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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok...read someones post and they were saying how the "Germans" LOVE technology...and this on a BMW forum ( but you can also apply to Porsche, Audi, Benz, etc.).
I think this was in context to the upcoming "F" series cars, with all the new "tech", gizmos & gadgets. Cool stuff, but also, more to go wrong!

So if "Germans" love tech (computers & electronics) in thier cars...how come they SUCK at it compared to the Asians...notice I said "compared to"...NOT that they totally suck or are completely incompetent...but it does not measure up to other makers and especially given BMW's "obsession" with detail, like, just WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

WHY...can't they really get it together in regards to RELIABLE electronics? This company is wealthy, successful, and has incredible personnel, with trend setting brilliant engineering.
Hire some brilliant electronic guys, ya think?
Match the Japanese and BMW and the rest would bury them...'cause they(Germans) are better at everything else.

Case in point...has anyone seen the TV documentary / infomercial by BMW called "BMW: A DRIVING OBSESSION".
They talk about how BMW is "driven" to an almost maniacal obsessive striving for "perfection". EXCEPT...one guy, interviewed early in the show (can't remember if he was a car mag editor or consumer advocate, or what?)...was saying how they really "fall short" in some areas of reliability, pointing out the "irony" in the shows TITLE. Point was, not ALL is well in BMW land...and "obsession" with detail and or perfection, well not really?

Maybe once-upon-a-time....maybe ( oh, I really hope) maybe still, in the "M" division...but perhaps it has become more like "BMW a Profit Obsession"...lol:(

What do you all think:dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok...read someones post and they were saying how the "Germans" LOVE technology...and this on a BMW forum ( but you can also apply to Porsche, Audi, Benz, etc.).
I think this was in context to the upcoming "F" series cars, with all the new "tech", gizmos & gadgets. Cool stuff, but also, more to go wrong!

So if "Germans" love tech (computers & electronics) in thier cars...how come they SUCK at it compared to the Asians...notice I said "compared to"...NOT that they totally suck or are completely incompetent...but it does not measure up to other makers and especially given BMW's "obsession" with detail, like, just WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

WHY...can't they really get it together in regards to RELIABLE electronics? This company is wealthy, successful, and has incredible personnel, with trend setting brilliant engineering.
Hire some brilliant electronic guys, ya think?
Match the Japanese and BMW and the rest would bury them...'cause they(Germans) are better at everything else.

Case in point...has anyone seen the TV documentary / infomercial by BMW called "BMW: A DRIVING OBSESSION".
They talk about how BMW is "driven" to an almost maniacal obsessive striving for "perfection". EXCEPT...one guy, interviewed early in the show (can't remember if he was a car mag editor or consumer advocate, or what?)...was saying how they really "fall short" in some areas of reliability, pointing out the "irony" in the shows TITLE. Point was, not ALL is well in BMW land...and "obsession" with detail and or perfection, well not really?

Maybe once-upon-a-time....maybe ( oh, I really hope) maybe still, in the "M" division...but perhaps it has become more like "BMW a Profit Obsession"...lol:(

What do you all think:dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok...read someones post and they were saying how the "Germans" LOVE technology...and this on a BMW forum ( but you can also apply to Porsche, Audi, Benz, etc.).
I think this was in context to the upcoming "F" series cars, with all the new "tech", gizmos & gadgets. Cool stuff, but also, more to go wrong!

So if "Germans" love tech (computers & electronics) in thier cars...how come they SUCK at it compared to the Asians...notice I said "compared to"...NOT that they totally suck or are completely incompetent...but it does not measure up to other makers and especially given BMW's "obsession" with detail, like, just WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

WHY...can't they really get it together in regards to RELIABLE electronics? This company is wealthy, successful, and has incredible personnel, with trend setting brilliant engineering.
Hire some brilliant electronic guys, ya think?
Match the Japanese and BMW and the rest would bury them...'cause they(Germans) are better at everything else.

Case in point...has anyone seen the TV documentary / infomercial by BMW called "BMW: A DRIVING OBSESSION".
They talk about how BMW is "driven" to an almost maniacal obsessive striving for "perfection". EXCEPT...one guy, interviewed early in the show (can't remember if he was a car mag editor or consumer advocate, or what?)...was saying how they really "fall short" in some areas of reliability, pointing out the "irony" in the shows TITLE. Point was, not ALL is well in BMW land...and "obsession" with detail and or perfection, well not really?

Maybe once-upon-a-time....maybe ( oh, I really hope) maybe still, in the "M" division...but perhaps it has become more like "BMW a Profit Obsession"...lol:(

What do you all think:dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
BMW Tech & Elec...

Ok...read someones post and they were saying how the "Germans" LOVE technology...and this on a BMW forum ( but you can also apply to Porsche, Audi, Benz, etc.).
I think this was in context to the upcoming "F" series cars, with all the new "tech", gizmos & gadgets. Cool stuff, but also, more to go wrong!

So if "Germans" love tech (computers & electronics) in thier cars...how come they SUCK at it compared to the Asians...notice I said "compared to"...NOT that they totally suck or are completely incompetent...but it does not measure up to other makers and especially given BMW's "obsession" with detail, like, just WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

WHY...can't they really get it together in regards to RELIABLE electronics? This company is wealthy, successful, and has incredible personnel, with trend setting brilliant engineering.
Hire some brilliant electronic guys, ya think?
Match the Japanese and BMW and the rest would bury them...'cause they(Germans) are better at everything else.

Case in point...has anyone seen the TV documentary / infomercial by BMW called "BMW: A DRIVING OBSESSION".
They talk about how BMW is "driven" to an almost maniacal obsessive striving for "perfection". EXCEPT...one guy, interviewed early in the show (can't remember if he was a car mag editor or consumer advocate, or what?)...was saying how they really "fall short" in some areas of reliability, pointing out the "irony" in the shows TITLE. Point was, not ALL is well in BMW land...and "obsession" with detail and or perfection, well not really?

Maybe once-upon-a-time....maybe ( oh, I really hope) maybe still, in the "M" division...but perhaps it has become more like "BMW a Profit Obsession"...lol:(

What do you all think:dunno:
 

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I think they really push the envelope with their technonlogy packed cars. I was reading about the new M5 they said the Bosch computers had to be split into two different places with water cooling added to them now. Probably something gm or ford would never dream of. Although when all this technology works together its brilliant.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think they really push the envelope with their technonlogy packed cars. I was reading about the new M5 they sais the Bosch computers had to be split into two different places with water cooling added to them now. Probably something gm or ford would never dream of. Although when all this technology works together its brilliant.
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oh agreed, +1x10...was not saying they don't lead & trend set...but it ALL has to continue working and should also be top-notch reliable, and they have not been so strong in that regard. I do not see why they cannot bury the Japanese, with their incredible engineering by JUST making it with sustained reliability? :dunno:
 

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Any body can build a simple reliable car, but when you buy a BMW your buying a well engineered machine. A lot of it comes down to how well you treated and maintained the vehicle.

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As an electrical engineer, from that I can tell the main problem with German electronics is their obsession with being environmentally friendly. They strive to make cars as recyclable as possible so they use low silicon content plastics everywhere, including wire sheathing, electrical plugs, coolant expansion tanks etc... These low quality plastics break down great for recycling but they also break down and get brittle while the car is still on the road! Resulting in all sorts of electrical issues. I have a feeling the use of this low quality plastic is partially due to planned obsolescence.

Also, I find German automotive wiring diagrams are difficult to read. Either they do things overly complicated or the diagrams are vague, this makes electrical problems hard to diagnose. American and Japanese car makers do things simply if possible and their diagrams make a lot more sense (to me anyway). When it comes to electronics sometimes simple is better.
 

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Not to over generalize but I think German engineering has always been about solving problems with complex solutions. I remember reading something about how the German tanks in ww2 were very sophisticated but also much more temperamental than American tanks. The example given in this thread about the new m5's water cooked electronics is a good example of this type of thinking. In many ways I think you find more simple elegance in American and Japanese engineering. Take the corvette for example; simple, clever, effective.
But, like Swiss watches, there is something alluring about this over engineering and the special feel of it everything (when it's working of course)
 

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Ok...read someones post and they were saying how the "Germans" LOVE technology...and this on a BMW forum ( but you can also apply to Porsche, Audi, Benz, etc.).
I think this was in context to the upcoming "F" series cars, with all the new "tech", gizmos & gadgets. Cool stuff, but also, more to go wrong!

What do you all think:dunno:
Have there been tech or electrical problems with your M3?
 

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I don't think that mechanically BMW and Japanese cars are really comparable. I am unaware of a Japanese car that has a system like the current VANOS design with variable valve timing and lift. I am not sure they have any direct injection turbo motors either. There are few, if any, Japanese DCTs (are there any?). Using leading edge technology carries a reliability risk which BMW dodges sometimes but not always. The data I've seen on the 128/328 incidate very good reliability but the data on the 135/335 is not as good.

I wish BMW would adopt a different attitude with respect to certain things, however. Cup holders, for instance. Interface for ipods is also standard in Japanese cars, even cheap ones, and extra for BMWs. Deliberately making the speedometer inaccurate is irritating too. I think that BMWs and perhaps German cars in general suffer more from the attitude of their designers than from the quality of their design work.

Jim
 

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It's not just the electronics, but also mechanical aspects as well that fail to hold up - tranny, suspension, steering mechanism, brakes, etc. I've experienced them break on my parents' cars.

For 20k miles, the only maintenance I received from BMW was 1 oil change. I believe Lexus maintenance duration is every 4500-5000 miles. They don't just change the engine oil. They inspect the car inside out, and regularly change air filter, tranny fluid, etc. I think this is one of the reasons why Japanese cars have less problems.
 

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I like your post. I have thought about this in the past. I also did see the show you referenced.

It seems somewhat counter intuitive but reliability and over engineering are not one in the same. You can over engineer something and make it functional, fancy, and impressive with little regard for longevity or robustness.

I came from a 2008 G35 to my current 335i. The over engineering and quality are evident in this car. I do notice the little things and I can see the thought that went into all the many details. I do think a lot of German cars still have features/options, that are missing from Japanese cars. For example, the elaborate climate system, humidity detection, brake drying and many many more, are still missing on most Japanese cars. I think you will always have more to go wrong on German cars since they seem to be elaborate in their approach. Being more elaborate in the design just lets in more room for failure.

I do agree that the Germans need to put more emphasis on electrical reliability.

Two things I find interesting that relate to the above:

1. My G35 went through two sets of front rotors and pads and one set of rear pads. Infiniti uses very small brakes compared to other cars (especially my 335i). The front rotors don't have enough ventilation and end up warping easily... if you drive it hard (probably not the case with most drivers). The G is too heavy with too much power for those brakes. This could be seen as bad mechanical reliability. Never any electrical issues with the G.

2. I recently read an article that somewhat slammed the Acura TL. The article basically said that that Acura should stop focusing on making their cars last to 300k miles and sacrifice some longevity for more power and fun. Interesting. :p
 

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It seems somewhat counter intuitive but reliability and over engineering are not one in the same. You can over engineer something and make it functional, fancy, and impressive with little regard for longevity or robustness.
Reliability is relative.

In Europe people take cars in typically twice a year for service. So things like software and the like get updated. They have 1 year warranty, so Germans are used to paying money (every year) to fix up cars. You can't drive a junker, ask any German about the TÜV you are ALWAYS putting money into a car.

In the US this doesn't fly, also Europeans are less sensitive to things that don't impact them "right now" they calmly take the car to the dealer when it has an issue and get it fixed. Totally different culture.
 

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I think BMW's longer term problems are their pricing vs the competition who continues to narrow the gap in driving experience, and their lack of reliability on the basics that will go forever on Japanese cars. So far I've been lucky w/electronics, but at 59K miles on my 335i the fuel filter housing was leaking oil and a leaky radiator hose had to be replaced. This bothers me more than if some of my luxury electronics failed ( though I wouldn't be happy). Fortunately I have an extended warranty. I love driving my car and the positives outweigh any negative experiences so far, but in a couple of years I'll be casting a wide net for my next car.

As for Acura, they need to make the TL not the ugliest car since the Aztek. The previous incarnation still looks good and the current model never will no matter how many face lifts it gets.
 

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I don't think that mechanically BMW and Japanese cars are really comparable. I am unaware of a Japanese car that has a system like the current VANOS design with variable valve timing and lift. I am not sure they have any direct injection turbo motors either. There are few, if any, Japanese DCTs (are there any?). Using leading edge technology carries a reliability risk which BMW dodges sometimes but not always. The data I've seen on the 128/328 incidate very good reliability but the data on the 135/335 is not as good.....
1) All Japanese manufacturers have a system similar to VANOS, and Honda was the first to mass produce VVT engines with VTEC. If you meant BMW's Valvetronic, then both Toyota's Valvematic and Nissan's VVEL are basically the same thing.

2) Everyone from Ford, to Nissan, to Hyundai have DI turbos. Toyota will offer them soon, they have been working on eliminating the serious carbing problems the German DI engines are experiencing.

3) Mitsubishi and Nissan offer DCT. BMW was a late adopter of this tech.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Have there been tech or electrical problems with your M3?
NO! But they have this "rep" or stigma... and so many others complain...on other forums, and not just BMW's, but other German cars as well...it's always about the "electrical" as if there is a concerted effort on the part of German car makers, especially "volume" ones like BMW, to engineer the electronics to last only so long...or provide revenue for the service depts., especially with non-M cars, the high volume BMW models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
BMW Tech & Elec...

Ok...read someones post and they were saying how the "Germans" LOVE technology...and this on a BMW forum ( but you can also apply to Porsche, Audi, Benz, etc.).
I think this was in context to the upcoming "F" series cars, with all the new "tech", gizmos & gadgets. Cool stuff, but also, more to go wrong!

So if "Germans" love tech (computers & electronics) in thier cars...how come they SUCK at it compared to the Asians...notice I said "compared to"...NOT that they totally suck or are completely incompetent...but it does not measure up to other makers and especially given BMW's "obsession" with detail, like, just WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

WHY...can't they really get it together in regards to RELIABLE electronics? This company is wealthy, successful, and has incredible personnel, with trend setting brilliant engineering.
Hire some brilliant electronic guys, ya think?
Match the Japanese and BMW and the rest would bury them...'cause they(Germans) are better at everything else.

Case in point...has anyone seen the TV documentary / infomercial by BMW called "BMW: A DRIVING OBSESSION".
They talk about how BMW is "driven" to an almost maniacal obsessive striving for "perfection". EXCEPT...one guy, interviewed early in the show (can't remember if he was a car mag editor or consumer advocate, or what?)...was saying how they really "fall short" in some areas of reliability, pointing out the "irony" in the shows TITLE. Point was, not ALL is well in BMW land...and "obsession" with detail and or perfection, well not really?

Maybe once-upon-a-time....maybe ( oh, I really hope) maybe still, in the "M" division...but perhaps it has become more like "BMW a Profit Obsession"...lol

What do you all think:dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
BMW Tech & Elec...

Ok...read someones post and they were saying how the "Germans" LOVE technology...and this on a BMW forum ( but you can also apply to Porsche, Audi, Benz, etc.).
I think this was in context to the upcoming "F" series cars, with all the new "tech", gizmos & gadgets. Cool stuff, but also, more to go wrong!

So if "Germans" love tech (computers & electronics) in thier cars...how come they SUCK at it compared to the Asians...notice I said "compared to"...NOT that they totally suck or are completely incompetent...but it does not measure up to other makers and especially given BMW's "obsession" with detail, like, just WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

WHY...can't they really get it together in regards to RELIABLE electronics? This company is wealthy, successful, and has incredible personnel, with trend setting brilliant engineering.
Hire some brilliant electronic guys, ya think?
Match the Japanese and BMW and the rest would bury them...'cause they(Germans) are better at everything else.

Case in point...has anyone seen the TV documentary / infomercial by BMW called "BMW: A DRIVING OBSESSION".
They talk about how BMW is "driven" to an almost maniacal obsessive striving for "perfection". EXCEPT...one guy, interviewed early in the show (can't remember if he was a car mag editor or consumer advocate, or what?)...was saying how they really "fall short" in some areas of reliability, pointing out the "irony" in the shows TITLE. Point was, not ALL is well in BMW land...and "obsession" with detail and or perfection, well not really?

Maybe once-upon-a-time....maybe ( oh, I really hope) maybe still, in the "M" division...but perhaps it has become more like "BMW a Profit Obsession"...lol

What do you all think:dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
BMW Tech & Elec...

Ok...read someones post and they were saying how the "Germans" LOVE technology...and this on a BMW forum ( but you can also apply to Porsche, Audi, Benz, etc.).
I think this was in context to the upcoming "F" series cars, with all the new "tech", gizmos & gadgets. Cool stuff, but also, more to go wrong!

So if "Germans" love tech (computers & electronics) in thier cars...how come they SUCK at it compared to the Asians...notice I said "compared to"...NOT that they totally suck or are completely incompetent...but it does not measure up to other makers and especially given BMW's "obsession" with detail, like, just WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

WHY...can't they really get it together in regards to RELIABLE electronics? This company is wealthy, successful, and has incredible personnel, with trend setting brilliant engineering.
Hire some brilliant electronic guys, ya think?
Match the Japanese and BMW and the rest would bury them...'cause they(Germans) are better at everything else.

Case in point...has anyone seen the TV documentary / infomercial by BMW called "BMW: A DRIVING OBSESSION".
They talk about how BMW is "driven" to an almost maniacal obsessive striving for "perfection". EXCEPT...one guy, interviewed early in the show (can't remember if he was a car mag editor or consumer advocate, or what?)...was saying how they really "fall short" in some areas of reliability, pointing out the "irony" in the shows TITLE. Point was, not ALL is well in BMW land...and "obsession" with detail and or perfection, well not really?

Maybe once-upon-a-time....maybe ( oh, I really hope) maybe still, in the "M" division...but perhaps it has become more like "BMW a Profit Obsession"...lol

What do you all think:dunno:
 
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