That kind of stuff happens on all cars, even Japanese cars. My 1985 635CSi
is a much more reliable car than my 1988 Supra was. When I sold the Supra
in 2002, more pieces were falling off than I knew what to do with, and it
was well cared for. The BMW still looks and runs like it was pulled of the
showroom floor yesterday. Just my .02
You can't be serious. BMW's are high maintenance vehicles. I'm on my 3rd
BMW, and all of them have been just as unreliable so far, old or new. I
often say: "BMW's are easy to work on, and that's fortunate, because you
have to work on 'em a lot."
From experience and from research I can say that almost any Japanese car
would be more reliable than a BMW. If your '85 Big Coupe looks showroom
new, with no body rust forming, either you live in a desert, or you never,
ever drive in the rain or road salt. Or possibly you have had the car
completely stripped, zinc primed, undercoated and repainted with 2-stage
paint. 6-series coupes rust notoriously. They are fraught with electrical
problems, the main seals leak, cam oilers fail, they have steering failures,
A/C problems, failing hydraulic struts, loose shifter bushings, weak timing
chain idlers, "rocking" front seats, ECU problems, etc, etc. I had to
repair all four electric window motors in my Coupe at least twice, which
involved taking the doors completely apart. That was barely the beginning.
The 6-series are beautiful cars, no doubt; but after spending hundreds of
hours endlessly repairing and de-rusting my low-mileage '83 633csi, I
finally gave up and sold it. That was a decision that I don't regret.
Now I drive a 2000 BMW Z3 Roadster. It's obviously a better car than the
old 6-series in every respect; but I can already see that it's not as
reliable as my bombproof '92 Honda Civic with 160,000 miles on the clock. I
love BMW's for the driving experience; but I'll never lie to myself about
their reliability. Buy a BMW with your eyes open, and be ready to either
roll up your sleeves and fix it yourself, or write some fat checks to the
Yeah, I won't deny we've put a lot of money into it. It was repainted two
years ago. My experience comes from owning a money pit Supra. We put $3,000
in engine work alone, followed by much more. Total up the receipts and the
bix six has been cheaper to run so far, and it feels much more solid and
bomb proof than the Supra did.
I won't argue with you that they aren't expensive to own and run, they are.
But I do think it's a more solid vehicle than my Supra was, and the quality
of materials is much better as well.
I kinda guessed that ;-) My '83 633csi was repainted in 1991 - and it
actually looked very good. It's not BMW's fault that the paint was weak.
The 1980's were a dark time for auto paint, across the entire industry.
Metallic paints in the 1980's were particularly notorious for literally
peeling off in sheets, especially on American cars. I was following a late
80's Chrysler recently that actually had long paint "fronds" waving in the
wind on every top surface. Strange.
Yeah, an old girlfriend of mine bought an '84 Supra in '87, with barely
24,000 on the ticker. Before she had owned it 1 year, she put ~$2,000 into
it. The cooling system had been trashed by some idiot who put several cans
of Bars Leaks in it (god knows why). Gummed it up real nice. The local
Toyota $tealer really worked her over. Total frauds.
Once you get all of the bugs worked out, and if you live in a dry, warm area
(or run it summers only), a Big Coupe is a nice touring car, and still a
head-turner. I just wish I could have kept mine from rusting. I'd probably
still have the darned thing. They grow on you. It's a version of Stockholm
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