Originally Posted by Numark318i
on the E thin...E30 ftw. but thats a biased opinion.
There's more truth to that than you think. E36's were never meant to last very long; they were designed with recycling and a shorter lifespan in mind. E46's haven't been around long enough to see how they will fare. But I doubt they will surpass the durability and reliability of the E30.
"Shelf life" is probably a bad term for what you're asking. If you're asking how long they actually last on the road, that of course depends on how well they're maintained. But from what I see on all the forums, I'm guessing the average is maybe 160k before moderate (fixable) problems start to occur with the engine, and I see a lot of folks rebuilding the engine at around 200k. It's probably rare that a motor can go 300-500k w/o one. But it doesn't mean it can't do it. The rest of the car is of course, a different story.
The question of how much is enough before you're putting in more than the car's value is moot . . I'd say if you're planning to have it for longer than 100k, then you've already decided that it doesn't matter.