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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
car? I'd like to do this for my upcoming 4th alignment to make sure they follow the "book" to the letter. I imagine that most dealers have a policy against this for "Safety" reasons -- but has anyone done this? Anything special you did/said to be able to do this (I realize i'm opening myself up for all sorts of smart comments)?
 

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I highly doubt anyone has been able to do this at service. Only thing I can think of that closely resembles this is that I use my friend's garage to work on my car. There are liability issues, but this is a small place (they probably wouldn't pass safety with all the hazards in the backyard):eek: . Perhaps you could request window seating?:D
 

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They might call it safety, but , it is probably more like liabilty/insurance regulations that will keep you off the floor of the service bays.

My dealer let me in to look while my car was being preped for delivery, but just for a minute. (the wait was killing me, and I HAD to see my car:D )
 

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Depends on your relationship with the dealer. I used to always just walk back adn talk to the techs when I was working on my cars. Of course I never looked over their shoulder while they were doing it "to make sure they do it by the book". If you are watching for that reason they WILL kick you out.

Cultivate a good relationship with the service writer and techs and go from there. However, I doubt you will be able to do that at a large dealership. The dealership I went to had one service writer and 2 techs.

Start off by bringing them doughnuts when you take your car in. Some may say it is a bribe, but you WILL get better service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I actually tried the dougnuts thing at the last dealer I went to-- didn't seem to make much a difference in their attitude-- the service advisor was pleased for about 10 seconds and then he reverted to his usual unfriendly, arrogant self. I decided that it wasn't worth my effort to do anything more to "build the relationship" so i've been trying other dealers. I'd like to see on example of good workmanship on my car before I really commit to 1 service department.

So I guess there's nothing I can really do to make sure they do everything by the book?-- I've read BMW's alignment procedues adn they're quite specific-- I could imagine (and have experienced) many techs just putting the car on the rack and just going from there. I'd like to eliminate the sloppy alignment as a possibie cause of some of my car's steering and tracking problems. TO date, every new alignment has made the car worse. As you can imagine, I'm quite anxious to juts have it done exactly how BMW says it should be done. Any ideas? Maybe a cash bribe (althoguh I wouldn't really want to spend more than $20-$40 doing this) will help make the tech consider doing a better job? I'm thinking that i'll for a test drive-- give him $20 and tell him i'll give him another $20 if the car tracks perfectly and has a straight wheel at the end (with the caveat that he can't just bump the steering wheel over a few splines). I can't believe i'm resorting to this- but i'd like to not spend the rest of my life trying to get this car aligned.
Hell, maybe when i'm done w/ the doughnuts, the smiles, and the cash, i'll be asking them for an "Excellent" rating. :)
 

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I hate to say it Rob, but $20 is NOT enough to motivate these guys.
 

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When my car is at my dealer for service I let the mechanics do their job. But when my car needs minor adjustments/repairs, which only take let's say an hour, than it's no problem that I join the mechanics. The most interesting thing is that those guys know about everything about you car (strenghts/weakness) and they can tell you what (not) to do with it. Last time they advised me someone who could chiptune my car and what results it would have, and so on...
Quite fun being with your car when they work on it. :D

Greets
 

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robg said:
Yeah- was afraid someone would say that- i know some of them make $90k+. But it would be better than nothing-- might make them atleast consider trying to do a good job.
I think the problem is that there is an even greater risk of pissing them off. :( I wish there was an easy solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Nick325xiT 5spd said:


I think the problem is that there is an even greater risk of pissing them off. :( I wish there was an easy solution.
Right- I could see how someone might view it as insult that i'm somehow implying that wouldn't do the job right or that they could be "bought" for only $20. The funny thing is i'd just be "bribing" them to follow BMW's procedures-- what they're supposed to do in the first place- but usually don't do to time and/or laziness or ignorance. My preferred solution to all of this would be if I could just do the alignment myself using a dealers equipment and tools.
 

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Yeah... I wonder if there are any places around here that will rent stalls to do fun things like explore under my car. I would MUCH rather put it up on a lift then trust jackstands.
 

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really need to cultivate the relationship. at my dealer (which i'll soon be very far from:cry:) i have a great relationship with the service advisors AND the head tech. i've been in the back when they were working on my car and other cars. talking with any of them is so fun and informative. ther have been times when i waited more than an hour or so for service just cuz i enjoyed sitting and talking with the service ppl
 

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service

heres a new twist for you guys. when you use circle bmw you have to go through thier service area to get to the waiting area.how does that apply to the safety and insurance regulations?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Cool Eugene-- what kind of stuff do you chat to them about-- how did you build the relationship initially? I alway feel like the service people i've dealt with are too harried to want to chat- they just seem to want me to go away as soon as possible. They also seem to think that everything I ask them is somehow confrontational-- I try to be as open and friendly as possible too.
 

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I ended up having my 1200 mile service on my M3 done on the raod in Orlando. The dealer has a new service only location right off the BeeLine near the parks.

The waiting area has a big glass wall looking onto the service area.

When mine was up on the rack, I asked if I could sneak out and take a look at the underside. The response was, "Sure, watch your step, Nathan is working on your car.)

I ended up spending most of the time servicing my car out there watching.
 

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I really doubt that the tech's at 3 different places are slacking off and not doing their job right-- just to make sure robg drives a perpetually out of whack car. :D I don't see what donuts&$20 is going to do.

Before you drop it off spend a few minutes on the roads around the dealership and find a nice and straight one.

Before you pick it up, call and ask the service advisor if he has driven the car and if it tracks properly. Ask him if they've corrected (insert specific issue here). Then take it for a test drive before you pay for it... and know which roads to go on. Alternately, test drive it with the advisor.

All the best! - JP
 
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