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View Full Version : Anyone have luck getting reimbursed for service no longer under warranty?


ccccdebbie
12-14-2010, 02:05 PM
Hello,

On my 2004 X5 I am getting a rough idle and "service engine" light flashing when doing a cold start in very cold weather. I took it to two BMW certified mechanics

We were told by several repair places that we needed to have our "valvetronic intermediate levers" replaced as documented in service bulletin SI B 11 02 05. I read the bulletin and it is a big job and we were given rough estimates for over $3,000.

My questions for anyone out there is:

1) Did anyone have this problem and did they get it fixed. How much did it cost? Anyone have the same problem and not get it fixed?

2) I called BMW North America and asked if there was anyway they could help us with the cost? According to the bulletin, the faulty levers were a known problem in 2005. Everytime we took our X5 in for service while it was under warranty, we asked them to fix anything that might be a potential problem before the warranty ran out. They never informed us of these faulty levers. According to our non-dealer mechanics, they are not surprised given that it is a huge job to replace and the dealer probably didn't want to do it.

Has anyone had any luck getting help from BMW NA customer service? The person I spoke with didn't sound very optomistic.

Thanks for any help!

cwinter
12-14-2010, 02:17 PM
Was there an official recall for this issue? If so, then you are still entitled to get it fixed under the recall, but my guess is there is none, otherwise the dealer would have informed you. The dealer does not care who provides the money, whether you or BMW under recall.

I guess what it comes down to is that it is a 6 year old car and it can run into trouble. When a BMW runs into engine trouble, it generally is an expensive repair. I'd definitely have a reputable independent shop take a look and provide a quote for the repair.

damyankee
12-14-2010, 02:40 PM
How far out of warranty are you, and you are the original owner?

ccccdebbie
12-14-2010, 07:40 PM
We didn't get the extended warranty, so it is 2 years + 7 months after the warranty. We are the original owners.

We know mechanics who worked at BMW dealerships. They told us that when a dealer gets paid for something under warranty, that BMW dictates how many hours they can charge. For example, under a service bulletin it gives a code that the dealership can charge for a given repair. The bulletin may say you can charge 4 hours for a job, when it might take the dealership 10 hours to complete. In this case, the dealership may not rush to do a job, because they are paid for less hours. It is like managed care in the health care system, only with cars.

In my case, I believe the dealer saw the code come up on scope that looks at the engine, but didn't fix it because it isn't cost-effective for them.

I'm wondering if anyone else had this problem or if anyone has had any luck working with BMW Customer Service in getting reimbursed in a case like this.

Thanks!

damyankee
12-15-2010, 01:53 PM
We didn't get the extended warranty, so it is 2 years + 7 months after the warranty. We are the original owners.

We know mechanics who worked at BMW dealerships. They told us that when a dealer gets paid for something under warranty, that BMW dictates how many hours they can charge. For example, under a service bulletin it gives a code that the dealership can charge for a given repair. The bulletin may say you can charge 4 hours for a job, when it might take the dealership 10 hours to complete. In this case, the dealership may not rush to do a job, because they are paid for less hours. It is like managed care in the health care system, only with cars.

In my case, I believe the dealer saw the code come up on scope that looks at the engine, but didn't fix it because it isn't cost-effective for them.

I'm wondering if anyone else had this problem or if anyone has had any luck working with BMW Customer Service in getting reimbursed in a case like this.

Thanks!

If it's close enough to the warranty expiration, you can ask the service manager for a "goodwill" repair in the name of keeping a good and possible repeat customer happy. You are way out of warranty, and are at the point where repairs, as long as you keep the car, now must come out of your pocket.

If you go to a dealership, you might negotiate a couple hundred off the price. Better still find a good indy who will likely charge 1/3 less than a dealer.

This is the sad state of post-warranty modern BMWs. They are extremely costly to repair, and in many cases, only the dealer can repair all the computer/electronic stuff in your X5. That's why new BMW's depreciate like virtually no other brand today. You gotta love them, and be able to pay for it, otherwise it's off to the Lexus dealer.

ccccdebbie
12-15-2010, 08:03 PM
Thanks damyankee....

You are so right and you said it beautifully. I had my X5 appraised (OK -- it was CarMax) just to see what they would offer and with only 60,000 miles they offered me $14,000. That is about 75% lower than what we paid --- but I do (did) love the car. Probably will sell it privately. Thanks for your help. In the DC area the indy repair guys are anywhere from $99 - $110 an hour.