chknhwk
chknhwk Dork
3/10/22 9:53 p.m.

My current situation is this: I have a 2017 Ford Edge with 41k miles on it with the balance of a factory warranty (which gives me peace of mind) but I owe $18k on it.  That's the wife's car but I make half the payments.  My daily is a 2011 BMW 328iX with 97k miles on it but is paid off.  I'm worried about reliability with a high mileage vehicle so I'm torn on the following decision: pay off the wife's car or purchase a newer vehicle with lower miles for myself and carry a second smaller note.  I do surface level wrenching but anything too complicated I will source out due to limited experience and shop space on my end.  That's another reason I want something with lower miles with the balance of a factory warranty or a cheaper aftermarket warranty.

What do you all think?  Pay off the wife's car and take a gamble on the BMW or get something with lower mileage?  What's the reliability like on these E9x's?  I found a great thread here which leads me to think mostly minor maintenance issues for at least another 100k miles but I'm still unsure which route to go.

Loweguy5
Loweguy5 HalfDork
3/10/22 11:35 p.m.

I consideration of the market right now, I would highly recommend not buying another car.  Prices are wildly inflated on used and new cars currently.

Also, as it relates to your BMW, my opinion (after owning 100+ cars and working in the car business for 20 years) is that maintenance history and overall condition are for more important than miles in assessing a cars reliability.

Presumably you know the car in the most recent years of its life (or possibly all of them) so you should know if it's been cared for and has received all the appropriate work at the appropriate times.

If you've had the services kept up and know the car to have been trustworthy, I see no reason why that wouldn't continue to be the case.  The concept that a car falls apart when it hits 100k just isn't the case these days assuming it's had decent care.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
3/10/22 11:39 p.m.

It's not like the old days when cars were all used up by 100,000 miles...I'd say your car is barely middle aged (assuming you've been keeping up on regular maintenance.)

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
3/11/22 12:19 a.m.

I have a 2011 128i 6spd, so it's a similar platform and same N52 engine.  I didn't buy mine new, I just got it about 6 months ago.  I've driven it a lot, it currently has 137k.  It's needed a few things since I got it, but nothing tragic.  Valve cover gasket, which was farmed out... and is routine maintenance for that age.  I've needed a pair of wheel speed sensors.  They were like $30 each and literally took 15 minutes...it would have been even faster if I was a competent mechanic.  I just put a coil pack in it a few days ago.  Again, $30 and 15 minutes of my time.  The oil pan gasket is leaking slowly, and I will have that fixed.  Again, not expensive.  So yeah, it's nickel and diming me, but it's pennies compared to what it would cost to replace it.  Besides, I love the hell out of it.  It's amaze-balls to drive.

chknhwk
chknhwk Dork
3/11/22 1:06 a.m.

Thanks everybody for the input.  smiley

PMRacing
PMRacing UltraDork
3/11/22 6:28 a.m.

Take the money for a car payment and put it in saving every month for a car repair fund. You'll have a bunch saved up in no time. And if you don't use it, there's your down payment on the next car when the time comes. 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
3/11/22 7:44 a.m.

An E90 328 isn't a car that would scare me.  Just keep up on maintenance and it should be pretty solid.  It's about time to replace any plastic bits in the cooling system that are still original, so I'd give that some thought to avoid any unexpected failures. 

adam525i
adam525i Dork
3/11/22 7:55 a.m.

Maybe look into this as your car is probably affected, unless you would like an insurance payout - https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/bmw-recalls-vehicles-for-3rd-time-due-to-engine-fire-risk/192554/page1/

dyintorace
dyintorace PowerDork
3/11/22 8:05 a.m.
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) said:

I have a 2011 128i 6spd, so it's a similar platform and same N52 engine.  I didn't buy mine new, I just got it about 6 months ago.  I've driven it a lot, it currently has 137k.  It's needed a few things since I got it, but nothing tragic.  Valve cover gasket, which was farmed out... and is routine maintenance for that age.  I've needed a pair of wheel speed sensors.  They were like $30 each and literally took 15 minutes...it would have been even faster if I was a competent mechanic.  I just put a coil pack in it a few days ago.  Again, $30 and 15 minutes of my time.  The oil pan gasket is leaking slowly, and I will have that fixed.  Again, not expensive.  So yeah, it's nickel and diming me, but it's pennies compared to what it would cost to replace it.  Besides, I love the hell out of it.  It's amaze-balls to drive.

We have a 2010 128i in the fleet and I love it as much as SKJSS loves his. Overall, it hasn't been bad to maintain, and has actually probably been better than some of my other aging German cars. That said, it is getting ready to hurt me, as the evaporator is leaking and won't hold a charge. That means disassembling the entire dash. And I outsource all car work. :(

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
3/11/22 10:15 a.m.
dyintorace said:
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) said:

I have a 2011 128i 6spd, so it's a similar platform and same N52 engine.  I didn't buy mine new, I just got it about 6 months ago.  I've driven it a lot, it currently has 137k.  It's needed a few things since I got it, but nothing tragic.  Valve cover gasket, which was farmed out... and is routine maintenance for that age.  I've needed a pair of wheel speed sensors.  They were like $30 each and literally took 15 minutes...it would have been even faster if I was a competent mechanic.  I just put a coil pack in it a few days ago.  Again, $30 and 15 minutes of my time.  The oil pan gasket is leaking slowly, and I will have that fixed.  Again, not expensive.  So yeah, it's nickel and diming me, but it's pennies compared to what it would cost to replace it.  Besides, I love the hell out of it.  It's amaze-balls to drive.

We have a 2010 128i in the fleet and I love it as much as SKJSS loves his. Overall, it hasn't been bad to maintain, and has actually probably been better than some of my other aging German cars. That said, it is getting ready to hurt me, as the evaporator is leaking and won't hold a charge. That means disassembling the entire dash. And I outsource all car work. :(

Yeah, a lot of cars are like that.  I forgot to add that.  When I bought my car, I found out (slimy dealer) that the a/c didn't work.  I was afraid it was evap.  Thankfully it was just the high side a/c line had sprung a leak.  Simple and very cheap fix.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
3/11/22 12:25 p.m.

I'm firmly in the "saving the money for repairs the BMW may need is a far better idea than selling it."

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
3/11/22 12:55 p.m.

How up to date is your preventative maintenance, and how much is deferred at this point? Water pump and thermostat been replaced? Oil pan, valve cover, and/or oil filter housing gaskets leaking? Accessory belt and tensioner/pulley replaced? Coils and plugs?

I'd be getting quotes from BMW/German car mechanics for these, and preparing to get a clean bill of health at the 100k service.  Depending on what it takes, this could easily put the "saving money for repairs" account significantly in the hole up front, but should give time to pay yourself back and build a sufficient balance before needing anything else significant.

chknhwk
chknhwk Dork
3/12/22 3:50 a.m.

Thanks for the input everybody!  I ended up paying off the Edge and will be keeping the BMW based on feedback received here.  I will be talking to my mechanic about freshening up a lot of the items listed in here at 100k.  Also I will be checking out that recall as I'm sure with my luck now that I spent my money something will happen, lol.

Caperix
Caperix New Reader
3/12/22 6:54 a.m.

Have the vanos/cam sprocket bolts been replaced?  A number of the latter cars never got the recall to replace the failure prone tamper proof bolt heads.  I have started to see an increase in n52 cars come into the shop with broken vanos bolts.  Being a 2011 unless the car sat on the lot you are likely out of the extended coverage, but if none of the bolts have worked their way loose or broken you can install the updated bolts replacing 1 at a time next time the valve cover is off.  Also check the aluminum bolt heads at the front of the cylinder head for broken off heads, 1 is external next to the oil filter housing, but there are 3 more under the valve cover.

BA5
BA5 Reader
3/12/22 7:44 a.m.

Some other folks already said this, but nothing you have is even remotely close to 'high mileage'. And maintenance is really what determines a cars reliability.

I don't own anything with less than 230,000 miles on it. But I'd hop in any of them and drive across the country without a care because I know they're well maintained.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
3/12/22 9:40 a.m.
Caperix said:

Have the vanos/cam sprocket bolts been replaced?  A number of the latter cars never got the recall to replace the failure prone tamper proof bolt heads.  I have started to see an increase in n52 cars come into the shop with broken vanos bolts.  Being a 2011 unless the car sat on the lot you are likely out of the extended coverage, but if none of the bolts have worked their way loose or broken you can install the updated bolts replacing 1 at a time next time the valve cover is off.  Also check the aluminum bolt heads at the front of the cylinder head for broken off heads, 1 is external next to the oil filter housing, but there are 3 more under the valve cover.

If it's a recall, it doesn't need to have the warranty, right? 

Caperix
Caperix New Reader
3/12/22 5:25 p.m.

Their was a recall for certain years, but some of the cars with the failure prone bolts did not get recalled, just a 10 year warranty extension on the vanos units.

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