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View Full Version : Legitimate service or just padding the bill?



rluckan
10-25-2004, 08:33 AM
Hi,
My 2000 328Ci is almost ready for its first inspection II. An independant shop told me they like to replace the fuel filter (about $92.00 above the basic Inspection II cost) even though BMW does not call for it in the service schedule.

Since I have not used this shop before, and am in the porcess of trying to find a reliable one in the Harford/Baltimore County MD area, I am somewhat using this as a judge of this shops "reliability." :-k

The shop services BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, Saab and Volvo.

Does anyone have any thoughts to share?

1996 328ti
10-25-2004, 12:35 PM
I thought the E46 had a larger fuel filter that did not need replacing as often as the E36. I suppose one could always use a new filter but unless you have been experiencing problems I probably wouldn't replace it unless I really trusted the shop.

Maverick
10-25-2004, 06:57 PM
DL, I just sent you an email, and I assume you're talking about Cignatta....they are a high end shop, specializing in Porsche, not sure about their costs. I know Dave at Eastside Motorsports knows them very well...his shop used to be next door before he moved further down Rt. 40. His number is 877-538-3200 if you want to give him a call and just ask him if he would recommend them for service on a BMW

rluckan
10-26-2004, 02:21 PM
DL, I just sent you an email, and I assume you're talking about Cignatta....they are a high end shop, specializing in Porsche, not sure about their costs. I know Dave at Eastside Motorsports knows them very well...his shop used to be next door before he moved further down Rt. 40. His number is 877-538-3200 if you want to give him a call and just ask him if he would recommend them for service on a BMW

No, it was not Cignatta, it was Autowerks.

Cignatta works on BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Rolls, and the prancing horse. He has worked on my wife's Mercedes for years. Some people won't let anybody else touch their car.

I wonder why I am still looking for a mechanic?

Maverick
10-28-2004, 11:57 AM
ok, well sounds like you know the guys at cignatta pretty well then...why not them? again, i don't know much about Autowerkes...did you inquire at NGP? not sure if there is anything else around

rluckan
10-29-2004, 03:37 PM
I am not familiar with NGP. When I checked "NGP" I found nothing. Is that an abreviation? I found nothing under Automobile Repairs in the yellow pages that was, or even looked like NGP.

Just to add confusion to the origional "fluff" topic, Dennis (Cignatta) suggested changing the sparkplugs, in addition to the 60,000 mile Inspection II even though BMW says do it at 100,000. He suggests this as a preventative measure.

I am inclined to wait until 75,000 if I am going to do it early. Then again, if BMW says to wait until the normal time, why would that not be good advice.

It sounds like the age old question of changing the oil every 5000 vs. 15,000 miles.

BTW: Quick phone calls to the parties involved revealed prices of Inspection II (and labor rates) as follows:
Towson BMW - about 400 ($95.00 per hour)
Autowerks - about 450 ($65.00 per hour)
Northwest BMW- just under 600 - and no BMWCCA discount ($90.00)
Cignatta - about 350

I went to Towson, and bought the parts for Inspection II plus coolant and brake fluid for about $100, with my BMWCCA discount.

Playing with the numbers I figuered that at $95 per hour, Towson BMW can grind out the inspection in a littlle over three hours while Northwest BMW spends 5.3 hours. At the lower rate of $65 per hour, Autowerkes comes in at about the same (5.38 hours). Cignatta is in the right balllpark when I work the numbers backward using the high and low number of hours in the calculation, to come up with a labor rate between $47 and $80.

I'm not sure what that means, just thinking out loud I guess.

NoSoup4U
10-29-2004, 03:47 PM
This is just my two cents: I always believe in preventive maintenance. Thus, I change out my spark plugs around 40K miles.

I believe the fuel filter is a good preventative measure. Keeps your fuel lines contaminant free and also should help with gas mileage.

I do not think it's necessarily fluff. Just because an engine says it does not need new spark plugs until 100K, doesn't mean that you "should" follow that guideline.

If you are doing inspection II, I think it would be wise to replace those items as well. Spark plugs and fuel filter are relatively cheap. The spark plugs are easy to do on the BMW's. Not sure about fuel filters.

Oil changes -- I DO believe you CAN change your synthetic oil every 15K. However, I DO BELIEVE you should change the oil filter every 3K miles. That's just me. The filter is the most important part of that IMO.

I think preventive maintenance is good, flush/fill radiator, flush/fill tranny, flush/fill rear diff., etc. Yes, it does cost more money; but, if you DO plan on keeping the car for a very long time, I would do the maintenance. IF you plan on selling it in a year or so, then, no, it would not be needed.

bren
10-29-2004, 04:17 PM
I am not familiar with NGP.

New German Performance I believe is what that stands for....they are a VW/Audi shop

Maverick
10-31-2004, 10:40 AM
yes, it is New German Performance and they do work mostly on VW/Audi but they have a BMW guy there as well. Sounds like Cignatta might your best bet