4th Jul 2014, 22:00
I think that's because of maintenance. About 85% of all brand-new cars sold in NZ are company cars - or leased. They have to service the car by the book, else they breach the lease conditions. And companies aren't as sensitive to spending on service or repairs as consumers, since it's tax-deductible. By the time the lease comes off in 3 years, the car is still fairly expensive to buy. People who buy at this time are the type who still get the car serviced - maybe not at a dealer, but still regularly, and keep it for another 3 years. So at least for the first 6 years of the car's life, it's been looked after.
I've seen at a garage a very, very mint Mitsi Mirage with pearlescent paint and an unmarked interior, mint - but the mechanic showed me the engine sump: mud. The car never had an oil change in its life. Even with a full service, the damage is now done and irreparable. It will never last as long. In fairness to Japan, notice that there are also a disproportionate amount of older Japanese import European cars on the roads, like BMWs or 190Es. Perhaps European car owners there are a bit more diligent with service, and don't treat them as disposables.
8th Jul 2014, 02:10
Yes, totally. Service takes any car a long way. If they are not badly abused and serviced on time - I see no reason why it shouldn't do really high Ks.
My work car is a leased vehicle, and I look after 3 fields of operation, which are from 80-120km each way. My current Rav4 has done 130k in just over 2 years, and it drives no different than when I got it new. All I do is take in for service within 1k before or after the recommended date. Apart from tyres - nothing was needed ever and it still feels new. So the key to success is service for longer lasting cars and buying secondhand - buying from a mature sensible owner who loves cars, or an ex-company vehicle, are generally wiser picks.
An alternative solution to a bad vehicle can be an engine swap - but once you get something not factory fitted - all types of auxiliary problems start happening. Tried that once, and wouldn't do that again :)
11th Aug 2014, 01:40
Update: nothing wrong yet - touch wood :). Got few things done as part of maintenance.
1) Full service - a very detailed one.
2) Gear box flush.
3) New non run flat tyres (lower road noise and handles softer and better).
4) Wheel alignment.
5) Got a new factory rim set, which are like brand new.
So far I'm very, very happy with it.
Fuel economy tested on the open road of about 7.7L - 8L to 100km = ~30 MPG.
In the city it's about 9.5L - 11L per 100km = ~25 MPG.
11th Aug 2014, 19:39
Hi, what brand of non-runflats did you get? The consensus from even owners of 1-series cars I have spoken with, said changing to non-runflats makes all the difference, and they just take a can of goo and a compressor in the boot. Your fuel consumption is pretty good, and then again, that's what VANOS and Valvetronic will do.
13th Aug 2014, 10:38
Hello there. The tyres are 225/45/17 Michelin Primacy HP. I am very happy with the result to be honest.
Fuel economy wise I had a 323ci coupe in E46 shape. They both are very similar. I drive fairly gentle except the few odd overtakes a few times on a long trip.
But if changing the tyre has improved the fuel economy, it's a little early to tell, but I'll keep you posted. I need to drive few thousand ks before I comment :)
25th Aug 2014, 23:31
Just an update: I have driven about 1500km since then. I don't really see any difference on fuel economy, but the ride is definitely much softer and nicer.
27th Dec 2014, 19:29
325is are the most underestimated BMWs, which are bulletproof in reliability like the Toyota Camry, but perform and handle like a top end car with great looks.
Every idiot kept saying the 330i and 335i - yes they are a bit more powerful, but definitely not as reliable as a 325i. In fact no where close. The 325i is a bulletproof machine.
29th Dec 2014, 19:25
The 330i and 335i both seem to have common problems with the high pressure fuel pump. Plus the 335i has a turbo, which will makes them more complicated.
2nd Jan 2015, 11:09
Oh I totally agree with you. Still lots of room for refinement. So far the 325 and 328 are proven for reliability. That is what I have found from my experience.
20th Apr 2015, 06:46
Original reviewer here. Just had to change my electric water pump and thermostat. It went off at 162k. Was original and it's not uncommon needing these replaced at this km. Aside from that - it's been driving beautifully. Got a set of M6 wheels with a set of new tyres. I can never sell this car. It always brings me a smile driving this :)
20th Apr 2015, 19:37
Hi, what signs did you have that the electric water pump needed changing? In normal cars, I would tend to routinely replace the water pump and thermostat say every 4 years or 80K km. You replaced it at 162K km, which is pretty good, but is there some sort of rule of thumb (or any observation you may have read) regarding this? The water pump and thermostat to me are two of those "stroke/heart attack" items where it can fail while you're out and about, and unless you are able to pull over and shut the engine off immediately, can cause major damage to the alloy heads of modern cars.
23rd Apr 2015, 01:15
Hi there, modern BMWs are great and have all the advanced tech to protect them from overheating and damaging the engine like the old cars.
The first warning in the speedo I got was a yellow overheat sign (cup with a water sign), and then it turned red in about a few minutes. My engine temp was slightly above normal, but wasn't anywhere near 120 degrees. Also as it turned red - it locked me from further accelerating so you have no choice but to slowly pull to the side of the road at low speed and turn off. It starts and drives normally when the engine has cooled down until the light comes up and turns red again.
Anyway - I knew that it could be one of these three things:
1) Temperature sensor.
3) Electric water pump.
Took it to Burgers Motor Works as one gentleman here recommended (fantastic mechanic by the way) and they confirmed it was the electric water pump and thermostat. So got both those changed and got new coolant. Now it drives again just like a brand new car. I was told they were original. My engine looks like brand new and doesn't have a single drop of leak anywhere. My understanding is that they needed to be changed every 100k, but since this one was driven by its past owner mostly on the highway - that may have extended its life by 60%. :)
4th Jul 2014, 02:57
Everything you said, I feel exactly the same way. Most high Ks survivals are always NZ new. A friend of mine took her NZ new Toyota Prius for a service after 6 years, and they replaced a few things under warranty for no charge. Funny that you say even Mitsis haha. Couldn't agree any less. I still don't know why Japanese cars (same model) last a lot less. I heard a long time back that cars that are sold new to countries outside Japan are made to suit their conditions. So it really comes down to buying export quality vs Japanese domestic ones has quality variance.
I also totally agree on Singapore vs Japan. I have owned many Japanese cars. Found them slightly fuel efficient, but not as robust and well built as NZ new, but anyway better than Singapore.
As for a BMW coupe - yes body parts are very painful to find and very expensive. Being in NZ - eBay is a good source. There are not many coupes in NZ, but plenty of sedans.