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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings, friends. As I prepare for a few life changes and re-evaluate my finances and such, how long can I expect to keep my 2001 330i (97k) going? I've taken great care of it since I bought it, and the previous owner seems to have done so as well (the service history is thorough and clean). I love the car and don't see myself getting a new one until this one konks out.

My Dad had a 320i that went strong for 175k. With the proper TLC, and investing in what needs to be done along the way, how long can I expect to drive this car? What are some of those major issues that you face in the really high mileage with these cars where it's time to say that it's over? How do I prevent that from happening?

Like always, you guys rock. -Scott
 

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Ubergeek
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250k should be easy. If you've got an auto tranny, that may give you problems... but as long as you're keeping up on your maintenance, there isn't much else to do. Keep in mind oxygen sensors are supposed to be replaced at 100k. Expect a new radiator, coolant expansion tank, shocks, and clutch sometime in the next 100k :).
 

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Tar Heel Faithful
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If you have an automatic gearbox, be prepared to replace it soon. However, with proper preventative maintenance, it should run well past 150k miles.
 

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Ubergeek
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How much would a gearbox cost me, and what is the best way to maintain it until then?
Anywhere from $1500-5000 installed. Many feel that if you don't change the fluid by 60k then changing it all could actually cause it to fail sooner. You could always change a smaller amount of the fluid (1/4 of it) every 5k miles for the next 20k...
 

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My car has 104k on it and its an automatic. I don't have the service history on it. Do you think changing the fluids could mess up something? Do you think the lifetime fluid that BMW uses really works?
 

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Black Mage
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Keep in mind that "lifetime" in BMW's vocabulary general lands somewhere around 100k miles (right where the warranty ends).
 

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Tar Heel Faithful
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My car has 104k on it and its an automatic. I don't have the service history on it. Do you think changing the fluids could mess up something? Do you think the lifetime fluid that BMW uses really works?
Skip the ATF flush and start saving up for a new AT.
 

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Premium Member
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Skip the ATF flush and start saving up for a new AT.
:confused:

I generally like your advice, but this one tops the cake. Might as well not change the motor oil either. Start saving for a new one. :rofl:

I'm rounding 130k miles on mine. No problems.:banana:
 

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Tar Heel Faithful
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:confused:

I generally like your advice, but this one tops the cake. Might as well not change the motor oil either. Start saving for a new one. :rofl:

I'm rounding 130k miles on mine. No problems.:banana:
At 104k miles, I think it's a bit late to do the first ATF flush. You could do more harm than good. Of course, if its much earlier in the car's life, then by all means do the flush. I plan to get it done for the X3 this summer when Inspection II is due at 64k miles.
 

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Freedom isn't free!!
2018 Glacier Silver 340i M Sport
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As usual, reports of the auto tranny's demise tend toward exaggeration. Even on these self-reporting, car enthusiast, highly involved owner forums the rate of reported failures averages around 10%. As a matter of balance, just keep in mind posters don't come on these forums starting threads titled "Wow, my auto tranny keeps going strong after xx,xxx miles"; no problems equals no complaints.

At least two of our esteemed active members have high mileages on their auto's - smolck has 146k and crowz has upwards of 250k.

Starting with at least the 2004 model year (that's the year I have) BMW, in their Service and Warranty Information booklet, calls for replacing the tranny fluid at 100k miles. I tend to agree earlier is probably better and I think KrisL's recommendation of a "phased" change sounds like an idea worthy of consideration.
 

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I have 80,000 miles on my 2000 328ci, and have been planning on changing the tranny fluid and filter soon (local shop = $280 w/BMW fluid). Is it too late for the first change?
Have had zero problems thus far. I live in Vegas (high desert = high heat).
 

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Properly chastised re: Xi
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As usual, reports of the auto tranny's demise tend toward exaggeration. Even on these self-reporting, car enthusiast, highly involved owner forums the rate of reported failures averages around 10%.
+1

Customers unhappy with their product: complain to everyone they know.
Customers happy with their product: compliment it to 1 person they know.

This is a well known rule of thumb in many areas. I'm concerned about my AT failing after 100k (when the CPO warranty expires) but I'm not worried about it. I plan to spend the moolah to keep my car in good shape.
 

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+1

Customers unhappy with their product: complain to everyone they know.
Customers happy with their product: compliment it to 1 person they know.

This is a well known rule of thumb in many areas. I'm concerned about my AT failing after 100k (when the CPO warranty expires) but I'm not worried about it. I plan to spend the moolah to keep my car in good shape.
Probably true in general, but on e46fanatics there was a poll about AT tranny "problems". Two choices were given: yes or no. I believe 87% responded no but 13% yes.
 

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As usual, reports of the auto tranny's demise tend toward exaggeration. Even on these self-reporting, car enthusiast, highly involved owner forums the rate of reported failures averages around 10%. As a matter of balance, just keep in mind posters don't come on these forums starting threads titled "Wow, my auto tranny keeps going strong after xx,xxx miles"; no problems equals no complaints..
I completely agree. I was pretty worried about my transmission based on the talk on these forums. I looked at consumer reports the other day and found that transmission problems were less than average (3%) for every year except '99 and '00 (those were average or slightly above). CR mixed together auto and manuals, and some people question their methodology, but it certainly doesn't look like everyone has transmission problems. It's actually probably lower than 10%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I completely agree. I was pretty worried about my transmission based on the talk on these forums. I looked at consumer reports the other day and found that transmission problems were less than average (3%) for every year except '99 and '00 (those were average or slightly above). CR mixed together auto and manuals, and some people question their methodology, but it certainly doesn't look like everyone has transmission problems. It's actually probably lower than 10%.
That's really good to hear.
 
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