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BMW 3-Series - What to do when the CPO period ends?

skgolferskgolfer Posts: 17
edited April 27 in BMW
Hi All

I have a 2003 330xi. The CPO period expires soon. This program has already paid for itself due to a few repairs that were necessary. The car only has 55K miles. Here's the question....should I keep the car past the warranty period? I love the car, but am worried that the cost of up keep may be very expensive. If I sell I have been thinking about moving into a certified 2008/2009 Acura TSX (I know different kinda car) or a TL. The only thing I don't like about my car (other than potential future repair and maintenance bills) is the mileage...19/20 ave mpg.

What kind of experience have folks had with your cars when the warranty stops...should I keep it? Thanks!

Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,259
    This is a crystal ball question but as a visiting host I'll give you my two cents, for whatever it is worth.

    GIVEN that a) this car already has a history of being a bit troublesome

    and b)

    that it is a complex German luxury car

    and c)

    that you are concerned about expenses after warranty and you probably don't do your own repair work

    then I would suggest d)

    which would be to sell no later than around 80,000 miles.

    Why 80K? Because this is just about the time that a BMW starts to get hungry for those normally expendable items that most cars might need at this time.

    The only other consideration is how much depreciation you've suffered and if you are comfortable with what the car has cost you to own it in five years time.

    Visiting Host

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    I'm the opposite of Mr Shiftright, I drive my BMWs anywhere from 30,000-50,000 miles past the end of the warranty period. My E36 3er has 114000 miles on it and costs @$50/month to run. My wife's E39 5er ran @$90 to run through 130,000 miles. We'd still have it but my wife wanted an X3 and we already had 3 cars in the driveway. As for your E46, the only thing it's going to need that isn't covered by the warranty may be a few front end parts and possibly brakes- and those items can be taken care of by a good indie BMW tech for not a lot of money. The wild card is whether your car is a slushbox. Sometimes they make it to 200,000 miles, others go at 90,000 miles.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,259
    Well I was thinking about you when I answered the question because I noted that the original poster apparently does not do any of his own maintenance work as you do, nor (I assume) he isn't networking amongst the various BMW clubs, and thus is totally reliant on the dealer and the CPO warranty for parts and labor.

    I think this makes a big difference as to how I might advise someone about after-warranty periods.

    If skgolfer is a more active participant in BMW repair and maintenance, then maybe I'm off base here.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,801
    In this case, I'm even farther to the right than you are...

    He's had the car for six years.. already problematic.. But, it's been under warranty the entire time.. Keeping it to 80K includes some pretty pricy maintenance, and the warranty is up shortly (six year limit)...

    So.. it's been extremely cheap to maintain repair for the six years he's had it... I say, get out while the getting is good... It sounds as though this member is risk-averse as it is... (looking for a TSX with an extended warranty)..

    Just my $0.02..
    kyfdx
    visiting host

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    Well, I think he could still operate the vehicle for a reasonable cost if he finds a good dealer and/or independent shop. The 60K service for my wife's X3 was $424 at the dealer- and that included a brake fluid flush and the repair of a curbed wheel. The most the OP is looking at after the CPO warranty ends is a radiator and thermostat, maybe a couple of window regulators, and the BIG if- the autobox. The thing is, I hear loads of people say that they "need" a new car because their old one is costing too much to run. However, what they end up doing in many cases is trading $100-$150/month in repair costs for a $500/month loan or-even worse-a lease payment. I don't know if that's the case here, but I see it happen all the time...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,259
    All true but I think you've been incredibly lucky and/or diligent with your monthly operating costs. Most people I know or speak to are operating far higher costs to drive their older BWMs around. However, if you had posted $150/month operating costs for an out-of-warranty BMW, I'd have to wager that that was more like what the average individual has to face, presuming of course nothing catastrophic like a gearbox.

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    All true but I think you've been incredibly lucky and/or diligent with your monthly operating costs.

    Well, that's been the case for my last three BMWs. Three different models, three different years; 1995, 1997, 2004. I don't believe it's luck. Yes, my CCA discount helps, as does a bit of research, but right now my 2007 POS Mazdaspeed 3 :lemon: is proving to be much more problematic and more expensive to run than any late model BMW I've ever owned. Nothing but the Blau Mit Weiss for me from now on...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Hi Again

    I am a bit risk adverse and I can only do the very, very basic maintenance myself. It just seems that whenever I have the car in to be repaired or serviced, the service folks tell me that I am lucky that I have the service and maintenance program still going. Front brakes - would have been $1,500, 50K service - would have been $1,300, Front axle boots - would have been $1K, front left CV cylinder - would have been $$$. Now it could be that this dealer is trying pad his profit. What kind of discounts do the BMW clubs actually provide....I am not currently a member. Thanks.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    It just seems that whenever I have the car in to be repaired or serviced, the service folks tell me that I am lucky that I have the service and maintenance program still going. Front brakes - would have been $1,500, 50K service - would have been $1,300,

    Your dealer is trying to skin you. Bad. Pads and rotors for all four wheels of my wife's 2004 X3 cost less than $1000 at my dealer. And the Inspection II cost less than $400. They might be trying to scare you into a newer car. That's not unheard of.

    Now it could be that this dealer is trying pad his profit.

    That's the understatement of the year. Grand Larceny is more like it.

    What kind of discounts do the BMW clubs actually provide

    There is only one BMW Club in the US- the BMW Car Club of America. Many dealers and indie shops offer discounts of 10%-20% on parts and/or labor. Note that some unscrupulous dealers and shops charge 20%-30% over MSRP for parts, so the "discount" is really no such thing. I suspect that your dealer plays the same game.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,259
    None of my friends have quite your luck, sad to say. It's just one thing after another for them as their Bimmers mile up :( The '98 3 series of one friend got very squirrely around 80K, with the typical cooling system issues, another friend's 325is is pretty good at 110K but eats fuel pumps and has its share of electrical gremlins. My buddy's 7 series has been a disaster. The '99 5 series of my friend's parents has been the best of the bunch at about 105K, but did have AC issues and again electrical glitches.

    I have incredibly good "luck" with cars too but I don't call it luck. I'm really diligent and I head off trouble before it starts. I spend a lot of time with my cars, looking 'em over. Also have a great network for repairs and parts.

    So I give credit to anyone who can run a modern car at such low cost.

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  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    I'm currently on my 4th 3 Series. I've followed "sell-before-this-date" rule on three of them.... and I think that's the way to go.

    They're desirable cars that are easy to sell while still under CPO and command a (slight) premium because you can tell the buyer "If you have any problems, you're still under warranty".

    After that's gone, you're dependent on having all your stamps in your service book. Otherwise people are leary of high milage old BMW's.

    Additionally, my E-46 had several interesting problems that were no big deal under warranty but would have been annoying if I'd been paying. All four window regulators @ $500 a pop. Four of six coils. No thanks.

    Having said that, I bought my wife a 328i in 1998. She has driven it 51K miles in the last 10 years. It's a wonderful car, and she doesn't want to replace it, and frankly, it's just fine and will be for years to come. However, it is still comparatively expensive to own, if one does (and I do) all the required maintenance ( regular oil changes regardless of milage, brake fluid, antifreeze flushes), and takes care of (and I do) every even minor thing that needs attention. Thoes little things ain't cheap. A Harmon-Kardon tweeter got old and failed - that was $100 or so for the speaker itself and another $150 or so to have replaced.... and there are 8 or 10 speakers. By the way, it also required a new radiator when the original failed for no particular reason. Oh - and I almost forget that I had to replace all the suspension bushings recently.....another $1500 for no reason except age.

    Me? I'd sell and get another one.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,259
    You know how it is with cars. There's the "bell curve" in which most owner's experiences fall, and then there are the "outlanders" on either end of the curve, people who have much better, and much worse, experiences than the majority.

    My own personal rating for BMWs "bell curve" is "average reliability", nothing too bad, nothing too great. A bit "iffy" IMO.

    so your post-CPO experience is most likely going to be "iffy".

    In terms of driving experience, styling, resale, etc., they are tops.

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  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    I'd agree that the reliability is average..... and that the repair costs are perhaps above average.

    As a former Alfa owner, I view the repair and maintenance costs as part of the price of ownership - the price you pay for the rest of the BMW experience - but worth it.

    Having said that, the maintenance costs are the reason I'll probably never have a Porsche. I can afford the entry costs easily.... I'm not so sure about the ownership costs.

    My pockets are deep enough for BMW ownership (helped by their built-in maintenance program or the CPO) but a Porsche!

    You're talking boat money when you talk Porsche repairs!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,259
    Porsche BMW Audi...even VW....German cars are not cheap to fix. They are much cheaper to MAINTAIN.

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  • Lordy....this is too easy. My 2008 335i has been in the shop 8 times already; I am definitely without a doubt geting rid of this repair bill before the warranty ends. These cars are a guaranteed high pressure fuel pump replacement either sooner or later. It's just a matter of time.
  • pholliephollie Posts: 45
    I've got a 2003 that I bought CPO with a great interest rate. I mention that because I'm still making payments (for another 15 months). I'm inclined to get rid of it because I can pay maintenance or I can make payments, but I can't do both.

    I will run it by my mechanic for a once over before I make a final decision. Its been a great car for my 3 years/40,000 miles.
  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    I own a 2007 328xi with about 40K miles. Its certainly had a few minor problems that have been fixed under the original warranty. What do people think of getting BMW's extended warranty when the car hits 50K? What should it cost? Is it negotiable? What's generally covered? What are the down sides?
  • cbharvestcbharvest Posts: 4
    I just got a 2003 325i, with 69,000 miles on it, for $12500 out the door. It looks great and runs fine, to me. I took it to an indy BMW guy, who checked it out and told me I got a good one. I figured for the price, I could spring for the maintenance, but as I read people's laundry lists of problems, I find myself wondering if it's worth it.

    Do most people have these fuel pump, bushing, tail light issues or do some, many, or most, and do they happen to be the ones that hang out in web forums? Are these typical maintenance issues or exceptions? I'd never get another VW, because they seem so problem prone, yet I know others who get them and drive them to death. Basically, what I'm asking is this: Are BMWs with more than 50K miles just hobby cars, better left to those who enjoy working on them, or can they be somewhat practically enjoyed and relied upon for transportation? :confuse: Thanks so much.
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