Car shopping.. desperately need input.

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Im going to be buying what I deem my "first real car" in 2-3 months. To this point i've drove a 83 firebird, and a 96 mazda 626.

I want to skip the common cars for my age and what i've mainly been looking at is a BMW 525i. I test drove one the other day and everything seemed great.. a breath of fresh air compared to what im currently driving. Im looking at the 2004 model, as that was right after the styling update and the next major revision should be in 2011 (from waht ive read.) I've also been looking at the 2004 Mercedes-Benz E240. All the standard information about them I have been able to unearth, but does anyone have experience with them as far as operating costs? What i would like to know is how much of a premium there is on a bmw over say a toyota in terms of repairs and general maintence. Im going to try and learn everything that is DIY possible but I dont want a major repair to turn my socially fueled purchase into a financial hardship..

Can exhaust/brakes and the other general repairs be done at a regular shop or must they be done at a bmw dealer?

Id appreciate and advice that anyone has for me.

posted by  aughsum

A regular shop should have no problem working on the car, but if you're getting a newer car it'll probably have a warranty, and many warranties get voided if you have the work done at a unauthorized shop. On the other hand, if you still had a warranty I don't know why you'd bring it anywhere other than an authorized shop, aside from repairs like rotors and other wear/tear items not under warranty. Any shop can do those jobs, and probably a lot cheaper, but like I said, if they find out they may be able to void your warranty.

posted by  giant016

thanks for your input..

im only concerned because the nearest bmw dealer is ~3 hours away. same for mercedes. i probably wouldnt have a warranty.. it probably would have slightly higher miles, possibly just beyond the certification mark (60,000 miles) or so and i would probably purchase one online (extremely carefully), fly to it and drive it home. If im extremely lucky i could have the original owner have it certified/checked out prior to investing my time/money in going to get it.

posted by  aughsum

As my profile says I have been with BMW for 37 years. THe E39 (1997 -2003)
is a great car 2000 528 trouble free. Any E39 is OK any questions call me 203-856-2935 stan

posted by  OLD MAN STI

id considered an e39. i will probably go with the newer body style and try to make it look like as much of an m5 as possible.. without actually paying for the m5. i dont want to bother you on the phone but ive got a few questions either on here or via email that i need to ask a bmw owner

posted by  aughsum

If I had to chose I'd probably go for the Merc, as BMW just don't seem as prestigeous anymore. As has been said before, any garage should be able to carry our routine maintenence on the car. Servicing should be much the same, but ensure that they have the tool to redet the service light (mainly on BMWs though)

posted by  Cliffy

i second that, the merc would be my choice:thumbs: (in silver:wink2: )

posted by  True_Brit

A few years ago my views would have been different, but now I just think the Mercs are better cars. Even their manual boxes, lol. Havinbg said that though, I think that unless it was a high performance Merc, I'd go for an auto.

posted by  Cliffy

I'd be wary buying a BMW or Mercedes unless you are ready to pay a lot in maint/repairs. Granted, you may not have all that many problems, but the majority of the work is going to cost a heck of a lot more on a BMW or MB than it would on say a Toyota.

If I were in your shoes, and was sure I could afford the maint costs, I would get the BMW. I personally hate the styling of the current 5-series. I would get a E39 instead of a E60, but you would have to remember that it's older and could have more problems sooner than a E60 would. :2cents:

posted by  StiMan

I think my E38 is as prestigious as a Merc of the same era, and looks better. But yeah, the new BMWs are a bit too commmon, especially the 3 series and lower trim 5 series. Of course, I think the same of the C an E class Mercedes.

For the money, I'd rather have an earlier car and spend less initially AND on maintenance/repairs. But if you're going to do it, BMWs, even newer ones, can be easy to maintain.

posted by  ChrisV

Good to see some old barnacles joining the forum. Welcome.

posted by  Wally

Great, you turned him off now.

posted by  StiMan

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