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      06-24-2013, 12:12 AM   #1
JAIM3
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BMW of Alexandria trustworthiness

I took my car in to their spring clinic when they had it several months ago. My car (6MT, 2008, ~27k miles) is out of warranty. They said the transmission was leaking. I had no symptoms, and no fluids (aside from AC condensation) had leaked onto my parking space (reserved, indoor garage with concrete floors).

I changed my oil at a BMW CCA NCC DIY (great experience), and I asked for some help in determining if my transmission had any leaks. We did not take off the cover, but it did not seem to show any signs of leaks. (In retrospect, I should have just taken off the cover at that point!)

I wrote a negative review of BMW of Alexandria on Yelp with this new information. I was contacted by management, and they wanted me to bring the car back so they could verify no leaks. I took it back, and they put it up on the lift, and they used a flashlight to show me what they claimed was leaking transmission fluid. It was hard for me to see it--they did not take the transmission cover off--but I could kind of see something and just assumed they were right.

They said it was leaking from somewhere where it does not normally leak, and they said they would have to drop the transmission to determine what the cause was. They quoted $2,000 for dropping the transmission and said it would go from there depending on what they found.

I called an SA I trust at Faulkner BMW (Lancaster, PA). I didn't want to take the long trip, but he encouraged me to take it there. He said they have not encountered any issues with 6MT E9x transmissions, and even if they did, he felt that it would be possible to fix without dropping the transmission. I took it in, and they put it up on the lifts. They removed the transmission cover and invited me back to the shop. The body of the transmission was bone dry and the SA and several techs looked everywhere that there could be a leak (transmission or otherwise). They found nothing at all.

All in all, I'm not out anything except my time and some extra miles (they were fun miles though). In retrospect, I should have asked BMW of Alexandria to remove the transmission cover and show me. I am sharing my story so that others are aware and consider getting a second opinion before forking over cash that could be used for many other fun things (track days, exhaust, etc).

Has anyone else had similar experiences?
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      06-24-2013, 07:06 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAIM3 View Post
I took my car in to their spring clinic when they had it several months ago. My car (6MT, 2008, ~27k miles) is out of warranty. They said the transmission was leaking. I had no symptoms, and no fluids (aside from AC condensation) had leaked onto my parking space (reserved, indoor garage with concrete floors).

I changed my oil at a BMW CCA NCC DIY (great experience), and I asked for some help in determining if my transmission had any leaks. We did not take off the cover, but it did not seem to show any signs of leaks. (In retrospect, I should have just taken off the cover at that point!)

I wrote a negative review of BMW of Alexandria on Yelp with this new information. I was contacted by management, and they wanted me to bring the car back so they could verify no leaks. I took it back, and they put it up on the lift, and they used a flashlight to show me what they claimed was leaking transmission fluid. It was hard for me to see it--they did not take the transmission cover off--but I could kind of see something and just assumed they were right.

They said it was leaking from somewhere where it does not normally leak, and they said they would have to drop the transmission to determine what the cause was. They quoted $2,000 for dropping the transmission and said it would go from there depending on what they found.

I called an SA I trust at Faulkner BMW (Lancaster, PA). I didn't want to take the long trip, but he encouraged me to take it there. He said they have not encountered any issues with 6MT E9x transmissions, and even if they did, he felt that it would be possible to fix without dropping the transmission. I took it in, and they put it up on the lifts. They removed the transmission cover and invited me back to the shop. The body of the transmission was bone dry and the SA and several techs looked everywhere that there could be a leak (transmission or otherwise). They found nothing at all.

All in all, I'm not out anything except my time and some extra miles (they were fun miles though). In retrospect, I should have asked BMW of Alexandria to remove the transmission cover and show me. I am sharing my story so that others are aware and consider getting a second opinion before forking over cash that could be used for many other fun things (track days, exhaust, etc).

Has anyone else had similar experiences?
How long ago was this? Who was your SA at BMW of Alexandria? Did you follow up with them?
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      06-24-2013, 07:31 AM   #3
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This past week. Rudy was my SA, and I have not followed up with him or the dealership. I don't quite see the benefit. I already gave them a second chance.
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      06-24-2013, 08:17 AM   #4
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Good for you for getting to the bottom of it. It sounds like Alexandria is hungry for money right now.
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      06-24-2013, 08:38 AM   #5
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i always take me car to BMW of Alexandria. I've never had an issue such as the one you described. They even did some minor "free" work for me. I paid for tire mounting, and they placed in a few loose undertray screws which i provided.

I also had a no hassle expereince with my final in-service maintenance about 1 month ahead of the 1 year mark. (spark plugs, diff fluid change, oil change). They could have stuck me with a bill for all this, but they elected to cover me under the expiring free maintenance plan.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=673157

So i'm no defending what they did to you, I almost think it's an innocent misdiagnoises and they just want to be thorough. It always pays to get a second opinion.
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      06-24-2013, 09:16 AM   #6
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+1 for positive experiences with Alexandria. Damian is my SA, great dude.
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      06-25-2013, 07:53 AM   #7
Raja Ventureshield
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i also avoid dealers when possible. years ago i had a e430 4matic which i was selling. Took it to EuroMotorCars and they said the transfer case was bad and needed replacement. Then I took it to the local shop (Indy) and asked them to see how much it would cost for my transfer case replacement as it might go bad. They looked at me and said there are no signs of going bad, i would be crazy to replace the part. I don't trust dealers much.
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      06-26-2013, 08:38 PM   #8
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It has been my experience that it's more about who you know at the dealership, rather than the name of the dealer.

Figuring out who the good SA and techs ares, building rapport and working relationship with them is what you should be doing.

There are good people at several dealers in the area, you just got to find them.
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      07-01-2013, 09:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDyDinanM View Post
It has been my experience that it's more about who you know at the dealership, rather than the name of the dealer.

Figuring out who the good SA and techs ares, building rapport and working relationship with them is what you should be doing.

There are good people at several dealers in the area, you just got to find them.
lol. at what you said. Truth right there. It sucks that you got to have a network of people just to get your car serviced.
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      07-05-2013, 08:29 PM   #10
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I also live in DC, but had a bad experience with BMW Rockville. Do you know how much BMW Alexandria charges for engine oil service? (without resetting the service info)?
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      07-05-2013, 08:47 PM   #11
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I also live in DC, but had a bad experience with BMW Rockville. Do you know how much BMW Alexandria charges for engine oil service? (without resetting the service info)?
Call and ask yourself, but I called a year ago, they quoted me $245 for labor and parts, which comes out to about $85 for labor, I called this year and the service adviser swears it's $300. I said screw it, went to an BMW indy shop, helped out a small business, and these guys were good too.

At this time BMW Fairfax online is the cheapest for parts.
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      07-05-2013, 10:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
Call and ask yourself, but I called a year ago, they quoted me $245 for labor and parts, which comes out to about $85 for labor, I called this year and the service adviser swears it's $300. I said screw it, went to an BMW indy shop, helped out a small business, and these guys were good too.

At this time BMW Fairfax online is the cheapest for parts.

Thanks for your reply. Which Indy shop did you take? I took mine to BMW Rockville, but decided not to do it there 'cause they charged me $350 without resetting the service indicator. Pretty ridiculous, huh? So I am looking for small shops that are just as professional. Anywhere in the area that you would recommend?
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      07-05-2013, 10:07 PM   #13
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Thanks for your reply. Which Indy shop did you take? I took mine to BMW Rockville, but decided not to do it there 'cause they charged me $350 without resetting the service indicator. Pretty ridiculous, huh? So I am looking for small shops that are just as professional. Anywhere in the area that you would recommend?
$350 is highway robbery.

J&F Motors in Arlington, VA. I negotiated a 1 hour fixed labor rate, although it takes about 1.5 hours total. If you're in by the morning, you can get out before 11AM.
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