The BMW 3 series has been popular since it was introduced onto the market in 1975. Considered by many car aficionados as the ultimate sports sedan, over the course of 7 generations the 3 series has gone through numerous iterations and has received multiple rewards.
One of the more popular vehicles in the 3 series lineup is the 325i. The 325i models were first introduced in the United Stated in 1987, and finally retired in 2007.
Over the course of its 20-year run and multiple evolutions, the BMW 325i gained a hardcore fanbase that continues to drive and maintain them. Depending on which variation or year you have, maintenance costs will vary.
Further, since this is a German car that uses German parts and technology, maintenance can sometimes come at a premium.
If you want peace of mind, you can look for an extended warranty plan. Depending on the coverage you are looking for, this can cost around $2,500.
Alternatively, if you decide to maintain the car in your own garage, you can reasonably expect to pay somewhere in the range of $450 to $900 for parts, but you may need to purchase tools as well.
Finally, if you employ a mechanic, you could pay approximately $500 in labor along with the cost of the parts, but this cost will vary greatly across the country.
If you had purchased a new 325i back when they were still being produced, you would have enjoyed free maintenance by BMW for a few years. Since it is almost certain these benefits have expired for any of these vehicles still on the road, you will most likely pay for your maintenance out-of-pocket.
However, there are third-party warranty companies that could provide you with similar benefits to the original warranty. Each provide different services. For example, some just cover repairs, others cover maintenance as well.
Further, not all of them will cover older model cars with a lot of mileage. If you do some research, however, you can likely find something to fit your needs. On average, these plans cost around $2,500, but for a BMW you will likely pay more.
Finding A Reputable Provider
When you are researching an extended warranty, it is important to be vigilant. You need a provider that is reputable. Right at the outset, do not try to take any extended warranty offer from a spam call.
Most of the time the company is not legitimate, and they are merely trying to steal your identification information. Beyond avoiding spam calls, you should look for companies that have already gained a reputation on the market as being reliable.
Check noteworthy review sites for ratings and look for endorsements from other reputable names in the industry. Finally, pay close attention to what is being covered so that you can catch unreasonable limitations.
If a company is accredited by BBB and there are few, if any complaints, that is a good sign.
Maintenance considerations when purchasing a BMW 325i
It is generally agreed that BMW’s can be exceptional cars as they age, but only if they have been maintained on schedule. Therefore, if you are thinking about buying a BMW 325i, make sure you can get a verifiable service history.
Interestingly, later models of the BMW 325i have an incorporated CBS, or condition-based service for maintenance. Basically, multiple sensors throughout the vehicle help you determine when you should complete maintenance tasks.
The system also keeps a record of maintenance. This is great for a new purchaser because they can look at the detailed record of the car’s maintenance. Keep this in mind while you are shopping.
If the car has been well-maintained throughout its lifetime, you can expect to have a good experience. These cars are aging and there will still be issues, but if there is not a service record, you are gambling.
In fact, if there is no available service record, you can assume that the car was not regularly maintained, and you should probably look elsewhere. Finally, when purchasing a BMW 325i, it is a smart idea to get the car inspected before you seal the deal.
Even if there is a full record of maintenance service, there can be other issues that may not have been noticed during the last maintenance check. Further, something could have happened between the last check and the date on which you are planning to purchase.
For maybe $100 you can feel much more confident about your decision.
How Much Will Maintenance on My BMW 325i Cost?
There are several factors that will affect the cost of maintenance for your BMW 325i. First, there are multiple versions of 325i spanning across two decades. A model from 1995 will be quite different from a 2006 model. Second, the history of service will make a drastic difference.
Third is whether you will be doing the maintenance yourself, and fourth, if you do take the vehicle to a mechanic, whether you take the car to a dealership or not.
Unfortunately, the truth is that since BMW is a German company, they use German technologies and parts. For this reason, you will find that you are paying thousands more in maintenance than for other vehicles in the same class.
DIY Maintenance Considerations
If you plan to maintain a BMW 325i by yourself there are some things you should be aware of.
First, even though the warranty will have almost definitely expired already if you do not go to a certified mechanic to do maintenance and repairs, you will not be able to prove the work was done when you decide to sell the car.
Next, BMW’s come equipped with some highly technical systems. Whereas you may be perfectly confident in DIY car maintenance in general, you may not know what to do with a BMW specifically.
For example, BMW has unique suspension systems. You may understand a regular suspension, but if you don’t know about BMW suspensions specifically, you will be hard-pressed to try to repair them.
Finally, you will need specialized tools to maintain your BMW 325i in your own garage. The vehicle should come with its own toolkit, but frankly, it’s not great.
Further, it does not have all the tools you will need. You will need to factor the cost of tools into your maintenance cost calculations.
Hiring a Mechanic
Hiring a mechanic saves you time and, assuming you go to a reputable mechanic, gives you peace of mind knowing that the job was done correctly. One good thing about the BMW 325i is that mechanics find them generally easy to work on.
You will therefore be able to save some money on labor costs. This can help to offset the higher cost of parts for BMWs. Mechanic rates vary drastically depending on where you live.
Before you decide on any specific mechanic, talk to a few so that you can get an idea of what they charge on average. Finally, if you go to a dealership for your maintenance needs, you will pay more than for any other options, but you will also get the greatest peace of mind.
To get a very basic idea of maintenance costs for the BMW 325i, assuming you have a 2006 BMW 325i, and assuming there is around 100,000 miles on it, you might expect to pay around $900 if you employ a mechanic, and around $450 for parts if you don’t.
However, if you have instead accumulated 150,000 miles on your car, you might pay closer to $1,400, $900 of that total being parts. Both maintenance inspections may be the same, but in one, you might need brake pads or something similar, whereas in the other instance you may not.
The BMW 325i is an excellent car if it has been maintained properly throughout the course of its life. Since the 325i is an older model, the warranty has most definitely expired. You can purchase a third-party warranty, but make sure you are diligent in your research.
If you are buying a used BMW 325i, make sure you have a verifiable service record and have it inspected before you make the purchase. Finally, BMWs in general are expensive to maintain.
You can save some money on labor if you do some of the maintenance yourself in your own garage, but there are certain maintenance tasks that you should hire a professional to do.
While it is true that a BMW 325i can be expensive to maintain, people love them so much that they are still on the roadway more than a decade past when they were retired. Owners love this car. The reason is that if it is well-maintained, it can be effectively driven well past 200,000 miles.
The fact is that if know what you are getting into, and you still decide to own a BMW 325i, you will be happy so long as you do your proper maintenance. You will pay more for upkeep, but you will also get to drive a BMW.