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Thinking about buying a BMW as a daily

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Thinking about buying a BMW as a daily

 
Old 01-29-2019, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by riceball777 View Post


were talking about the e90 generation which is over 10 years old and sub $10,000 for a 335i. The m3 of the e90 was a torque less non boosted v8. A 335i with a $100 tune was already faster than the v8 m3.

But out I agreed that the f80 2015+ m3/m4 is an amazing car. But those cars are still $40,000+. You can’t compare a $10,000 car to a $40,000 car.
It wasn't torqueless. It was just felt in the upper rev range. Same for the GT350. You'd probably say it was torqueless too because you don't feel it in the lower rev range, but it has well over 400 ft lbs of it. A 335i with a tune was only faster in a straight line. Take a corner and if feels nowhere as good as an M3.

I owned a bunch of BMW's in the past 10 years. E90 335i, E90 335i LCI, E82, E92 M3 (and 3 others that weren't a 3 series). The most fun car of them all on the street was the E82. The E9X cars are just way too big. Well maybe not by today's standards, but that doesn't change the fact that the E82 felt way smaller, more nimble, and lighter on its feet, yet with the same power as its bigger brother.

But agree with everyone else. Old BMW's out of warranty and higher mileage require way more maintenance than Japanese cars and gets expensive if you don't wrench on your own. Once my E92 M3 got over 30-40k miles little things started failing out of nowhere like thermostat, fuel pump, throttle actuator, abs sensor, etc. At 60k my rod bearings failed and my motor seized. Luckily I had an extended warranty so I didn't pay a dime (well besides the warranty itself) outside of normal maintenance. Never had an issue with my other BMW's, probably because I never kept them over 30k miles or so. For me they make great lease cars or if I buy I get an extended warranty and plan to sell the car before that warranty expires. But there are days when I think about getting an E46 M3.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:59 AM
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Having owned a 87 325is, 328i sedan, 335i msport, and now a 2016 m3 I can attest to BMW reliability and maintenance issues. Cost of parts is more for an m car, they are special and because of that performance the things that wear out cost more.

I don't dump the clutch, or speed shift. I have not made mods to the existing systems, I drive fast, the car handles well, and I am happy with 23.5 mpg over all average. I have a 2016 m3 with 24,000 miles on it , factory free service and warranty for 4 years and 48,000 miles. I have stock factory suspension, 6 speed manual car. I have had no issues of any type with this car and will buy it out of lease. It's way better than the 335i m sport was at a premium of about 10,000 over it.

I had oil leaks with the 325is, I had many issues with the 328i as it was very used and I got it for my son who drove it hard and put it away wet, the 335i was just a sports sedan that needed messages to the engine management system, suspension, and it was just a nice car....the m 3 is all of what i want from a bmw, period.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:07 PM
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Every time I consider buying a used BMW I read a few of these threads. I have always wanted to buy a german car on euro delivery, but struggle to find something that won't depreciate rapidly and cost me an additional fortune over the long term.

I see these 335 models for $6-7k now on Craigslist, some with only 100k miles and they look to be in beautiful shape. Tempting!
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rwheelz View Post
Every time I consider buying a used BMW I read a few of these threads. I have always wanted to buy a german car on euro delivery, but struggle to find something that won't depreciate rapidly and cost me an additional fortune over the long term.

I see these 335 models for $6-7k now on Craigslist, some with only 100k miles and they look to be in beautiful shape. Tempting!
like I said. E90/e92 335i is the absolutely best street all around car you can get for the money for a car enthusiast. As long as you can turn a wrench
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by riceball777 View Post


like I said. E90/e92 335i is the absolutely best street all around car you can get for the money for a car enthusiast. As long as you can turn a wrench
+1 on that. N54/N55 is just fantastic for a street car. Nothing really compares for the money as of 2019.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:27 AM
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Had a recent experience with mine that provides perspective.

I took my E90 M3 w/58k to the dealer for a recall and a CEL caused by the thermostat (as I mentioned above), because I have an EasyCare warranty that I have yet to take advantage of. While there, the dealer also found a leaking valve cover and timing chain cover, and IACV fault (have had a lumpy idle when cold since I bought the car, so I wasn't surprised).

EasyCare covered the thermo and the valve cover, but not the timing belt cover which is odd given it's not much more work to replace that while they're in there. Warranty doesn't cover IACV but the dealer wanted $2,400 and the part is $500, so I'll do it myself as it looks like it's doable in 3-4hrs and I don't make $500+/hr at my day job, lol.

Bottom line is, the total for the thermo and valve cover was $2,500, of which the warranty covered all but my $500 deductible. The timing belt cover gasket would have added $600, and the IACV would have been $2,400. So that's $5,500 in repairs if I had just paid the dealer to do it w/o warranty. At 58k miles! That would basically never happen in a Japanese car, or probably a Porsche for that matter.

If you're willing to wrench though, fixing all of this would probably take a day and $1k in parts.

I will say that none of these issues was truly tangible at this point - I had not been losing any measurable oil between changes at 7-8k intervals, and besides the CEL the thermo wasn't causing issues. But as with my E39 M5, these cars tend to have annoying component failures earlier on than a typical car which, while not crippling, you'll eventually want to address if you're an enthusiast who wants things to be right.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by rwheelz View Post
I have always wanted to buy a german car on euro delivery, but struggle to find something that won't depreciate rapidly and cost me an additional fortune over the long term.

If you ever plan to do this, don't wait too long. I did mine and LOVED it, really want to get one more in if I can swing it before my dirt nap. Was looking at an Audi, but Audi canceled their ED program as of late last year. You got Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, and Volvo. And if you want a BMW, it pretty much can't be an X3 or X5 because they are built here. I don't know if the others will cancel, but who knows. I would love to do a Porsche ED when I finally retire, but that is only if my retirement funds do way better than expected over the next ten years, but driving a new one on the Ring would be a fantastic trip, even if it is in a strippo Cayman.

As far as reliability, I am only at 42,000 on the BMW but still have yet to have a single hiccup. I don't, however, intend to keep it for too much longer in most of my next-car-scenarios unless I pick up a Miata and use my 3 series as a winter car for a couple more years. But yes, they do depreciate rapidly. Very rapidly.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by white98ls View Post
It seems as though all of the N/A M cars have potential rod bearing issues. I feel the odds are fairly low that you'll experience a failure, but if you want piece of mind you can get a warranty (what I did) or have them replaced for about $2k (what I plan to do if I keep it when the warranty is up in 2021). But you also don't have any turbo/fuel pump issues associated with the N54/55. In general, my sense is the E9x M3 has fewer problems and less maintenance than the E46 M3, in addition to being a newer car.

I'd say overall, reliability is similar between M and non-M, but M parts are about 2x as expensive as normal BMW parts. For instance, a set of rotors for mine are $1,100 due to being massive and drilled, vs. $500 for the 335i. Also, the newer N/A M cars get horrendous mpg. I average about 15mpg, although my short commute (7mi each way) doesn't help.

M cars are awesome, and I don't regret mine, but despite using mine as a DD, I agree it might be overkill and a 335i would probably make you nearly as happy - it does have more torque and tuneability.

Having recently bought an M car as a Daily Driver, I agree with the majority of this post. Although I will say that rod bearings are not a matter of if but WHEN they fail. Especially in the S65 V8, which is based on the architecture of the S85 V10 from the E60/E63 M5/M6 that had known rod bearing issues.

Originally Posted by radiantm3 View Post
But agree with everyone else. Old BMW's out of warranty and higher mileage require way more maintenance than Japanese cars and gets expensive if you don't wrench on your own. Once my E92 M3 got over 30-40k miles little things started failing out of nowhere like thermostat, fuel pump, throttle actuator, abs sensor, etc. At 60k my rod bearings failed and my motor seized. Luckily I had an extended warranty so I didn't pay a dime (well besides the warranty itself) outside of normal maintenance. Never had an issue with my other BMW's, probably because I never kept them over 30k miles or so. For me they make great lease cars or if I buy I get an extended warranty and plan to sell the car before that warranty expires. But there are days when I think about getting an E46 M3.
This is the mileage when rod bearings start to become an issue. Both in the M3 and previous gen M5/6.

Originally Posted by dv55xc View Post
I've been told by the guys on the BMW forums that the M cars are the ones to avoid if you want reliability. It's funny because I've always liked the e92 m3 and saw that the prices were pretty decent right now. I wonder if the e46 would also fall into that unreliable category as well. Either way I don't think an M car would be a good daily for me right now. Im just starting on this BMW journey and I don't want to be scared away. Although, some people here are doing a pretty good job at it lol

A few of the BMW guys were also telling me about a shop in Fullerton called Speed Logic. This shop specializes in BMW's and more importantly; they specialize in the N54/55 platforms. Prices seem pretty reasonable there too given how labor intensive the repairs on these cars are. This shop kind of reminds me of evasive and (dare I say it) ballade merged into one. It's not the cost that scares me, it's the frequency of things going bad that worries me a little.
I don't necessarily think an M car would be a bad idea, especially if you're looking at an N54 car that has just about as many well documented, expensive faults as any M car. It's more a matter of finding the RIGHT M car and being diligent about your search and researching the faults associated with the specific generation you're looking to purchase. As mentioned above, I recently bought an M car as a daily driver. I managed to find an E63 M6 with just over 60k miles. White on red with a 6 speed manual (just like my E24 635csi) and was sold. Bought the car sight unseen from a dealership in Minnesota after a PPI came back relatively clean. Both the E63 M6 and E60 M5 can be had for stupid cheap due to the stigma around their rod bearing failures.

My recommendation: If you can find a manual transmission spec E60/63 M, buy it. Replace the rod bearings immediately if that hasn't been done by the prior owner and you're essentially in the clear. Only thing that sucks is the gas mileage, but the V10 howl is worth it.

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Old 02-09-2019, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by vader1 View Post
If you ever plan to do this, don't wait too long. I did mine and LOVED it, really want to get one more in if I can swing it before my dirt nap. Was looking at an Audi, but Audi canceled their ED program as of late last year. You got Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, and Volvo. And if you want a BMW, it pretty much can't be an X3 or X5 because they are built here. I don't know if the others will cancel, but who knows. I would love to do a Porsche ED when I finally retire, but that is only if my retirement funds do way better than expected over the next ten years, but driving a new one on the Ring would be a fantastic trip, even if it is in a strippo Cayman.

As far as reliability, I am only at 42,000 on the BMW but still have yet to have a single hiccup. I don't, however, intend to keep it for too much longer in most of my next-car-scenarios unless I pick up a Miata and use my 3 series as a winter car for a couple more years. But yes, they do depreciate rapidly. Very rapidly.
I have been holding out until I can afford to take ED of one of the Porsches that does not depreciate so rapidly. The problem is, the prices of those cars keep climbing into the stratosphere.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:18 AM
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Oh I hear you. My Cayman stickered for $82k new. More than I wanted to spend. Bought as 3 year lease return with 22,000 miles for $53k and it is still under certified warranty through 2020. I thought that was a great way to save nearly thirty thousand on a long term car, but sadly the fantastic euro experience was perhaps had by the guy who shelled out the real money.

If you really just want to do it though, go negotiate a really good 3 yr lease on the new 3 series ( or 2 series or x1) for cheap and you still get to do ED.

Last edited by vader1; 02-09-2019 at 01:50 PM.
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