Originally Posted by potatoe
In case anyone visits this old thread, I'm very interested in Brandon26pdx
's original question. How much does it cost to maintain one of these things once it's out of warranty? Lots of posters here seem to be driving out-of-warranty BMWs, how much does it cost you?
My barber complained "a $400 battery every 3 years, a $1100 brake job every 18,000 miles, ..." I shudder to think what a 60,000 mile service must cost at those prices.
Kind of funny how many guys want to say it's free to maintain your BMW. I guess nobody plans to keep their car beyond 4 years. Anyway, we own 3 out of warranty BMW's. Our last set of front breaks for our e39 cost $750 (all genuine BMW parts). It cost me about $100 to replace my e30 battery. Not too bad considering all cars are costly to maintain these days. There are a few things you can do to keep these cars running well without breaking the bank.
First, find an excellent independent shop. You will find that a good indie knows the cars better than your stealership and they50 offer a significant price break.
Second, join BMWCCA if you are not already a member. Many independents and stealerships offer service discounts to BMWCCA members. Plus, almost all of parts discounts to members. You can get back your yearly dues after one service discount.
Third, never defer maintenance. Better to pay something now than to pay a ton later. BMW's want their care and feeding timely.
Fourth, once you pay off your BMW the occasional expensive service will still pale compared to those monthly payments. For example, I just spent $2000 for a major service, new front breaks, AC work, and a couple other things for our e39 528i sport 5speed. It was no fun getting that bill, but the car runs great even with 140K on it and if you divide that bill by 12 months, that's only $167 a month to drive the car (plus gas oil & insurance).
Fifth, BMW is nuts with these 15K oil changes. We change our synthetic every 5K.
Another option is your can purchase an extended SERVICE contract from BMW which extends the service up to 7 years/100K. But, you need to keep in mind that if you want to cover things that might break you also need an extended warranty. I was considering a pre-owned certified e46 zhp and the dealer cost for the Extended Service contract was about $1495. Not sure what the 1-series contract costs.