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      11-11-2013, 06:22 PM   #1
andrews
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BMW Tech Joy Ride?

Hopefully this doesn't turn into another horror story about BMW Techs abusing customer cars, but here goes...

I dropped my car off this morning at BMW Seattle for the battery cable recall around 7:45AM. Got my loaner car and headed to work. At 11:50AM, my service adviser calls to let me know my car is ready. Perfect - that was fast. I grab some lunch and then head to BMW to pick up my car. After turning in my loaner keys and waiting about a half an hour, my car is finally brought around to the front and I get ready to leave.

Then I notice the mileage on the car is 20 miles more than when I dropped it off. This is according to the service paper that says "Mileage in: 20461". When I went to my car, the odometer was ready 20481. The trip computer had been reset, which is sort of expected given the need to disconnect the power to vehicle. I went back inside and informed the receptionist I'd like to talk to my service adviser. She was out to lunch, but the receptionist called her on her cell phone and she said that "for this type of service, it's normal that they take it around the block".

Needing to get back to work, and not really figuring anything is going to be resolved this instant, I went back to my car, took pictures of the odometer, the paperwork, and the odometer and the paperwork together where you could see that I was in front of the BMW service center.

So my question(s)... how concerned should I be about this? What should my next course of action be? A couple miles I can understand, but 20? It's not the mileage so much as the thought of some tech joy riding in my car. I doubt there is any damage and I am, obviously, well past the break in period, but still this behavior is very concerning. All of this considering BMW Seattle is supposed to be the "good" dealership in the area...
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      11-11-2013, 06:41 PM   #2
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It sucks, but the dealership will likely never admit that a tech had a joy ride in your car. If you make a big deal about it, they might offer you a discount on parts or future service, but I doubt anything more.

At this point, your guess of what occurred in those 20 miles is as good as ours.

My 1M hasn't been to the dealer since I picked it up at the performance center in South Carolina 2 years ago. I have had poor experiences with other BMW's in the past that convinced me not to. I do my own service on my schedule (and my dime). Of course, if something other than routine maintenance comes up that needs to be addressed at the dealer, I'll have to do that, but i'd feel a bit more comfortable knowing that my car has a dashcam recording everything
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      11-11-2013, 06:43 PM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about it. Yes, it's annoying and disappointing, but unless your brakes smell, or your rear tires are suddenly bald, just let it go.
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      11-11-2013, 06:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrews View Post
Hopefully this doesn't turn into another horror story about BMW Techs abusing customer cars, but here goes...

I dropped my car off this morning at BMW Seattle for the battery cable recall around 7:45AM. Got my loaner car and headed to work. At 11:50AM, my service adviser calls to let me know my car is ready. Perfect - that was fast. I grab some lunch and then head to BMW to pick up my car. After turning in my loaner keys and waiting about a half an hour, my car is finally brought around to the front and I get ready to leave.

Then I notice the mileage on the car is 20 miles more than when I dropped it off. This is according to the service paper that says "Mileage in: 20461". When I went to my car, the odometer was ready 20481. The trip computer had been reset, which is sort of expected given the need to disconnect the power to vehicle. I went back inside and informed the receptionist I'd like to talk to my service adviser. She was out to lunch, but the receptionist called her on her cell phone and she said that "for this type of service, it's normal that they take it around the block".

Needing to get back to work, and not really figuring anything is going to be resolved this instant, I went back to my car, took pictures of the odometer, the paperwork, and the odometer and the paperwork together where you could see that I was in front of the BMW service center.

So my question(s)... how concerned should I be about this? What should my next course of action be? A couple miles I can understand, but 20? It's not the mileage so much as the thought of some tech joy riding in my car. I doubt there is any damage and I am, obviously, well past the break in period, but still this behavior is very concerning. All of this considering BMW Seattle is supposed to be the "good" dealership in the area...
20 miles, that's at least 20 minutes. Sounds to me like joy ride. Maybe someone has the SB and can see if it requires a check drive afterwards.
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      11-11-2013, 06:48 PM   #5
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I don;t think you should worry about it. You can get angry about it though... very disappointing.
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      11-11-2013, 06:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting this, I will no longer be going to BMW of Seattle for service.
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      11-11-2013, 07:24 PM   #7
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BMW Seattle performed the exact same service on my car, but I didn't pay attention to the mileage. However, my car did pick up a new dash rattle as part of the process, which I notified my service advisor about after I got the car home.

Considering where the dealership is located, it's certainly possible they found a similar rattle on the check ride, fixed it, and then had to do another check ride to see if the problem was cured.

I know it's taken me 20 miles of driving to hunt down and fix other rattles...
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      11-11-2013, 08:09 PM   #8
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I've heard Northwest in Fife is pretty good - haven't had the need to go there yet.
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      11-11-2013, 08:22 PM   #9
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Globally speaking, I believe BMW are good in manufacturing business while suck big time in servicing their own products or to put it more clearly, in choosing right people to represent the brand.

I will be surprising myself if I buy another new BMW after the 1M, and if I do I will continue taking care of its needs on my own dime, in the same way that flzrider does.

In my opinion, car industry got to invent another way to handle "aftersale" alltogether instead of "dealers".
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      11-11-2013, 08:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozinaldo View Post
Globally speaking, I believe BMW are good in manufacturing business while suck big time in servicing their own products or to put it more clearly, in choosing right people to represent the brand.

I will be surprising myself if I buy another new BMW after the 1M, and if I do I will continue taking care of its needs on my own dime, in the same way that flzrider does.

In my opinion, car industry got to invent another way to handle "aftersale" alltogether instead of "dealers".
State laws in the U.S. prevent manufacturers from directly selling cars.

Automobile dealers (who are franchisees) are a very powerful lobby.

Neil
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      11-11-2013, 08:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDORPHN View Post
State laws in the U.S. prevent manufacturers from directly selling cars.

Automobile dealers (who are franchisees) are a very powerful lobby.

Neil
Yes, I know how powerful they are. That is why we need a revolution and we could all just begin by not buying extended warranty/service packages and also not taking our cars to dealers unless it is absolutely necessary. That would start hurting...and hurting usually leads re-thinking.
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      11-11-2013, 09:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDORPHN View Post

Automobile dealers (who are franchisees) are a very powerful lobby.
Case in point: in 2001 dealers got Congress to outlaw arbitration clauses in their franchise agreements, claiming manufacturers were taking away a dealer's right to take a manufacturer to court when a manufacturer screwed a dealer over. Then dealers turned around and put arbitration clauses in their contracts with consumers, taking away consumers' rights to take dealers to court. Nifty, huh?
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      11-11-2013, 09:46 PM   #13
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My first question is if the in mileage on the RO is the same as what you remember when you pulled it in? Second is the key you left them the same one you drive with all the time with? I have seen many key reads be off by up to 200 miles so basically the tech might have just updated the cars mileage in the system. Also did your trip meter read something like 1.9 miles or was it at zero? The vehicle trip meter does get reset so basically you should have seen close to 2 miles for a standard test drive on it.
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      11-12-2013, 01:21 AM   #14
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Same thing happened to me in the beginning of the year.

At the beginning of our car season (in late april) of this year, I took my car out of storage and brought it to the dealer for an oil change that was covered under the 4 year maintenance plan. The car had 5000kms on it. They covered the cost of the oil change of course.

I brought the car there in absolute stunning cleanliness as I had washed it specifically to go back to the dealership. Most of the sales team had came out into the service reception where I parked it to admire it so a full exterior inspection was done. When I got it back, the next day, it had 20 something extra kilometers on it as well as some mud/dirt streaks on the rocker panels from driving in a puddle or something of the such. I checked on it during the night to ensure that they honored my request that if it have to be kept overnight that it stay inside, and they did.

I wanted to have the transmission fluid changed (under my dime) but kept having to argue with the service advisor that the car did not take the M3 fluid, and that LT-5 was required. A bunch of other crap left me sour about the dealer so it hasn't been back since.

The salesperson told me on a later date that the service department has a certain set route that covers most driving conditions/speeds that aides in diagnosis and that every vehicle that visits the service department must follow it after every service. My argument was that the car was in for an oil and filter, and I was not complaining of any driveability issues at the time of service. So no need for the after service drive was required. The joke is on me though I suppose, as I pay for and treasure the car, but someone else gets to drive it how they like for twenty minutes because we tend to trust dealers.

BTW I never complained after the fact, but BMW sent me one of those "how was our service?" emails. I wrote out my concerns, and left my contact number. Nothing of interest came from it.

Last edited by urbanstorm; 11-12-2013 at 01:26 AM.. Reason: Addition
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      11-12-2013, 04:08 AM   #15
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I had a dash rattle before I took it in, still there afterward. I will consider taking it back to them to get it fixed. And ask for a different service adviser.

I am definitely going to complain in the survey that gets sent out. And perhaps send an email to the Service Manager and BMW USA.

FWIW: I gave them the same key I use all the time to start the car. I am the only one that drives my car, so there is really only one key. I didn't look at the mileage before I dropped it off, I assumed the mileage they got from the key was accurate. When I got the car back, the trip computer read only 0.1 miles.
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      11-12-2013, 05:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bordia View Post
My first question is if the in mileage on the RO is the same as what you remember when you pulled it in? Second is the key you left them the same one you drive with all the time with? I have seen many key reads be off by up to 200 miles so basically the tech might have just updated the cars mileage in the system. Also did your trip meter read something like 1.9 miles or was it at zero? The vehicle trip meter does get reset so basically you should have seen close to 2 miles for a standard test drive on it.
I think even IF you drive the car with the main key in the slot and a spare key in your pocket... when you read the two key fobs BOTH will have the same mileage. I remember seeing that posed here a long time ago. Its never been fully explain how that works. Some speculate that they work like some sort of dongle or bluetooth netz. However the 2nd (not used key) will not have the ECL faults nor some other relevant info)that the primary used key will show. Just FYI.

What info can the BMW dealer read on our key fob?
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=401433



Btw.... one should periodically drive with your 2nd key fob to charge the battery while in the slot. Unless you have CA(comfort Access) and then you will just replace the battery every few years.
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      11-12-2013, 08:45 AM   #17
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This is why I bought a lift and plan on doing the service myself...
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      11-12-2013, 09:30 AM   #18
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If I have to deal with service
1 I always wait for the car
2 I specifically ask to be with the technician in the car if they need to road test
3 I always refuse the free wash
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      11-12-2013, 10:17 AM   #19
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It's real simple. When you take the car in talk to your SA about what you should expect when you pick it up. 20 miles may be what they do every time they do the battery cable recall. This may be to see if they caused rattles. Only way to know though, and not be upset/surprised afterwards, is to get all the facts up front. Make it very clear to the SA you do not want them driving your vehicle any more than what you agree upon and tell him you expect a phone call ahead of time if they need additional drive time.

With regards to oil change, yes they will drive the car about 10 miles. They need to drive it long enough for the car to read the oil level. With no dipstick now they are required to confirm the oil level is full.

Since I don't want them driving my car and I don't like the crap oil they use I started doing my own oil changes. When I took the car in for the battery cable recall my SA told me that if I don’t get oil changes done at the dealer and there is an engine failure down the road then the regional tech could blame it on my ‘lack of oil changes’. We resolved the situation in a mutually agreeable way (all I am interested in saying). Food for thought though.
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      11-12-2013, 11:46 AM   #20
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I may be wrong but believe that techs can read oil level through INPA and that they don't need to take it for a drive.

Neil
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      11-12-2013, 12:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discoboy1 View Post
If I have to deal with service
1 I always wait for the car
2 I specifically ask to be with the technician in the car if they need to road test
3 I always refuse the free wash

x2, and even willing to take a day off.
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      11-12-2013, 02:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertm View Post
When I took the car in for the battery cable recall my SA told me that if I don’t get oil changes done at the dealer and there is an engine failure down the road then the regional tech could blame it on my ‘lack of oil changes’. We resolved the situation in a mutually agreeable way (all I am interested in saying). Food for thought though.
I'm sure there are others, including myself, that are wondering what agreement had to made.

Personally, I have just been hanging on to my receipts for the oil and filters I purchase (from the dealer) in case a situation ever came up that required me to prove that I change my own oil. That, and the fact that the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act places the burden of proof on the manufacturer.
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