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Do-It-Yourself H.Q.
Share your DIY projects or ask questions about how to fix something on your own. Help fellow Bimmerfest members improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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  #1  
Old 02-23-2014, 07:46 PM
Texan Engineer Texan Engineer is offline
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How many of you opt to skip the free maintenance?

Sorry if these is a repeat, but search turned up nothing (perhaps I'm using the wrong keywords).
Anyways, my question to you is to find out how many of you guys opt to skip free maintenance?

Basically, the math seems to lead me to believe that all you get is a few free oil changes (4x), some wiper blades (4x), and a few other small items (ok, the big one is probably the brake bleed, which I believe you are eligible for at the "Inspection 1" = 30k). For all of you DIY'ers out there, that barely amounts to $200 (maybe) in supplies, plus your own labor.

In my experience, I have a strong distrust of dealerships (or anyone else, honestly) working on my cars. I may not have as much experience, but I feel that with Google, and my thoroughness, I can do just as good, if not better, job taking care of my car. So I'd rather it never set foot in a dealer if possible. So how many of you guys actually never car your car in - even for the "free maintenance period"?

FYI - mine is a 128i w/ N52 motor - probably that last easy(ish) car to DIY work on. At barely 5k miles, I've got plenty of life left in it.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:47 PM
Texan Engineer Texan Engineer is offline
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By the way, before you jump on the bandwagon - remember that dealership aren't magicians. Who does the work on your car? Humans. And what makes them so special? Nothing really, except that they've gone through factory training and do this day in day out (aka experience). That's no guarantee that they're as thorough, precise, careful, etc. with your car as you are (or can be). Or as clean...
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:50 AM
Texan Engineer Texan Engineer is offline
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Anyone?
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:34 AM
cwickberg cwickberg is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan Engineer View Post
And what makes them so special? Nothing really, except that they've gone through factory training and do this day in day out (aka experience).
If you think you can do a better job go for it. However, as you pointed out, they are factory trained, experienced, have the tools and equipment, and perform more than just oil changes.

While I enjoy working on my vehicles, I have not changed the oil myself on any of them in the past 20 years, just not worth the time and hassle. Sure, you might save a few bucks here and there but is it really worth it?

Besides you are paying for it anyway

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  #5  
Old 03-01-2014, 08:13 PM
mattograph mattograph is offline
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I enjoy working on my car myself, although I am not terribly good at it. I enjoy the included service, especially since my dealer is liberal with their loaner fleet. Gives me a chance to spend some time behind the wheel of a different bimmer for a bit.

And, as the previous poster said -- its paid for.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:28 AM
padrel padrel is offline
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One thing, though, that every "factory=trained" technician needs to work on is the correct tire pressure. Doesn't matter what make or model, I've ALWAYS had problems with technicians over-inflating my tires, and BMW of San Antonio is no exception. Correct pressure for my tires is 35/40 f/r, not 42 lbs all the way around.

Also, I brought my new 328i home a month ago, and the morning after I topped off the windshield washer fluid. Nearly a gallon. In a brand-new car. In addition to the over-inflated tires.

Finally, I really would like a traditional dip stick so I could double-check the oil level, but I guess the electronic means will have to do.

When it comes to maintenance that anyone else does on any of my vehicles, I trust but verify. I will take advantage of the complimentary maintenance while it lasts, in large part because they keep records at the dealer, which should theoretically enhance resale value. After my four years are up I will decide whether or not to do the maintenance myself.
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2014, 04:38 AM
luigi524td luigi524td is online now
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I'm disappointed by some of the negative customer experiences that drive BMW owners away from their dealer service centers. Maybe I should count myself amongst the "lucky"?? And I have been told I'm a educated consumer and my opinion hasn't been swayed by the good coffee and donuts at my BMW Store ;-)

That said, for the OP, while your car is still under the Factory Warranty I encourage regular visits to a BMW dealer for the obligatory inspections and (yes) services. Techs will perform any tests necessary to detect warning signs using equipment available only to dealers and indy's willing to make the significant financial investment. It's more than can be done by even a good wrench turner crawling under the car to do an oil change. Which, by the way, I still enjoy doing because it give me a chance to see what's going on under my cars too! And, it's sometimes good therapy :-)
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2014, 08:49 AM
banglenot banglenot is offline
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If the "free maintenance" had an optional price, I could make a decision.

Since it's included, I have always used it. Why not?

However, assuming I'm keeping the car past lease termination, the BMW maintenance plan is inadequate.

Two specific area ares oil changes and transmission fluid changes. I swap oil/filter every 8K, so I'm glad to take the 15K change from BMW and add another in between. Again, if it's a turn-in, who cares? But keeping it? Not a chance are BMW's maintenance specs sufficient.

As to ZF fluid changes, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of documented early failures across the BMW related boards for the higher mileage ZF transmissions, likely directly related to the the BMW "lifetime fill" nonsense. ZF recommends fluid changes at 70K Kilometers, or 42K miles. BMW says 100K miles. I'll stick with ZF's opinion, thanks. For those interested, one of our E60 members cut open his ZF filter with 113 K miles on it, as part of his first fluid change: pics at http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...39&postcount=1 Looks like an open sewer.

As to the rest of it, the maintenance plan flushes the brake fluid and the coolant at least once in the <50K mi ownership period. That's probably enough. And I'd change my differential fluid around 60K, anyway.

BTW, I've always done my own work where possible. With INPA, or BMWhat, or Bav Technic, all the codes are available for diagnosis. And like Luigi says, it's therapeutic.

And ya can't beat those free wipers, can you?
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Last edited by banglenot; 03-02-2014 at 09:06 AM.
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  #9  
Old 03-03-2014, 12:09 AM
Texan Engineer Texan Engineer is offline
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Ah of course, everyone loves the free wipers haha.

Anyways, I'll plan to take it in as scheduled. This thread was mostly to satsify my curiosity - I too have had too many lousy dealer experiences (not just BMW) so if at all possible I wanted to avoid them. As you guys pointed out though, the benefits still outweigh the cons...for now...
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