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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I've been checking around a lot for info about what sort of expenses that I should expect from owning a BMW and finally decided to get some direct advice.

I'm looking at a 2008 328i E90 for $20,852 (sticker price - any recommendations for what I should try to get the out the door price to?). It's CPO with 49,365 miles.

What are the general maintenance costs that I should be looking to incur? I'm hearing mixed things about how useful the CPO warranty is (6 years or 100k miles) - also, the fact that Inspection II is looming in 10k miles concerns me.

Is the maintenance plan recommended?

I've never bought German before, so I apologize if any of these questions seem elementary.
 

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Hey everyone,

I've been checking around a lot for info about what sort of expenses that I should expect from owning a BMW and finally decided to get some direct advice.

I'm looking at a 2008 328i E90 for $20,852 (sticker price - any recommendations for what I should try to get the out the door price to?). It's CPO with 49,365 miles.
The value of a car depends on a lot of different factors. In order to give you a better idea it would be helpful to know what options, if any, the vehicle is equipped with.

A quick browse through Autotrader ads in my area shows ~ $21K is not unreasonable. I would recommend you look through Autotrader, Craigslist, Ebay Motors, and CarMax (if in your area) for comparable vehicles to see what they're asking prices are. This should give you a feel for relative prices in your area.

What are the general maintenance costs that I should be looking to incur? I'm hearing mixed things about how useful the CPO warranty is (6 years or 100k miles) - also, the fact that Inspection II is looming in 10k miles concerns me.
Maintenance can vary depending on the service history of the vehicle. Being a 2008 model year with just under 50K miles I suspect maintenance to date has been done by BMW according to their service intervals. I would recommend you search through this forum for ideas about maintenance.

The general consensus in this forum is the BMW maintenance schedule is poor and most people like to perform more regular maintenance (for example most people don't change their oil every 15K miles as per BMW advice).

Is the maintenance plan recommended?
No, it seems to be a really poor value.

I've never bought German before, so I apologize if any of these questions seem elementary.
No worries, that's why this forum exists. Let us know what you decide.
 

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The bottom line is "car maintenance is expensive" for ANY car. A BMW will be more expensive to maintain than some other cars. If purchasing the car (any car) blows your automotive budget, look for a cheaper car so that there is money left for maintenance. One reason that I didn't purchase a BMW until I was in my 50's is because I could not afford the purchase price or the maintenance on a premium car. If you are so overextended on the purchase of the car that you need to worry about maintenance costs, that is a sign that perhaps you are looking at the wrong car.
 

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The bottom line is "car maintenance is expensive" for ANY car. A BMW will be more expensive to maintain than some other cars. If purchasing the car (any car) blows your automotive budget, look for a cheaper car so that there is money left for maintenance. One reason that I didn't purchase a BMW until I was in my 50's is because I could not afford the purchase price or the maintenance on a premium car. If you are so overextended on the purchase of the car that you need to worry about maintenance costs, that is a sign that perhaps you are looking at the wrong car.
I didn't get the impression he was worried about the maintenance costs but rather he wanted to know what they are so he could be make an informed decision about the operating costs of a BMW.
 

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My point is that a BMW will be more expensive to maintain than a Chevy, Ford, Honda, or Toyota. CPO does not pay for maintenance, just repairs due to defects. Extended maintenance does not pay for defects, just regularly scheduled repairs and things like brake pads. Extended maintenance is usually not a good investment, BMW knows what the average cost is for maintaining a car and they have that and a HEALTHY profit built into the maintenance plan. So if you "don't want to pay, don't play". Or if you must know exactly what your cost of ownership will be, get both an extended warranty and a maintenance plan. It may cost you more in the long run, but there will be no surprises. For complete security lease the car and have the extended warranty and maintenance included in the lease payment. That way you will know EXACTLY what your monthly auto expense will be (except for gas). It will be expensive, but completely predictable. The downside is that maintenance will ONLY be done on the factory schedule, which many believe is not adequate. If you are leasing the car for a short term, that may not matter to you.
 

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My point is that a BMW will be more expensive to maintain than a Chevy, Ford, Honda, or Toyota.
So don't you think it might be wise for him to have an idea of what those expenses would be so he can make an informed decision if they are acceptable to him or not?

I use myself as an example. I can easily afford the operating costs on these vehicles. I can even afford major out of pocket repairs should they occur. However just because I can afford them doesn't mean I blindly willing to pay the cost. I could decide the cost is more than I would like to spend on a vehicle and choose another option. Obviously I've decided I'm willing to pay the expense as I am a BMW owner. However it if wasn't for my indy I'd probably be driving something else despite the fact I could afford to make the dealers service department very happy for the holidays.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to everyone for the responses.

My perspective on this lines up closely with Sunny's summation - I just want to know what I'm getting myself into. Since the car is 10k miles away from Service II, It would be a bummer to have to drop more money so quickly. Is that something to negotiate into the purchase price of the car?

What is everyone's average monthly maintenance bill looking like?

Also, if anyone lives in the Los Angeles area, can they recommend a good garage to take the car to in order to have it inspected before I buy anything. It is CPO, but there are still things that they can leave out, right?
 

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Maintenance is hard to estimate. Do you plan to do the factory minimum or some other maintenance schedule? Do you plan to do any work yourself? How hard are you on brakes and tires?
How many miles do you drive in a typical year?
I drive about 25K miles per year, and change oil every 5K miles. I Flush brakes, power steering, and automatic transmission every 30K miles.
I am usually easy on brakes and tires, but expect to replace them more often on the BMW than I did on the "garden variety" vehicles that I usually drive. Performance tires don't last the 50K miles that I am used to.
My maintenance expenses will be much higher than someone who drives less and only does the factory recommended minimum maintenance.
You will have to determine your mileage and maintenance schedule before anyone can estimate your expenses. Why don't you call your dealer and ask what they charge for 10K mile inspection and an oil change? You should then be able to figure out your projected expenses. Tires you should be able to look at and determine how much life is left. Have the brakes been replaced? If not, with $59K miles they will probably need to be replaced soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Maintenance is hard to estimate. Do you plan to do the factory minimum or some other maintenance schedule? Do you plan to do any work yourself? How hard are you on brakes and tires?
How many miles do you drive in a typical year?
I drive about 25K miles per year, and change oil every 5K miles. I Flush brakes, power steering, and automatic transmission every 30K miles.
I am usually easy on brakes and tires, but expect to replace them more often on the BMW than I did on the "garden variety" vehicles that I usually drive. Performance tires don't last the 50K miles that I am used to.
My maintenance expenses will be much higher than someone who drives less and only does the factory recommended minimum maintenance.
You will have to determine your mileage and maintenance schedule before anyone can estimate your expenses. Why don't you call your dealer and ask what they charge for 10K mile inspection and an oil change? You should then be able to figure out your projected expenses. Tires you should be able to look at and determine how much life is left. Have the brakes been replaced? If not, with $59K miles they will probably need to be replaced soon.
Thanks for the detailed response - Gives me a ton to think about. I'd say that I drive less than 10k miles a year. I'm not typically too hard on my breaks or tires. I would definitely prefer to change out my oil every 5,000 miles or so (just to be safe).

I'm hoping that because the car is CPO, it should have new breaks and innards already installed, but I will check. The only thing that concerns me is the looming 60k mile service.
 

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Once the car is out of warranty, you will have to pay $199 which actually becomes around $220 with tax for BMW Assist per year. The CPO doesn't cover the BMW Assist expense.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Once the car is out of warranty, you will have to pay $199 which actually becomes around $220 with tax for BMW Assist per year. The CPO doesn't cover the BMW Assist expense.
Is BMW Assist worth getting? In the car I'm looking at, it doesn't appear to have GPS.
 

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Is BMW Assist worth getting? In the car I'm looking at, it doesn't appear to have GPS.
If you have AAA, that will be okay too. The good things about BMW Assist is they can locate your car wherever it is and you just push the "SOS" to activate it. IMO, $199 is pretty steep. I recently paid it, since my car just left warranty coverage. Wasn't happy about the price.

All BMW Assist cars have GPS.
 

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Is BMW Assist worth getting? In the car I'm looking at, it doesn't appear to have GPS.
You may be confusing iDrive/Navigation with the availability of GPS. All BMW Assist BMWs have a GPS chipset in them (antenna in shark fin) to give location.
 
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