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OneSeventy

BMW Dealer Service vs. BMW Specialist Service

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Hey guys, I'm the current owner of an '07 BMW 130i. Last year, not long after I had my car serviced at my normal BMW specialist garage, I had some minor work done at BMW Takapuna and got talking to one of the managers about servicing. My car is coming up to its next service so thought I'd run it past you guys first.

He said that while servicing with them at the BMW dealer might appear to cost more, the oils they use actually last twice as long so essentially it is more cost effective, or at least about the same to go to the dealer as my BMW specialist. The obvious benefit in what he was saying is that the BMW dealer is using official BMW approved stuff rather than the cheaper stuff used elsewhere, and I would need my car to be serviced half as often as elsewhere. So that's once every two years instead of every year, for example.

He also said that once in every few services, my car requires some kind of heavier service that costs even more. He looked my car up on his computer and was able to tell that my next service would be the steeper one.

Usually my bullshit meter goes up to level ten when I hear this type of thing from car dealers, and it definitely did in this case too. But after thinking about it for a while, I thought I had better check the validity of his claims before I schedule my next service.

What do you guys think? Would love some explanations if what he was telling me had some truth to it!

Thanks in advance!

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The BMW dealers do offer a good level of service and use BMW parts and fluid. You couldn’t go wrong getting your car serviced there.

however, a component specialist should be just as good, there are a number of oils from the big-name brands that meet the BMW spec. 

The subject of longer service intervals via BMW is the topic of some debate online. There is a school of thought that stretching the service interval saves BMW money when the cars are on their new vehicle service plan vs true improvements in oil and engines. 

Up to you really. For what it’s worth I service my car every 10,000km or 12 months - it’s probably overkill and the oil always looks pretty clean when it comes out but that’s just me. Probably depends on how long you intend to keep the car too. 

Edited by NZ BMW
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@NZ BMWThanks for the response, that makes sense. I do plan to keep the car longterm and so I try to keep to the same servicing schedule as you do. I think I may call BMW and see what they say about rough costs and make my decision from there.

Do you know what they were talking about when they said that every now and then my car requires a more expensive/extensive service than the normal yearly service?

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Dealers will use the approved BMW fluids but that doesn't mean other independent garages don't use good quality and correct type oil. You gotta ask them what they are using. Correct grade quality full synthetic oil being changed more often > BMW oils 

BMW routine services have Inspection I and Inspection II, the latter is more intensive and costs more    

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11 hours ago, OneSeventy said:

He said that while servicing with them at the BMW dealer might appear to cost more, the oils they use actually last twice as long so essentially it is more cost effective, or at least about the same to go to the dealer as my BMW specialist. The obvious benefit in what he was saying is that the BMW dealer is using official BMW approved stuff rather than the cheaper stuff used elsewhere, and I would need my car to be serviced half as often as elsewhere. So that's once every two years instead of every year, for example.

He also said that once in every few services, my car requires some kind of heavier service that costs even more. He looked my car up on his computer and was able to tell that my next service would be the steeper one.

LL01 oil is what they'll be referring to. Other than that its alllll BS :D  Im sure  a bunch of the independents can get LL01 spec oil (BMW Long life). 

They run Condition Based Servicing (CBS) so the car monitors various things and works out when to do them,  by date/odo/how its being driving etc. There is no every few services are expensive deal, unless it managed to line a few things up,  or BMW routine services like to line them up? 

You can look up the service menu on your dash and see when everythings due, and whats due next etc. 

 

 

Edited by Jacko

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Longer service period (2 yearly plan) is beneficial to the manufacturer less so to the customers.  The manufacturer will be able to promote their environmental friendly corporate image by reducing the pollutants produced e.g. used oil, while at the same time saving money on their 'service plan'.

Porsche used to have 2 yearly interval for their 911 from 2005, before reverting back to yearly oil change from 2009 model (997.2 to 991.2).  

Re oil and BMW original equipment.  Buy oil at Repco or Supercheap that has the BMW approved label on them.  Buy BMW original oil filters etc. from our forum sponsors.  Obviously ditch your BMW independent garage if they use some cheap, non-BMW approved, incorrect weight oil.  Total costs for oil change should only be $150-$200 which is a small price to pay for long-term motoring.

Also tell your BMW dealer that your windscreen water reservoir doesn't need to be filled up as part of the service.  It's a $20 charge for something that costs them 50 cent.  Even if they give you the whole bottle of windscreen washer, it's still only $10/bottle.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Jacko said:

LL04 oil is what they'll be referring to. Other than that its alllll BS :D  Im sure  a bunch of the independents can get LL04 spec oil (BMW Long life). 

They run Condition Based Servicing (CBS) so the car monitors various things and works out when to do them,  by date/odo/how its being driving etc. There is no every few services are expensive deal, unless it managed to line a few things up,  or BMW routine services like to line them up? 

You can look up the service menu on your dash and see when everythings due, and whats due next etc. 

 

 

you may be wrong.AFAIK there is an oil service,inspection 1 and inspection 2.In the background there is also tabs on brake fluid and coolant.Often these are part of the annual inspection.

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8 hours ago, OneSeventy said:

@NZ BMWThanks for the response, that makes sense. I do plan to keep the car longterm and so I try to keep to the same servicing schedule as you do. I think I may call BMW and see what they say about rough costs and make my decision from there.

Do you know what they were talking about when they said that every now and then my car requires a more expensive/extensive service than the normal yearly service?

Generally they talk in service/inspection 1 and 2. There’s a lot of stuff written up in the US about the differences for these two services like here: https://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticles/JF-Tech/BMW_inspection_1_and2_check_list.htm

I don’t know if they are the same from country to country but it should be similar. I’m sure the dealer would tell you what they do at each service and the interval if you asked, they are usually pretty helpful. 

You might notice that these guys are recommended an oil change about every 5000kms which seems excessive! 

The other thing is that depending where you go the dealer is not that much more sometimes. In my experience of having a couple of jobs done it was the OEM parts that were a lot more as opposed to a good quality aftermarket which may have even come from the same supplier. 

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Got to love the internet and the advice that comes with it. 

2 hours ago, NZ BMW said:

Generally they talk in service/inspection 1 and 2. There’s a lot of stuff written up in the US about the differences for these two services like

Inspection 1/2 services haven't been used since the e83, everything is now CBS (Condition Based Servicing)

 

10 hours ago, Jacko said:

LL04 oil is what they'll be referring to. Other than that its alllll BS :D  Im sure  a bunch of the independents can get LL04 spec oil (BMW Long life). 

They run Condition Based Servicing (CBS) so the car monitors various things and works out when to do them,  by date/odo/how its being driving etc. There is no every few services are expensive deal, unless it managed to line a few things up,  or BMW routine services like to line them up? 

You can look up the service menu on your dash and see when everythings due, and whats due next etc. 

LL04 is long life oil for diesels, LL01 is for petrol vehicles. 

With CBS, every oil service, the microfilter is also due to be replaced. Every 2nd or 3rd oil service, depending on the car, the , fuel filter, air filter, whatever, those additionals you can't see via the dash. Brake fluid is also due every 2 years regardless of mileage so it is very possible that everything lines up depending on the mileage and the history of the car. 

11 hours ago, OneSeventy said:

 

He also said that once in every few services, my car requires some kind of heavier service that costs even more. He looked my car up on his computer and was able to tell that my next service would be the steeper one.

Usually my bullshit meter goes up to level ten when I hear this type of thing from car dealers, and it definitely did in this case too. But after thinking about it for a while, I thought I had better check the validity of his claims before I schedule my next service.

What do you guys think? Would love some explanations if what he was telling me had some truth to it!

Thanks in advance!

It shows the big service because of what I've said above, the other service you need to be aware of for the 130i is that the spark plugs are due at 100kms

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2 minutes ago, Gaz said:

Got to love the internet and the advice that comes with it. 

Inspection 1/2 services haven't been used since the e83, everything is now CBS (Condition Based Servicing)

 

LL04 is long life oil for diesels, LL01 is for petrol vehicles. 

With CBS, every oil service, the microfilter is also due to be replaced. Every 2nd or 3rd oil service, depending on the car, the , fuel filter, air filter, whatever, those additionals you can't see via the dash. Brake fluid is also due every 2 years regardless of mileage so it is very possible that everything lines up depending on the mileage and the history of the car. 

It shows the big service because of what I've said above, the other service you need to be aware of for the 130i is that the spark plugs are due at 100kms

How does that then dovetail with the comment that “every few services it requires a heavier service”? And that’s from the dealer. 

Are you 100% sure that’s not the case in terms of items inspected? How does CBS deal with checking the transmission for a leak or thickness of rotors as outlined in the service 2 example from Pelican Parts?

I’m not saying you’re wrong but I don’t understand how you can eliminate some of the inspection elements with CBS. 

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Nice catch, sorry I meant LL01. Cabin microfilter is tracked by the CBS independently, same with brake fluid life, the fuel filter is in the tank and AFAIK isnt a "serviceable" item. 

I agree though, there will be a bunch of crap that isnt tracked, like wiper blades, that BMW will probably replace for your first borns left leg. 

Edited by Jacko

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12 minutes ago, NZ BMW said:

How does that then dovetail with the comment that “every few services it requires a heavier service”? And that’s from the dealer. 

Are you 100% sure that’s not the case in terms of items inspected? How does CBS deal with checking the transmission for a leak or thickness of rotors as outlined in the service 2 example from Pelican Parts?

I’m not saying you’re wrong but I don’t understand how you can eliminate some of the inspection elements with CBS. 

 There is a CBS item for inspection as well (looks like two SS's on the dash)

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17 minutes ago, Jacko said:

Nice catch, sorry I meant LL01. Cabin microfilter is tracked by the CBS independently, same with brake fluid life, the fuel filter is in the tank and AFAIK isnt a "serviceable" item. 

I agree though, there will be a bunch of crap that isnt tracked, like wiper blades, that BMW will probably replace for your first borns left leg. 

Yeah I’m still not convinced... for example my E70 has a raft of stuff in the iDrive CBS. Brake fluid and cabin filters are a good example - they should be checked at certain intervals but unless there is a sensor that measures how blocked the filter is or how degraded the brake fluid is how can the car tell me outside of that arbitrary measure?

i really want the OP to phone the dealer and get their view so I will finally know! 

Edited by NZ BMW

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there is some validity in what he said but seems like he has "dumbed it down" to make it easier to understand/convince/trick or hes just dumb himself.

How can they say your car needs a "more expensive" service without knowing what has already been done? Its not like it was serviced by them for the whole duration of the car's life so how do they know if you have replaced the cabin filters or brake pads etc?

There are many ways to cut the cake, not 1 is any better than the other. IF you want hassle free motoring and dont mind paying the costs then sure, stealership services will provide that. BUT i dont trust the "last twice as long" BS. If you drive the car hard and do more mileage than the average joe, they also cant just boldly claim that their service will last longer.

I personally do oil changes every 8000kms on all my vehicles. It is a small price to pay, oil can be bought for cheap (good quality and meets BMW standards) and genuine filters are also easily bought. All up costs me $100 to do it and I would rather do it this way than pay $200 per service and drive it for "twice as long" as they claim.

 

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11 minutes ago, NZ BMW said:

Yeah I’m still not convinced... for example my E70 has a raft of stuff in the iDrive CBS. Brake fluid and cabin filters are a good example - they should be checked at certain intervals but unless there is a sensor that measures how blocked the filter is or how degraded the brake fluid is how can the car tell me outside of that arbitrary measure?

i really want the OP to phone the dealer and get their view so I will finally know! 

Its not that clever :D Its purely time/mileage based for those things. You dont do a viscosity or spectrometer test to justify changing oil either. 

Edited by Jacko

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Thanks for clarifying everything so far guys. My questions have been answered but it seems like if I do go the dealership route, I need to beware of them replacing things that don't need replacing — for example wiper blades which I replaced recently. I know they charge something like $100 for a set of blades, so I guess I need to be onto it with telling them not to bother.

Given this topic has clarified that while some of it might be a salesman trying to sell me an expensive service, there is at least some truth to what he told me (even if it was dumbed down). I am going to call the dealer and clarify how they measure whether a cabin filter for example needs replacing, and hopefully they can be more specific about the service in general.

In saying all of this, it does sound like the two year service is not particularly beneficial to me so I am most likely going to stick with my BMW independent.

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41 minutes ago, NZ BMW said:

How does that then dovetail with the comment that “every few services it requires a heavier service”? And that’s from the dealer. 

Are you 100% sure that’s not the case in terms of items inspected? How does CBS deal with checking the transmission for a leak or thickness of rotors as outlined in the service 2 example from Pelican Parts?

I’m not saying you’re wrong but I don’t understand how you can eliminate some of the inspection elements with CBS. 

Every 2nd oil service, is the heavy service when it has the addtional filters replaced. 

CBS has a 'vehicle check' (car on a hoist) programmed in as well but if the tech is doing their job properly then they should be noting these things when the oil is draining. 

Brake pads, tyres and fluids should be checked when a car comes into the dealership as standard. 

PM me your rego and i'll show you

48 minutes ago, Jacko said:

 There is a CBS item for inspection as well (looks like two SS's on the dash)

SS is WOF reminder and if it a Japanese import, likely to have a stat emissions check too

47 minutes ago, NZ BMW said:

Yeah I’m still not convinced... for example my E70 has a raft of stuff in the iDrive CBS. Brake fluid and cabin filters are a good example - they should be checked at certain intervals but unless there is a sensor that measures how blocked the filter is or how degraded the brake fluid is how can the car tell me outside of that arbitrary measure?

i really want the OP to phone the dealer and get their view so I will finally know! 

Brake fluid should be changed every 2 years, its on every bottle of brake fluid whether you get the most expensive stuff of the cheapest

13 minutes ago, OneSeventy said:

Thanks for clarifying everything so far guys. My questions have been answered but it seems like if I do go the dealership route, I need to beware of them replacing things that don't need replacing — for example wiper blades which I replaced recently. I know they charge something like $100 for a set of blades, so I guess I need to be onto it with telling them not to bother.

Given this topic has clarified that while some of it might be a salesman trying to sell me an expensive service, there is at least some truth to what he told me (even if it was dumbed down). I am going to call the dealer and clarify how they measure whether a cabin filter for example needs replacing, and hopefully they can be more specific about the service in general.

In saying all of this, it does sound like the two year service is not particularly beneficial to me so I am most likely going to stick with my BMW independent.

The BMW recommendation is to replace the cabin filter with every oil service, 2years/25,000kms

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So having called BMW to discuss, it seems that there is no way of them determining exactly what has been done previously by an independent garage. While they can see some details by looking up the car in their system, it depends on who did the servicing previously and they would otherwise need me to go through service records and tell them when things have been done. It seems they don't test whether a cabin filter for example needs replacing, but simply replace them at recommended intervals as mentioned by Gaz.

The other thing mentioned was that some insurances like Autosure actually require servicing at yearly intervals, and so they only do the two year servicing where insurance allows it.

I asked for a ballpark pricing figure for a service and was quoted $1100 - $1800 dependent on what's required. No way I'm getting that past the wife, so I'll stick to my independent.

Edited by OneSeventy

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Of course they wont do any testing. They will just replace it and charge a fortune.

Best thing to do is keep your own records of whats been done. When oil and filter is changed, when cabin filters and air filters changed, checked/replaced brake fluid, top up washer bottle and check coolant levels, etc etc.

If you have mechanical warranty then it is a requirement to get it serviced and stamped in which case you would need to take it to a certified shop instead of DIY. (different discussion)

$1100-1800 for what? lol.....

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1 hour ago, OneSeventy said:

I asked for a ballpark pricing figure for a service and was quoted $1100 - $1800 dependent on what's required. No way I'm getting that past the wife, so I'll stick to my independent.

1

Haha, they must be joking!  Oh wait, BMW tax .....

Tell you what, this is what I always do with my 911:

- follow the recommended service however,

- I do all of the easy things myself, cabin air filter, engine air filter, even serpentine belt

- on the 'harder' bits e.g. engine oil as I can't be bothered dealing with 8.5 litre of used oil, I bought all the parts and liquid myself, hand them to the authorised Porsche dealer to carry out the work

- I still get the stamp, and the 'heavy' servicing only end up costing $500 incl. WOF, and brake fluid change

- I bought original Porsche and OEM parts from the UK

As for my BMW, it's still under service plan. I'll think of how I deal with it once it's out of service plan.

Edited by 318Touring

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2 hours ago, 318Touring said:

- on the 'harder' bits e.g. engine oil as I can't be bothered dealing with 8.5 litre of used oil, I bought all the parts and liquid myself, hand them to the authorised Porsche dealer to carry out the work

Old oil can be taken to any repco or supercheap for free. They have a big bin for oil recycling.

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On 4/10/2018 at 7:17 PM, zero said:

Old oil can be taken to any repco or supercheap for free. They have a big bin for oil recycling.

I had no idea!  I usually drop mine at the recycling bin at the tip, they have a waste oil collection bin in Wellington.

 

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