Every time you take this car in for service, it costs $1,000...except for when it costs far more than $1,000. Bought my gorgeous 535i (with the sport package and premium sound) as a special order, and it arrived with 3 miles on the odometer. Since I bought it, I have been plagued with problems. Admittedly, the first 4+ years were pretty much covered under free maintenance with the warranty, but since it went off the maintenance agreement, it has more than made up for the savings. My car is 8 years old and has 107K miles. During the time I've owned it, it has required: - Three complete sets of tires plus two sets of rear tires (roughly every 20-30K miles) - A valve replaced in the engine (towed) - All six fuel injectors (limped in to the shop) - Walnut blasting of the intakes - A water pump (towed) - Computer software reinstalled (twice, took more than a week each time at the dealership for the reinstall to "stick") (towed) - Three fuel pumps (towed) - And now, the CCC is bad. This is a fancy acronym for the iDrive computer system that includes navigation, radio, bluetooth and all the car's controls. It also needs the hydraulics in the hood replaced, the xenon headlight has a malfunction (which requires the entire headlight assembly to be removed from the body of the car to change a LIGHTBULB, and if god forbid the ballast is bad, the bumper must be removed as well). For a change, it is actually driving fairly well, but this repair is gonna cost more than all the others yet! I've not added it up, but I think this car has cost me at least $1,800 a year in maintenance costs since it went off warranty in 2012, sometimes more. I will say that the cupholders in this car are the stupidest thing ever designed. It also does not hold car seats very well - infant carriers have to go in the middle back seat or the passenger seat will have to be on the dash, and convertible front-facing seats don't leave a ton of room either. It drives beautifully. Handles like a dream. Is so comfortable. Feels like a beast when you want it to. Rides gracefully. Looks pretty. Has an amazing sound system. Gets pretty good gas mileage all things considered. SUCKS THE LIFE OUT OF ME.
Just to start, this is not my first car or my second. I understand there are no guarantees in life and cars are finnicky. Sometimes you just get a bad apple. But for the $$$ a 550i costs those apples should be fixed properly and the owner satisfied. I have owned quite a few vehicles in my now 17 years of driving. 2 of which were a 2003 325xi and a 2006 330i sport. Both of which had no problems. I purchased the 550i in 2010 with 33k miles. It was a CPO, which gave me comfort purchasing a used car. Not any more!!! I seriously doubt this car was properly inspected. Which is what I told BMW, and they passed the buck to the dealer who basically told me F off. Consistent problems!
This was my 1st and last BMW. Bought the car new, in the 6 years and 34K miles I've owned the car, I had a faulty battery, bad fuel pump, dead oxygen sensor, and a failed water pump. I was stranded 3 times (car completely died) and almost stranded twice. So, multiple trips to the shops and over 2 grand of repair bills later, I have finally gave up on this "ultimate driving machine". It was a fun car to drive while it worked. But, for a $60K car, I'd expect BMW to deliver something better. The worst part is that I totally lost my confidence in it and can no longer feel comfortable taking this car on any extended trips. This will be the LAST BMW I ever spend my money on.
The most telling example of the problems I've had with this car is the following. The BMW has warning signals for many different things, including that the outside temperature is now 37°. However, it does not have a warning signal to say that for whatever reason a seal in the transmission has blown and all of the fluid is leaking out. Leading to the need for a new transmission. I have had innumerable problems with the engine, electronics, lights, you name it. I also have had to replace one of the turbos at only 80,000 miles and of course replaced the other one at the same time. $3,200 later it is running fine. But there is still that $1,400 oil pan that will need to be fixed soon enough. Which I decided just to fix rather than continually worry it would implode on me 100 miles from a reliable repair shop. I bought the car in 2011 with only 25,000 miles on it. If I have not spent $20,000 in repairs since then, I would be surprised. Don't waste your money. On the positive side, when it is working and especially on the highway it is a lot of fun to drive. It gets mediocre mileage around town (it is quite heavy). But it gets somewhere around 33 miles per gallon on the highway.
This is by far the best car we have ever owned, little to no issues in 8 years and 175K miles. 2/2/2017 Just completed tuning up my car, took me a little over 2 hours and about $200 in parts. Car now has 226503 miles and is still going strong.