BMW Service

Page 1 of 2  
I've narrowed my new car choice to BMW 535i vs. Lexus (ES or GS 350).
The thing I keep hearing about Lexus that is hard to ignore is that they are reliable as can be. I drive pretty hard and don't like taking
my car to the shop.
That said, the way I like to drive, I just know that I will want the BMW as soon as I test drive it. So my main questions are:
- Does anybody know how the service department is at Westchester BMW? This is the closest dealer and I'd prefer not to go further. I have read many negative comments about service at this dealer. I would like to know that when the car does need service, I can get an appointment quickly, and that I can always get a loaner car.
- Is the BMW service plan as good as it sounds? Does it really cover *everything* including routine service, brake pads, and breakdowns?
- I do tend to drive hard, with a lot of city miles, stop and go traffic, etc. Are BMWs driven hard more prone to breakdowns?
I've owned Honda Accords for the last 10 years and they just don't break. I would suspect the same is true for Lexus.
Am I being too paranoid about the BMW? Or do I just have to accept the fact that I'll have to make more trips to the dealer?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

BMW dealers usually only provide loaners for warranty work. May be different in a very high-end dealership, but don't bet on it.

Yes.
No.
My Toyotas spend about as much time in the shop as my BMWs.

No.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

blades, etc. I have elected to buy an extension of the service plan to 100,000 miles for about the cost of the two service inspections.

My 2003 325 has been in the shop for non routine maintenance as follows: 1. The electrical contols on the transmission broke at about 2000 miles. The failure happened on a Saturday afternoon, and the car was repaired by Monday afternoon. This failure was covered by the warranty. 2. An O2 sensor failed. The thing was covered by the warranty. 3. The brake pad light came one, and it developed that I needed disks and pads. This failure was covered by the maintenance policy. It took all one morning for them to fix the car.
By the way, I also had a transmission failure of my 1978 Pontiac Grand Prix at about 700 miles. It was misrigged at the factory; it took them several days because the entire transmission was dead.

My 88 Honda didn't break. It was however quite hard to drive it very aggressively. I wondered though how hard it would be to change the alternator...

It does seem that brake discs and pads wear out sooner in these cars than others... My 1969 Porsche 912 went to its grave with the original disks in place (about 90,000 miles). My 1981 Chevrolet pickup did the same. As did my 1991 Ford Explorer.
This may be the result of changing pad materials to meet the current environmental hazard requirements.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Probably.
Obviously yes. If you drive over speed humps faster you will need shock absorbers sooner etc.

Yes but if you drove your Honda [or a Lexus] like you are likely to drive a BMW then they would have been in for repairs more often.

No.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

He already drives hard -- or so he says. One has to presume his habits won't change when he switches to BMW. If he only keeps the BMW for 50k and 4 years (within the maitenance agreement), me would only be inconvenienced if the car broke down -- unless he gets a loaner.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you drive over London speed bumps fast on my standard suspension E39 it grounds the spoiler on 'landing'.
--
*The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
London SW

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Perhaps it's escaped you but the idea of these things is to slow you down. ;-)
But the E39 is fine with pads. It's full width humps I mean. Like the majority round here - apart from on roads buses use.
--
*Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked?*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
London SW

* meant literally here - third derivate of vertical movement.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No they're not. There is no design speed for the full width ones - nor could there be as it varies from car to car. And very few cars indeed can cross them at 30 mph comfortably. If any car could cross them comfortably at 30 mph they'd be rather pointless as the majority could then go much faster.

Indeed. Some decide they're not going to slow down and prefer to damage their car. Strange choice.

All Mercs? I know some Citroens seem to be able to cross them at speed without discomfort.
--
*If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 19 Jan 2008 09:39:34 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Plowman (News)"

As you say Dave there is NO DESIGN SPEED but they MUST adhere to the design parameters laid down and some Councils do not do this. About two years ago Hillingdon Council I think was fined thousands for a dangerous structure under Health & Safety regs and ordered to pay a couple of thousand pounds compensation to a guy that had a "super car" (Lambo or something) damaged by a road calming hump that was way over height and had the wrong approach angle.
We win sometimes but not often like Leslie Ash and the recent NHS payout for getting sick in Hospital. Problem my mum died due to getting a Hospital infection so couldn't sue.
Hugh

--

Sir Hugh of Bognor

The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes - obviously they have a maximum height. Although with road damage on the 'landing' side this isn't that reliable if you have a car with very low ground clearance. What makes the difference to the speed they can be taken at is the steepness of the ramp part - and this varies.
--
*Therapy is expensive, poppin' bubble wrap is cheap! You choose.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
R. Mark Clayton wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
R. Mark Clayton wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article

Whilst this appears to be so with the V-8s, the six cylinder rads appear to be as reliable as most. Nor is the rad made of plastic. The surrounds and tank are. They are also pretty cheap to replace.
--
*Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd like to point out that Toyota radiators use exactly the same type: aluminum core with plastic tanks. They do, however, use a different pressurization system (the old style), while BMW uses a closed system.
Our Porsche also has aluminum core/plastic end caps. My guess is that everyone does, including Honda.
FloydR
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes - weight *and* cost saving. 'Old fashioned' copper and brass types weren't immune from fracturing, either.
--
*Eschew obfuscation *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 15 Jan 2008 15:28:04 +0000, DaveR wrote:

I don't know anything about Westchester BMW (or any other dealerships in that area) but I can tell you that quality of service does vary among dealerships quite a bit and the quality of that experience will make owning the car either a dream or a nightmare. My advice is to ask around before you buy.
I don't know if it's typical but my dealer provides loaners anytime I need them. Because the demand for loaner cars can easily outstrip the capacity of the shop, if I need a loaner I have to ask for one ahead of time. I can't just show up and get one.
Generally speaking the wait for a loaner is one week (depends on time of year, though) and a few days when I provide my own transportation. They've always taken the car in within 24 hours when something critical has failed...though that hasn't happened often enough for that observation to be of much value.

Schedule maintenance is nothing more than a marketing gimmick to trick people into thinking BMWs are low maintenance vehicles. They're not. Most conscientious owners use the "old" schedule BMW recommended before they started paying for maintenance, and I'd recommend you follow that as well if you intend to keep the car long term (> 4 years or 60K miles).

Vehicles driven in stop-and-go traffic and similar conditions will require more maintenance than those driven on the open highway. BMW openly admits this in the owner's manual. As for being "more prone to breakdowns" I would have to say no. For what it's worth, I'd take my 10 year old BMW over a 1 year old GM product any day.

I think it's safe to say that the BMW will need to see the dealer more often than a Honda, but I'd argue that you're comparing apples and oranges. They are different cars designed for different target markets. People who want reliable appliances buy Hondas. People who want to feel something when they drive buy BMWs. Figure out what target market you're in and I think some of the answers may come to you.
For more information, check out my long term review.
http://www.dvatp.com/bmw/articles/e36_long_term_review /
If you want more detail, read the blogs.
Good luck with your decision.
-Doug
--
--------------------
Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This sums it up perfectly. There's a big part of me that says get the nice comfy Lexus and worry less about maintenance.
But then I remember my dad's old 1990 Mazda Miata and how much fun it was to drive. Not that it compares to the BMW, but just the feeling of being connected with the road and having to *drive* the car. It was exhilarating. Something tells me the BMW will give me that same feeling, and I'll be inclined to take the plunge.
I guess since it has high resale value, I could always sell it in a year and get the Lexus if I so desire....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You don't have to worry about maintenance on a new one - it's free for three years.
--
*It's not hard to meet expenses... they're everywhere.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.