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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:04 PM
mattdavis mattdavis is offline
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BMW 3 Series

Is the BMW 3 Series really unreliable and expensive to maintain? I'm interested in buying a used 2002-06 BMW 325 or 330
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:49 AM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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Those years are the e46's not the e90

Those years are the e46's not the e90's (well there was some crossover in 06)
And since they are non turbo and have less electronics
and no exotic metal in the engine block,
they should be more reliable.
I had an 01 for 8 years and only had three sensors and a
door seal in the way of repairs. The rest was fluid changes
tires and a battery.
Also you get a spare tire and a dipstick with and e46.
If you can DIY the simple stuff it can be relatively cheap to do maintenance.
If there is big repairs and you can't do it can be expensive .
I would expect to be replacing a water pump and battery on an older car.
Google Mike Miller for the old school maintenance schedule it covers whats needed.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...49784469,d.cGE

Last edited by ctuna; 07-27-2013 at 12:58 AM.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:30 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdavis View Post
Is the BMW 3 Series really unreliable and expensive to maintain? I'm interested in buying a used 2002-06 BMW 325 or 330

YES! Do not buy this car! I will break your bank - just read on in this forum and you will be quite frightened. Lexus far and away more reliable - German marques are known for their maintenance issues!
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:29 AM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdavis View Post
Is the BMW 3 Series really unreliable and expensive to maintain? I'm interested in buying a used 2002-06 BMW 325 or 330
The biggest problem with BMW 3 Series cars of that vintage is that by now, many have passed through the hands of at least one owner who was--there is no kind way to put it--a cheapskate.

When they are maintained well, they are generally reliable and don't demand too much too often. The key is, when they do need service it must be done right. And that costs a little more than cut-rate pricing from the neighborhood bargain shop. Quality work costs a little more, regardless of the brand or task. As a result, budget-conscious owners often defer or go cheap on vital maintenance jobs, with only two eventual outcomes: The car soldiers on but no longer feels like a BMW should, or a really expensive repair becomes unavoidable and they dump the car--and the bill--on someone else.

It is vital to get a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) from a competent BMW specialist mechanic before you commit to one of these cars. A general mechanical safety inspection can miss a lot. For the reasons noted, it is not uncommon to find a car that looks fine on the surface--and needs $2000 or more of immediate repairs to bring it up to spec.

The best advice I can give you is this: Always get a PPI, factor the results into your offer and never, never, never, never, never buy a used BMW (or any used car, really) that burns your entire budget just to close the sale. Leave yourself a grand or two as cushion to cover any surprises. You will be 10x happier with your purchase, even if something breaks in the first week.

If holding $1000-2000 in reserve means you cannot find a BMW you like within what's left of your budget...guess what, you cannot afford a BMW yet. Accumulate more savings, buy something else in the interim or both.
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Last edited by Zeichen311; 08-12-2013 at 11:02 AM.
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