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      11-05-2012, 03:14 PM   #1
John Tanglewood
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General Dilemma

Supercharger or Beater Car?

Granted I'd like the beater car to be much less than the supercharger (i.e. $5k -$10k range), but if a supercharger is attainable do you go for it?

My car is a 2011 with moderate miles (22k). I was planning on selling it in a few years and upgrading to something a little more next-level, but for now I crave some more power.

However, I think my daily back-and-forth to and from work (only a 12mi commute) would be better served in a car that gets better mileage, can be beat on, and that I can use to shuffle my dog around. Plus if I went 4WD (Subaru?), I would not need to put snows on the M3 anymore (although I do love being the only guy out in a winter storm in an M3).

I HATE putting my dog in my M3 (I use 3-4 towels/blankets whenever I do), so I usually use my girlfriends SUV for those instances. But she works full-time also, so her car is not always available.

So what would YOU do? This is a general question and I'm looking for general answers based on the situation. Supercharger, or cheap-ish beater?

Please don't tell me to A)give you the money or B)invest the money.... This is about supercharger vs. beater car!

Anyone else had to make this kind of decision?

EDIT: I realize this is neither 'General' or something that would be considered a 'Dilemma' =)
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      11-05-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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I'd get a beater and wait on the supercharger in a 2-3 years. Plus you only have 22k miles on the M. Drive it a little more and keep the BMW warranty/maintenance. Plus you have to look at it from a usability perspective. What are you going to do with a 500+ hp M3 on public roads? Red light race your unsuspecting lambo owning neighbor? Just get the beater now, save up, and in 2-3 years buy the supercharger (which will most likely be cheaper too because we all know people will be looking at upgraded turbos when the new model comes out.)
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      11-05-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
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i was in the same predicament as you

I sold my 328, got the M3 knowing full well that it is probably a weekend / friday car. On the 328, I had snows, but eventually sold it when I got rid of the car

Use the equity I had on the 328 and got a 2006 civic beater
Thought about getting snows for it from the money I got back from selling the blizzaks on the 328 OR use get some spacers and use it on the M3. Eventually sold it and use the $ for something else.

My commute is about 30 miles each way, so i hated putting that many miles on the 328, despite the fact that with 80k miles, it was problem free. Civic beater was the choice AND i can put my labrador in it without having to care too much about the hairs.

If u were to sell the M3 later on and get something better, I would not put a SC on it. You don't get much in return with most mods anyway.
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      11-05-2012, 03:59 PM   #4
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If you get a supercharger, you should factor in the cost of larger wheels and tires given that the car in stock form can break traction at WOT in 1st and even up through 2nd. Apparently it's possible to fit 18x10" wheels with 275/35/18 tires all around with no rubbing. You may be able to go even larger in the rear without issues or modification, not sure. Not sure what the maximum sizes are for 19" wheels since my research revolved around a potential track setup. And depending on how you drive, that extra grip from the larger tires can heat your brakes up faster, so you might need upgrades there too. The true cost of a supercharger is way more than the kit + installation.

But yes, I agree with the above poster that a supercharger seems like an awfully expensive proposition for a red light racer, and I too would recommend waiting until you're past the warranty period. And honestly, most people who track realize quickly that straight-line acceleration just isn't nearly as fun as ripping through corners, at which point you also realize that you can get much more fun for your dollar by paying for track days and buying mods that improve cornering and braking (square setup of wheels + tires, camber plates, upgraded brake pads or even BBK, etc) rather than staying on public roads and buying mods that add power. If you haven't attended track days a few times, allocate your fund to a few of those and thank/curse me later for getting you addicted to something awesome. As someone who DOES track, I'll tell you that power mods (even a tune) are the LAST thing on my list of priorities. I've upgraded brake fluid and pads, and next would be larger square tires and camber plates, then maybe a BBK possibly with dedicated track pads, and THEN power mods MAYBE. I'd supercharge only if you track frequently and have already done those other mods. Otherwise, these cars can reach license revocation speeds plenty fast stock, so unless you'll be driving somewhere where the extra pull at sustained high speeds can be used (or you just hate downshifting), I don't see the point.

Or just get the beater. I don't see a problem DDing the M3 -- sure the gas mileage sucks, but it'll take a while to recoup the cost of a beater on gas savings. That said, I too would cringe putting a dog in my car and such, and if your GF is getting tired of you using her SUV for stuff you consider too messy for your car (but apparently not for hers), I agree it's only fair to get your own car that you're comfortable using to support your lifestyle needs. And in any case, even if you're DDing the M3, hopefully DDing it up and down city streets and freeways isn't the ONLY thing you're doing with it (i.e. are you spending time on back road twisties and/or the track?)

But to each his own.
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      11-05-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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Personally, I'm not longing for power although I would not complain if I had more. A beater would be great but I don't have space for a third car. If I had the space, I'd get a beater and then probably regret not driving my M to work every day.
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      11-05-2012, 04:42 PM   #6
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I don't understand people who don't want to daily drive their m3. I feel if that is the case, maybe you could not have really afforded it in the first place. Why would someone want to spend the majority of their day driving in a beater? I love my long commutes in my m3 and then also using it for fun. Miles are miles, big deal. If you are worried about gas mileage for a 20 mile commute than probably this was too much car for you.

Not sure I even get the question as it does not make much sense.
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      11-05-2012, 04:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munit View Post
I don't understand people who don't want to daily drive their m3. I feel if that is the case, maybe you could not have really afforded it in the first place. Why would someone want to spend the majority of their day driving in a beater? I love my long commutes in my m3 and then also using it for fun. Miles are miles, big deal. If you are worried about gas mileage for a 20 mile commute than probably this was too much car for you.

Not sure I even get the question as it does not make much sense.

+1 I will never understand walking to a beater in the morning while a beautiful M just sits there rotting away. Not driving a car is just as bad as beating that crap out of it all day. Cars are meant to be DRIVEN. I have friends who do this and I find it odd. At least I enjoy my car every single day!
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      11-05-2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Tanglewood View Post
Supercharger or Beater Car?

Granted I'd like the beater car to be much less than the supercharger (i.e. $5k -$10k range), but if a supercharger is attainable do you go for it?

My car is a 2011 with moderate miles (22k). I was planning on selling it in a few years and upgrading to something a little more next-level, but for now I crave some more power.

However, I think my daily back-and-forth to and from work (only a 12mi commute) would be better served in a car that gets better mileage, can be beat on, and that I can use to shuffle my dog around. Plus if I went 4WD (Subaru?), I would not need to put snows on the M3 anymore (although I do love being the only guy out in a winter storm in an M3).

I HATE putting my dog in my M3 (I use 3-4 towels/blankets whenever I do), so I usually use my girlfriends SUV for those instances. But she works full-time also, so her car is not always available.

So what would YOU do? This is a general question and I'm looking for general answers based on the situation. Supercharger, or cheap-ish beater?

Please don't tell me to A)give you the money or B)invest the money.... This is about supercharger vs. beater car!

Anyone else had to make this kind of decision?

EDIT: I realize this is neither 'General' or something that would be considered a 'Dilemma' =)

after reading through your "wants" and "needs" in a car, it seems like you should sell the M altogher and buy a Toyota or a Subaru!
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      11-05-2012, 05:20 PM   #9
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I just had a VF540 supercharger installed 2 weeks ago. The car has come alive and I don't remember what it was like before I got it. Its fun as hell and you don't need bigger brakes. I do have bigger wheels/tires though and still lose traction from a dead stop. However on the roll it holds the road and pins you to the back of your seat. Before I had the supercharger I would always make excuses why I don't need one - "the car is powerful enough without it", blah blah blah. Boy was I wrong. With the supercharger the car has come to life, and its very driveable normally as well.

On the other hand I already have a daily driver aside from the M3 so I can go back and forth if need be. With that being said I find myself driving the M3 a lot more now that its supercharged - its just too damn fun! That's my 2 cents having both perspectives.
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      11-05-2012, 05:30 PM   #10
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I think you deserve both
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      11-05-2012, 06:06 PM   #11
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wants or need? practical or impractical? Well I don't drive my car everyday as many use it as a daily driver and to each their own. My M is a weekend car at best and not even that! If you only have the "M' I would say get a beater! Having at least 2 cars affords you some flexibility. Sure a SC would be fun we would all love to have one of those but whatís best for your needs?? I have a Tahoe which I throw my dog in all the time and don't care where I park or drive it! It sucks in gas mileage but itís also not my commuter! I will have my "M" for awhile so not putting a bunch of miles on it will definitely help on the resale of it one day. Always weigh the pros and cons of any decisions! I'm somewhat biased as I have a few cars too many plus a motorcycle! Plus having something like a Subaru that is 4wd and you can throw you dog into is priceless..
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      11-05-2012, 06:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muccels View Post
I have a Tahoe which I throw my dog in all the time and don't care where I park or drive it!
This is a plus! I guess I take for granted that I already have another car too. The truck goes where I don't want the M going.
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      11-05-2012, 09:23 PM   #13
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So, I just ordered my BSB, and should have it by the end of the month. That being said, I am keeping my previous car, since I assume that there are things that I will not want to expose my new ride to . . . Additionally, life is short, so why not both???
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      11-05-2012, 09:38 PM   #14
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I have no interest in beater cars so I would supercharge the M3. If you enjoy driving beater cars, sell your M3 and drive beater cars. My dog goes in the back. My tools go in the trunk. Snow tires go on in the winter. It gets parked outside. It is just a car, although a nice one. If I did not drive it, I would not want it.
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      11-05-2012, 09:53 PM   #15
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Beater car...being practical is going out the way of the dinosaurs these days.
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      11-05-2012, 09:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munit View Post
I don't understand people who don't want to daily drive their m3. I feel if that is the case, maybe you could not have really afforded it in the first place. Why would someone want to spend the majority of their day driving in a beater? I love my long commutes in my m3 and then also using it for fun. Miles are miles, big deal. If you are worried about gas mileage for a 20 mile commute than probably this was too much car for you.

Not sure I even get the question as it does not make much sense.
There's a good reason to have a beater.
1) He mentions he has a dog. I've got a Labrador that sheds like crazy. He doesn't ride along that often, but when I do, I hate that he's in my mint interior. I have trained him to sit on the floorboard though
2) Right now, my E30 is out of commission while I work on it. If I drove my M3 downtown and had to leave it overnight, it'd be lying if I told you I wouldn't worry about my car.

Sure it's "only" a car, but it's a car that I plan on keeping for double digit years if I can. Nothing wrong with splitting the mileage with another car if you can afford it. Besides, when I think beater car, it doesn't necessarily mean it has be a beat up Honda Civic.

Personally I was looking at E38's (ok so this prob won't fly), an E39 Touring, a Subaru Legacy GT wagon or a Volvo V70R. They are no M's, but hardly Hyundai Elantra boring either.
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      11-05-2012, 10:07 PM   #17
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I just picked up a nice subie for 3 grand. Why not get a 535 kit and and beater?
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      11-05-2012, 10:27 PM   #18
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I don't think he out just to get a "beater" car correct me if I'm wrong. It sounds like thats what he is budgeting for. Unless you have a job where you don't mind taking public transportation what happens when your car goes into the shop for any amount of time. I guess its a rental. I myself hate dealing with rentals I rather just have an extra car. Practical you say is going out the door? yeah we've seen what happens when people aren't practical. They over refinance their house, spend money like crazy then lose most everything they had and are always broke! Whatever you choose just try to make wise financial decision for just not today but for tomorrow too.
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      11-05-2012, 10:28 PM   #19
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Buy a supercharger and a dog blanket and you won't look back in the
rear view mirror!! You guys make it sound like the extra horses are
a burden, seriously?! It's too much fun and the way ///M should be.
Enjoy every opportunity to drive. I'd rather beat on my M than drive a beater.
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      11-05-2012, 10:31 PM   #20
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Personally I wouldnt do the supercharger but I dont really care for power.

I would drive it daily and sell it in a few years for something new, just my 2cents.

In this case between beater and SC, id get the beater for winter.
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      11-05-2012, 11:00 PM   #21
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Beater. You can have so much fun with a beater hahaha
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      11-05-2012, 11:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3an View Post
+1 I will never understand walking to a beater in the morning while a beautiful M just sits there rotting away. Not driving a car is just as bad as beating that crap out of it all day. Cars are meant to be DRIVEN. I have friends who do this and I find it odd. At least I enjoy my car every single day!
Because some wanna keep their cars looking nice and not road rashed to shit..good for you that you daily drive yours...dont hate on those who dont.

OP get a beater..best to use for your crap errands where you dont wanna risk your M3 getting messed with
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