BMW is widely recognized as a luxurious car brand that also delivers great driving performance. But are BMWs reliable after being driven for more than 100,000 miles? It depends. Some models like the BMW E46 and the E90 have been known to run for more than 300,000 miles. But that depends on a lot of factors.
Which BMWs are reliable after 100k?
Many people have reported driving a BMW E90 for more than 100,000 miles. Such cars still run well without any major issues.
However, BMW cars produced after 2006 are rarely as reliable as the models produced before 2000 because newer vehicles use degradable plastics in their engines, due to European Union regulations for sustainable development.
Post-2000 reliable BMW models
- BMW 2006 – 2010 3 Series (E90)
- BMW 2004 – 2010 5 Series E60 and E61
- BMW 2002 – 2008 7 Series
- BMW 318i, post-2000, or the E46 before 2000
- BMW 325i
Regardless of how well you maintain your vehicle, some models are made to last more than others.
How to keep your BMW going for more than 100k miles?
Some BMW models have been known to run for more than 300,000 miles. But this depends on a lot of factors. For instance, if you don’t change the oil regularly or maintain your engine properly then it is likely that your car will need major repairs after 100k.
BMW vehicles are designed to be easy to maintain and repair. However, for the best performance it is important that you follow these maintenance guidelines:
Change oil and filters
Regularly change your BMW’s oil and filter once a year or every 8,000 miles (roughly two years of driving depending on how often you drive). Change air filters regularly and reach out to a mechanic for a quick inspection once a year, especially if you’re planning to drive the car for a while.
Drive with care
Aggressive driving can cause damage to your BMW’s engine. Take it easy on the gas pedal and avoid heavy acceleration as well as abrupt braking when possible. Not only can driving aggressively damage the engine, brakes and suspension of your car, but it can also endanger your safety and that of people around you.
Inspect your vehicle
Regularly check fluids, belts, hoses and other components for wear and replace them if necessary. For instance: Replace brake pads that have worn down more than 30% from their stock state.
Insurance and Warranty
It is best to invest in a good BMW warranty when you purchase the vehicle. This will cover any repairs that your BMW might need, which can be quite costly if not covered by an extended warranty plan. A good insurance policy and a warranty can get you as far as 80,000 miles, which counts as something.
Why do new BMWs break down after 100k?
New German cars breaking down after warranty isn’t a myth. Older BMW models are known for being reliable and lasting a long time. However, many people have had problems with newer BMWs after 100k, or even 75k miles, right after the warranty ends.
It’s a fact that any car will break down after it reaches the end of its lifespan. BMWs aren’t an exception to this rule, and they are built with complex technology that eventually needs some maintenance or repair work done.
Newer BMW engines are not only full of degradable plastic material that melts down easily, but are also full of new technology that can easily malfunction.
Programmed obsolescence plays a big part in why new BMWs don’t run over 100k
Programmed obsolescence is the idea that a car’s design makes it obsolete before its time. This can happen when manufacturers are designing new models and want to get rid of their old ones, or when they use cheaper parts in order to cut down on production costs and save money for themselves.
A good example of programmed obsolescence is Apple releasing a software update on their iPhones to slow down older phones so that users purchase new ones. Although this doesn’t happen with cars the same way, most German manufacturers intentionally limit the span of their vehicles, unlike Japanese and Korean ones.
Basically, programmed obsolescence is used to get more sales over time. If manufacturers can make their older models seem obsolete, then they can sell more cars in the long term.
Manufacturing a car that can run for more than 100k miles might not be the best strategy for a company trying to keep up with the sales. Yet you can still find that there are many people who have driven BMWs over 200k miles or 300k miles.
Are high mileage pre-owned BMW cars worth buying?
Whether you should buy a high mileage BMW greatly depends on how well it has been maintained, its service records, and how it was driven. Additionally, the type of BMW you are purchasing really matters. Different models have different life spans.
For newer BMWs, as a rule of thumb, try to purchase a car with less than 60,000 miles on record. For older BMWs, manufactured before the year 2006, search for cars under 100,000 miles.
How many miles can a BMW last in the best-case scenario?
There are records of BMWs running over 300,000 miles. Of course, such cases are outliers and are not easy to reach. Most BMWs usually last between 100,000 and 200,000 miles with great servicing and maintenance. On the other hand, most car dealerships avoid selling BMWs with over 80,000 miles since they usually require a lot of servicing and major repairs.
When do BMW cars start having issues and major problems?
Most newer BMW models start experiencing serious issues around a year after the warranty expires or usually at the 80,000 to 100,000-mile mark. All of this greatly depends on how well you’ve maintained the vehicle. However, regardless of your care, these vehicles have a limited lifespan and the older a BMW gets, the more expensive it is to maintain and keep it functioning in the long run.