Here's my story:
The alternator on my 2001 325Xi (E46) died while on the road, and the
battery couldn't keep the engine running long enough to get to a repair
shop. Had it towed to the dealer for repairs. (dealership is just a mile
from home... convenient.)
The BMW Service Advisor called the next day with the quote: $100 diagnosis;
$425 for a *REMANUFACTURED*
alternator; $200 labor; $725 total. When I
recovered from the swoon, I told the Advisor that I'd get back to them...
After researching online and calling some of the independent repair centers
i found a *NEW*
Bosch alternator was around $380; remanufactured units sell
for about half that - $190. And in both cases a "core charge" is offered
for the returned bad alternator.
Asked the dealership's Assistant Serv. Mgr. (formerly my Service Advisor)
to, please, check the paperwork... Is this alternator new or rebuilt? Is
there a core-charge rebate?
Few hours later I get a call to come pick up the car... it's repaired... and
they are marking the cost off to "goodwill". That's right... they ate the
whole bill! All $725!
Question: Do I have the world's nicest dealer, or was there a recall on the
alternator in which he's getting his money back?