Used BMW's... are they usually this bad??
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    1. #1
      Member Dieselstation's Avatar
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      Used BMW's... are they usually this bad??

      I see people saying all the time that buying a used BMW that's out of warranty is a bad idea. But I never knew some of the build quality was this bad. Is this a common thing among used BMWs?

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    2. #2
      Member caj1's Avatar
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      It's common among cars which are not maintained properly..

      Using an anecdote to generalize across any brand is probably a bad idea not knowing the history of a 17 year old car.

      Quote Originally Posted by Dieselstation View Post
      I see people saying all the time that buying a used BMW that's out of warranty is a bad idea. But I never knew some of the build quality was this bad. Is this a common thing among used BMWs?

    3. #3
      Member G0to60's Avatar
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      This guy is an idiot. Full disclosure I do like the E46 and owned one for several years.

      This car has over 118k miles and is at least 10 years old. He has no idea of it's past history so a lot of his complaints could be due to the previous owner not taking care of the car. Some are warranted like the cooling system and the soft touch interior. Most everything else is stupid nit picking and complaining about problems that could and do happen to any car of that age (broken rear ash tray, broken front grill, etc). He should also look up to see that window regulators are about $100 for the part and about a couple hours of labor so maybe $300 total if a shop does it. Not the $700 he stated.

      Really the title of that video should be "Don't buy a used car over 100k miles and 10 years old unless you want to pay to have it fixed."

    4. #4
      It's crazy how many of the issues he mentioned are similar to issues I've had with older Audis and VWs. I've had soft touch interior coating peeling, issues with plastic parts and water pumps in the cooling system, broken window regulators, and sagging headliners.

      I do tend to keep cars a long time, so that's part of the issue. I'm really hoping that the more modern German cars will hold up better. So far my B8.5 S4 has been good, but it's still under warranty. Hmmm....

    5. #5
      Member simple's Avatar
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      I'm going to have to agree with the guy. Most 10 year old German cars show more wear on the interior than Japanese cars from 10 years ago. That is primarily due to the materials used, nothing to do with owners.
      If you can't measure it, you can't understand it; if you can't understand it, you can't control it.

    6. #6
      Member TangoRed's Avatar
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      I completely forgot about the headliner material separating from the pillars of my old E46.
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
      And on the tenth day of the two thousand fifteenth year, TCL finds out about rich people.

    7. #7
      I've looked at two Z3 M Coupes, been in many E46s, an E92 M3, owned an E36 and E92, and concluded that long term interior durability is not a strong point. The newer F30 models with hard plastics should hold up better over time.
      Quote Originally Posted by RS-SIX View Post
      You guys are missing the point with manuals...not only does not one want to drive a manual, many active safety systems do not work with manual transmissions. Soon manual trans cars are going to be the most dangerous cars on the road. If they dont die a natural death, they will be outlawed.

    8. #8
      Member slirt's Avatar
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      i'm quite happy with the condition of my 10 year-old Z4C interior; one small crack on the driver's armrest (where my elbow hits it) and some typical driver's seat bolster wear, but other than that it's still minty fresh... Made in America FTW
      Quote Originally Posted by Ryukein, April 4, 2017 View Post
      Well, I was wrong.

    9. #9
      I question his video making "prowessness"

    10. #10
      Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by simple View Post
      I'm going to have to agree with the guy. Most 10 year old German cars show more wear on the interior than Japanese cars from 10 years ago. That is primarily due to the materials used, nothing to do with owners.
      That's the rub.
      Paying more for something is ok if it is actually higher quality.
      But I haven't seen the evidence to support German cars and German parts are actually higher quality.
      removed because realized just as annoying as the people that refuse to turn off their phone app's auto-spam with every post.

    11. #11
      Member TangoRed's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      That's the rub.
      Paying more for something is ok if it is actually higher quality.
      But I haven't seen the evidence to support German cars and German parts are actually higher quality.
      I'd say they're higher in many aspects of quality but are inferior in durability to other makes.
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
      And on the tenth day of the two thousand fifteenth year, TCL finds out about rich people.

    12. #12
      Member caj1's Avatar
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      Agreed.. I would expect plastics are generally more durable in the long run than "soft touch" materials

      Quote Originally Posted by simple View Post
      I'm going to have to agree with the guy. Most 10 year old German cars show more wear on the interior than Japanese cars from 10 years ago. That is primarily due to the materials used, nothing to do with owners.

    13. #13
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      That's the rub.
      Paying more for something is ok if it is actually higher quality.
      But I haven't seen the evidence to support German cars and German parts are actually higher quality.
      I'd say they're generally higher quality part for part (assuming we're talking about visual/sensory measurements) vs their Japanese or american counterparts, but often with a more stoic or bland design. Things like paint quality, amount of door sealing and weatherstripping, carpet thickness (oh god I went there), plastic suppleness(!). There are always exceptions, but that's been pretty consistent in my experience. Whether or not those quality improvements are all that desirable or even noticed by the average lux consumer is another story.

      for whatever reason, they can't seem to make the cars that use said higher quality parts and materials hold up over time without investing lots of time and/or money.

    14. #14
      Member vwpiloto's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by caj1 View Post
      Agreed.. I would expect plastics are generally more durable in the long run than "soft touch" materials
      Exactly, and things like nappa leather or finer grain leather will need more care and attention than synthetic leathers, or a durable fabric material. The more premium cars tend to have finishes that require more care, so if the owners use them the same they might use a cheaper car with a spartan interior, then it's going to look like crap after 10 years.

    15. #15
      Actually until the mid-late 80s BMW actually were VERY durable, and built nearly as solid as the Mercedes of the same time.
      They were the best daily driving cars in the world and built to last a very long time as well.

      Fast forward to the mid-late 90s and the company went from being a very German, engineering based outfit to a
      profit centered and bean counter run organization and also became a marketing powerhouse too. They knew that for some time the company could rest on the excellent history and reputation they HAD in the past for such excellent qualities, now that has really come to an end, a screeching halt
      you could say. The cars are now more of a status symbol that people buy for the name, not for the actual product itself. Many models are now
      heavy, dull to drive, overly complex with too many electronic gadgets and things to break, and indeed lots of fragile plastics in under the hood as well which when they fail can cause catastrophic failure.

      Don't even get me started on the electric models they are now pushing. LOL It's almost like the brass tacks WANT to destroy the company.
      Last edited by dr whos it; 04-15-2017 at 01:16 PM.

    16. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by zmt2 View Post
      I'd say they're generally higher quality part for part (assuming we're talking about visual/sensory measurements) vs their Japanese or american counterparts, but often with a more stoic or bland design. Things like paint quality, amount of door sealing and weatherstripping, carpet thickness (oh god I went there), plastic suppleness(!). There are always exceptions, but that's been pretty consistent in my experience. Whether or not those quality improvements are all that desirable or even noticed by the average lux consumer is another story.

      for whatever reason, they can't seem to make the cars that use said higher quality parts and materials hold up over time without investing lots of time and/or money.
      ^^^ This right here. This means it is NOT a higher quality part. Higher quality would require less maintenance and be MORE reliable.

      German parts being superior is just bullsh!t. I say this as someone who has own many cars: German, American, and Japanese...not to mention Korean.
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      You're a self-serving Japanese car-hating asshat.
      I drive two Japanese cars.

    17. #17
      Senior Member AZGolf's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by simple View Post
      I'm going to have to agree with the guy. Most 10 year old German cars show more wear on the interior than Japanese cars from 10 years ago. That is primarily due to the materials used, nothing to do with owners.
      Same thing I was going to say. If anything, the average Accord/Camry gets less maintenance than any other car because the owners believe they can get away with not doing maintenance. And yet they are still among the most reliable cars over 100k miles.

    18. #18
      In my experience their parts, specially mechanical, are poorly engineered and made from cheap materials. It is insane how much more durable Japanese cars are compared to the Germans. For the large part it has to do with simplicity but even the simpler European designs can't compare. One thing I did notice is that German cars have a more durable paint/clearcoat and thicker sheet metal. The interiors are very nice too at first but then fall apart.

    19. #19
      Quote Originally Posted by MonsterM View Post
      In my experience their parts, specially mechanical, are poorly engineered and made from cheap materials. It is insane how much more durable Japanese cars are compared to the Germans. For the large part it has to do with simplicity but even the simpler European designs can't compare. One thing I did notice is that German cars have a more durable paint/clearcoat and thicker sheet metal. The interiors are very nice too at first but then fall apart.
      Not really specific to German or Japanese cars. If you look at a mid-90s Mercedes (pre-Chrysler days) the interior holds up fantastically well compared to the contemporary BMW.

      BMW simply didn't prioritize a long lifespan for interior materials. However, this is a tradeoff many people are willing to make in exchange for a fun driving experience.
      Quote Originally Posted by RS-SIX View Post
      You guys are missing the point with manuals...not only does not one want to drive a manual, many active safety systems do not work with manual transmissions. Soon manual trans cars are going to be the most dangerous cars on the road. If they dont die a natural death, they will be outlawed.

    20. #20
      Quote Originally Posted by NoXenons View Post
      Not really specific to German or Japanese cars. If you look at a mid-90s Mercedes (pre-Chrysler days) the interior holds up fantastically well compared to the contemporary BMW.

      BMW simply didn't prioritize a long lifespan for interior materials. However, this is a tradeoff many people are willing to make in exchange for a nameplate.
      FTFY.

    21. #21
      This is sort of on topic, years a go while getting out of my MKIII GTI I rolled up the windows by holding my key in the door lock. An elderly gentleman pulled up in a Chevy Impala and seemed to be stunned I was able to do that. He commented something along the lines "Did you just roll up your windows like that ? Wow a Chevy would never be able to that...". Long story short, little did he know my window regulatorS failed few days later...Followed by the coil pack...Followed by leaking coolant assembly...Followed by a forever check engine (ended up disconnecting the bulb because it was so annoying)...And this was one of my reliable German car experiences.

    22. #22
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      the same guy made a video about a Hyundai Genesis with 100K on the clock. He reported absolutely nothing was needed outside of just maintaining the car. And although I like the Genesis a lot, it doesn't inspire the passion BMW does...Why, I don't know. But I do think I have pretty much forgotten about ever buying a Bimmer...

    23. #23
      Member vwtool's Avatar
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      "BMW was known as a great car with incredible engineering prowessness."
      It's hard to sound like an authority on any subject when you can't talk good.

    24. #24
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      I have worked on enough BMW's to know that this guy may sound like an idiot, and probably is, but he's not wrong. BMW's just crumble apart with time. I'm pretty sure it's mostly limited from mid 90's to mid 2000's era as the newer ones seem much better made and the older ones were simply awesome.

      One thing that's very problematic of that era (be it BMW or Audi/VW) is the soft touch coatings. They were something somewhat new back then I suppose and they just didn't get it right. Even after 3-4 years the already showed wear. It's not so much an issue anymore though.

      Mercedes on the other hand tend to hold up WAY better than BMW's. They may leak oil out of every gasket like BMW's do, but everything else just seems better made.
      MK5 R32 - Custom Turbo Setup - 6766 - Lots and lots of mods - Built Engine - never ending work in progress.

    25. #25
      Member IridiumB6's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      That's the rub.
      Paying more for something is ok if it is actually higher quality.
      But I haven't seen the evidence to support German cars and German parts are actually higher quality.
      How exactly is anyone supposed to prove that? If you don't have an eye for it you cannot, it's as simple as that.

      Also keep in mind, a sofa made of real genuine leather will probably show more wear than one made from leatherette if each are used in a similar manner. But which one do you think is better quality? Do you catch my drift?

      If you want nice things to last you have to take care of them as well.
      Quote Originally Posted by DRUB View Post
      What just cause Im new.

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