Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-23-2005, 09:05 PM
shaftdrive's Avatar
shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
Matching beemer & bimmer
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 610
Mein Auto: 1999 K1200 & 2001 525
My first BMW service (please advise what you would do)?

My very first BMW service has some, shall we say, "inconsistencies".
Please advise if this is normal and what you recommend I do.
(Bear in mind I purchased this 2002 525i automatic only one month ago so I have no idea about its prior history other than the BMW "Vehicle History Report" which is clean of battery indications.)

QUESTIONS:
a) Where can I find official SHOP HOURS for this battery repair?
b) How can I determine if the old battery actually "fit" the 2002 525i (and if it could have "harmed" the warranty)?
c) What is the "correct" battery for the 2002 525i?

What would you do & whom would you speak to if this were you?
===========================================

The "New Vehicle Warranty" period is still in effect, with more than 9 months and 17,000 miles to spare. Therefore, at around 10:30 am, today, I brought my new 2002 525i to the local dealership for what I thought was warranty work as the battery would not hold a charge.

Within a fourty-five minutes after dropping off the vehicle, the service manager, we'll call him "D", said the battery was "not a BMW battery" and therefore was not covered under warranty. He wrote down that the charge would be $300 USD saying extensive diagnostics needed to be performed (at a shop rate of $150/hour). I agreed reluctantly asking for a copy of those extensive diagnostic results . Within ten minutes "D" came back saying the charges would actually be $375 and again I repeated that I wanted to see written details of the extensive diagnostics. By a few minutes after noon, when I signed for the $381.42 charges for a new battery & diagnostics, I still had not seen the written diagnostic results so I wrote in large letters before I signed that invoice "Pending receipt of diagnostic written report". My copy of that invoice has an "R.O. OPENED" time of 10:39am and a "READY" field of 12:11 23MAR05, with $225.00 in labor (11 ENGINE MECHANICAL 906 CP), $144.50 for the battery (PN 61-21-8-381-762), and $11.92 in sales tax.

Upon receipt of the car, I noticed a new 1/4" scratch in the door two inches above the driver-side keyhole (which I reported to "D" later that day after confirming with my wife that the scratch was not there previously). As this scratch is not pertinent to the question at hand, no further mention shall be made (but the overall experience is pertinent as this is my very first visit to a BMW dealership).

Back at work, I waited for the diagnostic report to be faxed to me. I gave two calls to "D" at the BMW service desk, both of which he answered saying he "had the report on his desk and he was going to fax it to me but that he was swamped". He promised to get the report to me before the close of the day.

Meanwhile, I had explained my situation to the BMW coworker who had jumped me from his BMW the afternoon before. That coworker was surprised as he had compared his battery with mine when he jumped it and had determined that it was definately a BMW battery. Hmmmmm.

By 5:30 PM, I still had not received the faxed written diagnostic report so I decided to drive the 15 miles to the dealership to talk to "D" myself about the inconsistencies. My cell phone shows I last called "D" at 5:56pm telling him I was coming down to inspect the battery & to pick up the written diagnostic report. To his credit, "D" was still there when I arrived around 6:30pm. Almost apologetically, "D" handed me a blank intact two-page (with a single carbon sheet in between) "BMW of North America, LLC 2001 Models (except X5) Service Maintenance Checklist" (BMW NA SD92-157 6/01).

Nothing whatsoever was written on that intact checklist save the one-line hand-written note on the bottom stating "Statement checked Battery, 12.6 volt, chargering (sic) 14.6 volt and no voltage draws". I was surprised as this in no way was what I expected of the long-promised "extensive diagnostics written report". I told "D", upfront (I'm an straight shooter as you well know), that I did not believe that this represented what he had promised and that I was beginning to wonder if anything near an hour and a half of diagnostics (including battery R&R) was performed at all. To his credit, "D" listened attentively and respectfully and said he'd walk me to the service technician's bay to examine the battery and any other relevant information.

"D" then walked me into the spacious brick-floored BMW shop (this place is like a palace) to the work area where "J" reputedly replaced the battery showing me what he said appeared to be my battery on a block of wood on the floor. (Another battery was nearby, but it was black and mine was clearly white.)

Together, we examined the label on this battery & found it to contain the BMW logo and the part number 61-21-8-361-050 (with labelled specifications of 70Ah, 320A, 575CCA, & 120RC). Additionally, there was a side label (Mfg. by DBMC, Winston Salem, NC,27107) & heated-brand stamp (A04083). "D" then told me that, even if the battery was a BMW battery, that it was the wrong battery for that car, and they had to replace it with the correct battery for that car, and they could not do so under warranty as they had to return the same old battery to BMW in order to be reimbursed for the repair. I asked why he didn't tell me that the battery was a BMW battery during his earlier estimates and he replied he was unaware of that apparent fact. He said the old battery could not be warranted (even if it was a BMW battery) if it was the wrong battery for the application as that might cause it to fail. I told him I was unsure if that was a true statement and that I would research that particular detail.

On the way out, I clearly noted to "D" that there were inconsistencies in what seemed to transpire today to which "D" professionally stated we'd talk tomorrow about that and I left for the evening, not wholly satisfied with the circumstances. (We also discussed the paint chip but again, that is not relevant to the battery circumstances.)

Back at home, checking the ETK, I find *different* part numbers than either listed above for the 2002 BMW525i (see photo below), so, I need your help.
===========================================
QUESTIONS:
a) Where can I find official SHOP HOURS for this battery repair?
b) How can I determine if the old battery actually "fit" the 2002 525i (and if it could have "harmed" the warranty)?
c) What is the "correct" battery for the 2002 525i?


What would you do & whom would you speak to if this were you?

Shaftdrive

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	etk_battery.jpg
Views:	7470
Size:	116.8 KB
ID:	47015  

Last edited by shaftdrive; 03-23-2005 at 09:47 PM.
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 03-23-2005, 11:08 PM
M.Wong's Avatar
M.Wong M.Wong is offline
E38 E91 (R56 E30 E39)
Location: Seattle WA
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,323
Mein Auto: The E38
I don't have specific answers to your questions, but it sounds like you were charged a diagnostic fee and a battery removal/install fee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaftdrive
61-21-8-361-050 (with labelled specifications of 70Ah, 320A, 575CCA, & 120RC).
(Mfg. by DBMC, Winston Salem, NC,27107)
61-21-8-381-762 shows specs of 90Ah,720A,850CCA, & 160RC.

DBMC is the OEM
Douglas Battery Manufacturing Company.
500 Battery Drive
Post Office Box 12159
Winston-Salem, NC 27107
1-800-DOUGLAS (800-368-4527)

Everything I see E39 shows 381-762 (Group 49) is the correct battery. That is the one for at least the 97 528i, 98 540i, 99 528i, and what came stock in the 03 540i.

I don't know where the 361-050 battery belongs. 361-049 came in the E46 3er, but I did not see any posts about the 361-050.

If the wrong (not spec'ed out by BMW) battery was in your car, I would not be surprised that they would not cover it under warranty. It's possible the previous owner put in the wrong battery, or if the car was purchased from a non BMW dealer they might have thrown in just any BMW battery to sell the car?

I thought the new car warranty did not cover a dead battery anyway?

Battery listed in ETK for 2002 525i is the 381-762.
__________________
M.Wong
E38 2000 740iL Orient Blue
E91 2012 328xiT Alpine White

Passed on to new families:
E30 1987 325i Royal Blue
E39 2003 540i/6 Sterling Gray
R56 2010 Mini Cooper S British Racing Green



Last edited by M.Wong; 03-23-2005 at 11:11 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-24-2005, 08:58 AM
shaftdrive's Avatar
shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
Matching beemer & bimmer
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 610
Mein Auto: 1999 K1200 & 2001 525
What is the shop time for an E39 battery R&R with diagnostics?

Thanks for the help (especially the 525i battery manufacturer 411 information)!
I will call that number today to see what we can learn.

A BMW battery is DEFINATELY covered under the new vehicle warranty!
I checked with the BMW service department even before coming down; and then again with the service manager "D" before even handing BMW the key.

What worries me isn't the battery; it's the total lack of the promised report.

By the way, if I pay nothing, then I say nothing.
However, if I pay for premium service, then I expect what BMW promised
(especially when they asked me to pay extra twice).

I payed almost 400 dollars to replace the battery only BECAUSE BMW (thrice) promised a written "extensive diagnostic report".

What I received (I suspect was hand-written by "D" moments before I arrived on the scene to collect what I was promised and what I paid for) was decidedly NOT extensive diagnostic information collected at my cost over the span of an hour and a half of shop time. He just didn't have time to doctor the entire report with fake numbers is what I told him to his face (As you already know, I'm an upfront guy who says what he thinks to let it stand or fall on its own merits). "D" didn't deny it.

Where can I find the shop time for this type of job?

I don't mind purchasing the data ... I just don't know where it lies.
Is this in the BMW KSD?



Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	762.gif
Views:	7549
Size:	18.5 KB
ID:	47058  

Last edited by shaftdrive; 03-24-2005 at 09:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-24-2005, 11:32 AM
FireWalker's Avatar
FireWalker FireWalker is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 264
Mein Auto: 2002 530i sport
If I were "D", I would pay YOU just to get rid of you!

Seriously though, this is just another example of dealers using "creative accounting" to generate business.
The battery IS covered under the original warranty. Ask them to run the Repair History on your car to see if in fact the battery was replaced by a BMW dealer.
If it was replaced by a BMW dealer, then it STILL should be covered, even if the wrong one was installed at the time.
As far as the time required for battery replacement, I would call couple other BMW dealers and ask them what is the "shop time" for this job.
Good luck.
__________________
"...Those who would give up their freedom in exchange for security, deserve neither!..."
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-24-2005, 12:30 PM
shaftdrive's Avatar
shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
Matching beemer & bimmer
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 610
Mein Auto: 1999 K1200 & 2001 525
Quote:
Originally Posted by FireWalker
Ask them to run the Repair History on your car to see if in fact the battery was replaced by a BMW dealer.
Thanks for the helpful advice(I feel so very alone in this effort).
Wow! BMW repair histories are vastly more laconic than Lexus service histories!

In addition to Dealer #, Claim #, RO #, Entry Date, etc., the cryptic report states:
00,009 miles, Service Code 65100914A5
26,496 miles, Service Code 6313051200
26,496 miles, Service Code 6312221200
28,786 miles, Service Code 85990092MP
28,786 miles, Service Code 61610077MP
28,786 miles, Service Code 6134001000
29,321 miles, Service Code 34117777MP


Deciphering the codes with the BIMMERFEST secret-decoder ring, I conclude that NONE were for a battery replacement, i.e.,
Service Code 65100914A5 apparently indicates a radio MASK/ASK malfunction (A5=?)
Service Code 6313051200 apparently indicates turn signal problems (00=under warranty)
Service Code 6312221200 apparently indicates low-beam failure (00=under warranty)
Service Code 85990092MP apparently indicates a level 1 inspection (MP=maintenance plan)
Service Code 61610077MP apparently indicates replacement wiper inserts (MP=maintenance plan)
Service Code 6134001000 apparently indicates the lighter kept falling out (00=under warranty)
Service Code 34117777MP apparently indicates replacement front brake pads (MP=maintenance plan)
REFERENCE:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86613

I then called the dealerships who did the work; none indicated any more information than I had already determined as shown above. I must tentatively conclude that the BMW battery, if it was previously replaced, was replaced outside the dealership.

But, the battery isn't really the issue that bothers me.
What bothers me is that BMW promised to provide "extensive diagnostic reports" to which they twice asked me to pay more for ... yet they never delivered on that promise.

This is dissapointing in that I trusted BMW (like I trust Lexus) to charge me for premium service and then to deliver on what they promised. In this case, it seems to me, BMW did not deliver on what they promised. But, maybe this is normal.

Do you think I am being unfair to BMW?

Last edited by shaftdrive; 03-24-2005 at 02:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-24-2005, 02:01 PM
1Dreamer's Avatar
1Dreamer 1Dreamer is offline
Super Moderator
Location: A block off Sunset Blvd.
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,420
Mein Auto: Fiver
I think you need to insist on the promised extensive diagnostic report which you wrote right on the invoice was a condition of payment and they never objected to. If they can't provide it, insist they reverse the charge. But I think you're going to have to pay for the battery.

According to M. Wong who is always very knowledgable and helpful, the battery was the wrong battery for the car . . . . and according to your research, the vehicle history shows nothing indicating a battery issue/replacement. Since you bought the car used and you didn't buy it from a BMW dealership, unless you can come up with some evidence of how the wrong battery ended up in the car, I think you're stuck paying for it.

Bottom line based on the info provided in this thread - you don't pay for what they can't document/prove, and they don't pay for what you can't document/prove. From a legal perspective, I think that's the way it would come out in the end.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-24-2005, 09:46 PM
Terry Kennedy's Avatar
Terry Kennedy Terry Kennedy is offline
There and back again
Location: New York
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,601
Mein Auto: 2003 325xiT, 2006 Atom
Quote:
Originally Posted by M.Wong
I don't know where the 361-050 battery belongs. 361-049 came in the E46 3er, but I did not see any posts about the 361-050.
Most single-digit differences in the last digit of a part number indicate new / refurb (for electronic modules) or factory part / dealer part (presumably for things like this battey).
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-25-2005, 01:14 AM
iove75 iove75 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: West Coast
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 294
Mein Auto: 2007 750Li
$150/hour for diagnostic of a battery?!? sheesh! My local BMW labor rate is only $99.00 and I highly doubt it took over an hour to figure out that the battery was dead!

But at the very least, did they take care of your scratched door? And don't forget to participate in the BMW followup survey for you future service visits.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-25-2005, 11:09 AM
shaftdrive's Avatar
shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
Matching beemer & bimmer
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 610
Mein Auto: 1999 K1200 & 2001 525
Quote:
did they take care of your scratched door? And don't forget to participate in the BMW followup survey for you future service visits.
When I showed the scratch to "D" the day of service, he offered that the painters who work behind the dealership could fix it but he made no mention at whose cost. I figure I'd just pick up some touch-up paint as I can't prove they did it. Next time though, I'll snap digital photos of the entire car BEFORE dropping it off.

When I picked up the 525, it had a flimsy plastic bag over the seat and a paper floormat on the floor with my key in the ignition and that survey card with a big red three-digit number on it on the dash. I was surprised the BMW dealership left the car in that condition so I just grabbed the whole lot and disgustedly threw it in the trash at the dealership after glancing at the card. I didn't even think of it again until these threads mentioned that survey card.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-25-2005, 05:01 PM
shaftdrive's Avatar
shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
Matching beemer & bimmer
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 610
Mein Auto: 1999 K1200 & 2001 525
The dealer offered to provide the diagnostics I paid so dearly for.
However, they asked ME what diagnostics I desired.
After a bit of study (I've owned a BMW car for only a month, & I bought it on a whim, so I know next to nothing about it), I made a preliminary first-pass attempt and posted that to this separate BMW General thread.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...10#post1133210

If you understand BMW charging & discharging systems, please help us all by answering that thread.

Thanks,
Shaftdrive


Last edited by shaftdrive; 03-25-2005 at 05:09 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-18-2006, 04:16 AM
huttey huttey is offline
Huttey
Location: New Zealand
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 132
Mein Auto: E39 540i, E34 535s
bump
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-18-2006, 04:52 AM
DMD DMD is offline
DR BMW
Location: Iowa
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 223
Mein Auto: 05 PY M3 Coupe
$150/hr wow....they must think they are lawyers.....
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-18-2006, 02:01 PM
93LE 93LE is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Ottawa
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 201
Mein Auto: 2003 540i M Sport
Not to critique your complaint but this is likely what happened. All dealers and most indy repair shops will have a battery charger / load tester machine. Their diagnostic test, if guilty of anything, is too fancy of a name for a simple charge and load test. The techie attempts to charge to batt, and then checks the voltage. If it looks good, they then perform a load test (ampherage sp?) and measure the voltage drop while doing so. If a battery is marginal or on the way out, it will show decent but not perfect voltage at rest. But when a load is applied, the voltage drops very quickly. The Service manager likely did not want to explain it in layman's terms becuase it just makes them look like crooks for charging so much for hooking up two wires to your battery, waiting an hour, then turning a knob while looking at the readouts. No reports are printed out because it is a pretty basic test. In short,m you were chgarged an appropriate amount for the repair.

Again, take some basic aut repair classes and you'll be better able to diagnose your own probblems. Next time Spend $100 and buy a Optima redtop and install it yourself in 10 mins. About the 3rd battery problem. You could have a dark current draw problem somewhere. Ask the dealer to perform a test for this and see if it is within factory specs. Better yet, buy a $40 voltmeter, do some research on the internet to see how to do this and spend the 15 minutes.

I learned how to work on cars, including re&re motors, trannys...etc because dealers and mechanics are only doing their job by charging you $100+ oper hour.
__________________
2003 540i-6 M Sport
2001 Audi A4 1.8TQM
240 rwhp 1993 Turbo'd Mazda Miata

Last edited by 93LE; 08-18-2006 at 02:06 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-18-2006, 06:38 PM
93LE 93LE is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Ottawa
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 201
Mein Auto: 2003 540i M Sport
woah, I must have missed the original poster's update before I wrote my above explaination of load tests.

If you insists on crying foul, then you get what you deserve. Blaming the dealer for your own ignorance is just, well...ignorant. Learn a few things about cars before you get lawsuit happy.
__________________
2003 540i-6 M Sport
2001 Audi A4 1.8TQM
240 rwhp 1993 Turbo'd Mazda Miata
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-18-2006, 07:51 PM
supradupe's Avatar
supradupe supradupe is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: IL und CH
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 180
Mein Auto: 03' e39
exactly, the dealer is not battery expert, they test the battery, probably with a load tester, determined it ain't holding charge, replace it. end of story, what extensive report does one need? Plus a BMW battery is a BMW battery, it will be covered by the part warranty if not original vehicle warranty. If any owner ask them to do extra work, be prepared to pay for it.
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
VOB BMW of Maryland has the worst service cynicalwry Dealer Feedback / Vehicle Problems 68 09-29-2010 01:25 AM
Top BMW dealers in the country Mathew General BMW 37 07-06-2009 06:58 PM
Great Service Experience @ Weatherford BMW in Berkeley, CA jvr826 General BMW 3 05-07-2004 12:06 AM
Re Service Action for M3ís with S54 engines BMWNA Dealer Feedback / Vehicle Problems 1 04-24-2003 01:24 PM
FYI- BMW criteria for when Full Maint service can be done DrBimmer General BMW 0 10-13-2002 08:00 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms