Last post on Feb 16, 2013 at 11:05 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
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BMW 5 Series, Sedan
#6803 of 12737 Dealers vs Non-Dealers - Another View...
Jun 20, 2003 (10:08 am)
Prior to 1998 all of my cars were purchased used out of warranty. Between 1990 and 1998, I owned an '87 BMW 325e and then a '91 535i. Both vehicles spent time at dealers and private mechanics. I had great success in both instances, but these cars were relatively unsophisticated (i.e., tried and true 12v in-line sixes and limited onboard electrical gimmics).
That said, my last two cars have been brand new Audis ('98 A4 2.8q & '01 A6 4.2) and, obviously, both have seen nothing but dealer service as they are/were under full warranty including scheduled service. These cars are relatively sophisticated with 5v/cylinder, all-wheel drive, and traction control technology. I can't see how independent shops can afford (or able) to keep up with the technology employed by today's cars. I have been in my Audi dealership when the bad news is delivered to out-of-warranty customers regarding $3-$5K repairs! How about a $10k transmission?!?! Who in their right mind would buy a vehicles like the new 745i or M3 out-of-warranty? Would you want your independent messing around with BMW's new I-drive when dealers struggle with it? Yikes!
As the old saying goes (and this is applicable to BMW too), it takes a rich man to buy a Mercedes-Benz and a richer man to buy a used one.
Jun 20, 2003 (11:29 am)
I agree, there are always going to be some things that are dealership only repairs. But for regular maintenance there is no reason to pay, in my case, $1200 for an inspection II when a fully qualified BMW mechanic from Germany will do it for $500. And he only charges $125 for an inspection I while the dealership wanted $325. Does the dealership have better parts? Maybe, maybe not. Does the dealership have better trained mechanics, in some areas maybe. But because my car is 5 yrs old and the technology is mild, compared to i-drive, he is probably more experienced to work on the car than the mechanics at the Dealership. Now, you must realize that my dealership is teh only experience that I have, and from what they have done so far, I am truly not impressed. My Cruise control stopped working and when I asked them to fix it, they just reported to me that it worked and asked if I knew how to work the cruise and did I need a demonstration. Well, no, I know how to use it, but the problem is sporatic. It will work for say 15 min then just stop. They failed to take that into consideration even though they had the car all day from 7:30 am until 5 pm. The only thing they did was an oil change and fix the trunk actuator.
#6805 of 12737 Love my new 530!
Jun 21, 2003 (12:51 am)
But yikes, it came with pirelli P6's ! Wonder when the infamous sidewall bubbles will appear...
#6806 of 12737 Dealer v. nondealer
Jun 21, 2003 (9:59 am)
I actually started this thead, but after reading the replies my suspicion is that for new vehicles one is better of with the dealer. They may just be too high tech for nondealers. My own experience with nondealers is mixed. I used to take my Volve to a nondealer, who I think did good work, but had dubious ethics (once telling me to replace an oil filer I had just changed because it was not the Volvo brand) and charged just as much. I have also used nondealers that were terrific.
Jun 21, 2003 (10:01 am)
I bought my 2000 BMW 540i wagon from a private party who apparently lost the cargo cover. A new one is a mind boggling $550. I thought I would try to find one from a salvage yard. Can anyone on the list recommend one? If location is relevant, I live in Baltimore, MD, though I asssume salvage yards now operate nationally.
#6808 of 12737 Winter Weather Blues...
Jun 24, 2003 (8:40 am)
I'm new to this forum and have a question that might ultimately affect my decision in chosing my next car.
I live in Westchester, NY, and I'm concerned with the BMW and its handling in snow. Last winter was pretty bad (by NY standards) and even with a dedicated set of snows on a 525iA (sports package incl.), am I asking for trouble? I've been driving FWD cars (Saab) for the last four years (also dedicated snows) and I'm sure this would not be an issue with the Audi Allroad, which I'm also considering (2 young kids+stuff+ wife= wagon). I come to you because the BMW is just more fun to drive than the Audi.
Your view on the subject would be greatly appreciated.
All My Best,
#6809 of 12737 RoxReps
Jun 24, 2003 (10:39 am)
I just moved from the NYC metro area last August to New Hampshire, where we had a winter that was at least as fun as the one y'all had down in Westchester. Back in February, I posted a fairly detailed message regarding my experience with my 530i SP, with and without winter tires. If you want to read that post, you can use the "Go To Msg #" feature on this page (at the top of the posts, and again at the bottom of them) and go to message number 5475.
I hope this helps.
Jun 24, 2003 (1:13 pm)
I live in Metro Detroit and we have had some pretty bad winters over the years and hands down, my 528i is the best handling car I have ever driven in the snow aside from my 99 Grand Cherokee Laredo and the only advantage that had over the 5er is the sheer size of the tires based on the amount of snow that we got. That being said, the GCL had a tendancy to collect snow and ice on the wheels causing a servere shimmy on the tires while driving.
#6811 of 12737 BMW & Audi quattro in snow
Jun 24, 2003 (4:00 pm)
While I haven't owned a BMW since unloading my 535i in 98, I can say that my '01 Audi A6 4.2 quattro is virtually unstoppable in snow (especially with ESP on). Even with summer tires, it easily handled the MA/NH winter of '02/'03. In fact, there were a few instances that I was able to get through snow that a friend's Jeep GC couldn't, not to mention my father's 4WD Tundra. With the adjustable ground clearance and winter tires, I can only imagine how well the allroad would handle adverse driving conditions.
I have heard that BMW 5 series' equipped with DSC and winter tires are pretty good in the snow relative to the older cars (my '91 535i was a nightmare in the snow and only needed about 2" to render it undrivable). Hard to say for sure, but you can't miss with the new allroad 4.2. The Audi V8's are amazing!
#6812 of 12737 More ashtrays than cupholders
Jun 26, 2003 (9:20 am)
my only complaint about my new 530. With ashtrays in the center console and both rear doors,BMW sure has favored the smoker over the sipper.