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Is it worth upgrading my 1999 BMW 528i?

In February 2000 I bought a 1999T BMW 528i Auto with 29,000 miles for £25,000. It has now done 141,000 miles and is still a pleasure to drive. The only obvious problem is the LED matrix on the dashboard is failing, but I can live with that unless it becomes an MoT issue. I have had it serviced regularly at a BMW dealership and it hasn't cost a huge amount in non-routine maintenance. Having read your comments a few times that cars are built to last around seven years I wonder whether I am on borrowed time? What can I expect to go wrong?

I currently drive about 8000 miles a year divided equally between short local trips and fortnightly motorway drives of about 260 miles. My wife and I are in our early seventies and who knows how long we will be fit to drive? I don't want to lay out a large amount of cash on a new car if I only get a couple of years out of it. On the other hand I enjoy driving so would not want to downsize on comfort and power unless my current car has serious problems.

Asked on 23 November 2013 by DP, Llandudno

Answered by Honest John
Current cars are riddled with components of relatively short design life that effectively gives them an economic life of around seven years. Your car was built before that, so it has less electronics to go wrong. The car is not worth selling. A similar 1999T BMW 523i SE auto, with 172,000 miles sold at auction for just £200 on 9 October. Best to carry on, but with the thought in the back of your mind that you will almost inevitably suffer a breakdown at some time. It's whether the potential cost and inconvenience of that breakdown is less important to you than the huge cost of shelling out on a newer car. www.clusterrepairs.co.uk might be able to fix that display.
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