Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

BMW Labor Costs

blumrln1blumrln1 Posts: 9
edited March 2014 in BMW
$180.00 To replace an eprom chip.....that's labor only


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well, basically ALL cars are repaired at the same labor rate, whether it's a BMW or Ferrari or Honda. The difference in repair costs of these three examples come from a) the cost of parts, and b) the complexity of the machines.

    Obviously, that chip is in a hell of a place, because you are being charged about 2.5 hours to dig it out and replace it.

    On the other hand, there may be another component on a Honda that is harder to get at than a similar component on your car.

    But you have an 8 series, right? These are very complicated cars so you have to expect ongoing very high maintenance costs.

    My friend knocked the crank sensor off the bell housing on his 740IL while going over a small clump of earth. The sensor is a small plasticy device, abou the size of a quarter, that attaches to the bell housing, with a wire going up to the main harness. There are 2 on the bellhousing, one for each bank of 6 cylinders.

    Parts were $1,400 and labor about $2,000.

    This pales in comparison to say a Rolls Royce, where a thorough brake job is about $8,000. And a Ferrari costs about $1.25 a mile in maintenance costs to drive.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Arrogance adds about $30/hour to the labor bill! It has to be there so that the owner knows they got a high performance car for the money they spent!
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    There was a Toyota/BMW dealership that posted the hourly labor rate on a sign in the service drive. At that time, Toyota was $40 per hour, and BMW was $65 per hour. Must be that arrogance surcharge.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    That's outrageous! How could they justify that pulling a tire off a BMW is worth $25 an hour more, or that removing a battery is that much harder? I'd say that is very borderline illegal, IMO.
  • Toyota - $19.99 30 min or less or next one is free

    infiniti - $39.99

    mercedes - $85 w appointment
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes, but those prices reflect the difficulty (presumably) of one particular function that can be shown to be more difficult in one car than another. For instance, on my car you need a special filter that's not easy to find, and you need to absolutely put in a new sealing ring on the oil pan plug, and the accessibility is very bad, often requiring loosening the dust shield underneath. So this I understand, I don't mind paying more. But if my battery is as easy to get out as a Toyota's, I sure as hell am not going to pay double to have it done!

    Now on some cars, EVERYTHING is difficult.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I use an experienced BMW independent when I don't have time to do it myself. I recently had an Inspection I + R&R of the front brake pads performed on the Club Sport for a total cost of @$150- using OEM parts and BMW synthetic oil. I've since bought a Pela Oil extractor for $79(you can find it for less and now do my own changes. The cost breaks down as follows:
    $21-7qts BMW synthetic
    $8 -BMW filter
    So I'm out 30 minutes and thirty bucks- every 9000 miles.
    I've previously related how I ran a 1988 BMW M6 and a 1984 T-Bird turbo in the mid 90s. With the exception of the radiator, EVERY part I replaced on the Ford was more expensive than the BMW counterpart. The wiper control module went south on the Turbo and replacement required major disassembly of the left lower dash as well as the steering column shroud; took me @2 hours. The equivalent BMW part was about $50 less- and replacement consists of opening the hood, removing the fuse box lid, unplugging the old module and plugging in the new one. But the one on the BMW never failed...
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    There are shops/mechanics/technicians out there who actually take pleasure in presenting owners of cars like BMWS Porsches and the like with massive repair bills.

    I have seen and heard this many, many times.

    "The guy should have thought about this before he bought it"

    " Let's see how this %#@$* likes my estimate to fix his little toy"

    " If you want to PLAY Porsche, you'll have to PAY Porsche".

    " He want's it WHEN ???"

    Believe it or not guys a lot of mechanics and shops have a deep contempt for people who drive expensive cars (that they can't afford themselves) and think it's funny to "punish" the owners by taking no mercy when writing up the repair bills.

    And I honestly think the independents can be the worst at this. Trust me, I've heard it all!
  • I own a '96 MB and a '97 BMW. I've also owned my share of American cars.

    Once you know where the oil filter is located and have the right socket, changing oil on most modern MBs is actually very easy.
    (It is also very clean. With the filter element removed from the canister at the top of the engine, you can actually change the oil without leaving half of it on your garage floor.)
    The filters are also not that hard to find, Purolator (and off-brands) carry them and cost around $7 each.

    I don't think that it is necessarily the labor that is driving the cost. One should keep in mind that the oil capacity in most MBs is higher. (It takes 7 qts in my E-Class.) Synthetic oil is also recommended by MB. In fact, it takes me about $40 in materials alone to do the oil change myself.

    The BMW is a different story. It has a similar canister type oil filter. (No dust shield.) However, the canister has three separate rubber seals that need changed. This process requires a sure hand and some patience.
    I could understand charging extra for that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes, but not at a different labor rate.
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    According to their invoice. On the other hand....
    When they have my car they give me a free loaner (but only if you purchased the car there)...they will also wash your car... When you factor those things in, perhaps it's harder to make a direct comparison.

    The rates for specific repairs for most cars anyhow, are set by the "Mitchell" system according to a friend of my who is an independent (not BMW though).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    NOt the dollar rates, but the time it takes to do the repair. Most skilled mechanics can easily beat the "flat rate" in Mitchell's anyway. So they charge you for 3.3 hours even if it takes them 2.1
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Those loaners aren't really "free". They are, of course figured into the labor rates. Still they are nice to get.

    I don't understand either why a different brand would call for a different rate. Makes no sense since labor is labor?

    Think I would find another shop!
  • I don't know how it is in other areas, but the labor rates between dealers and independent shops are quite comparable where I live. I don't know, maybe they all factor the same overhead into the labor rate.

    I've had a couple of minor fixes on my BMW, and it amazes me to see BMW customers pay $400 for what was supposed to be "a simple oil change" without even asking what caused the problem. Just bend over.
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    Thanks for providing the clarifications.... I knew those points, but I guess I didn't express myself clearly...

    What I was trying to say was that the eprom replacement cost was set by the book - say 2.5 hours or whatever. So he wasn't ripped off in regard to the amount of time that the dealer claimed the job took. It's a standard amount of time for a given job, regardless of the time the job actually took.

    Regarding the rental car and the labor rate - I meant to try to say that the labor rate may actually be considered lower when you consider the rental car is tossed in. Would you rather provide your own transportation and save 10 bucks per hour? Some would; some wouldn't. Obviously, the bigger the job the more you lose on that deal, so it depends.

    By the way.... BMW story from yesterday.

    I took my car in for warranty work (front passenger side door lock AND a brake light circuit warning but that's another story) and when I picked my car up they had somehow managed to knock the alignment out. I was NOT amused. This kind of thing shouldn't happen. Plus I expected to have to fight my way through at least two levels of management to get it taken care of.

    After arriving at the office, I called my Service Advisor and told her that I wasn't happy. As I said, I expected to be do you prove an alignment problem happened there...when they only drove the car a couple of miles?

    Instead the Advisor said -"Bring your car in tomorrow morning and we will fix it. We apologize that it happened. "

    There were no 'if's, but's, are-you-sure?....
    A great experience.

    I know I'm paying for this kind of goodwill in their labor rates too, but right now it sure seems worth the money.

    A tip of the hat to BMW.
  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    Smart dealer. They treat you with respect and you in turn trust them, recommend them, and may even buy another car from them. I find it more amazing that so many other dealers have not yet figured out that simple formula.

    BTW: I get a free car wash too. And, if the estimate of repair exceeds $250, I get a free loaner. That's with a labor rate of $56.00/hour at my Toyota dealer (in Southern CA - not exactly a cheap labor market).

    Lexus dealer up the street charges $68.00/hr. to basically work on the same drivetrains most of the time.

    Oh yeah: Toyota oil filter is $4.99 at the dealer but there is ALWAYS a coupon available for $3.99. Exact same filter at the Lexus dealer costs $5.99 (per my service rep. I'll have to check that out). I wonder if other parts are likewise marked up?

  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    I got to tell you, it is bad mouthing of mechanics like that, from folks who really don't know, that causes some of the problems that we (mechanics) see from people.
    Your comment;
    Believe it or not guys a lot of mechanics and shops have a deep contempt for people who drive expensive cars (that they can't afford themselves) and think it's funny to "punish" the owners by taking no mercy when writing up the repair bills.
    I have dozens of mechanics that will prove that statement wrong. These folks don't work for me.
    These folks spend their spare time saving people money, so I guess they are in that bunch?

    And I don't know where you get the idea that they have a deep content for people who drive expensive cars. Frankly, most of the mechanics I know and deal with may not have more expesnive cars, but they tend to have cars that fit their needs.

    And I honestly think the independents can be the worst at this. Trust me, I've heard it all!

    Trust you?? You sell HONDAs. You know, that just burns me up. I am a fleet mechanic, so I have no vested interest in this, but.......
    I deal with some (you notice I said some, not alot) of the finest mechanics in the world (U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, New Zealand and Scandinavia) and alot of them are independant mechanics. These guys are professionals and don't care what kind of vehicle they are driving, whether it be a Mercedes or (shudder) 72 Chevy vega.

    You make a statement like that, saying you know.
    Nope, you don't.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Sorry, but I deleted your post, as it is a violation of our "flaming" rule, specifically calling people stupid or trashing their cars.

    if you'd like to rephrase your comments with some supporting data about reliability, etc., please feel free to do so.

    thank you

    Mr. Shiftright
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I have found most mechanics to be hard working and honest.

    Yes, greed and stupidity do occur in this profession, as it does with doctors and politicians, but in my constant contact with a variety of repair shops, I can only think of one or two instances of bill padding and bad attitude, and shops like that I go out of my way to insure that they starve eventually.

    I would say a kind of benign incompetence is more likely to be encountered now and then, than outright meanness and dishonesty, and if periodic incompetence were a crime, the jails would be more than full from all professions.

    Making a profit in car repair isn't easy, and this struggle to do your best in the face of increasingly complex cars and oppressive regulation and paperwork will occasionally tempt someone to dishonesty. Given what a tough profession this is, I am truly amazed that the instances of outright dishonesty are so few.

    If anything, the dishonesty is more prevalent on the upper management level of the larger shops or chains, i.e., I suspect it's more of a white collar crime.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    One thing I have noticed and the one post confirms it.
    Most people have this misconception that the mechanic is the one who is charging them or that the mechanic "writes up the repair bill".
    About the only thing the mechanic writes up, is what he did and what he replaced. Most cases the time he spends on it is figured by the Service Writer or shop foreman or owner.
    Rarely does the mechanic have much say in what the customer is charged.
    Often, the mechanic has no idea what a customer is charged or how much they are charged for parts.
    They know how much time they had on it and what parts they replaced and most of them have no time to be concerned with what the shop has charged.

    So folks, before you go blaming the mechanics, be aware that all they do is the work. The paperwork is usually done by someone else, like a salesman, which is generally what a service writer/service manager is.
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    Even the Service Writer isn't usually making that decision at a dealership... and at many independents. There is a standard 'book rate' for a given job. Parts cost plus X number of hours at $Y per hour.

    If the mechanic takes more time to do a job than the book calls for, then he and the dealership lose. If it takes less time, then the mechanic can do more jobs and (if on commission) earn more money. However, even then there is no incentive for shoddy work - it the car comes back to the shop because a repair wasn't done right, the mechanic doesn't get paid a second time for fixing it.

    I do believe with ISellHonda that there might be a temptation to tell some rich but ignorant and annoying customer that his muffler bearings need replacement, but I imagine that most resist the temptation most of the time.
  • Turns out My BMW dealer didn't charge me a dime....But they did not get the correct chip for me yet.....will return today to have chip installed
  • All I can say is make friends with someone who owns a shop or Learn. At first owning my BMW was expensive but once I learned to do it on my own, it must be the cheapest car to own. An oil change with fully synthetic oil and all new parts cost me $30. I don't think that is too bad considering the oil costs $4.95 a bottle. There are so many things on this car that is easy to do at home. I have owned a Ford and Honda and I'd have to say the BMW was the easiest and most pleasing to work with.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Sorry...I've been gone for awhile.

    First of all, I think very few people in these forums support and defend professional mechanics and shops as much as I do. I'm the first to jump in when someone starts taking cheap shots.

    You don't know my background. I once managed a very large auto repair facility and have spent m whole life in and around shops. My living has been provided through the efforts of mechanics for many years.

    Sadly...there ARE shops and mechanics that take no mercy on customers who drive expensive cars.

    I've heard MANY a comment regarding this.

    " If they can PLAY Porsche, they can PAY Porsche"

    And the like...

    I will also state clearly that the VAST MAJORITY of shops and mechanics are honest people who treat their customers fairly.

    Same thing in te car business. There are the good and the bad dealerships and car salesfolks.

    I guess I should have picked my words n my first post a bit more carefully but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    I get defensive when mechanics are lumped together in a negative context. Most folks aren't aware that there are honest, reliable mechanics around and that a large percentage of what gives the mechanics industry a bad neam is the shop owners or dealers.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    The mechanic takes his marching orders from his boss. I've seen several good and honest mechanics quit their jobs because they have been asked to perform unnecessary work or overcharge their customers.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    That is certain true. If you have experienced problems with honesty, etc, in a shop, look to the boss as the source of the trouble. Even if he didn't sanction the deception, he is responsible for it.
  • Went to the BMW dealer the other day, as a part of the interior started to rattle and I needed a small part to fix it. ( a perfectly usual occurrence)
    It turned out to be a special order part, and I realized that the bill came to: $1.69 ! (Is this the twilight zone ? At a place where they charge $20 for common antifreeze ?)

    Then the girl behind the counter asked me what the part was for ? I told her, she didn't understand ... and the world was back to normal.
  • acelinkacelink Posts: 106
    When two of my Nissan 240sx's side-markers (?) burned out, I promptly brought the car to my local Nissan dealer, who also sells Audi, Volkswagon, and Mercedes (I purchased my car here).

    Knowing that the replacement bulbs would cost less than $3 at a part shop and the relative ease of the task (I had some of them replaced before at a local repair shop, free of charge, when I had my car partially repainted - they did it right in front of me and took less than 2 minutes), I asked myself, "How expensive could this be?" A serviceman took the car somewhere within the dealership, out of my sight. Well, about an hour later I was midst of a heated "discussion" with a cashior about running business ethically with a bill showing $45 in my hand. My discussion ended abruptly when a serviceman came out to show me the book showing the time guidelines regarding fixing each individual part. It listed something like .5 hour for replacing the front fender side-marker and .75 hour for replacing the rear side-marker. Multiply that by the hourly labor fee they charge produced my ugly bill. Well, after this incident, I never went there ever again.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    My dealer did want to sell me a CD changer for $1000. I can get the BMW changer for $250 online, and the exact same thing without the bmw label on it for $150. It's a simple plug-in job.

    OTOH, i just got inspection 1 done for $350, which competes with indie shops in my area. They did charge me $12 to pour in the oil i brought in, though. Coolant and brake fluid flush is $100 and most car dealers seem to want about $80 for the same thing.

    So, it all depends.

This discussion has been closed.