BMW maintenance

Is BMW Maintenance Inherently Expensive: The Truth Revealed

It was back in 1975 when the German carmaker Bayerische Motoren Werke (or BMW, as it’s more popularly known) introduced its line to the U.S. car market. Despite its undeniable fame in its mother country, it didn’t capture the attention of American motorists right away.


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40 plus decades in, and it’s now one of the best-selling luxury car brands in the nation.

Here’s proof: It ended 2017 with a whopping 34,253 total sales.

Here’s more proof: The 2017 Google Trends shows that BMW is the most searched for German luxury automaker. Now, let’s talk about BMW maintenance.

For all you know, it may have ranked first in Google searches for having high operating and maintenance costs!

So… What’s the truth?

In this post, we bring you facts about maintaining a BMW and why most of what you hear about its pricey maintenance is just that – hearsay.

Consistent Ranking as One of the Most Reliable Vehicle Brands

In 2017, independent organization Consumer Reports released a table charting reliability of car brands. It reviewed a total of 27 brands – those that you’ll find in the U.S. market.

Out of these 27, BMW placed fifth.

That already says a lot about how reliable the brand is, especially when stacked up against the most popular standard brands, like Honda, Subaru, or GMC.

What does this have to do with BMW maintenance costs then?

Think of it this way: Do you believe that a brand ranked as one of the most reliable vehicle makers would require hefty upkeep?

No, it wouldn’t. Unless, of course, you treat your BMW more as a sports car than a luxury ride. Or you take too long to have your vehicle serviced as the manufacturer recommends.

The point being, the overall costs of maintaining your BMW have more to do with how you treat it. For instance, paying no attention to that lit “check engine” light can already cause serious engine problems, such as misfires.

When this happens, the supposedly low maintenance cost of your BMW can quickly transform into expensive repairs.

The Shocking Cost of BMW Car Ownership

Studies show that Porsche takes the lead when it comes to having the highest cost of car ownership. In its first three years alone, owners reported an average of $390 that went solely to maintenance.

Many wouldn’t actually find this surprising, seeing that there’s this saying about luxury cars warrant luxury maintenance. For some brands, that may be true. But for BMW, it’s not.

Did you know that BMW maintenance costs of many models only average at $10 on their third year? $10! That’s the same as an average restaurant breakfast throughout the U.S.

And, that’s even more shocking than what people already believe is the typically high cost of maintaining luxury car brands.

Again, the actual costs you incur still depends on whether you put your ride to proper use. But these numbers should already give you a much clearer idea of the truth behind maintaining a BMW.

Besides, maintenance is typically covered for the first few years of your BMW’s life, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of it.

The Strong Link between Maintenance and Repairs

Car maintenance and repairs go hand in hand. Always.

Think about it. When you make sure you follow the recommended BMW maintenance steps (at home and professional), you have higher chances of keeping your vehicle trouble-free. And an automobile that doesn’t have problems won’t require repairs.

The exact opposite happens when you fail to keep up with essential regular maintenance. In fact, you may just be looking at not just one, but multiple car troubles such as the following:

  • Dead starter and/or battery
  • Regularly failing battery
  • Inefficient performance resulting in increased fuel consumption
  • Radiator and oil leaks
  • Misaligned tires or incorrect tire pressure

And this list isn’t even all-inclusive. There are plenty other headaches that can arise from an ill-maintained BMW. Worst, unaddressed problems ultimately lead to increased need for maintenance.

As you can see, what really fuels high cost of maintenance not just in BMWs but in all other cars is maltreatment. That, and delayed repairs.

Oil Changes and How They Affect Future BMW Maintenance Costs

Did you know that regular oil changes are crucial to your BMW maintenance program? Failure to do so in time can severely damage your ride. This is especially true for newer cars since they come with engines that run on serious technologies.

Forgetting to change your oil can really kill your engine. But what’s worse is the fact that this essential maintenance task can take as little as 30 minutes to an hour and a payment of about $25.

That’s right. Keeping your oil in good condition is as affordable as that, but once the dirty oil hurts the engine, you can expect your expenses to multiply several times.

Furthermore, one instance of oil change failure can already result in a long-lasting damage. And that makes your BMW more at risk of troubles along the way.

Maintenance is a Fact of a Car Owner’s Life

Here’s another reason to pay better attention to your BMW maintenance schedules:

Did you know that thousands of car wrecks result from poor maintenance? As much as $2 billion every year in damages and losses happen because of bad vehicle maintenance practices.

Here’s one more:

Even when you don’t get into an accident, skipping maintenance or cutting corners can lead to your ride’s early demise. For instance, an average car can drive up to about 200,000 miles before you need to replace it. Forget about its maintenance or skimp on it, and you’re looking at 50,000 less mileage!

That’s 25% down the drain right there.

Whatever make, model, or year of car you have, and regardless of its brand, its maintenance is part of your life as soon you take it home with you.

Maintenance is not just about ensuring fuel-efficiency and continued optimal performance. It also has a lot to do with your safety and that of your passengers.

Get Your BMW Priorities Right: Don’t Delay Maintenance

You paid a lot for your BMW, so you want to make sure it lasts for as long as possible. And the only sure way to do that is to accept the fact that you need to have it tuned through routine servicing and maintenance.

And that’s where we come in. Our site features maintenance and service repair manuals for thousands of BMW makes, models, and years. So, go ahead and look up what you need to keep your BMW running smoothly and safely.