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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody talk me back from that edge? My prior 335i had a recall for Vanos bolts I believe it was. My current 335i recently had the steering wheel airbag recall completed, more than a year after the original BMW letter (waiting for Takata parts). Now after seeing several articles about spontaneous fires (even when car is/has been parked for sometime), I turn to the NHTSA website and, sure enough, I guess I can expect another recall letter soon as my car falls in that net too.

Let me immediately confess that while driving, I haven't had a single issue with this car (or the last) other than the Service Car soon light (yellow car up on ramp) keeps coming on, only to find Check Control OK a day or even just hours later and Dealership Fob read shows no problems (ghost in the machine). No breakdowns or nasty noises though, nothing, and the car feels fast and very solid. So in my gut I'm still a big BMW fan.

But here's the thing. From 97 to 2002 I had a Supra Turbo (the last of) and though I flinch when I see pictures now of that horrific rear wing, it didn't have a single issue in 5 years and certainly no recalls. Same for a 5 year stint with a Mazda 6S and a 3 year stint with an RX-8 (and those wankels could get pretty wanky at times). So I am starting to worry about the potential Frailty factor of BMW. And I'd been thinking of trading the 335 for a 535 or 550 because I could really use the 4 doors but my eye is also drifting towards an Infiniti Q50 (it does have a couple of weird coachlines though).

So hand on heart, do you believe the BMW's have the same reliability as the Infiniti?
 

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So hand on heart, do you believe the BMW's have the same reliability as the Infiniti?
I've not owned an Asian car for near 15 years, but owning only BMW's during that period I'd say the Japanese have the edge on 'reliability'. But, I'd qualify that statement a bit - I think that if one is diligent about service and preventative maintenance the BMW is a 'reliable' car. Also, I've owned older Bimmers and I'm a moderately big DIY guy....so not every service/fix requires me to pay a mechanic.

So I don't think what I've said is gonna save your from the brink ;) Lots of value in the Infiniti but I bet it still does not drive quite like a BMW, and from a cosmetic standpoint the newest stuff from Japan does not appeal to my eye.

Want some reading material re: BMW vs. Infiniti?....go here,might be something: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=906361&highlight=infiniti (

Good Luck/Bill
 

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Modern BMWs are incredibly complex and make great use of computer systems. The result is better handling and safety through traction control, stability control and anti-lock brakes, etc. But they are complex and expensive to fix. You shouldn't compare a modern BMW with a car you had 15 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Modern BMWs are incredibly complex and make great use of computer systems. The result is better handling and safety through traction control, stability control and anti-lock brakes, etc. But they are complex and expensive to fix. You shouldn't compare a modern BMW with a car you had 15 years ago.
Trouble is though that the Supra took me down the road in the same very swift manner, handled as well and sounded as good. Begging the question, even if there are many more computers to make it more expensive to fix, what was the point of all the processing power if that's largely all that differentiates; namely the price to fix it? Tech for techs' sake?
 

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Lost but making good time
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The result is better handling and safety through traction control, stability control and anti-lock brakes, etc. ... You shouldn't compare a modern BMW with a car you had 15 years ago.
Why not? All of that tech existed 15 years ago, and not just on BMWs.

My 15-year-old E46 compares well to most modern cars in all areas that matter to me. (It can even eke out 30+ mpg on the highway.) It's handily trumped by everything modern when it comes to in-cabin technology and driver aids--to which I say, so what? I have a solid phone mount for my rare uses of voice-guided navigation, an aux cable for audio if desired, and a top-quality Bluetooth headset...old-school to be sure, but all functional and safe.

As for the E90...since acquiring it I have yet to see any piece of tech, introduced to any mainstream car, that made me say, "ooh, I can't wait to get a car with that!" I recently visited a few showrooms, just for kicks and some early research on the next purchase. One car that struck me was the Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti--because it felt like my E90's Italian cousin (similar DNA, somewhat more stylish). The Alfa looks to be a great car, and I'm thinking I want one--but it had not one single feature that stood out as markedly superior to my seven-year-old E90. Not one. Rather surprising for a well-equipped, brand-new car.

I average almost eight years between new-car purchases, so as one might imagine, by the time I write that check I've usually been pretty eager to get my hands on the latest toys. This time around, honestly there's nothing creating that "gotta have it" itch. The main reason I plan to buy/lease something in the not-too-distant future is to avoid driving these two BMWs into the ground. :)
 

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I don't think they do. I have little experience with BMWs (2010 335i being my first one), but I have a ton of experience with Japanese cars (AE86, 240sx, Type R, civics, accords, 350z, Gixxer 750). They have all been able to take a beating. What I mean by that is, you don't have to be as strict with Japanese cars when it comes to maintenance as you would a BMW. I'll also state that I think it is absolutely necessary that you maintain a strict schedule with maintenance no matter what vehicle you have, but this has been my experience. As a BMW owner, you lot scare me with your worries in regards to breakdowns and what not, so I'm trending towards paranoia and a strict adherence to maintenance with my BMW. Go for what you like, Infinitis are fun cars
 

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Bavarian Steel
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Why not? All of that tech existed 15 years ago, and not just on BMWs.

My 15-year-old E46 compares well to most modern cars in all areas that matter to me. (It can even eke out 30+ mpg on the highway.) It's handily trumped by everything modern when it comes to in-cabin technology and driver aids--to which I say, so what? I have a solid phone mount for my rare uses of voice-guided navigation, an aux cable for audio if desired, and a top-quality Bluetooth headset...old-school to be sure, but all functional and safe.

As for the E90...since acquiring it I have yet to see any piece of tech, introduced to any mainstream car, that made me say, "ooh, I can't wait to get a car with that!" I recently visited a few showrooms, just for kicks and some early research on the next purchase. One car that struck me was the Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti--because it felt like my E90's Italian cousin (similar DNA, somewhat more stylish). The Alfa looks to be a great car, and I'm thinking I want one--but it had not one single feature that stood out as markedly superior to my seven-year-old E90. Not one. Rather surprising for a well-equipped, brand-new car.

I average almost eight years between new-car purchases, so as one might imagine, by the time I write that check I've usually been pretty eager to get my hands on the latest toys. This time around, honestly there's nothing creating that "gotta have it" itch. The main reason I plan to buy/lease something in the not-too-distant future is to avoid driving these two BMWs into the ground. :)
One thing that bothers me as a mechanic (no longer in the field) is the constant excuse about computers being the crux of modern cars and why people can no longer work on them as a result, the proverbial "back in my day" statements. With all due respect, it's a lazy persons excuse. Things change, we evolve, we learn new things we adapt and still fix things. There are a lot of technologies that have been around for a long time that are introduced to the public and marketed as new. Not much has changed as one would think it has. Just the phrasing and marketing.
 

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I own a Q50 Sport (fully loaded with tech gizmos) and, as far as reliability goes, in just over 3 years I cannot complain...but, frankly, I would not own any modern complex and premium automobile, no matter the brand, out of warranty.....but that's me

For my needs, when I buy a new car i usually purchase the best extended warranty I can get my hands on and I trade that car before that expires (usually at the 90K mark)
 

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Not long ago Toyota and Lexus had throttles going wide open and at the same time restricting hydraulic pressure to the brake calipers. They tried to cover it up by blaming the floormats and the gas pedals but Toyotas were still crashing after the recalls and several were reported to have been discovered with the floormats in the trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sure, I acknowledge the Takata airbag thing was very widespread as they supply nearly the entire auto industry. But Vanos bolts before, now Blower Motor wiring (slight risk of spontaneous fires - I thought it was humans that were supposed to spontaneously combust). Point is I'm a little worried that there's a trend starting to show here.
 

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Nothing is perfect. I had a 93 RX-7. Loved it, but it ate the turbos. If it had not been under warranty, would have costs me $3500 and that was a good chunk of change in 95.

If you want basic reliability, buy a modern Toyota or Mazda, do the regular maintenance and smile. They are not bad cars. I've owned two Miatas. Good, simple fun cars, with some soul.

BMWs are more complex, generally more powerful. They have among the best suspensions on the market. If that's something you appreciate, you are going to have to live with higher maintenance costs. I'm not a wealthy person, and I mitigate the costs by doing as much of the maintenance as I can myself, and I'm driving a 2000 M Roadster that is relatively simple by today's standards.

I'd love a new 2 series M. But I would not own one without a warranty. The electronics and such are complex and expensive to fix. This is why BMWs and other luxury makes depreciate so quick. Once they are out of warranty, few people want to roll the dice. All due respect to the mechanic who chimed in, it's not a matter of being lazy, it is a matter of having the proprietary electronics to diagnose these issues and the time and patience to do so.

The airbag issue has hit nearly all the manufactures. So if that's the only issue you've faced, be happy. I have a 2007 Subaru and waited nearly six months for a new airbag. Nature of the world today. Your old Supra probobably didn't have an airbag. Things change. The Supras were cool cars. I'm sure for the price of your Bimmer, you could go find an immaculate Supra and smile. But I bet you would not be as satisfied with the experience. Nostalgia tends to override our feelings. Now if I don't have safety features and Apple Car play, the car is not generally something I want to spend a lot of time in. My M Roadster doesn't have many gizzies, but I get in that car to drive for driving sake, so it doesn't bother me in that context.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yep, largely concur that there's a trade off but now I'm at the point of trading the 335 coupe for a 5 series, all the reading and lately talking to a BMW tech has convinced me some cars simply aren't worth the bet. The tech is still seeing too many issues with the 550 V8, oil, battery, some other stuff too, that even he (on the inside so to speak) said if I'm not buying brand new (looking at 2014/2105) I would be much better advised to stick with the 535i. Straight sixes like the n55 are BMW's bread and butter and he felt that for the very few occasions where the 550 could be allowed to stretch its legs, the day to day risk level of ownership was otherwise prohibitive. Since I've had two 335i's in the past four years and their engines have been excellent, I'll grin and bear the extra 500lbs. because I'm sure the 535 won't be a total slug.

The one thing I can't agree with is my 2011 335 affording me a 1997 Supra in perfect nick. My car maybe worth $17K to $18K, those 97 Supra turbos are changing hands even today for $35K to $50K!
 

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Yep, largely concur that there's a trade off but now I'm at the point of trading the 335 coupe for a 5 series, all the reading and lately talking to a BMW tech has convinced me some cars simply aren't worth the bet. The tech is still seeing too many issues with the 550 V8, oil, battery, some other stuff too, that even he (on the inside so to speak) said if I'm not buying brand new (looking at 2014/2105) I would be much better advised to stick with the 535i. Straight sixes like the n55 are BMW's bread and butter and he felt that for the very few occasions where the 550 could be allowed to stretch its legs, the day to day risk level of ownership was otherwise prohibitive. Since I've had two 335i's in the past four years and their engines have been excellent, I'll grin and bear the extra 500lbs. because I'm sure the 535 won't be a total slug.

The one thing I can't agree with is my 2011 335 affording me a 1997 Supra in perfect nick. My car maybe worth $17K to $18K, those 97 Supra turbos are changing hands even today for $35K to $50K!
Sorry you have a "cheap" BMW. LOL. I'm in the same boat. It's amazing what some of these 80s and 90s cars are going for.
 
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