Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Charlotte NC
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330ci
I just want to get this out of the way first -
Originally Posted by ///M3.22
So I bought my 2004 m3 into the dealership today as my service light came on and I know I needed rear brakes, brake fluid flush and my washer fluid pump was broke. My car has roughly 62K miles on it and I already had Inspection I and II completed. When I got to the dealership they informed me that I was do for an Inspection service which would run about $1,600, brake fluid flush about $220, rear brakes $780. So this would have cost around $2,600 which is not chump change but reasonable (at least I consider it reasonable since I purchased an expensive car and I expect it to cost a decent amount to maintain).
Then I got the call for the dealership with the laundry list of things that I needed done. Please let me think if you guys think I am completely getting taken advantage of on based on the service and prices:
**All prices include tax and labor**
Tune Up/Inspection Service - 1,778
Wash fluid pump - 227
Rear Brakes (Rotors) - 781
Rear Control Arms - 667
Rear shock mounts - 460
Alignment - 300
Drive Belts - 276
Replace all hoses - 1,598
Total Cost = 6,087
Regarding the suspension I was told that my control arms were bent, could have been from hitting a pot hole or something. Said I didn't need to have it done right away but will cause tires to wear unevenly. Dealership told me my hoses and belts were on their way out. Said hoses were important because it would not be good if they broke and fluid got all over the engine (also said these should be replaced every 5 years).
Sorry for that vulgar explosion, but it was entirely warranted.
This service quote is nearly 1/3 the value of your car! (based on a guick KBB search for Private Sale value, and giving you Excellent condition - about $20k. It is probably worth more in the current market)
Let's start with the biggest issue here, that quote of yours I bolded above. Not to be offensive, but that sounds like some Donald Trump sh!t, except he would not then post about it possibly being a bit high. I am not trying to be insulting (not very well though), and I really don't want to get off on the wrong foot with you, because you seem like you may be an OK guy. But an M3 was an expensive car when new, and you can expect to pay more for parts. You can expect to pay more for service as well, or do it yourself. But you should not expect Pulp Fiction style, gimp in a basement type sodomy as payment for for service. Zed is dead.
But the reality is you purchased a somewhat expensive car, and you are paying damn near Super Car prices to maintain it. You have no reason in the world to expect to pay these sorts of premiums to drive an 8 year old car with 62k on it, unless it has the words Porsche, Aston Martin, or Ferrari on it.
So, your attitude alone needs a major adjustment. This is no longer a World Class vehicle, and never really was. Don't get me wrong, it was, and still is, an amazing car, and I am not taking away one thing from it. It is an engineering marvel. But it is not one that requires huge amounts of money to maintain. So drop the "you gotta pay to play" attitude, unless you like wasting money. And if you do like wasting money, at least get a car that has the prestige to justify that attitude.
There is no shame in not being able to do it yourself. There is a lot of shame in being raped by the dealership.
If it is a matter of not knowing how, you can decide to learn, and there are tons of resources available to teach you how to do it, step by step. You can probably find someone on this forum who would be willing to come help you, either for some money (no where near what the dealership will charge), or for a 6 pack and maybe a steak on the grill afterwards. If you want to go this route, which I strongly recommend, then you can pitch in and help, and start learning. Honestly, if you do not choose to learn to do these things for yourself, or if you do not have the time to do so, you may as well trade your car in for a new one, with service and warranty included. An aging e46 M3 is not the car for you. You are wasting money paying to have this car serviced, and it is not even an investment, it is a loss. A few more services like this, along with what you have already paid, and you have probably exceeded the value of the car. You are sadly mistaken if you think this high rate service will add value when it comes time to sell. It may earn a few chuckles for the buyer though.
If you take the time to search the Internet parts places for the OEM BMW parts being replaced in this estimate, the prices should make you want to puke. They are nowhere near what you have been quoted (I understand the quotes include labor, but the part price breakdown has to be just as ridiculous). With some help, some elbow grease, and smart shopping, you can probably get all of this done for 1/3 of the quoted price.
I would pay Sophia Vergara $220 to flush my brake fluid, if she wore a thong and a smile, but not some dealership tech. With a $90 brake flusher, you could do this yourself for about $40 in fluid. And you would still have the $90 tool left over to do it again next year.
You could get a set of $99 Rouge Engineering rear shock mounts, which are 10x better than what the dealership will install, and have them in within 2 hours, even if it was your first time. They want $460 for a set that will need replaced in about 2 years, if you drive the car a bit hard once in a while.
A set of OEM rear brake rotors will cost you $250 or less. A set of OEM rear pads will cost you $90 or less. They want $781 for that. Even if it took you all weekend to do it, you would still come out at least $500 ahead. Hell, you could go with pads and rotors that are way better than OEM, and still come in under $300 in parts.
I could go on, but it just gets worse. $1600 for new hoses is damn close to criminal fraud. *Sidebar - a burst hose may get fluid all over your engine, as you mentioned, but the MUCH, MUCH bigger issue would the very real possibility of your engine overheating to the point that it is destroyed. That is more like a $8000 - $12000 issue, not a messy engine bay.
I realize that I was not terribly polite, and I was not very delicate in the way I said things, but you are being taken to the cleaners. You may find a good Independent shop, and they may reduce this bill about 30 -40%, but in the end, that is still a lot of money for a car that old. You are past the tipping point to this becoming a losing proposition. You are spending a lot of money that you will never get back in resale. All cars are losing propositions. But if you can afford to pay this kind of money for service, I think it would be worth your while to trade up to a 335 or a new M3, and have the service and warranty repairs covered. It does not seem that keeping the car in top shape is a priority for you. If it was, you would not be getting service estimates like this. I may be wrong. After all, I am drawing an impression from a single post. But if I am right, then this is not the car you should be driving. All e46's, including M3's, are reaching the point that you either need to fix them yourself, or you are losing money at an alarming rate. I am sure there will be people who disagree with me, but from an economic standpoint, it seems to have tipped over into losing territory for owners like you. And that is not an insult. Someone has to be the first owner. Otherwise, people who earn less money would never be able to own these cars. I just think your money will be better spent on new or CPO car payments, rather than paying over the top prices to dealerships or even Indy shops.
Now, exactly what would you sell it for? Maybe we can work a deal!
Last edited by MJLavelle; 11-02-2012 at 04:58 AM.