Thursday, March 18, 2010

Euro car nightmares?

A recent forum post asked about nightmares in owning and maintaining a european car. My 2004 BMW M3 is my first Euro car. I bought it with 83k miles almost a year ago and now it has 94k miles. I didn't get a pre-purchase inspection (other than looking at it myself) and it was overdue for virtually ALL the periodic maintenance. Yes, I know that sounds like a crazy scenario but I have a highly developed sense of mechanical empathy and I knew the car was ok. It has actually worked out perfectly well for me so far. If I was not a die-hard do-it-yourselfer I would never have bought a car like this, but the car looked very clean and while the maintenance had been deferred by the last owner, it was obviously not abused and the service records showed the first owner had done all the required maintenance for the first 50k miles. If I had paid a dealer to do all the maintenance it would have cost 3-4 thousand dollars, I'm sure. Doing it myself, it was maybe $1200 in parts. Everything is caught up now and the car is perfect. I'm sorry I don't have any nightmares to report.

I would NEVER own one of these cars, though, if I was going to be dependent on paying a mechanic to do all the maintenance and repairs. I can see how it can easily cost $2500+ per year at dealership prices. Of course for many people that is not a lot of money. It's all relative.

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