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///Monkeyazz Duck
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Discussion Starter #1
Our 2017 540 is the first BMW we've had with only 36,000 miles of "free" service. I've just ticked over 40,000 miles, and the CBS system was calling for an oil change, plus I wanted an issue with my iDrive controller documented. So I took her in to the dealer yesterday.

Most BMW dealers offer "Valueline" oil changes for $90 or so, and I was expecting a $100 bill. Wrong. The key reader indicated I also needed a "Intake Silencer Service" (i.e. replace the engine air cleaner) and a Micro Filter (i.e. cabin air filter) service. My SA was on vacation, and the guy who was covering wanted to charge me $160 for the oil change ... plus $180 for the engine air filter ... plus $180 for the cabin air filter.

I got them to honor the value line price, and got my BMWCCA discount on the filters, but even so, the bill was $458.53. If I'd paid full retail, my bill would have been $575. And the SA told me I was "close" to needing rear brakes at a meager $1,073.38. That's just rear brakes, not all 4 corners.

My dad had a saying: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." From now on, my indy will be doing all the service on the vehicle.
 

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Ziggy.
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Not sure what you expected? you could have done all 3 services yourself quite easily. you have owned loads of bmws by your signature you should be used to the price gouging by now lol
 

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Agree with that. My indy is a BMW and Mercedes expert called The Werk Shop. A friend had a beloved 2005 Mercedes SL he had taken to the local dealership for a suspected front shock problem. Got an estimate saying he needed $11,600 worth of work. I sent him to the Werk shop and he was delighted that they did the needed work for about $1,100 and explained the rest to his satisfaction. Everyone should remember that every single mechanic, service or sales employee is a commissioned salesman. If proximity and loaner cars are important then by all means got to your local dealer (I often do) but go in with eyes open. --Bob
 

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Casual Fanatic
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Not sure what you expected? you could have done all 3 services yourself quite easily. you have owned loads of bmws by your signature you should be used to the price gouging by now lol
+1

The only time I use the dealer now is for recalls, and I don't let them touch anything else.
 

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2018 540i M Sport
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33 Posts
+1

The only time I use the dealer now is for recalls, and I don't let them touch anything else.
+2

This shouldn't be a shocker to you at all and you should have expected this. This is nothing new and they are not ripping you off. Why is this so upsetting to you? :dunno: You could always trade out and buy a Lexus or Infiniti which is cheaper to service or you could perform the service maintenance (oil service, filter change, brakes, etc..) yourself like many of us. :thumbup:
 

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Interesting responses. The consensus is that he should have known better and essentially are blaming the customer. I did not take the post as being an angry owner. He was just sharing what happened and that he will not be using the dealer again. I'm on my second BMW and I have never paid a dime for service, so I appreciate him sharing his experience.
 

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As much work as I have had to do to my 1-year '18, I don't think I'll ever drive one that's out of warranty. Mine is actually back in the shop now. At least they gave me a loaded '19 750ix as a loaner.
 

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Our 2017 540 is the first BMW we've had with only 36,000 miles of "free" service. I've just ticked over 40,000 miles, and the CBS system was calling for an oil change, plus I wanted an issue with my iDrive controller documented. So I took her in to the dealer yesterday.

Most BMW dealers offer "Valueline" oil changes for $90 or so, and I was expecting a $100 bill. Wrong. The key reader indicated I also needed a "Intake Silencer Service" (i.e. replace the engine air cleaner) and a Micro Filter (i.e. cabin air filter) service. My SA was on vacation, and the guy who was covering wanted to charge me $160 for the oil change ... plus $180 for the engine air filter ... plus $180 for the cabin air filter.

I got them to honor the value line price, and got my BMWCCA discount on the filters, but even so, the bill was $458.53. If I'd paid full retail, my bill would have been $575. And the SA told me I was "close" to needing rear brakes at a meager $1,073.38. That's just rear brakes, not all 4 corners.

My dad had a saying: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." From now on, my indy will be doing all the service on the vehicle.
Wow. That doesn't sound right for an oil service and a couple of air filters. As for the brakes, just what are they saying they need? For that price you should get pads and new rotors all around.
 

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We've been 'spoiled' by the former scheduled service coverage 4 & 50,000 that covered darn near everything. It's not that you were nickel & dime'd - more like 20's and 50's for easily replaced filters. I'm ok with paying slightly more for dealer "oil service" since at my dealer that included a pretty thorough going over and topping off of minor fluids. That said, when the service coverage changed I began emailing BMWNA Customer Relations with my honest feedback about being short-sighted and missing opportunities to build better customer loyalty. I have rec'd a few breadnbutter replies thanking me for my feedback. My dealer generally takes good care of my service needs, throws me a bone from time to time, so every now and then a slightly higher than expected invoice isn't a deal breaker.
 

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I just pulled out my bill from my last dealer service on our '13 535i. Oil change was $129 and brake fluid flush was $155. Reasonable, IMO. So I wait for the car and get to poke around the dealer and ogle the new cars while I wait. I'm fine with that. The filters are a ripoff, however. What gets you here is the cost of parts. Buy them on Amazon and stick 'em in yourself. Brake estimate is the same. Parts. Find a good Trueline shop to do this.

We also own an '05 Ferrari 360. Annual routine maintenance on the car is about $2500 at our Indy. For comparison, an oil change for the 360 is $290. About right - 12 qts of oil and an hour of labor.

Fun owning these nice machines. Not cheap though.
 

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Oil Burners Rule!
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This thread reminds me to restart my effort to enhance the new,less inclusive,"free" maintanence plan.
 

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My dealership, Sansing BMW in Pensacola, is reasonable on service, and their service department is competent. An oil change is $120 for a six-cylinder (6.5 liters of oil). Brake fluid changes are $100. They install, balance, and mount mail-order tires for $25 each. They'll match Tire Rack on price. I see a lot of ten year old BMW's wait in the service lane, and the people driving them have a smile on their face, and if they don't get a loaner car they go look at the new BMW's while they're waiting.

There's an old saying "... money's in the comeback." There was a Chevy dealer in my town. He was part of the "Greatest Generation," a Marine pilot in WWII, and built a Chevy dealership from the ground up. He'd tell his people "You can only slaughter a sheep once, but you can sheer them again and again," meaning take care of them, treat them fairly, and they'll come back. He's dead now, and his next generation owns the dealership. His philosophy didn't always make it down to everybody who worked there, though. My experiences there have been good and bad.

The greed thing can be a two-way street, though. How many people go back and forth between two dealerships over $500?
 

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Happily Driving
2018 X5
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7,040 Posts
Our 2017 540 is the first BMW we've had with only 36,000 miles of "free" service. I've just ticked over 40,000 miles, and the CBS system was calling for an oil change, plus I wanted an issue with my iDrive controller documented. So I took her in to the dealer yesterday.

Most BMW dealers offer "Valueline" oil changes for $90 or so, and I was expecting a $100 bill. Wrong. The key reader indicated I also needed a "Intake Silencer Service" (i.e. replace the engine air cleaner) and a Micro Filter (i.e. cabin air filter) service. My SA was on vacation, and the guy who was covering wanted to charge me $160 for the oil change ... plus $180 for the engine air filter ... plus $180 for the cabin air filter.

I got them to honor the value line price, and got my BMWCCA discount on the filters, but even so, the bill was $458.53. If I'd paid full retail, my bill would have been $575. And the SA told me I was "close" to needing rear brakes at a meager $1,073.38. That's just rear brakes, not all 4 corners.

My dad had a saying: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." From now on, my indy will be doing all the service on the vehicle.
Wow, that is crazy gouging. :( Rear breaks at 40k? Seems pretty early.
 

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Happily Driving
2018 X5
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Agree with that. My indy is a BMW and Mercedes expert called The Werk Shop. A friend had a beloved 2005 Mercedes SL he had taken to the local dealership for a suspected front shock problem. Got an estimate saying he needed $11,600 worth of work. I sent him to the Werk shop and he was delighted that they did the needed work for about $1,100 and explained the rest to his satisfaction. Everyone should remember that every single mechanic, service or sales employee is a commissioned salesman. If proximity and loaner cars are important then by all means got to your local dealer (I often do) but go in with eyes open. --Bob
Werk Shop could exist alone on people fed up with Knauz service!! :)
 

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Werk Shop could exist alone on people fed up with Knauz service!! :)
Yep, probably true. In fairness, the service folks and mechanics at Knauz are generally good people stuck with the prices BMW charges and the need to try to make their living. In early retirement I worked there selling BMWs and MINIs between 2007 and 2014 and I have to say I saw some great people and some people who were not so great and eventually left, not always voluntarily. Some mechanics and service writers pushed the envelope too much on suggesting extra service needed to customers in for something simple. For non-car people, it is tough to discern what is really needed. James at the Werk shop has helped a number of my friends and clients resolve problems at reasonable costs. FYI he spent about 10 years as a service writer for Knauz BMW and still thinks highly of the organization. I spent the bulk of my career running companies and organizations that were very customer service focused. Based on that experience and experience with many car dealers over time, I feel that Knauz is a very high quality, customer focused dealership--in comparison to other car dealers. Many long tenured sales and service people, and you really don't get that without treating customers right. Most of the time. There are still plenty of legitimate horror stories from (probably former) customers. But compared to most dealers, Knauz is really pretty good. IMHO. --Bob
 

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Premium Member
2020 G12; 2019 G01' 2020 MB E450 wagon
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It is easy to criticize a dealer for service pricing. But not all are alike, as the posts above suggest. Good independents are also not so easy to find. The one you want has all the diagnostic equipment needed for the late models (which are basically computers on 4 wheels). Some independents know squat about these cars, so, as they say "choose carefully."

The 36 month program IMHO is a mistake on BMWs part as the 4 year/48000 free service was a selling point vs Mercedes and Audi. The 3 yr/36000 program aligns nicely with the usual 3 year/12000 mi/yr leases so they may be pushing people into leasing. Do they make more money on leases than purchases? I thought it was the other way around.
 

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It is easy to criticize a dealer for service pricing. But not all are alike, as the posts above suggest. Good independents are also not so easy to find. The one you want has all the diagnostic equipment needed for the late models (which are basically computers on 4 wheels). Some independents know squat about these cars, so, as they say "choose carefully."

The 36 month program IMHO is a mistake on BMWs part as the 4 year/48000 free service was a selling point vs Mercedes and Audi. The 3 yr/36000 program aligns nicely with the usual 3 year/12000 mi/yr leases so they may be pushing people into leasing. Do they make more money on leases than purchases? I thought it was the other way around.
You're absolutely right that from a sales perspective it was a mistake. All the sales people hated it because the "Full Maintenance for the entire 4 years of the warranty period" was a big selling point to differentiate BMWs from MB and Audi. Also, on lease cars, the cars turned in at the end of 3 years still had a full year of both warranty and maintenance, again a big selling point for selling those used cars, although that only benefited the dealers not BMW. How much profit a dealer makes on a sale involves many factors but is primarily related to the capital cost (selling price) of the car. BMW Financial Services or BMW Bank make the profit on the leases or financing, excluding commissions paid to F&I managers. Still, subsidized leases were often used as a sales tool to move cars they wanted to move.

The way it was explained to the sales people (it happened after I had retired) was that BMW surveyed owners on the top ten things that made them buy a BMW. Free Maintenance was fairly low on the list so they figured they could get away with cutting back to 3 years and saving the money.They also eliminated brakes coverage which was a big selling point of the free maintenance package. (Although when I sold my 2010 535xi after nine years and 46,000 miles, the car's system said I still had 15,000 miles on both front and rear brakes, so its value would depend on one's driving habits.). It would be an interesting study to try to determine if that savings on maintenance costs was offset by a loss of new or used car sales, but that is probably impossible to really tell. --Bob
 

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Reading with interest this thread. Here in the uk there is no free servicing at all. You can buy a service plan which covers 3 years, which used to be 5 years. But at £399, it isn't worth it for what will be for most people 1 service.
However it looks to me like the service costs after year 3 in U.S. are subsidising the years 1-3 free service. Those costs are outrageous
 

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///Monkeyazz Duck
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Discussion Starter #20
Interesting responses. The consensus is that he should have known better and essentially are blaming the customer. I did not take the post as being an angry owner. He was just sharing what happened and that he will not be using the dealer again. I'm on my second BMW and I have never paid a dime for service, so I appreciate him sharing his experience.
This. The 540 is the first of our many, many BMW's that dame with "only" 36,000 of included maintenance. I was surprised at the magnitude of the bill this early in the vehicle's life.

So why not do the work myself? Well for starters, 9 degrees in Boston at the time. I used to do all the wrenching on my track prepared 911 back in the day, but the idea of going into my unheated garage to do that in January? Not a chance. I also have been having an intermittent issue with a sticking iDrive controller that I wanted documented in the vehicle history.

It's all part of the changing value proposition at BMW. Add the exorbitant cost of early maintenance to the dearth of subvented leases, and even a long time devotee of the marque feels his loyalty slipping away.
 
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