2008 BMW 550i


I have a 2008 BMW 550i with 62,000 miles and extended BMW warranty until February, 2014. I love the car, and would like to keep it….when warranty runs out, I will probably have about 72,000 miles on it.

Am trying to decide whether to keep it after warranty runs out, as work on European cars is pricey. So far, I have had zero problems.

What is your recommendation as to whether to keep it after warranty runs out? If you recommend keeping it, do you know of a further extended warranty that would be worth purchasing?

Many thanks,

Yes, you will definitely have mega dollar work bills once you get close to 100,000 miles. If you really love the car, find an independent mechanic who knows BMWs. He will ease the pain somewhat, and can shop for good used parts from late model wrecks. There is a wrecking yard near here that specilaizes in import parts. Every day I see Volvos, Mercedes’, and BMWs parked there; their owners looking for low cost parts.

Well, it’s an expensive car. You paid a lot for it. A whole lot. Since you can afford it, why not buy another new one? Take your big resale value and trade it in and get a pretty new one with a new warranty.

As nice as BMWs and Mercedes might be, they’re lease cars, not something you’d wanna own long term if money is a factor

Given this retailed for around $60k and has trade in around $20k, the depreciation’s mostly done. I’d just keep $5k in savings and keep driving it.

Edmunds.com has a feature called True Cost to Own. It estimates costs to keep a car over the next 5 years. They say that on average, someone with yur car will pay $21,000 over the next 5 years to own this car. About 55% of that is maintenance. As a comparison, if you owned a 2008 Lexus GS 460, you could expect to pay about $12,000 over the next 5 years; 70% maintenance. Is your Bimmer worth $1800 more per year to keep running than the GS460? For you, maybe it is.

From what I have gathered doing my research, BMW drivers mostly have it for the “driving” experience. I am looking at the 3 series for example as a fun (stick shift) car. Every thread on the BMW forums that compares it to another similar car (Infinity, Lexus, Genesis, Mazdaspeed), shows that the BMW costs more to own & operate, but the owners justify themselves because they have a BMW and are enjoying the thrill of driving it. It makes it a bit difficult to balance the thrill of driving with the amusement of heavy repair bills.
You can look on the 5 series forums to see what common things break down at certain miles and how much it costs to fix, and then decide.

I expect you’d be money ahead to sell it once the warranty runs out, and buy a new one.

I’m afraid the money’s pretty much behind now. $8000/yr depreciation. Maintenance and repairs will likely be less than that.

You might have expensive repairs coming up, but moving to a new vehicle is also expensive. I see no reason to get rid of this car now if it’s been good so far.

As for the extended warranty, this topic is discussed frequently here. The first point to keep in mind is that the warranty (which is really an insurance policy) will be priced far higher than the average claims, so on average the company will win and the buyers will lose. Of course, you might be one of the lucky ones who win, but the odds are against you. The second point to keep in mind is that people more frequently have issues with warranties offered by third parties, which often have confusing exclusions that cause claims to be denied, not to mention that these companies sometimes go out of business. A warranty offered by the manufacturer usually works out better in this regard.

You paid 1000 each month for the last 60 months. And now you wonder if repairs might be an issue? Seems to me you have plenty of money.

@JoeBoy, you might do what a couple of regulars here do: fix it yourself. IIRC, @Manolito and @twotone own and personally maintain their Bimmers and have for many years. Parts are still expensive, but at least you can pay yourself for labor. If you have the time, doing maintenance and minor repairs can save many tousands over the life of any car, especially a BMW. If you don’t have the time to maintain the car yourself, you can likely afford the M&R costs. I’m a little surprised these guys haven’t chimed in yet. They have often provided detailed advice on what to change and when (beware the dreaded plastic parts lifetime). Just stop back with specific questions about maintenance and repairs. thay and many of the real mechanics will be happy to help.