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      11-15-2016, 08:16 PM   #1
kspr030
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2013 BMW X3 with high miles a concern?

Hi

I'm considering purchasing a pre-owned 2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i for my wife.

I have my eyes on one that's relatively new (2013), had only had 1 owner, only been driven in California (little rain or snow). I have seen it in person and it looks very well maintained and drives amazing. I had someone inspect and he had no major (current) call outs beyond suggesting a new battery.

However, it has 96k miles on it. - (Hence I guys its slightly more affordable.)

Should I expect lot of issues as its close to 100k miles as we often hear about bmw?

Or should it be fine as it seems well maintained and the car is not so old?

I guess the question is do the newer BMW's last longer / requires less repairs after some solid mileage because the cars have been getting better in general?

Thank you

Kaspar
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      11-15-2016, 09:08 PM   #2
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You should research timing chain issues with the N20 engine in the X3 28i. If the timing chain guides fail during operation you may be looking at a bill for a new or rebuilt engine which may range up to $20,000. Maintenance costs from a BMW dealer or even some independents should be investigated.

A couple links to threads for your consideration follow:

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showth...t=timing+chain

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=922040

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=912547

Some questions to consider:
Has the timing chain been serviced and the timing chain guide replaced with the improved part introduced in 2015?
When were the brakes last serviced?
Are suspension and cooling system components original? If so they are likely to need replacement soon.
Was maintenance done to the old school standard some recommend for BMWs to remain reliable beyond 100,000 miles? Use a search engine to find Mike Miller's Old School BMW Maintenance Schedule (e.g. v02.11) and read it carefully.
Do you know if a previous owner used a chip to boost engine output?
Do you know if the engine was broken in properly by the first owner?

Will you handle service yourself? If not, are you prepared to pay a bill of >$1000 each for problems related to turbocharger, coolant system, electrical, steering, suspension, brakes, drivetrain, etc. when these arise?
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      11-15-2016, 11:28 PM   #3
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160,000KM is getting up there, how many km a year do you expect to drive it?
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      11-16-2016, 10:32 AM   #4
Barbera335
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The money you save now on the purchase of a high mileage car will certainly go back into it for repairs. Unless you can do work on this vehicle yourself I would advise against it. This is a good mechanics car.
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      11-16-2016, 11:44 AM   #5
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Could always get a BMW extended warranty to go with it?
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      11-16-2016, 01:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganMike View Post
You should research timing chain issues with the N20 engine in the X3 28i. If the timing chain guides fail during operation you may be looking at a bill for a new or rebuilt engine which may range up to $20,000. Maintenance costs from a BMW dealer or even some independents should be investigated.

A couple links to threads for your consideration follow:

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showth...t=timing+chain

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=922040

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=912547

Some questions to consider:
Has the timing chain been serviced and the timing chain guide replaced with the improved part introduced in 2015?
When were the brakes last serviced?
Are suspension and cooling system components original? If so they are likely to need replacement soon.
Was maintenance done to the old school standard some recommend for BMWs to remain reliable beyond 100,000 miles? Use a search engine to find Mike Miller's Old School BMW Maintenance Schedule (e.g. v02.11) and read it carefully.
Do you know if a previous owner used a chip to boost engine output?
Do you know if the engine was broken in properly by the first owner?

Will you handle service yourself? If not, are you prepared to pay a bill of >$1000 each for problems related to turbocharger, coolant system, electrical, steering, suspension, brakes, drivetrain, etc. when these arise?
Thanks so much. This is very helpful, but also a little scary.

I was told the '06-'11 X3 arent to good and you should rather go fro '11 and beyond. This sounds rather the opposite.

Say the timing chain hasn't been replaced yet and I have that done pro-actively, would I be good then for a while?

btw - not planning (capable of) servicing the vehicle myself


thanks again
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      11-16-2016, 01:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbera335 View Post
The money you save now on the purchase of a high mileage car will certainly go back into it for repairs. Unless you can do work on this vehicle yourself I would advise against it. This is a good mechanics car.
Tell me if I am wrong but if you pay more and go lower miles, you pay more guaranteed, and per links above, all those people with engine issues were well below (if not half) of 100k miles.

If you go with higher mileage, you only end up paying the same (as lower mileage) in case you do get issues. which could be likely but is not guaranteed.
So more of a gamble.

Thoughts?
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      11-16-2016, 01:40 PM   #8
kspr030
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
160,000KM is getting up there, how many km a year do you expect to drive it?
not over 10k miles a year.
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      11-16-2016, 02:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kspr030 View Post
Tell me if I am wrong but if you pay more and go lower miles, you pay more guaranteed, and per links above, all those people with engine issues were well below (if not half) of 100k miles.

If you go with higher mileage, you only end up paying the same (as lower mileage) in case you do get issues. which could be likely but is not guaranteed.
So more of a gamble.

Thoughts?
Depends on how much you feel like gambling I suppose. I am a stickler for maintenance and have had good luck with all my cars. I always wonder why someone traded in the vehicle and am leery of used cars for that reason, which is why I buy new and keep for a long time. My current 2011 X3 just hit 80,000 miles and has been relatively trouble free but not perfect.
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      11-16-2016, 03:38 PM   #10
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https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/d...0143/overview/

take a look at this one...plenty of miles to go.
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      11-16-2016, 05:20 PM   #11
kspr030
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the one I seen was $20k (check below) - That's basically my point. I can either pay $29k - and still expect issues accordingly above mentioned examples by MichiganMike.

Or pay $20k, gamble a little, but if any issues, I'm most likely still saving money (unless whole engine needs to be replaced)

http://www.dcmotorz.com/vehicle-deta...3ace/#Features
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      11-16-2016, 05:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kspr030 View Post
the one I seen was $20k (check below) - That's basically my point. I can either pay $29k - and still expect issues accordingly above mentioned examples by MichiganMike.

Or pay $20k, gamble a little, but if any issues, I'm most likely still saving money (unless whole engine needs to be replaced)

http://www.dcmotorz.com/vehicle-deta...3ace/#Features
Do they know what they're selling, though...?
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      11-16-2016, 11:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kspr030 View Post
the one I seen was $20k (check below) - That's basically my point. I can either pay $29k - and still expect issues accordingly above mentioned examples by MichiganMike.

Or pay $20k, gamble a little, but if any issues, I'm most likely still saving money (unless whole engine needs to be replaced)
It would be prudent to review with care the service records for this vehicle and to have a thorough independent inspection before buying. Some sources suggest that 100K miles is the point at which modern BMWs may become very expensive to maintain. See the quote from the link below.

"If you read Roundel, Satch believes the current BMWs are good for about 100,000 miles before they need to be disposed of due to the high cost to repair the complex technology when it starts to fail (and it will). "

http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...gh-mileage-BMW

For example, if the suspension is the original components then the bushings and other parts may need replacement soon. BMW automatic transmissions are complex, expensive to repair and if the transmission fluid has never been changed may be a ticking time bomb at 100K miles. If oil and other fluids have been changed at extended intervals, there may be excessive wear which may lead to more repairs after 100K miles. The transfer case components are also subject to problems if fluids have not been changed at reasonable intervals.

A friendly BMW service advisor, if you can find one, may be able to provide records of service done in the past by a BMW dealer, which may be helpful in evaluating the vehicle.
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      11-17-2016, 01:13 AM   #14
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End of story is that buying a high mileage X3 is more risky than a non-premium car due to high spare parts and workshop costs.

What about a semi-premium? Volvo XC60? Last year most sold car in it's class in Europe. Better safety than X3 for wife! . Volvo even provides servicebook, so you can check history!
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      11-17-2016, 02:13 AM   #15
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Consider "lesser" vehicles: Honda, Toyota, Subaru.
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      11-17-2016, 08:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96_Impreza View Post
Consider "lesser" vehicles: Honda, Toyota, Subaru.
Kaspar,

For about the same money as the 2013 X3 with almost 100K miles, you may purchase in your area for your wife a one-owner, certified 2015 Honda CR-V with only 22K miles. This vehicle is two years newer, has 70K fewer miles, will almost certainly be more reliable, is much cheaper to maintain, will depreciate much less and will have a warranty.
http://www.rontonkinhonda.com/used/h...regon-29395554

If you want a better handling vehicle for your wife, consider a 2016 Mazda CX-5 for under $19,000.
http://www.rontonkinmazda.com/used/m...regon-29285606

While BMW may be more prestigious and sporty, are the problems and reliability issues you are likely to experience with a complex car with almost 100K miles on it worth it to you and your wife? In addition to maintenance costs, you should also consider the added expense of premium gas, likely higher insurance rates and run-flat tire issues (including no spare tire) with the BMW.

Your first post asked a key question: "Do the newer BMW's last longer / require less repairs after some solid mileage because the cars have been getting better in general?" The simple answer is no. Modern BMWs are exceptionally complex, high tech vehicles with many parts that are prone to fail particularly at high mileage and are expensive to maintain and repair. The N20 engine in this X3 is a marvel generating high torque from small displacement, but this puts stresses on the engine that will take a toll on reliability at some point. The eight speed transmission is well matched to the engine, but can become unreliable at high mileage particularly if earlier owners believed the lifetime transmission fluid nonsense. The X3 is a two ton vehicle with many parts that may be subject to fatigue and wear at high miles. IMHO, BMWs are wonderful vehicles to drive when new, but are prone to become money pits as they age. YMMV.

Last edited by MichiganMike; 11-17-2016 at 08:42 AM.
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      11-17-2016, 08:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kspr030 View Post
the one I seen was $20k (check below) - That's basically my point. I can either pay $29k - and still expect issues accordingly above mentioned examples by MichiganMike.

Or pay $20k, gamble a little, but if any issues, I'm most likely still saving money (unless whole engine needs to be replaced)

http://www.dcmotorz.com/vehicle-deta...3ace/#Features
theres always room to negotiate price for any car, new or used.
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      11-17-2016, 09:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganMike View Post
Kaspar,

For about the same money as the 2013 X3 with almost 100K miles, you may purchase in your area for your wife a one-owner, certified 2015 Honda CR-V with only 22K miles. This vehicle is two years newer, has 70K fewer miles, will almost certainly be more reliable, is much cheaper to maintain, will depreciate much less and will have a warranty.
http://www.rontonkinhonda.com/used/h...regon-29395554

If you want a better handling vehicle for your wife, consider a 2016 Mazda CX-5 for under $19,000.
http://www.rontonkinmazda.com/used/m...regon-29285606

While BMW may be more prestigious and sporty, are the problems and reliability issues you are likely to experience with a complex car with almost 100K miles on it worth it to you and your wife? In addition to maintenance costs, you should also consider the added expense of premium gas, likely higher insurance rates and run-flat tire issues (including no spare tire) with the BMW.

Your first post asked a key question: "Do the newer BMW's last longer / require less repairs after some solid mileage because the cars have been getting better in general?" The simple answer is no. Modern BMWs are exceptionally complex, high tech vehicles with many parts that are prone to fail particularly at high mileage and are expensive to maintain and repair. The N20 engine in this X3 is a marvel generating high torque from small displacement, but this puts stresses on the engine that will take a toll on reliability at some point. The eight speed transmission is well matched to the engine, but can become unreliable at high mileage particularly if earlier owners believed the lifetime transmission fluid nonsense. The X3 is a two ton vehicle with many parts that may be subject to fatigue and wear at high miles. IMHO, BMWs are wonderful vehicles to drive when new, but are prone to become money pits as they age. YMMV.
I agree completely with this.
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      11-17-2016, 10:28 AM   #19
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+1, but still recommend to look at XC60.
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      11-17-2016, 12:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjalle View Post
+1, but still recommend to look at XC60.
To find an X60 at the $20,000 price point in the US would likely require an older vehicle with relatively high mileage. The same dealer that the OP cited for the 2013 X3 has a 2010 XC60 3.0T at 78,380 miles for $19,900. Perhaps a used XC60 is more available and a better value in Sweden than in the US.

http://www.dcmotorz.com/vehicle-deta...0fa5986b2afa2/
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      11-17-2016, 01:08 PM   #21
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Well I'll chime in with one recommendation I haven't seen yet. I originally started looking at the first generation X3s due to lower cost and the fact that I really only wanted the SUV for space. However, after doing research I found that the newer ones do have much better interiors and the amenities make up for any price increase you may take.
with that being said, reliability is a concern with any modern turbo engine, not just BMWs. And transmission issues should also be removed (for lack of a better term) from consideration since so many manufacturers are using the exact same transmission as what's found in the X3 in their SUVs. Finding one that has a fluid change or two really is your best bet when it comes to the transmission but these are not like the ones found in the old e46 3series that failed like clockwork at a certain mileage.
So my suggestion would be to look for a 2011 or early 2012 28i xdrive. these will come with the N52 engine which is non turbo and has shown to be highly reliable in comparison to other modern BMW engines, mainly due to the lack of turbo components and high engine stress and heat associated with turbos. It will have a bit less torque than the newer turbo'd models but I didn't feel as though the difference was enough to warrant taking the risk of additional issues down the line. I think you're in California as well which works in your favor. I'm in southern Oregon and during my search the majority of low mileage vehicles with the features I wanted wound up being in California. I eventually got mine for I believe 22k with 52k miles, fully loaded except the sport package and had full service records from new.
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      11-17-2016, 11:17 PM   #22
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I would opt for a 2011 N52 X3 if I had to have one with >70,000 miles.
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