2011 BMW 335 - Built to last?

I am in the process of purchasing a 2011 BMW 335i. It has 135,000 Miles on it, it has had services done to it already like, oil gaskets, water pumps and fuel pumps. Are these cars built to last? It will be my daily driver. With these cars, when miles are up in the 100,000+ to more problems tend to occur? Thanks!

that tends to happen with most vehicles.

Of course they are just like all vehicles . But some will go for a long time and others will not . 10 year old BMW can be a money pit or an acceptable vehicle . You pay your money and hope for the best.


The cooling system is a common trouble spot. Have the water pump and radiator been replaced?

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If you want a “daily driver” that is “built to last” and will provide low costs of ownership, a used BMW (or VW, Audi, Volvo, etc.) is the wrong type of vehicle. You should be looking for a used Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, etc. with a NA 4-cylinder engine. Not a European luxury model.


They will last as long as you keep up with maintenance. BMWs have an expanded maintenance list. All plastic parts under the hood should be replaced every 5 years or so to prevent breakage due to age. This includes the water pump, coolant reservoir, and windshield fluid reservoir. I have a friend that has owned several BMWs. He buys new and replaces the plastic water pump with a metal racing water pump after 5 years. He loves them and is willing to take on the extra maintenance that his 5-series cars require.

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However, when they occur with a European luxury vehicle they will be MUCH more expensive to repair than with a Japanese, Korean, or US make.

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Yes, BMWs like any auto, require more repairs past 100k miles. A BMW will… require expensive repairs because it is an expensive, complicated, European car.

The periodic need for more of those services is what will last.


Buy two, then you will have one to drive while the other one is having maintenance and repairs being performed.


I thought that was the recommended strategy for Jaguar and Land Rover owners, but with a 10 year old German car, it’s probably also a good idea.


Who will being doing the maintenance and repairs? IMO, that’s the singular question for owners of older BMW’s.

I have owned 5 3-series BMWs. I do virtually all my own maintenance, and I normally drive them to around a quarter-million miles. A 2011 335 will be a fast, fun-to-drive car, BUT I would probably not buy it myself and I would not suggest it for anyone that does not have a garage to work in, tools, and moderate mechanical knowledge.

Example - two weeks ago the Service Engine Soon light illuminated. With the help of a code scanner and a voltmeter, I narrowed the problem to low resistance in the heater in the thermostat. The thermostat and water pump were last replaced 130k miles ago, so I ordered those parts. Also ordered coolant and both hoses that I am disconnecting because the O-rings in their quick connectors tend to fail to seal when re-used. Also a new serpentine belt, valve cover gasket, and fuel filter while I was ordering parts. While it was apart, I noticed one of the serpentine belt pulleys was not completely quiet when spun, so I ordered one of those. Waiting for the pulley is holding up finishing the job. If this sounds like how you want to spend your weekend, you might be OK with the 335.

On the other hand, my daughter’s Camry hybrid with 100k+ miles is boring, but cruises nicely, gets great mileage, and has been completely trouble-free. All I have ever done to that is change the oil, coolant, brake fluid, and one 12V battery.


Just curious, why is there an electrical heater in the thermostat? I presume this is the thermostat for controlling the temperature of the engine coolant, right?

It opens the thermostat more and lets the engine run a little cooler when under high load.
Increases performance and reduces the tendency to knock.
When under light load the warmer engine saves gas.


Excellent info above. The OP should take careful note what’s been said. This used BMW could make for an excellent and good looking ride indeed. But like all performance cars, the compromise is it comes with some challenges.

Yes nice cars but as they say BMW = Bring Money With. Son wrecked a tire: $500, stalled just after warranty, $2000 injector service. Traded for new one under warranty.

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One my former coworker had 745 and 545 of the 15+ years of age.

Once, probably at the moment of weakness, he offered me to buy his 745 from him (which is in GREAT shape), as he was too tired spending his weekends to make sure that the second car is ready to catch the slack if the one he drives now fails on him… By that point, he was in too much emotional connection to these jsut to sell it to some kid who would trash it as every repair is like 4-5-digit if you do not DIY it.

I decided to keep going on my boring Honda :slight_smile:

If the OP is still considering that 10 year old BMW, I hope that he reads this.

Oh my gosh. On reflection of the past 20 years, I think I did the same thing. I had two Riviera’s and my wife had her Olds so we had three cars at least. So friday morning stopped at the bank on my way to the office 150 miles away and then to the cabin with a trailer load of lumber, the older Riv stalled. Towed it two blocks to the shop, then got a hitch put on my newer Riv, switched the trailer and off I went nary two hours late. It took a few more mishaps but eventually the new Riv took the place of the older one which sat in the garage most of the time.

I had never really thought that I had two to keep one going since I never swapped parts. Just swapped cars I guess but I did like my Riviera.