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E63 / E64 6 Series (2004 - 2010)
The E63/E64 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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Old 04-24-2015, 11:07 AM
kenramonet kenramonet is offline
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Location: San Francisco, CA
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2005 BMW 645ci cab
Pre-owned BMWs S#@^ (3 Series Excepted)


In February this year, I purchased my first BMW since the '76 Atlantic Blau 2002tii that was my very first car. As impressed as I was with that car back then, my first job out of college in '83 was with Peugeot Motors of America. I learned to love the many 604, 505 and 405 Peugeots that I drove over 20 years (they really are great cars and US models mostly suffered reliability issues stemming from being loaded down with a raft of late to the game options standard on US models that other markets typically went without, like climate control, power seats, adaptive cruise control, etc).

Despite my job, I always held BMWs in highest esteem and was certain that "quality/reliability" was one leg of a three leg stool upon which the BMW brand image sat (the other two being: "sporting character" and "german prestige"). Well, my beautiful Barbera Red '05 645 Ci convertible has labored hard to disabuse me of that image. With only 59k miles on the odo and sporting a deceitfully impeccable cosmetic condition, a pre-inspection mechanical look (supported by a lack of fault codes by BMW San Franciso -- $285). Also, the car's pulled-up service record showed regular service checks with nothing out of the ordinary in the vehicle history report.

So why the "thunk" when the car is dropped in gear (worn Guibo)? And most distressingly, why the smoke screen when I pull away from stoplights? Take a moment to imagine the downright hostile looks a new looking but smoking BMW 645 Ci attracts in hyper terra-sensitive San Francisco. In addition to those two major concerns are a raft of minor intermitent electrical issues like the certain to arise when you're in a hurry failure for the ignition to start the car, constant notification that an exterior bulb is blown when there is not, periodic failure of the always annoying "BMW bong" to shut up when the ignition key is removed, requiring that you to stay by the car until resolved, notification that you have a flat everytime you go over a sharp bump, which is frequent in a city like SF, the Logic7 audio retreating to a single speaker in the rear seat area, and blah, blah, blah well, you have my point by now.

It's all enough to make me hate (or maybe cynically admire?) BMW for engineering a deliberately well-behaved car for the duration of its warranty coverage only to have it fall apart (in suspicious fleet unison) in order that the second owner in effect becomes the reimbursing agent for the company. It's clear that the over generous maintenance and warranty program is a financial cushion for the original owner and that may be fair enough. But it's the early fail that suggests a deliberate de longevity into a simple part like a valve stem seal that I find to be grossly negligent for a car with a $100k window sticker. My argument is supported by the fact that BMW for years has made absolutely NO attempt to combat the free-falling depreciation that exists for every single BMW model except their bread and butter 3 Series cars. How else to explain the near unanimous occurance of all these fails? The BMW mecahnic's middle name must surely be: "they all do this..."

Well, I've had it. But I'm in a classic Catch 22. I'd love to sell the car, but in good conscience I couldn't sell the car to a new owner without either full disclosure of the list of needed repairs or actually repair said list. And then, who would by a car with the litany of problems mine's got? And no, I don't have $5,000-10,000 required for repairs just so that list of common 50-100k mile failures my car's so far avoided can subsequently crop up. And it seems likely that they will because I do suspect a
non-articulated BMW policy here.

By comparison, let me just say that I drove 5 of 15 Peugeot's to over 200k miles. Here's the complete list of repairs for those 5 cars: two clutch rebuilds, three timing belt/water pump changes, two torn CV boots and one burst coolant hose. That's it. In fairness to BMW, most of these cars were '80s and '90s-era cars, but two were '00s Peugeots. One was a '02 the other a '04 both 607 Sportifs operated here in the US under auto company plates (Peugeot has been exploring re-entry the US market for years), but both cars went all the way to 220k with only one needing an ECU replace that I bought on eBay and swapped-out myself.

In closing, I am decidedly unimpressed with the much vaunted "German Engineering" and the phrase: "BMW is first and foremost and engine company" sticks in my throat. How does the company sustain such an image with engines that are famous for overheating and warping and which leak oil like a sieve with just 59k on the odometer?
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:17 AM
Squiddie's Avatar
Squiddie Squiddie is offline
BMW Snow Plow User
Location: Boston
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,978
Mein Auto: e89 Z4, e46 330Ci vert
Well you just need some rubber in the engine replaced. Why do you think you need 5-10 kilodollars for that?

The 45i engine isn't known to be the least maintenance.
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Old 04-24-2015, 12:13 PM
HerbP HerbP is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,072
Mein Auto: 2005 645Ci & 2007 750Li
It sounds to me like a lot of your problems are from a old or weak battery. A monthly charge over night will keep the electrical gremlins away. As for the smoke, it sounds like your valve seals are possibly bad. This is most likely going to be at least a 2k repair, to resolve this problem. When the valve seals are replaced, the valve cover gaskets & the CCV valves will most likely be done at that time.

A cheap priced BMW is not always such a great deal, but most of us tend to fall in love with our cars anyway. A 2005 BMW 645 cost around 80k when new, & the repair cost reflect that value. Your pre-inspection check should have caught most of these problems, but they were probably banking on your future repairs. I am sure that they have no liability for anything they missed!

There are lots of threads documenting the problems that will arise, & a great group of members that are willing to help.

Welcome Aboard!
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:32 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area and Reno
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,314
Mein Auto: 650i 330cic X5d MINI
Sorry about all the issues. I'm not a fan of BMW of SF when it comes to service, or sales for that matter either. There are so many good independents around the City that would have diagnosed most of this that it is a shame you did not post pre-purchase. My favorite indy is across the bay from you - Bavarian Professionals in Berkeley. Their hourly rate is no bargain, but it is cheaper than the dealer and they are very fair. I have been going there for many years and trust them with anything I do not do myself.
Your smoky rear end sounds like Valve Stem Seals. Not a cheap repair and not sure if there is anyone in the area that does the repair at a reasonable price. BavPros would not be cheap, but it would be done right and they would tell you of anything that needs attention to prevent duplicate labor charge down the line.
As mentioned by others, all the warnings and audio are likely related to a failing battery.

On the Peugeots, fond memories of those as well. I was born and raised in France (Bayeux in Normandy) and moved to the US in 1982. I had a couple of Peugeots in the US in the 80s and early 90s - Mom had a 505 which was passed on to me, then I got a 405 Mi16 in college. Neither was trouble free but I enjoyed them tremendously and wish I still had the 405. Now that Mom and Dad are back in France they are back to French cars and shifting their own gears. They had a Peugeot for several years but just replaced it with a Citroen. I go there to visit several times a year and enjoy driving their car.

Thanks for allowing me to reminisce, and mostly good luck with the 645. The battery alone would likely fix a lot of warnings, then do the seals when finances permit. Such a shame BMW is not helping us owners with leaky motors because other than that the 6 series is a great car and a joy to drive.

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