From unexpected repairs, regular maintenance and more, there are many factors to consider when purchasing a new vehicle. Finding a balance between these factors should be at the top of any vehicle owners’ list. BMW is one of the most popular brands on the road today, and, as a luxury brand, the repair cost for these vehicles can be higher than average.
Average Maintenance Costs for BMW
Over the last 105 years, this German automaker has steadily risen to become one of the most popular brands available thanks to iconic models such as the M Series, the 507, and the 3200 CS. However, as with any luxury brand, there are still some common repairs one can expect with some of the most popular models:
One of the most well-known vehicles to roll off a BMW lot is the X3, having sold over 50,000 units in 2021, making it a popular choice for new vehicle owners. While its average annual repair cost of $1,034 is higher than the industry average, there are few consumer complaints with this model.
In fact, the X3 boasts a 4.0/5.0 rating by consumers, making this BMW model one of the brand’s most reliable. As with all models, however, there are a few commonly reported issues that are worth mentioning:
- Air Filter Replacement: $77-$90
- Drive Axle Assembly Drain and Refill: $126-$144
- Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor Replacement: $194-$261
Another popular BMW model is the 328i. Fortunately for those who own this vehicle, its cheaper average annual repair cost of $773 is more manageable than the other vehicles on this list. However, despite costing owners less per year overall, as with the other vehicle models, future repairs will be dependent on factors such as the age of your 328i, its mileage, and previous damages that may have occurred. Some of the more common repairs for a 328i can include:
- A Power Steering Pump Replacement: $995-$1,316
- A Radiator Fan Clutch Replacement: $382-$431
- An Emergency Brake Cable Replacement: $343-$423
Finally, the BMW M-series has proven to be one of the most popular by balancing a sporty and luxurious feel. Of those vehicles included in the M-series, the M3 has risen to become one of the most popular among consumers. With a higher than average annual repair cost of $1,161, this sporty vehicle is certainly more demanding on the wallet than some of BMW’s other models, with some common issues potentially including:
- Brake Master Cylinder Replacement: $674-$861
- Power Lumbar Switch Replacement: $306-$323
- Suspension System Inspection: $88-$111
Recommended Maintenance Plans for a BMW
There are two strategies when building maintenance plans for your BMW. The first part of the plan is to stick to the regularly scheduled maintenance advised by your owner’s manual. In most cases, this maintenance will occur across a few major mileage milestones such as:
- 10,000 miles
- 30,000 miles
- 60,000 miles
Progressively, the repairs covered at each of these milestones address increasingly serious potential repair points. For perspective, the first milestone may simply look at topping off the fluids under the hood, such as oil, coolant, freon, and more. Tire pressure and rotations, along with an inspection of your windshield wipers, may also be necessary.
At the second milestone, engine temperature, the efficacy of your vehicle’s brakes, and the size of your tire treads are examples of maintenance items that you may address. Finally, the last milestone will look at major components such as brake lines, the coolant system, replacement tires, and overall engine health.
While these milestones are important to your vehicle’s health, combining them with annual preventative maintenance tasks can help extend the life of your vehicle. These tasks can include checking tire pressure, inspecting headlights and taillights, checking the battery level, inspecting your windshields for cracks, and inspecting belts under the hood for tears.
Building a schedule is about handling these maintenance tasks regularly. When you hit the mileage milestones advised in your owner’s manual, don’t hesitate to take your vehicle into the shop. Additionally, pick a set time of year to handle the other preventative maintenance items so that you can build the habit.
BMW Maintenance Costs Versus Other Brands
As mentioned, BMW is a luxury brand which means average annual repair costs are higher than standard brands. This can make considering a new vehicle challenging as you may be unsure whether those estimated costs will apply to the vehicle you purchase or not. Looking at the vehicle’s reliability rating is a great way to get a second opinion in your mind.
A Consumer Reports study referenced from 2021 placed BMW as the 8th most reliable vehicle brand, with their i3 and X6 models coming out on top as their most reliable. As a whole, this means that the high average annual repair cost may not be as much of an issue as it seems right off the bat. Double-check your specific BMW model to see how it stacks up against other common brands, though it is generally safe to say that owning a BMW is likely worth the cost you may pay.
Keeping Your BMW Protected
For those unexpected repairs that may arise with your BMW, having a vehicle service contract can help save time and money. The best auto warranty can help save you money on preventative maintenance, keep your car in peak condition, and leave you feeling safe and protected out on the road. Take a look at our extended warranty provider reviews to see if any options are suitable for your needs and vehicle.