BMW 1 Series Coupe Forum / 1 Series Convertible Forum (1M / tii / 135i / 128i / Coupe / Cabrio / Hatchback) (BMW E82 E88 128i 130i 135i)
 





 

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      07-09-2017, 07:04 AM   #1
Stock4Evr
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Why BMW shops?

I know I am going to get a lot of flaming but I still am looking for a really valid reason to drive 100 miles round-trip just to go to a BMW shop. As my 2012 135i is no longer under warranty and all I need is general service why do I need a BMW mechanic? Is there some secrets that are not reveled to other, very good, mechanic shops? Does the BMW have special tools, monitoring equipment... that another shop would not have? Are there secrets only know to BMW shops? I am having trouble wanting to drive large distances just for an overall check up. All comments are welcome.
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      07-09-2017, 08:42 AM   #2
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100 miles is a considerable distance that not many people would bother making for just routine maintenance stuff, dealer or not.

I work for a dealer but I'm all for choice and doing things properly. For routine maintenance, anyone who is familiar with these cars can do the maintenance required. No diag software is required to reset CBS, unlike the new F cars which log service history electronically in the car. What you may find is variances in workmanship and detail between workshops, dealer or not. As they say, finding a good mechanic is like finding a good doctor.

At the end of the day, you are the one forking over the money and entrusting them to do the job right. Shop A might not be as detailed as shop B. Shop B might make you feel like you are being ripped off or like they are trying to upsell more work - but they could be things that shop A missed or turned a blind eye to.

When it comes to diagnosis, you would want to take your car to the place with most experience to minimise diagnosis time and cost, and get a proper repair.
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      07-09-2017, 10:42 AM   #3
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Having a friend work for a dealer and getting to watch him do work on my cars...there are little things that he does that I have never seen 3rd party shops do...and it makes all the difference to me.

But that's just me. I'm sure there are reputable shops out there.
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      07-09-2017, 11:01 AM   #4
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I use an indy shop for my 3rd party work that is a little more difficult to do then just in my dad's driveway. Like the waterpump/tstat. Other then that I do brakes and anything else in my dads driveway since they only thing he's missing really is a lift. If you have the software and everything to do things yourself and your capable then go ahead and do it. 3rd party indy shops that know their stuff are just as good as BMW dealership. The one around the corner, he invites me in the shop and shows me things, he's honest and I don't mind paying his shop rate at all since he does quality work. He also works on more expensive shit then my 1series lol.
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      07-10-2017, 08:11 PM   #5
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To me it depends on the issue. Specialist in all areas will generally make less mistakes, you just have to decide if it's worth it to go to one of them. Also one of the keys can be to find a non specialist that will admit when he needs to send you to a specialist.

I generally try to have a regular all purpose mechanic and specialized mechanic that I pick between based on what repair I think I need. In my experience I'd estimate that I have caused more issues by using non specialists than how much money or convenience I've saved. I modded my BMW very early so I quit using the dealer much even before I was off the warranty. The biggest problems non specialist have had has been with strut installation and window motor replacement.
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      07-10-2017, 08:31 PM   #6
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I do all my work myself. I suggest doing the same because there's nothing better than having a big ass tool collection and knowing you can fix things yourself. As far as specialists go, you don't need a "BMW specialist" you just need a competent shop. Those may be hard to find and it's very important to note that not all BMW-specific shops are competent! All shops these days have access to really good documentation, so if they're competent in the first place they'll be able to fix most things on your BMW. Maybe some electronics would an exception.
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      07-10-2017, 09:06 PM   #7
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For maintenance, no special tools are needed. Major stuff, sometimes they are, sometimes you can get by without them.
Thing is, for diag, we work on the same cars day in and day out. See a lot of them same stuff. Can make diag easier. Finding an indie shop that specializes only in German stuff will get you closer than just any shop.
I don't trust anyone but myself working on my car. I don't really trust anyone else in my shop. I am overly paranoid. Only way I know stuff is done right is by doing it myself.
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