BMW's nothing but problems??? Really???

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Hello,
Many of my friends have been giving me advice of DONT buy a BMW they are a money pit car, $900 alternators, etc... nothing but problems.
I thought the best people to ask are actual BMW owners. Would you do it
again?
I love the way they look, the cars I've test drove felt like great engineering went into them. I've heard things such as real men own only 5 series and up? What's the deal with that?
I need help in deciding whether to buy a BMW and if so, which model convertible would be the most reliable with the least maintenance costs? I would prefer something that's a pretty quick and fun to drive in the hills and an automatic (M3 or M5?). Pro's and con's of going with an automatic in a BMW? I personally prefer a stick however, traffic has gotten so bad it's a drag constantly going on and off the clutch.
Since I've never owned a BMW all advice on years and models to avoid and the best years/models, tips etc. would be much appreciated.
Thanks,
Dan
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You'll get lots of opinions on this, even from BMW owners. Keep in mind that a lot of folks here are under warranty or contract so they don't pay out of pocket for every repair. BMWs are expensive to maintain as they age, especially if you're paying Hans at the dealer $90/hr to work on it and full markup on parts. If you can handle some of it yourself it's not so bad. BMWs are fairly reliable, but not Japanese reliable. But then they don't drive or look like Japanese cars either. It's a trade off. Real BMW owners don't own automatics... :-)
szguitar wrote:

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The ones who can afford them do, the ones who can't act like they wouldn't have it any other way. :-)

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Jack Dotson wrote:

That's silly, Jack. The automatic option does not increase the price of the car very much at all. Most manual transmission owners have it because the *prefer* to drive one. It's not a matter of economics...
--
-Fred W

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It was a joke dude. Think I was going to let him off with saying Real BMW owners don't drive automatics?
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One of the most impressive things I noticed when I first bought a BMW ('01 750iL) was the precision of the automatic shifts. It actually sounds and feels like a manual, but isn't. Since then, we've had several BMW's, a '01 330ci, an X5 and currently a '06 750iL and a '06 M5. All had the superb Steptronic transmission except the M5 that has the SMG.
Eisboch
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Eisboch wrote:

Damn. You gave it away!
Dan
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You know I haven't seen it mentioned, but I read that some of the manuals for BMW's were actually made by General Motors. Anyone else read or hear about this? On the other hand, the Auto's are made by BMW. Probably explains whey the auto is so good.
All you manual guys enjoy your GM tranny's. No wonder your not overwhelmed with the way they shift. You can get the same performance from a Chevy Cobalt. Bwaahhaahaa!
I wouldn't dare own a car with a crappy old GM transmission.
Real BMW drivers, drive real BMW's with real BMW transmissions. :-)
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Jack Dotson wrote:

You're too funny, Jack...
BMW does not manufacture transmissions, either manual or automatic. They are made by ZF or GM.
http://www.bmwe34.net/e34main/Maintenance/Transmission/Data/E34%20Autotrans.pdf
By the way, what model car and transmission do you have? We can then tell you who made that transmission, but I can tell you right now it was not BMW.
--
-Fred W

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Jack Dotson wrote:

You have it bass-ackwards. GM in FRANCE made a series of automatics that were used in some US bound cars. AUTOMATICS.
ZF/Getrag makes the MANUAL transmissions for BMW.

Jack, you really are an ass aren't you? But you knew that already.

You probably do.

BMW doesn't manufacture ANY transmissions - in the cars or in the REAL BMW's (that have 2 wheels.)
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Time for yet another rerun of the Bimmer v Beemer argument...?...
;-) DAS
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
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"admin" <admin@192.168.0.2> wrote in message
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Who makes the BMW motorcycle transmissions?
Tom K.
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Hey Tom, please be careful how you cut and paste. I didn't say this.
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Sorry, Jack. I thought it was clear I was replying to "admin", but I should have cut your name as well to avoid any confusion.
Tom K.
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BMW - at least in recent years - make neither autos or manuals. They're both bought in. And the autos were sometimes from GM in the US although ZF elsewhere. Dunno why, given the GM autos for some time were 4, rather than 5 speed. Something to do with local content? - things like the batteries for US cars were also US sourced.

GM at one time made the best autos in the world. Rolls Royce once used them - with cost not an issue. But GM sort of lost the plot...;-)
They also once made very fine manuals. I well remember a RWD Vauxhall I owned with a four speed gearbox which was as fast and light as any I've driven.
But GM sort of lost the plot...;-)

No such thing.
--
*A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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My 1990 E34 535i has a 5 speed manual transmission made by Getrag, NOT GM. BMW only uses manual trannies from either Getrag or ZF. BMW did buy some GM automatic transmission. Get it right!
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London SW

Dave, I know. I had was just stirring the pot again. Throwing some red meat to all the manual shift chest pounders. ;-)
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Ace, you have it exactly wrong. Some BMW automatics are GM sourced, no manuals are. Now, that is not a bad thing as GM makes excellent automatics and have a much longer history doing it than anybody else.

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They did - but are they at the forefront now? The first ZF 5 speeder was fitted to the E34 in '91 - it was 10 years or so till the GM in the US E39 became 5 speed. Now 6, 7 and 8 speed boxes are fitted to M-B and BMW.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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8 speed? I thought only the 2006 or is it 2007 Lexus LS 460 has an 8 speed auto box?
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