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BMW vs. Lexus vs. Mercedes maintenance costs

Rye GB

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Aside from tires, brake pads and scheduled maintenance I've only spent $500 in repairs on my 2001 Lexus IS 300 from new.
 

impolyt_one

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Originally Posted by oldseed
kinda depends on how much you drive. i drive about 20k miles a year and it costs about $1000 a year to fix up whatever is breaking down on my bimmer. i'm at about 90k miles now. This is WITH CPO. if you don't drive that much then the little things won't bug you. that in mind, i keep my bimmer in tippy toppy shape and take it in when i detect something's off. if you want reliability get yourself a toyota/honda/hyundai. the real price of a bimmer/luxury car is not the price you pay up front, it's all in the maintenance. seed
A nickel a mile up to and over 90K on the clock is very good, all things considered. A Honda from the good old days might've cost like a cent a mile or even less, but on the extreme end, something like an early Lamborghini Gallardo (the $80K ones on ebay) are like $5/mile or way more in maintenance... so at a nickel/mile in a BMW, you're in a good car at a way low cost.
 

sushi7474

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I own a Mercedes C-class - C 220 CDI (this is the current W204 model, now 3 years old), and the only thing it requires, is a regular yearly service maintenance - approximately 400 EUR/ year (with branded service, 1/3 if you go with non-branded one).

The car is absolutely reliable and considered "bulletproof " - even within the MB service staff (my motorbike-buddy is a senior technician at the MB dealership, so I receive almost first-hand experience).

HTH
R.
 

mrhills0146

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Originally Posted by dah328
A friend is considering a 3-5 year-old car and was wondering about the relative maintenance costs of BMW (3-series or possibly a 525i), Lexus (IS or possibly ES), and MB (C-class sedan). I'm pretty familiar with BMW, but I have no point of reference with the others. I know BMW's new car warranty covers all maintenance costs, but I don't think their CPO warranty does that nor am I aware of either Lexus or MB offering that.

Depends on what your friend wants in a car. Covered maintenance is a sham - you pay for it one way or another, so tell your friend to get the car that he or she wants, then find a good independent mechanic and never darken the door of the dealer unless for warranty work.

The Lexus will likely be the least costly to operate. The IS is fun-to-drive (for a Lexus...) The ES is by and large dead-nuts reliable, but it's as exciting as your Frigidaire. Great transportation, but that car is the closest thing to a Japanese Buick this side of a Toyota Avalon. If your friend wants reliable transportation and low cost of ownership without much excitement, Lexus is the way to go.

I am a long-time owner of many Mercedes autos. Personally, I'd stay away from the 2001-07 C-class. Not a fan of that car - many of the early ones ('01 and '02 in particular) are plagued with electrical issues and sloppy build quality. The '06s and particularly '07s seem to be pretty reliable, but the styling is very unremarkable and the interior is downright cheap-looking and feeling. I would take a long, hard look at an '08 or '09 C-class though. The redesigned model seems to be back to looking and feeling more like a Mercedes should.

A 3er BMW or even some 5ers are great fun to drive, but they will cost more to operate than the Lexus. Window regulators are a common failure. They CAN be DIYed if you are pretty handy and don't mind the pain-in-the-ass factor, but it is a Titanic pain **********. BMWs are VERY sensitive to wear in front suspension components (bushings and such) and the car will feel progressively "sloppy" as those components wear. Certain model years (I forget which) of 3er have rear subframe mounts prone to failure. All BMWs typically have sub-par climate control - one thing about American cars is they have A/C that will freeze your ass out of the car. Not so with the Germans.

Good luck!

-Matt in Atlanta
 

uhurit

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^^^ This man is telling the truth...listen to him!
 

rocks

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Bullocks! I drive a 2003 e46 which now has 116k miles and runs just like new. So far this year, I have changed 2 window regulators, 100 bucks a piece from my discount parts hook up. The expansion tank also failed a few months ago. So far this year, I have spent about 500 on maintenance parts which also include oil changes. I do oil changes every 7500-8000 miles interval. Diff and Gearbox flush every 30 k miles and this car has never left me stranded. I don't pay for labor though since I do some of the work myself or have a buddy do the strenuous tasks for me. I drive this car in a spirited manner almost everyday. It is by far the most reliable car I have ever owned, my AC is freezing cold despite what the poster above said. I have made countless trips between Miami and Atlanta without a single problem and consuming 1.5 tanks of fuel along the way. This is my third BMW and I am sold, it has been as reliable as any Toyota Corolla.
 

vitaminc

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Originally Posted by rocks
Bullocks! I drive a 2003 e46 which now has 116k miles and runs just like new. So far this year, I have changed 2 window regulators, 100 bucks a piece from my discount parts hook up. The expansion tank also failed a few months ago. So far this year, I have spent about 500 on maintenance parts which also include oil changes. I do oil changes every 7500-8000 miles interval. Diff and Gearbox flush every 30 k miles and this car has never left me stranded. I don't pay for labor though since I do some of the work myself or have a buddy do the strenuous tasks for me. I drive this car in a spirited manner almost everyday. It is by far the most reliable car I have ever owned, my AC is freezing cold despite what the poster above said. I have made countless trips between Miami and Atlanta without a single problem and consuming 1.5 tanks of fuel along the way. This is my third BMW and I am sold, it has been as reliable as any Toyota Corolla.

eh what? toyota corolla costs next to nothing to maintain compare to bimmers... hell all the jp cars i've owned costs nothing to maintain...
 

zippyh

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Originally Posted by mrhills0146
A 3er BMW or even some 5ers are great fun to drive, but they will cost more to operate than the Lexus. Window regulators are a common failure. They CAN be DIYed if you are pretty handy and don't mind the pain-in-the-ass factor, but it is a Titanic pain **********. BMWs are VERY sensitive to wear in front suspension components (bushings and such) and the car will feel progressively "sloppy" as those components wear. Certain model years (I forget which) of 3er have rear subframe mounts prone to failure. All BMWs typically have sub-par climate control - one thing about American cars is they have A/C that will freeze your ass out of the car. Not so with the Germans.

Good luck!

-Matt in Atlanta


That would be both the E46 and E36. In other words, both of the previous generation 3 series.

Many BMW climate control issues can be traced to the final stage resistor going bad.
It's a pretty straightforward DIY if your hands are tiny enough.
 

East2West

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Repairs (most out of warranty) to my W211 e350:
SBC brake pump
airmatic shock
Thrust arm
Left and right lower control arms
Left and right cat converters (covered by 8/80 EPA law)
Distronic malfunction
panoramic roof creaking
COMAND/navigation malfunction (wasn't syncing properly with my MFD)
Crank position sensor
Door lock actuator

These are all common problems with the early 2003 to early06 w211s)

Oh and my cupholder that opened like Voltron
 

akatsuki

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Originally Posted by East2West
Repairs (most out of warranty) to my W211 e350:
SBC brake pump
airmatic shock
Thrust arm
Left and right lower control arms
Left and right cat converters (covered by 8/80 EPA law)
Distronic malfunction
panoramic roof creaking
COMAND/navigation malfunction (wasn't syncing properly with my MFD)
Crank position sensor
Door lock actuator

These are all common problems with the early 2003 to early06 w211s)

Oh and my cupholder that opened like Voltron


Yeah, supposedly they have turned the corner in 2008, but it will take time to see if that is really the case.
 

mrhills0146

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Originally Posted by East2West
Repairs (most out of warranty) to my W211 e350:
SBC brake pump
airmatic shock
Thrust arm
Left and right lower control arms
Left and right cat converters (covered by 8/80 EPA law)
Distronic malfunction
panoramic roof creaking
COMAND/navigation malfunction (wasn't syncing properly with my MFD)
Crank position sensor
Door lock actuator

These are all common problems with the early 2003 to early06 w211s)

Oh and my cupholder that opened like Voltron


That is ******* ridiculous. I hope your local dealer took good care of you on these issues. Until I see proof that MB has turned the corner, I've sworn off their newer models.

When Mercedes decided they had to match the Japanese gadget for gadget, gizmo for gizmo, that's when the issues started. I don't want gadgets and gizmos. I want a simple, robust, vehicle built with the best materials and assembled with the greatest care. I want a car that will last for 25 years and 400K miles. I want a car where damned near every part can be repaired or rebuilt.

In short, I want a modern version of the W123, W124, or W126. But there aren't many people out there like me.
frown.gif
 

JayJay

Stylish Dinosaur
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Originally Posted by mrhills0146
In short, I want a modern version of the W123, W124, or W126. But there aren't many people out there like me.
frown.gif

I'd like this, too.
 

countrygent

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
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16
Originally Posted by mrhills0146
When Mercedes decided they had to match the Japanese gadget for gadget, gizmo for gizmo, that's when the issues started. I don't want gadgets and gizmos. I want a simple, robust, vehicle built with the best materials and assembled with the greatest care. I want a car that will last for 25 years and 400K miles. I want a car where damned near every part can be repaired or rebuilt.

In short, I want a modern version of the W123, W124, or W126. But there aren't many people out there like me.
frown.gif


+10000

A modern W124 is exactly what I want - no gizmos just for the sake of gizmos, just a bank-vault solid car.
 

Spats

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Do you want sex, or reliability? NO European made car will be anywhere near as inexpensive to maintain over a long time (like after the new car warranty wears off) as virtually any Japanese or US made car. You pays your money and you takes your choice.
teacha.gif
 

uhurit

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Jan 4, 2009
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Originally Posted by rocks
Bullocks! I drive a 2003 e46 which now has 116k miles and runs just like new. So far this year, I have changed 2 window regulators, 100 bucks a piece from my discount parts hook up. The expansion tank also failed a few months ago. So far this year, I have spent about 500 on maintenance parts which also include oil changes. I do oil changes every 7500-8000 miles interval. Diff and Gearbox flush every 30 k miles and this car has never left me stranded. I don't pay for labor though since I do some of the work myself or have a buddy do the strenuous tasks for me. I drive this car in a spirited manner almost everyday. It is by far the most reliable car I have ever owned, my AC is freezing cold despite what the poster above said. I have made countless trips between Miami and Atlanta without a single problem and consuming 1.5 tanks of fuel along the way. This is my third BMW and I am sold, it has been as reliable as any Toyota Corolla.


You just got lucky with this one. One cannot extrapolate a singular experience on the entire brand
 

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