Anyone that has a new (2009-2012) BMW ignore this. Anyone out of the warranty period, read on: I had an E36 325i 1993. My mechanic told me when I bought it straight up: There are things on this car that I either do not have the equipment to fix, or the knowledge. I had it for 5 years. The only problem with my mechanic? When they changed my brakes, my brake light stayed on, despite having 100% fresh brakes. They failed to instal the sensor wire/connector correctly. Whatever, I could live with it. I destroyed the car. I got it (instead of a replacement sportbike) after a guy made an illegal turn and destroyed my Yamaha YZF-R1. I pushed it to the limits, and beat the crap out of it until it finally had enough. It had lasted 5 years longer than any other car would've. And with minor investment, it could've went on. Fast forward to my latest purchase. an E38 7-series. Day 1, I washed it. Of course I would've washed it more carefuly had I known about the Electronics Box (back left under hood) was clogged and flooded the wiper relays. After 12 days at an Independent BMW Mechanic, I told him just to rig it. He did, and my wipers now operated with a toggle switch they didn't even bother to mount, hanging freely by the shifter. Strike 1 No big deal. I was still in the nicest car available in 1995, other than a Rolls or whatever. And rolling better than 99% of the 2013 cars out there. I could live with a wiper toggle switch. I was adding coolant. Not much at all. Topping off every 2-3 weeks. It never even triggered the dash computer message to Check Coolant. Then I saw white smoke, after about 3 months. Kept driving, topped off coolant the next morning. 2 hours later, the white smoke was back, and this time, the temp guage started going to about 75% (normal is straight up and down 50%). I pull off. Tow car to the dealer. Strike 2 The BMW Dealer calls to say there are 3 things leaking. I said to fix the main leak (aka white smoke, tow truck leak, not the mini ones I added for 4-5 times a month). I asked what the worst was, The Main Hose. I figured it was the one spraying from behind the engine or something. They get the part. Call me. I get 1.5 miles from the dealership, white smoke. "Oh he must've spilled coolant topping off, i will just burn it off." 1/2 a mile later, temp gauge goes to 60%, I pull off. Call dealer. I ask what hose was replaced (I detailed under the hood, so I couldn't look for the "new shiny hose among the old dusty ones". They replaced the 13" one (two hose clamps, $30 part, and NOT what was the main leak). $405 At this point I am furious. It's one thing to spend $405 to fix a $30 part/4 minute repair. But to not even make it home? My main reason to freak out? They never test drove it, warmed up, under pressure (at least 2 miles) or else their tech would've broke down, not me!!!!!! Strike 3 I am done. I sell the car to a wrecker that argued the car wasn't 4000 pounds. Scrap is per 100 pounds. "That is like 2 chevy cavaliers!" he said. "It's a big car, a 740iL, like a mini-limo." No way, he said. I get owners manual "Yeah, you are right, it's not 4000 lbs, it's 4140 (or whatever the manual said)!" I said. He came and got it. Yes I know i could've got more on craigslist, but I wanted to avoid someone rebuilding it, and the headaches that would ensue, either dealer experiences, or electronics etc. I did someone a favor... The Service Advisor talks of a Refund. 3 seperate ones actually. But the repair and labor is an issue. I say I never made it home, I want some of that money too, no one test drove my car. A week later no call, no check. As promised by that Friday... Strike 4 Friday comes, I can't even get the advisor/manager in service on the phone. I go up in person. Service advisor says "honestly, the manager doesn't want to budge." I let a few f words fly, and tell him I will talk to the Service Manager. I am not scared of anyone. They escort me to a more isolated area. After explaining myself and 60 minutes of things like "We can't assure a repair for 500 miles." etc etc I say "It wasn't 500 miles, it wasn't even 5 miles, I overheated 2 miles away at the high school. No one f***ing test drove my car." Strike 5 At this point, I am mf-ing and f-ing up a storm. I don't care if it was a Ferrari dealer, I am not going to be bullied around. They call the general manager in and say "They will tell you what i just told you. She is a VERY nice lady that I met a few times at the dealership. I explain 90 minutes after sitting down, for the third time to the third person, my situation. 4 minutes later, she asks what I want in return, I tell her. They cut a check, I am out the door. NEVER LET ANY COMPANY PUSH YOU AROUND! That second guy did everything he could to frustrate me and basicaly his job was to get me to say "F*** THIS!" and walk out. Little did they know I wasn't leaving without a Police escort... I will get another BMW when they can train people to actually fix their cars. I imagine that Porsches and Mercedes are over engineered just as much as our BMW's. So I went back to (this may shock you, sit down...) Subaru. In the rare instances when my Subaru has failed in the past, it was never anything my regular mechanic couldn't fix. I like to drive my cars, not have to join a car club to save 15% on parts/labor, have people rig my wiper relays with a toggle switch instead, etc etc etc. Car for car brand new, can my Subarus hang with my BMWs if they had 10 miles on them each? No. The 325i was a precision rocket, and the 7 was an amazing ride. And my first V8. No redlining for power, 1000 rpm, uphill, 1st gear, 3rd gear, it just pulled. Very cool and worth the MPG penalty in my opinion. BUT, it's so nice not having to join a club, go to a dealer for most anything (and still get screwed at times on the fix) and not deal with (for example) brake light and tail light "sockets" that corrode. Way over engineered. Just use a Subaru Tail Light Design please on 2014 BMW's and up... I understand the heated wires at the wiper blade area on the front windshield In my 7... I understand the battery in the trunk passenger side (3 and 7)... I get it. But no thanks... Keep your overengineered Bulb Sockets in the trunk... Keep your $20 coolant that I *must use* or my (already fragile) cooling system will corrode. Keep all the things that make a BMW "picky and edgy" to the point that you could buy a 1985 Chevy S-10 piece of s***, and still LOVE it because you don't have to take it to a Chevy dealer at $100+ hour rates like a BMW. When BMW can fix their own cars, I might consider coming back. Or when they engineer their stuff better, so that regular mechanics can fix them, I might be back. So yeah, in other words, I am done with BMW forever. I am sure a few jaws drop when i say this, but I am going back to Subaru. Is Subaru as nice inside as my BMW's? No. But it is close enough that if the BMW dealer gave you one for a rental/repair vehicle you wouldn't "hate" it for those days. Is it going to get looks like my 3 and 7 series did? No. But that is a good thing... People are stupid, and don't realize that for the price of their Chevy Cobalt, they could've gotten 2 or maybe 3, used BMW's that would treat them well (E36 etc), so they get all weird on you. I can't expect you all to trade your M5's in on a Subaru Legacy. I get it. But, when given the choice of any car (within reason, like $115,000 and under) for my job next year: I chose Subaru. "I have a buddy that sells BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover and Porsche????!!!!!!!????" "No. Never again. Get me a Subaru base model, Legacy, Impreza or Forester... Outback, whatever... And I will get an STi if I get bored out there with my own money." To me, Porsche would be worse. Because they don't sell as many as the 3-series etc etc, so it would be even more money and more dealer dependant (how many mechanics even get a Cayman S at their shop?) etc.... Mercedes, except for a few, always seemed like they were playing catchup with BMW. Look at a 1993 E36 BMW. Now look at a 1993 Mercedes C-Class. It looks like it is out of the 60's or 70's... Anyway, I love the BMWCCA. Not just for tech advice etc, but for the race and autocross type extras, and Club Events and hell, just the people are cool that I have met. But if I want speed, i will get another Yamaha R1. Mine was a 2000, and was 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, 9.97 second 1/4 mile stock. Even the lovable M3 can't hang. Hold your R1000 or whatever that BMW sportbike is comments... I could get an R1 for each day of the week for that price, because that 1000R or whatever didn't even come out until 2008 or so. And I already described my Subaru love for 4-wheels. It's not the money. I could've had a free Bimmer next year. It's what i am willing to endure. The Ultimate Driving Machine? Yes. The worst dealer network/maintainance/service? Yes, that too. $100+ an hour labor? Yup. No thanks. May as well pee that money away in a boat or plane purchase. lol I am done. For good. When i get that itch to have a BMW again in 2018, I will just remember the botched 7-series repairs, and even the slight E36 nuances of maintainance, that made them the Ultimate Annoying Machines. Anyway, best wishes to all and i wish you better luck than I had with repair people's knowledge etc.