People say this, but, my E91 3 series is in the first year of the
model, is just over 2 months old with 2700 miles and I have not had to
go back to the dealer for any post-production fixes (out of BMW's brand
new factory). It is so far faultless. The only thing I can say about
the first year model is that not all equipment on the options list is
available yet, but everything I want is so no problem. OK it's early
days and 1 car is not much of a sample, what is the big deal about
first year of model cars?
Really! OK Lexus wins on the reliability by a bit, but its not like
BMW's are "lemons"
Wierd, in the UK any Lexus is more expensive to buy and run than a
competing BMW (though better equipped as standard), partly because a
diesel has only just become available for the first time and only on
the IS. Even with petrol/gas engines, Lexus are slow and thirsty
compared to a BMW and servicing/parts is not cheaper.
Given the long service intervals on the new cars I worked out that the
servicing is going to cost no more than Toyota/Honda
Absolutely true.... for any Mercedes. A Mercedes without an auto box
is practically unsellable. On the 3 series manual boxes massively out
number auto boxes in the market. 5 series and up and it's all change
with the auto box being essential for re-sale.
No, it's the same thing here, except that your resale vales seem even
more deflated than ours, so perhaps that is a bigger concern.
Are you saying that the differential in price at resale is greater
(either in actual money or as a percentage) than the cost difference
That would be interesting...
As a percentage, yes. Possibly even as an absolute at three years old -
the norm for lease cars being sold at auction. That's for my interest -
5-Series. I'd say it's likely different for the smaller 3-Series. M3s seem
to sell best with SMG.
*Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
I know you were joking, but, sad to say, if you look at the % of sales of
BMWs that are manuals vs. auto-magic, you will find the VAST majority are
The Ultimate Driving Machine is actually The Ultimate Rolling Living Room
for a whole lot of buyers.
And it will go more that way as the new BMW ad agency was chosen with the
goal of reducing the high-performance driving aspect of the BMW image and
emphasizing a comfy luxo-barge image in the U.S.
Actually Mrecedes has a headstart in the "comfy living room" stakes.
Although in recent years some sort of 'sportiness' has been implied in much
of the advertising (perhaps to match BMW's image), they used to emphasize
the relaxing nature of the interior for the driver (in contract to the
'cockpit' of a BMW) and now they have done it again with the new S-class (S
"...according to Mercedes' research, your heart will actually beat more
slowly than in any rival..."
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
"GRL" < snipped-for-privacy@CHARTERMI.NET> wrote in message
I've never had to replace an alternator, in over 350K miles of ownership
of 4 BMWs.
I've owned 4.
I'm 55 and drive a 330xi. My 22 yo son drives a 525i.
None of the M cars come with an automatic. They *do* come with
the SMG transmissions. They're notorious for jerkiness in traffic and
Maintenance is free for the first 4 years/50K miles (in the US.) Arguably,
BMWNA has set the maintenance schedules (especially for fluids) to
too long of intervals. I've paid more to maintain Chrysler minivans
than our BMWs - even our '91 525i was cheaper even though they
didn't have "free" maintenance when we bought it.
Maintenance is only ridiculous if you use a BMW Dealer for every little
job, but there's plenty of independent BMW mecahnics around that can do
the work at half the price.
BMW's have a few 'usual' weaknesses, as any other car do - once you
know what these are, maintenance is pretty easy and reliability can be
improved by preventative maintenace and generally being aware of what
goes wrong and keeping an eye/ear open for problems.
A well looked after BMW will be great, but a neglected one that's had
cheapo parts fitted will be a money sponge.
I've had auto and manual BMW's and I'd have an auto again to be honest,
for the point of view of traffic. It's so muc easier. BMW manual
gearboxes aren't fantastic anyway - they don't break for eons, but they
just feel notchy...even from new.
A bunch of us from our club went to Nurburgring last year, and a couple
of the cars were autos.
Auto gearboxes are only crap on small engined cars like a 316/318 - as
soon as you strap an auto to a 6 pot engine it's perfectly pokey enough.
On 18 Jan 2006 01:58:57 -0800, "Russ (www.e36coupe.com)"
I specifically went for an auto... I'm in the UK and do a lot of
motorway miles... It's so much nicer than arriving at my destination
with a left leg twice the size of the right from all the stop/start
traffic jams, and as Russ said, a 6 cylinder auto has more than enough
grunt for general driving, even my 6 cylinder diesel!
Sure if you want a "true" drivers car, have a manual, but we spend
99.9% of the time just using them as transport, so comfort and ease of
use count for more in my book. (If you want pure drivers car, you
wouldn't have 3 other seats and a boot/trunk on the back would you!)
This is my second BMW in a year (previous one got written off by a
blind van driver, but still drove me home). Both are/were approx 10
years old, 100,000+ miles, and haven't caused me any problems. I
service them myself, and will turn my hand to most maintenance
(changed glow plugs etc). Identical BMW parts can be sourced from
other suppliers at a great discount. So if you don't mind getting your
hands dirty, they're no worse than any other car. In fact as they seem
to be well built they could be considered better.
In the UK various consumer surveys indicate that minor quick / cheap to
fix faults are a little more common on BMW's than Honda / Toyota etc,
but major incident (i.e. engine up in smoke) are very rare and on par
with the japanese makes. Arguably a BMW will live longer than a
Absolutely!, but better an auto than no BMW at all.
Mmmm, BMW manual boxes are considered amoung the best, the 6 speed on
my E91 (2006) 3 series is the slickest most position action box I've
ever used. If an auto box is the top priority Mercedes do better, but
then you loose out on engine and handling.
Labour rates at BMW dealers are a bit on the high side here too, you
rely on the fact that not much will need doing and if you must, turn to
an independant when your warantee is over.
"Mmmm, BMW manual boxes are considered amoung the best, the 6 speed on
my E91 (2006) 3 series "
well..ok, perhaps on the BRAND NEW cars they're improved - but this is
not the case the majority of the ZF transmissions used on the e36 / e34
/ e39 and e46 (I think).
For example, the manual e34 M5 and e36 M3 gearboxes are notchy and
quite a few suffer from gear chatter.
The 5 speed manual box used in the 6 pot e36/e39/e46 can suffer from
gear chatter too. The gearchanges on my e39 528 (with only 60k miles)
were awfully notchy, and the gear chatter in neutral was embarrasingly
loud so I had a brand new gearbox fitted at a BMW dealer. The new box
is ok, but still isn't as smooth as the gearbox in my wifes e36 316
compact (4 pot).
Not sure if on the very newest 3 and 5 series they are still using the
clutch delay valve setup. Nasty device that deadens any feedback and
control you have on clutch engagement (not used on the M3 and M5's
interestingly) - and also increases clutch wear as it only engages the
clutch at a set rate......apparently to prevent damage to the clutch
plate. A popular modiication on the e36 328 and the e39 is to remove
this valve so you can achieve better gear changes. There's also the
dual mass flywheel...which is cool as long as it doesn't leak over time
or need replacing due to excesssive clutch wear, as they're mega-bucks.
Anyway....it's more down to you personal preference when it comes to
the choice between auto or manual.....I know what I'd have next time.
I have an 1990 E34 535i, 5 speed manua trans, 104K miles and its one of the
smoothest shifting cars I ever driven. The key was changing the transmission
fluid to a good Synthetic. I've used Redline and am now using Purple Royal.
Both work well and really smooth out the shifting, especially when the trans
is cold. Try it!
In the UK at least, it's the dealers that give BMW a bad name. They
seem to employ kwik-fit type personnel but still want to charge the big
bucks for repairs. I had few problems with my mid-90's 3-series (other
than the dealer) but I've known a few people with big and/or scary
problems with their E46s.
The 3-series parts seem to be easier and cheaper to come by whereas
parts for the biggers cars are still expensive. Parts for japanese
cars can be pricey too.
The M-cars can be pricey because a) they might not have been built very
well and b) often the parts are different between the Ms and the
I disagree with you. An automatic transmission has a torque converter. The
SMG does not. A manual transmission has a clutch. The SMG has a clutch
which is electronically engaged rather than manually with a pedal.
A CVT auto has a torque convertor? M-B made epicyclic autos for years with
no TC - as did GM. A TC has nothing to do with a gearbox being an
automatic. An automatic box is simply one which can start the car from
rest and reach maximum speed with no input from the driver - other than
just pressing the accelerator pedal.
An epilcylic one has several.
Better 'SMG' boxes like the Audi version have two clutches.
What is it with you guys? A manual has a manually operated gearchange and
clutch. Make the clutch 'auto' and it becomes a semi-automatic. Automate
the gearchange too and it becomes an auto. It doesn't matter about the
actual gear train configuration - epicyclic, synchromesh or rubber bands -
if the gearbox is capable of operating 'normally' with no input from the
driver it's an auto. Everything else is simply the degree of driver
*If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you *
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
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