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      04-24-2012, 11:56 PM   #1
hickuptruck
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How difficult is DIY repairs/maintenance on a E90 M3 compared to other cars?

New poster here looking at seriously getting a 08 E90 M3 within the next 3-4 months with a budget of sub-$40k. The E39 M5 has been one of my "poster cars" since they've come out. However, most of the ones I've been looking at are 75k miles + and around the $20-22k mark. The E90 M3 to me seems like a better drive and more reasonable buy since they are better to drive and also newer.

I was just wondering about DIY repairs and maintenance. The only things where I will bring a car to a garage are tire balancing/mounting and alignments. I haven't had any DIY experience with any German cars but the experience I have is replacing upper/lower control arms, struts/shocks, calipers, rack and pinion, CV axles, balljoints, oil changes, transmission fluid changes, brake fluid flushes, diff fluid on a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 and a 2007 Escalade. From what other people have been telling me, everything is different on German vehicles but looking at the DIY section, everything looks straightforward.

I do know that parts for the E90 will be a lot more money than my Ram, but exactly how much more? I know I won't be able to just go to rockauto.com and get a whole new set of control arms and balljoints for under $450 shipped.

I'll probably be "lightly tracking" it as well, nothing too abusive. Can't wait!
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      04-25-2012, 08:13 AM   #2
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If you love it you will pay for it.

Good thing about the car is lots of forum support and parts availability. You will have to pick and choose what you want to tackle but technically everything is possible to DIY.

Most difficulties will come from items that need replacing and coding but there are guys on the forum that can help with that as well.
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      04-25-2012, 08:58 AM   #3
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At least double the costs for a domestic truck (and the work probably requires twice as much time), plus you will be buying expensive tires more often. No one has had one for 10 years yet so the long term is unknown. So far, they seem to be holding up pretty well. Nonetheless, when I bought, I paid extra to get one that still had 18 months of factory warrant left plus a CPO warranty for two years after that. I wanted to hedge my risk. 18 months and 12k miles later, I have had no issues, but the car is just 4 years old and has just 43k miles. I do all my own work, so I am taking over the maintenance now and think I can handle it (I have been maintaining and repairing my BMWs for the last 7 years).
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      04-25-2012, 09:29 AM   #4
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im currently at 65k miles.. and i have done all the DIY maintenance and it cost me

Oil Change every 7k miles = $130
Brake Fluid Change every 30k miles = $20
Tranny fluid change every 30k miles = $150
Diff Fluid change every 30k miles = $135
Tires i buy the cheap one Hankook V1 = all four $800 that mount and balance

NOW if you have an issue with other stuff... it will cost depending on what part but it will cost you an arm and a leg...


in my experience it pretty easy like honda and other cars... if you have the right tools you should be fine...
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      04-26-2012, 03:39 AM   #5
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im currently at 65k miles.. and i have done all the DIY maintenance and it cost me

Oil Change every 7k miles = $130
Brake Fluid Change every 30k miles = $20
Tranny fluid change every 30k miles = $150
Diff Fluid change every 30k miles = $135
Tires i buy the cheap one Hankook V1 = all four $800 that mount and balance
Wow, that is pretty reasonable. How often do you go through the Hankooks?
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      04-26-2012, 03:41 AM   #6
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I have the tools of an average backyard mechanic. Nothing fancy, just sockets, wrenches, Torque app w/bluetooth OBDII, 20 gallon air compressor and some air tools.

So what kind of repairs warrant "BMW computer coding"? or the need to buy BMW-specific tools?
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      05-02-2012, 12:11 PM   #7
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First post!
I'm looking at used M3s and will likely do all my maintenance as well. How about costs on brake pads and rotors? From what I've seen, rotors are rediculously expensive and hard to source outside of the dealer. I think I saw $400+ per rotor somewhere online. Pads are reasonable enough.

Looking forward to learning more. Great site!
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      05-05-2012, 03:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
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First post!
I'm looking at used M3s and will likely do all my maintenance as well. How about costs on brake pads and rotors? From what I've seen, rotors are rediculously expensive and hard to source outside of the dealer. I think I saw $400+ per rotor somewhere online. Pads are reasonable enough.

Looking forward to learning more. Great site!
For parts you can take a look at getbmwparts.com . rotors are more like 280 each.
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      05-05-2012, 09:24 PM   #9
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imo, you can't compare doing these type of work on a car vs a SUV. Everytime I work on my car, i keep cursing to myself, if this was a SUV, it'll be so much easier b/c the parts are bigger, and more easily accessible. The M3 is a PITA to maintain due to the ride height, under body panels, and compactness of the design. you would need a way to easily and safely lift the car.

But yes, the maintenance procedures more or less is the same in every car. Bolt off - bolt on. The details will kill you.
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      05-09-2012, 12:34 PM   #10
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IMO, BMWs are very easy to work on so long as it doesn't involve the ECU or the SES lights...compared to other cars. Especially domestic cars and pickup trucks. The M3 engine bay looks tight but it is well engineered and you have enough room to do most routine maintenance.

Costs? I still say a BMW is not that expensive to maintain. Their OEM parts quality is better and not far off from Japanese or US cars. Expensive things for BMWs are tires and oil.
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      05-13-2012, 10:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
IMO, BMWs are very easy to work on so long as it doesn't involve the ECU or the SES lights...compared to other cars. Especially domestic cars and pickup trucks. The M3 engine bay looks tight but it is well engineered and you have enough room to do most routine maintenance.

Costs? I still say a BMW is not that expensive to maintain. Their OEM parts quality is better and not far off from Japanese or US cars. Expensive things for BMWs are tires and oil.
This. At first I thought things would be difficult to do, had the mentality that German cars were sensitive so I didn't really want to touch anything but if you read DIY's here on the forum, it's pretty straightforward and not as difficult and that's coming from someone who has never really did any work on cars, just brought it to the dealership.

As for parts, surprisingly they're not that expensive, people who don't' know usually just over exaggerate about the price. It's the labour that kills you if you decide to go to the dealership not the price of parts.
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