newbie question: How much should I budget for repairs after 100k miles?

I have a goal of one day getting myself a BMW of some sort, probably a 3-series, probably 6-cyl. It will be a used vehicle, probably around 100k miles or so. I say this because those are the ones in my price range. I've
heard many warnings from friends and family who say repairs on an older vehicle will be too expensive, and I understand repairs will be higher than on a domestic car, but I wanted to get some input from people who actually know from experience. One guy I know said he only paid $500 over a 5 year period while he had his, others have said $5,000 per year is not unreasonable. Which is more realistic?
Barring no major breakdowns (engine failure, transmission, wreck, etc.) how much do you think would be a reasonable amount to expect in repair bills from say 100k miles up to 200+k? I know there's no way to anticipate which parts will fail but I just want to have some sort of ballpark figure to expect annually. I'm not on a budget per se, but I would like to know what I'm getting myself into.
Also, if any of you have any advice on which models or engine sizes and configurations to avoid, please let me know.
Thanks,
CNB
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That is nonsense. There is no reason why running an older BMW should be any more expensive than running any other comparable car. Whatever the make.
and I understand repairs will be higher than

Depends on how you get it repaired. If you DIY most spares can be baught at reasonable prices. If you take it into a BMW dealer, expect high bills. If you can't DIY, look for a 'back street' garage run by a guy who knows his business, and charges reasonable rates.
One guy I know said he only paid $500 over a 5 year

As long as you make a careful buy IMO the first figure is the most realistic.

how
With the exceptions mentioned, I'd say a few hundred dollars a year average should be enough to cover wear and tear items like servicing, brakes, tyres etc.
I'm in the UK with a '94 525iSE which I baught in January of last year, with 150k on the clock. So far it's only needed a couple of bulbs and a service. The rear shocks will need replacing in the not too distant future, as one has a very slight weep. Already baught a pair for 78, so they'll be fitted when I'm in the mood. Almost forgot. It does need a new a/c auxiliary fan. Again waiting to be fitted as I picked up a good s/h one in the breakers for 10. If my experience is anything to go by, s/h BMW's are not expensive cars to run.

All I can say is that I'd recommend a 6 cyl model, but it seems you've already decided on that. They are very strong engines. Mike.
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$5k a year is for more for restoring a pice of junk, which you should not buy in the first place. I bought a 88 635Csi a couple of yeard ago with 194k on the frame and 120k on the engine. I put about 5k into this, but knew that ahead of time. He is what I did: Redid shocks, springs, and those bushings and shock mounts, moter and tranny bushing mounts, Control arms and bushings, steering tie rods and bushings, and new "modern rims" and tires. Now, buy a car, after a good inspection and you will spend less. Example:
We just traded our 96 E36 in for a newer 3. The E36 had 113k miles on it. The last time any repairs were done was the shocks at 80k, battery at 95k, oil changes, complete brake jobe (rotors and disks) service I and II (local BMW shop not the Stealer) and a set of tires. That was for almost 3 years and maybe $1k total.
If you get one with good maintanence records, Service I and II records and no history of major problems, you can budget around $500 or less per year. One year may be less, but the next could be more. Suspension parts are not that expensive, but labor is. Bushings and shocks and mounts should be done together to reduce overall duplicate labor and uneven parts wear. Maintancence is the key. Lubricants, coolant system, brakes/rotors are all something you can do and save money. I did a complete brake job myself for <$200 plus the $100 the garage did the brake fluid. Dealer wanted around $900 for the same thing.
So there is MHO. I own 3 different BMW's and do not find them costly. I find a car that falls apart at 100k, like Detroit models (most) costly. Most BMW owners do take a little better car of the car than the average Am/Ja car.
So shop around, call the BMW club for the next outing and ask some questions.
Good luck.
Al Floer
onMostly suspension

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than
how
I spent about $2500 (cdn, perhaps $1700US?) per year maintianing my iX with over 300,000km when I was mostly dependant on a garage. I drive it very, very hard. I mean *really* hard. This year, with my Dad back in the country to work on it with me, I'm on track for about a $1500cdn year, which includes a head job to replace some valves, a clutch kit, new guibos, and rear wheel bearings.
Keep in mind these figures include *everything*... oil, brakes, exhaust, tires, as well as break-fix items, beause I'm self-employed and keep track of everything.
As an example, having a garage replace your gas tank is a $1200cdn proposition in a car like that, because they have to deal with some rotted lines, rusty fasteners, exhaust/driveshaft/filters/pumps/etc. You might only do that once every 15 years, but guess what, the time was up so there it is.
Next year might be a lot less. Or not. The items from this year, were probably all original, except the valves which were replaced at 280,000km with apparently inferior product. So, 17 years, is not so bad for most of those items, and I'll never touch them again in all likelihood.
But even at the higher figures, since I own the car clear, it's far less than I would pay on *any* new car lease, even a bottle-cap korean crapbox... and I love it every time I fire the engine. So, I don't whine. And I'm not looking to replace it.
-Russ.
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Thanks for all of your advice. I thought $5k/year sounded a little much. Your experiences are more with what I had in mind - that is if I'm lucky maybe a few hundred per year or less, if I'm not lucky, it could get ugly. I probably won't do much repair myself but I do know the backstreet shop owner who knows his stuff who can provide good service if need be. The way I see it, I would rather have an older car that I love than pay for a new car that just blends into the surrounding traffic. I will get the BMW one day - I will post here when that day comes.
Thanks again for all the help -
CNB
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My 85 318i cost $450/yr from 125,000 to 200,000 miles, as a DIYer. P.O. was spending over $1000 annually at dealer after 100,000 mi.
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waffled on about something:

For $5k a year you might as well just go out and buy another 3 series each year instead!
I've heard that although the automatic boxes are "lubricated for life", it's wise to change the fluid in them at 100,000 miles.
I can't say any more than that though because my experience of 3 series is purely on the diesel models which I understand you guys in the US of A don't get. You're really missing out, my '96 straight six 325 tds diesel does over 120mph and 40mpg on a run. (Unfortunately it can't do them both at the same time!).
But just in case some other European is reading this, at 100,000 miles expect to replace a set of glow plugs (cheap, but inlet manifold has to come off to get to them), and probably injector #4 which has the sensor. 35 for a normal injector, 130 for the #4 injector.
Suspension dampers will probably need doing at some point, and the rear strut tops. Neither is particularly expensive over here, and both are easily completed by a vaguely competent DIYer.
Dodgy.
--
MUSHROOMS ARE THE OPIATE OF THE MOOSES

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