No one likes to spend money on their car, I hate it as much as you. However, it’s a fact of life that all cars will at least need gas and oil changes in order that they continue to serve you on a daily basis. BMWs require more than the average car, but less than others. Needless to say, luxury cars usually produce luxury maintenance bills, as they are of a higher performance and have more electronic gagets that can break or fail for no apparant reason. When customers bring their BMW to my shop in San Diego, I feel as though my number one job is to make them understand what they are buying and why. To me, that’s just as important as fixing their BMW properly.
So, lets just say you brought your BMW to get it serviced and it was recommended that you have an Inspection II performed and your control arm bushings needed repair. The service advisor tells you that the total cost will amount to about $1000. Do you know what you are getting? Did you understand what he or she told you? Did you just say ok? Stop. I see a lot of past bills provided by customers, and in many cases I’m a bit shocked as to what they were charged for, and even more shocked about what things were not done to the car that should have been. In addition, these bills are extremely difficult to read and are chock-full of words and sentances that just seem to fill the page and nickle and dime the poor bastard up to a $1000 with not much being done. Call it illegal, call it un-ethical, but that poor bastard was the one that approved it all. No wonder mechanics have a bad name, they’ve earned it. (more…)
Working on your own car used to be a big part of Americana, but with the increasing amount of computers, wires, and nifty engine covers, those days are gone. However, there are some things you can do to keep your BMW running and looking good, and they are simple.
It never ceases to amaze me how fast someone can make a $45,000 car turn into a total pile of shit.
I got to work pretty early yesterday morning, a little before 7am . . . I like to get to the shop early. It’s quiet and I can get a lot done before the phones start ringing and the cars start coming in. I was greeted by this little number sitting dead smack in front of the gate, a 1998 BMW 528i, or e39 in BMW lingo, and I already know it’s a total pile of crap.
OK, so you’re at the car dealer and there are two different warranties that may apply to a pre-owned BMW. The first is a Certified Pre-Owned Warranty which is only available through an actual BMW Dealer. This warranty comes ‘free’ when you buy a Certified Pre-Owned BMW. The second is an Extended Warranty which is available from what I call ‘B-Dealers’ and it is issued by a private company not owned by BMW. These warranties can be a good thing and you can make them work for you. But here are some basic things you need to know before getting all excited about the fact that you are ‘covered.’
The aftermarket BMW parts business has been steadily growing over the past 10 years with more and more products available to the public, at cheaper and cheaper prices. In California especially, many people love to do things to their BMW that sets them apart from the rest. From wheels to stereos to cold air intakes, I’ve seen just about everything imaginable on a BMW — some of it good, some bad, and some indifferent. Unfortunately, the aftermarket parts industry is not based on what is good for your car, it’s based on what will sell, and the margins said product will produce. Here are some things to consider before you take the plunge on those 20″ wheels and a new set of tires.