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  1. #1
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    Yes | No

    BMW reliability & Consumers Reports

    Interesting report I just read I know it's Canadian but nevertheless....
    Consumer Reports Best and Worst reliabilities in cars

    Second last para on the bottom of page kinda surprised me, should have picked up my son's Boxster last year when I had the chance:
    "While European reliability had been improving, momentum seems to have stalled. All Porsche and Volvo models are rated average or better. But Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz are among the worst automakers overall.

    The Porsche Boxster has the best predicted reliability in our survey, while the Audi A6 3.0T and Jaguar XF have the worst."

    Jan/1998 528i, 5 spd manual, black on black non DSP.>300Kkms(180Kmiles) non-Sport, lowered with KONI FSD & Eibach springs in 2008, added "Bad Road package Adapters" to front only Dec 2009.
    My previous rides worth mentioning:1970 GTO "The Judge",1985 325e M3lite, Euro BMW +
    1998 323Ti, in Munich, Germany on the autobahn for 1 yr
    Now back in Halifax, Nova Scotia,via Ottawa Canada.


  2. #2
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    Hate to mention it, but our Volvo's have been (m)

    almost bullet proof. I know so little about our S60 and V70 because they are so friggin reliable......and boring to drive.

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    Makes me feel soooo much better maybe BMW R not

    so bad then after all..........LOL

    Jan/1998 528i, 5 spd manual, black on black non DSP.>300Kkms(180Kmiles) non-Sport, lowered with KONI FSD & Eibach springs in 2008, added "Bad Road package Adapters" to front only Dec 2009.
    My previous rides worth mentioning:1970 GTO "The Judge",1985 325e M3lite, Euro BMW +
    1998 323Ti, in Munich, Germany on the autobahn for 1 yr
    Now back in Halifax, Nova Scotia,via Ottawa Canada.


  4. #4
    Eurodavid
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    Here's a good Volvo story for ya, Jim

    Back in '95 or '96, can't remember which year exactly now, I accompanied a nice, single young lady up to Sweden on her all expense paid trip (courtesy of Volvo) to pick up her brand new forest green 850 or 860 or something like that. Upon getting up and into Sweden, eating mustard soup at every possible stop (national dish, damn tasty), we get to Malmö, iirc, where the Volvo factory was. They give us the whirlwind tour, from exterior to the interior of the factory. Employees on the lines would stop working for a sec, when they saw a person buying their car, come over, shake your hand, and say "thank you for buying our cars". I'd never seen anything like it before, the closest was the Vette factory in Ten. The level of factory floor cleanliness and organization sort of freaked me out, I mean, I could have eaten off the floors, anywhere. So as we're walking off the factory floor, me knowing that Volvo was soon going into the arms of GM (though it wasn't public knowledge yet), I pop my head into the glassed walled office of the top factory floor manager at this production site, and promptly say: "well, you can kiss all this goodbye once you fall into the arms of Ford, better hope it doesn't happen.....", saying it a joking way, and totally meaning it in a joking way. Well, hte guy pops out of his desk chair like a rocket, grabs me, pulls me into his office, shuts the door, and seriously wants to know what it would be like to be working in a US manufacturing plant, how they treat their employees, etc, etc. This Ford deal wouldn't happen till some 3-4 yrs later, after a bidding battle with some European auto companies, but this guy was seriously scared, and worried at the same time. He proceeded to tell me that to the average Swede working for Volvo, making the cars was something akin to being part of an extended family, where each worker was deathly afraid to let another workmate down. I sat there and listened to this guy for nearly an hour, as I kept looking out at the factory floor. He then said something that floored me, which still floors me to this day, he said that each and every worker on the factory floor has the right to shut down the production line at any time if he or she sees something that is not right. I asked "how many times does the line go down on average during a day", and he looked at me quizzically and said something like: "the last time I remember the line being stopped was three weeks ago and it was because some parts came in that a few people didn't like, so they refused to put them on..." I said WHAT?! He then reminded me of that familial-like pressure each worker feels towards the other one. He said that shoddy work and installing defective parts was not part of their way of thinking, it just didn't cross their mind that the production line moving at all costs was factor numero uno.

    Now, of course, Volvo is/was not a huge operation compared to other auto manufacturers, and they did have their problems---but mostly it was problems in their financial planning, unable to set realistic 5-10 yr plans, and so forth. But when it came to the quality and craftsmanship of their vehicles, they were very proud of what they made, and it showed.

    Heck, even to this day, even things like their Volvo heavy duty trucks are still considered the number one vehicle to own and also to drive. Simply, they are built to last and they are rugged.

    Eurodavid

    P.S. Tell you about SAAB one day, as I spent a few days up there with them back in the mid 90s; damn what a difference, except for their very good, imho, avionics and aircraft divisions.

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    Yes | No

    Good story, Euro. Now imagine going back 5

    years in the past and touring, let's say, GM plant in Detroit. You'd be probably seeing a lot of lazy people not doing much and their union representatives in stand by, in case somebody says something to them about their productivity.

    There was and there is a lot hard working people in auto industry here, I just wonder, what is their ratio to the new type of today workers: Unmotivated, lazy, in debt because of living way above their means and blaming everybody else for it.



    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
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    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
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    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
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    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
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    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts



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    Yes | No

    Yeah, Scandinavians have a different cultural mind

    I experienced the same thing in Finland


    The Germans are still close but not Scandinavian


    I recently purchased Bosch oven and microwave kitchen appliances, the oven was made in Germany and when removed from the box the stainless steel finish was immaculately clean, the microwave was manufactured in the UK and when removing it from the box it was completely covered in finger prints. Same company, same procedures you'd assume but definitely a different culture to the people.



  7. #7
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    Good story, I'm sure they were very concerned (m)

    I did own 2 Saabs (99 and 99EMS) a long time ago. I did like them, not as reliable as these Volvos, they did handle better.
    The Porsche factory in Stutgart was very clean too. We didn't get a chance to see much of the Ferrari factory in Maranello, what we did see was clean, but we were escorted out the because there was no tour that day.....we had to at least give it a shot after driving all the way from Milano.

  8. #8
    ExAlfa
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    Brother's mechanic calls his S80 the Christmas Car

    because every time he brings it in the costs are incredible. Very expensive to maintain once things begin going south. Granted, he drives hard on cars (brake-gas-brake-gas) but the S70 before it and then the S80 were costly.

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    The S80's were toilets, just flush your $$ away (m

    These are the first 2 Volvos we have owned, the wife's S60 has been so good that I bought a used V70 to replace my old Sable winter beater.

  10. #10
    ExAlfa
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    I thought V70 was built on S80?

    Still, they can't be THAT horrible. I can't tolerate the intrusive head restraints on Volvo's, though. Shoves my head forward. Affects my beehive. Must be much better than the Sable.

  11. #11
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    Much better than the Sable. S80 is a bigger car (m

    Pretty sure it on a different platform, but I could be wrong.
    The 2000 and earlier 850, S60, V70 etc were P1 chassis cars.
    2001 and up were P2's, not sure what they called the S80's, however a friend had an S80 that he dumped for a used Crown Vic, the S80 repair bills were about the same as his loan payments.
    Wish I knew more about these cars, but if they don't break I don't need to fix them.

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    What astounds me is their lack of concern over...

    reports like this, can they be that arrogant that they think people will continue to buy their product based on their name without consideration of reliability.

    Yes, they are thrilling to drive, and as Jim pointed out, some of the more reliable cars are kind of boring...but it does get difficult to really enjoy a car when it is plagued with so many ridiculous issues that really shouldn't happen to car that costs as much as it does...it's not like they're giving you a bargain or something...there are car companies out there that manufacture vehicles that cost half as much as a BMW and are twice (if not three times) as reliable...What's wrong with this picture??? You'd think for the money they charge for these cars, they could use quality parts...am I being unreasonable here???

    I think the problem with BMW (especially in recent years) is they're thinking has shifted from trying to produce a quality Drivers automobile to...the bottom line.

    Case in point; my friend just purchased a 2011 128i (I told him to go for the 135i, but the price wound up in the 3 series range when all was said and done), he's only got 1300 miles on it, and already has issues...he started hearing a ticking noise from the engine while it was idling, called the dealer, and they told him...it's just a harmless lifter tap caused by a defect in the head, and not to worry about it, they suggested that he's not driving the car hard enough and to take it out for "a good rip" on the thruway and it should go away...WHAT???

    Don't get me wrong, I love my car...it's definitely a love/hate relationship (or maybe sado/masochistic, not sure...LOL) with all these annoying little issues that come up, but then I get behind the wheel and drive it, and remember why I keep it...I truly think the E39 was the last solid vehicle they made (even with it's issues), I doubt owners of the newer models will be making the same claim in a few years.

    If BMW doesn't start cleaning up their act and get back to what they built their reputation on in the first place...they will find themselves left in the dust.

    Vin

  13. #13
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    Yes | No

    Germans, as a society, are probably >>

    more arrogant than the French. BMW AG selects the models to be sent here, based on their perception of our needs and desires.

    Case in point: the 5-series, from '75 to '79, was supplied with a 4-speed trans, while those in Yurrip had the 5-speed overdrive. Apparently, the Krauts decided that, since we had a National Speed Limit of 55, there was no need for an overdrive.
    Ed in San Jose. BMW CCA member since 1987 (Nr. 62319). Golden Gate Chapter. '97 540i 6 speed. Build Date 3/97. Aspensilber over Aubergine leather.

  14. #14
    Panos
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    Dont put all the blame on BMW AG. BMW NA >>

    tells them what they think the NA market will pay. Then they spec the maccordingly. They pay a lot more over there than we do here. Despite the high volumes they sell here, you cannot blame them for removing ala carte options and some other goodies to achieve the prices we expect.

    If you are willing to pay 80k EUR for a 535i and then you'll get it however you want.

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    It's all chris bangle's fault man !!! :-) since he

    started these flame surfaced [Oops!] the quality went down hill.
    lets blame him for that too !!!

    1997 BMW 840CiA
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  16. #16
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    No, blame the beancounters. In any product line>

    as it matures, the accountants descend on it to see where they can milk more profit. The suppliers get squeezed, and reliability suffers. That's why, I believe, we see many more problems with later cars than earlier ones.

    Case in point: the ABS computer on my car resides in the passenger footwell, far from engine heat. Later cars put it just adjacent to the exhaust manifold, nice and hot! I can think of two reasons for this: elimination of the cable that runs from the inside of the car to the solenoids, and one less manufacturing step, by installing one assembly, as opposed to two.
    Ed in San Jose. BMW CCA member since 1987 (Nr. 62319). Golden Gate Chapter. '97 540i 6 speed. Build Date 3/97. Aspensilber over Aubergine leather.

  17. #17
    Mike S
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    Yes | No

    Completely agree

    The beancounters are the root of all evil in the auto industry.

    A classic case is one of the early GM 4 cyl engines (a 2.4 I think). All auto engineers know that a 4 cyl engine larger than approx 1.8L must have a balance shaft. The beancounters nixed the balance shaft because it would add $60 to the cost of each engine. The result was a rough, seemingly crude engine which failed in the market. After a few years the balance shaft was added but the damage was done and GMs reputation for small engines was in the toilet.

    With the number of units involved (even for BMW), a seemingly small cost saving per unit represents a huge amount which goes straight to the bottom line. It's an allure that's hard to resist unless management is enlightened enough to allow the engineers have the final say.

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    128i with ticking and possible defective head??(m

    If that was my car and the dealer told me that, I'd seriously consider draining 1/2 the oil before I took it out for a good rip on the thruway. Lack of concern on their part is terrible.
    Actually I'd [Oops!] like hell first to the dealer and BMWNA, if it wasn't fixed, then I'd do the above.

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    Re: BMW reliability & Consumers Reports

    I think some of the mudslinging is a little unfair.

    In the top performance/feature categories you are trading performance for reliability - always. "Sure my 135i needs more maintenance than your Corolla - but look what it can do!".

    This stuff doesn't come for free. The premium brands, especially in the highest performance niches, are closer to the cutting edge of any technology which is involved. They are less conservative to improve performance and the driving experience. If you want a ride which is as exciting as some of these BMWs and AMG cars but still as reliable as a Corolla it will cost even more than it already does and I bet no one would buy them since the majority of the market is leases and not long term owners.

    Also note there's a difference between reliability and durability. My Acura needed "fewer things" during my ownership but my BMW is holding true to its original performance far better. It's taking a lot longer to "feel old" and I think any "old" feeling it has now are just a few straightforward things - shifter linkages, clutch and springs. Cheap? No, but at least it isn't all loose, creaky, and worn out everywhere. I have been extremely pleased with the reliability of my 528 even as defined by this thread.


  20. #20
    Crusader
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    Yes | No

    I disagree ...

    Most of the issues surrounding our cars has nothing to do with their performance qualities. Radiators and water pumps shouldn't be time bombs after 60-90K miles. Sunroof lift arms shouldn't break every 40K (as mine have). Cockpit displays (Inst cluster and MID) shouldn't fail with regularity. Door seals shouldn't leak. Just part of the list.

    Yes, an M motor is going to need more PM than a Toyota 4 cylinder. Brakes are likely to need attention more often and its going to cost considerably more. But the basic stuff should be just as reliable in a German performance car as in a Japanese transportation appliance.

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