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X3 High Mileage Warning


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If anybody else is planning to keep their X3 beyond 100,000 miles without an extended warranty, you might want to reconsider. These cars are money pits.

I was aware of BMW's reputation for needing expensive repairs when I bought my new X3 35i in 2013. I was hoping to avoid some of that by maintaining the car meticulously (I changed oil at twice BMW's recommended frequency), by driving it responsibly, and by being alert for noises and sensations that might be early warnings of impending failures. No such luck.

My car has 120,000 miles on it. Since 100,000, we have needed a new water pump and thermostat ($1800), a new battery ($800), oil cooler gasket replacement ($800), and this week it's at the dealer for Valvetronic system repairs ($5000!) When I pick the car up and pay my $5000, I'll have an engine with 120,000 miles on it with one new part. I replaced the entire transmission in a Lexus one time for a little over half that cost. I could replace the entire very nice V8 engine in my new F-150 for that sum with money left over.

This is the last straw. My wife doesn't trust the car to get her to her destination anymore, so we'll have to sell it ASAP once we get it back from repairs. 100,000 gentle miles is not even considered high mileage in most vehicles these days. I believe all of these failures (except the battery) are due to engineering and design shortcomings on the part of BMW. As much as I've enjoyed driving this car.

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