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Hi all! I'm 18 years old, just got out of high school, I plan to become a technician eventually. I just got hired on as a lot attendant at a local(brand new) BMW dealership, built 2 months ago. I know a bit about BMW's, very sporadic information like the N54 was the twin turbo V6 that had HPFP issues and was discontinued in 2010 for the N55 which was a twin scroll turbo. That is probably the most I know of the brand. I also know a bit of random stuff like how to operate the old, and modern iDrive system, the typical heavy steering and tight chassis of these cars, etc. So I was wondering if some people can chime in on what general knowledge I should know of the BMW brand. Since it's a dealership, I'll only be dealing with cars roughly 2006 and newer. If some people can tell me popular engine codes, common problems of those engines, the naming lingo(like 328i is a 2.0t, etc. etc.)and cool tips/tricks, that would be awesome! Thanks!
 

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Start reading here at Bimmerfest! Read the FAQ, then move on to the 3 series then 5 series. Those are going to be the most common cars you run across.
Good luck!
 

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Aaaaaa, BMW has NEVER built a V6 engine. Hopefully, it never will build a V6 engine. The V6 engine is the bastard stepchild of the automotive world.
 

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if you're going to be a lot attendant, while i admire your desire to learn, i would first focus on your responsibilities and dealing with BMW customers. i find BMW owners fit into two categories, either absolutely neurotic or completely clueless. Lean how to spot their personalities and how to deal with them, especially when they're in a rush. some people will just throw their keys to you and not care, and others will take time to shut the car, gather their items, walk around car for known scratches, etc. i would be cautious to learn the idrive system and common engine error codes since this is usually the responsibility of the genius people and mechanics respectively. you dont want to be caught in the middle of an argument between customer and dealer where owner says that the lot attendant (you!!) told him that the error code was a simple fault and it ended up being an engine failure that isn't covered under warranty.
 

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Hi all! I'm 18 years old, just got out of high school, I plan to become a technician eventually.
Here's how you can make that happen. You need to get yourself transferred from lot attendant to jockey in the service department. That's because you want to get noticed by the service manager. The service department uses entry-level new hires to bring cars up for customers, take care of washing the cars in the service department, jockey customers around, etc.

You want to have a bright, cheerful, friendly attitude such that everybody likes you, especially customers and most especially service advisors and the service manager himself/herself. In other words, if you want to become a BMW technician apprentice you need to make that known to the people who can make that happen. The used car manager, or whoever will be your new supervisor, isn't going to be the one to make that happen because if you're a great employee, he will want to keep you working for him.

Even if you are working as a lot attendant, find ways to meet the service manager and let him know how much you're interested in working on BMWs and how eager you are to learn about that possibility. You know you have everything it takes to be a good BMW technician and all you need is for somebody to give you a chance. You're willing to do whatever you're asked to do to make that happen!

It's not all that much about how much you know about cars now, it's about attitude and the impression you make on the person who is in charge of making the decision to take you on in the service department. They're not going to start you off doing anything tricky. You'll start off learning how to change the oil, rotate the tires and other simply tasks that an experienced technician can train you to do and supervise you to make sure your doing it right. You will probably be doing that sort of stuff for the first year or more before they send you to school for a couple of weeks for the entry-level BMW tech training. After that, they will move you up a notch to other, slightly more skilled tech duties. Before you know it, you will be a BMW Master Technician. And all through that process you will be attending classes taught by BMW.

It can definitely happen and it has happened that guys who started out moving cars around, or washing cars, or driving customers to work, etc., do get noticed by the service manager and do get hired as apprentice technicians but it takes an effort on your part to make yourself known to the service manager and, most importantly, make him have a good impression of you. That's all it takes! You just have to make the service manager like you and want to get you working for him.

Good luck!

:)
 

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If you would like to be a technician, you should look into enrolling into an automotive technology program at the local technical college. These degrees are generally two year programs, and are usually required by an auto dealer.
 

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These degrees are generally two year programs, and are usually required by an auto dealer.
In my experience, which covered more than three decades in the business, we hired all of our entry-level positions in the service department from guys already working at the dealership in some other position, such as car jockey or get ready dept guys, or something like that, who demonstrated a good attitude and a desire to work in the service dept as a BMW tech. Or we hired the brother or son of one of our own long-time techs.

What was most important was a desire to learn to become a BMW tech and the right attitude. Who decides that? The people who do the hiring. Who does the hiring for the service department? The service manager. He would much rather hire somebody he already knows and likes than take a chance on somebody he knows nothing about other than the fact that he has already received basic training in the field of car service.

Everything they need to know they can learn by experience and by attendance at BMW's various training schools. And that held true at other brands I worked for, too. The exception is when you can hire an experienced technician with years of experience at one of your competitors (same brand) who went out of business or something like that. Sometimes a dealership gets gobbled up by a chain dealer and maybe some of their experienced techs don't like the way the new ownership operates and sometimes you can steal some of their best techs.

Sometimes there is a change in management and/or ownership and you can talk some of their techs into leaving. That gets harder and harder the longer they have been there because sometimes you think you have them and then their current employer talks them into staying by offering them something or other.
 

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Admiral Rickover advocated picking the best from the shop floor and educating them as managers.

He also would not allow computers in his engine rooms, as the men had to be smarter than the machines they operated.
 
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