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Any thoughts on long term durability of the 335d?

29563 Views 39 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  tonyspumoni
I have 33k on mine now and have had zero problems other than routine maintenance. I keep tabs on the forum and have not observed any trends in engineered defects. This being my first BMW, my question for those of you who have owned more than one or who have many more miles on your 335d is whether the lack of overt problems with the design imply a trouble-free future. When there are design flaws, when would one expect them to emerge. I have mostly owned Japanese cars before this one so i do not have a good frame of reference.
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IME, having owned BMWs for over 30 years, they last just as long or longer than Hondas or Toyotas (we currently have 3 Toys in our drive). The engines are completely bullet-proof, as long as they are maintained (mostly cooling systems). Transmissions were somewhat problematical in the E46 era. Suspension components wear out - this is almost universal, as they're all sealed any more with no grease fittings. It seems pretty obvious that the electrical systems are a problem spot in recent years, but at least they're not Lucas! The bodies remain solid out beyond 200K miles.
I have a really hard time believing that any modern car can't last to at least 200k miles with minimal repairs and of course all maintenance done. In my experience at least one high dollar repair happens somewhere in the 150-200k range for any make/model. The exceptions to this still usually do not present the needed repairs until post 100k miles. I have a feeling this is why most manufacturers are so willing to do CPO warranties up to at least 100k miles these days.
Mine has been in the shop an average of once every 2-3 months for non-scheduled repairs for the last year and a half. I will be turning mine in at the end of the lease. I will miss the driving, but not the lack of reliablity. Every time I get in it now I wonder if the SES light is going to stay on.

Most of the repairs have been related to the SCR system, however, this year I had a steering angle sensor fail and then a couple of weeks later, an injector failure.

This car has been in the shop for non-scheduled repairs more than all of the other four cars I have, combined. I am so glad this car is under warranty, If I had to pay for all these repairs, it would be gone. I love the way it drives, but at this point, I am scared to take it out of town.
335d Life

Hi all

All low emishion diesels have the Diesel Particulate Filter problem. It will wear out just like a set of brake pads, but unlike brake pads that will cost a couple of hundred dollars to replace the DPF will cost several thousand to replace. Effectively eliminating any fuel cost savings you may have had during the life of the car up to that stage.

KF
X3 30d
Gee, that depends on how you look at it. A 335i might get 18 mpg overall vs 26 mpg for the 335d. With diesel costing 10% more than premium, over 200,000 miles, the savings would be as follows:

Cost of fuel for 335i with 18 mpg and premium at $3.75/gal in 200,000 miles: $41,667
Cost of diesel for 335d with 26 mpg and diesel at $4.00/gal in 200,000 miles: $30,769

The fuel savings is substantial. At the end of 200,000 miles, there may be a premium in the diesel's resale value as much as $5000. This was my experience with the 2005 E320 CDI that I sold to my mechanic at 203,000 miles. I might have been ahead of a less powerful, less responsive gasoline version to the tune of $15,000 in expenses, not to mention what an equally powerful V8 engine would have cost in comparison instead.

Gasoline engines have their own issues during 200,000 miles, the fuel pump, top end, and fuel injectors themselves as problem areas. It seems that a DPF problem would not occur with every 335d out there either.

Do the Math. I don't believe a 335i gets much North of 20 mpg average, but your numbers may differ according to the driving you do. Many 335d owners average over 32 mpg.

PL
Hi all

All low emishion diesels have the Diesel Particulate Filter problem. It will wear out just like a set of brake pads, but unlike brake pads that will cost a couple of hundred dollars to replace the DPF will cost several thousand to replace. Effectively eliminating any fuel cost savings you may have had during the life of the car up to that stage.

KF
X3 30d
My experience with selling and buying 200k miled cars is most are all around the same cost if they looking at like conditioned cars at least.
DPF Cost

Hi everyone,

Have you checked the cost of a BMW DPF? You may also need two replacements in your 200,000 miles too!

Many are have to replace long before 100,000miles, typicle life being 120 thousand to 150 thousand kilometers.

Yes I understand that US diesels have addBlue which may extend the DPF life but the Australian cars do not and BMW Australia will not stand behind any DPF problems from new.

KF
I thought the life expectancy of a DPF was around 120-150k miles. I do believe places exist that can rebuild the old ones. I personally would just bypass it if I keep my car that long and it becomes an issue. I am figuring a straight pipe and a ECU flash will cost me about the same amount of money. I'd probably have the cat bypassed at the same time. In my mind once a car has that many miles it is all about making it last for the least amount of money.
It may be also related to where you are dealing.

NADA guides for similar models of same condition figures show 2-3K difference w/ diesel coming out better:

All w/ 200,000 miles: trade in: rough/average/clean; clean retail
2005 E320 CDI w/HK stereo: $5,460/$7,910/$9,985; $13,385
2005 E320 w/HK stereo: $3,785/$6,060/$7,960; $11,135
2005 VW Passat GLS TDI turbo: $3,425/$4,725/$5,775; $8,675
2005 VW Passat GLS turbo: $1,570/$2,670/$3,570; $6,095

The cost of diesel when new for Mercedes was only about $1000 but the extra power was much more like the V8 version which was about 6-8K more and sells for prices closer to the above used.

I did a bit better than average and local/state auction prices were higher for the CDI at the time. My mechanic knew the car and how well it was taken care of too.

It all depends on how much maintenance and repair go into the new diesel engine designs compared to equally complex gasoline direct injection engines over 200,000 miles. The DPF is an extra that is from too much government intrusion but has a silver lining.

Anyone familiar with the research on particulate matter can tell you they ignore the very small particulates that gasoline vehicles spew and that really do get into the lungs - likely worse than any diesel, but we might never find out because the research isn't being done. The research that is being done does not discount the large particulates that fall to the ground and are not inhaled because they take everything directly from the exhaust. But at least we can say our cars are extra clean, enough for the inside of the exhaust tips to be free of the black soot found on the cleanest hybrid gasoline cars.

I don't necessarily mind spending the extra money on the DPF which still can be recovered at resale and over time with fuel savings.

PL
My experience with selling and buying 200k miled cars is most are all around the same cost if they looking at like conditioned cars at least.
There are of course exceptions to what I have experienced but those tend to be those rarely desirable cars. Heck people still pay stupid amounts of money for falling apart old Mercedes 240D models yet damn near anything else from that ere fetches about what it is worth in scrap metal. As I understand it people fight over getting CDI Mercedes and a lot of the TDI year ranges fetch huge premiums, both because of those models reputations.
Yes, and your point is? Its the diesel engine that makes them so!

Actually the models I mentioned do not have good reputations for the 2005 year. The first CDI that came over had problems with the EGR and suspension while the Passats had some problems with transmissions. Both are a bit rare but available on the open market and auctions I believe.

PL
There are of course exceptions to what I have experienced but those tend to be those rarely desirable cars. Heck people still pay stupid amounts of money for falling apart old Mercedes 240D models yet damn near anything else from that ere fetches about what it is worth in scrap metal. As I understand it people fight over getting CDI Mercedes and a lot of the TDI year ranges fetch huge premiums, both because of those models reputations.
There are pundits, like those in the WSJ, that are cautious about the long term reliability of modern diesels. They worry about the high pressure fuel injection systems as well as the expensive add-on pollution control equipment too. I don't believe the naysayers about fuel quality after reading most of the technical publications, including Bosch and NSTM.

My approach is to avoid putting in any additives which are more likely to upset the chemistry of fuel supplier additives and just stick with the best branded fuel such as Chevron for its reputation and additive. This and driving the thing in the way it was meant to be driven may be the best solution for the DPF, we shall see.

The 335d hasn't been around long enough in the North American market to see how it does. European driving is different as well as the approach to maintenance, so we shall see. Witness how Fiat has done over the years in Europe vs NA.

PL
My point being I have looked at 240D cars for sale for $1-2k and they were utter pieces of crap, shot bodies, rust, shot interiors, most "accessories" not working and so on. They were not worth more than about $500 due to the condition of everything outside those diesel engines. Its that specific diesel engine that makes them so, not just because it is a diesel engine. My 2003 truck with its diesel engine is not worth much more than my 1985 300SD with it's diesel engine, car has 205k and truck 218k or so. I have owned two other 1985 Mercedes, a 380SE and 500SEL, both were worth about what my 300SD was when I got it.

I also do not trust NADA one bit. I looked at a 2011 C63 here recently and it's NADA price was $2k less than it's MSRP(including gas guzzler tax and destination charges) was when it sold new 2 years ago. Yet you can find TON of 2011 C63 cars selling for easily $10k less than their MSRP was, I even found new ones still on the lot for $15k-18k less than MSRP.
If you kept tabs on the forum then you would know there is already another thread on this very subject both here and on e90 post under the UK section. After reading those threads I don't see how you could state you have not noticed any engineering defect trends???? How about the following.... Clogged metering valves, head replacement, a/c compressor belt squeal, injector replacement etc....
Most of the 355d on Ebay seem to be high mileage.

that being said, I brought this up with my local SA and he was telling me about a customer with a 335d with over 180k miles on it. Apparently the guy drives it up and down the coast. I feel for the guy. Hopefully, he has the sports seats :)
How long have you guys been burning ULSD?
Hi everyone,

Have you checked the cost of a BMW DPF? You may also need two replacements in your 200,000 miles too!

Many are have to replace long before 100,000miles, typicle life being 120 thousand to 150 thousand kilometers.

Yes I understand that US diesels have addBlue which may extend the DPF life but the Australian cars do not and BMW Australia will not stand behind any DPF problems from new.

KF
I am cautiously optimistic about the long-term reliability of my 335d. There are known issues which seem to have been addressed either in production or in recall. My July 2011 build did not even require the recall.

After a year and about 12k miles my car has only had oil-change and one replaced tire (screw in the sidewall).
The thing I am most concerned about are rising requirements of biodiesel content beyond which some engine components were designed for.

I have 3 years left on the warranty. By then there will be much more "data" about the long-term reliability of these cars. As I get closer to expiration I will crunch some numbers and see if it makes sense to keep the car and whether to get an extended warranty.
There's a lot of options out there for cleaning the DPF instead of replacing which substantially lowers cost. For example:

http://www.dieselfiltercleaning.com/landing-page.php

Although, there are also options (in Europe as of right now) for eliminating the DPF all together . . .
60K miles and nothing crazy. Oil changes and a warped brake rotor. One sensor went bad but BMW paid for the replacement as it was very early for it to fail. I plan on putting at least 200K on the car if possible.
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