Last post on Nov 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM
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BMW 3 Series, Sedan
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#5179 of 5378 Re: Maintenance Extension on '08 328xi [dino001]
Dec 29, 2011 (6:47 am)
My apologies to the readers and to my dealership in MA if I had perhaps used a poor choice of words. I'm not angry, and I actually really like my dealership and have a great relationship with their staff, especially the General Manager. It's the Finance guys I'm not wild about. When I saw what they were asking for the extended maintenance and mechanical contracts compared to what I read on various posts, I felt like they were trying to take advantage of me. In that the GM dropped the price of the maintenance contract by 25% below what the finance guy initially quoted simply by asking, I feel that the "weasel" title is, at least, somewhat justified.
Beyond that, I could not get the dealer to commit to provide a complete brake job within the extra 2 years even though their price quote takes their cost + profit of the brake job specifically into account in their pricing structure, hence the term "screwed over" since it is akin to throwing away good money.
Extended contracts of any kind play against consumers' fears of costly repairs. Obviously, it is incumbent on the consumer to try as accurately as possible to estimate the benefit vs cost. Unfortunately, the vast majority of consumers are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to doing that successfully.
Extended warranties may well pay off for some, including me. However, it seems ironic to hope that your vehicle breaks down in some significant repairable way just so you can get your money's worth. I buy health, home and auto insurance, fundamentally the same as the warranties with the hope that I'll never need it. I suppose no hospital will promise you specific treatment just because you pay for major medical. There is just something much more annoying when the finance guy tries to justify his quote specifically on the total probable cost of a dealership brake job, oil changes, wipers and the like, and in the next breath, tells you that you might not need it, or get it even though you implicitly paid for it.
What I really should said, simply, is that I was quoted $4290 for a 6 year 100,000 mile (from in-service date) mechanical warranty and $2495 (now $1895) for the maintenance warranty for the same term. Compared to what others have been offered from a reputable dealership for the same warranties (assuming that warranties from any BMW dealership is an apples-to-apples comparison), is this reasonable for a 2008 328xi with about 40,000 miles?
#5180 of 5378 Re: Maintenance Extension on '08 328xi [xeye]
Dec 29, 2011 (7:44 am)
Sure, no problem. To answer your question, if you had brake job already done on your car or anticipate one before the factory maintenance ends than the maintenance contract is probably so-so: you get couple of oil changes, new wipers and perhaps some other fluids. If, on the other hand you anticipate the brake job later (say you have 70% wear now, so by 6 y.o. it will for sure go to 100%) than you get that brake job on top - and then I would say buy it, as it then becomes a discounted prepaid service at facility you know to be competent. It is a simple math - how much you'd pay in the facility if you brought the car for scheduled maintenance, how much is the prepaid, and are other (cheaper) options attractive enough to change the venue altogether?
Extended warranty - well, that's a different story. Over four grand for extra two years of coverage? No, thanks. I'd rather put it in the bank. Chances are I walk away with half of that after those two years are over. There is small possibility I may need pitch extra, but we are now talking about how likely is that.
Insurance should be for catastrophic losses, not nuisances. To me catastrophic means something that would cripple me financially. Unlikely job on a blown engine or transmission is not catastrophic, even if it exceed 4 grand. It hurts, but if I can't pony a few thousand bucks, I have no business owning $40K+ car.
Everybody has their threshold of "pain" set at different limits. I like to take my chances with small-to-medium stuff. Others shake on thought of having to come up with a few unplanned hundreds. They somehow have no problem with hundreds of dollars in monthly payments, but suddenly thousand dollars on electrical repair becomes a backbreaker they need insurance against. Those people need extended warranties just to sleep well. I don't like to pay those repairs, either, but they're not going to ruin me. So I rather take my chances.
#5181 of 5378 Re: Maintenance Extension on '08 328xi [dino001]
Dec 29, 2011 (8:58 am)
I agree with your statements and I had largely come to the same conclusions. I have an off-cycle oil change for the 328xi scheduled at a local indie shop tomorrow morning where we have had reliable oil service done before on my '07 335xi, and oil, brake and I think half-shaft work, done on my wife's prior '95 318ti. I spoke to them earlier this week. Apparently, there is a layman way to see the brake wear, something to do with the turn signals, apparently. They will tell me, one way or the other, how much brake life we have left, and I will base my maintenance warranty purchase decision partly on that information.
I am most inclined to turn down the mechanical warranty. I agree that I would rather bank the cash than fork it over in advance. With proper maintenance and moderate driving, the car should last in one piece beyond 6 years and not come too close to 100,000 miles.
You are probably right when you say that owners of moderately expensive cars should be able to afford a few grand when, and if, necessary. Unfortunately, I am equally sure there are many BMW owners who have to hope they can drive a nice ride and not have to suffer that pain. I'm somewhere in between. I will most likely not keep my '11 335i xDrive beyond the 4 years (2.5 years to go). Should both Bimmers break down requiring major repairs at the same time outside of warranty, that'll be me you wizz by on my bicycle. Have mercy!
Thanks for your thoughts, and patience. I've dropped a not too-subtle-hint to my GM that this weekend is month-end, quarter-end and year-end all rolled into one. I'll see if he comes back with something to my request for the maintenance warranty for $1695. If not, I still have until August 2012 to decide what to do.
#5182 of 5378 Re: Maintenance Extension on '08 328xi [xeye]
Dec 29, 2011 (10:56 am)
Hey xeye - you still have your green 335i x drive coupe with oyster leather? How many miles you have on that now? Are you still loving it?
How many miles does your wife drive her car per year? Have the brakes on her car been replaced yet? I believe you have until the last second (3 years & 364 days or 49,999 miles, whichever comes 1st) to purchase the extended maintenance pkg. Keep in mind, the dealer is really only supposed to do the maintenance when the car says to. I can tell you that on my Mom's '08 328xi that she turned in last December, the service light for the brakes went on at literally 50,100 miles. It was almost comical. Next up at about 60K miles is an Inspection II (major) service. After that you'll get an oil change at 75K & maybe an inspection I 90K.
There are dealers in other areas of the country that probably do charge less for the same services. I know you live in MA if memory serves me. Dealerships in the northeast are not cheap ($120/ hour) for labor.
Dec 29, 2011 (11:07 am)
I think that a cost of your services is certainly your choice to charge, but I believe that most of us would have a ceiling that we would pay before considering it to be "price-gouging." And the term doesn't have to apply to a natural disaster, either.
#5184 of 5378 Re: Maintenance Extension on '08 328xi [nyccarguy]
Dec 29, 2011 (12:04 pm)
Hey NYCarGuy! You DO have a good memory! I do still have the Tasman Green Metallic 335i with the Oyster & Black interior, and I'm still loving it! I have about 22,000 miles, probably 1/4 of which were on Interstates 95, 93 & 89 between Boston & Montreal. The oyster leather has survived remarkably well, except for when my wife wore her new black pants on a long trip. Fortunately, I have great detail guy who was able to restore the leather to pristine condition with one treatment. Needless to say, she does not wear those pants in my car anymore!
My wife has put on between 40,000 and 45,000 miles since about July '08, so she'll be near or just over the 50,000 miles by next August. The GM at my dealership told me I had to buy the warranty for $1895 before the end of this year, or he "couldn't guarantee that the price won't go up". It sounds like one of those ads where I have to "act before midnight tonight" or "be one of the first 10 callers". He may be right, but then again I don't have to act at all.
Your point about the dealer not having to do any maintenance until the car says so is an excellent one, and a point I very well understand. That's why I asked the GM to commit to doing a complete brake job before the extra 2 years would end. He declined, naturally. I would like to not have to pay for the 60,000 mile service. I understand that could be expensive. That may be the decision that teases me into paying for the maintenance extension. I hadn't thought of that, thank you. Maybe if my wife drives the car a lot and stomps on the brakes at every light and stop sign, I can really get my money's worth before 6 years are up. My nickname for her (when she had the 318ti) was Maria Andretti! We used to drive the Ortega Highway between San Juan Capistrano & Lake Elsinore in SoCal when all I had was a Toyota 4Runner. Hardly as good in the twisties.
Anyway, I'll get an idea of the brake life tomorrow morning when the car is on the lift for the oil change and chat with the mechanics. They've always been straight with us before. Then, I just have to remove my shoes and socks and count up the expected costs!
#5185 of 5378 The Thing Needs to Kept in Mind. . .
Dec 29, 2011 (2:27 pm)
is that these "extnded warranties" aren't charities. They're a profit centre, and the cost has to cover a (very substantial) fee that goes to the dealer that sells them.
In general, it costs less to pay for repairs yourself than to buy these things, otherwise they wouldn' tbe sold. The fact that they are is a monument to the notion that certain brands are failure-prone.
#5186 of 5378 Re: The Thing Needs to Kept in Mind. . . [cdnpinhead]
Dec 29, 2011 (3:45 pm)
That is precisely why I am going to squeeze them as hard as I can. If they don't yell "uncle" at a price point that I'm happy with, I will walk away, AND let them know that I may well consider walking away from the brand as well when it comes time to replace my car. They can wonder whether I really mean it or not.
To gain short-term profit at the expense of long-term gain is foolish and short-sighted, especially in a down economy.
#5188 of 5378 Update: Extended Maintenance Warranty on '08 328xi
Jan 01, 2012 (9:46 am)
After the off-cycle oil change and check on the brake life this past Friday, my indie shop told me I have 23% wear remaining on the front brakes and 37% remaining on the rears. The brake fluid has 9% life remaining before the flush will be required, all according to the car. I suppose the car's sensors told the mechanic all this. The service monitor says that I have 12,000 miles left on the front brakes and 20,000 miles on the rear brakes. Apparently, BMW won't do anything about the brake fluid until it reads 0% and the car calls home.
Based on this, the brakes will probably need to be done sometime before the extended warranty would expire in August 2014. Just the same, I am inclined to decline buying the warranty in advance, and just pay as I go. The mechanic said that the simpler 3 series models, especially without iDrive, are largely "bullet-proof", especially at the relatively young age of 44,464 miles.
Hopefully, this will have been the right choice.
I hope everyone had a safe and Happy New Year!