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Need some serious advice from any of the BMW owners on here

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  • Need some serious advice from any of the BMW owners on here

    I'm looking at a car purchase and maintence budget of about $7500 for the next 3 years. i'm looking into getting a used BMW, but I really need to get some oppinions weighed in from current BMW owners on maintence costs. If i were to pick up a 1996'ish 3 or 5 series sedan with lets say 100,000-120,000 miles on it, in good condition, what kinda maintence you think i should probably expect on it?

    I know there are alot of other variables in the equation and things that 'unexpectedly' go wrong, just tryin to ballpark the best trade off between money spent on car vs money kept back for maintence.

    background info about the whole deal: i'm a poor college student with minimal income. student lowns put me more than enough in debt and I have no intention of making payments on a car either.

    that said, I am in possession of a 2000 Jeep cherokee with 69500 miles on it thats about to run out of warranty. i absolutly LOVE my jeep to death, but have no income to repair it when it goes out of waranty... and jeeps are notorious for having problems over 70k...... so i decided at least while i was in college i would seel the jeep, get my 7-8k for it, and use that to buy something a little less that would leave me $$$ left for maintence.... and being the type of person that really loves his automobile, BMW seemed like a good choice for reliable low-maintence operation... but HOW reliable is the question.

    sooo yeah, thats my plight... I know theres more than a few BMW owners out here on the forums -- what do you guys think?

    [EDIT] fixed milage typo - i did indeed mean 120,000
    2000 Jeep Cherokee
    -CarPC: [_____]50% complete
    -planning done, still need a few parts
    -In-dash motorized VGA is finally out, need $$$
    -Need to replace factory HU

  • #2
    Why not get a 7-series? Its actually sometimes cheaper than a 3 or 5 series.
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    • #3
      My brother is a mastertech for BMW in northern california and from what he's told me BMW's are some of the best cars to buy. He did admit that Honda's are more reliable and from what I've read toyotas are more reliable than that. (i hate to say that, sorry Honda) but BMW's are good cars, he said that most of the work he does equates to oil changes, people who think their cars don't work because they can't figure them out, and one 5 series that someone put on it's side (how they did it I have NO idea) you will have to do a lot of maintainence but it's worth it. in short:

      BMW's are good cars
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      • #4
        Do you want fuel efficiency or do you not care?

        Oh yeh... don't get the lowest model. People who get the lowest model BMWs are called posers. They just buy BMW because of the name. Plus the low models are underpowered.
        I'm talking about the 525s, 318s, etc...
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        • #5
          I bought a '99 V6 Toyota solara from a BMW dealer in jersey (some guy traded it in). Even though it already had 70k on it - I know It will go till 150k at least without a problem if I maintain it properly. (Ive had it for 15k now - not a single problem)

          The dealer also mentioned that maintenance/repair/parts for a beamer is MUCH more expensive than it is for a Japanese car. You might wanna take that into account if you are a 'poor' college student. Cause I am too.

          also, Would you really find a '96-97 BMW with only 12k on it ?
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          • #6
            Originally posted by anik321
            I bought a '99 V6 Toyota solara from a BMW dealer in jersey (some guy traded it in). Even though it already had 70k on it - I know It will go till 150k at least without a problem if I maintain it properly. (Ive had it for 15k now - not a single problem)

            The dealer also mentioned that maintenance/repair/parts for a beamer is MUCH more expensive than it is for a Japanese car. You might wanna take that into account if you are a 'poor' college student. Cause I am too.

            also, Would you really find a '96-97 BMW with only 12k on it ?
            Don't take the car to a dealer... find a trustworthy mechanic.

            I think he forgot a zero in the mileage figure.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by 0l33l
              Don't take the car to a dealer... find a trustworthy mechanic.
              In my case they are the same! But that is rare. I take it tomy uncle's when I visit my mom.

              Originally posted by 0|33|
              I think he forgot a zero in the mileage figure.
              I was thinking that, too.
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              • #8
                I think he forgot a zero in the mileage figure
                yep - fixed

                Why not get a 7-series? Its actually sometimes cheaper than a 3 or 5 series.
                nothing against 7-serries, just didnt see nearly as many of them for sale. I used ebay to do my quick price shopping to get a feel for things.... doubt i'd ever buy it off there though. kinda would come down to what i can find around my area

                My brother is a mastertech for BMW in northern california and from what he's told me BMW's are some of the best cars to buy. He did admit that Honda's are more reliable and from what I've read toyotas are more reliable than that. (i hate to say that, sorry Honda) but BMW's are good cars, he said that most of the work he does equates to oil changes, people who think their cars don't work because they can't figure them out, and one 5 series that someone put on it's side (how they did it I have NO idea) you will have to do a lot of maintainence but it's worth it. in short:

                BMW's are good cars
                tad confused by the ending... first half puts BMW's as one step below honda and toyota... ending says your'll have to do "a lot of maintainence" .... does that equate to a lot of oil changes or more serious stuff?

                Do you want fuel efficiency or do you not care?
                dont really care, any beamer will certainly be better than the Jeep i drive now for gas milage

                Oh yeh... don't get the lowest model. People who get the lowest model BMWs are called posers. They just buy BMW because of the name. Plus the low models are underpowered.
                I'm talking about the 525s, 318s, etc...
                good point on the underpowered thing... though for now I might be forced to take an underpowered one if its the difference between getting a 100k underpowered and a 140k powered.... ones gonna be ALOT more reliable i'm guessing.

                as for the poser part... i can definately see that... but fortunately I wont have to worry about it too much around where i am.... I live in the country out in the middle of nowhere.... most people around here just know its a BMW.... 3,5,7 serries... they dont have a clue.... so i could prolly get away with it if i had to... but i'd rather a 5 or 7 myself =)

                anik321 - what did you end up paying for the toyota?

                Don't take the car to a dealer... find a trustworthy mechanic.
                In my case i'm fortunate enough to have a very good friend own his own garage 8 minutes from my house... and he's GOOD at what he does. i'm not sure how much he works on beamers though... like I said, this area is pretty void of such cars.. nearest dealership is over an hour and a half away in columbus.
                2000 Jeep Cherokee
                -CarPC: [_____]50% complete
                -planning done, still need a few parts
                -In-dash motorized VGA is finally out, need $$$
                -Need to replace factory HU

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                • #9
                  another question - BMW would be preferable.... but i havnt ruled out a Volkswagon Jetta if i cant find a decent BMW for the right price -- anyone have any comments on those?
                  2000 Jeep Cherokee
                  -CarPC: [_____]50% complete
                  -planning done, still need a few parts
                  -In-dash motorized VGA is finally out, need $$$
                  -Need to replace factory HU

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by spectrrr
                    that said, I am in possession of a 2000 Jeep cherokee with 69500 miles on it thats about to run out of warranty. i absolutly LOVE my jeep to death, but have no income to repair it when it goes out of waranty... and jeeps are notorious for having problems over 70k......

                    Hate to burst your bubble on this one, but my cherokee has 264,000 miles on it right now with no signs of failure or problems. I have had many Jeeps in my day all of which have had very high mileage, and I'm not talking about a measly 120,000 miles. You can look at it this way, parts for a domestic vehicle are cheaper and the cherokee has not changed very much for about 15 years so every mechanic in the country knows how to work on them. The same cannot be said for a BMW. That and why would you want to trade a vehicle for another with an extra 50000 miles on it. Keep the cherokee, change the oil every 3000 miles dont drive like a dick and you will NOT have a problem. Almost garonteed (sp?).

                    Anyway, if you are really horney to sell your Jeep, lemmie know, at that price I would gladly buy it.
                    Monger
                    ICQ-7207702
                    UPDATE: I moved farther north. Now its even too cold for the deer; only moose now

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by spectrrr
                      another question - BMW would be preferable.... but i havnt ruled out a Volkswagon Jetta if i cant find a decent BMW for the right price -- anyone have any comments on those?
                      Choose a drivetrain you want. VWs are gonna be FWD. BMWs are gonna be RWD.
                      Comparison
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by monger
                        Hate to burst your bubble on this one, but my cherokee has 264,000 miles on it right now with no signs of failure or problems. I have had many Jeeps in my day all of which have had very high mileage, and I'm not talking about a measly 120,000 miles. You can look at it this way, parts for a domestic vehicle are cheaper and the cherokee has not changed very much for about 15 years so every mechanic in the country knows how to work on them. The same cannot be said for a BMW. That and why would you want to trade a vehicle for another with an extra 50000 miles on it. Keep the cherokee, change the oil every 3000 miles dont drive like a dick and you will NOT have a problem. Almost garonteed (sp?).

                        Anyway, if you are really horney to sell your Jeep, lemmie know, at that price I would gladly buy it.
                        Well yes that does burst my bubble just a bit... but could it be possible that your '87 cherokee was simply built better than they do nowadays? \

                        "dont drive like a dick" .... lol... I do so wish more people these days actually took that advice to heart - would save them alot of maintainence and maybe a wrecked car or two =)

                        I'll keep you in mind if i do end up selling it ... still doing research at this point - what can I get for what price etc.
                        2000 Jeep Cherokee
                        -CarPC: [_____]50% complete
                        -planning done, still need a few parts
                        -In-dash motorized VGA is finally out, need $$$
                        -Need to replace factory HU

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 0l33l
                          Choose a drivetrain you want. VWs are gonna be FWD. BMWs are gonna be RWD.
                          Comparison
                          Thanks for the link - nice article for the non-mechanics among us... lots of good info in there... Still not sure which one i want though

                          I'd definately have to get used to not powering my way through turns with a FWD car.... grew up driving RWD cars and fine tuning the throttle to maintain optimum stability in sharp curves. on the othe rhand FWD is better in snow.... which i do see a couple months out of the year
                          2000 Jeep Cherokee
                          -CarPC: [_____]50% complete
                          -planning done, still need a few parts
                          -In-dash motorized VGA is finally out, need $$$
                          -Need to replace factory HU

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My Brother in law has a 87 Bmw 5 series, it has like 315,000 miles on it, so they are capable of lasting forever if driven correctly.
                            Go on and do it, do it, Do it 'til you're satisfied,
                            Whatever it is, do it, Do it 'til you're satisfied.



                            CarPc progress |OOOOXCOOOO| 57%

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                            • #15
                              how about major maintainence on it?
                              2000 Jeep Cherokee
                              -CarPC: [_____]50% complete
                              -planning done, still need a few parts
                              -In-dash motorized VGA is finally out, need $$$
                              -Need to replace factory HU

                              Comment

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