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#1 boomer262

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 05:59 PM

Ok, so based on many things I have read while researching my eventual move to Cozumel, I know I am going to get some head shakes and groans on this one. Those will be in addition to people questioning my intelligence.

So if a resident happened to be in possession of a few year old BMW 3-series convertible, how unrealistic would it be to get basic service down there? I realize that parts (especially major ones) may require time to order and arrive or may need to be bought at BMW in Cancun. If anything more involved needs to be done, there is always the BMW dealership in Cancun. I know the roads are not in the best shape and it isn't easy to put a lot of miles on a car there(it's an island for God's sake). I also realize that the car may end up as a magnet for people messing with it, but the idea of having a beautiful machine like that while driving along the east side of the island is kind of hard to pass up.

Anyway, how available might basic service like oil changes be? Any BMW owners you know of on the island or nearby on the mainland? Do people really think I am dumb for asking these questions? I know I have not seen many of them driving around when visiting.
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#2 DebB

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 09:07 PM

There are many BMWs -- and Mercedes Benz -- here. You should review all of the rules for bringing cars into Mexico to make sure that you may import it and keep it here before you commit yourself to the drive.
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#3 scubawoman

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:16 AM

Ok, so based on many things I have read while researching my eventual move to Cozumel, I know I am going to get some head shakes and groans on this one. Those will be in addition to people questioning my intelligence.

So if a resident happened to be in possession of a few year old BMW 3-series convertible, how unrealistic would it be to get basic service down there? I realize that parts (especially major ones) may require time to order and arrive or may need to be bought at BMW in Cancun. If anything more involved needs to be done, there is always the BMW dealership in Cancun. I know the roads are not in the best shape and it isn't easy to put a lot of miles on a car there(it's an island for God's sake). I also realize that the car may end up as a magnet for people messing with it, but the idea of having a beautiful machine like that while driving along the east side of the island is kind of hard to pass up.

Anyway, how available might basic service like oil changes be? Any BMW owners you know of on the island or nearby on the mainland? Do people really think I am dumb for asking these questions? I know I have not seen many of them driving around when visiting.



And you should check out insurance coverage to make sure that your car is covered. You will need to purchase Mexican insurance here. If you have an accident, will damage be repaired as you "like it"? Any car with out of country plates is always a target. How many times will you actually be cruising over to the other side? Or, will you be happier returning to the U.S. to enjoy your car?
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#4 boomer262

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:40 AM

Well, according to the plan, I will only be able to live in Cozumel for about 2 years while working remotely from home. I may get lucky and be able to stay longer, but I have my doubts. The entry of the car shouldn't be an issue with a residente temporal visa and I have already done initial checks on the insurance. Getting it fixed to my standards will be the main issue that concerns me. For anything more involved, hopefully I can rely on the dealership in Cancun. You do make an excellent point though on ensuring that the insurance would pay for fixing the car to my standards. I won't be going back to the US often while living there. If I head back to California/Nevada during that time, I will definitely be flying.

As for it being a target, I hope to live in a place where my car will at least be gated. It has to leave the house sometimes though! :P
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#5 mstevens

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:43 AM

I haven't had a BMW on the island, but I know there are people who do. I've seen a number of X3's and X5's, old and new series Z4's and a bunch of 3- and 5-series. Obviously people are finding ways to make it work.

That said, it's probably not something I'd do. I've driven BMW's and been a BMW CCA member for over 30 years, but there are issues. One is salt air. My cars rusted on Galveston island and I'd expect them to on Cozumel. The roads are awful and stock BMW wheels are soft, so tire and wheel damage are fairly likely. In addition to parts, BMW's require a number of specialized tools as well as external software and electronics.

It is awfully tempting to have a convertible, though (even if I wouldn't take my Z4). Why not contact the Cancun dealer and ask them - I wouldn't be surprised if they have technicians who could go to the island for some service tasks.
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#6 boomer262

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 12:11 PM

Thanks for the great advice!
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#7 MarkC

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:57 PM

Can you not do your own oil and filter changes or brake jobs?

hmmmm....
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#8 boomer262

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:27 PM

I could if I had to. I have done those in the past. If I have to go back to doing those myself, it's not the end of the world. Plus, I don't have to change my oil nearly as often now that I use a full synthetic.
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#9 mslf500

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:53 PM

Do BMW's use those hard to find cartridge filters and O-rings like my AMG does? If so, I'd bring a couple of those down with you as the local aciete places may not have them in stock.
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#10 boomer262

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 08:35 PM

EXCELLENT point. I hadn't thought of that, but I should have. Good thinking.
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#11 Jim912

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 04:50 AM

Something else you might want to inquire about. Are BMW's sold in Mexico the same as the ones sold in the US. I know this sounds stupid but we have had three US cars on Cozumel and parts can be an issue. Our two Jettas are diesel. Although assembled at a plant in Mexico City they have US VIN numbers and all part numbers are US based. When we had a transmission go out VW Mexico could not match the numbers or get the parts. We had to contact our local VW retailer back in the states and purchase and ship all the parts down.

As far as the oil changes. We have been doing our own for years. We run synthetic and change all the oil, fuel, air and in cabin filters ourselves once a year. We never reach the 10,000 mile limit on the oil in a year. We brought down a good supply of filters and synthetic oil specific for our diesel.
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#12 boomer262

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 07:48 AM

That is another good point. I'll probably end up somewhere similar on the mileage and oil changes. I will continue to work from home there, so my mileage won't be too crazy. The car will mostly be used to go to the grocery store, the gym, and the occasional small road trip.
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