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    I only own a 51 plate 3 series and every other week there's a problem with it, one week it's the central locking and the next the brake lights won't turn off and now I need new calipers. It's done 98k miles and I bought it 4 months ago from a reputable garage.

    And every time there's a slight hiccup they charge me and arm and a leg. That's only for a diagnosis by the way, they'll open the bonnet, have a sneak peak, ring me an hour later and demand I pay them £30. Shall I get rid of it? I love the car, insurance is fine but it's just these little problems that crop up now and then that are getting me down..
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    (Original post by darkknight33)
    I only own a 51 plate 3 series and every other week there's a problem with it, one week it's the central locking and the next the brake lights won't turn off and now I need new calipers. It's done 98k miles and I bought it 4 months ago from a reputable garage.

    And every time there's a slight hiccup they charge me and arm and a leg. That's only for a diagnosis by the way, they'll open the bonnet, have a sneak peak, ring me an hour later and demand I pay them £30. Always giving me Big-Money-Worries, the Biatch-Moaning-Whore. Shall I get rid of it? I love the car, insurance is fine but it's just these little problems that crop up now and then that are getting me down..
    Unfortunately near the 100k mile mark is when bits and bobs like this start happening. What I'd do would be go online to a good BMW forum and do self-maintenance yourself. You'd be surprised by how much you'll save, and you'll know that you've done the job right.

    You could also grab a Haynes manual which outlines exactly how to maintain, modify and even dismantle/reassemble your car.

    You'll find that your car's value may not justify this though, if you do want to sell it try to sell it privately as you'll get more than you would from a dealer.
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    As the owner of a 1998 BMW 3 series, I feel I can probably give you first hand advice on this!

    Find an independent specialist to do the work for you instead of a main dealer. I use two garages (one at home, one at university) and I have found maintenance costs to be no more expensive than the Mondeos I had before.

    The central locking thing is fairly common - mine had the complete module replaced before I bought it and the bill was £300 I think. A mate who has a similar car had the same problem - he took the module out (very easy) and sent it away to get refurbished. £40 later and it was working again!

    Get yourself onto owners forums - PistonHeads is excellent, and e46 Fanatics is good too. Lots of very knowledgeable members who will help you find faults and save you a lot of money. If you feel like getting your hands dirty then there are online guides / YouTube videos which show you how to do just about anything. They are fairly easy to work on as well.

    It doesn't sound like yours has serious faults - brake callipers can go on any car, the central locking module is a common fault, and I doubt the brake light thing is anything major. Get yourself onto an enthusiast forum and get stuck in

    They are great cars, stick with it! Mine is on 122k and running beautifully, another mate has one on 155k and it is the same. Another mate had one on 130k that he thrashed hell out of constantly and it only died when he drove it into deep water.

    Mileage is irrelevant on these cars, just keep it service every 10k / every year and keep an eye on all the levels and it will last for ages.

    Feel free to drop me a PM if you need any more advice / help
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    If you think £30 is an arm and a leg for car repairs, especially for a premium marque such as BMW, you're in for a serious surprise at some point!
    My dad was charged £100 for diagnosis by a BMW/Merc specialist (not a dealer) which consisted of pulling the codes off with a reader, reading the voltages and charging the battery. 20 minutes work if you took it very slowly, and even then they couldn't diagnose the fault beyond being alternator related (which was damn obvious, not least of which because the dash display said so!).
 
 
 
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