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Did I just luck out?

1547 Views 17 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  cantona7
Ive been on this forum reading and checking it out for over a year now and love the comments and advise people give! I got my 04 330ci black/nat brown with step, prem, sport with style 71 rims, navi, and heated seats around this time last year. Ive got about 7800 miles on her and knock on wood havent had any problems except a problem with starting her when it gets below 40 degrees but after a software upgrade it went away. I read all about the problems people have had with their BMW's but aside from once having to take her in for service I havent had any problems. I dont know if I lucked out or what but I am very pleased with the workmanship of the car and how it handles. I love taking her out on the highway and pushing her over 100mph when I can and some how always end up taking the longer way to where I need to get! I guess the bottom line is I would def recommend anyone considering a BMW to go for it cause not everyone has problems with theirs although the majority of comments people post are bad ones! Lets hear about some other positive stories from current owners :thumbup:
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Amen! My car is only 2 weeks old and has about 1200 miles on it. Knock on wood, nothing yet. Hopefully this is the way it stays for a long time.
I started surfing the web forums about 6 years ago when I was buying my first German car, a '99 VW Passat. After reading a lot of negative threads I almost backed out of the deal. I spoke with a couple people I would run into in parking lots when I saw them driving VW's and asked them about service reliability. Most of them had no issues. I went ahead and bought the Passat and basically had no service problems in the 3 years I owned it. My next car was a Mercedes C240 and again, after surfing the MB boards I almost passed on it. I bought it and for 3 years, it also was one of the best cars I've ever owned. So, when I started browsing the BMW forums before my 330i purchase I wasn't surprised to see all the horror stories. I've only had it 4 months so I don't know what it's long term (3-4 years) reliability will be, but I don't expect it will be much different from the VW and MB.

What I've learned is the people (including myself) who participate on the car forums are only a tiny fraction of the population who own the model in question, and are typically very picky with car performance and service issues. So, I think you get a much higher concentration of "bad" stories on these forums than the true picture across all the owners. There are problems with particular vehicles of all car manufacturers but I think the overall number is small.

So, in the end, be happy with the car and hope you got a good one -- good luck!
So, when are you going to marry "her"?
As much as everyone bitches about the window regulator going bad, I got the bug too. 23k on the odo on an 01 330i. $430 to fix it. Sweeeet. Hopefully that is the last problem I will have.
I consider myself quite lucky as well. I bought a ’02 325xiT last Dec. with 81,000 km and have reached 88,000 km with only gas and windshield washer as my expenses. I just put on some new tires and I suspect I’ll have some brake work done soon. These are not problems but expenses that I was expecting. The car belonged to friend who moved to the US. It was driven hard and well maintained.

Current dilemma…

Get work done at dealership where the car was purchased and maintained.
Go to local VW/Audi specialist. They were my mechanics for the last 10 years on my Jetta.
Go to BMW specialist about 15 km away.

-nv
I've had mine for 20+ months and no problems. The only trips to the dealer were the SI B 61 11 03 fix on the Auto Climate and an oil/filter change.
My one year anniversary is this week and I've got 19.5K on the odo. :eeps: (I fell in love and drove it on LOOOOONG trips) :drive: :bigpimp:

I've had two defects. A string that holds the convertible headliner in place broke (not the top, the headliner) and my oil level sensor went bad at 8k miles. Since I got a free oil change out of that bad sensor, I don't consider that a bad thing.

Other than those two things, my baby has been a dream! :thumbup:
Broke 100,000 on the E46 this month. Zero manufacturers defects.(knock on wood)

(couple of stealer moments though, kinda glad to be out of warranty)
I agree. I would also mention that most people don't post to say, "hey my car has no problems" (this thread is one of the exceptions, of course). :) People post on here because they need a solution to something, or want to share their problems/solutions about their cars. I have 5900 miles on my car this morning, and so far, so good (fingers crossed like the rest of us). It's easy to make it that far--I'm impressed by the 100k with no manufacturer problems! :thumbup:
markl53 said:
What I've learned is the people (including myself) who participate on the car forums are only a tiny fraction of the population who own the model in question, and are typically very picky with car performance and service issues. So, I think you get a much higher concentration of "bad" stories on these forums than the true picture across all the owners. There are problems with particular vehicles of all car manufacturers but I think the overall number is small.

So, in the end, be happy with the car and hope you got a good one -- good luck!
02' 325i 51K and 05' 330i 2K with no problems.
The majority of BMW's are reliable. But should we say 10% of part failing is bad, or 90% of part never failing is good? Depends on which group you're in.
Wait a minute...

cwsqbm said:
The majority of BMW's are reliable. But should we say 10% of part failing is bad, or 90% of part never failing is good? Depends on which group you're in.
Come on guys, the Consumer Reports owner surveys show merely OK reliability (or worse) for Bimmers of late. J.D. Power shows the same thing. There was an article in Road & track a few months back about the lagging quality of German cars, especially Mercs. It focused on beyond state-of-the-art electronics that German engineers seem facinated by but can't seem to build reliably. They also quoted a report by the German AAA who surveyed their members and found poor reliability among German brands vs. Japanese, but higher prestige. (I'll take reliability over prestige any day, myself.)

There is a problem and one hopes that BMW and the other German name-plates are addressing it. As for me: 2003 330i zhp with 20,000 miles. Bought it a few months ago, so far she is going to the dealer for: paint peeling from center console trim, alcantara steering wheel cover pilling badly, driver's seat "creaks" on entry/exit. Nothing huge, I grant you, but I submit that none of this should have happened on a 1.5 year old $42,000 car.
I haven't really checked, but I would bet the Lexus, Honda and other so-called "low problem" cars have forums full of issues too -- anyone know for sure?

What part of your console trim is peeling? Isn't it either aluminum or molded plastic parts? Sounds like maybe it was replaced before with a dealer-painted piece? The seat creak would be annoying but is not a mechanical problem -- a little lube will probably fix it right up. I'm not really trying to be defensive, I just think all the JD Power, etc. surveys need to be taken with a grain of salt. There may be a higher incidence of trouble on some car makes but the overall number is probably still very low. When I had my '02 C240 there were so many reports of problems, but I had only one unscheduled service visit in 39 months, and that was for the "advanced" electronic lock setup for the steering wheel.
nopcbs said:
Come on guys, the Consumer Reports owner surveys show merely OK reliability (or worse) for Bimmers of late. J.D. Power shows the same thing. There was an article in Road & track a few months back about the lagging quality of German cars, especially Mercs. It focused on beyond state-of-the-art electronics that German engineers seem facinated by but can't seem to build reliably. They also quoted a report by the German AAA who surveyed their members and found poor reliability among German brands vs. Japanese, but higher prestige. (I'll take reliability over prestige any day, myself.)

There is a problem and one hopes that BMW and the other German name-plates are addressing it. As for me: 2003 330i zhp with 20,000 miles. Bought it a few months ago, so far she is going to the dealer for: paint peeling from center console trim, alcantara steering wheel cover pilling badly, driver's seat "creaks" on entry/exit. Nothing huge, I grant you, but I submit that none of this should have happened on a 1.5 year old $42,000 car.
My sample of two would support nopcbs point. 99 MBZ, in the shop more times per month of ownership than our 98 Town and Country Minivan. Most problems were electrical related (connector on radio amp fell off, sunroof switch fail/intermittent, 3xblown bulbs, random gunshot static on radio, CD changer inop/faulty/unreliable, suspension bushings worn (not replaced), shift lever bushings worn (replaced) ). Astonishingly low quality of connectors and assembly was what I finally concluded. Oh and a Very Important looking damper pully at the front of the engine disintegrated at 30K. $1600 in covered repairs. I would not recommend a Merc based on my experience, YMMV.

Slightly disagree on the comparison between reliability vs. prestige, though; I would rather have the "BMW driving" vs. reliability; prestige is nice but if its not not backed up by results that are important to me (performance, braking, handling, roadholding, steering) I could care less about the roundel. I did buy the car expecting average reliability (compared to, say, the previous four Honda's I had before the Merc). 400K miles on them in total, and only real problem was when one of them was bitten by a horse, but that's a story for another post. :rofl:

The Bimmer (03 330i bought Sep 03) has been trouble free, so far 14,223 miles (and oil service indicator is at 0 must get appt!).

EDIT: sorry, forgot to add I also have the piling on the Alcantara steering wheel - and 90% of my driving is with gloves on (personal thing.)
nopcbs said:
Come on guys, the Consumer Reports owner surveys show merely OK reliability (or worse) for Bimmers of late. J.D. Power shows the same thing. There was an article in Road & track a few months back about the lagging quality of German cars, especially Mercs. It focused on beyond state-of-the-art electronics that German engineers seem facinated by but can't seem to build reliably. They also quoted a report by the German AAA who surveyed their members and found poor reliability among German brands vs. Japanese, but higher prestige. (I'll take reliability over prestige any day, myself.)

There is a problem and one hopes that BMW and the other German name-plates are addressing it. As for me: 2003 330i zhp with 20,000 miles. Bought it a few months ago, so far she is going to the dealer for: paint peeling from center console trim, alcantara steering wheel cover pilling badly, driver's seat "creaks" on entry/exit. Nothing huge, I grant you, but I submit that none of this should have happened on a 1.5 year old $42,000 car.
Yeah it just suprises me how many Mercedes Benz's I see expecially the newer S class although they got the worst rating on reliability for luxury sedan! It makes me wonder how many individuals just buy a brand and model of car like the Mercedes Benz S500 or S430 because of the status symbol since its well known that Mercedes Benz lacks reliability for these two models. I guess it goes to show you that some inviduals rather look good when their car runs and reliability isnt a top factor in their purchase.
Dude, your car only has 7800 miles on it. Chances are, you wont experience "typical" E46 issues until later on in your car's life. Get out there and drive.
NP2004 said:
Ive been on this forum reading and checking it out for over a year now and love the comments and advise people give! I got my 04 330ci black/nat brown with step, prem, sport with style 71 rims, navi, and heated seats around this time last year. Ive got about 7800 miles on her and knock on wood havent had any problems except a problem with starting her when it gets below 40 degrees but after a software upgrade it went away. I read all about the problems people have had with their BMW's but aside from once having to take her in for service I havent had any problems. I dont know if I lucked out or what but I am very pleased with the workmanship of the car and how it handles. I love taking her out on the highway and pushing her over 100mph when I can and some how always end up taking the longer way to where I need to get! I guess the bottom line is I would def recommend anyone considering a BMW to go for it cause not everyone has problems with theirs although the majority of comments people post are bad ones! Lets hear about some other positive stories from current owners :thumbup:
One year, a little under 18K miles. No problems other than a single instance of rough idle followed by a stall. Software upgrade fixed it and no problems since (about 10k miles ago). I love my car and will by paying through the nose to ship her out to California with me.

For those of you who think Lexus/Toyota the be all and end all of automotive quality, I think I'd take the falling door seals over this: http://www.autoblog.com/entry/1234000530039835/
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