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BMW cars

  1. #1
    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    BMW cars

    I am in need of a 3rd vehicle. I have 2 teenage sons who have expressed strong interest in getting a BMW car. I was opposed until I took a look on CL and was surprised how affordable 06-10 were, and the all wheel drive is a plus with kids driving to sugarloaf and school..
    Never owned one. So, looking for any and all input on what's good and what's bad. I'm going to buy cash, and if possible want to be under $10k. 06 and newer probably, thanks

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    Dictionary quoting knob stoinkythepig's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    One of my colleagues has a 2010 5 series. It's been very unreliable and is expensive to repair.

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    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    the BMWs I owned were the least expensive per mile vehicles I ever owned

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    Lifer
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    Re: BMW cars

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    the BMWs I owned were the least expensive per mile vehicles I ever owned
    IIRC, weren't they E30's? Ignoring all other aspects, that's just so long ago I don't know how much it could be used in comparison to a 2006+. Surely any company undergoes changes in a few decades.

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    Re: BMW cars

    There’s a nice Legacy GT for sale around here. Great car.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    the BMWs I owned were the least expensive per mile vehicles I ever owned
    Less than the Grand Cherokee you purchased?

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    Last edited by Garandman; 10-04-17 at 05:46 PM.
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    Re: BMW cars

    If you're handy they're not bad. They do require more care and feeding than more plebian cars. Parts are pricier but if you're doing the work yourself it's not bad. If you pay, you get killed.

    Things to watch out for on the newer models are cooling system issues (plastic crap) and rear springs that rust and crack on the AWD. Those are the ones I know off the top of my head. I like the older cars from them so I'm not too up on the newer stuff.

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    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    There’s a nice Legacy GT for sale around here. Great car.

    Less than the Grand Cherokee you purchased?
    by quite a bit, the first bimmer I has was an E21, 320i, that was absolute fun only 110 hp, but perfect weight distribution. If there was a shortcut or long way around that included a gravel road, that's the way I went, put over 160k on it in about 4 years, The M10 is a chain engine, no timing belts to replace, cheap 13" tires, well except the Hakks I ran in winter.

    the other was an E30, 325e the longer stroke 2.8l "economy"engine, no more hp than the 1.8l 4 banger in the E21, but plenty of torque, able to start out in 3rd gear on slick stuff and not spin a wheel. I only had that one a year, put a little over 30k on it

    cost me more per mile to own operate and maintain my SV650 than the bimmers

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    RandyO
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    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    the BMWs I owned were the least expensive per mile vehicles I ever owned
    I only had one BMW, an E36 that was made in 1995, and it was the most expensive per-mile vehicle that I've owned. Granted, I had a high-mileage example, but it was a money pit.

    I'd be pretty judicious in choosing a BMW again if it were me, but the E36 had a model with some notorious foibles.

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    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    e90? *shudder*

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    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    Granted, I had a high-mileage example, but it was a money pit.
    both of mine were high mileage, the E21 had 260k when I bought it from a used car dealer that couldn't get it to run consistently, the cleaned the battery terminal plenty, but never cleaned the other end of the ground strap, I was into it for cheap money maybe a year later, I replaced the struts on all 4 corners, OEM Boge shocks, mounting hardware, bushings, shock tower bearings, Total $300 at BavAuto, took less than 2 hours time to install, tire, oil changes, occasional can of FI cleaner, averaged 33-38 mpg, except in winter dropped below 30, still ran like a top with 420k when it got rear ended

    the E30 I bought as a beater, fixed a busted brake line to get inspected, never did anything except put gas in it, didn't plan on having it past when the inspection and registration ran out, didn't even change oil in like I said, a little over 30k, It only got in mid to high 20s for mileage

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  11. #11
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    You really can't compare those cars to the newer stuff Randy. The E36 started the computer engineered penny pinching era and ended the over engineered/over built era.

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    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    You really can't compare those cars to the newer stuff Randy. The E36 started the computer engineered penny pinching era and ended the over engineered/over built era.
    Funny, I sort of feel that way about e46. They had the benefits of modern computer engineering without so much electronic whiz-bangery that plagues the e90s and newer. e46 was still a car for someone who enjoys driving.

    They ALL leak oil. They ALL have problems with cooling system components. They break rear springs. Cars with X-drive have starters that suck to change. Front end stuff wears out faster than an average Japanese car.

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  13. #13
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    both of mine were high mileage, the E21 had 260k when I bought it from a used car dealer that couldn't get it to run consistently, the cleaned the battery terminal plenty, but never cleaned the other end of the ground strap, I was into it for cheap money maybe a year later, I replaced the struts on all 4 corners, OEM Boge shocks, mounting hardware, bushings, shock tower bearings, Total $300 at BavAuto, took less than 2 hours time to install, tire, oil changes, occasional can of FI cleaner, averaged 33-38 mpg, except in winter dropped below 30, still ran like a top with 420k when it got rear ended
    To be fair, I shouldn't have bought the example that I did. It had 240k when I bought it and it wasn't well-maintained. It needed a knock sensor, which is fine, except (on an inline 4!) it's buried under the intake manifold. And there are two of them. It needed a fuel pump, suspension trailing arm bushings, suspension lower control arm bushings, a radiator because it blew the plastic end-tanks, new struts, new shocks, new brake lines, new ignition barrel and fuck I can't remember what else.

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    Last edited by number9; 10-04-17 at 09:59 PM.
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    Lifer
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    Re: BMW cars

    Quote Originally Posted by number9 View Post
    To be fair, I shouldn't have bought the example that I did. It had 240k when I bought it and it wasn't well-maintained. It needed a knock sensor, which is fine, except (on an inline 4!) it's buried under the intake manifold. And there are two of them. It needed a fuel pump, suspension trailing arm bushings, suspension lower control arm bushings, a radiator because it blew the plastic end-tanks, new struts, new shocks, new brake lines, new ignition barrel and fuck I can't remember what else.
    That sounds a lot like buying a car that was due for a bunch of work in short time. Not so much reliability or unique issues.

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    Re: BMW cars

    As no one else has mentioned it, I'd go NA and avoid turbos (335/535), with the possible exception of the diesel models. Less Maint., less chance of "getting away" from the teens & probably lower insurance. Not to mention the potential for removed "mods" that had the boost pumped up you'd never know about.

    Also, if it were me, to avert complication & electrical issues I'd try to avoid models with the iDrive wheel. Check out the X3/X5 as well, had good luck with my X5.

    I'm sure you're familiar, but check here Used Cars, New Cars, Reviews, Photos and Opinions - CarGurus as you can remove accident/salvage/frame damage/theft from your search to save initial CarFax reports. I did a quick search( 3 series, 06-11 AWD, under $11k, under 105k) and found over 100, it removed 47 with some type of damage. Just an FYI for your search as CL can be a crap-shoot, good luck.

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  16. #16

    Re: BMW cars

    Nope...had an 06 325i and needed $800-$1,200 repairs every 6-8 months

    They're cheap cuz they suck to maintain

    You don't buy em you lease em

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    TRACK RAT!!!!! Pigman's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    You can grab 00-02 3 for cheap.....sub 3K car and get a 100K out of it with a bit of work and proper service.

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    Changes come butcher bergs's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    I've owned a few 5's and have friends who've owned 3's, 5's, 6's and 7's. My comment is based off the average of the ownership experience across myself and my friends.

    What's good is the driving experience is amazing. Power, handling, comfort.

    What's bad is when it breaks........which happens......often.....and is expensive to repair or requires special tools.


    Just two weeks ago, during the NASCAR races, I was at a friend's shop that took in a 2014 BMW 3-something for leaking coolant. Turns out this particular model has a cooling circuit just for the turbos. The source of the coolant leak was traced to the small radiator mounted behind the front bumper cover. The cause of the leak was due to the plastic fender liner wearing through the fins of the small radiator that's there for the sole purpose of the turbo system. Cost to repair? $1400.


    The cars are good but for me, as a previous owner of a few, the cars aren't THAT good to where I am willing to accept the price of admission. I think there are much better choices out there.

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  19. #19
    TWINS! xrocket21's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    You can get a REALLY nice bmw a few years old for quite cheap... I wonder why that is?

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  20. #20
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    That sounds a lot like buying a car that was due for a bunch of work in short time. Not so much reliability or unique issues.
    Yes and no. The suspension trailing arm bushings, lower control arm bushings are both BMW "problems" due to the way they're designed. The cooling system is too, because they make the radiator end-tanks out of plastic. And the water pump impellers are also plastic. And they explode. Because BMW...

    Shocks and struts, brake lines, fuel pump -- I will agree those are just regular issues that I would have done on any car.

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  21. #21
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    Re: BMW cars

    I have had a 328i and an X3. The 328i was a money pit after year 5, so I sold the X3 after the warranty was up. Personally, I wouldn't buy another one. GREAT fun when they're running, but not so much when they're not.

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  22. #22
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    My new company car is a 2011 328xi, my boss drove it the past 4-5 years and he got a new car so I got the hand-me-down. Since I got it in Mid-August, it's spent 5 weeks at the dealer for repairs.

    It's a nice looking car, it's nice to drive, "sport mode" totally transforms the car. Gas mileage is kinda shitty for mixed commuting, ~20mpg on premium. The trunk is pretty small, and the cup holders are stupid.

    When I was a teenage boy, I wanted a real impractical car too. IMO there's better options for <$10k cars for your teenagers.

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    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    Much appreciated for all of the input. Sounds like a BMW is not for me, I don't want to be fucking with it all the time or hemorrhaging cash on it.

    We're in central Maine, so I'd like them to have AWD or FWD at minimum. My original target was a RAV4 or CR-V, those didn't seem to spark much interest from my guys. The Subaru's mentioned seem like nice vehicles, I know zero about them. I may look into a Maxima or similar.

    Open to any suggestions on what anyone here would buy in my situation. Thanks!

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  24. #24
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    Re: BMW cars

    Teenage sons rarely know what's best for them!

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  25. #25
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: BMW cars

    You can buy a nice low mileage Malibu for the cheap. Nothing to write home about, but it will get you home.

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