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      05-24-2019, 05:30 PM   #1
bendandthrow
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High spec 2014 535d with 67k miles - should I get BMW warranty?

I am about to buy a 2014 535d Touring with 67k miles from a non BMW dealer. However it does have a full BMW service history. I do about 7k miles per year.

It has loads of extras
  • Adaptive Drive
    Integral Active Steering (4 wheel steering)
    Rear camera with Park Assist
    Professional Navigation
    HUD
    Comfort Seats
    Soft close doors

I am worried about possible repair costs should any of these go wrong, never mind all the usual worries with these complicated cars (it has 2 turbos!).

It comes with 6m 3rd party warranty and I am being offered a further 6m for 299. However I am not yet sure what that covers and I doubt it matches the BMW warranties. However the BMW warranties are very (very) expensive. Driveline is about 850 and Comprehensive is about 1350 per year.

Question: with this car, and with these added complicated options, should I go for the reassurance of the BMW warranty? And if so, to be worthwhile would it need to be the Comprehensive version? Would this cover my fancy Adaptive Drive and IAS?

I'm wondering if i should go with the cheaper options I am being offered for the first year and then maybe upgrade when they expire, by which time the car will be year older and more likely to have problems.

Are AD or IAS known to be troublesome? My online research does not suggest so but would like to hear any feedback.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
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      05-26-2019, 04:23 AM   #2
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This is all about your personal appetite for risk.

BMW warranties are generally comprehensive but very expensive for anything with more than 60k miles on the clock.

Of the things you've listed it's only really the pro nav system that can fail. That used to mean a replacement head unit for about 1,500 but I read somewhere it can now be fixed with a software update.

On touring models the rear suspension air bags and sometimes the compressor can fail. But the replacement parts are inexpensive and are a DIY job if you're handy with the spanners.

The leaky rubber grommet under the bonnet that floods the interior of the car is not covered by the warranty as far as I understand it.

If you can afford 1,350 for the BMW warranty, you could also put the equivalent amount aside each year to fund any unexpected repairs if you chose not to go with the warranty.
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      05-26-2019, 03:46 PM   #3
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Well I have now completed the deal and have driven it over 300 miles from where I bought it back to my home. And I am very happy! Hopefully I did not pick up any speeding tickets on the way...

Johnny - thanks for the feedback. Just what I wanted to hear and in line with what I was thinking. The 12m warranty I got with the car looks reasonable, so I feel pretty comfortable about the first year of ownership. And during that year and for the remainder of my ownership I will set aside 150 per month which will give me 1800 per year which should cover any major expenses that are likely to occur over the next 5 years that i expect to own the car. Hopefully some of that pot will remain to put towards my next car.

That is good news re the Nav system as I had heard they can cost 3k to replace.

Thanks again
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      06-03-2019, 08:38 AM   #4
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The risk is that should something expensive go wrong prior to you building up enough of a "repair kitty" then you will have to fund that repair.
Also consider, there are many issues that can go wrong that could potentially wipe out three year's worth (or more) of your kitty. A gear box issue for example could cost 5k to fix.

The 1300 you quote. Yes it is a lot. But consider it this way.... Say you bought a newer 535 model for more initial money to get into 535 land. That newer plate car costs a lot more than you paid for yours. And that extra cash you forked out would start to deprecate immediately. If you have the BMW warranty on your older car, albeit at that 1300 cost, you are pretty much covered against anything. The depreciation of an initially more expensive car would be many times more than 1300 per year. BMW know this of course....
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      06-04-2019, 04:51 PM   #5
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Shiner - I agree with your logic re the higher depreciation with a newer car, which is exactly why I got this older car, and understand the risk of self insuring. However, I will probably only do around 6k miles per year which, being about half the average, makes me hope I am half as likely to have problems. So I am going to rely on the 3rd party warranty in the first year and then reassess. By then I will have 1800 pounds in the kitty. But thanks for the advice.
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      06-05-2019, 03:36 AM   #6
shiner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendandthrow View Post
Shiner - I agree with your logic re the higher depreciation with a newer car, which is exactly why I got this older car, and understand the risk of self insuring. However, I will probably only do around 6k miles per year which, being about half the average, makes me hope I am half as likely to have problems. So I am going to rely on the 3rd party warranty in the first year and then reassess. By then I will have 1800 pounds in the kitty. But thanks for the advice.
You are welcome. We individually have to make this assessment of whether it is worth it or not based upon our own financial circumstances.

The fact is that these extended warranties are simply insurance policies and as such they must be making money out of these warranties or else they would not provide them. So the total cost of claims must be less than the money they are pulling in from the warranties. This would imply the cars are generally reliable. All good stuff of course. But the fact that the cars are "generally reliable" is, of course, no consolation whatsoever to you if your cylinder head blows up and you need a 7000 repair.

I did not need to claim on my extended warranty last year but I still renewed it. Was this a "waste" that I did not use it last year???? Of course not. I was covered in the case of a catastrophic repair bill came in.

You could build up your repair kitty and never need it and then you have a windfall if you sell the car. But then, the number of repairs could overwhelm you. Probably not, but it's not impossible.

My personal view, and others will disagree, is that these top end cars are too sophisticated not to be under the umbrella of the manufacturer.
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      06-05-2019, 04:51 PM   #7
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It seems we both did the same analysis but my appetite for risk is slightly higher. I too concluded that on average BMW must pay out less than they take in.

I have just confirmed that the price of 1349 pounds applies whether the car's mileage is 61k or 99k. Given the likelihood off failure increases with mileage this suggests to me that cars with mileage below 80k are subsidising those above.

As my car is at 68k, and I have a reasonable 12m warranty from the dealer, and I am unlikely to exceed 76k before the end of that warranty, I feel reasonably comfortable for now.

But I may feel very different in 12m when this warranty ends...
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      06-06-2019, 07:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendandthrow View Post
It seems we both did the same analysis but my appetite for risk is slightly higher. I too concluded that on average BMW must pay out less than they take in.

I have just confirmed that the price of 1349 pounds applies whether the car's mileage is 61k or 99k. Given the likelihood off failure increases with mileage this suggests to me that cars with mileage below 80k are subsidising those above.

As my car is at 68k, and I have a reasonable 12m warranty from the dealer, and I am unlikely to exceed 76k before the end of that warranty, I feel reasonably comfortable for now.

But I may feel very different in 12m when this warranty ends...
Yes. Agreed, something to review in a year.
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      06-06-2019, 05:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiner View Post
My personal view, and others will disagree, is that these top end cars are too sophisticated not to be under the umbrella of the manufacturer.
I agree with the sophistication on the top end models with complex options. Risk climbs with specification.

I've run extended warranties on three BMW models, always got value out of them each year. Including a new V8 engine.

I've not used my warranty this year... but... I have just today sent images of a leaking 'adaptive' damper to my dealer, we will see what this costs to fix. I'm guessing it will exceed the cost of the warranty cover this year.
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      06-07-2019, 04:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
I agree with the sophistication on the top end models with complex options. Risk climbs with specification.

I've run extended warranties on three BMW models, always got value out of them each year. Including a new V8 engine.

I've not used my warranty this year... but... I have just today sent images of a leaking 'adaptive' damper to my dealer, we will see what this costs to fix. I'm guessing it will exceed the cost of the warranty cover this year.
Yep. My otherwise fantastic Z4 35is. Also under extended warranty. Noticed a few drops of oil on the floor under the gearbox. Sounds like a gasket gone somewhere. Expensive......
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      06-07-2019, 04:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
I agree with the sophistication on the top end models with complex options. Risk climbs with specification.

I've run extended warranties on three BMW models, always got value out of them each year. Including a new V8 engine.

I've not used my warranty this year... but... I have just today sent images of a leaking 'adaptive' damper to my dealer, we will see what this costs to fix. I'm guessing it will exceed the cost of the warranty cover this year.
It was your frequent positive views of adaptive damping that led me look for a car with that feature. And so far I am very happy with it. But I am worried about those very expensive dampers ($750 each?). How many miles have yours done before possibly failing? Mine are on 68k.

I also have 4 wheel steering, also great, but presumably complicated and expensive to fix...
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      06-07-2019, 05:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendandthrow View Post
It was your frequent positive views of adaptive damping that led me look for a car with that feature. And so far I am very happy with it. But I am worried about those very expensive dampers ($750 each?). How many miles have yours done before possibly failing? Mine are on 68k.

I also have 4 wheel steering, also great, but presumably complicated and expensive to fix...
Less than 54,000 miles when I noticed it weeping. Not exactly a long life. I've had both air springs renewed already.

Still rate Adaptive Drive as the key option on the F10/11 models. If I move to a G31 will be after the AD package.
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      06-08-2019, 02:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Less than 54,000 miles when I noticed it weeping. Not exactly a long life.
Not what I wanted to hear! Please try again

Was this spotted by your mechanic during servicing or did you find it yourself? If the latter is this easy to check, even for a mechanical ignoramus like me?

Before buying this car I read everything I could find relating to AD and this is the first problem I have heard of. I think I read somewhere that the dampers should last more than 100k miles, although presumably that will depend on how hard those miles were; smooth motorway or pot holed B roads.

It will be very interesting to hear if your problem is deemed to be a fault or just wear and tear.
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      06-08-2019, 11:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendandthrow View Post
Not what I wanted to hear! Please try again

Was this spotted by your mechanic during servicing or did you find it yourself? If the latter is this easy to check, even for a mechanical ignoramus like me?

Before buying this car I read everything I could find relating to AD and this is the first problem I have heard of. I think I read somewhere that the dampers should last more than 100k miles, although presumably that will depend on how hard those miles were; smooth motorway or pot holed B roads.

It will be very interesting to hear if your problem is deemed to be a fault or just wear and tear.
Not what I wanted to see...

Found it when I swapped over to my summer wheels. Been monitoring it since, (mirror and torch). Hasn't dumped its oil, but still showing damp.

I've been hoping it will hold up until service and MOT time, when I'd be at the garage. Hence why sending images down to the garage this week, to get them primed for a visit later this month.
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      06-09-2019, 02:35 AM   #15
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Thanks Pete. If there is a fault I hope your warranty covers it.

On the subject of warranties I have realised my logic may be faulty.

Firstly I have assumed BMW have priced their warranties to make a profit. But it is possible that, to help maintain residual values of their cars, they simply want to cover their costs. ie customers for new cars will be less worried about depreciation if they think second hand buyers will believe they can protect themselves from expensive maintenance with "cheap" warranties.

Secondly, even if they do want to make profit from warranties, they could do this with a price that is less than what we would be charged for any repairs.
They need only cover THEIR costs.

So their warranty pricing MAY be more reasonable than I thought which would explain why so many who have bought warranties feel they got a good deal.

I need to stop worrying about this and enjoy my car
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      06-09-2019, 06:03 AM   #16
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You mention about people buying new cars and being less concerned about depreciation.

Bear in mind most people don't 'buy' new cars these days - especially not 50-60k estate cars. They lease them instead.
So they know exactly what the car is going to cost them over x months and y,000 miles. They don't give a stuff about depreciation.
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      06-09-2019, 03:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbiep View Post
You mention about people buying new cars and being less concerned about depreciation.

Bear in mind most people don't 'buy' new cars these days - especially not 50-60k estate cars. They lease them instead.
So they know exactly what the car is going to cost them over x months and y,000 miles. They don't give a stuff about depreciation.
You are correct that they know what their cost will be. But my point is that the leasing cost is linked to the expected residual value. So if residuals rise (because customers for second hand cars have less concern over on going maintenance costs because warranties are genuinely good value) then leasing costs may fall.

Just an idea, no idea how it matches reality. And this strategy would only work if these customers were convinced the warranties were cost effective and I would expect to see evidence of BMW promoting their warranties to achieve this effect, which I do not.

So maybe I am talking rubbish
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      06-09-2019, 05:40 PM   #18
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Extended warranties used to be run by BMW themselves in the old days, costs were kept to a minimum. When warranties had to come under the legal framework of an 'insured warranty' and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), BMW had to run it at an arms length, costs did go up quite a bit.
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      06-10-2019, 02:19 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Extended warranties used to be run by BMW themselves in the old days, costs were kept to a minimum. When warranties had to come under the legal framework of an 'insured warranty' and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), BMW had to run it at an arms length, costs did go up quite a bit.
Well there you go. A wonderful example of the law of (presumably) unintended consequences.

Nevertheless I strongly suspect I will be buying a BMW warranty when my dealer warranty expires in 12 months.
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      06-21-2019, 07:03 AM   #20
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When I bought this car there were 2 known (relatively minor) faults that the dealer agreed could be fixed by my local BMW dealer and then recharged to them. This was so I could pick up the car immediately. Very happy with that arrangement.

BMW have just diagnosed the faults and the approximate cost to fix (if I was paying) would be about 1500

Fortunately the dealer is sticking to their agreement to pay for the work. Phew!

But this does underline the costs associated with these highly specified cars.

FYI the work involved is to replace 2 comfort access door handles (500) plus fixing a faulty camera for the parking system (about 500) plus about 5 hours labour (500).

Makes the BMW warranty a lot more attractive, but not sure how much of this would have been covered though. The camera fault was due to corrosion caused by water ingress through a faulty seal. I guess the warranty would cover the cost of the faulty seal (presumably not very much), but how about the consequential damage (most of the cost)?
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      06-21-2019, 09:37 AM   #21
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The BMW warranty would have picked up all of that cost, I am 99% certain. Some of the lesser warranties I am not so sure.... Comfort access door handles are known for failing and I have that option too.

As I said before, the bill for some of these repairs could be out of this world. If the auto gearbox or HUD stopped working I would not be very happy without the warranty.
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      06-21-2019, 02:03 PM   #22
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I've had a failed comfort access door handle replaced, and both side view cameras.

Due to legacy compatibility issues, they also had to upgrade with a new control module for the camera system. It all adds up and helps pays for the warranty.
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