Author Topic: BMW dilemma  (Read 1903 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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BMW dilemma
« on: December 28, 2019, 12:02:18 PM »
We have a 2011 BMW which we love very much. (I know, it is another discussion by itself for why we buy one).
However, in the past 1 year, we have paid a total of about $7000 in maintenance costs.
We have changed up both rear air suspensions, 4 new tires, CV boots, water pump, spark plugs and battery.
I might have missed a few items and for to list them.
We bought this BMW CPO and has been trouble free for 4-5 years.

My dilemma is should I sell this BMW now (trade in value is about $9000) before I have to pay for another expensive repair.
OR continue to drive it since I ALREADY spent that much is repair and the car SHOULD last for a few more years. Of course I have no way of guarantee that.

My wife love the car and she does not think we can buy another car at $9000 that has the same amenity, style and performance as this car.

I do agree with her BUT I know I will receive another expensive repair bill, just a matter of when.

I would love to have some opinions on what you think.

Should we cut our loses now and sell the BMW and buy a cheap and reliable car OR just stick with it until (no sure yet).


« Last Edit: December 28, 2019, 12:31:37 PM by Lifeisgoodinaa »


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: BMW dilemma
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2019, 01:24:56 PM »
There are a couple of things that you could break down.

1. Separate the fact that it is a BMW.  My rule is that if the repair is less than what the car is worth, I do the repair.  I'll tell you that I just got rid of a 2007 BMW with 180K miles because it failed that criteria.  It was paid off for years and I squeezed a lot of value and enjoyment out of that car.

2. Aside from the repair thought experiment, do you want to own and maintain a BMW.  As you know, they are more expensive to fix unless you do the repairs yourself.  That is a decision you'll have to make based on your finances and whether it impacts your ability to become FI or not.

Just some random thoughts.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: BMW dilemma
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2019, 02:39:05 PM »
I don't know which BMW you have, but yeah, they get expensive as they age. If you can't do the work yourself, find a good BMW mechanic. It's a lot cheaper than the dealership.

Also, check the forums and see if there are any potentially catastrophic engine failures associated with your model. I know VANOS issues are pretty common -

As to what else you could get instead, do you have any interest in Lexus? I'm driving a 2011 LS 460 right now, but I love the LC 500. Not enough to get rid of my LS, but it is tempting :)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: BMW dilemma
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2019, 03:30:58 PM »
I like to drive nice cars too and run into this issue as I love Audi's but when they break look out.

That was a rough bill you just paid, I'd enjoy it a bit and think about unloading should something bad happen.

I am going to move to Lexus as it seems they are monumentally more reliable as it's basically a Toyota and you can run them for a LONG time.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: BMW dilemma
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2019, 10:22:28 PM »
 I am just going to try and ease your pain by saying probably $1000 of your costs were for the battery and tires. And getting ,lets say, 5 years of life out of your tires [guesstimate] and replacing an original battery is feasible for any car.
  Yes, if  you had a cheaper car you could get cheaper future tires, but would give up the road-holding / handling and braking distance advantage that your BMW has , over the frugal alternatives.


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: BMW dilemma
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2019, 08:01:38 AM »
I'm confused.

So, if you decide to sell the BMW, then you will choose a cheaper car, you won't get another BMW?

Is this BMW a strain on your finances?

If yes, then I would get rid of it while it's still worth something.

If no, and your love-factor for it is so high that you are willing to roll the dice on how soon future repairs will pop up, then you could drive it as long as you can on these latest repairs until it becomes to burdensome to fix, and take whatever you can get for it at that point.

If a few thousand off your future sale value is a problem for you financially, then you really shouldn't be driving a BMW.
If it's just the cost of your car-love and you've accepted that, then... wait...why are you not planning to buy another one?

Personally, I think that if driving the BMW isn't important enough to you to buy another one, then it's not important enough for you to lose more money on and you should sell it.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: BMW dilemma
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2019, 11:22:44 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. They are all very helpful and provided a great soundboard for me!
We have paid this car off since 2014. We bought it in 2013.
It is a 535i xDrive GT and we love it still.

We were also confused on what we want and how to proceed.
Thus we seek opinions and guidance from this awesome group.

@Malkynn, @RWTL  and others provided the clarity that we needed.

The repair cost is not a financial strain for us and we do love to drive a BMW.
We will get another one when this one is totally not worth fixing (repair cost > value of the car).
Finding a locally trusted BMW mechanic will be hard but will keep trying.

Thank you and we really appreciate the suggestions and opinions provided to us on this matter.


  • Stubble
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Re: BMW dilemma
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2019, 12:57:13 PM »
We have a 2011 BMW which we love very much. (I know, it is another discussion by itself for why we buy one).
However, in the past 1 year, we have paid a total of about $7000 in maintenance costs.
We have changed up both rear air suspensions, 4 new tires, CV boots, water pump, spark plugs and battery.
I might have missed a few items and for to list them.

I won't even try to be polite. If you are a sucker, don't buy a car that requires expensive repairs and maintenance. I wouldn't touch a car with air suspension, so I won't have that problem. I can buy a new set of shocks anywhere from $36 to $360, and have them installed in an hour to two hours, so add $25 to $50 labor because I don't like to get my hands dirty.

Tires . . . I try to buy used, but even new I can get most tires for about $120 each. I usually get them on TireRack with free shipping and have them installed for another $15 each at the tire store nearby.

CV boots, around $60. Water pump, usually not very expensive, not even on a Mercedes, but on a BMW, Porsche, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, and Bugatti, yep, insane. Spark plugs . . . around $5 to $9 each. Unless you have a V12 BMW, not even worth mentioning. Battery . . . again, I pay $36 to $42 for remanufactured from my local battery store with a 1 year warranty. So even if I need a new one every year, that's a miniscule amount.

So what does a sucker differently?
A sucker buys a newer car with as much electronics and black boxes as possible. A car where he doesn't have to move his entire hand to move the seat but just extend his arm and push a button that engages an electric motor. A sucker goes to the dealer everytime he hears, or believes to hear, a noise, hands over his check book, drops his pants, and bends over. There are many suckers out there, and they get bathroom remodels for $30K or a new roof for the same money.

I'm 62 now, and I own 6 personal vehicles, none of them as new as your 2013 model BMW. As time marches on, cars have been becoming appliances, and that trend will continue. You can drive a well-taken care of older car for eternity. But the more modern, the more potential problems are waiting to surface. It's just the way the cookie crumbles now. Cars have become computer systems on wheels, and the more complex, the more expensive it becomes to fix 'em.

Addendum: reading my post I realize that I've been quite harsh, so my apologies for my tone. Case in point, buy an older vehicle with low mileage with spotless service history and zero issues, and take care of it, and it will serve you for a long time. The more modern, the fancier a car is, the more service will cost. I had to replace the heater core on my old, trusty Volvo a few years back. A new one cost me $85 and I installed it myself within an hour, as it's located in the engine compartment, easily accessible. I had a 1995 Mercedes E300 Diesel for 13 years and would still drive it had it not been swiped while being parked. The heater core started leaking, as it will start leaking on your BMW as well once that car is about 10 years old. Dealer charges $5K for the job. Independent shop quoted $3,6K. My trusty mechanic spoke to a trusty mechanic that has a Mercedes shop and we used his guy, someone who does nothing but heater cores on Mercedes automobiles. I paid $1,1K including a new heater core and a new A/C evaporator, located right next to it. The heater core is the first thing that they bolt to the empty shell in a modern automobile. To get to it, the entire dashboard has to come out, including all gauges, 50 miles of wiring, and so on. A sucker bites the bullet and pays $5K. A street-smart person did what I did. Don't be a sucker.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2019, 07:17:42 PM by Bernard »


  • Stubble
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Re: BMW dilemma
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2019, 01:06:28 PM »
Many of those repairs you mention can be done by an amateur mechanic, and you can save quite a bit of money doing them yourself.   The battery and spark plugs are easily replaced on most cars by a novice, and it looks like the BMW F10 air suspension is an easy swap using ordinary hand tools according to this video:   The F10 water pump replacement looks to be quite a bit harder:  .  The BMW battery replacement looks a little complicated than most cars but still not terribly hard: and it does require a special diagnostic tool to "register" the battery :

You can start out with a small tool set and perform only those repairs that are within your comfort zone, and build on your confidence as you tackle more complex repairs.   Oil and fluid changes and brakes are a good starting point.  You can sometimes find online forums and local BMW clubs where you can find people willing to help/give advice on a repair.

You can also save money by driving less, using public transportation, riding a bike, or walking.  All of that saves wear and tear on your car.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2019, 02:02:20 PM by austin944 »