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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-10-2014, 05:45 PM
pimpinpenguin pimpinpenguin is offline
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Questions from first time BMW buyer

So im considering getting a BMW. Right now im under a tight budget for a bmw being a broke college student and all. My father and I usually work on our cars together and usually tend to keep them in tip top condition. Currently we own a honda and a lexus which are extremely reliable cars. I wanted to ask owners some questions abouts bmw's reliability.

1. My spending limit is 15k and I can only find 2007 bmw 335 that have 80k plus miles on them. How much can I expect to realistically spend on maintenance a year.
2. How reliable can I expect the car to be.
3. Is the maintenance for the 328 less then the 335.
4. How many miles does an average BMW last for its lifetime. Because the cars im looking at have high mileage on them. Can i expect the car to last 200k miles or more?
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2014, 05:49 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pimpinpenguin View Post
So im considering getting a BMW. Right now im under a tight budget for a bmw being a broke college student and all. My father and I usually work on our cars together and usually tend to keep them in tip top condition. Currently we own a honda and a lexus which are extremely reliable cars. I wanted to ask owners some questions abouts bmw's reliability.

1. My spending limit is 15k and I can only find 2007 bmw 335 that have 80k plus miles on them. How much can I expect to realistically spend on maintenance a year.
2. How reliable can I expect the car to be.
3. Is the maintenance for the 328 less then the 335.
4. How many miles does an average BMW last for its lifetime. Because the cars im looking at have high mileage on them. Can i expect the car to last 200k miles or more?
My 2007 335i has been meticulously maintained and has been very reliable at 50,000 miles.

CA
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  #3  
Old 05-10-2014, 06:17 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pimpinpenguin View Post
So im considering getting a BMW. Right now im under a tight budget for a bmw being a broke college student and all. My father and I usually work on our cars together and usually tend to keep them in tip top condition. Currently we own a honda and a lexus which are extremely reliable cars. I wanted to ask owners some questions abouts bmw's reliability.

1. My spending limit is 15k and I can only find 2007 bmw 335 that have 80k plus miles on them. How much can I expect to realistically spend on maintenance a year.
2. How reliable can I expect the car to be.
3. Is the maintenance for the 328 less then the 335.
4. How many miles does an average BMW last for its lifetime. Because the cars im looking at have high mileage on them. Can i expect the car to last 200k miles or more?

Don't do it!

Honda's your car.
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2014, 06:41 PM
pimpinpenguin pimpinpenguin is offline
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Don't do it!

Honda's your car.
Haha I can understand, however my father is willing to help with maintenance its more like he doesn't want to spend thousands every year just to keep the car running. I also am looking into the 330. I think it would make a good choice because of the extra hp and non turbo engine? Any insight on that? Is there a huge difference between the 330 vs 335
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:53 PM
Group27 Group27 is offline
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Calwaterboy is not kidding. A BMW is a relatively high maintenance automobile. It is not like a Honda or a Toyota (Lexus). Even simple maintenance requires special knowledge and special tools (for example, you cannot simply change a battery without registering the new battery with the computer. That requires a trip to the dealer, or an independent who works on BMW's or the purchase of a special cable and software that will allow you to do it yourself). Realize that even a lost key will cost $300 to replace.
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Last edited by Group27; 05-10-2014 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:06 PM
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Bemo Bemo is online now
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If you think you're broke now, wait until you start maintaining the BMW! Engine carbon build up will set you back $800. You should probably do the fluids (transmission, differentials, transfer case, brakes, coolant), parts + labor will be around a $1000. Trust me I know as I just did mine and the transmission fluid of the GM gearbox (328) is cheaper than the ZF in the 335. Spark plugs, coils and valve cover gasket will probably have to be done soon. With or without DIY skills, this will be another few hundred. Basically, do your research and make sure you can afford the above and more, else don't buy the car just to be able to drive a BMW.

Good luck, either way.
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  #7  
Old 05-10-2014, 07:09 PM
pimpinpenguin pimpinpenguin is offline
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Originally Posted by Group27 View Post
Calwaterboy is not kidding. A BMW is a relatively high maintenance automobile. It is not like a Honda or a Toyota (Lexus). Even simple maintenance requires special knowledge and special tools (for example, you cannot simply change a battery without registering the new batter with the computer. That requires a trip to the dealer, or an independent who works on BMW's or the purchase of a special cable and software that will allow you to do it yourself). Realize that even a lost key will cost $300 to replace.
I get that. My father has given me the green light to buy a BMW. I want to know how much the average BMW owner spends to maintain a car. Just a ball park average. Money isn't the issue. I dont like spending my fathers money because its his money, so I don't want to buy a car thats gonna cause me to keep asking my father for money. I have a job so I am going to be paying for most of this myself. Also I have alot of DIY experience with different vehicles. Any fluids, spark plugs, and other small maintenance we can do ourselves. I can live with having to put a 1000-1500 into a car every year. I dont want to be spending ridiculous amounts. And calling myself broke would be misleading. Its more like I don't like spoiling myself with my parents money, so I have a job and try to pay for everything myself and if I can't then I ask my parents for help.

Last edited by pimpinpenguin; 05-10-2014 at 07:23 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05-10-2014, 07:35 PM
wilt wilt is offline
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Things like brakes, tires and mounting and balancing, oil, spark plugs, AC and power steering hoses and belts, and windshield wipers and air filters and AC microfilters are all 'maintenance'. Figure on $1500 per year in accumulated maintenance cost per 15k miles of annual driving -- even if NOTHING 'breaks'. You don't actually pay for plugs until 100k, but they are nevertheless part of the cost-per-mile to drive the car! Yes, you can avoid some costs simply by selling the car before certain things need to be done to have a properly maintained car!

And things WILL break...like water pumps and thermostats and fuel pumps and tie rod bushings and idler pulleys and tensioners on belts, and oil level sensors, and oil filter gaskets and valve cover gaskets...some of them as early as 60k miles, some of them not until 120k miles, or later if you are lucky. There is so much plumbing that is in the way, that even seemingly simple tasks like belt changes are laborious (and therefore more costly if a pro shop has to do it!).

And if you have a 335i, expect some more maintenance things to be done that won't be needed on a 328i...like the walnut shell blasting of the intakes to remove the gunk that builds up in the direct injected turbo boosted intakes. Or perhaps repairs to the turbocharger.

And the fancier the option list, the more things there are to break...like the steered HID headlamps, or the fancy Nav system and iDrive.

The fact that a car is a Toyota no longer means 'more reliable' and 'less expensive to maintain'...my wife's 2007 Avalon needed a rebuilt transmission ($5k) at 80k miles, and we had to spend hundreds to fixed the center brake LED (not a $5 bulb!) when it failed.

Last edited by wilt; 05-10-2014 at 07:49 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-10-2014, 07:35 PM
Group27 Group27 is offline
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You can expect to put 1000-2000 a year into the car, not counting tires, wheels and the cost of expensive items that break, fail, simply wear out or leak (lol).

Last edited by Group27; 05-10-2014 at 07:37 PM.
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2014, 07:54 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pimpinpenguin View Post
So im considering getting a BMW. Right now im under a tight budget for a bmw being a broke college student and all.

All righty then!

COMMON ISSUES -- will prove useful. Also purchase THIS and THAT.

To get a jump on dashboard warnings, look HERE.

Yearly maint cost? $0-$5k, a game of poker.


Name:  Mechanic 01 [20].jpg
Views: 186
Size:  9.8 KB

.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 05-10-2014 at 08:35 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-10-2014, 09:19 PM
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335IoTwnTrbos 335IoTwnTrbos is offline
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
All righty then!

COMMON ISSUES -- will prove useful. Also purchase THIS and THAT.

To get a jump on dashboard warnings, look HERE.

Yearly maint cost? $0-$5k, a game of poker.


Attachment 438836

.
Cal is right, Pimpin. Its a game of poker, there are BMW owners on here who have had a flawless experience with their cars and then there are other owners who experience every trouble in the world. Sometimes components on the cars fail without warning, be very sure you are ready to start spending some serious $$$$ when parts fail. Even if you are a DIY'er, the parts still cost $$$$.

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  #12  
Old 05-10-2014, 09:20 PM
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1985mb 1985mb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pimpinpenguin View Post
I get that. My father has given me the green light to buy a BMW. I want to know how much the average BMW owner spends to maintain a car. Just a ball park average. Money isn't the issue. I dont like spending my fathers money because its his money, so I don't want to buy a car thats gonna cause me to keep asking my father for money. I have a job so I am going to be paying for most of this myself. Also I have alot of DIY experience with different vehicles. Any fluids, spark plugs, and other small maintenance we can do ourselves. I can live with having to put a 1000-1500 into a car every year. I dont want to be spending ridiculous amounts. And calling myself broke would be misleading. Its more like I don't like spoiling myself with my parents money, so I have a job and try to pay for everything myself and if I can't then I ask my parents for help.
I respect your willingness to do most of the work AND pay for it yourself. Crucially you also have a safety net so you won't be dropping out of school or getting evicted because of your BMW bills

Having said that, I would break your 15k budget into $10k towards purchase and keep the other 5 in a maintenance/repairs/rainy day fund.

Have you looked at E46, E39 and E34? Get a manual so you won't have to worry so much about really expensive ATF changes and auto trannies failing regardless. Don't be fooled by odometers. Buy on condition. Some 200K+ mile cars are better maintained and in better shape than some supposed garage queens.
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  #13  
Old 05-11-2014, 06:17 AM
wilt wilt is offline
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Buy on condition. Some 200K+ mile cars are better maintained and in better shape than some supposed garage queens.
And things breaking can have abolutely NOTHING to do with the care afforded to a car during its lifetime!
I had a factory-delivery E46, meticulously cared for as the original owner, not driven really hard and always serviced according to factory guidelines. In the 95K-140K period of its life, I had $6700 of additional repair expenses (those were list prices; the parts prices I actually paid were discounted due to BMW CCA membership and dealer price breaks on labor costs) due to things unexpectedly breaking, most of which I listed in my earlier post.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:19 AM
pimpinpenguin pimpinpenguin is offline
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Okay thanks guys. I think im really invested in the BMW 330i. I think ill be able to live with the maintenance costs. I have one last questions should I go with a 330i 06 or a 328i 07-08
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:23 AM
wilt wilt is offline
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Keep in mind the higher temperatures under the hood, along with the increased use of plastics (for weight savings due to emissions / MPG standards), make for a situation of plastic parts breaking because of brittleness due to age!
Valve covers crack because they are plastic, expansion tanks crack because they are plastic, etc. making for some expensive repairs due to accessibility issues, not merely the parts cost.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by pimpinpenguin View Post
Okay thanks guys. I think im really invested in the BMW 330i. I think ill be able to live with the maintenance costs. I have one last questions should I go with a 330i 06 or a 328i 07-08
The 330 has slightly more power than the 328. However the 328 is newer (the thought being later production models have fewer problems as the manufacturer works out the problems). Personally I would go with the 330.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:21 AM
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Buy an E46. It may be higher mileage and cheaper, but it's also easier to work on.


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Old 05-11-2014, 12:04 PM
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Mark K Mark K is online now
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Originally Posted by pimpinpenguin View Post
Okay thanks guys. I think im really invested in the BMW 330i. I think ill be able to live with the maintenance costs. I have one last questions should I go with a 330i 06 or a 328i 07-08
OK, you decided to get a BMW no matter what anybody here tells you. Good thing is that you decided to steer away from 335i. At least that.

Now ... the last thing. If this car is supposed to be your daily driver, I don't know how to warn you strongly enough, but don't do it. Daily driver is something you need to RELY on in order to bring home a paycheck. If it IS your daily driver, and you won't consider anything but E90 BMW, then make sure you have immediately accessible funds between $3,000 - $5,000 ready at moment's notice. Worst that can happen, you will laugh at us 3-4 years down the road with $5k in your bank account.

Good luck.

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