BMW reliability - kal
Re: 1999 new shape BMW 318i auto

Just taken my car into the one and only BMW dealer in Abu Dhabi, yes I live and work in the middle east.

Latest in long line of faults since new is that the air flow meter has packed up and is about and is responsible for rough idle and vibration. Speaking to BMW service manager his view is that BMW electronics find life tough due to the heat and dust of the middle east, which is a fair point but are cars not made these day for all geographies? It seems to me that these cars are only made for the average environment and if you live and drive these cars in extreme heat or cold then you should expect more faults. So much for the "ultimate driving machine". BMW service manager says Japanese electronics more reliable but also more simplle which I find hard to believe.

Incidenly the other faults have been 5 window regulators, a/c unit, thermostat, steering wheel bushes, air bag warning light, electric mirror motors, DISA adjustment unit and crankcase vent valve all in only 40,000 KM of motoring. Pretty shoddy d'ont you think! Any comments would be welcome.
BMW reliability - Burnout2
You've been unlucky - no question. Our 1999 328i has suffered failed climate control, and failed parking sensors (three times) but that's it; quite acceptable over three years - and all fixed under warranty of course. My impression from other BMW owners is that BMW engineering is pretty much bulletproof where the mechanicals are concerned, whereas the electrics are no more than averagely resiliant.

All modern cars undergo extensive performance testing in climatic extremes, so your service manager is being somewhat disingenuous - although harsher climates do take a toll. The comment about Japanese electrics being simpler is nonsense.
BMW reliability - kal
Talking to a Mercedes dealer he was of the opinion that these German car manufacturers do not sell sufficient volumes in the middle east to make specific modifications apart from the obvious such as larger radiators. It's disgraceful. What about cars sold in North Africa, Australia or the USA all of these places have variable climatic and geograhic conditions. I think some of these car manufactureres should team with a good university engineering department and design electrical and electronic components to withstand higher levles of heat and humidity.
BMW reliability - ian
Kal,

Does your car have the 1.9 M44 engine? if so how rough/lumpy is the idle? I was told that this engine has quite a lumpy normal tickover by a dealer when I asked him if my low mileage example was normal (thought it may have been clogged up), he looked and listened and said that a bad one is rocking in the engine bay at idle, is yours like this?

I agree that bm's are not as durable at component level as their prestige reputation may suggest. You can't beat the japanese for detail engineering/component durability.
BMW reliability - kal
Hi

thanks for reply, my idle is fairly stable - their is no rocking as you suggest.

One thing is for sure my next car will have made in Japan written on it, the fact is that if you buy a small Nissan Micra or a Lexus dealer service and vehicle reliability is consistently superior to UK / Europe car manufacturers. How are the Swedes when it comes to reliability and service?
 

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