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Dealer Feedback / Vehicle Problems
Have you had an exceptionally great experience with a particular BMW Center? Have you had a bad experience at your BMW Center? Frustrated by problems or defects with your vehicle? Post your stories or comments here.

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  #1  
Old 11-29-2012, 07:27 AM
LowerEast LowerEast is offline
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Wheel alignment at BMW of Manhattan

I'm not sure that this is the right forum, but....

I hit a minor pot hole on Thanksgiving in my 2011 550i GT xDrive a few miles away from my destination. Didn't think anything of it, but when I started the car a few hours later, I got a TPMS warning for the right rear tire. I checked it, and got a reading of 33 PSI so I thought it may have been just the lower temperature we had. Next morning it read 13 PSI though, so there was clearly an issue.

I took the wheel off looking for an issue with the tire, and eventually realized that the rim had cracked. Very inconvenient to have to arrange for a same day repair so that we could drive home. Fortunately, my father in law is a mechanic and was able to call a friend who did rim repair, and after most of my day spent in my FIL's pickup to drop off and pick up the wheel, we were ready to come home. I was mildly annoyed that the wheel had cracked from such a minor impact, but I knew when I bought it that I might have issues with that, and have been driving it 18 months without incident, so not too upset.

I did notice when I pulled the wheel off though that the tire was worn unevenly, with excessive wear and almost a groove worn along the inside shoulder. I assumed it was due to an alignment or camber issue, and made an appointment at BMW of Manhattan to get it looked at. I asked what the cost for a wheel alignment was for my car, and was told $199. I thought it was a little high, but not unreasonable.

Anyway, I dropped off the car this morning, and the SA argued with me on basically everything I told her. I wasn't looking to get anything taken care of under warranty - just to give her the back story so they would have all the information, but she still felt the need to tell me that it must have been a much bigger impact than I was admitting to, that there must have been multiple impacts, and that the rim had probably been cracked for some time. She told me that she laughs every time someone tells her that some BMWs have an issue with overly fragile wheels, because it just isn't true.

We get past that, and she tells me the car will likely need an alignment, and that it will cost $399. I asked her why it would be that high when I was quoted $199 when I called the day before. She told me that the "receptionists" who take the calls don't know anything, and that the $199 is for older models. She said newer cars need a different alignment because they have electric steering and it's $399.

I explained to her that a) being an xDrive, my car has hydraulic steering, and b) I understood why cars with IAS may need a different, but wasn't clear on why my car or even a car that had electric steering would be double the cost of their standard alignment.

She couldn't answer the questions, and said they's call once they had taken a look at the car.

So I guess my question is: setting aside cars with IAS, is there any reason a 2011 BMW, with or without electric steering, would need a different alignment service from, say, a 2010 or 2009 model? It seems odd to me, but maybe I'm missing something.
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2012, 07:45 AM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
-- Robert S. Johnson 56FG
Location: New York
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowerEast View Post
I'm not sure that this is the right forum, but....

I hit a minor pot hole on Thanksgiving in my 2011 550i GT xDrive a few miles away from my destination. Didn't think anything of it, but when I started the car a few hours later, I got a TPMS warning for the right rear tire. I checked it, and got a reading of 33 PSI so I thought it may have been just the lower temperature we had. Next morning it read 13 PSI though, so there was clearly an issue.

I took the wheel off looking for an issue with the tire, and eventually realized that the rim had cracked. Very inconvenient to have to arrange for a same day repair so that we could drive home. Fortunately, my father in law is a mechanic and was able to call a friend who did rim repair, and after most of my day spent in my FIL's pickup to drop off and pick up the wheel, we were ready to come home. I was mildly annoyed that the wheel had cracked from such a minor impact, but I knew when I bought it that I might have issues with that, and have been driving it 18 months without incident, so not too upset.

I did notice when I pulled the wheel off though that the tire was worn unevenly, with excessive wear and almost a groove worn along the inside shoulder. I assumed it was due to an alignment or camber issue, and made an appointment at BMW of Manhattan to get it looked at. I asked what the cost for a wheel alignment was for my car, and was told $199. I thought it was a little high, but not unreasonable.

Anyway, I dropped off the car this morning, and the SA argued with me on basically everything I told her. I wasn't looking to get anything taken care of under warranty - just to give her the back story so they would have all the information, but she still felt the need to tell me that it must have been a much bigger impact than I was admitting to, that there must have been multiple impacts, and that the rim had probably been cracked for some time. She told me that she laughs every time someone tells her that some BMWs have an issue with overly fragile wheels, because it just isn't true.

We get past that, and she tells me the car will likely need an alignment, and that it will cost $399. I asked her why it would be that high when I was quoted $199 when I called the day before. She told me that the "receptionists" who take the calls don't know anything, and that the $199 is for older models. She said newer cars need a different alignment because they have electric steering and it's $399.

I explained to her that a) being an xDrive, my car has hydraulic steering, and b) I understood why cars with IAS may need a different, but wasn't clear on why my car or even a car that had electric steering would be double the cost of their standard alignment.

She couldn't answer the questions, and said they's call once they had taken a look at the car.

So I guess my question is: setting aside cars with IAS, is there any reason a 2011 BMW, with or without electric steering, would need a different alignment service from, say, a 2010 or 2009 model? It seems odd to me, but maybe I'm missing something.
BMW Manhattan has a bad rep here among many people. I don't know if it is valid or not, but there have been several complaints.

For sure, if an SA is arguing with me from the get-go, I would want a different one.
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2012, 03:00 PM
vern vern is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
BMW Manhattan has a bad rep here among many people. I don't know if it is valid or not, but there have been several complaints.

For sure, if an SA is arguing with me from the get-go, I would want a different one.
+1 Or a different dealer. Good luck
cheers
vern
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2013, 08:22 AM
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mjsbmw mjsbmw is offline
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Manhattan BMW is not a customer friendly place, even though it is a FACTORY store. There are so many places to have an alignment performed other than Manahattan BMW.
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2013, 02:51 PM
nlk10010 nlk10010 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 BMW 550ix
I can only relate my experience with another dealer.

I hit a pretty bad pothole, causing a bubble in one of my tires (fortunately I have BMW tire/wheel insurance). I brought the car in and was told that I would also "probably" needed an alignment, since it was a pretty big impact and the car was almost two years old and never had one. I asked how much, the rep looked to see if I had "Active Steering" (I don't), told me that an alignment with AS was $399 but that since I didn't have it the charge would be $199. When I hesitated she said "but I can probably find a coupon which will make it $179".

Moral is: just because a dealer says something doesn't make it so. Some of them will lie with a straight face, just like politicians. The alignment is $179 (or $199). Probably had I pushed I could have gotten it for less but I pick my battles and this dealer had just replaced two other tires on my car the previous week as they had nails in them (but never said anything about an alignment since it wasn't impact damage).

Oh, and, I didn't even buy my car from them. Look around for another dealer (I once was shopping for a car via email and the guy I contacted at Manhattan won the prize as the biggest sleaze bag of them all, impossible to do business with).

But, again, the above is just my experience.

Last edited by nlk10010; 03-01-2013 at 02:53 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2013, 03:06 PM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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Location: New York
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlk10010 View Post
I can only relate my experience with another dealer.

I hit a pretty bad pothole, causing a bubble in one of my tires (fortunately I have BMW tire/wheel insurance). I brought the car in and was told that I would also "probably" needed an alignment, since it was a pretty big impact and the car was almost two years old and never had one. I asked how much, the rep looked to see if I had "Active Steering" (I don't), told me that an alignment with AS was $399 but that since I didn't have it the charge would be $199. When I hesitated she said "but I can probably find a coupon which will make it $179".

Moral is: just because a dealer says something doesn't make it so. Some of them will lie with a straight face, just like politicians. The alignment is $179 (or $199). Probably had I pushed I could have gotten it for less but I pick my battles and this dealer had just replaced two other tires on my car the previous week as they had nails in them (but never said anything about an alignment since it wasn't impact damage).

Oh, and, I didn't even buy my car from them. Look around for another dealer (I once was shopping for a car via email and the guy I contacted at Manhattan won the prize as the biggest sleaze bag of them all, impossible to do business with).

But, again, the above is just my experience.
You did good, and they were fair. But where was the dealer? Close-in exit 267 on the LIE?
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2013, 03:16 PM
nlk10010 nlk10010 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
You did good, and they were fair. But where was the dealer? Close-in exit 267 on the LIE?
Exit 267, that's a good one!

I generally don't like to give the name of a dealer unsolicited because everyone can have a different experience. But since you asked, it's Bayside BMW, I don't know what exit #(remember Joe Piscopo on SNL? ) because their service department is within walking distance of my house, but it's the Community Drive exit.

I really can't explain it, Bayside had (and may still have for all I know) a terrible reputation some years ago, but I tried them because they built their new service facility close to my house. As I say, I didn't even buy my car from them but they've generally fallen all over themselves taking care of me, free oil top ups, free car washes, competent service. And their web site on which you schedule service is absolutely leaps and bounds above anything else I've tried (e.g. Rallye's).

I've said before: I have no qualms about telling people when a company does right by me, and should Bayside revert to their old ways (or at least what was reported to be their old ways) I will have no hesitation about posting that on every forum and website I visit.
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