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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

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  #1  
Old 07-09-2014, 02:45 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
What is the fixed labor rate at YOUR local dealer or indy?

What is the fixed labor rate at your local dealer or indy?

This question was prompted by a spate of current threads where questions arise about the cost of maintaining bimmers serviced outside the home ... not the least of which are the following:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Reasonable quote for cooling system??
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Time required to install serpentine belt
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > should shop have replaced engine temp sensor during complete cooling overhaul?
etc.

To do my part, yesterday, a friend and I had called four local BMW-specific locations, to start this off:
  1. Stevenscreek BMW (San Jose) 800-298-1501
    • Brian says their shop rate is $210.88/flathour
  2. Mountainview BMW (Mountainview) 650-200-0149
    • Andrea says the standard rate is $195/hour
  3. Fremont BMW (Fremont) 510-224-4820
    • Rich said the labor rate is $198/hour
  4. Rays Ultimate BMW Service Center 855-243-9430
    • Ray said he uses the KSD to estimate time
    • He wouldn't give me a hard number for a shop rate
    • He said the labor rate depends on the type job and on the tech
    • For example, an E39 I6 VCG is $758 (includes $206 for labor, and probably includes at least $300 for the Valve Cover itself)
      • If it's a 1-hour job, then that's $206/hour
So that everyone benefits from this effort, I ask:
What is the quoted shop rate at your local dealer or indy?

See also:
  1. What is your local dealer/indy fixed labor rate? (1)
  2. What book does your dealer/indy use for flat rate time? (1)
  3. Where does the dealer/indy/sponsor buy their parts from? (1)
  4. How long does the dealer/indy quote for each repair (for better shop transparency) (1)
  5. How long did it take YOU to DIY that last maintenance or repair? (1)
  6. How much money, in toto, did the dealer/indy quote you for your repair? (1)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 08-02-2014 at 08:33 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2014, 02:53 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
our shop charges 70$ a hr +15% if you bring your own parts
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2014, 11:32 PM
jakellama123 jakellama123 is offline
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 540i
All the local Indy BMW shops (Arizona) are $80-100
Nuts to think about $700+ for VCG
My e39 is a car I would buy since I do my own work but wouldn't recommend it to a family member
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2014, 11:35 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Fudman accidentally posted in the wrong thread (I think I confused him with all the recent somewhat similar threads), so I bring his answer from there to here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
My indy currently charges $100/hr but works out of his garage (as in attached to his house). So he is very cheap compared to most. The last time I was serviced at the dealer, about 8 years ago, his labor rates were $145/hr. I suspect they are over $180 nowadays. But Metrowest Boston tends to be the high rent district.
EDIT: Found this in this thread just now:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Time required to install serpentine belt
Quote:
Originally Posted by jygesq View Post
Both my A/C belt & serpentine belt were shot. There is where dealer got me. He charged 2.3 hours @ $ 141 / hour!
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 07-11-2014 at 10:05 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2014, 04:21 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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Mein Auto: 00 528i 3 pedals
My indy charges $89/hr, the dealer charges around $150/hr.
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2014, 08:50 AM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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dealer is crediting me $90 as I was charged to

take fan shroud off and that is part of the repair . still not great but better
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2014, 10:50 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jygesq View Post
take fan shroud off and that is part of the repair . still not great but better
That probably belongs in a different thread, but, this post today does belong here because it specified a labor rate at a local indy ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsrguy98 View Post
I'm not sure what the BMW Dealer rate is. I use a guy here in St. Louis that used to be a BMW mechanic. He and his brother run a European car shop. They only charge $75 an hour, have the tools and knowledge and are competent.
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2014, 11:12 AM
professorman professorman is online now
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Mein Auto: 2000 525i
My Indy charges $85/hr, but he is also my best friend, so I frequently 'get the hook-up', and I also can use his shop and expertise at my disposal to do my own work.
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2014, 12:34 PM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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$141 per hour BMW West springfield MA

but get this SLIDING SCALE up to $!64 for electrical work. What will they think of next?
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2014, 04:48 AM
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sixpot_simon sixpot_simon is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 530i
Sorry to be a naysayer, but unfortunately there's more to it than the labour rate. For any job that is more involved that a routine service, the mechanic can always fiddle with the hours to bill as he pleases.

EDIT: just noticed the other thread. Great stuff. There are still many reasons/excuses that a job becomes "non-standard" and fixed pricing goes out the window. But these threads will still be very valuable for the standard stuff. Sorry I don't have anything to contribute, I try to DIY as much as possible, so when it does go to the mechanic it's always a complicated situation!

Last edited by sixpot_simon; 07-11-2014 at 04:56 AM.
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  #11  
Old 07-11-2014, 05:44 AM
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energizedmortal energizedmortal is online now
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Mein Auto: 2003 530i
local indy $75/hr

bmw of Manhattan $150/hr

me $0/hr
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  #12  
Old 07-11-2014, 11:24 PM
SSJRICH 540i SSJRICH 540i is online now
00 E39 540i/6 M Sport
Location: Vancouver, BC
 
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Mein Auto: '98 540i
I am the service manager at a small shop in Vancouver. We charge $98 CAN/HR. My friend is a BMW Tech at one of the local BMW shops. They charge out at $149.99/hr but they do have levels of loyalty discounts. And they provide you with a BMW rental car if asked.
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  #13  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:17 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Today, a labor rate of $105/hour was posted for this four-corner suspension overhaul in Oceanside, CA:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Suspension info/shop

Note: A PDF is available of the complete breakdown ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wgosma View Post
...I had an independant German auto shop in SoCal compelety reubild my E39's suspension (all 4 corners).
Car is 98 528i non-sport & at time of rebuild ODO read 163K miiles.
... details edited out ...
Labor: $2000 (@ $105/hr. shop rate, labor = 19 hrs.)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 07-25-2014 at 12:34 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:31 AM
Wgosma Wgosma is offline
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Mein Auto: 98 528i 5-spd sport pkg
shop labor rates

Oceanside, CA (SoCal)
Independant: $105/hour
Dealer: unknown
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98 528i - 5 spd, Premium Pkg. & Sport Suspension
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  #15  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:41 AM
GSXRYDER GSXRYDER is online now
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Mein Auto: Z4M Coupe, 540i,Silverado
Indy

Free...no one touches my cars except me...
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  #16  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:47 AM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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Location: KC
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 528i 9/99
I honestly don't know the hourly rate of my indy or the dealer here in town.
I've only had my car 4 months or so and I have done every job myself.
However, if someone comes to me and needs help I will gladly lend my experience to them.
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  #17  
Old 07-25-2014, 12:31 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSXRYDER View Post
Free...no one touches my cars except me...
Your cost is your time, which would go into this compendium thread:
- How long did it take YOU to DIY that last maintenance or repair? (1)

Here's another shop rate today, from Bracknell, in the UK:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > HELP - not firing on all cylinders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madeeha901 View Post
I have a 2001 BMW 535i E39. It's not running on all cylinders ... the BMW people here charge 89 an hour for labour
A quick google exchange-rate calculation puts that at ~$150/hour USD.
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__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #18  
Old 07-25-2014, 01:49 PM
DHoffmeyer DHoffmeyer is offline
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Mein Auto: 99 528i
Local indie specializes in German auto repair is $85/ hour.


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
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  #19  
Old 07-25-2014, 04:08 PM
SpritzUSMC SpritzUSMC is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 540i ///M Sport
$75/hr. Georgia Luxury Automotive. I'm a shade tree mechanic and anything and everything I can do I will do but when I need a mechanic they're my guys. I believe United BMW which is the closest to me is right at about $140/hr
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  #20  
Old 07-25-2014, 06:05 PM
tygr1 tygr1 is online now
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Local indy is $95/hour.
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  #21  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:28 PM
trickstar trickstar is offline
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Location: Prescott Valley
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 525i
I'm my Indy

I like the $0/hour deal

Jimmy
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  #22  
Old 07-27-2014, 05:51 PM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 528i
I use European Imports here in St. Louis. They're Bosnian brothers. One was a BMW mechanic for 10 years and decided to start his own company. They charge $75 an hour and will let me bring in my own parts. I buy them from Parts Geek most of the time. They replaced all 4 rotors and all of the break pads for $200 labor. Not too shabby.
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  #23  
Old 07-27-2014, 06:44 PM
Wgosma Wgosma is offline
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Location: Oceanside, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 98 528i 5-spd sport pkg
shop labor rates.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsrguy98 View Post
I use European Imports here in St. Louis. They're Bosnian brothers. One was a BMW mechanic for 10 years and decided to start his own company. They charge $75 an hour and will let me bring in my own parts. I buy them from Parts Geek most of the time. They replaced all 4 rotors and all of the break pads for $200 labor. Not too shabby.
Simply amazing. The labor rate is not too surprising given your location but these guys letting you buy your own parts is pretty much unheard of out here in California.....no wonder people are leaving this State in droves I think pretty uncommon for a shop to let you bring in parts; every shop I've ever spoken to wants to buy/markup the parts and for the most part it makes sense.....if they run into a problem with a part issue/failure after you leave most shops will fix the issue at no cost to the customer (given reasonable timeframe) and the profit on parts is part of what 'offsets' their possibly having to spend significant labor time to replace a sometimes relatively low-cost part.

You've a good deal going in Missouri!
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  #24  
Old 07-28-2014, 05:30 AM
lsrguy98 lsrguy98 is offline
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I thought the same thing. I'm not sure what happens of a part goes bad but I've had no issues yet. I sit there and watch them to try and learn something.

Nice car by the way.
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  #25  
Old 08-02-2014, 08:41 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakellama123 View Post
Nuts to think about $700+ for VCG
Ray told me he always replaces the >$300 plastic valve cover because, he says, it cracks.

Here's a video, for example, where even an experienced mechanic broke the valve cover when trying to replace just the gasket...
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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