2004 BMW 3 Series 318ti Compact from Australia and New Zealand - Comments

22nd Jun 2012, 20:43

Sounds like you're giving up kind of easy... but I understand that spending money on any repair is never fun!! Unfortunately cooling system problems (coolant leaks, radiator and rubber hoses breaking) are pretty common problems on a lot of vehicles, especially when they start getting a little age. Reliable or not, a BMW is NEVER a cheap car to own; even routine maintenance is very expensive. Lucky you have a good mechanic friend, you're probably going to need him. Hope you never need parts, they're almost prohibitively costly.

The best policy with European vehicles is to either: 1. Buy it outright if you're wealthy, or 2. lease it and/or make sure you have a good extended warranty. The kind of mileage you have on your BMW is just about the time when these cars start becoming troublesome.

I hope have better luck either with this car if you decide to keep it, or on whatever vehicle you chose to replace it.

23rd Jun 2012, 04:40

A Peugeot as a reliable replacement? Maybe an old 504 or 505, which were the last of the reliable Peugeot's. If you want reliability, get a Mazda, and stay away from later-model French cars.

23rd Jun 2012, 23:48

I am the reviewer.

Just because you and your friends have had good experiences with these cars, doesn't mean they are good. I'm quite aware that BMW's are generally reliable vehicles; I suppose there is going to be a bad one now and again, so I guess it was just bad luck.

I am seriously considering buying a Volvo S40, because friends and family have owned Volvo's, and have reached very high mileages with no trouble. I do not want some garbage Mazda; I have had one of them, and had a lot of electric faults. I think I am just going to stick with European vehicles.

24th Jun 2012, 20:09

Hmmm, you might want to stay away from that S40. I just worked on one Friday, a 2006 model with about 50,000 miles. It has been dealer maintained. It ran so-so, but the interior was completely worn out and everything was falling apart. I was surprised, actually, how bad it was considering the older Volvos held up much better. They have Ford motors and transmissions, so they run much better than they used to.

4th Jul 2012, 05:53

Reviewer again.

I am just considering Volvo's because my family and friends have all had great experiences with the cars. Maybe this one that you worked on had been treated poorly. Also I am considering an earlier model than the 2006 one. Although my BMW came out of the workshop a week or so ago, well the deal is that the last owner bought it new, and obviously buys a new car quite regularly, so they didn't take the best care of it; they didn't put any water in it, and it had majorly overheated. So I am sorry BMW, it wasn't your fault, it was the last owners not treating the car properly.

26th Jul 2012, 01:07

For some reason a comment I put on two weeks ago has not appeared.

I took the car to Auckland in the holidays. When I arrived, I had noticed a little bit of steam was coming out of the grille. I opened the bonnet, let it cool for a while. I then look at the coolant, which had dropped majorly. I refilled it and drove it the next day. When I got out of the car at a car park, coolant had gone all over the place. My sister and I left the car there and drove back to hers to get some more coolant, just so we could get the vehicle back to her house. We came back to pick up the kids, refilled the car, and luckily got back to hers. The next day I took it to her mechanic.

The car was in for three days...

The radiator was sent away to be repaired.

Some hose was replaced.

A bunch of things were done; I can't really remember all of them. I cannot find the receipt either. All up, including labour and the shipping costs of the radiator, it was around $550. The workshop did a great job.

6th Sep 2012, 17:45

I am the second owner of a 2006 S40, and the interior is falling apart. Particularly the cloth section of the door panels. A local dealer advised me this is a known design flaw. I am very disappointed, and understand the door panels cost $400 each to replace. I've emailed Volvo, and have not received a response.

14th Sep 2012, 05:54

I see.

Well I am still looking around; I have been looking at Volkswagen Golfs, Audi A3s and Volvo S40s.

4th Oct 2012, 06:21

Hello, it is the reviewer here. I decided before planning on getting rid of my car, I would get it checked out by a different mechanic, who knows all about European cars, because I thought if there isn't anything wrong with the vehicle any more, I may as well keep it.

So I took it in; it turns out that it has been my mechanic's fault, because before bringing the car in, I was getting suspicious, as I thought why would the car need to be brought back three times for the same fault, and when it was taken to my sister's mechanic, there has been no trouble since.

It also turns out that this utter idiot scammer hasn't been doing his job properly. He tried reconstructing something to do with the fanbelt and airflow incorrectly. This may have even been purposeful, so that he thought I would come back and spend another heap of money at his workshop. I found this out, because my new mechanic said that the belt had blown a hole in something, and he told me that the mechanic must have reassembled it incorrectly. So I am truly sorry.

15th Feb 2013, 07:50

I hope you have better luck now you've found a better mechanic; unfortunately some just do bodge jobs instead of fixing it properly. I never mind paying more to make sure the job is done properly, even if it means taking it to a dealer for some things, as they tend to have access to all the service bulletins and updates.

I'd agree with most other people here, if you want hassle free motoring, avoid the new french cars. Volvo is now owned by Chinese automobile maker Geely, so I can't see quality improving for a little while; high tech manufacturing in China is still in its infancy, and they're probably looking more to get Volvo back into profit.

Certain Mazdas I've found to be great, but Mazda Australia is terrible at stocking parts; it was easier for me to get factory parts for an MX-5 from specialty stores on the East coast and from the US and UK, rather than from Mazda themselves. They didn't even stock genuine parts for a sports car that became the most sold in the world.

10th May 2013, 05:15

To the above comment. I'd just like to point out that although Volvo is now owned by the Chinese manufacturer Geely, the vehicles are still manufactured and developed in Sweden and Belgium... Volvo still excels highly in vehicle surveys, and customers have been very impressed with the new Volvo cars, and of course consumers are still very happy with a lot of their old ones. Volvo's worst period of manufacturing would definitely have been when Ford owned the brand, and now that the Chinese have taken over ownership, the company is improving.

Oh and... With late model French vehicles, sure there are a few like the Renault Megane II and the Peugeot 307, which you should be wary of. But not all of them are bad cars; for example the Peugeot 406 is extremely durable and reliable, and the Renault Megane III is a vast improvement on the previous model; it actually shares engines and transmissions with Nissan cars.

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