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mikeohope

Main Dealer Frustration

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Hello all, I don't post many things on here but just have to tell everyone about this experience.

The more I think about it the more annoyed I am.

 

I think what I describe below is scandalous and a classic example of the throw away world we all live in. Its also a bit of a warning how if you don't watch it you can get completely duped by Main Dealers as what is reality with the condition of your car especially if its a bit of an older one.

 

My car is a 2012 520d F11 with circa £200k on the clock. It had an overdue EGR recall on it that couldn't get done when I was notified because of everything being shut during COVID.  I've been working from home and not really using the car but on a recent trip out the gearbox started playing up and I also knew it needed new rear suspension airbags as they were both leaking. I thought right I'll get the EGR done now as its free and ask the dealer to do an investigation have a quick look at the gearbox to see if its a quick fix or something more serious. I told them exactly the symptoms, what fault messages had come up on the screen. Obviously if it was a terminal issue the car would be beyond economic repair!

 

When booking in the dealer said "oh this car needs a service as well, do you want us to do it for £525?"  I said no, can you do the gearbox investigation first and tell me what needs doing and I'll decide then.

 

Later in the day I get a call telling me the EGR is done but that there is not good news on the rest of the car. They tell me the gearbox has faults, they only tell me what I told them in terms of fault descriptions and that the clutch is overheating (that was one of the fault messages I advised). They also tell me there is an alternator fault, the turbo has gone, that I need a new DPF, new suspension airbags and along with a few other items the total comes to about £16K!!! there is a statement that repair is not economically viable and that I should consider PX (they effectively want to sell me  a new car).

 

Wind forward a few days to what I have now found out.

 

1. Since the dealer ran the diagnostics on the gearbox it has not displayed the same fault again when driving and an indy gearbox specialist has said they cant get either a fault code or diagnose anything other than there is a minor leak from the sump (should be sorted), that its racked up a few miles and is not as it was when new. Nothing to suggest it needs major work and certainly not replacement at BMW's quoted £9K!!

2. Nothing wrong with the DPF other than a broken flexi joint. A local guy has told me he can fix it insitu at a fraction of the cost BMW quoted. Saying "that joint goes all the time" and he has done hundreds of repairs.

3. The alternator fault code is an old one. I already had a new alternator fitted by an indy, cost me £300 supplied and fitted exchange for a like for like unit. BMW quote was £1100. You would think they would have checked the charging output before recording it as faulty but apparently they didn't

4. Indy garage advice is that the turbo is fine for now and might last another 30K miles if I am lucky with it. Certainly doesn't need changing yet

5. Airbags have been changed by me for a fraction of what the dealer wanted. 20 mins each side and Arnott bags which seem great quality and better than OEM. Total £325.

 

So at the moment I'm in to about £750 (including the independent gearbox and turbo diagnostics) and maybe a bit more to get the flexi pipe done and a bit of a service by a local garage. 

 

I think for a probably not much more that a grand in total this car can stay going for at least another year or so (25k miles) whereupon I would happily get rid and it would still have residual value of some sort.

 

So what to think? Clearly the car isn't worth much given its age and mileage and its never going to maintenance free at any time but its in general good nick and its not at throwaway stage yet which is what the Main Dealer would like me to believe.

 

I've been going to that dealer for years but my feeling about them now is definitely soured and that also extends to the brand. Their business model is clearly aimed at fleecing the customer rather than keeping decent cars on the road,

 

or alternatively BMW a bit short on new car sales over the last few months perhaps?. Or am I just being cynical

 

 

 

 

 

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BMW main dealers aren't interested in old cars, from my experience certainly. A good indie, as you seem to have found, is worth his weight in gold.

 

I reckon stick with the car, use the indie and run it for the next year, possibly longer?

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They might not care about old cars but do they have to be so lazy and inaccurate in their analysis. How can they say a gearbox needs replacing when it doesn’t. Either lies or incompetence. Either way it’s not good enough from a brand of such status. 

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BMW used to be a quality brand, now they are just another seller of new ordinary cars

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Very true. Plus I paid them £174 for the investigation and diagnosis and I don’t think they have told me the truth. I’m considering going after them for a refund. 

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8 hours ago, sharkfan said:

The last time we left a car in a BMW main dealer for service work some money was taken from the car.

 

Wow that's shocking. Actual cash was stolen from your car? That's bloody unbelievable!

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Only a small amount, less than £10, all in change from the ashtray where we keep car-parking money. The car had been in the week before for a service and my wife thought a £2 coin was missing so when they said it had to go back in for another item to be done we just counted up what was still in the ashtray and more went missing. We reported it and spoke to the Service Manager who was apologetic but didn't seem surprised and said there are lots of people, mechanics, valeters, bods who move cars, etc, who might have been in it. 

 

I pointed out that someone could be making between £50 to a £100 a day, perhaps as much as £400 a week from doing this - from his face he hadn't thought about it like that before. He gave us our money back and said he'd take it up with the Dealer Principle but we heard nothing else. 

 

The car (2015 435d) now goes to our indy for everthing except warranty stuff.

 

Guildford.

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Wow that's just simply disgraceful behaviour. I can't believe the manager reacted so casually about it all. 

That's gross misconduct and instant dismal to the perpetrator/s.

 

He really should of taken it more seriously as employees thieving like that is just not on, let alone the damage done to the image of the dealership if others like you clocked on to what was happening....

 

 

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22 hours ago, Sir Anthony Regents-Park said:

There is no money in new cars no matter what marque. What pays the bills is the workshop, parts and used cars.

 

Very true. The general public don't realise that this is the case. The profit on a new 1 series wouldn't pay for a round of drinks on a night out. They sell on numbers and get a kick back from BMW......the wrong way of doing business because all it does is cheapen the brand.

 

30 years ago buying a new (or used) BMW was a bit special. Now they are basically in the same ring as Ford and Vauxhall

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On 17/07/2020 at 12:23, mikeohope said:

Since the dealer ran the diagnostics on the gearbox it has not displayed the same fault again when driving and an indy gearbox specialist has said they cant get either a fault code or diagnose anything other than there is a minor leak from the sump

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had something similar on an E60 530d last year when it went in for the battery terminal recall. They flagged up quite a few fault codes and they said they haven't cleared any. Yet on my way home I noticed that it not only went much better, but the handling was vastly improved - it has Servotronic steering, and now it was working as intended. You wonder if the tech doing the job just cleared them all but certainly, having the battery disconnected for a few hours must have done something.

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That's interesting. I'm convinced my issue is related to software as well. The dealer wouldn't have it when I raised it with them. But several transmission companies I spoke said it can and does happen. Also the BMW position that the gearbox doesn't need a fluid or filter change in its life time is not deemed to be sensible by independents. Apparently the gearbox manufacturer suggests every 40000 miles. I've been quoted £310+VAT for that by a transmission company. I think that a good start.

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