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Thread: Reccommended Dealership for Low Mileage Annual Service?

                  
   
  1. #1

    Reccommended Dealership for Low Mileage Annual Service?

    For the first time in several years, I have a BMW that is under the factory warranty. I had continued using the dealerships for my other car's service until I finally got fed up with getting my car back in worse cosmetic shape than when I dropped it off. I've very particular and I probably pickup on and get annoyed on things that other people overlook.

    It's always been a lot of silly stuff at the dealership--scratches on my airbox cover, missing pastic fasteners, my door trim was loose and was flapping off one time after they had worked on my vapor barrier, loose trim around the gearshift after transmission mount replacement, a ding on my fender probably from a tool being dropped on it, cracked trim on my console (looks like they used it as a fulcrom when prying up the gear shift trim, they broke one of the door mounted tweeter speakers and used black good to hold it in place, the same thing with a screw plug and also but a big scrach in my door release when using a tool to pop out the screw plug there, a cracked roundel wheel cap during a tire change, I went to use my fog lights one time and they didn't come on... took it back in and was told that the wires weren't connected.... I even got my car back one time missing the antenna!--they took it off to run it though the carwash--which upset me even more because I had just clayed and polished my car, and it was spotless when I brought it in and came back with water spots from going through a car wash and no doubt more micro scratches that I had just spent a weekend polishing out...

    I've had good luck with an independent shop ever since--and the independent shop fixed an unresolved 5 year old issue that 3 separate BMW service centers in two different states weren't able to resolve.

    I've already taken Rockville and Towson BMW off my list as acceptable locations for service--I had followed my service advisor from Rockville to Towson and it was a comment from the service manager at Towson about my car being old when complaining about scraches they had made on my interrior trim during a service that made me finally decide that I had enough of dealership service.

    I've seen bad Reviews for both Silver Spring and Catonsville BMW online...So now I'm left wondering... Should I even trust a dealership with my car that's under warranty, or should I just pay out of pocket to have a low mileage service done at my independant shop that I'm pretty sure won't screw anything up. I'd had to have my car in for a service that's probably not even needed only to have them mess something up.

    I'm wondering if anyone else that is very particular like me has used a service center that has proven to be very detail oriented.

    There is also an open campain for replacing a battery cable that I'm told they have to take apart part of my dash or pull up my carpet to replace... (Campaign 0061760300 "B61 02 13, E8x E9x Battery Cable") Has anyone had this done? Did they mess anything up?

    Thanks!

    Drew

  2. #2
    Senior Member pseto's Avatar
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    I've used BMW of Silver Spring for years with good results and a lot of it comes down to knowing your SA/tech. I don't even take my car in if I know that my tech isn't there.
    Paul Seto - NCC Board Member & Social Chairman

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  3. #3
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    Dealerships are all about doing jobs quickly. That said, I've also had good service the past year at Silver Spring. Explain in a friendly manner to the service writer that you're fanatical about the car and its condition and are confident they'll take care of it. Tell them DO NOT WASH my car and see that they write that on the service ticket. I do that. I think they realize then that you are particular and they'll want to make you happy. You need the dealer to do the campaign. But if it weren't for that and you're happy with your relationship with an independent, I'd probably just pay him for the oil service, if you don't want to do it yourself. Key to a happy service experience is establishing a relationship with the people you do business with - dealer or independent.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SpongeBob's Avatar
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    A Dealer/Service I have trusted since 2003

    Northwest BMW on Route 140 near Owings Mills has become one of the quietest and best quality supporters of our club, sponsoring several DIY. Take your car there, and tell Mr. Jim Hollister your NCCBMWCCA membership number. That immediately sets off alarm bells at Northwest BMW that here is another "anal" BMW club member. You will get great, responsible service.
    Bob Stern
    MD BMW CLUB TAG # BMW 0868

    Senior Moment - 2003 330Ci (gone)
    Blue Tang O - 2013 135i (now in her bed)

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jhm5 View Post
    Key to a happy service experience is establishing a relationship with the people you do business with - dealer or independent.
    Very true... If I was dropping my car off in the morning, I'd always bring in 2 dozen doughnuts with instructions for my SA to share them with all the guys in the shop... Maybe they didn't like doughnuts or he didn't share them with the right people? At least it works great with the independent shop and all 3 (or 4) of the guys that work there.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 1996 328ti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lenhart1 View Post
    Very true... If I was dropping my car off in the morning, I'd always bring in 2 dozen doughnuts with instructions for my SA to share them with all the guys in the shop... Maybe they didn't like doughnuts or he didn't share them with the right people? At least it works great with the independent shop and all 3 (or 4) of the guys that work there.
    Yep. Back when I owned a new car at Passport I'd bring 2 dozen bagels. One dozen for the Service Advisers and another dozen left on the seat for the techs. Both with an assortment of cream cheese.
    The return I got for my investment more than paid for itself. Plus I was always allowed in the service bay.
    ...steven
    BMW CCA #146825

    318ti.org | bmwcca.org/forum

  7. #7
    Member razorrod65's Avatar
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    I take my wife's 2008 E90 328xi to BMW of Annapolis . My S/A is Jeremy Miller have had him twice now and he is awesome !! the tech was very good as well I am very happy with them !! They are not in hurry either . My S/A called and said it was fixed (collapsed lifter, taps on cold start ) He knew it was a common problem with this model and that mine was already upgraded but failed. He said he made note of this and forwarded it to BMW . Then he said they wanted to keep it overnight so they could double check it after a cold start in the morning !! When I asked how much it would set me back he said nothing it is still covered under CPO warranty ( thats honesty there ) !! I won't take my Bimmers anywhere else !! They also gave me 10% off for being a BMWCCA member the second time I brought it in (coil #6 misfire)!! I would highly recommend them to my friends and family . The only problem was they gave my wife a 2013 Mineral Gray 328i x-drive 5,000 mi on it and fully loaded for a loaner .Well wouldn't you know she fell in love with it and now she wants one !!
    Last edited by razorrod65; 06-08-2014 at 12:19 PM.

  8. #8
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    I wish I could agree with Bob about Northwest giving great, responsible service. I agree that they have become a supporter of our club with the DIYs, but personally they have let me down every time I've taken my car in for service. I have gone there three times in the past year and a half and although Jim Hollister wants to make things right, and does a great job of trying to correct the service people's errors, I think their service area is filled with people who are not very competent. Or maybe I've been unlucky and always get the 'bad ones'?! I kept giving them the benefit of the doubt in hopes it was just a fluke thing the first time something went wrong, and then the second time, but time and time again they kept messing things up. Three strikes and now they are out and I'm thinking of trying what used to be Russell on Route 40, I think it's now a MileOne shop? Anyone familiar with their level of service?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Re: Russell. I see they're now on the Mile One list (along with BMW of Silver Spring). I havent used Russell for service, but they give good CCA discounts on parts.

  10. #10

    Thanks for the Replys!

    Thanks for the reply's everyone... With your suggestions, I've figured out where I'm going to take my car!

    I called two dealerships that were mentioned and asked the service advisor that I spoke to about the open campaign. One SA (and I thank someone for telling me who to talk to) was able to articulate exactly what was to be done for the fix and the other SA was just guessing. Can you guess which one I'm going to trust with my car?

    BTW, I happened to be going through some photos of my Z4 as I was organizing all of my service records and typing them into an excel spreadsheet. I've attached a photo of part of the botched work that Towson BMW did to my car while they were working on the leaking vapor barrier. You'd think that they would have treated my car a little better considering I easily had done over $15k in service (and some paint work to correct stone chips and a ding) with the same SA over 6 years. I had forgiven them for a lot of other stuff, but I believe that was the final straw. The photo shows the exact condition of my car was returned to me, but it's too bad the shot didn't capture the paint scratched off of the back of the door release hidden from view. I still remember the Service Manager's comments when I was illustrating my disappointment... "But your car has over 100,000 miles" As long as that service manager is employed, I'm not visiting their service department or sales departs.

    I'm going file that photo away now before it brings back more bad memories....


    Drew
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jhm5 View Post
    Re: Russell. I see they're now on the Mile One list (along with BMW of Silver Spring). I haven't used Russell for service, but they give good CCA discounts on parts.
    I'm quite fond of one of the salespeople at Russell that was very knowledgeable when I was looking for my newest car... but they didn't have exactly what I was looking for in their inventory at the time. Their parts department was very accommodating too... I purchased a new set of rear lamps for my z4 and after I opened the boxes and realized they had given me headlamps instead.....They allowed me to swap the lamps even though I couldn't make It back in for a month and a half.

    I've compared a few prices and I've found that sometimes the price difference from dealer to dealer is more than the 10% discount. BMW South Atlanta that sells parts online or ships order placed by phone was significantly cheaper on parts than Russell, but the shipping and handling kind of kills that advantage unless it's a large order.

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