OK, so you’re at the car dealer and there are two different warranties that may apply to a pre-owned BMW. The first is a Certified Pre-Owned Warranty which is only available through an actual BMW Dealer. This warranty comes ‘free’ when you buy a Certified Pre-Owned BMW. The second is an Extended Warranty which is available from what I call ‘B-Dealers’ and it is issued by a private company not owned by BMW. These warranties can be a good thing and you can make them work for you. But here are some basic things you need to know before getting all excited about the fact that you are ‘covered.’
The Certified Pre-Owned BMW comes with the Certified Pre-Owned Warranty, which in most cases will cover you up to 8 years or 100k miles and is a pretty decent warranty. It better be, because you paid a lot for it. Compare the purchase price of your CPO car with that of a non-CPO car with the same year and mileage. You’ll notice that you probably spent over $2000 more to get a CPO car. What exactly is so great about a CPO car?? Nothing. It is most likely a lease return that they detail and do an oil change on and then re-introduce it as a CPO car. It probably goes through some sort of ‘146 point check’ which again means nothing. So in essence a CPO car is just a BMW with a warranty built into the purchase price. It’s a pretty decent warranty, but it will only fix things when they break. You also must take the car to a BMW Service Center to have it repaired, which means that in San Diego you’ll be able to bring it in in about 3 weeks from the time you call. For our customers that have a CPO Warranty, we try to find as much items in need of repair as we can and give this list to them. That way they can plan ahead to bring their car to BMW and have those items fixed under warranty. I think the most important thing you can do with a CPO warranty is to have someone look at the car frequently in order to maximize what you have already paid for.
The Extended Warranty is probably the better option. It allows you to go to any service center to have the work performed as long as the service center accepts extended warranties. In San Diego, we do a fair amount of extended warranty work on BMWs. This warranty program is issued through a private company and you may or may not want to sign on the dotted line when you buy that used BMW. Unlike extended warranties for electronics and appliances, these warranties can be great, but you need to buy correctly. If you decide to purchase the warranty, make sure that you understand the terms and that there is not an extreme amount of fine print. More importantly, buythe most expensive package that the warranty company offers. Time after time I see customers with BMWs in San Diego hand me their warranty info only to find out that ‘that item isn’t covered’ because they opted for the ‘gold’ package instead of the ‘platinum.’ So buy the most coverage that you can as it is usually those extra little items that fail and not the engine or transmission.
Making your money back on the warranty is probably the most satisfying thing you can achieve. How can this be done?? First, don’t buy it if you don’t need it. Many BMWs will not benefit from an extended warranty. As a general rule we say that an extended warranty is good for the following cars – X5, X3, 740i, 740il, 745i, 745li, 750i, 760li, 540i, 545i, etc, etc. Any BMW with a V8 engine or any of the X-series cars are good candidates for an extended warranty. These cars need a lot of maintenance and the warranty will cover a lot of it. Most 3-series cars and 5-series cars with the in-line 6 cylinder engine are pretty damn reliable, and they never seem to recoup the money that was spent on the warranty. So I generally don’t recommend that you buy one for those cars unless you are really paranoid about a failing transmission.
In the world of auto warranties, my best advice is to get the best coverage you can, and have a clear understanding as to what is covered and what isn’t. Find a BMW service center that can make the warranty work for you and help you maximize your purchase. Another way to maximize your warranty coverage is to ask your BMW mechanic if there are additional items that could be replaced that aren’t covered, but are items that would have over-lapping labor. For instance, if your water pump fails and the warranty covers it, pay for a thermostat or new belts out of pocket as the labor is pretty much paid for by your warranty. I wouldn’t get too excited about having a CPO warranty, nor would I pay extra for the car because it’s a CPO. Instead, I would opt for the cheaper price at a ‘B-dealer’ and add on the extended warranty — but only if it’s appropriate for the BMW your are purchasing.
5836 Autoport Mall
San Diego CA 92121
This was really helpful. I am looking at purchasing from a ‘B-Dealer’ It is a 330xi and still has the 50,000/4 Year warranty and appears to be in great shape. I know you mentioned the 3-Series remain to be reliable cars, but what about the AWD system? Have you seen it have problems? Would you recommend purchasing the extended warranty after the 50,000/4 year expires?
I have never experienced any problems with the current AWD systems for the X5 or the 330xi produced after 1999. Keep in mind however that in San Diego, those cars are limited as there is not much need to have the AWD.
That said, I haven’t heard of any problems with it in general from any of my ‘shop friends’ across the nation.
I’d put that warranty money in a decent mutual fund . . .
Good Luck and enjoy the car.
Great write up on extended warranties.
I am considering buying an 05 BMW 645 or an 06 650 convertible with low miles (under 25K). What would you recommend on the extended warranty front? I understand that BMW offers an “Extended Warranty” as well a “Maintence Warranty”. The Maintence Warranty is about $2300 are covers all maintence items for the sooner of 2 years or up to 100K miles. It is my understanding the Extended Warranty is about $3,600, on top of the Maintence Warranty.
Also, is there a particular Extended Warranty that you think is a strong one?
Thanks in advance,
For your situation there are a few things to consider:
1. How long will you keep the 645/650? If you typically keep a car for only a few years, don’t get any additional warranty as these cars have minimal issues over the first 6 years/60k miles. If you are serious about keeping this car, I would get the extended warranty. Make sure that it is transferrable in case you change your mind and decide to sell the car at some point.
2. The maintenance warranty issued by BMW makes great financial sense . . . but only for them, which is why they push it. I seriously doubt that you’ll accumulate $2300 in ‘service’ over the two years. This warranty typically does not cover a whole lot, and can only be redeemed at a BMW dealership.
3. Most of the extended warranty companies are great to deal with as long as your service center has experience in working with them. I’d almost bet that they all use a similar ‘back office’ that handles claims as the process is extremely similar from company to company.
Like I said, if you obtain an extended warranty, get the maximum coverage or nothing at all. The key to all of this is to make your warranty money back and then some.
Good article – good advice. It’s very refreshing to see someone say “don’t buy a warranty for this type of car.”
The advice I always give about extended warranties is to only buy one if you can’t afford to fix a major repair.
This is going to offend some people reading this blog, but I’ve got to say it: If you’re buying a BMW, you sure ought to be able to afford a major repair.
However, if you’re looking for a little piece of mind, then it’s a good idea on any car.
Still, I think that extended warranties for BMW should come with a note that says “If you need this, you’re buying the wrong type of car.”
What if you have bought a new 2005 330xi and got the 50,000 warranty…its about up to 50,000, so you want to extend it to the 100,000. Can I just buy an extended warranty, or do I have to sell it back to the dealer so they can certify it as pre-owned and sell it back to me with the extended? Whats the best play here?
The dealer is now offering an extended service warranty. I’d advise against this as it does not include much for what you would pay. Of the two options an extended warranty with maximum coverage would be best. However, I don’t feel as though an extended warranty is money well spent on that car as there aren’t many expensive repairs to be had in the first 100k miles.
You would simply be paying for peace of mind; I’m not sure if that is worth the cost of an extended warranty . . .
I recently bought a used 2005 BMW 330ci — 25k miles but only a few months left on the 4 year warranty.
I had the car in this weeks for a repair under the warranty and now I am wondering — should I purchase the extended warranty from the dealer?
I will probably drive less than 7k miles per year, so it will take 7 years before I reach 100k miles.
Advice please! Is the cost of the extended warranty negotiable with the dealer? If so, what is a fair price?
I would stay away for an sort of extended service/warranty plan in your case, unless you are able to get an unlimited time frame up to 100k miles. Even then, on a 3-series you just don’t get the money back. Since you aren’t driving many miles per year, the repairs and service that you will require will be based mostly on age of the car.
If you have any questions let me know, but I would buy a nice TV before the extended warranty on your 3 series. The general rule for extended warranties is if you have 8 cylinders or more, get a warranty. Otherwise, you’ll never see that money again.
i just to clarify this. today im am buying my 05 X5 with 49982 miles, should i buy the maintence plan & is this plan only limited to oil changes, rotors, tunes up, & the minors?
thanks in advance for your suggestions!!!
Don’t get the maintenance plan, not unless it’s $500 or less, tehn it would be worth it. Good luck and enjoy the car!
Hi I am considering purchasing a 05 325 convertible 42K – so I dont’ normally drive more than 10K a year however things could change – what are you seeing as the major problems with this model or a convertible in general? I am single – and was considering a honda accord coupe for reliability but I just turned in my lease 04 clk 500 convertible and hate to give up that “top down” feeling.
For a 2005 BMW 325 convertible I wouldn’t even consider an extended warranty. The car will need to have a major cooling system service performed at 7years/70k miles that will cost around $1300. See my post regarding this here. Unfortunately most extended warranties will only cover about $500 of this service.
The Accord would definitly be more reliable, and much cheaper to maintain. But it’s an Accord. . .
Hope this helps.
La Jolla Independent BMW Service in San Diego
What would you recommend on a ’06 530XIT with very very low mileage that has a few months left on the manufacturers warranty, and no where near the 50k limit.
The car is not a BMW CPO’d car. Is it smart to get one of the extended warranties?
If you can get into a warranty that is full coverage for under $1500 it would be worth considering. But only if it is the top line full coverage warranty that is offered. If it were just a 530i I would say no, but you might encounter problems with the tailgate and there is always a bit of concern on the all-wheel drive components. But I still think that a warranty for this car might not be the best financial decision. If you do get a warranty, make sure it has unlimited time for the mileage allowance as you are not putting a lot of miles on the car.
I pretty much disagree with this article. I’ve owned 3 very expensive BMWs… all 1-3 years old when purchased.
1997 M3 Lux Edition – 3 yrs old at 54k miles. CPO warranty and extended maintenance plan. Warranty was used as was maint. Warranty covered a broken power steering hose and flat tire within one week of purchase. Never needed it again. Kept car to 105k miles at which water pump needed replacement and interior dash lights were starting to go. However, later I understand that this model suffered from rear shock mount problems… warranty would have covered that.
2003 M3 – Factory CPO 10 year (engine only) warranty. Didnt ever require warranty work. Again, this car suffered from rear shock mount problems (frame) and SMG issues which are covered under warranty. Otherwise, bend over.
2005 X5 3.0 sport – Paid extra for Plan B warranty. Company went bust last year. BMW will not honor it. Come to find out, I could have paid 1k more for a BMW warranty and coverage at all BMW dealerships.
Now, if given the choice between Extended Service and BMW CPO warranty, id pick the service plan… but it would depend on how many miles were on the car and what kind of car it is.
Saying that the 6cyl cars are more reliable is ridiculous. In fact, they are strained more than most the 8cyl BMW engines. Lets not even start with the twin turbo motors which run much hotter than 8cyls. The engines are not the problem anyway… it is the add on parts. X drive, VANOS, window regulators, sunroom mechanisms, XENONs that cost the big bucks to repair.
Dont buy a BMW and expect it to be a Toyota. Put proper gas in it and keep it maintained and you will be very very happy.
I think the author has no idea about BMWs in my opinion…. and every BMW service center is different. I only have to call in the day before service… dont have to wait 3 weeks. Check your facts man.
Allow me to address some of your points/concerns about my article on the extended warranties:
On the 1997 M3, you said that you used the CPO and Extended maintenance plan for a flat tire and a power steering hose and then never used it again. On that car I would guess that those repairs would have amounted to under $500 depending on the type of tire, as well as which hose had failed. On average, in San Diego, a CPO car is at least $2000 more than an equitable car with the same mileage. In this case, assuming that the CPO and extended warranties aren’t free in your area, those warranties did not pay off for you while you owned the car.
2003 M3 – As you said, you never were able to cash in on the warranty. It was money you paid for but never got back. Now on all M cars I feel as though a warranty is a decent idea even if you don’t make the money back. In the world of M cars, M means money and when major components fail it is big bucks. Currently on my e39 M5, I’ll be needing a Vanos unit on my left bank and the list price for the part alone is over $2500. Unfortunately I was unable to get an extended warranty at the time of purchase, otherwise it would have paid off big time.
2003 X5 – As I state in my article, I do recommend a warranty for this car. Unfortunately you had some bad luck with that particular warranty company. Getting the CPO warranty is a good idea for any of the X cars for certain. They have issues particular to the all-wheel drive that are chronic and costly to repair. I recommend a warranty for X cars regardless of which engine is under the hood.
“Paid extra for Plan B warranty. Company went bust last year. BMW will not honor it. Come to find out, I could have paid 1k more for a BMW warranty and coverage at all BMW dealerships.
Now, if given the choice between Extended Service and BMW CPO warranty, id pick the service plan… but it would depend on how many miles were on the car and what kind of car it is.”
This shows again just how confusing these warranties can be. From your comments it seems that you wish you had gotten the BMW CPO Warranty due to your experience with the Plan B warranty on the X5, but then you state that given the chance you would go with the Extended Warranty and not the BMW CPO warranty. If by ‘Extended Service’ you mean the BMW Extended Service plan, that is a different topic altogether. Each warranty and car has its own set of issues that will make an extended warranty a better idea than CPO coverage or vise-versa. It is very important to read the fine print and coverage will vary depending on where you live and where the warranty is issued.
“Saying that the 6cyl cars are more reliable is ridiculous. In fact, they are strained more than most the 8cyl BMW engines. Lets not even start with the twin turbo motors which run much hotter than 8cyls. The engines are not the problem anyway… it is the add on parts. X drive, VANOS, window regulators, sunroom mechanisms, XENONs that cost the big bucks to repair.”
6cyl cars are, in fact, much more reliable and much cheaper to fix than their 8 cylinder counterparts. This is a fact. Any BMW Technician with over 5 years of experience will attest to this. The 8 cylinder cars have various problems with power steering, coolant leaks, oil leaks, etc. all of which are extremely expensive to remedy. You are correct that the core of engines are usually not the problem, aside from the early V8 engines that had the nikasil issues. I recommend that individuals obtain the highest level of coverage available as the entry-level warranties only cover basic engine and drivetrain issues.
“I think the author has no idea about BMWs in my opinion…. and every BMW service center is different. I only have to call in the day before service… dont have to wait 3 weeks. Check your facts man.”
Keep in mind that the frustrations with the BMW dealers are particular to San Diego in many cases. These appointment issues have been conveyed to me by dozens of customers, which is why I said “in San Diego”. Some of my experiences will be particular to the San Diego area as my “about’ section describes. This blog is intended to help those in the BMW Community learn from the experiences I’ve had throughout my career. If you are looking for a BMW professional that has all the answers, you’ll have more luck finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. I see thousands of BMWs a year, 6 days a week, about 11 hours a day, coming up on 10 years. I think I’ve got a pretty decent pulse on BMWs, but that is not to say that I won’t get a head-scratcher here and there.
Take Care and I hope you continue to enjoy BMWs as much as I.
La Jolla Independent BMW Service
i’m considering 2007 X5 3.0si with around 20k miles on it with the following pkgs: Sports, Premium, Technology, Cold Weather, Rear Climate Control. I’ve looked at couple of them (CPO and non-CPO) and here are my questions i was hoping you could answer:
1) I noticed significant price differences (non-CPO being 2k to 4k less). Keeping in mind they all have the same options. Is it worth it to get the CPO which has 2 yrs extended warranty or just get the Non-CPO with extended warranty from third party (not sure how much extended warranty would cost, but probably a lot less than CPO’d)?
2) Would you happen to know the difference in drive between Sport pkg vs non-sport and be able to elaborate a little? I basically prefer a smoother ride and not sure if “sport pkg” is for me.
3) Since 07’s are the first generation of the new shape, are there any problems with those vehicles that you may know off (i.e. electric etc)?
4) What’s kind of maintenance cost am i looking at, specially if i plan to keep this vehicle for 5yrs or so (i.e. $1000 a year)?
Any help, direction would be appreciated!
My car was purchased CPO (it was a 3 year old E46 wagon when I bought it).
I probably DID make use of the extra $2k — heck I probably came close just in window regulators 🙂
Of course, the transmission failure that I was indeed worried about (reverse in my ZF auto) happened a few months after the CPO warranty ran out….
Hi, I have a 325xi BMW that has 67,000 miles on it. I am the second owner and since I’ve had it, I’ve had to replace the front bushings and a temperature gauge. I am looking at purchasing an aftermarket warranty for 3k that will give me 4yrs, 48000 miles. I am wondering now, however if this is a good ides. Can you advise?
I wuldn’t get that warranty. It is very overpriced for that car. As I’ve said before, your car is actually pretty reliable. Aside from the cooling system replacement, and little things here and there, you won’t have much trouble with this car unless it is a lemon of some sort. I don’t feel as though you’ll be able to claim $3k in repairs that are covered over this time period. Good Luck witht he car!
I am planning to purchase a 2006 M5 with 45000 miles from non-BMW dealers. The car is in very good condition and has clean title. It is still under warranty, can I buy an Extended BMW Service/Warranty or have the car CPO’d?
Are there any issues I should check with this M5?
You will not be able to have this car CPO’d. Typically a CPO car can only be purchased from a BMW dealer. I would definitely purchase an extended warranty and get the most coverage you can for this M5. There are a few things that should be checked but you’ll want to take it to a qualified BMW repair facility to check it out before purchase.
I am interested in purchasing a 2005 525 BMW WITH ABOUT 58,000 miles. It is a CPO and I was wondering if I should purchase an extended warranty from BMW or look for a 3rd party warranty company. Their quote is about 3200 which is for the platinum package and it extends 48000miles/4 years. What do you think?
I wouldn’t purchase the warranty, mainly because I really do not feel as though you’ll make that money back in repairs. Do have the car checked out beforehand to make certain there are no current repairs needed before purchase.
I have a 2006 BMW 525i, 33k miles. The car warranty will be expired on Sept.30. The car is in good condition and I drive the car for pleasure only. Do you think I need to purchase extended warranty for this car. It costs me $2800+tax for another three years or 75000 miles. Thanks.
I wouldn’t get the warranty for your car. I just do not feel as though you are going to recoup $2800 worth of claims over the next 3 years. Currently you are driving about 11,000 miles per year which will set-up an expiration date of 3 years from now at about 66k miles. If you want the piece of mind that the warranty delivers, that is understood, but in your case it really isn’t worth it.
On the M5, what type of issues should I check. Also, if I purchase from a BMW dealer instead, can I have it CPO’d?
What types of issues should I be watching out for on my new to me 04 545i w/sportpackage? I purchased it with 52k, it now has 62k. I generally put between 9-10k on my car per year with a mix of city and highway driving. Would you recommend an extended warranty in my case?
Hi SD BMW,
I just purchased a 2006 750Li, 21k miles, car is CPO’d. A couple of questions for you:
1) The dealer never mentioned any extended warranties, so I’m assuming that you have to find them somewhere else. It sounds like it would be a good idea since the 750 is 8 cylinders. Do you agree, or is this model generally pretty reliable? If not, can you direct me where to look for the extended warranties?
2) What should I have in my hands to show that the car is CPO’d? The dealer said they’d get me a service history to show that. Is that enough, or should I be asking for something else?
I recently purchased a certified pre-owned 2006 X3 with 48K miles from a local BMW dealership. Is it worth purchasing the extended warranty program (2 years or 50,000 miles) for $1900 thru BMW?
It is important to look at the details of the warranty itself. Also, how long have they covered you under hte CPO warranty? If your CPO warranty covers you until 100k, I don’t see the need to get an extended warranty on top of that. If the $1900 warranty is the ‘extended service agreement’ DO NOT purchase it. Unfortunately the extended service agreement will only get you a few oil changes and a set of brakes.
Check what is covered under the CPO vs. the Extended Warranty and see if the gaps that are filled by the extended warranty make it a smart purchase.
Thanks for the quick reply. The CPO Limited Warranty covers a wide range of vehicle components, including the engine, powertrain,
electrical system, climate control and more. So basically the major engine components? The BMW Maintenance Program Upgrade ($1900) would cover the 60K service, brakes, oil over the 50K miles. Since I have not had a BMW before, are the mechanical service prices in line with the $1900 cost? You mentioned the extended warranty is recommended on the X3.
I purchased a new 2006 BMW M3 coupe this weekend with 18k original miles. My new car has about 10 months left on the original factory BMW warranty. Since it is an M car and expensive to maintain and fix, should I purchase the following:
1) BMW CPO warranty
2) BMW extended maintenance plan
3) Tire protection plan
4) Lojack security system
I love the M3 coupe and have always wanted an M car since I had a 1996 BMW 328is coupe in the past. The BMW dealer wants 3k for the CPO warranty, 1500 for the tire protection plan and 3k for the extended maintenance plan.
PS: Say hello to Carl for me!
One thing I have noticed is that the e46 M3 seems to be pretty damn reliable and has very few issues. However, like all M cars, when something does come up it can be expensive. Let’s go through your list:
1.) 3k for the CPO warranty is a bit steep, not sure it is worth it as you might not recoup close to that in claims. Check the terms, more so for mileage limitations than time as you’ve got a low mileage car.
2.) Do not get the extended maintenance plan unless it is $500 or less. Period. $3000 is a joke.
3.) Tire protection plan. This is a new one. This is probably a bad one as well, especially at $1500. Check to see what the terms are of this plan, which tires are covered, etc. But I would say this is probably a no as well.
4.) No lojack. Chances are that if the car is stolen, you aren’t going to want it back after the perps have had their fun with it. If the lojack plan drastically reduces your car insurance it is worth looking into, otherwise don’t worry about it. If you live near the border of Mexico, definitely don’t get lojack. Last time I checked, the lojack signal drops if the car leaves the US. This may have changed, but getting a stolen car out of mexico is as fruitful as playing the lottery.
The big question is can you get an extended warranty for the car?? A warranty offered by a 3rd party insurance company? Check to see what is available, this is your better bet as more things are covered and the price and terms are usually more attractive. Give me a call if you have any questions and I’ll tell Carl hello for you.
I am shopping for a 2007 328i coupe. The ones im most interested in are the ones that are under 30k miles. Seems like the going rate for these cars is around 26k from a BMW dealer, with CPO warranty. Is it worth it for me to get my first BMW, a CPO BMW? I have never owned anything german, and i am afraid that it will be unreliable. I hope to hear from you.
In your situation you will probably find that most of the cars you are looking at will be of the CPO variety mostly due to the fact that it is a young car with low mileage. If you had two cars that were exactly the same (or close) and one had a CPO and the other did not and the price was about the same, you might as well take the CPO. Remember that a CPO car is nothing special, it is just a car with a warranty attached to it. This commands a higher price (usually). At the same time, with the economy the way it is, you are in the driver seat and should be able to get the CPO car for about the same price as a non-CPO.
That said, the 328i is pretty darn reliable for the most part. If you really want a warranty, look into an extended warranty for those cars that are not CPO. Third-party extended warranties usually cover a bit more than a CPO, plus you can take it to an unbiased shop to have them check for warranty items. Keep in mind also that extended warranty prices can be negotiated as the mark-ups are high.
La Jolla Independent BMW
Great Article and advise.
I know you have covered this in your previous replies but was still looking for your opinion. Buying a 2006 330i sport package with 58k miles. In good shape, clean carfax, from a reputable dealer. The salesman there gave me the same advice not to buy extended warranty but I have read numerous mixed opinions. Is it worth buying extended warranty on this, or any type of base warranty for that matter? I’m really not concerned about the small fixes, just mainly any large mechanical failure that is going to drain my bank account. Thanks for any advice you can proved!
Definitely no warranty for you, unless he can give it to you for $500 and the max coverage, otherwise it’ll be a waste of money on what is typically an incredibly reliable car.
La Jolla Independent BMW
Would you recommend getting an extended warranty for the 2008 535xi given that it has 2 turbos? Also when you recommend getting a warranty for the X series do you include the 2008 528xi or are you only referring to the X series SUV line? The 528xi does not have turbos and so may be cheaper to maintain/fix. Both 528xi and 528xi have about 40K miles and 4 years on them and are almost out of the original BMW standard warranty. Thanks.
I would get the warranty on the turbo car for sure. The non-turbo can be a bit of a crap shoot, and it may or may not pay off over the long run. On the non-turbo, get a warranty if the price is right and if it has active steering and sway bars. If it does not have the active steering and suspension pieces, you probably will be better off without it. It all depends on the cost of the warranty and remember to haggle with the warranty price as they are all highly marked up.
Would you recommend getting a warranty on a 2007 335i that has 30k on it? I’m looking for peace of mind but another 3 years/40k of coverage will cost about $2,000. I’ve heard the turbos may have issues but given the low mileage I’m thinking I don’t need a warranty?? Thanks.
Get the warranty. The turbos are having problems . . .
La Jolla Independent BMW
I purchased a 2007 650Ci in January. The existing warranty expires June 29, 2011 or 50Kmiles. It had 28K when I bought it – now up to 30K so at this rate I’ll drive it under 10K/year if all things remain the same. I’m in NCAL and my car is in for a recall on the brake booster as well as a service bulletin on the transmission which I called about. The service advisor told me BMW now has their own extended warranty/service warranty available. They quoted me:
$2295 – 6yr/100K – Maintenance
$3660 – 7yr/70K – Extended Vehicle Protection (Gold – no radio/nav coverage)
Prior to buying this car I had a 325Ci CPO which was totaled by a drunk driver. That car needed 2 water pumps and a new battery all before 50K but it was covered under the CPO.
My questions for you are:
1. Do you recommend the extended maintenance and service on the 650?
2. What issues have you seen in this car?
I really appreciate any comments you have.
Thanks so much,
Sorry it took me awhile to get back to you. Definitely get an extended warranty for the 650i. DO NOT get the extended service plan. Dealer prices are so inflated on service items that it portrays the extended plan to be a good deal (it’s not).
While the 650i has been more reliable and less prone to oil leaks than the 645i, it is bound to have the same issues around the 80k mile mark and that is when the car will become extremely expensive to maintain.
I really appreciate your response. The extended warranty as quoted would only extend my existing warranty 3 years or up to 70K (I’d guestimate my usage will only get me up to 60K miles tops over the additional 3 years). Given that info would you still recommend going for the extended warranty for $3660 or do you think the car would be relatively reliable within that range? Of course I realize anything could happen.
Thanks so much,
Hi, i have a 2007 335i coupe that i purchased in oct. 2010 and my warranty has expired. The bmw service center told me that there is a recall on this particular car which is free of charge. But he also told me that it need to get a few more things done like a brake pads/rotors changed, among others things that will jack up the price up to $1400. So should i purchase a warranty from CARCHEX.COM for $2600? does the warranty cover the turbos, since it will cover transmission?
Thanks in advance,
I do recommend that you purchase an extended warranty. My best advice is to read through the article again and carefully review the terms of any extended warranty to make sure that things such as the turbos are covered in the policy.
Wow, this thread dates back to Jul 2008. Thank you Chris for providing such great advice over the years!
I am looking to buy an ’08 535i manual. I have identified two primary candidates. Both cars are almost fully loaded unless noted below:
(A) 30k miles CPO, well-established BMW dealer, warranty expires 8/12: @ $35,500
(B) 46k miles non-CPO, no Navigation, independent non-BMW dealer, warranty expires 1/12: @ $27,500
From reading your previous replies, I am assuming an extended warranty of some kind is recommended for the twin-turbo. My gut feeling is that the $8,000 difference in price tag more than covers for the difference in mileage, options, and warranty (assuming 3rd party extended warranty for (B) costs around $2-3k and it’s better than the CPO warranty anyway). What do you think?
Hmmmm . .. . .
Which do you like better?? Is the one 8k better, or is it like 3k better?? Remember you never get a ‘good deal’ when you buy used at the dealer.
If you like the 46k car, I would ask them to quote you on a high level warranty for the car and go from there.
Should I try to buy the extended warranty from the dealer or should I look into one on my own? What are the differences really?
I do like the first one better. Considering BMW is running a CPO financing promotion which will take ~$1500 off the $8k, this is making it an even tougher choice.
Yeah I know. I really hate to pay that sales tax but it is very difficult to find a stick shift from a private seller, let alone one with the right options.
I took my 2005 X5 to the dealer last Friday for a regular maintenance service. They call back today and said that the Thrust arm bushings are not covered and the warped rotors are also not covered at this juncture because my brake pads are still good. I original conplain was the steering wheel shake a lot when I try to brake fast & hard. They also recommanded a wheel alingnment. Any comments regarding this issue?
Since these services are not covered under CPO warranty, the charges are $736.78 for new front brake rotors & pads, and the control arm bushings are $548.20 plus $199.95 for whell alignment. I decided to declined all & wanted to check into this warranty business a little further.
Where are you located. Good job on not approving. You’ll actually need more work than what they quoted, but it’ll cost you less if you get to the right people.
Let me know where you are in the US and I can recommend a shop.
I am SERIOUSLY impressed with sandiego BMW and their customer-centric approach. What an awesome service you guys are providing!!
Here is my question: I am looking at a CPO ’08 335i Convertible w/ around 47k miles on it. I plan to put about 30k/year on it. Wanted to know whether you think I needed to:
– Purchase an extended BMW maintenance?
– Purchase an extended BMW warranty beyond the CPO warranty of +2 years/50k miles (not even sure this exists beyond 100k miles total)?
Since I will be driving so much, I worry a bit about putting a ton of miles on this car and having to pay for expensive repairs a few years down the line. I would like to keep it in great shape for the next 3-4 years/another 100-120k miles or so. Any thoughts on what the most cost effective approach here would be?
Also, unrelated to warranties, but any thoughts on how frequently the runflats need to be changed? Want to make sure the dealer has a relatively fresh pair on this car before I buy it…
Try to find an extended warranty with unlimited mileage for 4 years. Harder to find but they are out there. Stay away from any warrant offered by BMW; make sure it is a third-party provider.
As far as run-flats go, they are horrible. If you aren’t prone to flat tires, I would ditch them and get real tires on the car. They are expensive, they do not handle well, and they will only help you with a minor flat such as a nail in the tire.
Thanks for the info Chris. Any suggestions on where to find one of these warranties? I haven’t seen a 4/yr unlimited warranty anywhere. Lots of scammy stuff out there. Any advice would be great!
thanks for being here….the issue is pretty simple: I have a 2007 525i CPO with extended warranty. All sorts of warning and message lights went off last Friday night when I started the car….Transmissin fault, service engine soon, etc. and then they would go off, and on when I restarted, etc. I am in Los Angeles but live in San Diego. The local dealership tells me I need a new battery (okay, it is a 2007), and also a ‘software upgrade’…total…about $900. Now this seems just a little bit steep…your thoughts?
Very Steep Dean. Give me a call if you like, I can do all the same stuff for about 1/3 the price as long as there are no other issues.
La Jolla Independent BMW
Great Blog and super advice you are dishing out too. I’m thinking about getting a ’08 X5 4.8i with about 65K mls on the clock – The guy is telling me it’s still under warranty but the carfax say warranty likely expired?! I was wondering if you had any thoughts on how much trouble they are likely to give in the next two years? I’ll probably part with her after that. Any good advice on a warranty appreciated.
Thanks a lot,
Get an extended warranty for sure. Based on the mileage you’re in for some costly repairs over the next 15k miles. Don’t be surprised that in the next 2 years you spend about 5k in repairs and maintenance. The warranty will also help sell the car when you are ready to move on.
Thanks Chris, really appreciate the quick response, I’ll get the warranty – I was confused about what warranty should be in place on a 2008 under 100K mls – there should be something right?
Greetings- Thanks so much for your long enduring blog- I have a 07 335i E93 cab and am going out of warranty this week – 23k miles carefully maintained- However I want to keep an additional 3-4 years – best car I’ver ever owned- and am concerned about hartop mechanism and radio/nav/idrive. Why do you not recommend the BMW extended warrant Platinum (very pricey)? Any comments or knowledge of Fidelity which most BMW dealers in Chicago support or AAA?
I would recommend that you get an extended warranty for this car. Definitely get the highest level of coverage and Fidelity is a great company to deal with as far as ease of operation. There are always exceptions, but for the most part Fidelity has been one of the better companies to deal with. I would be more worried about the turbos than the top as there have been more issues with the former.
La Jolla Independent BMW
I have a 2008 3.0 x5 with 57,000 miles on it that I is coming off lease and I am about to buy. Does getting it certified pre-owned or buying the powertrain plus extended warranty (looks like only BMW extended warranty avail. because new car warranty expired) make more sense.
If you are going to keep the car I would purchase an extended warranty from a third-party company, NOT a BMW warranty. Also, make sure you get the max coverage and find a service facility that will maximize the warranty for you as it will pay off.
Thank you for your prompt reply. I am being quoted $4,902 for 3yr./100,000 miles of extended coverage on my BMW X5 with 57,000 miles. Does that seem high to you? Do you have an idea of what it should be approx.? Also, any thoughts on a good service facility in Bergen County NJ to use.
Thanks again for all your help.
I am the original owner of a 2008 X5 6 cylinder BMW. I have 49550 miles on it over 3 1/2 yrs. I need to decide about an extended BMW warranty and would really appreciate your opinion. I am considering the BMW platinum warranty. What would be a fair price?
Thanks for you help,
Give me a call if you like regarding this. You DO NOT want to get a warranty issued by BMW. Look for a 3rd party warranty.
Awesome blog post – and really helpful for the BMW community. Here’s my question:
2008 335xi with 17,800 miles, fully loaded except for Nav and Sport Package. Run flat tires, xenon, and so on…
Currently still under original BMW warranty until late August 2012, then the CPO warranty kicks in, which means through August 2014 to about 50,000 miles (I won’t put more than that on until 2014).
My question, is it’s AWD twin-turbo and in New England, so no 72 weather all year round and trips to the Car Museum in Balboa Park – do I buy the $2198 BMW warranty that would over the maintenance/wearable parts on top of the CPO “mechanical” warranty. Do I buy the $1497 5 yr tire replacement for the run-flats and the rims?
Please advise. I need to decide on the extended stuff the Financing department offers tomorrow morning by lunchtime PST. I am EST.
Thanks Chris for the help! Appreciate it.
Thanks for the call. Did you wind up getting the car??
Glad to find your post! We just bought a 2006 530xi wagon from a private party. The CPO expires in two months.
Couple questions for you:
1. Could you recommend a service shop in the Berkeley, CA area?
2. Can we still get an extended warrantee in this case? If so, do you have a favorite source?
1. bavpros.com/ Bavarian Professionals. they are one of the best shops in the Bay Area and close to you.
2. Check on-line for extended warranties and your options for one. You may still be able to purchase one, but you’ll have to see if the price is worth it.
La Jolla Independent BMW
Looking closely at buying a ’08 M3 with 49+ miles on it so the initial warranty is about to expire. The price doesn’t have the CPO but they offered for another 2,700 they’d add it.
1. What are your thoughts/feelings on the ’08 M3’s and their reliability for whats covered under the CPO? Do you think it’s something worth getting?
2. Any good resources on private warranties on cars like this and a listing of shops that would take them? Does the warranty allow any carshop to do the work?
Each car will display common issues over time, some small, while others can be quite concerning. Unfortunately these cars aren’t quite old enough to display anything major at this point and to be honest most of them are under warranty and we haven’t had a lot of exposure to them as of yet. Typically ‘M’ stands for money so a warranty is usually a good idea. I would go with an extended warranty over a CPO warranty and then find a local and trusted independent BMW shop that will maximize your warranty in the future.
Hi, I just bought a 2006 328i with 61,000 miles and it has a warranty that expires in 3 months? Should I get the extended warranty that they quoted me $2700 for? It lasts 2 years or 24,000 miles. I don’t know what to do. I pick up the car in 3 days and they let me think about it before I pick it up.
In my opinion, I would pass on that warranty. Your car is actually pretty reliable and my worry is that the only claim you’ll be able to make during that time will be for the electric water pump and thermostat and that should be less than $1000 installed. There are always weird circumstances and some cars that have issues, but on a whole I think you might be paying a lot for peace of mind and you’d be better off keeping that money aside for the next two years. I would recommend, if you haven’t done it already, a pre-purchase inspection to make sure that there are no current issues that need to be resolved before you purchase it.
Good Luck and enjoy the car!
La Jolla Independent BMW
Looking at a 2008 X3 with 28K miles on it, warranty expires May 2012/50K miles. Think I should get it CPO’d? 2 prior owners.
I would go in favor of an exteneded warranty in your case unless the CPO is super cheap.
In earlier post, you mention that the 650i generally are problem free until they reach 80k. Will you kindly advice what type of problem9s) one might encounter? I am looking to purchase a 2008 650i with 45K miles By the way, great advises you are offering.
The problems you could encounter are vast, but that is not to say that some aren’t relatively trouble-free. Oil leaks, coolant loss due to plastic hoses, etc. and electrical issues are usually of concern,. Unfortunately none of which are cheap to fix. If you do purchase this car I would highly recommend that you get an extended warranty.
Thanks for the information. Do you know any reputable BMW service shop in the San Gabriel Valley area?
I just purchased a 2008 328i with 35,000 miles should i purchase an extended warranty
I don’t feel as though you would benefit from an extended warranty with this car.
Have Fun with it!
I am considering a 550i 2011 with 10k miles from a dealer. Price seems reasonable, but it is not CPO. I asked why they chose not to certify it, and was told that it did not need to be certified because it is basically new and certifying would only add to cost of car. I then checked on line, and there are many comparable cars that have been certified and others that have not. Why would a dealer choose NOT to certify this car? The suspicious answer would be because there is something wrong with the car that would cost more money for them to fix during the certification process. Alternatively, their explanation may be true in that they truly do not feel a need to certify the car because it is in such good shape. Indeed, the car seems to be in great shape and carfax report is clean. However, it would be nice to have the additional 2 year warranty coverage that certification provides. Any advice? thanks
I would purchase an extended warranty and not bother with the CPO. It is basically true that the car is too new to be a CPO car. A CPO car is usually older than 3 years and/or with over 30k miles. Your best bet is a third-party Extended Warranty that will cover everything up to 100k miles or 4 years after the BMW standard warranty.
Great blog. I’m looking for some advice. I would like to buy a car by the end of the year, yep three days. All are 2008 335i RWD with cold weather, premium, and sport, auto tranny.
Car 1) CPO of a lease return, 27,000 miles. Dealer is at $31k before haggling too much. Maybe able to get it for $30k?
Car 2) CPO of a lease return, 25,000 miles. Essentially the same car but it has Navi in it. It also has the wood interior bs the aluminum which I like. Dealer is a bit of a drive away but said $32.6k over the phone. They actually have two 335i RWD vehicles in stock, the only diff is the other one doesn’t have the paddles, which I like too.
Car 3) NOT a CPO, traded into a Bentley dealer as a private vehicle. 25k miles, has Navi as well. The asking price is $29k.
All these vehicles are in the Upper midwest (ie I would think there is motivation to get a RWD off the lot at this time of year in the great white north) and BMW does have their 0.9% finance deal going on for the 2008 models.
I should also point out I don’t put more than about 8k miles on per year, so any extended warranty will time out before it miles out.
So, do these sound like good values? What one should I go with?
Sorry I did not get back to you in time. Have you purchased the car yet??
I went with a CPO 2008 335i that I found in South Bend In. It is actually the exact car that I was looking for so I pulled the trigger. It has 25k miles on it. Only issue so far is I cannot get my iPhone to sync and the Navi disk seems like it may be dirty. Funny thing is that before the sale the dealer was super responsive yet now after the sale they are not so at all. I’ve asked about the iPhone adapter which I didnt get with the car and they said I don’t get that becaue it comes with the phone but from what I see I looks like I need an adapter with a Y in it to connect to the aux jack and the USB jack in the console. The service overdue light is on also and they won’t send me the service history but just said I should take it to my local dealer. I love how they tell you to “let me know if there is any reason why you would’t rate us a 10 when you get your survey”. Are some people just that unaware of how customer service should be handled? We’ll see how it all shakes out. At this point in time I am loving the car minus the little hick ups but am very dissapointed in the post sale experience with the dealer.
I bought an 2012 X5 Premium, its makes a sound like a fuel pump or something every time I open the door. Is this normal? Should I buy an extended warranty or third party warranty to cover the whole car since this car has a lot of gadgets could go wrong in the future? I’m worried something would go wrong after the warranty. Which third party would you recommend?
Totally normal. If you have active steering it is the pump being primed. There are a lot of things that “come awake” when you open the door for the first time after it sits. If you are worried however, take it to the dealership as you are under warranty.
I have a question about transferring a CPO warranty. If a car was sold as a CPO and later the car was traded in at a non BMW dealership, does the CPO warranty still apply to the next purchaser of the car? If so, what paperwork needs to be done or does it just show up in the BMW data base?
As far as I know, if the car is a CPO, the warranty follows the car.
Great blog, and you appear pretty knowledgable with this whole puzzle regarding extended warranties.
Bought a 2010 328i xdrive, coupe, 27500mi, non-cpo from independent dealer, premium/sport/cold-weather packages, no idrive/nav as didn’t need them, fun to drive and had to have it, original bmw warranty and service coverage up to 12/2013, dealer recently offered the following choices for
+2 years, 100k mi: $3380 BMW warranty
+2 years, 70k mi: $3038 CNA warranty (covers shocks, struts, more than STD BMW warranty
+3 years, 90k mi: $3589 CNA warranty
+2 years/100k mi to 12/2015: $2295
Plan to go regularly to dealer shop while under warranty. What do you think is worth upon expiration of the basic?
If you must get a warranty, I would go with the third option. But my guess is that you’ll never see that money again.
Definitely do not get the maintenance plan as it is the biggest scam going.
Keep in mind that those prices are flexible and dealerships make big money on selling them.
Hi! Thanks for all of the information! I am thinking of purchasing my 2009 BMW X3 when my lease comes to an end (lease was for 3 years). BMW is offering the CPO warranty and a 0.9% interest rate. But, the CPO process appears to cost about $5000 above the residual value from what I can tell – and that doesn’t count the taxes for purchasing the care ($2600 for the warranty and the rest for labor/service, title transfer fee, registration, and “buffer” for possible service that might be needed). It doesn’t seem worth the price to me, but I wanted to ask your opinion. I’ve been the only driver and it is in good shape. The CPO offers a warranty up to 6 years or 100,000 miles (currently, my warranty would be good up to 4 years and 50,000 miles and I’m up to 42,000 miles). Thanks!
Look at comparable X3’s and see what the prices are with a similar offer. Don’t bother with the CPO, get an Extended Warranty instead that would carry similar terms. Combine the cost of the warranty and the average price for a similar car and that price is your starting point. Negotiate from there!
Just bought a 2008 335i convertible with 30Kmiles, no iDrive,the warranty runs out in 2 months. I plan on keeping the car for at least 4 years and i do approx 15K (mostly highway) miles per year. Questions:
1) would you recommend i get an extended warranty
2) BMW warranty or not
3) if not then any recommendations as to whom should i be talking
Any advice appreciated.
I would get an extended warranty for sure in your case. The 335i’s have had their share of issues with rather expensive parts. Try to get a warranty that will cover you to 100k miles and make certain that it covers the turbos.
DO NOT get the extended service plan. Do change the oil at least once a year and you’ll probably only encounter a brake job in the next two years. This shouldn’t cost more than $1100.