When I bought my current cabriolet, it came with the optional hardtop, which I love, and in theory it’s great for “winter use”, however this winter, I decided to run without it.
The pros are it gives the car a second look, you can run “frameless coupe” mode, which you can’t in the actual coupe, and unlike the cabrio roof, it has a glass & heated rear screen. However, I have neither a garage, nor the space at home to keep it, which runs a few compounded issues. Before the fabric roof is stored for any period of time, it has to be dry, the roof is a two person’d job, and again you want it dry before you take it off to stash it in the house. As I don’t really have room to stash it at home, this means dads, which means this also has to be planned. This means last year it went on mid September 2011, just as we witnessed a lovely heatwave at the start of October, and didn’t come off till near the end of March, so that was nearly 6 months with a convertible I couldn’t use.
BMW 323i Convertible (E36 2.5l M52)
Starting mileage – 117662 7th July 2011 – 127287 30th September 2012
Total Miles – 9625
MPG – 25.76mpg
- £215 – 12 months VED (July 11)
- £134 – Inspection Service
- £251 – Front Dunlop SP2000E
- £43 – Crankshaft Sensor
- £220 – Pagid discs & pads all round
- £493 – Insurance
- £40 – MoT
- £30 – Bonnet Badge
- £400 – Front Bilstein B4 Shock Absorbers (£135), Front Sachs springs (£135) & fitting (£130)
- £223 – 12 months VED (July 12)
It’s been over 14 months since my last running report on the 323i, and at first glance the costs may look expensive, but, two years tax & the insurance are just annual unavoidable’s, and even if there are cheaper to tax cars I think I’m saving some on depreciation. Tyres & brakes are service items and should hopefully see at least two-three years motoring, and neither were chosen on price, the tyres particularly, were chosen purely because they’re the OEM spec, and one of the reasons I bought the car was that it was, even at 14 years old, still running OEM spec tyres all round, so when the moment came to replace them, I chose to carry on running it on OEM Dunlops, rather than a cheaper mid-premium option.
- £60 - Wind Deflector
- £295 - Water Pump & Bottom Arm
- £440 - both rear arches & rear bumped painted