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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys,

I needed to have my parking brake repaired at the dealer (button assembly fell out, won't click when pulled). The dealer indicated that it would take an hour of labor to troubleshoot the issue. I know that if a repair wasn't going to work, the entire parking brake assembly would need to be replaced, part number from realoem:

01 Handbrake lever leather black 1 34411164489 $85.77

Dealer quoted me $150.00 from their service catalog last Wednesday, which I understood was parts and labor. However, when they contacted me on Friday, they indicated that the $150.00 was only for the part, and the total cost after taxes would be $380.00! :banghead:

Now, given the initial quote, I was expecting at most $255 before taxes. What I'd like to know is twofold:

1. Markup is to be expected on anything at the dealer, that is understandable. Assuming that they told me wrongly at first, is $150.00 a reasonable price for the parking brake assembly?

2. Original labor quote was 1 hour and a half, but they brought that down to 1 hour. Does this seem reasonable?

3. Overall, how fair/unfair is this price in your opinions?

I'm not looking to place blame at the moment, simply to understand if this is simply a case where I didn't appreciate how costly something like this would be, or if the stealer is taking advantage of me?

And yeah, I probably should have DIY'd it if possible... I was concerned though that as this is a safety issue, I should have it taken care of by experts.

Thanks for your replies!
 

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I think an hour seems reasonable labor to charge. It should take them shorter than that. You have to remove the entire center console which is not to terribly difficult.

I had this problem and bought a replacement assembly used off eBay with a bad boot for around $30 shipped. I put my good boot and handle on it. It took me about 45 min to replace beginning to end.

Total cost was $30 and some of my time.


Sent from my iPhone using BimmerApp
 

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i would have brought it to a good, reliable indy shop... my .02
 

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My car will always go to indy shops that I trust. Between them and info from the forums, I know I will not get robbed by the stealers.
 

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did you leave your car with them yet? the parking brake is a pretty straightforward job, you can order the part from a sponsor and bring it to almost any old shop. for uncomplicated stuff that i am too lazy to DIY, i use STS (local chain). their labor rate is lower than the good indy i use for the serious stuff.
 

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OP,

If it's already been done, then I'd agree that it's not a great price, but you weren't ripped off.

Yes, you could have bought the part yourself without dealer markup...I order my parts from my local dealer, get a discount, and pick up parts...you can check what the price would have been for you if you're curious at onlinebmwparts.com (enter e46fan as coupon code).

But, an hour sounds about right...as someone said, and I agree, removing the console is easy...first time, just a few things to figure out...but after console is off...it's four bolts out and back in again...a few electrical connections...console back on.

Maybe 45 mins...maybe a little less with experience...

That said, there are some things for which dealers are actually competitive with indy shops...especially on complicated/intricate things that indys might not have done often, but dealer has a guy who does them all the time. Also, dealers have some really expensive machines that indys don't.

But, for many things...indys are great and maybe 40% less than dealers (plus or minus)...but for many things also...diys are the way to go. This was one of them. I recall your original thread...and if I didn't suggest diying at the time, my apologies. If I did and you didn't trust my advice...just don't let it happen again! LOL

Collectively, we know tons here...and I dare say together...we know more than most mechs who'd be working on your car...and we'll tell you the right things to do (along with the wrong things too...but those you can often avoid by thinking!)...and sadly, many out there don't always do what's right, but what's expedient, or the least possible.

Feel better now? LOL

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OP,

If it's already been done, then I'd agree that it's not a great price, but you weren't ripped off.

Yes, you could have bought the part yourself without dealer markup...I order my parts from my local dealer, get a discount, and pick up parts...you can check what the price would have been for you if you're curious at onlinebmwparts.com (enter e46fan as coupon code).

But, an hour sounds about right...as someone said, and I agree, removing the console is easy...first time, just a few things to figure out...but after console is off...it's four bolts out and back in again...a few electrical connections...console back on.
Thanks dmax, at least that's small comfort. I don't have enough experience, I was concerned that I'd have to deal with the high tension parking brake cable, so I was a bit gunshy. Lesson learned!

That said, there are some things for which dealers are actually competitive with indy shops...especially on complicated/intricate things that indys might not have done often, but dealer has a guy who does them all the time. Also, dealers have some really expensive machines that indys don't.
I actually have an indy, but I think I panicked and also was swayed by the nearness of the dealer to my workplace. Another lesson learned...

But, for many things...indys are great and maybe 40% less than dealers (plus or minus)...but for many things also...diys are the way to go. This was one of them. I recall your original thread...and if I didn't suggest diying at the time, my apologies. If I did and you didn't trust my advice...just don't let it happen again! LOL

Collectively, we know tons here...and I dare say together...we know more than most mechs who'd be working on your car...and we'll tell you the right things to do (along with the wrong things too...but those you can often avoid by thinking!)...and sadly, many out there don't always do what's right, but what's expedient, or the least possible.
Yeah, this is why I trust the advice and members of this forum. You guys have helped me sooo much! :D

Feel better now? LOL

Doug
As well as I can given the circumstance. Guess I'd better go find me a Bentley manual! :thumbup:

Thanks to everyone else, I appreciate the support/knowledge/light kicking :)
 

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As well as I can given the circumstance. Guess I'd better go find me a Bentley manual! :thumbup:

Thanks to everyone else, I appreciate the support/knowledge/light kicking :)
If you want to avoid paying for it...look for the .pdf version online
 

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I think they have to charge you a min of an hour even if it's a 30 min job. You can always try to negotiate that but most of the time they'll round it up to an hour.
 
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