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      11-24-2008, 12:47 AM   #1
dak125
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Question What's BMW attitude toward tracking your car (warranty)?

As someone who is eyeing an E90 M3 and as a person who has an interest in track day events, what is BMW's attitude and mindset toward customer's cars? It seems as though BMW encourages track usage (which is great) but Subaru did the same when the WRX was launched in the US but would void your warranty if you were caught tracking your car.

So, if I keep the car stock (minus pads/tires) and the transmission happens to explode at a track day, what happens? Will BMW honor the warranty or will they void it as soon as I tell them it went *boom* at a track event? I'm not interested in lying to the dealership either.

Has anyone had experience with situations similar to this? Thoughts?

Regards!
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      11-24-2008, 10:04 AM   #2
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One of our local delaership sponsors our DEs so there is no issues.
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      11-24-2008, 12:14 PM   #3
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I was told by my SA that I would be okay as long as I keep the car stock. A significantly modified car results in unwanted attention in that respect. There is nothing in the manual that says your warranty would be voided after track use. It says it will be voided if you compete with it. However, there is some additional language that says premature wear on some parts due to track use would not be covered, which is really fuzzy. That would clearly apply to pads and discs. To what extent it could be argued to apply to the engine or the transmission, I don't know. But I can't see BMW starting to void warranties just because owners took the car to the track to enjoy it. Most of the marketing pics were taken on a race track. My interpretation is that they won't mess with you if you take it to BMW CCA track days and keep it stock. If they do, that would be a huge blow to the image and marketability of the car. I sure will not buy another brand new M if that is ever the case.
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      11-24-2008, 12:17 PM   #4
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Hmm, thanks for both of your responses. Keep the coming!

I'm curious if a local dealership wouldn't be so warm and fuzzy if I purchased the car (slightly) used from another dealer or private party.
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      11-24-2008, 12:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dak125 View Post
I'm curious if a local dealership wouldn't be so warm and fuzzy if I purchased the car (slightly) used from another dealer or private party.
They'll be fine. The dealership that services my car did not sell me the car. Their waitlist was too long at the time.

Dealerships make good money on servicing cars, so they'll be happy to have your business. It is not to their advantage to piss you off by voiding your warranty. They will not want to do that unless there really is a strong case for doing it. It is important to have a good relationship with a SA at your dealership though. I am pretty direct with my SA and don't hide anything from him. He gives me advice in return, which I follow most of the time. (Not that his advice is binding for them in any way). I suggest dropping by the service department of your local dealership and chatting with them prior to your purchase.
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      11-24-2008, 01:09 PM   #6
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Good advice, thanks.
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      11-26-2008, 06:13 PM   #7
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i drive an e46 m3

i blew my clutch and apparently my synchros at the track 3 weeks ago.

i had a SSK installed on the car already, and knew that the clutch was a wear and tear item and even though i am under CPO and extended maintenance warranty, i wouldn't be covered for that.

now that I know that the synchros are shot (2nd to 3rd grinds over 4k rpm), i wish i didn't put in that JB lightweight flywheel and Spec Racing clutch.
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      11-26-2008, 10:24 PM   #8
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I'd be more concerned about my insurance company than BMW. They're really starting to push the limits. Geico has people hanging out at track events collecting tag numbers and VINs.
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      11-27-2008, 01:38 AM   #9
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i was at a track event oct 15-16, a car from geico came by. i was worried none the less.

according to the fine print, as long as it is a Driving School, whether it be sears driving school or high performance, as long as there is no competition or timing for score...you should be fine.
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      11-27-2008, 02:25 AM   #10
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Thanks for the responses. I have State Farm and have a very good relationship with my agent. I'll have a talk with her and see what she has to say. I realize it might be hearsay but I'd like her input either way.
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      11-27-2008, 03:01 AM   #11
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BMW CCA want you to come out and play with your car! so it shouldn't be an issue ...
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      11-27-2008, 08:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKumarM3 View Post
i was at a track event oct 15-16, a car from geico came by. i was worried none the less.

according to the fine print, as long as it is a Driving School, whether it be sears driving school or high performance, as long as there is no competition or timing for score...you should be fine.
Do not believe this...they would not cover you. Doubt it?...call them and ask them, its that simple.
It's also not me I'm worried about, it's the guy behind me who boils his brake fluid whilst threshold braking and decides he's going to use me to slow him down before he slams into the wall. You get into a multi-car incident at the track, forget about your insurance company even talking to you ever again.

If you cannot afford to drive your car off a cliff, do not put it on a track.

be good,
TomK
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      11-27-2008, 09:16 PM   #13
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My insurance policy changed in June 08 so that is no longer covers me at the track. I've also seen the GEICO guys driving through the paddock at a HPDE. I'm going to begin covering my license plate and VIN at the track even though I now buy track insurance. If you aren't sure if you're covered you really need to read the exclusion section of your policy. My policy reads very clearly.

Regarding warranty, I asked the question to Larry Koch, the BMW NA M Brand manager when he came to talk to our BMWCCA chapter in April 08. He said you don't void your warranty by participating in HPDEs as long as it wasn't a competition or a timed event.
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      11-28-2008, 02:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKumarM3 View Post
i was at a track event oct 15-16, a car from geico came by. i was worried none the less.

according to the fine print, as long as it is a Driving School, whether it be sears driving school or high performance, as long as there is no competition or timing for score...you should be fine.
Pretty much all of the major insurers have modified their policies to exclude non-competitive events.
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      11-28-2008, 02:22 AM   #15
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My question is about Geico and other insurers cruising tracks is why aren't they being booted for trespassing?
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      11-28-2008, 12:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FStop7 View Post
My question is about Geico and other insurers cruising tracks is why aren't they being booted for trespassing?
I wondered this too, although it seems that as long as you sign the insurance waiver at the front gate, then anyone can get access to the paddock. Perhaps the Geico person is also a member of the BMW CCA which would also give them access.
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      12-20-2008, 11:38 AM   #17
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I've seen those progessive Ford escapes but never anyone from Geico.
Closest I've come to warranty troubles is when I came in to a different SA in my area and my car had suspension and brakes at the time (aftermarket)
They can't void the warranty but they wrote in the comments which is now logged for my VIN which should be fun while selling the car "...under suspicion of having been tracked.."
Who knows what that means, but I guess that just added a safety net between BMWNA and my car and its warranty at the time in case anything major happened to my car
But it shouldn't be incredibly hard to fight. As long as you stay closer to stock than I was it should be no problem at all

BMW endorses the cars and their on track performance. Just look at Nurbergring testing on site with full facility and tons of owners there. Would BMW really push their most loyal enthusiast clients away?
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      01-03-2009, 10:32 PM   #18
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Someone had their rotors warp after a track event and they told the dealer, who promply rejected covering the rotors.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      01-03-2009, 10:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Someone had their rotors warp after a track event and they told the dealer, who promply rejected covering the rotors.
I appreciate the info. To me it seems as though I should have a conversation with my SA before I do start tracking the car to make it clear what my intentions are. That way there won't be any surprises for he/she or me. If they don't seem keen on working on my car in the event something happens, perhaps finding a different dealer may be in order.
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      01-04-2009, 01:30 AM   #20
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The cut off from BMW will likely be if it's a timed event or an instructional event.
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Let me get this straight... You are swapping out parts designed by some of the top engineers in the world because some guys sponsored by a company told you it's "better??" But when you ask the same guy about tracking, "oh no, I have a kid now" or "I just detailed my car." or "i just got new tires."
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      03-13-2009, 11:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
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... even though I now buy track insurance.....
can you elaborate on this track insurance? Where from, cost, stipulations, etc...


Is it on an event basis or a time period? Very interested in this. Im sure its much more peace of mind like you say for protection against "the other guy"
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      03-14-2009, 01:25 AM   #22
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I have been trackin since 1994 and have not been voided yet. I had to argue to get pads replaced at 6000 milrd thats it, and as was said the dealers around here sponser our events, and some of the instructors are SA's.
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