will own one. good work.
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2007, 12:29 PM
lochness lochness is offline
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I own BMWs and a Toyota Sequioa and the Toyota costs more to maintain for normal maintenance (i.e. brake jobs, fluids, belts, hoses, etc) (and I'm not comparing to the BMW free maintenance before someone questions that). My BMW indy mechanic does the work on all of them b/c we take our BMWs there so labor rate is flat. And its a Toyota which I'm guessing parts are less expensive then those for Lexus.
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2007, 12:34 PM
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Huh, that's very interesting. Thanks for posting that.
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2007, 12:56 PM
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We have both a BMW and a 1996 Lexus ES, which everyone knows is a luxury clone of the Toyota Camry. It's a good thing many parts are interchangeable, because the prices that the Lexus stealership charges are downright expensive. $1100 for rear struts/shocks? $741 for valve cover gaskets? Lexus does not mean cheaper parts than their european counterparts, and I know firsthand.
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2007, 01:08 PM
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I had a 1996 sc400 and then a 1999 sc400 which i loved, but it was not cheap to maintain. The recomended 15k mile service was over $600 for the 15k and over $1k for the 30k and 60k. I had some other maintenance items done, water pump and timing belt (kept the car for 111k miles) and it was a pretty penny for it as well. Lexus cars may run forever, but it will cost $$$ to get them to do so in normal maintenance if you use Lexus. I am looking foward to free maintenance the next four years.
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2007, 01:31 PM
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An excellent find. People always scuff at BMWs and glorify lexus and toyota for their reliability, etc. etc.

Now mercedes-benz.. they are just, horrible. It's the best word I can use to describe the quality and cost of repairs of those vehicles.
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2007, 01:39 PM
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I've worked for a large Japanese owned Tier 1 supplier and you would be amazed at what those parts actually cost to make. Any aftermarket part you buy is extremely expensive, it just who's more expensive then the other.
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2007, 01:43 PM
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I have owned 5 different Lexus models and never done anything other then change oil (every 10k miles or so) One time I had to replace all 4 tires (car had 45k miles on it). I admit, I only lease my cars and on occasion, I beat the crap out of them but it feels like they can run forever without any maintenance. I hope a BMW can take a similar abuse from me
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2007, 02:08 PM
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this hasn't been my experience at all.

BMW has the highest labor rates around in my area, much higher than Toyota and Honda shops. Also, BMW charges way more than $5 for their oil filter, that number is just wrong.

The whole point in buying a Toyota/Lexus is that they are far less likely to require repairs, which is absolutely true.

BMW inspections are notoriously expensive for nothing (see Inspection 2, what a joke)
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  #11  
Old 03-07-2007, 02:14 PM
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lexus just means it wont brake half as often
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  #12  
Old 03-07-2007, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotman View Post
this hasn't been my experience at all.

BMW has the highest labor rates around in my area, much higher than Toyota and Honda shops. Also, BMW charges way more than $5 for their oil filter, that number is just wrong.

The whole point in buying a Toyota/Lexus is that they are far less likely to require repairs, which is absolutely true.

BMW inspections are notoriously expensive for nothing (see Inspection 2, what a joke)

The labor costs above are based on TIME and assuming the same labor cost of $100/hr. A dealer will probably be more than that (in both cases) and an independent mechanic will probably be less than that (once again, in most cases).


Quote:
Originally Posted by itzeug View Post
lexus just means it wont brake half as often

Well, how often you brake has to do with if you use engine braking, as well as driving style.

....Oohh you meant break . I already mentioned in the first post that I wasn't measuring reliability.
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2007, 02:26 PM
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heh, oops, break.

anyway, comparing the price of oil filters wont let you know anything. a bunch of mechanics i know will charge a bmw owner more cause its a bmw. and cause its a pain in the ass to fix em. and cause the window regulators break every day. anyway, bmws are crap reliability wise, but yeh, you might get cheaper oil filters...
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2007, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itzeug View Post
... and cause its a pain in the ass to fix em.

The labor time listed above proves that it's not a pain in the ass to fix 'em.
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  #15  
Old 03-07-2007, 07:52 PM
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Interesting spreadsheet, Kris. What's interesting to me though is that if you remove the water pump and tensioner from the equation the Lexus is pretty much dead-on with the BMW. I haven't done the exact math - it might actually be a few pennies cheaper.

With that in mind, remember that the spreadsheet (like you said) doesn't take reliability into account. At 60K you had BETTER change your water pump in your BMW. And from what I've experienced (and read here) you'll probably be replacing a belt tensioner as well.

Is it "best practices" to change a Lexus' water pump at 60k? I'm not sure, but I would guess no. There's some other "BMW-only" maintenance items to consider, too, such as front control arms and bushings that would further skew things in Lexus' favor.

By the way - nice theme on the spreadsheet. Is that a stock theme from some particular piece of software, or did you just whip that up yourself? It looks good.
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  #16  
Old 03-07-2007, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowag View Post
By the way - nice theme on the spreadsheet. Is that a stock theme from some particular piece of software, or did you just whip that up yourself? It looks good.
stock theme - Excel 2007
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  #17  
Old 03-08-2007, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowag View Post
With that in mind, remember that the spreadsheet (like you said) doesn't take reliability into account. At 60K you had BETTER change your water pump in your BMW. And from what I've experienced (and read here) you'll probably be replacing a belt tensioner as well.
Reliability can't be compared with a small sample set. For instance, my Aunt is on her third transmission on a Lexus with 70k miles. Not exactly what I would call great reliability. Common? I doubt it... But she is the only person I talk to on the regular basis that owns one.

The Japanese have a reputation for reliability, but in a day and age where I get 110,000+ miles on my Jeep Wrangler (a vehicle known for POOR reliability) without a failure, what does more reliable really mean?

--nw
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  #18  
Old 03-13-2007, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aristanet View Post
I have owned 5 different Lexus models and never done anything other then change oil (every 10k miles or so) One time I had to replace all 4 tires (car had 45k miles on it). I admit, I only lease my cars and on occasion, I beat the crap out of them but it feels like they can run forever without any maintenance. I hope a BMW can take a similar abuse from me
+1 I agree with what you are saying. We currently have 2 lexus models and one we have had for a really long time! We have the newer LX470 and the first gen 93' GS300.
Both cars provide bullet proof reliability! and are much cheaper to maintain...when comparing to our 2000 750iL which is out of warranty
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  #19  
Old 03-13-2007, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nowonder View Post
Reliability can't be compared with a small sample set. For instance, my Aunt is on her third transmission on a Lexus with 70k miles. Not exactly what I would call great reliability. Common? I doubt it... But she is the only person I talk to on the regular basis that owns one.

The Japanese have a reputation for reliability, but in a day and age where I get 110,000+ miles on my Jeep Wrangler (a vehicle known for POOR reliability) without a failure, what does more reliable really mean?

--nw
Yea I have had my engine, driveshaft, u-joints and my transmission replaced on my 745Li which has only 55K

Whereas my 93 GS300 has 225K....not a single component has failed and our LX is hitting 60K soon...no problems with either of the vehicles..and also my other family members have lexus vehicles and none of them have had any problems other then...reg service
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  #20  
Old 03-13-2007, 06:04 AM
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Yea I have had my engine, driveshaft, u-joints and my transmission replaced on my 745Li which has only 55K
What the hell were you doing with the car, off roading?
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  #21  
Old 03-16-2007, 12:28 AM
Rowag Rowag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nowonder View Post
Reliability can't be compared with a small sample set.

The Japanese have a reputation for reliability, but in a day and age where I get 110,000+ miles on my Jeep Wrangler (a vehicle known for POOR reliability) without a failure, what does more reliable really mean?

--nw
You're right (about the small sample set) but there are plenty of large-sample studies that show Lexus kicking BMW's butt in overall reliability. There's also the "rule of thumb" maintenance for BMWs that you simply don't have with a Lexus: water pump @ 60k, radiator, control arm bushings, etc. And if you're talking about the E46 (too early to tell with the E90/E92) then there's window regulators, door seals, etc. Other models have big problems too (7 series electrical systems, various model VANOS problems, etc.)
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:29 AM
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What the hell were you doing with the car, off roading?
Maybe the right-most picture in his sig has something to do with it.
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  #23  
Old 03-17-2007, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowag View Post
Maybe the right-most picture in his sig has something to do with it.
Yup, missed that. However, I do that everyday and my car is A1!
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  #24  
Old 03-17-2007, 11:12 PM
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bimmer7 bimmer7 is offline
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSIMON View Post
What the hell were you doing with the car, off roading?


No it wasnt anything like that...I have the Lexus LX470 to do that if i wanna go off-road

Actually, heres a small section from my workorder..that shows the engine replacement on the 745li!

The tranny...was a weird one...after driving and coming to a stop my RPM would remain around 2000RPM My car would not be able to stop properly Took it to the dealer they told me your foot mat was pressing the accelerator partly...I was like oh i c ...but they said they would check it...and after they did....turned out the tranny had to be replaced....

The U-joints/driveshaft was a minor thing....actually there was a humming noise around 130km/h and it was a faulty U-joint...and while they changed that...they had updated a component on the drive shaft....well....so its not like the drive shaft broke becuz i ran over something...but lets jus say they took care of the problem by performing the update and replacing the faulty u-joint

So now the 745Li has a brand new engine and tranny and it runs beautiful
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Last edited by bimmer7; 03-17-2007 at 11:15 PM.
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  #25  
Old 03-17-2007, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
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Maybe the right-most picture in his sig has something to do with it.
Oh trust me...it has nothing to do with this...I do it to all my cars...but its unfortunate that the 745 became an innocent victim and had these problems

But BMW stands behind there product and provide excellent service...in the end of the day thats what matters
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Last edited by bimmer7; 03-17-2007 at 11:16 PM.
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