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Rear Vent Window Seals - Warranty Coverage?

Discussion in 'Warranty questions' started by tiki, May 12, 2010.

    tiki guest

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    I just bought a CPO 2006 325ci w/39,000 miles. The car went into service late in 2006 and still has almost 3 months remaining on the original warranty.

    I didn't notice until after I bought the car and opened the rear vent windows that the rubber trim on both windows (at the bottom of the coupe window's curve where it meets the lower seal) is cracked and crumbling. Now when the windows are shut you can see the rubber sticks out about an inch and is cracked. I am worried it will continue cracking upwards around the window.

    Is this something that should be covered under the original warranty or as a goodwill repair? The dealer I bought the car at already changed the windshield cowl and the lower rear vent seal on one side because it was pulling away from the window (goodwill repairs).

    I don't want to be unreasonable, I'm just wondering if these upper rear vent window seals should be covered under my remaining warranty and whether I should push to have them replaced prior to my original warranty expiring. The dealership acted like they were doing me a gargantuan favor fixing the other two things.

    I really appreciate all of the members collective wisdom and advice. Thanks so much!
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    bcweir

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    Check your CPO warranty.

    If it's bumper to bumper coverage (if you're still covered under bumper to bumper coverage), you're covered. Take it in now while you can still take advantage of your warranty.

    If your CPO warranty says your covered, but if the dealer balks, do this: inform them that you will be ordering a Customer Satisfaction survey directly from BMW North America (do not request the survey from the dealer). Inform them you will give them unsatisfactory marks across the board unless you are completely satisfied.

    Be courteous and polite, but stand firm,

    Then stand back and watch the fireworks when your news sends them scrambling.:D

    Be sure you order the survey and fill out, then send it back in. Render your verdict accordingly depending on whether they make you completely happy. Be honest and gracious -- if they do their part, honor your end of the bargain too when filling out the survey.

    tiki guest

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    Thanks so much for your reply. Yes, it's still covered under the original 4 year/50,000 warranty for 3 more months, then an additional 2 years/50,000 mile CPO warranty after that. Just to be totally clear, exterior trim is warranted for the first 4 years/50,000 miles? When they fixed the one seal, they tried to tell me that trim is only warranted for 30,000 miles, that it's normal wear and tear on the car, but that they would do it as "goodwill" since I bought the car there. I didn't realize they were required to do it if I asked while under warranty.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, and would always be polite. Just want to get my car right and utilize all warranties. I know I'll be paying for plenty of things out of pocket in the future. :)
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    bcweir

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    As long as you're honest, fair, and respectful, I think you'll be fine

    These customer satisfaction surveys are a BIG deal, and its your most powerful weapon between a dealer and BMW North America.

    A customer satisfaction survey can deal out good karma or bad karma depending on how a dealer scores in customer satisfaction. It's an effective way to turn dealer-BMW North America politics to your advantage.

    As a practical measure, only use a customer satisfaction survey either for warranty service or paid service work. Don't use it for a goodwill repair request, which a dealer can freely approve or deny without repercussions from BMW NA.

    Also, you might want to do at least one of the two following things to prepare for your life after warranty. Either purchase a Bentley manual and the proper tools for your car and start learning how to do your own DIY stuff on your car, or line up a good independent BMW service center. You can get the book from http://www.bentleypublishing.com and you can line up a qualified independent from your area by going to http://www.bimrs.com. The independents aren't cheap, but they are fully qualified and certified by BMW (they get the same training that dealer techs get), and they typically won't rape you $$ like a dealer service department can.

    tiki guest

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    Thanks, I will definitely look into this manual and some additional tools. I've already done a few quick, small things myself - installed an aux input and a footrest.

    My question is whether they are required to replace this rear window trim under my warranty if I ask. I feel like the fact that they called the other repair "goodwill" was not completely honest if it was covered to begin with, and was designed to make me think they were doing me a favor so that I wouldn't ask for anything else while the car is still under original warranty.

    I feel like I need to be extra careful in dealing with the service guys, as I'm a woman. I love my car and know much more about it than most women, but work a demanding job and don't have time to do everything myself.

    Thanks again for any thoughts!
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    bcweir

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    Always read your warranty carefully

    Printed warranties tend to be very specific about what they cover and what they don't cover.

    If your warranty backs you up on a covered repair, and these people are trying to pull a fast one, you really have one of two options: Dig in your heels for a bit of a fight, and use the customer survey as your chief weapon here, or b) find another dealer who's a little less combative when it comes to warranty coverage.
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    CRKrieger

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    Knowledge is your best tool, regardless of your gender. In fact, most men don't know much about their cars, either, so they're easy 'marks' for the service guys. Maybe even easier since they'll rarely admit that fact. It's an ego thing, y'know. ;)

    Once the service writers/techs know that you know an awful lot more than they think you know, the BS usually stops and you'll get honest open communication - until some new guy comes in. Casually letting slip a line like, "I'd like to do it myself, but I just don't have [the time/a lift/the special tool/whatever]." tells them that you're familiar with the task at hand. It also says that you might ask some uncomfortable questions ("I'd like to see the condition of the old one before you throw it out." or "Did you check the torque on that bolt?") when it's done, so it had better get done right. Of course, this presupposes that you do know the task and that you would, theoretically, be able to pull it off on your own.

    tiki guest

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    You guys are so awesome. Thanks for all the helpful advice. :) I'm definitely going to get the Bentley manual so I'll at least know what's involved with the more complicated repairs, even if I can't do it myself.

    I completely agree that knowledge is the best weapon. Even knowing the names of the parts really seems to help. As soon as I said windshield "cowl" there seemed to be a different level of respect, at least when it came to discussing its condition and replacement.

    tiki guest

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    Just an update. I went back to the dealer to ask if anything could be done, especially since the rubber had ripped more on one of the seals since I had last been in. I was firm, but polite. There was a lot of hemming & hawing since the repair requires the replacement of the entire chrome piece that goes over both windows and the removal of the rear windows. I stood there and just kept throwing it back nicely to my service advisor. Really, standing your ground and then staying quiet works wonders. I didn't even have to bring up the BMW NA survey. My service advisor said he was going to go to bat for me ask the manager to ok it as goodwill repairs. It took a day to clear and a few days to get the parts, but the dealership fixed both for free. When I got home and locked my car I realized he had turned my clown nose on free for me as well. (Earlier they had told me it would be $175 to activate the clown nose so it would blink as it does when you have an active alarm.)

    I plan to do my part and give them great reviews when I get the customer satisfaction survey.

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