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Re: BMW’s Maintenance Program Is A Great Program—For the Initial Buyer.

Discussion in 'Warranty questions' started by MGarrison, Jul 14, 2014.

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    Ok, so wtf is this? Anyone have any insight or logical speculation why BMW makes this move? If the competition doesn't follow suit, seems to me BMW is shooting itself in the head? 30 years ago, BMW's had only a 1 year warranty, and the idea of anyone other than the owner paying for service wasn't even a concept; those were also the days of recommended 3k oil changes, 2-yr. coolant flushes, 30k trans & diff. fluid changes, and the notion of a "lifetime" fluid was laughable. Is this a step backwards or a smart move on BMW's part? Thoughts anyone? One thing I wonder is if this might particularly backfire due to misperception that BMW is reducing its warranty coverage, which is not the case.
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    steven s

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    I'd imagine it makes selling a car with no maintenance harder since it may have been a selling point previously.
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    It's official - it's on the BMW website. http://www.bmwusa.com/ultimateservice
    As stated above, the new policy only limits the maintenance program to the original buyer. The warranty would continue for a subsequent buyer. I'll bet you don't see this new policy in any BMW advertising.
    BMW will save some maintenance money on those vehicles sold within 4-years and I suspect the original lessee or buyer doesn't care if the subsequent buyer will be included in the maintenance program. It won't hurt sales. What do you really get under BMW's very limited maintenance program? It's not worth much - annual oil change, wiper blades, bi-annual brake fluid flush. I end up doing additional maintenance anyway. However, it is nice to get a new BMW loaner while my oil is changed.
    It's a chance for BMW independent shops to pick up business, since subsequent buyers won't be hooked into "free" service at BMW centers.
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    Honestly guys ... ... ... Is anyone actually surprised by this? ... ... Really ?

    It goes along nicely with the 3%-5% speedometer/odometer error that is by design, saving them 3%-5% of warranty expense.

    They've been telling us since new that 15,000 mile oil change intervals for our E39 540i were peachy keen. It's just the modern definition of quality, aka profitability.
    Now, here's the thing. Do we really think that every single purchaser/lessee of a new BMW for the last 10+ years has actually believed the load of cr*p called free maintenance? Especially the long interval / lifetime part of maintenance? ... Reality: I'm sure some did (bless their pointed little heads) but, as johnh said above, most just don't care.

    Many people are leasing or buying new BMWs (me included) having no intention of long term ownership. It's Easy. They become "somebody else's problem" long before the warranty expires. I had difficulty with that for a while. I paid out-of-pocket for shorter interval oil changes on our lease cars. I finally gave up. According to my dealership service manager, I came to my senses.

    Evidence indicates that long term ownership is simply not in the BMW business plan. And even if it is ... Heaven help the people who try to keep these technology palaces running for 200,000+ miles.

    My next BMW might however, cause me to reverse my present thinking. I'm lusting pretty hard for an M235 with mechanical LSD and manual gearbox. You never know, If I really like it, I just might want to keep it around a while longer, after lease end. hm-mmm ... Oh yea, CPO!
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    First of all, how many other automakers offer a free maintenance program for the life of a four-year/50,000-mile warranty in the first place, original owner or not? Only one that I see, Cadillac, and this decision isn't going to push me over to the dark side (GM). Second, just how much real value is there for the second owner of a car who bought it when it already had three years/36,000 miles? Maximum might be one oil change (maybe), a set of wiper blades (probably), and a brake fluid flush (possibly). Is this really a dealbreaker for the second owner?

    How does this policy by BMW help its competition? I doubt that other premium automakers are going to start running ads that their maintenance programs now suck less versus BMW's than they did before. Mercedes and Audi only offer a prepaid maintenance program. Cadillac offers a four year/50,000-mile program but it doesn't cover as much stuff as BMW's. It can, at last count, be transferred however. Other competitors offer shorter-length programs if they offer them at all, so it's hard to imagine how BMW suffers by comparison. Perhaps that's what the bean counters in Munich were looking at when they made this change. The company has already announced it intends to cut operating costs by $4 billion to $5.4 billion a year. I'd rather they cut free maintenance for the second owner than decide to buy cheaper materials to build cars from.

    As for the value of the maintenance program to the original owner, my personal experience is that it has significant value, especially at dealer service prices. My 2011 x5d went out of warranty in June. Up to that point, under the maintenance program, I received four oil changes, four DEF/flushes or top offs, one set of wiper blades (front and rear), an unspecified amount of windshield washer fluid, two brake fluid flushes, one fuel filter replaced, one air filter replaced, and two sets of micro filters and recirculation filters replaced. Granted, the condition-based oil services arrive more frequently with a diesel than a gasser, but that doesn't diminish the value of the program to me.
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    shelbyvnt Baby Bee...

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    My other car is a Cadillac, my wife's choice & her daily driver.
    Maintenance is pretty uneventful, except they always seem to put me
    in a loaner that I find interesting. Maybe my expectations are too high, but
    when the BEE goes in for service, I generally get a Fleet loaner.

    Service Loaners = Extended Test Drives... Put me in something I might
    want to buy, please.
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    The maintenance on my car bought CPO was nice I got an a few oil changes, air filter, and a spark plug change out of the deal. I would have done the filters and plugs myself if it weren't covered but It was a nice perk.

    I will probably continue to go to the dealer for oil changes, and brake fluid flushes or trans fluid and filter changes just due to not wanting to deal with it in the garage at home.

    The local dealer is only about $25 more than buying the proper oil and filters to do the job myself. Money well spent.
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    shelbyvnt Baby Bee...

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    The BEE is coming up on it's 3 year anniversary. Just past 25,000 miles & outside of replacing the tires, no other problems to report. However, I guess the word must be out & I get at least two calls a week from an after market warranty extension company.

    Is there a BMW direct warranty extension program? If not, is there a reputable warranty extension program I should consider?
    mrsbee likes this.
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    • Technical Service Advisor


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    BMW sells extended maintenance plans and a program called CPO (certified preowned).
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    As Charlson says, BMW sells maintenance programs. He neglects to add the words: "and warranty..." You can purchase a BMW extended warranty program that extends the factory warranty to up to 7 years/100K miles. Prices from dealers vary from around $2500-$4500 (3 levels of coverage, too) so shop around. You have to purchase it before the factory warranty ends.

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