Ok, it’s been about a month now since I traded in my BMW 535i and bought a Ford Explorer. Let me start by saying that this is a awesome car. I honestly thought it would be tough to adjust from my 9th or 10th luxury European car, to an American SUV. Of course the obvious Engine and Suspension is not as good as the BMW’s, but regardless this car is super comfortable and can hold it’s own on the road. There were a number of reasons why I traded in my BMW for a Ford Explorer however the main reason was because of the cost of maintenance. I am not going to get into too much detail about the comparison in cost of maintenance, however I will tell you simply.
The last time I went in for an Oil Change on my BMW, it was $225. They told me that I need a new Valve Cover Gasket because its leaking ( They told me the same thing about my oil filter housing the previous time and charged me close to $1500, and the “NEW” leak they found is in the same spot. They also said I need steering bushings. And since I had my car for a while now, I wanted to replace my spark plugs too. They want $4000. Are you kidding me? Just to give a a perspective, BMW wants $4000 for some rubber and spark plugs, when I can get another Engine for this explorer for around the same price. Hope that puts a good perspective on how much money you have to throw away to keep a European Car.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with BMW and Mercedez, its just over priced for the maintenance. If money was not a factor, of course I would prefer a luxury car over my Explorer.
So is the Ford Explorer a perfect vehicle? Of course not! There are minor things I had to do to my car within a couple months just to bring it up to standard.
Of course the most basic, TINT. Living in Las Vegas, and driving all time, tint is a must! Not only for heat, but also to prevent yourself from getting skin cancer. I have been going to the same person for TINT for 20 years now, and this time we decided to go with Rayno. I always though Llumar was the best, but he showed me the differences between Rayno and LLumar, and I chose Rayno Ceramic which stops 99% of heat and 99% UV. Not only the sides, but the front windshield was tinted with a clear film that does the same!
Next is Carbridge for Carplay and these Sync 3 systems. I actually did a lot of research on this subject because I am so used to unlocking video and motion capabilities in most of my vehicles. I actually thought I was out of luck until I got Carbridge to work on my Ford Explorer. Carbridge basically allows you to use your Apple Carplay the way it should.
Once you have Carbridge installed on your jailbroken iPhone, you can access pretty much any app from your Carplay screen. Yes this means you can watch Youtube and/or your own videos while you drive. You can use your messaging apps. Your social media apps. Even the NFL apps works so you can watch live football when a game is on.
I like to play music videos while I drive, however my files need to be resized. My BMW had a super wide screen, so I had all my video files resized. Once I resize them back to standard, there won’t be any black bars on the top and bottom of my music videos.
Last but not least, I had to add a sub woofer to this Explorer. It’s been a while since I added a Sub to any of my cars. This car has no bass. I will say again, this car has no bass. I don’t have the Sony option in my Explorer, however I do have the Premium sound option, and still this car has no bass. I even thought I was being sensitive for a while, especially since my BMW had subs under the seats, and you feel the bass. I did confirm though when other people got in my car and asked me why I lowered the bass. I had to show people that I actually had the bass set to about +4. Didnt go higher because I didn’t want to blow the speakers. But if you are like me and need some decent Audio in your car, add a a sub woofer. I went with a 12″ Alpine S Sub woofer, a 1600 watt amp, and a ported box. I can go on for days explaining the differences in sound with different types of subs, and boxes, however let’s just say that I am not trying to have people hear me from 3 blocks away. Just some more bass for my sounds!
So there is my breakdown so far of my Ford VS BMW. Of course the Ford doesn’t come close when it comes to performance, especially on the freeway. But if you factor in cost, comfort, safety and all the other features vs price, I like the Explorer a lot more. I did have to go with the Sport option because the design, the 20″ Rims, and the stiffness. I also chose the 2nd Row Captain chairs instead of the bench……which also meant that I sacrificed all leather for leather with suede inserts.
I will definitely add another post with more details down the road, and updates!