To give you some background, I'm a 27 year-old guy about to get married next month, and I just bought a home. I have had two BMWs, a '92 325i which I owned for six years and 150,000 miles, and a 2000 323i, which I leased for six months and had to sell due to the home purchase (the $600 a month for the car just wasn't going to impress my home lender at approval time).
Anyway, I've been driving my mom's 2000 Turbo Beetle for the last few months, and it's a neat little car, but I'm basically suffering from BMW withdrawal on an hourly basis now (no exaggeration).
My fear though, stems from the amount of times my E36 had to go back to the dealer for minor repairs (average of 3-4 times per month). I say "minor", but they generally weren't things I could repair myself- most of the time it was broken interior trim pieces, warped rotors, alternator/ electrical part replacement, etc,- things which were taken to the dealer because the car was under warranty for 4 years, and things I probably wouldn't tackle myself out-of-warranty.
I don't really know of a good independent BMW mechanic around here in rural Southeastern PA, and everything I do repair-wise is through my dealer. I'm looking to buy an early 1990's 525i wth the M50 engine (between 50 and 75K miles on the clock), but I just wonder if I'm making a mistake. I don't want astronomical repair bills every month, but unfortunately I have this very strong desire to get back into a BMW, and nothing else I drive comes close. Am I crazy? Is there another BMW which would serve me better?
Thanks for your time and any info!