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What kind of reliability do older M5s boast?

  • These cars are German engineering, baby!!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Not too bad - worse than a Honda but not money pits

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • Repairs come every so often and can be costly

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • These cars perform well but aren't that reliable - get your wallet ready

    Votes: 2 22.2%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 2000 M5 with 82,000 miles. On the one hand I heard a Euro repair shop owner who I trust say "I've got 23 clients with M5s, and I really haven't heard of too many crazy problems with them." I heard from another Vette lover and the salesperson at an extended warranty outfit (Carchex) that things can go seriously wrong with the electronics on a BMW, perhaps especially an older model, and repairs can costs thousands. So I'm considering a service contract (extended warranty) that will pick up at 82,000 and go for 48,000 more. It's got a $100 deductible. $5200. Got a few exclusions (on top of alllll the wear and tear and maintenance exclusions) and small print items that worry me a bit (such as, we can use refurbished parts when they meet manufacturer specs), but they seem to have a rockin' record with the BBB and is the preferred provider of some major companies like CapitalOne.
Should I take it and give them $108 a month for whatever they choose to cover - minus the first $100, or take my chances?
 

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"for whatever they choose to cover..."? I'd make sure the coverage is spelled out in print before I signed up.

Service contracts are like going to Vegas: the odds favor the house. The only way you'll save is with a catastrophic electronics failure. All the maintenance/repair will still come out of your pocket, and, when the engine needs major repair, it will be Big Bucks time, since the engine is unique to the M5. In fact, most parts on the M5 are unique, and will cost 2-3X those of the 540i.

I would expect most electronics failures to mirror those of the 540i.

It would be prudent to begin a "repair fund" of a few thou a year for the time when the engine needs major work.

Be sure to use the BMW 10W60 oil to keep the engine from wearing out too soon, per Mike Miller, Bimmer and Roundel magazines tech editor.

As Harry Callahan said, "Do you feel lucky?"
 

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Was ist los? Der Hund!
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I just bought a 2000 M5 with 82,000 miles. On the one hand I heard a Euro repair shop owner who I trust say "I've got 23 clients with M5s, and I really haven't heard of too many crazy problems with them." I heard from another Vette lover and the salesperson at an extended warranty outfit (Carchex) that things can go seriously wrong with the electronics on a BMW, perhaps especially an older model, and repairs can costs thousands. So I'm considering a service contract (extended warranty) that will pick up at 82,000 and go for 48,000 more. It's got a $100 deductible. $5200. Got a few exclusions (on top of alllll the wear and tear and maintenance exclusions) and small print items that worry me a bit (such as, we can use refurbished parts when they meet manufacturer specs), but they seem to have a rockin' record with the BBB and is the preferred provider of some major companies like CapitalOne.
Should I take it and give them $108 a month for whatever they choose to cover - minus the first $100, or take my chances?
$5200?

You'd be getting BADLY jacked for that price :yikes: DON'T DO IT! On my 2003 530i with 80K, I have a Penske warranty with a $100 deductable from BMW of San Diego, good for 20,000 more miles and another 18 months (I got it in June). Price paid? $1800. It's basically bumper to bumper (Premium Plan)... Recently, My last e39 (2001 530i) was covered as well, more miles and older car, and I paid $2200.

You need to do a bit of negotiating with that F & I person! Their cost on that warranty is probably close to $1800 - $2000 or so. $2500 to $3000 would be a fair price, even considering it's an '00.
 

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BMW FETISH!!!
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I got extended warranty on my e39...... And when something goes wrong it's NEVER covered!!! It's a massive scam and waste if money. They only cover things that never go wrong and when they do cover it it's probably like half of the price of the repairs
 

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Was ist los? Der Hund!
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I got extended warranty on my e39...... And when something goes wrong it's NEVER covered!!! It's a massive scam and waste if money. They only cover things that never go wrong and when they do cover it it's probably like half of the price of the repairs
While I understand your sentiment, I think it really depends on the company; I bought a dealer-sold policy, and so far I've had the following done in 6 months, at $100 a pop:

Alternator
Driver Side Front Window Regulator
Coolant Expansion Tank + Radiator + Coolant Sensors
Fan and Fan Clutch

At dealer prices, this would have been $2000 vs. my $400, so I figure I'm doing OK. Trust me, there will be some things wrong with some other stuff before the warranty expires... ;)
 

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While I understand your sentiment, I think it really depends on the company; I bought a dealer-sold policy, and so far I've had the following done in 6 months, at $100 a pop:

Alternator
Driver Side Front Window Regulator
Coolant Expansion Tank + Radiator + Coolant Sensors
Fan and Fan Clutch

At dealer prices, this would have been $2000 vs. my $400, so I figure I'm doing OK. Trust me, there will be some things wrong with some other stuff before the warranty expires... ;)
Four hundred dollars only? Don't you need to add the total cost of your warranty? If you sell your car tomorrow, you can just stop paying them the $100 a month? What is the total cost of your warranty?

mw
 

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I have never, ever come out ahead purchasing an extended warranty on anything I've ever purchased, including cars, televisions, DVD players, phones, you name it. I will never, ever purchase another one. If you can afford $100/month over the life of the loan/contract, you can afford to maintain this vehicle if/when something goes wrong. Plus if you buy well enough, you can borrow against the car if you absolutely have to, which is something you will not be able to do with that additional $5G tacked on to what you owe on it.
 

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Was ist los? Der Hund!
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Four hundred dollars only? Don't you need to add the total cost of your warranty? If you sell your car tomorrow, you can just stop paying them the $100 a month? What is the total cost of your warranty?

mw
The warranty was $1800 cash; there's no $100 per month. So, I figure it's paid for itself at this point, more or less. Four trips to the dealer at $400 total- I'm pretty happy that I purchsed the contract, since I have 18months left to go on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
These are helpful replies, thanks folks. I guess I do t think of it as major disaster coverage, in exchange for $100 a month and $100 deductible. I guess my main issue then is, What kind of reliability can I expect from an M5 manufactured in 2000? I know a lot depends on the maintenance done for those 80,000 miles. That's the reason I posted that poll - an expert in BMW repairs said it's really a pretty decent car and the salesperson touted the idea that there are all kinds of sensors and electronic gadgetry that can go wrong. I got it for a song, so maybe take my chances, and if it gets a $5,000+ repair bill, sell it on ebay for a wholesaler or parts person?? I don't mean to belittle the M5, I would HATE to wholesale it, but, that $5,000 can go a long way toward a new one that will be covered by the manufacturer. I could easily sink $5000 into a $20,000 car and see yet another $5000 bill a bit later, thus making it a money pit. Then again, as I see what I've written, that $5,000 in question is the EXACT amount that this company Carchex would charge me to protect me against quite a number of things for 4 years/48,000 miles (the four years is going to arrive sooner). I am also prejudiced against insurance companies - which may or may not be helping me figure this situation out.
 

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The warranty was $1800 cash; there's no $100 per month. So, I figure it's paid for itself at this point, more or less. Four trips to the dealer at $400 total- I'm pretty happy that I purchsed the contract, since I have 18months left to go on it.
So you did good. I see you other post now. Basically they gave you the supplementary for a 10 years / 100,000 warranty. With alternator, cooling system and window regulator you pretty much done with all that can go wrong around 100,000. Maybe a DSC and VCG in your future. Pray that it will come before the end of your warranty and you'll come ahead of that.

The dealer did good too. He provides the labor and parts, so it doesn't cost him that much in real money.

mw
 

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I'm a bit curious what you paid for this car. The insurance/warranty seems costly.
If you have time and interest in DIY work; I'd save the money for future projects.
 

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... I am also prejudiced against insurance companies - which may or may not be helping me figure this situation out.
You are prejudiced for a reason. They all managed to create a 'reputation' for themselves. So in fact it may HELP you figuring this situation.

I am also a bit curious what you paid for the car.

mw
 

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Was ist los? Der Hund!
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So you did good. I see you other post now. Basically they gave you the supplementary for a 10 years / 100,000 warranty. With alternator, cooling system and window regulator you pretty much done with all that can go wrong around 100,000. Maybe a DSC and VCG in your future. Pray that it will come before the end of your warranty and you'll come ahead of that.

The dealer did good too. He provides the labor and parts, so it doesn't cost him that much in real money.

mw
Exactly. One key, though, is to pre-diagnose properly to avoid paying additional fees, and call the admin people for approval prior- it makes a world of difference. Another important note: Yes, it's true that even a good warranty doesn't cover many things- for instance, this BMW San Diego warranty is a specified component warranty i.e. if it's not listed on the contract it's not covered. The overall coverage is good, and actually includes some front suspension components (I was shocked) but doesn't cover electronics, headlights, or clutch discs.
 

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Was ist los? Der Hund!
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You are prejudiced for a reason. They all managed to create a 'reputation' for themselves. So in fact it may HELP you figuring this situation.

I am also a bit curious what you paid for the car.

mw
Good question. I vote $18K. Am I close, Jason?
 

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Extended warranties are not a good buy. It simply does no make sense. You'd have to get a HUGE amount of service our of it to pay for the initial cost.
 

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...The overall coverage is good, and actually includes some front suspension components (I was shocked) but doesn't cover electronics, headlights, or clutch discs.
You need to be very careful with that. They will tell you that the struts are ok, while they are in fact gone a long time ago. You simply can not prove to techs that the strut is dead, unless you take of off the car, and then press it in your hands and see/show them that it has zero resistance and no rebound at all.

If it is on the car, the strong springs will prevent you from feeling the struts wear and tear.

In fact, I will bet you that your shocks and struts are already dead at your mileage!

mw
 

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Your original question and poll is really about paying a finite amount up front to cap your major costs or to take the risk of potential greater cost down the road. My $.02 is to take your chances and pass on the warranty.

In general, these cars are reasonably reliable and do not have severe electrical issues (remember Lucas?). Paying for your own service allows you to preempt an inevitable problem (e.g. the imminent cooling system failure) as preventative maintenance would not be covered by warranty. Also know that a warranty will typically not cover parts that are worn (e.g. suspension). Therefore, if you get the warranty, you will inevitably get stuck somewhere when that radiator blows since you cannot preemptively replace it beforehand. The good thing is if you kill your engine after the radiator blows, they should replace it!

The total cost to maintain these cars, in general, is largely dependent upon your willingness and ability to DIY. If you send it out for everything, yes, these cars can be expensive. Some tranny, most engine and all suspension work can be done by shade tree machanics. I'll leave electrical issues to the pros. The difference between DIY and sending it to an indy is 2X-3X the cost of parts. That is significant. By DIY, you can spend more on parts to preempt a future problem than if you pay someone else to do it. I recommend you learn to DIY and pocket the savings.
 
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