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Brakes replacement - is dealer trying to screw me?

Discussion in 'Warranty questions' started by Bumer, May 26, 2010.

    Bumer guest

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    Hello all! I am hoping to get some feedback / advise from you on following situation:

    When I took my 2006 325 last July to BMW for service, I asked them to check if the brake pads needed replacement. The car had almost ran out of warranty and had almost 50K miles at that time, so I wanted to check if brakes could be replaced under warranty, especially since brakes were acting little weird. BMW dealer performed inspection, and service advisor told me brakes were fine, the inspection report had check mark in green box for both front and rear - which means, at least 8mm left.

    Couple weeks ago, I went in for oil change (~about 55K miles), and the dealer told me that my front brake pads need to be replaced (and possibly rotors too). I asked how did my brakes went from 8mm+ according to reports to the point they have to be replaced in only 5K. The SA kept saying that they go by key read, and last time it showed that brakes still some miles left.

    Also, according to dealer's records, when the car had 39K miles, they measured the brakes, and they were at 8mm front and 6mm rear.

    Does something not add up in this story?

    If original brake pads have 12mm, at 39K the car had 8mm front - that's 9,750 miles/mm. But then it went from 8mm to just 3 in only ~11K - that's 2,200 miles/mm.

    At 49K dealer "inspected" the car, and marked off on inspection report that all brakes were at least 8mm. But 5K later brakes are worn out.

    After I left the dealer, brake light came on same day.

    My impression is that the dealer did not want to change the brakes under warranty, and now is trying to charge me for something that could have been done while car was still under warranty. Am I mistaken? :confused:


    ***
    This was also posted on another BMW forum (this one has more accurate numbers since I was able to locate some service records). I just joined BMW CCA and figured I might post it here as well.
    [IMG]
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    It certainly sounds fishy. I'd press them on the issue and, if they won't either admit they pulled this stunt or help pay for the work, I'd find another brake installer. Better yet, take advantage of your new 'CCA associates and learn how to change them yourself. Front pads are a no-brainer on most BMWs. So much so that it's quite common for us to change them at the track during driver schools. Even Connecticut Valley Chapter members know how to do them. :eek:

    Bumer guest

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    I'm getting the info together to send to BMW customer relations.

    As far as changing brakes myself, I've never done them, and don't have that much confidence in myself. Last time I was under the car, was about 12-15 years ago, when I had [IMG] [IMG] [IMG]
    These pictures are of the very same model.

    May be I should drive to one of driving schoold and talk to people, and may be someone would be willing to help me change them?
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    You have my sympathies.
    Hit the chapter website or even scrape up a few local members here (I know there are some.) and host a 'Wrenchfest' at your home, at least if you have a decent paved driveway or garage. It will cost you some pizza & beers and an afternoon of forming new friendships - and your brakes will get done right. Believe me; this is a lot more enjoyable process than trying to intimidate your dealer with the customer survey. In the end, you'll know how to do it yourself. ;)
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    pseto

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    your dealer is trying to screw you IMO. since the brake light is now on, ask the dealer to replace them under warranty with goodwill, especially after they tell you no before 50k miles. your rotors will need to be replace with your pads which is why the dealer didn't want to do it under warranty. i'd try this method before threatening them with the survey and going thru BMWNA.

    i agree with those above, changing brakes is just as easy as an oil change. plenty of DIYs you can google.

    Bumer guest

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    Getting to know local chapter members is definitely something I would like to do.

    During conversation with service manager, he made it perfectly clear that they will not do anything, and they really don't care what was on inspection report. So, I've e-mailed BMW NA, received reply from them asking for VIN number. I've gathered all service records for the car, and e-mailed BMW NA back. Hopefully I will hear back from them soon.

    If not, or if they tell me to go to hell, then I'll go from there: DIY, local mechanic, or may be even 'Wrenchfest'
    • Member

    az3579

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    I'm appalled by how many bad stories of dealer's I've been hearing lately. If they tell you to go to hell, I'd tell them to go to hell with my survey responses.

    And WHAT, my good sir, is THAT supposed to mean?!?! :p
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    I was wonderin' how long it would take you to get around to seeing this thread ... :D

    Bumer guest

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    [floatleft]
    Rep: - what is it that you don't like

    Me: - dealer did not change the brakes

    Rep: - that probably means that brakes should not have been replaced at that time

    Me: I have inspection report showing brakes at green (50%) thickness at 48K miles, and at 55K dealer tells me they need to be replaced

    Rep: - probably they were fine at 48K miles

    Me: - please explain how I wear first 50% of brakes in 48K miles, and second 50% in only 7K miles?

    Rep: - may be they wore off faster? I'm not trained in technical aspects
    [/floatleft]
    :mad: this is useless. Today, I got a call from BMW representative - same story:
    Grrrrr. This is useless.
    • Member

    Pyewacket1

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    • Member

    327350

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    Bumer, have no fear

    BMW brakes are easy to replace and there's plenty of help on the web either by way of google or youtube (or the Bentley manual).

    For parts go to realoem.com, plug in your serial # and go through the parts book to get the parts #'s you'll need for the job. Then go to autohausaz.com and buy the necessary parts online (they offer free shipping).

    There are plenty of other discount sources as well including online BMW dealers that offer parts discounts but I just about quit using dealers for parts - in the last 5 years it seems like the prices have doubled! All the discounts in the world can't erase a 2X price increase. I use autohausaz because the parts are good and they are very proficient with shipping and handling. My last example was my need for (2) O2 sensors: at the dealer (with BMWCCA discount) I was looking at nearly $600. Same sensors at autohausaz: $124 at my door for both of them. Big difference.

    Do not fear your Bimmer - it'll be easier than the car in the pictures!!

    Cheers!

    Bumer guest

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    Thanks for the advise. And you are absolutely right - it just can't be worse that that car in the pictures. :) I used to spend quite some time under that car (minor things), and visiting mechanic quite often for major issues.
    • Member

    pyao88

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    It might be that the dealership only looked at the computer read out to see how miles remaining instead of inspecting the physical brake pad. My 330xi 100k miles never had the front brake pad changed (just the rear). The idrive computer says 2200 miles remaining for a year now and one time it even went up. One BMW dealer said I needed brake pad repair when I went in for oil change and I told them about the computer mis-read and when they inspected it still has 4-5 mm left and said right I don't need to change it now. (I think you change at 2mm or when the brake sensor breaks and you get the brake light warning to come up).

    cwbiii guest

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    prices vary...

    We got quotes from 2 different dealers for the same parts and the prices were vastly different... Thermostat housing $150 vs $80, intake hoses $60 vs $30. So it may pay to call around if you need something you can't wait for. We know to check with both before we go to pick something up... of course the cheaper one is a bit further away, but a $10 difference will more than pay for the gas. If I can wait I usually order from autohausaz as well.

    Chuck

    Didier guest

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