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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > New & Preowned BMW Ordering / Pricing / Tracking Information Forum (including European Delivery) > 80k E90 6MT X-Drive N51 M-Sport - Pricing and Carmax Warranty Rec



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      12-15-2020, 09:46 AM   #1
Boston4
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80k E90 6MT X-Drive N51 M-Sport - Pricing and Carmax Warranty Rec

Hi all,

Curious about your thoughts on this one - I reserved a 2011 E90 with a pretty uncommon set of options from Carmax and am planning on driving it this weekend. It checks pretty much all of the boxes for me - maybe a bit higher on miles than I'd prefer, and I'd slightly prefer an E91 or a RWD model, but those are basically impossible to find under 100k miles at this point.

It's a well-optioned car: SULEV N51 engine, M-Sport package, manual transmission, Comfort Access, heated seats, rear sunshades, I-Drive, Adaptive/Xenon headlights, etc. Normally I wouldn't shop from a no-haggle dealer, but this is a pretty unique specification, and Carmax doesn't know it - while it's obviously priced higher than it probably should be, the pricing is in line with their other E90 3 series inventory that are missing all of those options. They're asking a little under $14k - high, but it's not like I'm going to find another one.

It's a two-owner car - the first owner owned it through about 70k, and the second owner owned it from 70-80k. I spoke to the service department where the vehicle was serviced under its first owner, and they noted that they did not replace any of the common failure items (water pump, t-stat, valve cover or VCG, oil pan gasket, OFHG, etc.) but suggested that they had recommended some services to take care of oil leaks. Not sure if those have been carried out under the subsequent owner but I'll obviously check.

Carmax provides an 90 day warranty which could be used to address any immediate issues with the car. With this in mind, I'm also considering purchasing one of the Maxcare warranty options, which covers just about everything except consumables (brakes, maintenance) and having the work done at the dealer (obviously without this, I wouldn't bring the car anywhere near the dealer). It would cover things like the water pump, thermostat, oil leaks, and starter, as well as interior issues like window regulators, door lock actuators, and the steering column lock - again, at the dealer with a loaner.

My warranty options are 5 years and either 20k miles (to 100k total) or 40k miles (to 125k total). Driving about 10k miles a year, the latter is a better choice for how long I would own the car, but it really depends on what the expected maintenance cost would be over each period of time.

I'm capable of doing my own maintenance and some (most) service, but unfortunately I do not have a garage, so my options are a little limited during the colder months. My current vehicle is renowned for its unreliability so one of the things that attracted me to the E90 is that while it's obviously no Honda, it is considerably better.

Questions for the group:
1. The car was owned and driven year-round in the Northeast. Any places in particular to check for corrosion? Note that the warranty wouldn't cover anything that fails due to corrosion.
2. I'm pretty familiar with the N51/N52 engine weak points, but how about the interior - anything I should be planning for from that perspective?
3. I haven't priced it out but I'm expecting $3.5-4k for the 125k option, and closer to $2k for the 100k option. What are your thoughts on the warranty - how much would you pay and which would you get, if either? Does the Factory SULEV warranty (15yr/150k) change your calculus here?
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      12-16-2020, 10:16 AM   #2
Boston4
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Anyone? Apologies for the long post - would love some input.

I'm thinking that it's likely that total cost of broken items from 5 years or from 80k-125k will be > $5k, so it would be worthwhile to get the warranty, especially if I can have service performed at the dealer with loaners etc. As I said, I'm able to perform a lot of the repairs myself, but the winter presents a lot of challenges since I don't have a garage.
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      12-16-2020, 10:20 AM   #3
whyzee125
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1. These cars are very good at resisting rust. Unless it was in an accident and not repaired well, I wouldn't worry about body rust at all. The rear subframe can rust so I'd check that but it's usually not an issue. Rear diff will be crusty but shouldn't be a serious issue.

2. M sport steering wheels don't hold up as well as the regular ones but that's easy to see. Otherwise the interiors hold up really well. Obviously they all get the sticky passenger handle at some point which is cheap to fix.

3. It could be different since it's a 328, but you'd never be able to get a warranty on a 125k 335i. When I looked into it, it was 3k+ for a warranty on my 27k mile 335i. I'd expect a bit more if you're able to get one at all for these. I probably wouldn't worry about it here. The non turbo engines are pretty reliable and it sounds like you're familiar with the issues they do have. Just set a little aside for a rainy day.
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      12-16-2020, 02:19 PM   #4
Boston4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whyzee125 View Post
1. These cars are very good at resisting rust. Unless it was in an accident and not repaired well, I wouldn't worry about body rust at all. The rear subframe can rust so I'd check that but it's usually not an issue. Rear diff will be crusty but shouldn't be a serious issue.

2. M sport steering wheels don't hold up as well as the regular ones but that's easy to see. Otherwise the interiors hold up really well. Obviously they all get the sticky passenger handle at some point which is cheap to fix.

3. It could be different since it's a 328, but you'd never be able to get a warranty on a 125k 335i. When I looked into it, it was 3k+ for a warranty on my 27k mile 335i. I'd expect a bit more if you're able to get one at all for these. I probably wouldn't worry about it here. The non turbo engines are pretty reliable and it sounds like you're familiar with the issues they do have. Just set a little aside for a rainy day.
Thanks for your response! I'll keep an eye out for rust but glad to know that generally it's not as much of a concern.

Noted on the M sport wheels - I'm less concerned with cosmetics and more concerned with functionality, since that costs a lot more to replace. A footwell module, or a bunch of window regulators/door actuators/the steering lock could get really expensive even if I DIY.

The MaxCare is an option - I ran the numbers since my last post. It's only available for the 125k mileage milestone, and it's a 5 year plan. With a $300 deductible, the warranty cost is just under $4000, which is a bit higher than I'd anticipated.

Not sure that it's worthwhile at this point - if I have 5 claims, then my total cost of repairs (including the warranty and deductibles) is $5400. I bet I can do better than that with a combination of my own work and getting a bunch of gaskets and stuff replaced during the preliminary 90 day warranty.

But on the other hand, it'd be nice to be totally covered for 5 years.
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