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      03-27-2013, 07:04 PM   #1
paradocs98
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Dealer service aggressive upsell

I've been fairly happy with the dealer I've used for the last 10 years and 4 cars. Recently, though, I feel like their service department is on an aggressive upsell mission:
  • I brought my wife's 328i in for a front-end vibration issue. Dealer diagnosed three out of the four wheels as very slightly bent, likely due to the horrible road conditions here in the Northeast lately. They recommended wheel straightening at $150 a piece, plus a four wheel alignment since "it's probably out of alignment since it hit impacts hard enough to bend the wheels." $450 for reparing 3 wheels, plus $295! for an alignment. $800+ with tax total.
    Aside from the outrageously priced alignment, what else was wrong with this suggested service? The damaged wheels on the car were, very obviously, not OEM. They were cheapo Rial Salerno winter alloys from Tire Rack, $139 a piece new. $150 to straighten a $139 wheel? No thanks.
  • I brought my car in today for an in-between/out-of-pocket oil and filter change. The SA's suggestion: "We're also recommending an induction system cleaning on M cars and 335s/535s with your mileage (around 23,000) to clean up the injectors and valves." $195. I told him I'd pass for now and think about it. I'm strict about using only Shell, or Sunoco in a pinch, so hopefully my valves aren't that gunked up already. I went to their parts dept instead and bought a $13 bottle of BMW/Techron fuel system cleaner.
  • As I was sitting in the service area today, the SA speaking to the lady next to me was trying to sell her on a four-wheel alignment, tire rotation and balancing for $400. She was there for an unrelated issue.

Is this just an aberration, or are other people noticing it more often as well?
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      03-27-2013, 07:11 PM   #2
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Holy price gouging. Poor lady doesn't know what's hitting her
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      03-27-2013, 07:26 PM   #3
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Do they actually do anything else besides pour in the fuel injector clean up for that 195 dollars?
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      03-27-2013, 07:28 PM   #4
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1) $150 to straighten a wheel is about right, a little high but not bad for a dealer (Assuming the 328 are on stock 16's) Doesn't really matter if you have cheap rims or not.

2) $294 for an alignment is just plain robbing you

Also, highly doubt your valves are dirty, esp when you're using top tier gas like Shell. Next time grab the techron at walmart, it's like 10 bucks and treats up to 20 gallons, not the regular 12 gallon
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      03-27-2013, 09:21 PM   #5
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A friend of mine needed a head gasket replacement on an E46 330i. He had a reputable independent shop perform the repair. He called me from the shop and told me to come and look "inside his motor". When I arrived I was led into the service bay by the shop owner, a really good gut who, at the time,took care of all of my vehicles, German and Japanese. I was blown away when I saw just how carbon free and clean my friends valve train was, and this with 80% city driving. My point being, and I will be kind here, it sounds as if the SA, in this instance, is full of it. I am fortunate to have an honest SA, this said, educate yourself. My girlfriend has the same bullshit pulled on her at the Ford dealer on her almost brand new F150. I was polite to the SA, and removed the keys from his hand prior to telling him that he was full of defecant (not a real word). Had she gone in alone she would have been bent over. It pays to educate yourself, and, perhaps, call around for quotes. WTF is a dealer doing an alignment - I take my cars to the local tire guy and pay $59.99 for a 4 wheel alignment on his Hunter 9000!
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      03-27-2013, 09:23 PM   #6
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This is my first BMW but after a year of ownership I got that vibe as well. I also paid $250 for alignment but I was told the higher price was because my car has active steering. I also had a slight vibration and was told my rear wheels were bent and it would cost $1,000. I replaced them for about $500 from another company. I notice they don't try and sell me things that car covered under the maintenance plan.
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      03-27-2013, 09:28 PM   #7
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When I had my Mercedes, I brought it to the dealer in white plains. I had it there for an engine mount.

Service rep told me that the mechanic recommends to change out my air filter, which he said was very dirty. This was amongst numerous recommended items.

I then informed the advisor that I had just put in, myself, a brand new air filter 3 days before.


What a ripoff! After that, I never took my car again to a dealer, especially that one, for out of warranty work.
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      03-27-2013, 09:39 PM   #8
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Happily, not my experience. My dealer is about 10% higher than independent shops, but other than one screw up (washing my car after being told never to do so, and putting swirls in the paint - which they paid to fix) they've been great. I'll buy from them again.

Cheers
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      03-27-2013, 09:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lute View Post
Dealer ripping folks off?

Well I'm shocked.
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      03-28-2013, 08:11 AM   #10
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I brought my daily driver truck in, tech drove it from the parking spot to the bay, back to the parking spot. about 45 feet total.

They give me the bill for the oil, and stated that the tech said it needed a new clutch asap. The clutch grabs like a champ.. and still does to this day (over a year later). Redic.
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      03-28-2013, 11:53 AM   #11
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I like the service at my local BMW dealer, but the past couple of years have definitely seen an uptick in upselling. Every time I have been in there past 11k miles they try to get me to swing for the injector cleaning ($250) and a wheel alignment even though there are zero signs that anything is out. I just pass, and I guess I should buy some of the fuel system cleaner as well.
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      03-28-2013, 12:53 PM   #12
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Our E90 330i we've had since new recently had the intake manifold off of it to replace the starter (starter was getting weak, so I did PM replacement). The intake valves looked almost brand new. It was shocking how clean they were. You can't quite see the valve tops in this picture, but there was essentially nothing on them. I'm sure that dealer would say I was long long overdue for their multi-hundred dollar cleaning. The 330i had 114k miles on it when this picture was taken.
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      03-28-2013, 01:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
Our E90 330i we've had since new recently had the intake manifold off of it to replace the starter (starter was getting weak, so I did PM replacement). The intake valves looked almost brand new. It was shocking how clean they were. You can't quite see the valve tops in this picture, but there was essentially nothing on them. I'm sure that dealer would say I was long long overdue for their multi-hundred dollar cleaning. The 330i had 114k miles on it when this picture was taken.
yeah, not surprised as long as you use top tier gasoline. My M3 had a strict diet of Shell V Power and BP Ultimate...I will not need to clean the injectors or valves until well have 100k.


My dealer NEVER upsells me. They're also one of the busier shops around, so they won't even have time to do any of the suggested work...lol
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      03-28-2013, 01:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rondocap View Post
When I had my Mercedes, I brought it to the dealer in white plains. I had it there for an engine mount.

Service rep told me that the mechanic recommends to change out my air filter, which he said was very dirty. This was amongst numerous recommended items.

I then informed the advisor that I had just put in, myself, a brand new air filter 3 days before.


What a ripoff! After that, I never took my car again to a dealer, especially that one, for out of warranty work.
, you should have asked them to pop it open and show you, then they'll show you your brand new spank white filter.
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      03-28-2013, 01:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofrequency View Post
A friend of mine needed a head gasket replacement on an E46 330i. He had a reputable independent shop perform the repair. He called me from the shop and told me to come and look "inside his motor". When I arrived I was led into the service bay by the shop owner, a really good gut who, at the time,took care of all of my vehicles, German and Japanese. I was blown away when I saw just how carbon free and clean my friends valve train was, and this with 80% city driving. My point being, and I will be kind here, it sounds as if the SA, in this instance, is full of it. I am fortunate to have an honest SA, this said, educate yourself. My girlfriend has the same bullshit pulled on her at the Ford dealer on her almost brand new F150. I was polite to the SA, and removed the keys from his hand prior to telling him that he was full of defecant (not a real word). Had she gone in alone she would have been bent over. It pays to educate yourself, and, perhaps, call around for quotes. WTF is a dealer doing an alignment - I take my cars to the local tire guy and pay $59.99 for a 4 wheel alignment on his Hunter 9000!
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSBM5 View Post
Our E90 330i we've had since new recently had the intake manifold off of it to replace the starter (starter was getting weak, so I did PM replacement). The intake valves looked almost brand new. It was shocking how clean they were. You can't quite see the valve tops in this picture, but there was essentially nothing on them. I'm sure that dealer would say I was long long overdue for their multi-hundred dollar cleaning. The 330i had 114k miles on it when this picture was taken.
This pretty much says it all.
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      03-28-2013, 01:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
yeah, not surprised as long as you use top tier gasoline. My M3 had a strict diet of Shell V Power and BP Ultimate...I will not need to clean the injectors or valves until well have 100k.


My dealer NEVER upsells me. They're also one of the busier shops around, so they won't even have time to do any of the suggested work...lol
What shop do you use?

Thanks.
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      03-28-2013, 01:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by White 13 View Post
What shop do you use?

Thanks.
BMW dealer, BMW of Alexandria. They're super busy. I drop my car off at 8 AM Fridays for oil change and winter tire swap, it'll take them the entire 8 hours to finish the work. Only once have they actually finished before 4 pm.
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      03-28-2013, 02:05 PM   #18
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I just got the intake manifold and injector upsell today and my car only has 12K miles on it...
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      03-28-2013, 02:28 PM   #19
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These prices for maintenance are what my dealer charges as well.

They want $300 for alignments.
They want $300 for oil changes.
The most ridiculous? They saw my wheels were bent and wanted 1600$ for two wheels. I took it to a local wheel repair shop and had them fixed for 100$.


You bought a BMW, not a Honda. Deal with it.

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      03-28-2013, 05:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meez View Post
These prices for maintenance are what my dealer charges as well.

They want $300 for alignments.
They want $300 for oil changes.
The most ridiculous? They saw my wheels were bent and wanted 1600$ for two wheels. I took it to a local wheel repair shop and had them fixed for 100$.


You bought a BMW, not a Honda. Deal with it.

No, I won't "Deal with it." There should be a certain level of respect for customers who have leased 6 cars from the same dealer over a 10-year period.

It's an insult to my intelligence, and that of the rest of their customers.

I expect a BMW to be more expensive than a Honda when it comes to maintenance, because the parts are more expensive, the labor rate is more expensive, it costs more to train the techs, etc. But I do not expect my BMW dealer to try to hustle me with needless "service." That's petty and low-class. This isn't a strip-mall used-car lot.
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      03-28-2013, 07:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradocs98 View Post
No, I won't "Deal with it." There should be a certain level of respect for customers who have leased 6 cars from the same dealer over a 10-year period.

It's an insult to my intelligence, and that of the rest of their customers.

I expect a BMW to be more expensive than a Honda when it comes to maintenance, because the parts are more expensive, the labor rate is more expensive, it costs more to train the techs, etc. But I do not expect my BMW dealer to try to hustle me with needless "service." That's petty and low-class. This isn't a strip-mall used-car lot.
I agree. I never got this kind of treatment at a Lexus dealership. I was there for regular oil changes/tire rotations and only recommended maintenance they'd offer ask about but I never felt pressured.
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      03-28-2013, 08:27 PM   #22
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I was blown away when I saw just how carbon free and clean my friends valve train was
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