My car, a 530i, was back in the shop this week. For five days this time, although two of those days were the weekend. A few months earlier it was for over a week for some leak in the transmission. Naturally, whenever this happens, colleagues come out of the word work to smirk about my BMW and let me know that despite having 80, 100, 200 thousand miles on their cars, they have never been in the shop. Never had a problem. One person overheard someone telling me that and later told me that that was just not true. She had picked him up from the dealership several times to give him a ride to work after he had dropped off his car to be repaired.
My car is six years old but has less than 47 thousand miles. I mentioned this to the owner of the garage I take the car to and he smiled and said people say that because it makes them feel good about their decisions, i.e. the car they bought. Still, I’ve had a lot of work done even recognizing that I drive pretty rough.
My knowledge of cars is very limited – hunk of steel with four wheels with stuff in the front and empty space in the back to put my own stuff. That’s about it. So could this guy be taking advantage of me. Possibly but I don’t think so. He is pretty active in the local chapter of the BMW car club. He goes through a great detail of explaining and showing what is wrong. So, I still trust him.
Plus what’s my alternative? Go to the dealer? BMW provides free maintenance during the warranty period, which is practically worthless. Oil change is once a year, which I don’t think is enough – I don’t car how good synthetic oil is. And they will do nothing except what you tell them. So, you have to tell them that, e.g. the wiper blades need to be replaced. You have no idea of what is happening with the stuff you can’t see. Once the warranty period is over, then it is a completely different story. I did not receive a single email from them during the warranty period and now I get regular emails on maintaining my car and things that I should be getting done. Jackasses.
I bought this car at Momentum. My previous car, also a BMW, was bought in California. When moved here, I didn’t get good service from Momentum, which I attributed to not having bought the car from them. When I got ready to buy a new car, I looked at other cars but came back to BMW. Momentum was the most convenient and that’s where I bought. Did I see an improvement in the service? Not one iota. Made no difference whatsoever. That makes BMW a commodity. It doesn’t matter where you buy it, you get the same car. As a seller, that is not where you want to be, where the product you are selling is viewed as a commodity. Because in that case, price is all that matters. And in this age of eBay motors, you are not limited to just the sellers in this area. My next car will be bought online.