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If you were REQUIRED to go to the Dealer for Maintenance would you still own the car?

  • Yes

    Votes: 22 14.8%
  • No

    Votes: 127 85.2%
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Discussion Starter #1
I was thinking about this after I did my brakes. I just slapped on my new rotors/pads from Bimmerbrakes last week and was trying to figure up how much it would have cost if I went to the dealer to get this done. I'm guessing maybe $700+.

Financially, this would have been a hard pill for me to swallow for something I know how to do, but it got me thinking. What if the E46 was one of those cars you just had to take to the dealer. I know its not, but for a second lets imagine it was. Would you still own one?

I'm just thinking about all the stuff I've done: Oil filter housing gasket, cooling overhaul / flush, brakes, trim repair, ICV cleaning, etc. and I can't even imagine how much $ it would be at the dealer here in Louisville.

Anyways, discuss!
 

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No, I couldn't afford to. Right now it is costing me about $1000 year in parts.
 

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Maybe if the dealership charged $40 to $50 per hour, charged cost for parts and didn't over-estimate I could "swallow" it. But not at $120/ hour + overcharged parts
 

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I was thinking about this after I did my brakes. I just slapped on my new rotors/pads from Bimmerbrakes last week and was trying to figure up how much it would have cost if I went to the dealer to get this done. I'm guessing maybe $700+.

Financially, this would have been a hard pill for me to swallow for something I know how to do, but it got me thinking. What if the E46 was one of those cars you just had to take to the dealer. I know its not, but for a second lets imagine it was. Would you still own one?

I'm just thinking about all the stuff I've done: Oil filter housing gasket, cooling overhaul / flush, brakes, trim repair, ICV cleaning, etc. and I can't even imagine how much $ it would be at the dealer here in Louisville.

Anyways, discuss!
I was quoted a little over $1000.00 for front and rear brakes at my local dealership while I was there getting my state inspection done. I don't think I would own an E46 if I was required to take it to the dealership. Although it is easy for me to say that because we are currently not required to take it to the dealership.
 

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Here is the reason why I wouldn't the following is a list of why I wouldn't. I took my car in for the subframe inspection last year and this is JUST the quote on labor for stuff. I told them they should have added the vanos seals. Next to it you will see how long it took me to do it, while taking my time.

dealer labor to replace cracking belts 358.95 in labor.
30 mins, which included looking up the pivot points in the bentley.

Oil filter housing gasket labor 430.88
Took me 2 hours taking my sweet time and working a bad foglight connector at the same time.

Valve cover gasket 358.95
Took me 2 hours, while I was there I did my vanos seals which took longer because I had to freeze the pistons in order to slip the new teflon rings on.
That day I spent 6-8 to hours, most of it on the vanos, but I also changed out the expansion tank.

The only reasonable charges they had were 118.95 for sway bar end link and the same for the expansion tank.

Both sound reasonable because it took me as much time to jack up the car to do these. The end link takes 10 mins tops once the car is liffted.
 

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Warranty ftw.
 

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I was quoted a little over $1000.00 for front and rear brakes at my local dealership while I was there getting my state inspection done. I don't think I would own an E46 if I was required to take it to the dealership. Although it is easy for me to say that because we are currently not required to take it to the dealership.
when my warranty was about to run out, the dealership tried to sell me the extended maintenance plan by telling me that brakes would cost at least $1200. lol what.
 

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without a doubt no. in fact, before I got access to a lift and a DIS tester, it was starting to get difficult.

In labor, I have probably saved over $7000-10000 if you count all the maintenance, oil changes, and small stuff like replacing broken trim items, etc.

sample: need to replace FCAB's. My total cost = $145. Dealer total cost $448. = ($303 savings)
 

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When I originally bought the car I figured it would cost 3-3500 a year in maintenance based on the fact that I was told these cars are difficult to fix. I found out that the people that made those statements don't work on any cars. I have since learned they are actually easier to work on.

My situation has changed considerably. I'm married now, 1 child, full time work and full time school, so while I still the ability to pay for all of that, I can think of so many other places it spend it that have greater returns. In my present situation I wouldn't purchase it if I couldn't work on it. I've had it 4-5 years and I still love driving it. Maybe it is because my priorities have changed. When I bought it I had lots of disposable income.
 

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To be fair, I wouldnt buy any car if I could only fix it at the dealer (excluding warranty of course). Any car that I would want could easily have repair bills that a dealer would charge an arm and a leg for.
 

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As bad as it sounds I would have to sell it if I were forced to do ALL maintenance at the dealer. Why? I simply cant spend thins much on this.

Also when I owned my E39 I was fortunate to have EVERY single maintenance receipt from new, all performed at the same dealer. and let me tell ya it was expensive, examples are:$4000 new clutch, $890 for front brake job, $540 for new battery and a gas cap, $700 for new thrust arms and alignment, $3500 for new tires and so on...
 

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It's the wrong question.

The REAL question is "why would anybody own a BMW if their local dealer wasn't competent, reliable, and reasonable?"

The fact of the matter is you cannot survive as an owner of any make without dealer support, and therefore you obviously want a good dealer.

Your BMW dealer has lots of investment in technician training and special tools and you'll have to help pay for that. It's only logical that you should be happy to.

Your challenge is to do enough business with your dealer to keep them happy with you and willing to go the extra mile for you while possibly doing some DIY on your own to save money on occasion. Let them change your oil, but do your own brakes, for example.

Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and if you expect good service you'll get it and if you expect poor service, that's what you'll get, too. Adjust your attitude.

Also, don't fall for "grassy knoll" conspiracy theories as regards dealers. Facts are that dealers have more to lose treating customers poorly than do independent mechanics. You really want to beware the independent whose main sales pitch is "cheap."

If your BMW ownership experience is a 24/7/365 quest to get the cheapest service, you simply own the wrong car.
 
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