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It fully depends on the use. My father and I repainted his 1984 BMW R80RT motorcycle using cheap rattlecan Rustoleum paint and clear coat. We painted it in our garage using a box fan for ventilation. Multiple coats, and wet sandings later we had a gorgeously redone bike. I remember him receiving multiple compliments on the paint job when we would go to BMW airhead meet ups. Not my dad’s old bike, but it's a spitting image of it. In that case, cheap paint with good technique and patience produced a favorable product. Around the same time, my grandfather repainted his 200 year old barn using the absolutely cheapest paint that any person could ever possibly hope to buy. He bought in bulk (obviously) and money miser that he is - he probably had a coupon too. It's been maybe 10 years now and even though the barn isn't the prettiest sight (it's by no fault of the paint, trust me) the paint did its job. The barn is red and the wood isn't rotten. Now, on the other hand, my wife and I repainted our living room shortly after moving in. We went from light tan to what we thought was going to be a “whips of blue”. What we actually got was the feeling we were living in an aquarium. The blue was much darker than we anticipated. I remember not being able to relax in the room because the color was so aggressive (now I know why they paint assylums and wards calming colors). It took about three coats of paint for us to cover the walls using Behr paint’s cheapest paint. About a month later, we were shopping for a paint to take us out of Kevin Costner’s Waterworld. We chose a very light grey and were dreading the thought of how many coats it would take to cover the much darker blue. When looking at our choices for paints we saw Behr’s Marquee line which guaranteed one coat coverage. I absolutely cringed when I saw the cost for a 5 gallon jug of the paint, but I figured I had nothing to lose with their guarantee. What it felt like in our living room. Sure enough, ,it took just one coat ,to eradicate the old color. After touching up a couple of missed spots we were done. I was truly astonished. It was worth every penny. We liked the paint and color so much we chose to paint our hallway the same color and have future plans to do our kitchen with it when we remodel in the furniture. On top of that, I believe the paint has held up to everyday life better than other paints I have used in the past - namely Glidden brand. We have two dogs, who in their rowdiness have jumped on the wall and run their claws across the paint. I've moved what seems like countless pieces of furniture in and out as my wife and a moved on from our post-college years into becoming more “adultier” adults. It stood up to all sorts of building materials, cast iron tubs (yes, plural. Old one out, new one in), and a plethora of tools hitting it when I did a down to the studs remodel of our bathroom. I doubt I will ever use another interior paint as long as I live.
I hope this is helpful…I own a 2011 Camaro SS/RS convertible. I bought it new and it now has ,just, under 10,000 miles. It is black/black/black. The new Camaros and Corvettes receive the same paint process as the Audis, BMWs, and Mercedes. My car has a ,flawless,, perfectly flat (in terms of surfactant, not shine), unbelievably glossy midnight in a cave black finish I’ve ever seen. Or it ,was,, until a photographer at a Christmas parade, two 8-year-olds sitting on the bonnet in a homecoming parade, and Miss Ardmore High School of 2013 all left their very minor marks on it. Fortunately, all the marks were in the clearcoat; none went to the paint or primer. I personally know and very much like the body shop manager at the Chevy dealer I bought the car from. It’sa fine body shop, and they’ve touched up cars and trucks for me before. But they don’t use the factory process. There was ,no way, Chevy was going to touch my car. So in March of 2015 I took it to the BMW/Audi/Jaguar dealer in Huntsville. They have the only body shop in town that would guarantee the repair in writing to be invisible and leave no swirl marks in the finish. Their labor fee: $50.00 per hour. ,Cheaper ,than Chevy. They had my car in the shop for 5 hours; the total bill, tax included, was $255.00. The repair is invisible, and there are no swirl marks. I do my own paint and body work except on the Corvette and Camaro. I’m ,very good,. Those cars require ,perfect. Take it to your local BMW dealer. Their paint will match perfectly, they use the BMW factory process, their techs are ,all, factory certified, and their work is without peer. And guaranteed. And I’ll bet you’ll pay for about 3 hours of labor and a smidge of paint and walk out for under $300.00.
I own two Mazdas, and would vote “no”. The first time I had an oil change for my 2006 Mazda MX-5 (in 2005), I had the service performed at the dealership. I had a coupon. The total charge for the oil and filter, plus labor, came to under $20. My previous oil change had been for a Porsche, and cost about $200. I also purchased a bottle of touch up paint from the parts department of the dealer..$5. A week later I received the exact same bottle of touch up paint in the mail from Mazda along with a “thank you for buying Mazda” letter. So that’s two bottles of touch up paint for five dollars. Porsche, MB, or BMW will costs multiples of that price. . I’ve never been unhappy with the costs associated with my Mazdas however, and don’t think they are more expensive than similar cars.
No. I’ve owned a few low quality cars in my life. The Tesla Model 3 is not one of them. Bob Lutz, former Detroit auto executive, wrote this about Tesla quality: Bob Lutz Talks Panel Gaps, Tesla, and Why Every Detail Matters It’s strange, but I don’t remember looking for fit and finish problems in cars I’ve purchased in the past. A quick walk around was all I did. If you wait till delivery to evaluate the quality of a car, it’s too late. The first car I ever bought new was a BMW. Great driving car. I loved it until things started going wrong. Have you ever been on a road trip and have the exhaust manifold break off the engine block? Since those days, I’ve learned to look a lot deeper to judge the quality of an automobile. When I was considering buying a Tesla Model 3 I did tons of research. I especially wanted to hear the testimony of Tesla owners. That’s easy to do these days using the internet. The problem is that forums devoted to a particular car attract more posts from people with problems than from those who are completely satisfied with their cars. There were numerous posts about early Model 3 fit and finish issues. People shared long check lists to walk through when taking delivery. It made me a little nervous, so I decided to do a walk through for the first time ever when I picked my Model 3 up in Tempe, AZ. Sure enough! I found two places where the paint was damaged. Both appeared to be damage caused when the headlights were being inserted into the body of the car. The woman at Tesla filed a ticket to have the blemishes repaired. Truth be told, I never followed through with the appointment. Months later I purchased a Tesla paint touch up kit to repair a couple of rock chips that happened on a road trip. I fixed the above imperfections as well. You’d never know unless I pointed to them, and even then it’s hard to see where they were. In the year I’ve owned my Model 3, the only thing I’ve needed fixed was the horn. It was harder to sound the horn pushing on the left side of the wheel than on the right. I had it fixed the same day I had the “Dual Motor” insignia placed on the trunk lid. My Model 3 was number 93 thousand and something. Tesla was still working out the bugs in their manufacturing lines as I recall. I’ve looked at other Model 3s since and see no fit and finish quality problems. Unfortunately, there are people with an agenda who are intent on making past build quality problems a reason not to buy this car. Baloney! I say, if you are at all concerned about cosmetic quality, drive to a Tesla store and judge for yourself. Take a test drive at the same time. I’m betting you will be immensely impressed.
Many cars have gone well over 1 million miles. Just ask a New York cabbie. Maintnance matters, but original engineering is a big factor. The Mercedes Benz 300e of late 90s is an example of an over-engineered car. Lots of million-miler 300e cars out there. Lots of Volvos are million-milers. It depends on, (IMHO) decending order: original design criteria w.r.t. product cycles/life, oil changes, other fluids flush/replacement (cooling, brake, transmission, differential), the number of cold starts (for any given mileage, fewer is better), city vs highway driving (somewhat redundant to the cold starts issue), other maintenance (shocks/struts/bushings, etc), and your tolerance for normal cosmetic wear & tear and squeaks and rattles. I have a 2005 BMW 530i with almost twice that mileage. It’s virtually worthless as a trade in, but it’s rock solid, and it runs and handles handles great - ,everything, works, and almost zero squeaks and rattles. Other than normal maintenance, I’ve had a transmission overhaul ($1.2K at 120K mi), new shocks/struts ($0.9K at 140K mi), new suspension bushings ($0.8K, also at 140K mi.), and new front and rear window rubber seals ($0.7K at 165K mi), and those prices were all at the at the local BMW dealer (Classic BMW of Plano, Tx) that has a $120/hr shop rate for labor. I use JiffyLube to change the oil every 5–7 K miles, and it does not burn but about 1/2 a quart between oil changes. I use Chevron (with Techron) for fuel (burns clean). It’s spent half it’s life outdoors, both day and night, but the paint is holding up just fine (I keep it waxed). I did buy new front headlights to address the dulling/yellowing. And I have a detail guy touch up rock chips and minor dings about once every 2 years. Looks like new to the untrianed eye. Here’s a picture, from about 2 months ago. Perfectly respectable family car. It may out-live me, but I also have two 20-year-old BMW garage queen sports cars, that are quite well preserved. They absolutely will out live me. Maybe someone will teach my grandkids to drive a stick, in case there is any dead dinosaur residue yet to burn.
I haven’t bought a BMW for over 10 years, but I tend to keep them for a long time. For various reasons I have driven several of the latest versions though, including the M6 Grand Coupe, the X6M, the latest M3 & M4 (on the Circuit of the Americas F1 track in Austin), and the amazing i8. My first BMW was a 1985 325e that I had for 10 years, and I did more mods than I should have, and eventually, traded up for a 1995 M3. Then I started going to track school at the Nurburgring in Germany as part of the BMW Car Club of Europe International Driving school. That’s when I really started to appreciate BMW. We (Americans, Canadians, etc.) would get ~25 identically prepared 328s (even the same color, consecutive serial numbers). We drove from the factory in Munich across country to the track in far western Germany. Great highway cars. On the track, we would beat them like government mules. Driving at or near the limit. Unfortunately, some (not me) went a bit past their limit and learned how fast a guardrail could get repaired and how fast the bill could be prepared. Unless wrecked, these cars held up wonderfully. Not even a hint of brake-fade nor warped rotors. Then, we would take our tag-along family out to dinner and it was still like driving a brand new car, even after 3 days of automotive abuse. I figured out that it wasn’t really abuse - it’s just what they are designed to do. So I bought 4 more over the next few years (and sold the M3 when I ran out of garage space.) My Z8 is somewhat of a sleeper - beats the Ferrari 360 of its day in all dimensions of the sports car performance envelope. Zero-60 in 4.2 sec. Not bad for a 2001 car. It will run just fine with the “big dog” Corvettes, Ferraris and Lambos on the track, but it’s only been tracked twice (Motorsport Ranch and Eagles Canyon Raceway, both outside the DFW area). It has 50,000 miles, and in near perfect condition, but these days it’s a bit of a garage queen. The M Coupe looks like a clown shoe, but it’s an amazing track car. It’s my wife’s sports car, and if I’m nice, she lets me drive it. Also tracked twice (same tracks as the Z8, but different events). You virtually strap-in and wear it. It handles fabulously. It makes me evil in traffic, but no one has to make evasive maneuvers because of me. More rare than the Z8, and also a garage queen. The 530i is my daily driver. Almost zero unscheduled maintenance over the course of 170,000 miles. The inline 6-banger is smooth as silk. Everything works. I get door-dings fixed and touch-up the rock chips and keep it waxed because it does get parked outdoors a lot in 100+ degree heat. It’s on its 5th set of tires, 3rd set of brakes, 2nd set of shocks/struts, and about 25th oil change. It has been perfectly reliable. I cannot come up with a decent reason to trade up. The MiniCooper S (a BMW brand) is a great city car. It’s my wife’s daily driver, and she loves it. Quite “flickable” but the small wheels make the ride a bit harsh. Frankly, we’ve had about $4K of unscheduled maintenance over it’s 70,000 miles that I think should not have been required in a better designed engine. Our kids in California have a 1999 528 “Touring” (station wagon) and it been quite serviceable, We think it’s a very practical car for them, and we have grandkids that ride in car seats in the back. I trust its crashworthiness Some cars pamper you. Some cars engage you. BMW seems to prioritize the latter over the former. Here’s the only picture I have of the 4 of our BMWs together. I call it “Das Bimmer Haus”. By the way, you will no doubt notice that they are all metallic silver. Call it OCD if you want, but get an infrared thermometer (~$10 on Amazon) and walk thru a Texas parking lot in July/August and point it at the car roof-tops and you will understand why. Also, silver shows less dirt. Road-grime is primarily silica, and that stuff is silver. And car paint doesn’t damaged when it gets dirty, but does tend to get scratched when it gets cleaned. Plus, we just both happen to like silver cars.
A Chevy Corvette, a BMW 330i, or LOL at my most common / daily driver - a 2000 Eddie Bauer Explorer. (Though the Explorer is mint, in fact better than mint, maintained and overhauled by me personally - rebuilt 5.0 v-8, rebuilt transmission and transfer case, rebuilt suspension, upgraded radio with blue tooth, dvd, backup cam, etc. One day I realized how “mechanically new” Eddie was, so I had it painted and had the interior leather touched up too.
Internet Explorer - 1995 Toyota Corolla This car is a perfectly fine, reliable car. Lots of people drive them to work every day. Nothing wrong with wanting to drive it, you say to yourself. The paint is starting to wear though, and you wish that the passenger’s window still worked. If this is the car you drive, you wish people would stop talking about their cars all the time. Microsoft Edge - 2016 Toyota Corolla It’s a flashy and peppy car, and it makes a pretty bold statement. You’re really happy that you bought it, and you drive it around town to show off. Underneath all of the high-tech features and futuristic look, you get the feeling that it’s basically the same car it replaced. If this is the car you drive, you really want to have a nice car, but you don’t really know enough about cars to pick something else. Safari - 2015 BMW 325i This car is a reliable performance vehicle. You can tell when you drive it that it was engineered with attention to detail, and that makes you really happy. Everything is only good as long as it keeps working though, because the dealer charges you an arm and a leg for repairs. Sometimes you wish that it was less complicated and small things didn’t break. If this is the car you drive, you really enjoy well-built, fancy cars, and you’re game to spend the cash for one. Google Chrome - 2016 Ford Mustang GT In your eyes, this car is the best car. Really fast on the street, flawless reliability, and an absolutely famous marquee. You’ve known ever since you were a kid that this was the car for you, and as soon as you could get one you went out and bought it immediately. It’s really fun to drive around town, and sometimes at stoplights you’ll rev the engine just for fun. Everything would be perfect, if your gas mileage wasn’t terrible. If this is the car you drive, you’re a proud owner, and you won’t ever stop talking about it. Mozilla Firefox (32 bit) - 1989 Mercedes Benz E250 You bought this car off some guy on Craigslist for $1500. Back in the day it was a great car, and you’re proud that you can still keep it on the road. It’s got a lot of wear to it, but it works surprisingly well for its age. Little things like to break randomly, and you have to do all the repair work on it yourself, because no mechanic in town will touch it. You constantly worry about the day that something serious gives out. If this is the car you drive, you’re an obsessive mechanic, but most of your cars are broken and on blocks. Edit (2/17): Adding a couple more based on comment requests. Edit (4/17): Adding some more and tweaking a few. Mozilla Firefox (64 bit) - 2017 Dodge Charger Hellcat They took your old standby, your favorite car, and they upgraded it. It’s got all the same underpinnings, but now it’s modern and fast and cool, and that makes all the difference. Unfortunately, you can tell when you drive it that it’s still a bit dated; the performance and stability aren’t quite what you were expecting. You don’t let that bother you, though, because it’s still a great ride! If this is the car you drive, you are incredibly glad that your team finally pulled through. Opera - 2016 Toyota 86 You got this car because your friend had one, and you absolutely loved driving theirs. It’s fast and fun and it looks really slick; your only complaint is that it doesn't really stand out from the crowd. But, any time you see someone else driving one, you like to give them a smile and a nod, just for being in the same “club.” If this is the car you drive, you’re very careful and particular about choosing your car, and you enjoy cars with a lot of polish to them. Vivaldi - Caterham Seven When you went looking for a car, you knew exactly what you wanted. You had seen a review of this car on the internet and immediately fallen in love with the entire idea of it, of a car that has a clear vision and a total dedication to it. You spent months digging around forums until you were absolutely certain it was what you wanted, then you ordered one special from the UK. Now that it’s here and you can drive it, you have absolutely no regrets. Except sometimes you wish it had a roof. Or a trunk. If this is the car you drive, you don’t let people’s expectations get in the way of your vision of the perfect car. Konqueror - 1988 Pontiac Fiero This car is your old faithful and your obsession. When it came out, it was cool and exciting, and you can proudly rattle off the radical designs and features that make it such a special car. Unfortunately, the years haven’t been as kind to it as you would have liked. You’ve heard that people do engine swaps and updates to modernize theirs, and if you ever get the time, you figure you’d like to do a restoration yourself. If this is the car that you drive, you like to reminisce about the good-old-days. Netscape Navigator - 1978 Oldsmobile 88 You bought this car brand new in 1978 to drive you to the grocery store. You’ve driven it ever since then (mostly on Sunday), and you refuse to give it up for one of those newfangled cars with their gadgets and gizmos and fuel injection and turbochargers. It’s slow and old but it’s yours and you like it that way. Change isn’t something you ever want. If this is the car you drive, it’s going to be the car you drive until you die. TOR - M1 Abrams Tank Someone told you once that cars aren’t particularly safe. You figured that you would solve that problem, and so you went and bought a tank. It’s questionably legal and you get some weird looks for driving it to work, but you can rest assured in the fact that you are absolutely safe from everything. Your friends continually insist that perhaps you’ve taken your concerns with safety a bit too far. You certainly don’t think so. If this is the car you drive, safety is your number one priority. All the time.
You decide. I have a $175,000 Mercedes Benz G63 with multiple recalls, a transmission that needed replacing after only 30,000 miles, ABS and EPS that labeled themselves “Defective” not merely “Need Service,” custom upholstery that failed, Distronic and sensor failures, finish that needed scratches buffed out, touch up painting that did not match, and I have already filed two safety complaints with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration … with others pending. In one recent 12 week period it spent 7 of those weeks in the repair shop. The dealer has declined to even make an offer on buying it back. I haven’t driven a Beamer in years but wish I had.