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  #1  
Old 01-29-2003, 10:07 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Inspection 2 is generally a rip-off...

Discuss.

If you look at the actual list of what BMW prescribes for an inspection 2 on a regular e46 (non-M3), there's not a whole lot on it other than checking a bunch of things. The only things that actually get replaced are the air filter, microfilter and engine oil. Yet, most dealers seem to charge $500-$1000 for this! Based on what they do, it seems like it should be worth about 1 hour of labor + parts.

An inspection 2 would be worth what they charged if they:
-changed coolant (according to BMW, this is time-based and done every 4 years-- its separate from an inspection)
-changed brake fluid (according to BMW, this is time-based and done every 2 years-- again, separate from an inspection)
-change diff oil (yeah, its "life-fill" but if I'm keeping a car for a long time, i'd change it every 50-60k).
-changed trans oil (same as above)
-changed spark plugs (supposed to be 100k, maybe i'd wait till then - but why not spend a little extra and have it done)
-change fuel filter (BMW never says it needs changing, but I think many of us would agree that is a good idea on any car)
-changed any belts or hoses tha tmight be worn
-new brake pads and rotors (if needed). If this were included, then the price could justifiably be closer to the $1000 mark-- but still not over that.

My theory is that dealers have kept the price of inspection 2 the same as it was on older BMW models, where BMW did actually say that you needed to change those things (and, in the case of some BMW engines, needed a timing belt change too). But, they've conveniently "forgotten" to update the prices to reflect what they actually do on the e46 inspection. The inspection part of inspection 2 sounds like what many of you do before any track session-- and probably pay between $20-$50 if you have a mechanic do it. The only reason I can think of to have a dealer do an inspection 2 would be resale value-- but I bet that on 60k+ car you won't ever recoup the extra money you spent having the dealer "bless" the car. I think many customers assume that more is being done than really is.

I see no reason to pay a dealer $500-$1000 to do a standard e46 inspection 2. I'd DIY it, and change the extra things I mentioned, or take it to a good independent mechanic who would probably do everyting (minus the brakes) for around $200. I'm also hoping that by the time my car hits 60k, there will be something like Uwe Ross's VAG-COM for BMWs- to let us do a lot of the stuff that dealers use their DIS or MoDIC computers for.

I don't have to worry about this for a while, but a post on bimmer.org got me thinking about this. I often see advice on various message boards to "make sure the car has had an inspection 2" if you're buying used. I'd be more concerned that the car had the proper preventative maintenance-- not just some dealership lackey squeezing a few hoses and looking for paint chips.
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Last edited by bmw325; 01-29-2003 at 10:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2003, 10:11 PM
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Re: Inspection 2 is generally a rip-off...

Quote:
Originally posted by robg
My theory is that dealers have kept the price of inspection 2 the same as it was on older BMW models, where BMW did actually say that you needed to change those things ... But, they've conveniently "forgotten" to update the prices to reflect what they actually do on the e46 inspection.
Sadly, (and I know this for a fact), you are 110% true.
  #3  
Old 01-29-2003, 10:15 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Re: Re: Inspection 2 is generally a rip-off...

Quote:
Originally posted by DrBimmer
Sadly, (and I know this for a fact), you are 110% true.
I was actually hoping that I was atleast a little wrong-- I didn't want to believe it was such a blatant scam. Ah well, atleast I know. BMWs could be quite cheap to maintain if customers were better informed, and BMWNA kept a tighter rein on what certain service items should cost. Some of the prices they charge are just unethical.
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2003, 08:37 AM
in_d_haus in_d_haus is offline
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If an Insp. 2 is a rip off what do ya call An Insp 1? It's even less isn't it?
  #5  
Old 01-30-2003, 09:08 AM
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But isn't inspection 1 usually covered under the standard maintenance?

Quote:
Originally posted by in_d_haus
If an Insp. 2 is a rip off what do ya call An Insp 1? It's even less isn't it?
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  #6  
Old 01-30-2003, 09:12 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by in_d_haus
If an Insp. 2 is a rip off what do ya call An Insp 1? It's even less isn't it?
Yes-- i'm sure its a rip-off too-- but not quite as bad (since they basically do the same things as Inspection 2 but charge less). How much are Inspection 1's (when you do have to pay for them)?
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  #7  
Old 01-30-2003, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by robg
Yes-- i'm sure its a rip-off too-- but not quite as bad (since they basically do the same things as Inspection 2 but charge less). How much are Inspection 1's (when you do have to pay for them)?
I had one THIS week on my E36 but I asked for it WITHOUT the oil change (as my oil didn't need changing, I didn't want their crappy oil AND I certainly didn't want to pay for it).

$375.
  #8  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:16 AM
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Re: Re: Inspection 2 is generally a rip-off...

Quote:
Originally posted by DrBimmer
Sadly, (and I know this for a fact), you are 110% true.


bmw should do the right thing here and make the changes. that's is just wrong! that is way worse than charging labour time for installing an alarm in an older bmw for an e46 alarm install.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CMOS
But isn't inspection 1 usually covered under the standard maintenance?
the sequence goes: inspec 1, 2, 1, 2 ....
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:25 AM
Bill 330i Bill 330i is offline
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Other car companies do this too, although they don't charge as much as BMW, they still overcharge. What gets me is if you ask for the actual service items individually it costs significantly less. I did this with my Acura, and then asked them to "check" some of the stuff that was listed in that service interval as needing to be checked. I didn't have to pay for someone to then just "look" at something and do nothing else.
  #11  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by HW
the sequence goes: inspec 1, 2, 1, 2 ....
Actually, its:

oilservice
Inspection 1
oilservice
Inspection 2
oilservice
Inspection 1
oilservice
Inspection 2
...
  #12  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:40 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Inspection 2 is generally a rip-off...

Quote:
Originally posted by robg
I was actually hoping that I was atleast a little wrong-- I didn't want to believe it was such a blatant scam. Ah well, atleast I know. BMWs could be quite cheap to maintain if customers were better informed, and BMWNA kept a tighter rein on what certain service items should cost. Some of the prices they charge are just unethical.
To give them some credit, the problem has been that they are still getting a variety of newer and older models coming in, and they have been late to realize the small amount of work necessary on the newer cars and have failed to adjust the labor times. I do know that some of the dealers have recently or are in the process of re-pricing their entire service menu, but of course, many will probably continue to charge more and more well into the future.

If you are going to go to the dealer, you are better off having them do an Inspection 1 instead of 2, reset the Inspection indicator, and then when you get outside, throw in the air filter yourself before you leave the dealer. Better than paying several more hours of labor if this is all they are doing.
  #13  
Old 01-30-2003, 12:32 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Inspection 2 is generally a rip-off...

Quote:
Originally posted by DrBimmer
To give them some credit, the problem has been that they are still getting a variety of newer and older models coming in, and they have been late to realize the small amount of work necessary on the newer cars and have failed to adjust the labor times. I do know that some of the dealers have recently or are in the process of re-pricing their entire service menu, but of course, many will probably continue to charge more and more well into the future.

If you are going to go to the dealer, you are better off having them do an Inspection 1 instead of 2, reset the Inspection indicator, and then when you get outside, throw in the air filter yourself before you leave the dealer. Better than paying several more hours of labor if this is all they are doing.
probably when more of the newer cars (w/ the prepaid service contracts ie. maintenance for 1st 3/4 years) expire people will complain more and then there will be the adjustments. strange how bmw ag hasn't done anything about this because aren't they paying the dealerships to do inspection 1 (at the high rate)?
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2003, 12:50 PM
egruber egruber is offline
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The Mercedes Service Schedule is similar with an alternating 'A' and 'B' service. The 'B' service is incredibly expensive and comes up about every 30K miles...which is more frequent than BMW because you have no 'oil change' that falls in-between. It's a lot of money for basically 'looking around'. I would only do it to keep a warranty intact.

Somebody recently noted that when they had a 6 year old Mercedes the service intervals were short and expensive. With the newer ones, Mercedes is paying for it...and suddenly the service intervals are very far apart. Did the cars get so much better...or is it driven purely by who shoulders the cost?
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2003, 01:18 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by TD
I had one THIS week on my E36 but I asked for it WITHOUT the oil change (as my oil didn't need changing, I didn't want their crappy oil AND I certainly didn't want to pay for it).

$375.
I bet the e36 inspection 2 includes more than the e46-- do you know what specific items they actually checked and/or replaced? If all they did was check some stuff and replace the air filter, it $375 still sounds high. But I'm pretty sure that BMW's specified service for e36 inspection 2 includes a bit more (possibly spark plugs? and maybe a diff oil change?). Does the e36 M3 have its own specific service menu like the e46 M3 does?
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Old 01-30-2003, 01:21 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bill 330i
Other car companies do this too, although they don't charge as much as BMW, they still overcharge. What gets me is if you ask for the actual service items individually it costs significantly less. I did this with my Acura, and then asked them to "check" some of the stuff that was listed in that service interval as needing to be checked. I didn't have to pay for someone to then just "look" at something and do nothing else.
Yeah-- that's exactly what I'd do. Assuming I wanted a dealer (or any mechanic) to do the service, I'd ask them for individual quotes on the items they'd inspect or replace. If they actually claimed to do an inspection, I'd atleast want some written documentation (like brake pad thickness for example). I'm always leery of any type of service "package" where they bundle a bunch of stuff for a set price.
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Old 01-30-2003, 01:24 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Inspection 2 is generally a rip-off...

Quote:
Originally posted by HW
probably when more of the newer cars (w/ the prepaid service contracts ie. maintenance for 1st 3/4 years) expire people will complain more and then there will be the adjustments. strange how bmw ag hasn't done anything about this because aren't they paying the dealerships to do inspection 1 (at the high rate)?
Ah, the wonderful world of warranty work! Your dealer can charge you whatever they want to, but BMW warranty only pays a predetermined fee. They have a labor time guide for all work, including maintenance, as well as a fixed percentage above cost that they will pay on parts. The dealer can make up whatever rate they want and charge whatever they want on parts when the customer is paying, but they are forced to accept whatever BMWNA pays them, not what they ask them for.

For comparison, BMWNA pays .5 hours (4FRU) for an early oil service, .63 hours (5FRU) for a full Oil Service, and 1.5 hours (12FRU) for an Inspection 1 on the E46. An inspection 2 is either 15 or 18FRU, which is 1.88 or 2.25 hours, respectively, if I remember correctly. I want to say that BMW pays about 20% over cost on parts, but I don't remember.

The general rule around here is that customer pay labor is 1.6 times the warranty time, but then again, that is just a general rule. Many dealers are now using the Reynolds and Reynolds SPG (Service Price Guides) program for labor time on customer work.

So in summary, BMWNA is not affected by the price the dealer charges, since they pay their own rate. Also, the labor rate per hour that BMW pays is almost always lower than what the customer pays. Therefore, the dealers make very little on warranty work because
a) it pays less per hour
b) it pays fewer hours per job
c) it pays less for parts
d) many techs take longer than the warranty time pays, so they are "working for free" if it takes them more time (i.e. paid flat rate)

Last edited by DrBimmer; 01-30-2003 at 01:40 PM.
  #18  
Old 01-30-2003, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by robg
I bet the e36 inspection 2 includes more than the e46-- do you know what specific items they actually checked and/or replaced? If all they did was check some stuff and replace the air filter, it $375 still sounds high. But I'm pretty sure that BMW's specified service for e36 inspection 2 includes a bit more (possibly spark plugs? and maybe a diff oil change?). Does the e36 M3 have its own specific service menu like the e46 M3 does?
BMW began to phase out the work late in the E36 run. They started off with changing the differential service from every #2 to every second #2. They they stopped changing the tranny fluid. Then they went to "lifetime" fuel filters. Followed by a change to 100,000 spark plugs. All these items were changed at EVERY inspection 2 on the earlier E36s. These changes were also reflected in the E39. By the time the E46 came out, everything had already been pulled out of the Inspection 2 well in advance.
  #19  
Old 01-30-2003, 01:40 PM
Chris325i Chris325i is offline
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For an E46, the only difference between Inspection I and Inspection II is replacing the air filter. A lot of dealerships seem to still be using the old labor scale for Inspection II. If the price is much higher, just ask them for an Inspection I and replace the air filter yourself.
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Old 01-30-2003, 01:45 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrBimmer
BMW began to phase out the work late in the E36 run. They started off with changing the differential service from every #2 to every second #2. They they stopped changing the tranny fluid. Then they went to "lifetime" fuel filters. Followed by a change to 100,000 spark plugs. All these items were changed at EVERY inspection 2 on the earlier E36s. These changes were also reflected in the E39. By the time the E46 came out, everything had already been pulled out of the Inspection 2 well in advance.
Since "life-time" generally means 100-120k, I wonder why they didn't just stick w/ the every second #2 rule for diff oil and fuel filters. Its not like cars in that mileage range would be under any sort of warranty-- and it just seems downright irresponsible to not mention atleast SOME interval for changing those things. I wonder what the "skin of their backs" would be to recommend this stuff-- its not like recommened a few extra fluid changes would seem much worse from a marketing perspective. Maybe they think that their modern cars are built in such a disposable way that none will live see mileages greater than 120k.
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Old 01-30-2003, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by egruber
Somebody recently noted that when they had a 6 year old Mercedes the service intervals were short and expensive. With the newer ones, Mercedes is paying for it...and suddenly the service intervals are very far apart. Did the cars get so much better...or is it driven purely by who shoulders the cost?

you know that saying ... when it's their turn to pay for the beer....
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  #22  
Old 02-01-2003, 11:19 AM
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I was curious and called my dealer yesterday...they said $279 for inspection 2. Service manager said 99 models on are less.

That sounds more reasonable.
  #23  
Old 02-01-2003, 10:03 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ErnScott
I was curious and called my dealer yesterday...they said $279 for inspection 2. Service manager said 99 models on are less.

That sounds more reasonable.

That does sound better. Still way overpriced for what they actually do-- but atleast within the realm of reality.
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Old 02-05-2003, 01:56 PM
Whohangs Whohangs is offline
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This thread has a link to what's done during an Inspection I and Inspection II for a 2001, I have a 2000 and I believe it was the same.

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...+ii+difference

Unfortunately, I paid almost $800 for my Inspection II last month.

  #25  
Old 02-05-2003, 01:57 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Whohangs
This thread has a link to what's done during an Inspection I and Inspection II for a 2001, I have a 2000 and I believe it was the same.

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...+ii+difference

Unfortunately, I paid almost $800 for my Inspection II last month.

Ouch. Dealers are such A**holes.
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