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BMW X3 Reliability

2

Comments

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    edited February 2010
    We have a True Cost to Own tool that's based on more than a couple of data points.

    Unless my math is wrong, the maintenance and repair costs for a 2010 X3 will run you .06 cents a mile over 5 years/75,000 miles. .067 if you drag the decimal points out a bit.

    That's a bit more than the .058 I come up with for a '10 Lexus RX 350 (link), but a good bit less than the .086 the MB GLK will run you. (link)

    Edmunds also offers reliability ratings on most new cars, at least through the 2006 model year. The X3 isn't stellar there (but better than the Mercedes):

    BMW X3 Reliability
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    People seem to think that the X3 is more reliable than the average BMW. I am knocking on its little tin head everyday hoping that it will be above average instead of like this one below. Since the AT is already problematic, I am also hoping that it isn't like the no-reverse situation that has cropped up in other models (older, higher miles than most X3s so far) is reportedly $3K-$7K to fix.

    I still don't understand what it is about water inside the cabin though. It seems to occur on some X5's as well. Why do clogged drains in the roof cause water to drain into the cabin? Just how common is this in other cars? I remember originally hearing about it in an Audi with the water running down the side of the interior and rusting out the seat bolts.

    "Yeah, the quote did make me smile though. I remembered helping 06BMWX3 helping out finding lowest price for these springs on this very forum and the price was in range of 140-200 from various resources. Dealer quoted me almost thrice, but thankfully CPO covers it.

    Having said that, in past (almost) 2 years that I have owned this car if I didn't have warranty I would have spent close to 7-8 k on maintenance, assuming I get it done from dealer. I had sunroof cassette go bad (3.5k), driver side seat leatherette cracking (1k), brake pads + rotor replaced (~1k), passenger seat replaced under recall, low gear holding program applied to car (150), and now the coil springs (1.5k). Except the brakes all other things point to poor quality in either material or engineering. "
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,016
    edited February 2010
    Well at least you remembered that the first 50,000 miles were free.

    I never said the first 50,000 miles weren't free. I just broke it down further to show that the per mile expense wasn't bad no matter whether you factor in the first 50,000 miles or not.

    Do you have the optional seat heaters and, if so, are they still working?

    Four of my BMWs have been equipped with heated seats and I've never experienced a problem.

    DIY doesn't count as 99% of people are never going to DIY anything more than washing their car and not even that these days.

    Work on reading for comprehension; my DIY changes were in addition to the factory servicing requirements. The @$50 spent on each of those changes actually increases the cents per mile calculation.

    As I have said repeatedly, it is the roll of the dice and one or two data points do not a significant picture make. When the dice come up badly the repair costs are very high. That is the way the car industry works.

    Yes, you do keep saying that. And each time you you fail to present any statistical data to support your statements.

    It is irresponsible financially to pay up to your maximum budget for a pricey used car somehow expecting the additional 'quality' to mean lower repair costs.

    I've never said that someone on a tight budget should try to own any car without leaving enough money in reserve to pay for repairs. All I've done is refute the unsubstantiated and preposterous claims and cost numbers that have been tossed around.

    Not everyone has a good, responsible, honest independent mechanic in their area and then they are at the mercy of the massive mark ups of the dealership.

    Do you mean the massive mark ups that you quoted based on hearsay? That are approximately three times the amount that I've paid at my dealer?

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

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,016
    edited February 2010
    People seem to think that the X3 is more reliable than the average BMW. I am knocking on its little tin head everyday hoping that it will be above average instead of like this one below.

    You should be fine; what are you averaging now, 1000 miles per year? Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't one of the BMW forums you frequent create a separate topic thread just for you to house your litany of complaints?

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

  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    Most X3's have less than 100K miles on them but the litany of complaints is VERY robust.

    - Pano roof leaking pouring water inside the cabin of the car - what?
    - Door seals leaking doing the same - what?
    - transmission problems - that is its own universe it has become such an issue:
    --hard engine braking/downshifting
    --failure to accelerate
    --rocky, bumpy, hesitating shifting
    --holding onto gears while going uphill
    - heated seats burning people - what?
    - coil spring breaking off their pigtails - what?
    - bumpy, rocky, swaying, uncomfortable ride
    - HVAC system instantly fogging the windows

    Some of us pay attention and keep track of the actual issues and do not presume that a single data point means anything.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,016
    edited March 2010
    As I've said, people can read our respective posts and judge for themselves as to which ones are credible and which are preposterous.
    For the last time, enjoy your X3.
    Let us know when yours reaches 1500 miles.

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

  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    Me: Naming very specific issues that many others have commented on and can easily be found by googling them.

    Not me: forgets about the free maintenance and warranty.

    Very specifically, the X3 when it behaves itself it is lots of fun to drive. It has a tight turning radius, it has plenty of power, it has great brakes. The manual mode is interesting especially as it doesn't let you do anything too stupid. It has plenty of interior room yet it fits easily into a small parking space.

    Now imagine how good it could have been if BMW had made some reasonable changes: kept the original AT, upgraded the instruments, did something with the pano roof that didn't include leaking, fixed the heated seat situation when they fixed the passenger side airbag situation (I think they are the same problem but I am not sure), made the suspension reasonable, etc.

    It coulda, woulda owned this segment as the most popular 'luxury' SUV is the Lexus and there isn't a junior version of that car.
  • woodywwwoodyww Posts: 1,797
    edited April 2010
    Would pp2009pp tell us his efforts at his bmw dealer getting them to resolve the problems? But in all these months, I've never heard one post in the dozens or hundreds of posts bashing X3's by him detailing the efforts to get his X3 fixed, if any.......

    And if it's truly a Lemon, well there are Lemon Laws. And if there really are problems, people here could give you advice, if you asked. Or you could could sell this Horrible vehicle.

    Problem solving, or ending, now there's a concept..... but why do I think that's not the point?
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    The car has a few thousand miles on it and it has been back at the dealership too many times with no resolution. It isn't enough to trigger the state's lemon laws (yet) but is enough to cause a WTH moment when it bounces down the street or stops abruptly for no known reason.

    I have come to the conclusion that it is what it is and BMW cannot or does not want to fix it. Maybe the new bodystyle from the stateside plant will fix it...or not. It could also make things worse.

    Have you actually tried to LL a vehicle? It has to be in the shop for a designated number of days and/or have serious safety problems. Just because someone builds a bad car does not make it a lemon in the eyes of the law.

    As long as I own this car it will have these problems because they are not getting fixed.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    edited May 2010
    The lemon law is ridiculously weak here in Idaho. But it's not an exclusive remedy here - instead of suing under the lemon law, you can just sue under a breach of warranty claim. It still "helps" to have the car in the shop a number of times but the safety issues probably aren't as big a factor.

    It might be hard to find an attorney willing to take the case though because your damages may not be high enough to make it worth pursuing. But lots of bar associations offer cheap or free initial consultations if you decide to look into it.
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 187
    edited May 2010
    Also, the owner could sue the dealer/manufacturer in small claims court (up to $7500 in CA) and report them to the BBB. But these angry posts don't seem to be about issue resolution. They also don't seem to reflect statistically significant repair problems and thus are not helping me, a potential X3 buyer. CR does indeed rate the X3 as having more problems than average but as the host mentions, not any worse than the other German manufacturers and better than many models. German cars are more fun to drive and there is a cost to it.

    Also, there are indeed lemons in the world, which PP apparently has. But iIt might be a better use of PP's time to use all this anger to advocate on child welfare or oil spill issues than battle people on how bad his dealer is. Uh oh... maybe I am next..
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,016
    Uh oh... maybe I am next.

    I'm thinking you are correct... :P

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

  • Roadrunner, you seem to be very knowledgeable about BMWs. In February, I purchased a 2007 X3. It is my first German car, first BMW. I was really concerned before purchasing it reading all of PP's comments, but my husband and I decided to go with it anyway. I do see now the extreme difference in handling and riding between Japanese cars and the BMW. I absolutely love the handling, braking, and everything but the rough ride. I am still "afraid" of the maintenance costs though -- especially looking at the end of the warranty period. I currently have 38,000 miles on it and I drive approximately 25,000 miles per year. My husband is very mechanically inclined and we have not paid for a brake job on any car in 25 years. However, I have been told by others that he will not be able to change the brakes on this BMW. Is that true? Does it require specialized tools or BMW maintenance knowledge to do so? We got a great deal on the X3, and I am considering trading it for a Japanese car just to get out of it to avoid the frightening maintenance costs. Am I over-reacting? Thanks for your honest input.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,016
    edited July 2010
    I am still "afraid" of the maintenance costs though -- especially looking at the end of the warranty period.

    See post #3318 in the "BMW X3" topic for an update on the maintenance requirements of my wife's 2004 X3. It currently has over 96,000 miles on it and maintenance costs are still averaging @5 cents per mile- and that number included two sets of Pirelli PZero Nero All Season tires. The only warranty repair has been a passenger seat airbag sensor. We haven't needed to use the CPO warranty at all.

    However, I have been told by others that he will not be able to change the brakes on this BMW. Is that true?

    Whoever you talked to is woefully ignorant about BMWs. Much of the misinformation about BMWs is generated by individuals who haven't even sat in a BMW- never mind driving or servicing one. The brake system on an X3 is utterly conventional. Changing pads and rotors shouldn't take much over one hour- if that long. Here is just one DIY tutorial. A set of pads and rotors for all four wheels from Zeckhausen Racing will cost less than $500. In any event, you probably won't need a brake job before 60,000 miles. I'd also recommend joining the BMW Car Club of America; you'll get an excellent monthly magazine and many dealers and shops give club members discounts of up to 25% on parts and/or labor.

    I am considering trading it for a Japanese car just to get out of it to avoid the frightening maintenance costs. Am I over-reacting?

    If you have a good dealer and/or an independent BMW shop that you trust I'd say that you have little to worry about. However, I would service the car a bit more frequently than BMW recommends. In particular, I would change the oil midway between the services that the cars service information system calls for, using a BMW filter and Mobil 1 0W-40 oil. I'd change the automatic transmission fluid and transfer case fluid at 50,000 to 55,000 miles. And I'd change the coolant(using only BMW brand coolant) every three years.
    And if you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask!

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

  • The dealer?

    No, I lay the problems with this car at the foot of the manufacturer. The dealer can only do so much with what they are given to sell and service.
  • Good deal? Give me your thoughts

    18k
    - 60 K service completed.
    - New Tires
    - SMOG check done .
    - Registration paid for until June 2012.
    pics here
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/93894566@N00/sets/72157627123943462/
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,016
    I think that it's worth between $15k-$17k; $18k could get you a 2006. As always, I'd want to have it inspected by a qualified BMW tech.

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

  • My 2004 X3 started falling apart at 80K - I should have traded it in. I am now at 100K and the sunroof mysteriously fell to pieces and costs $2000 to repair. So my recommendation is to enjoy it for a 3 year lease (it was great in early years) but trade in before 50K miles. Also, do not order the panorama moonroof. BMW corporate would not assist with repairing it. My next car will not be a BMW because of BMW poor corporate response.
  • Please Google "statistically significant sample" Your sample size -- 1 -- is not a statistically-representative sample of the "population" thousands of of X3s sold during the model year of your X3 which, by the way, you failed to identify.

    In addition, "started falling apart" is a meaningless statement.

    Also, does, "I am now at 100K and the sunroof mysteriously fell to pieces" mean the glass shattered?
  • Good morning everybody and thank you for reading my new topic. It's my first post on this forum and I am glad I could find it as I often have to buy or sell vehicules and this place will definitely help me to make a logical choice.

    Let's make it simple. I am the father of 3 kids, married and I love to travel. When I say travel, I say that I am planning at least one road trip per year. Well, I've been looking at the BMW X5 2002 and the BMW X3 2004. I previously owned a Mercedes 250 and a Ford fiesta and loved both. However, for the family needs, an SUV would be great. I've been seriously watching this truck until I received a cold shower reading the reviews. For a few, it was a fairytale. For others, it was a nightmare. Many people reported major breakdown after only 50K Kilo, which is absolutely abnormal for a high class vehicule (My first car was a Kia Rio and I never paid a buck until 150K Kilo).

    The questionning I have brings me here. I would like you, BMW owners, to tell me your experience about this truck. What was the mileage when the first major breakdown happened? how long last the front/rear brakes? How long last a set of tires? How much it costed you to fix your vehicule? Maintenance fees?

    I read that it's an amazing vehicule to drive. However, I want a german car for it's reliability. If this vehicule is more likely to break, what would you buy instead of that one? I really don't want to get stuck with a car that I need to send to the dealer every 10K kilo and this is why I would be glad if you share about your experience with your BMW X3 and X5.

    Thank you very much for your kind help
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