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Is it worthwhile to have a maintenance contract or service contract for a BMW?

September 30th, 2012 · No Comments

My 2003 BMW’s warranty is about to expire. Is it a good idea to purchase one of these contracts?

- I work at a car dealership as a service advisor and the extra cost is well worth it for the expensive-type repairs that higher mileage cars require…my 2 cents

also, if you get rid of the car soon after purchasing the extended coverage, those types of plans (if transferrable) are very attractive to prospective buyers

- I went through this exact same question myself. Here’s what I decided, but it was a decision based on my financial situation:

1) When the car was purchased the extended maintenance plan was also purchased (to 100,000mi). That was easy: I figured one additional brake job around 90k miles (almost $800 dealer price around here) and the big service at 60k (Inspection 2 — about $1000 at dealer here) would cost me ~$1600 minimum, then there’s the regular services (Inspection 1) added to that, etc. I paid $1100 for extended maintenance. I’ll be waaaay ahead on that deal financially.

2) At 48k miles I recently purchased the extended warranty for $1250, which covers most of the car (although radio and interior/exterior trim, sunroof, mirrors and xenons, as well as “wear” items on suspension aren’t covered as in the original new-car warranty).

Here’s why I bought it anyway: the tranny on these cars cost $4500 to replace. Any part of the driveline is going to run a minimum $1000 to repair. I also have had two faulty oxygen sensors and a faulty muffler already replaced on the car. The O2 sensors were a $400 job each. The muffler was a $900 repair.

I don’t work on my cars. So although I have yet to use the extended warranty it feels like “cheap insurance” to me in the event of a catastrophic repair (like tranny, or electrical harness, or VANOS, or steering rack, etc). Keep in mind the extended warranty is really focused on mechanical components, not the niggling electrical cr*p that tends to break on high-end cars.

And of course I’ll dump the car at 100, 001 miles. This was my second – and last – BMW. They’re great to drive, but they’re hell to own. I’m going back to a Japanese brand.

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