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BMW Repair problem

The BMW cooling system issues must be a manufacturer specific defect since most cars from the mid-late 80’s up have plastic tanks on the radiator. The original radiator on my '88 Ford Escort lasted well over 20 years/400K miles, the reason it did need replacing is I shut the car off one day and when the pressure built one of the plastic tanks split all the way down the outside edge. This was a terrible expense for me. I went on eBay and someone had a new radiator to fit my Escort listed at $ 0.99 starting bid, I bid on it and was the only bidder, I think shipping was about $20 so I replaced my radiator for about the cost of a radiator hose. I think if I had to replace a radiator on a car that was still in pretty good condition I’d go with an all aluminum. I had never heard this about the BMW’s either, I guess we all live and learn. Seems like the government would require them to issue a recall on a problem of this magnitude and severity. It’s not likely to effect me since I can’t afford to drive a BMW and about to get so I can’t afford to drive any new car. Hopefully I won’t need a new car any time soon. Just goes to show cars are getting more expensive and cheaper at the same time. Cost more to buy and made of cheaper materials.

My 3rd generation Escort’s have a rubber bumper on the brake pedal to close the brake light switch when the brake isn’t being applied, these bumpers are bad to dry out after a few years, crack then fall off making the brake lights stay on continually. I guess this was the idea of some overpaid engineer, this problem could have been easily solved by simply changing the dimension of the brake pedal 1/8" to close the switch and the rubber bumper wouldn’t have been needed. When mine broke I stuck an 1/8" thick magnet to the metal on the brake pedal to close the switch, no more problems. I know several people have glued two pennies together and glued them to the brake pedal to solve the problem. I guess the rubber bumpers cost Ford less than $ .02 each.

Well like FordMan I too have learned something new, I did not know this was such a wide spread problem on BMW’s. Honestly I think what surprises me most is that apparently BMW owners are ok with the craziness of having to replace their entire cooling system every 80-100K… While people who own most other cars get upset if they have to replace just the water pump in the same time frame. Different mindset I suppose.

Naturally aspirated 6 cyl BMW engines will reliably run 300k miles without repairs if you change the oil and don’t let them overheat, BUT, all the rubber and plastic parts under the hood have to be replaced every 8 years or so. Before I drove BMWs, I drove Volvos, and they had the same problem, except on the Volvos, the interior plastic disintegrated as well. I have been told that this is because they are using all recyclable plastic, but I don’t know if this is true. Recyclable plastic does me no good as all my old parts, other than the aluminum in the radiators, go to the landfill.

“Welcome to the world of BMW where everything is at least twice as much as it should be and the car breaks down three times as often.”

Sad but true…

@Caddyman my friend purchased a well taken care of BMW 3 series with 110k miles for $8k due broken AC. For three years(now with 170k) it has had no issues. It has been far more reliable than hist past lincoln town car,wife’s past Honda CRV and current 2008 Malibu.

I think BMW gets blown out of proportion due to dealer pricing of repairs. The upper mileage BMW folks seem happy with independent guys who are typically around where a BMW dealership is. Dealership you hear there sob story but they don’t tell you the part about getting a better model BMW during repairs or the wonderful waiting room etc.