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BMW Bait and switch maintenance

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself)' started by Sabby, Jul 15, 2011.

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    Sabby

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    BMW Maintenance bait and switch
    We own a Z4 and a 335xi coupe. I recently brought the 335 in for a state inspection at the dealer at about 45,000 miles. I noted in the owners manual that the 335 is required to have the plugs changed at 45,000 miles. I mentioned this to the dealer and they indicated they did not think that was the case. I showed them the owners manual that called for the replacement and they indicated they would have to contact BMW North America. The feedback from BMW is that no change is needed unless the key fob calls for it. This is in direct contradiction with the manual that indicates the CBS system does not monitor the plugs. The dealer refused to make the change since they would not be paid. I called BMW NA and after a bit of a run around received a similar response.
    The feedback from the “Key†CBS system indicated that a plug change would be needed at 61,000 miles rather than the 45,000 in the manual effectively shifting a “maintenance†cost from BMW to me. This with a premium brand. This premium brand leaves a bad taste in my mouth and their business practices smack of a low ball huckster rather than a high line automobile manufacturer. Do I enjoy the cars - yes. Am I willing to pay for maintenance of course. I have the oil changed approximately every 8,000 miles with several of the changes at my cost.
    A premium brand should act like one and not act like a low ball bait and switch dealer. Will I buy another one in the future? I am not sure.
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    pyao88

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    What did BMW say about what is stated in the manual?

    E90 is 100k interval for spark plugs.

    You can check for those that have iDrive to see what the 335's spark plug interval is.
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    Sabby

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    They indicated the words in

    They indicated the words in the manual are a guideline. I guess they changed their policy midstream. They refused to change the plugs under the maintenace program at their cost.

    88BMWM3 guest

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    It didn't take long for me to

    It didn't take long for me to realize BMW's "free maintenance" was a ploy when I leased an X5. I was intending to purchase it at the end of the lease. Like you I paid for a couple extra oil changes. Long story short BMW's attitude toward their customers put me off to the degree that I didn't want that X5 at lease end if they gave it to me. Once I came to that realization I just put gas in it after that, if BMW didn't care neither did I.

    BMW doesn't care what you or I think, they could care less if we buy or lease another new one or not.
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    Sabby

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    Similar view

    I recently watched the CNBC show on BMW and their efforts to maintain the brand DNA. It kind of left me cold after my recent experience at the dealership.

    The dealership points at BMW NA and when I called BMW NA they point at the dealership. Can't believe that this is how BMW want the brand viewed by the buyer. The service reminded me of our interactions with our health insurance - always difficult always a pain. No one taking responsibility and an effort to wear the customer down.
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    jmcookiii

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    I have a similar experience

    I have a similar experience but I am not giving up (yet). Mike Miller of Roundel Tech Talk states that the N54 engine is allowed one sparkplug replacement after 45,000 miles instead of the normal 100,000 miles. My dealer says that is not so but tied to the oil change interval. I think the dealer is not informed (i have a better word for it). Will post further information as I get it.
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    panmarcum

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    BMW of San Antonio is the same as your dealers. Had my e-46 for the rear lamp recall (prod 11-01) the day after thanksgiving for my daughters college car and they said BMWNA said the vin said it was not required.E-mailed BMWNA they said the same thing eventhough I have been changing bulbs and rear lamps since I got it new in 2002. One week later I got the letter saying it qualified. Both of the front struts on my X3 collapsed leaking oil after a cold day last week brought it in and of course they wont change it under the CPO. Whose front struts go out after 59300 miles in this day and age. I only bought BMWs for the safety of my driving children, (I absolutely enjoy driving my e-30 325is 1990 DD) , my son did total his e-36 with passengers and walked away, my daughter got in an accident with passengers and walked away. All the airbags and restraints worked. I WILL NOT BUY ANOTHER NEW OR CPO BMW BECAUSE OF THIS DEALER. I will think very hard if I were to win one in a raffle if cash is not an option. To all bmwcca members in that survey you filled out for that exellent service on your repair or new car ( because of the coffee or pastries ) your warranty will expire someday and after that day you are nothing to that loving BMW dealer. The only thing that makes them react is the media or regulatory agencies (ex. fuel pumps, rear brakelights
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    meteck

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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    I think we all realize by now that there are dealers. . . and there are "stealers." What's interesting to me is that a single dealership may be seen differently by different customers. My warranty is gone, but I hope I am not "nothing to that loving BMW dealer." If anything, his eyes should now have dollars signs as he sees me drive in!
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    AugustneverEnds 1988 325iS, 1989 750iL

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    Despite the arrogance and contempt displayed by BMW NA and AG I find it more interesting the dealership (or stealership if you prefer) did not change your spark plugs anyways. The dealer is an independent business and you would assume they would be value your business enough to make a decision to heed a customer's request that does not involve much time, money or effort on their part. BMW NA might reimburse the dealer but you are paying for the car and sevice. Maybe you can still own BMWs except do business with another dealer?
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Or do it yourself, or use an independent shop. I do like my dealer, but for in-between oil changes, I use Carl Nelson's shop or do it myself... I'm about to see how dirty I can get doing brakes and fluid.
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    brucembergeron

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    It's hard to understand why some dealers take such a short term approach to warranties and service in general. But I stress "some dealers", because I have had experience with dealers who do understand, and have given great service, even when it was one 'their own dime'. An example; Ira BMW in Stratham NH warrantied my son's e46 rear light recall 4 months before he got the notice his car qualified. His car had 80,000 miles, didn't come from Ira, up until that point he had never done business at Ira, but they did the repair and said "no charge" without us even raising the question. They will absolutely get more business from us in the future.

    two30grain guest

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    i do not know how to put this delicately. . .

    BMW is a brand, but each entity within BMW is its own business with its own decisions to make. And ultimately their goal is to make money. This is the only reason why service intervals/maintenance changed in the late 90's from periodic and frequent maintenance to lifetime and extended intervals.

    the reason dealers do not change things is because there is no need to either because it still works (despite what the manual says) or it did break, but the dealership and BMW NA have looked at it and can claim no liability. And do not confuse BMW NA with BMW AG, I doubt many people have dealt with BMW of Germany.

    BMW NA's ultimate goal is to sell cars and they attract the less intelligent public into buying cars every 4 years. They do this by telling them that maintenance is free for the first 100k miles or *whatever*. The public eats this up and thinks that they dont have to shell out to keep their machines maintained despite a lack of huge advances in car consumables.

    dealers ultimate goal is to faciliate the sale of cars and then sell service and parts. by taking away the old school maintenance and having the public believe that there is little maintenance in the first 100k miles (vs believing that they should pay for maintenance in the first 100k) dealers have little monetary incentive to perform spark plug changes and similar tasks. sure, they should do it out of customer loyalty, but think of this, there are tons of dealers out there all in the same boat. when it comes time to buy a new Bimmer, how easy is the decision for you to forgo they dealer who gave you a free plug or oil change that is offering a new 3er for 55k when another dealer 60 miles away is offering the same thing for 50k?

    Bottom line, if you want to take care of your Bimmer as a driving/car enthusiast should, grab the old school maintenance schedule and roll up your sleeves. and be prepared to spend some money at least on parts. thats the way it was before lifetime maintenance. also bare in mind that warranties cover defects in parts and workmanship which must be proved. no business wants to cover consumables like oil, spark plugs, bumper covers, wipers, tires, rims, windows, mirrors, etc., because it is almost certain that these things will have to be replaced.

    dont get me started on premium/luxury brands. its such a farce here in NA. I drive BMW's because of the way they drive. Not for all the "amenities" or supposed "prestige" the brand supposedly carries. if hyundais drove like this, I would have joined the Hyundai CCA.

    I am not trying to offend anyone so please take this all kindly. for the performance we get out of these machines the money and (if you decide) work you put into your bimmer is well worth it. if it isnt to you, then trade in some performance for some longevity in a japanese fwd snooze cruiser.
    327350 and jpb96b like this.
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    bransan Master troubleshooter

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    Certainly hit the nail on the head with that particular observation!
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Amen to that! "Hyundai CCA. . ." WHAH! :D
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    327350

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    two30grain has hit the nail on the head! If you want an excellent long term experience with a BMW, you better be prepared to work on it yourself.

    I found this out early on in my BMW ownership when my dealer scarred my wheels putting on some tires, and then later, when going in for one of BMW's scheduled oil changes, the technician parked the car right into a concrete parking block scratching the lower front valence.

    After those two experiences I wrote the dealer off and bought an ez carlift (www.ezcarlift.com). Between the car lift, the Bentley manual, youtube, Mike Miller and the various BMW message boards I have maintained my '02 330ci to Mike Millers' standards with relative ease. And as a result my 330ci has been an excellent car.

    I'd love a new BMW (even realizing that the dealer is worthless as a maintenance and repair facility), but BMW will not bring the car I want here. I am talking about the 1 series hatchback, which is an excellent seller across the pond.

    I appears that the same idiocy that cooks up the maintenance schedules is also in charge of what cars come to America. I love high performance hatchbacks and if BMW would let me buy a 1 series hatch with the turbo 4 and a 6 speed trannie, I'd buy it in a heart beat!

    Alas, the closest I can get to that is an X1 RWD with an 8 speed auto box. It's just not the same. So as a result I have owned a Mazdaspeed 3 and am looking at a Ford Focus ST to fill this desire. BMW's choice, not mine.

    I'm not going anywhere though, because my 330ci still has a lot of life left in it, but sadly, it will probably be my last BMW. I couldn't bring myself to buy a CPO car that is "dealer maintained"; that means nothing, unless the mileage is so low you can catch it in time. And they currently offer nothing that entices me to go to the dealer and cough up around $40k, money I'd gleefully spend if the right car was at the dealer.

    I'd give anything to have them come to their senses, because BMW cars truly are a joy......
    steven s likes this.
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    steven s

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    What did you think of it? Eventually I'm going to need something new and whatever it will be needs to be fun on track.
    A new BMW is certainly not it my budget.
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    327350

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    I absolutely loved my Mazdaspeed 3! He was fast and reliable. The only repair I made to him was changing out the manual transmission fluid to Motorcraft part # XT-M5-QS to facilitate cold weather shifting and it worked! Drove the car for 65K trouble free miles (only maintenance was filters, oil ,gas and tires, besides the trans fluid) .

    I traded him in on an F150 Ecoboost truck, a move I have regretted. The truck is a fine vehicle, no problems with it in 33k miles, it's just the truck is not my "crazy aunt in the closet" turbocharged hatchback! I miss that car!!!

    Actually, I miss the concept of a real fast small car with utility, which is what the MS3 was.Soon I will be making the decision between another MS3 or a Focus ST. The ST has already seen action in Europe so it's proven, the MS3 has seen action in my driveway so it's really proven!!! The key is to avoid overly "tuning" the car. The MS3 forums are loaded with "zoom zoom boom" threads that usually contain entries concerning tunes adding more that 100hp or so.

    I never tracked the car so I don't know how it would do there, but I will tell you I took out to the Texas Hill Country regularly to see my dad and absolutely wrung the car out on those lovely roads with no problems what so ever.

    I actually was on the way there in August driving to see dad and it was 105 outside. I wondered if the temps were getting to the car, so leaving a traffic light in Lulling Texas I nailed him in second gear and literally smoked the tires all through that gear. That answered that question....

    Probably could google tracking an MS3 and see how they are holding up to that environment, but I can tell you mine handled really well. I consider Mazda to be a Japanese BMW auto company....
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    mitch48

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    I ran into the same thing when I took my '08 535i in for the plug change at 45K and was told they didn't need changing. I referred to the owner's manual and got nowhere. I called BMW NA and was told basically the same thing. I then filed a complaint with my State consumer protection bureau, and a few weeks later got a call from the dealer asking me when I could bring my car in for a free plug change. Squeaky wheel syndrome. If BMW doesn't want to pay for it, they better not put it in writing.

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