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Old 16.07.2016, 17:04
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BMW X3 review

Help please from all the motor boffins.

I'm contemplating growing up and buying an old farts car. Have found a 2006 BWM X3, 3 litre diesel that I've liked the look and drive of, although am slightly mortified that I've reached an age where a BMW estate/SUV could be acceptable........

Before I lash out with cash, have any of you owned one of these beasties? Have zipped about with my friend Google and all appears to check out, but would like to hear from anyone who has direct experience with this particular auto.

Separately, does anyone have advice on experience from buying from local garages? I've scoured comparis and ricardo and the dealer's price appears to be fair - its a village dealership attached to a gas station; and I'd like input on whether asking price is typically THE sale price; and whether any extra warranties offered are actually enforceable under Swissy legislations?

The car comes with a current MFK (our local Verkehrsamt is pretty darn thorough from the experience we've had with our other cars and motorbikes) - should I be feeling comfortable that I'm not about to have any surprises with mechanical defaults??

Thanks in advance
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Old 16.07.2016, 17:52
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Re: BMW X3 review

I hope this is close enough as an experience, from the other side of the pond, a different engine though...
In 2006 I got a 2003 off-lease, 60k, BMW X3 2.5L V6 gas, my first and only BMW but at dream I always had.
I was concerned about maintenance costs, that I could not afford it and it has been good and bad.
Except regular once a year maintenance, these are the problems I had:
- changed one brake light bulb, very easy to do on your own;
- 2009 developed a cooling agent leakage. My mechanic looked and said that all the o-rings in the circuit are dried and need replaced. Generation 1 X3 had a new design, with couple of expansion compartments and quite a few o-rings. BMW did not sell only the o-rings, I was supposed to buy all the plastic parts and have them replaced. My mechanic said that was a rip-off to force me to do that. He soaked for a day all the gaskets in brake fluid, put them back in and never had a issue until late 2013 when I traded for another car. It saved me at least 1500CAD.
- 2010 the oxygen sensor for the catalytic convertor failed, replaced for around 300CAD (aprox. 240CHF) at my mechanic w/ original part
- spring 2012 the driver seat leatherette cracked so bad that I had to replace it. Part and work around 700CAD at BMW dealer
- summer 2013 I start to have strange electrical issues while driving: dashboard lights ON and OFF, no wipers, no horn etc, all come and go. BMW said to try new battery, did not solve the problem. Brought it to BMW dealer, it took them 3 hours to figure out that it was the ignition switch. I had to pay another 700CAD for this, not happy
- in 2013 also it developed an oil leak at the oil filter gasket - very common problem for 3 series around 100k; also an oil leak at one of the engine valves, so sometimes the engine area was smoking, not a good situation

This was the situation at the end of summer 2013. On top of that I needed new tires (1000CAD). I still had the ORIGINAL brakes, the car been 10years old, 125K. But in 6-12months needed replacement. So, at this point I decided to close the chapter.

It had a rough, truck like ride, but was the best on the road drive I had.
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Old 16.07.2016, 18:31
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Re: BMW X3 review

Just bought a 2004 X3 3.0d - and now battling through minor fixes (it sailed through the MFK) like PDC sensors being a little unreliable, rear output shaft play and handbrake adjustment.

Nice driving manners - but can't comment on long term value yet.
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Old 16.07.2016, 18:47
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Re: BMW X3 review

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Help please from all the motor boffins.

I'm contemplating growing up and buying an old farts car. Have found a 2006 BWM X3, 3 litre diesel that I've liked the look and drive of, although am slightly mortified that I've reached an age where a BMW estate/SUV could be acceptable........

Before I lash out with cash, have any of you owned one of these beasties? Have zipped about with my friend Google and all appears to check out, but would like to hear from anyone who has direct experience with this particular auto.

Separately, does anyone have advice on experience from buying from local garages? I've scoured comparis and ricardo and the dealer's price appears to be fair - its a village dealership attached to a gas station; and I'd like input on whether asking price is typically THE sale price; and whether any extra warranties offered are actually enforceable under Swissy legislations?

The car comes with a current MFK (our local Verkehrsamt is pretty darn thorough from the experience we've had with our other cars and motorbikes) - should I be feeling comfortable that I'm not about to have any surprises with mechanical defaults??

Thanks in advance
Smiley,
Can't say anything about this particular model.

The MFK indicates very very little about reliability. All it checks is that all safety relevant systems are functioning correctly, and that the vehicle doesn't currently dribble or emit significantly through the tailpipe (according to the onboard diagnostics if modern).

What the MFK indicates is that this particular bag of bolts was within spec for the 15-20 minutes that the MFK took.

The service record, combined with a google search for known issues with that model/engine says a lot more about the future than the MFK.

My experience with independent garages has been overwhelmingly positive but have no idea about the one you are talking about dealing with. If he offers a guarantee in writing then he will comply with that. As to price, well that is sometimes negotiable, but it will depend mostly on how long the car has been sitting on his forecourt.
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Old 16.07.2016, 19:01
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Re: BMW X3 review

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What the MFK indicates is that this particular bag of bolts was within spec for the 15-20 minutes that the MFK took.
A bit more than that - brakes and suspension are all thoroughly checked - and it is noticeably more thorough than the UK test. Things do fall through the gaps - specifically electrical issues

But as you say, it isn't a warranty that it will all be fine in 6 months.
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Old 16.07.2016, 19:07
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Re: BMW X3 review

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A bit more than that - brakes and suspension are all thoroughly checked - and it is noticeably more thorough than the UK test. Things do fall through the gaps - specifically electrical issues

But as you say, it isn't a warranty that it will all be fine in 6 months.
My uncle in Liverpool used to refer to "Drive by MOTs", and though he had a few gems, he also had a few "Schwarte"... He had gone to school with the local garage owner.
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Old 16.07.2016, 20:26
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Re: BMW X3 review

The model itself is fine. I have also E83 with 2.0D and it is awesome. 3.0 is even better as it is more reliable and sustainable engine.

The rest depends on the condition of particular car. MFK could be a certain indicator but I'd check in different garage before buying.
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Old 17.07.2016, 11:46
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Re: BMW X3 review

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My uncle in Liverpool used to refer to "Drive by MOTs", and though he had a few gems, he also had a few "Schwarte"... He had gone to school with the local garage owner.
Yep, lots of experience with that kind of MOT in the UK. The first time I took one of my motorbikes in, I changed the custom loud exhaust pipes back to standard. The mechanic looked at me, looked at the bike, asked me why I had such girly exhausts and offered to sell me louder pipes!

The next time I took another bike in I left the (illegal) pipes on. I stood with the mechanic, gazing at the bike, and the weather, and talked about the coming Brands Hatch meeting, then we had a cuppa together; and then he passed me again, with NO check on that bike either.

The one time I took a car in for its MOT it was also very cursory. This chap didn't service my bikes or my cars, didn't know me, and seemed to operate on a "do I like the cut of your cloth" kinda manner. Mad.

I was shocked (but also awed at all the fantastic testing machinery) when I took my bikes and truck into for their MKF's here in Swissy - our local Verkhersampt are super thorough, and I might add, thoroughly nice folks. They tried all sorts of tricky things to try and get the old cafe racer bike passed without changing its exhausts....
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Old 17.07.2016, 12:17
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Re: BMW X3 review

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I was shocked (but also awed at all the fantastic testing machinery) when I took my bikes and truck into for their MKF's here in Swissy - our local Verkhersampt are super thorough, and I might add, thoroughly nice folks. They tried all sorts of tricky things to try and get the old cafe racer bike passed without changing its exhausts....

At the end of the day they are mostly gearheads. If you bring something interesting in it brightens their day.

If you express any interest in what they do, or the kit they use, or such, they are generally quite open and informative.

If you bring in a banger with the exhaust held on by tyraps 3 different tires and month old barf on the bonnet they will be a bit less open to conversation.

If you happen to be the next in line after a guy with a banger as described above, it will be to your benefit to know how to say "wanker" in the local dialect.
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Old 18.07.2016, 10:19
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Re: BMW X3 review

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If you bring in a banger with the exhaust held on by straps. 3 different tires and month old barf on the bonnet they will be a bit less open to conversation.
Do such vehicles exist in Swissy?
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Old 18.07.2016, 10:29
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Re: BMW X3 review

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Do such vehicles exist in Swissy?
I was exaggerating. I am known to do that occasionally. Some people tend to exaggerate their technical ability, or the condition of their vehicle.
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Old 18.07.2016, 11:13
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Re: BMW X3 review

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Do such vehicles exist in Switzerland?
Yes they do. My friend is an MFK mechanic in Zurich and he has quite some funny stories to tell.

According to him, he can already sense when shaking hands with the owner of the car if the car will pass the test or not. And he (sadly) has to fail a handful of cars every day.

Being Zurich, he also has customers that drive premium brands and if the car doesn't pass the MFK on the first attempt due to a minor failure, they'll ask when the next test is (usually within a few weeks), and then think out loud: "OK, don't bother, I'll just sell it and buy a new one". Happened with one DB9 owner
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