Piston Slap: The Babe, the Bimmer and the CPO Warranty

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap the babe the bimmer and the cpo warranty

John writes:

Sajeev, a buddy at work paid 26k for a 2006 530ix with 39,000 miles. The seller is a pretty, late 20s heiress who had a new Bentley in the driveway. She wanted 30k but took the cash. My buddy does not know anything about working on cars and hopes that it does not break before 150,000 mile like his parents old 5 series. He left message at local dealer asking about cost of extended warranty. They didn’t call back.

I tell him to go there in person, ask, then offer 2/3 and see what they say for factory CPO deal. Don’t take other than factory warranty – BMW as counter party. He thinks maybe not since its only two years left with any extended warranty, saying “so what, tires wear out, right?”

I say, “Yes. And heads warp and trannies stop shifting too.”

Sajeev replies:

Does your friend like sushi and overpriced drinks at a snobbish metro-lounge? Or champagne and caviar served beach side in Barbados? He had better, since he’ll be sweet-talking that “pretty heiress” into buying a BMW Certified Pre-Owned Warranty.

Or not. To be eligible, BMW’s CPO program requires the original owner to make the request during the factory warranty period. And, like most of us, I’m guessing that pretty heiresses won’t go out of their way to help your friend. After the BMW’s proceeds are posted to her bank account, of course.

If the cost of repairs is really a big deal, tell your friend to get a third party warranty and find a respected BMW mechanic outside of the dealer’s domain. Or give up when it becomes a money pit and buy a more cost effective vehicle. Either way, enjoy the Ultimate All-Wheel Drive Sedan in the meantime.

[Send your technical queries to mehta@ttac.com]

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4 of 51 comments
  • Durishin Durishin on May 27, 2009

    My best friend as a safe driver and a very good driver. He bought a 2003 540i with the sport package and under 10k miles on it in 2005 So far he has... - Replaced the vapour barriers twice - replaced the sun roof 3 times - replaced two A/C compressors - replaced the steering column once or twice - replaced a window motor or two He probably has 45k on it now. It has had extended warranty coverage - it is a BMW Certified Pre-Owned (leased) vehicle. It's a Bimmer. BUY THE WARRANTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Campisi Campisi on May 27, 2009

    I own an Alfa Romeo as a daily driver, which means I more often than not win the "biggest repair bills" contest. I would suggest that the owner do what I do: put about a hundred bucks into a separate bank account every month, to pay for when the car needs parts or (god forbid) shop time for a problem you yourself cannot handle in your garage. If the car predictably turns into a drama queen, you can handle it; and if it turns out to be an excellent example of the breed, you have a sizeable chunk of change to throw on top of your budget for its eventual stablemate/replacement.

  • Hurls Hurls on May 28, 2009

    As others have said, there's a lot of little crap on these modern German luxury cars that dies way before it should. The CPO warranty is nice, unless your automatic transmission dies ... oh let's say 4 months after it expires. (Ask me how I know this). And your automatic transmission will die. Have him follow the advice here on the "extra" maintenance items. Highly recommended to join the BMWCCA and get the "old school maintenance" schedule from their Tech Talk and follow it. I've reached the point where I'll only lease German cars, and get rid of them at/before the warranty expires. Though I still have a 135i with minimal options and a proper manual in the back of my head as an actual purchase.