3 Series Sedan five to eight years (or high miles) later?

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One I don't think you got in the US - an M52 all ally engine '97 528.

They do seem a bit under engineered.
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*Someday, we'll look back on this, laugh nervously and change the subject

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Scott Dorsey wrote:

Feel like?
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Does the plastic around the nipples feel nice and smooth, or is it grey and rough because it's starting to form millions of tiny little cracks? Or does it feel even rougher because it has larger cracks forming? Or does it feel wet because it's already leaking? Or does it feel sticky because someone has already wrapped it in duct tape? --scott
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"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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This sounds very much like the silicone implant problems we heard about years ago!
Tom
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Tom K. wrote:

I know what you mean. The part about the duct tape was especially erotic. 8)
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While my 1999 328i is the first year E46, it currently has just under 96,000 miles on it. Excluding body repairs (a couple of fender benders), gasoline and tires, my total maintenance and repair cost over 11 years has been between $6,000 and $6,500 - most of which was done by the dealer. As this includes extra oil changes (roughly one change at 8,000 miles between "scheduled" services, I feel the car has been a good value - especially since it has never stranded me. Overall gas mileage (mostly suburban, some city, some long trips) has been 24.4 mpg.
Unanticipated repair items have included multiple A/C leaks (ca.$1,100) a couple of thermostats and the usual control arms (once at about 55,000).
Tom
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My first 3 Series was a '94 325i with 105k miles that I bought in 2000. I drove that car until it showed 250k when an old lady in a double-knit leisure suit and blue hair turned directly in front of me and totaled the car. During roughly 150k miles in 4 years, I paid for a clutch, and paid for the results of running the engine after the upper coolant inlet hose broke off of the radiator and spewed the coolant on the two-lane mountain road. (I wish I could have done that differently, but sometimes life just isn't fair.)
I replaced my own brakes -- butt simple -- fixed the sunroof -- a bit more challenging, but still pretty easy -- and did a few other odd repairs. My take is that the BMW's I've owned are by far the easiest to service at home of any of the many cars I've owned in 40-ish years of driving.
I paid for the clutch because I just haven't the equipment needed to lower and raise a transmission, and I haven't the skill set to replace the head and do a reliable job. I could have avoided the head work if I had thought about it when I decided to move on with a fatal condition. I take the blame for the work that was needed, but timing is everything, and that played a huge role in the bad decision I made.
My kid has an '00 323i that had something fail with serpentine belt. The belt broke on the highway 200 miles from home. I was able to get all of the parts to fix the damage, and put the car back together myself.
My second kid just bought an '00 323i, and it has a problem with the transmission that turns out to be caused by really dirty fluid -- the transmission will sometimes not agree with the request to select Reverse. One shift to R will go fine, the next will leave her having the car pushed out of the parking space. You never know. Fresh fluid cured the problem. I was going to buy a solenoid to replace, but the mechanic that did the service said the part was okay, an dhe decided that a fluid change should be good enough. (I'm mildly pissed, but I have little option now.)
Today, I have a '94 325iC (convertible) with 135k miles, and I can honestly say it needs very little. I get some noise from the undercarriage that I'm pretty sure is the control arm bushings, and I can replace them myself. The motor is in great shape, the transmission is almost perfect -- the Reverse Sw. does not light the Backup Lights.
Bottom Line
I find my BMWs -- I'm up to 4 now, 3 that I currently have and 1 that was wrecked -- to be very easy to work on, and very reliable. The most recent purchase, the second '00 323i, has the most problems of any. The people that I bought it from do not work on cars at home, and they were told the transmission was shot and had to be replaced. I bought the car for what the dealer offered as a trade-in, so with the relatively minor service I've done to get it on the road, I scored a pretty good car for well below the Private Party value of the Kelly Blue Book.
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On Tue, 30 Mar 2010 00:02:24 -0400, Greg Vandersen

Our 2002 325i 4 door (sport pkg, manual, 12-way power seats, HK stereo) has had one battery failure (put the car in a mode where it would start, but was limited to 1300 rpm) which required towing to the dealer, under warranty. In the past two years, three of the four window regulators have failed, the left rear just this week, to the tune of $485 each. It will need control arm bushings soon. That's it.
It hasn't been babied -- it was doing 100+ mph on the autobahn ten minutes after we picked it up. It's done numerous BMW club (and other) track days. The care has been great, and still drives like new. I'd buy a new one in a heartbeat.
One thing, though -- we ordered this car for European delivery and picked it up at the factory in Munich. From talking to people over the years, I'm convinced that by doing that, you get a car that has received special attention during the build process. No, I have no proof, but I believe it.
-- Larry
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I think your regulator motors still have oil points on them. Every once in a while, pull the plastic tabs off and put a few drops of light machine oil in there. Maybe once every other year or something. While you have the door open, spray some Super-Lube or similar spray grease on the gearing and on the latch mechanism. You'll find the regulator mechanism lasts a lot longer this way (although the motor brushes will eventually go bad and the rubber gaskets will crack someday). --scott
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"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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Nedavno Scott Dorsey napisa:

Really? Do you have some photos / links to photos with location of the oil pints?
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No, but look at the motor. It will have a plastic cap near the front of the motor and another one near the rear of the motor, if it's that kind of motor. The caps can be pried off with a screwdriver to reveal an oil cup.
The newer ones are completely sealed and don't have the little plastic caps. --scott
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"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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Nice idea...but only an idea nonetheless. A large percentage (can't recall how large) of BMWs and Mercs are factory collections. I collected mine from a factory in 2001 as well. And that was a second time, having previously done it in 1986 (from a diferent factory).
Part of their marketing/customer loyalty strategy... well, at least it's Merc's.
And the clever thing from the manufacturer's point of view was that the car was largely not built at the collection point. It was a CLK Cab,collected from Bremen. At that time all Merc cabrios were built at the Karmann factory in Osnabrck, quite a distance away. I remedied that a while later by touring the Karmann factory (from which you could not collect cars anyway) when in the area.
A so-called factory-collection facility has been established by Mercedes in southern England... (they don't manufacture here!).
DAS
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I bought my 2002 330xi new. It is just shy of 149k miles.
It is an automatic.
My most expensive repair was the power steering, about 2k at about 130k.
Now it has a freon leak in the AC, which would cost about 2k to fix. Slow oil leak --- I need to add a liter every 1500 miles.
But I am selling it. I have a 2011 335xi on order. It should be here soon.
ah
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wrote:

I have a 2003 325i (base model with only the Sunroof as an option). It now has 160K miles. At this point the car is definitely starting to show it's age -- the drivers seat looks well used (which it is!) and there are various rattles and squeaks. These started to show after around 130K miles.

I currently drive about 25K miles per year and it costs about $2K-4K per year in scheduled maintenance, preventative maintenance (e.g. replacing the cooling system), and things breaking (e.g. power window regulator).
I would buy again. It is definitely less reliable than a Honda Civic that I owned previously, but on the driving front (both safety and performance) there is no comparison.

If you are going to buy new, they come with a warranty/maintenance for 4yr/50K. If you drive a lot of miles, I would definitely get the extended warranty/maintenance out to 6yr/100k which BMW sells (buy it just before you run out in case you decide not to keep the car). By then, all the kinks will have been worked out and you'll only be paying for wear and tear and maintenance. Depending on what model you get and how much you drive, maintenance costs can vary significantly. For example, if you get the sports package, the low profile tires are going to wear faster and the tires cost most than regular tires.
That said, I'm having a really hard time buying the new 3-series because of all the de-contenting that BMW has been doing to these cars. So many things that were standard on my car, are no longer available on the new 3. For example: - Standard music system is down from 10 to 6 speakers. - No flashlight in glovebox. - No blue band on windshield. - No storage nets behind the seat back. - Plastic tire valve covers instead of metal. - The manual seat controls have changed for the worse and one of controls now juts out enough that my leg hits it (found out while being a passenger in one of the newer ones). - No spare tire because the car comes with run flats (what to do when you're on a road trip on a weekend...?) ....
You'd have to look at the forums (at e,g, bimmerfest) to get the complete list.
Anoop
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anoop wrote:

I don't know... The "kinks" (read: genuine defects) should already be "worked out" within 50k miles. I'm not convinced that spending a lot of money to get a couple more years of coverage is worth it. It's likely that the issues you'll encounter, at that point, will not be covered as they are considered "normal wear".
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I got to 50K in 2 years. I know at least the power window regular and the sunroof mechanism failed after that. Additionally, I think the warranty covered the replacement of the control arm bushings (also after 50K), but I'm not 100% sure if it was the warranty or the extended maintenance...
Anoop
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