BMW Repair and Maintenance Costs: What should I expect?

How much should I expect to pay for regular service and maintenance for my BMW?
The cost of maintaining a BMW, or any high-performance automobile varies dramatically based on the condition, age and specific model. Clearly a high-performance V12 or V8 engine requires a higher level of maintenance that a four or six cylinder power plant – not to mention requiring more labor and parts to maintain. Regardless of the year, model or engine type, it is important that you regularly maintain your BMW. In general, you should expect to service your BMW every 10,000 or once per year. Experience has shown that a minor service including oil, filters, and inspection will cost between $200 and $400, while a major service including transmission services will cost between $400 and $600.

Although not tied to a regularly schedule maintenance brakes are another common maintenance item. It is important to use the proper grade brake pads and brake rotors for your specific BMW. Remember NOT ALL BRAKES ARE CREATED EQUALLY. The old adage of you get what you pay for applies. Your can spend $50 on a set of brake pads or you can spend $250 depending on your specific model and the performance level you are looking for. You should stay away from cheap aftermarket brakes that will not stop your BMW as it is designed. Ceramic brake pads are a good aftermarket alternative and have the advantage of lower dust. Expect to pay a comparable amount to a BMW OEM pad, but with increased stopping grip and less dust. Please stop by German Auto Center and we will be happy to print a maintenance schedule for your specific BMW or other German performance automobile.

What should I expect to pay for a BMW oil change?
The primary cost to an oil change is the oil itself. Today’s higher performance synthetic oils used in all late model BMW engines can cost between $8 and $15 per liter and depending on your engine, your BMW will use between 7 and 9 liters. Please see our technical tips section at www.germanautocenter.com for more information regarding engine oils. We at German Auto Center can not stress enough the importance of using the right oil for your vehicle. Remember ALL newer engines as well as all super charged or turbo charged engines must use a full synthetic oil such as Mobil 1 or Castrol Synthetic. The M-Series use specific single weight oils such as 60W, so again be sure your service facility knows your vehicle. Older BMWs used mineral based oils and should not be replaced with synthetic oils.

How much should I expect to pay for major BMW repairs?
There is no way to really answer what you should pay for a repair on your BMW. Common repairs related to vacuum leaks, oil leaks and coolant leaks can vary widely from $100 vacuum leak to a $2,500 front timing cover oil leak. Please contact the experts and German Auto Center and we will be happy to give you a detailed estimate. As always, German Auto Center will save you significantly over comparable repairs at the BMW dealer or from a general repair shop that does not specialize in BMW vehicles.

How much should I expect to pay for minor BMW repairs?
Although the cost of repairing your BMW will vary depending on the required repairs, some common repairs are related to the check engine light. Minor repairs such as spark plug replacement, minor oil leaks related to valve cover gaskets or oil filter housing gaskets, and vacuum leaks can often be repaired in several hours and typically will cost a few hundred dollars to repair. As always, if your BMW has a service light or check engine light, or just not running the way it should, stop by German Auto Center and we will be happy to take a look and provide you a detailed estimate.

Is it worth paying for a BMW extended warranty? 
If you have a need for a major repair, an extended warranty may be a life saver. There are several things that you should consider when purchasing an extended warranty for your BMW. First and foremost, like going to a casino, the odds are in the favor of the warranty company. They are in business to make money off your policies. If you are inclined to purchase an extended warranty read the print carefully. Be sure you understand what is covered and what is not as well as confirming that you have the right to take your vehicle to any authorized repair facility. Most policies will explicitly list what is covered and often have a statement that says if the repair is not specifically listed, it is not covered. The experts at German Auto Center will be happy to review your extended warranty with you and provide you with any advice.

What if I have an older model, what type of warranty should I consider? If any.
In general extended warranties for older high mileage BMWs are limited in coverage. These policies, typically will cover catastrophic failures only. Be sure you know what you are buying. Extended warranty companies that say the will cover any vehicle with an mileage should be avoided.

How much should I expect to pay for a replacement BMW key?
You should always have a spare key for your BMW. Today’s electronic keys can fail at any moment and leave you stranded. Keys can easily be ordered through BMW North America or through German Auto Center. Depending on your model, keys typically cost between $70 and $220. Be prepared to show proof of vehicle ownership when preparing to order a key. A valid registration or title accompanied with a photo ID will be required.

Have a question about your luxury automobile or does your model need special work? Please ask using the comment box below on our German Auto Center Facebook page and one of our experts will reply! German Auto Center is owned and operated by BMW Expert Len Gilmore.