I had 3 cars sitting in my garage, one was a BMW 545i (2005) one is a GMC Envoy (2002) and the other is a Toyota Tacoma Truck (1996)
The BMW continued to leak oil all over the garage until I finally sold it.
The Envoy and the Tacoma have about 200,000 miles each and I doubt that I have even spent $500 combined on the 2 of these cars since I have owned them.
The BMW has been nothing but problems with every maintenance bill being at least $1,000.
Just a battery alone for the car is almost $500!
The car was the best driving car I have ever owned but reliability was the worst of any of the 20 cars I have owned since I first started driving.
I traded it recently for a Toyota!
Sorry you had such bad luck with your BMW :(
FWIW I have owned several out of warranty BMW's and you definitely have to be careful. My general rules are:
1) Research the models and options to know where the risks are. For example, I would much rather have an E39 than an E60. I am still not conviced that getting one with iDrive is a good idea either.
2) Stay away from the first couple years of a new model or new engine!!! Often it takes a couple years for BMW to work out the bugs (see the original M50B25 24 valve 2.5L engine as just one example).
3) Find a good independent mechanic -- the stealerships typically focus on warranty service so they will tend to over-charge for out-of-warranty problems.
4) Perhaps the single most important thing for a used BMW shopper is to find a car that has been taken care of well, and get a good pre-inspection check from a mechanic who knows old BMW's intimately. And avoid at all costs buying a used one from a dealer -- always buy from an independent seller.
For example, many owners neglect the suspension parts until one day they find out that they need shocks and a bunch of bushings done at the same time -- so they trade it in. Unless the dealer is one of the few honest used car dealers out there, the next buyer will get stuck with a car that needs lots of repairs.
E.g. I looked at an E39 M5 that looked great and drove well but the pre-inspection check showed that it needed a clutch, shocks, and bushings to the tune of $10,000 (and a BMW dealer would have charged much more than this).
So the bottom line is that used BMW's can be a great bargain but only if you spend a lot of time doing your homework (and your time is worth $0 :) ).
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