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Old 11-17-2012, 03:22 AM   #50
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 2,747
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330ci
Originally Posted by DSilk56 View Post
Let's all get a grip. Dealerships are businesses that exist to make a profit, just like your local independent garage. There are pluses and minuses to servicing your car at either, and only each individual can make the decision as to which facility suits him or her the best. Dealerships tend to be somewhat less flexible with respect to costs, since they charge "book" hours for work done (most indies do the same, but will adjust for you if they know you) and are required to use only OEM parts for replacement. The biggest advantage of a dealership is that their mechanics (technicians) are trained through the factory and only service BMW's. This means that they will have the right tools for any job, no matter how esoteric. Most independent shops service a wide variety of cars, and your M3 may sit in a bay alongside a Nissan Altima and a Ford Focus. I have gotten good service from both dealerships and independent garages, but I only go to the latter after I have gotten good recommendations from mechanics I trust and after I have gotten to know the independent shop in question. I also try to do much of the simple work (brake pads and rotors, e.g.) myself.
Jacking up the service costs, just to pay for an overblown showroom, is not cool. Charge more for the cars, if you need to pay for that. And not all techs are Factory Trained. In fact, in a lot of shops, only a few of the techs have gone through full Factory training. They don't all necessarily have the full set of specialized tools. That is just what the factory reccomends. It does not mean that the dealership buys them. The service rates are overblown, and many of them just replace parts until the problem goes away, rather than actually diagnosing the issue. Throw in the hyper-inflated parts costs, and there is a lot of reason to hate the dealerships. Estimates like the OP posted certainly do not help with this perception.

Last edited by MJLavelle; 11-17-2012 at 03:23 AM.
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