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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-02-2013, 08:49 AM
tinu2walia tinu2walia is offline
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Mein Auto: 525i
2007 525i: To sell or to Keep after CPO expires

Hi Friends,

I am facing a tough choice about whether to keep my 2007 CPO 525i (73k miles) or sell it when it the CPO expires. I like the car but my decision has to be based on the annual maintenance cost past the CPO expiration... For that I need feedback from you folks, many of whom might be owning these cards beyond the warranty expiration. What do you think about the maintenance cost on a 525i, are they really expensive to maintain?

On top of routine maintenance like oil change, tires, rotors etc, I am OK spending upto $500 per year for the next 3-4 years on component failures... The dealer I bought from had told me to sell before the CPO expired, stating that the maintenance cost is very high on these... In the 3 years I owned the car, they have changed leaking transmission seals/sleaves (estimated $900), a leaking radiator (I am guessing $1000+), all under CPO warranty. So, based on my experience the dealer might be right, that major things do break on these and they are pretty expensive to maintain...

Your thoughts and vote on whether to keep or sell will be much appreciated... If you could share your experience with what broke on your 525i cars and how much it cost to fix, it would be great....

Thanks in advance for your input...
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2013, 09:17 AM
SoLucky SoLucky is offline
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Location: No. VA
 
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Mein Auto: '08 535i
Doesn't sound like you DIY when it comes to maintenance and repairs... so if you don't like to get your hands dirty to save a few $$$, selling may be a good idea. But, on the other side of the argument, you will "spend" far more in depreciation on a new (or newer) car versus keeping the 2007 and maintaining and repairing it as needed. Until you are spending $3K+ per year in maintenance and repairs just to keep the car on the road, you are almost always better off with an older, depreciated, loan free car. Of course the risk of a failure that leaves you stranded on the roadside goes up as the car ages, so you need to factor that into your decision as well.
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2013, 10:26 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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I agree with previous poster regarding DIY. If you can't do (or can't learn to do) things like oil changes, replace a water pump, starter, alternator, coolant expansion tank or brake pads then you are at a serious deficit when owning the ultimate driving machine.

Another question would be did you (and the previous owner if you know) follow the CBM schedule for oil changes or did you change the oil every 5-7K miles? If you followed the CBM, unless you drove mostly highway miles, you may have operated the engine past the life of the oil between oil changes. Engine oil oxidizes and loses additives based on hours of operation not miles. CBM is a marketing invention to be able to calculate a lower total cost of ownership while saving BMW money on oil changes they pay for while under warranty. A horrible thing to do to a beautiful engine. Oil is far far cheaper than engine problems, especially if you DIY.

Finally, if you have used the dealer exclusively you will need to develop a relationship with a good independent BMW mechanic who will work at a lower hourly rate and doesn't have to pay for an expensive showroom and fancy coffee for customers.

Spending $2K or less in the next four years may be optimistic if you can't do at least some of your own work.
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2013, 01:44 PM
Cattani Cattani is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 550i
I'm relatively sure that $500/year is too low for these cars.

I have a 2006 550i and I'm going to have to replace the thermostat, water pump, hoses, and radiator this year................that's going to CRUSH that $500/year budget.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2013, 06:26 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattani View Post
I'm relatively sure that $500/year is too low for these cars.

I have a 2006 550i and I'm going to have to replace the thermostat, water pump, hoses, and radiator this year................that's going to CRUSH that $500/year budget.
+1

That exactly makes my point. If you can do these relatively easy DIY projects yourself, the cost of buying quality replacement parts mail order for the four items you mention will barely exceed $500.

But if you have to pay for those things to be replaced the cost for parts and labor could be triple or more the $500 budget.
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2013, 08:40 PM
tinu2walia tinu2walia is offline
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Location: NJ USA
 
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Mein Auto: 525i
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoLucky View Post
Doesn't sound like you DIY when it comes to maintenance and repairs... so if you don't like to get your hands dirty to save a few $$$, selling may be a good idea. But, on the other side of the argument, you will "spend" far more in depreciation on a new (or newer) car versus keeping the 2007 and maintaining and repairing it as needed. Until you are spending $3K+ per year in maintenance and repairs just to keep the car on the road, you are almost always better off with an older, depreciated, loan free car. Of course the risk of a failure that leaves you stranded on the roadside goes up as the car ages, so you need to factor that into your decision as well.
You make a good point on comparing maintenance cost for my paid off car vs depreciation on buying a new one yet again... In regards to bimmerfan52's remark about oil changes, I dive on county routes most of the time and barely do more than 10k per year, so I got the oil changed by dealer every 12 months but the previous owner seemed to be following the CBM alert... So, I guess even though we had been using synthetic oil on this machine we might have already strained the engine by just following 12 months/CBM alters on oil changes....
All in all it seems from folk's responses that $2.5k per year might be a more realistic avg. maintenance cost of this car in the next 3-4 years (including routine maintenance this time).... Right now it is 6 years old with only 73k miles.... After about 4 years that I am sure the maintenance will increase exponentially as it does with most other cars.... So, I think I am going to have to just trade this beauty in for a more basic new car...
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2013, 09:27 AM
Cattani Cattani is offline
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 550i
Eh, $2,500 may be too high of an estimate there. I have heard about $1,500 or so is a better number for these cars over 80k miles. (Then again, I have no real clue as I am a new owner myself.) The only reason I'm relatively okay with sinking this cash in so early is that I got a good deal on the car and bought it well under book value - I knew it would be some work needing done.
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2013, 08:16 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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I think the failure of components on E60s (especially the engine and transmission) depends to a great extent upon how the car is maintained, and if problems are caught early.

But setting aside proper oil changes and fluid maintenance there is a fairly consistent experience on average for wear items (brakes, fluids, filters, wiper blades, tires, belts) and other components that begin to fail after 70K miles (alternator, water pump, starter, transmission sealing sleeve, coolant system components, seals and gaskets).

Like any other major asset (ex house) that requires maintenance and repair, how you approach that maintenance will determine cost, and ranges from buying parts at a discount and handling most or all repairs yourself to dealing only with a dealer and blindly following his every suggestion. For those who DIY the yearly average could be as low as $600-$700 and for those sheep who shuffle off to slaughter exclusively at the dealer it could easily be $2500 on the low end.

For those who don't have the time or mechanical aptitude to DIY, learning as much as you can about the car so you can make informed decisions and finding a fair independent repair shop will drop you somewhere in the middle.
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