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What Is Your Opinion: Dealer vs. Independent Mechanic

rscott_22rscott_22 Member Posts: 8
edited April 2017 in BMW
What is your opinion on using a certified BMW dealer vs a local independent mechanic who specializes in German cars? The reason I'm asking is because I'm ordering 3 parts for my 2006 M3 later this week, and am wondering if there is a benefit to paying the higher cost associated with using a dealer. Should I just use the independent shop and save some money?

Comments

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 187,493
    For a 2006 M3? Definitely an independent, who specializes in BMWs.

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,427
    rscott_22 said:

    The reason I'm asking is because I'm ordering 3 parts for my 2006 M3 later this week

    What are you ordering and from where?

  • rscott_22rscott_22 Member Posts: 8

    rscott_22 said:

    The reason I'm asking is because I'm ordering 3 parts for my 2006 M3 later this week

    What are you ordering and from where?

    I am ordering two 02 sensors and an alternator from https://www.bmwdiscountparts.com
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If you go to an independent, make sure it's a BMW specific shop rather than "German car" shop. German cars can be totally different one from the other and it would be very difficult for a shop to be thoroughly competent in Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Audi and VW all at the same time.

    I also agree, a BMW authorized dealer would not be up to speed on fixing an 11 year old BMW.
  • rscott_22rscott_22 Member Posts: 8

    If you go to an independent, make sure it's a BMW specific shop rather than "German car" shop. German cars can be totally different one from the other and it would be very difficult for a shop to be thoroughly competent in Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Audi and VW all at the same time.

    I also agree, a BMW authorized dealer would not be up to speed on fixing an 11 year old BMW.

    Thanks for the advice. Everything you said makes sense. At this point I'm leaning towards finding a local independent shop specializing in BMW's.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,427
    When you find them, don't be surprised when trying to take parts that you bought elsewhere to have them install becomes a turn off.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 187,493

    When you find them, don't be surprised when trying to take parts that you bought elsewhere to have them install becomes a turn off.

    I agree with that. (unless you are just trying to put in a plug for the supplier with that link)

    A dealer would have no trouble working on an E46 M3. It's the cost that would kill you.

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  • rscott_22rscott_22 Member Posts: 8

    When you find them, don't be surprised when trying to take parts that you bought elsewhere to have them install becomes a turn off.

    I actually called two dealers today, and they both said they won't even work on my car unless I buy the parts directly from them.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 187,493
    rscott_22 said:

    When you find them, don't be surprised when trying to take parts that you bought elsewhere to have them install becomes a turn off.

    I actually called two dealers today, and they both said they won't even work on my car unless I buy the parts directly from them.
    That's typical... not just for dealers, but for independents, as well.

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,427
    kyfdx said:

    rscott_22 said:


    I actually called two dealers today, and they both said they won't even work on my car unless I buy the parts directly from them.

    That's typical... not just for dealers, but for independents, as well.
    Imagine going through all of the trouble to find a talented technician working in an honest shop and disqualifying yourself as a potential client before you even finish the first phone call.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    edited April 2017
    kyfdx said:

    When you find them, don't be surprised when trying to take parts that you bought elsewhere to have them install becomes a turn off.

    I agree with that. (unless you are just trying to put in a plug for the supplier with that link)

    A dealer would have no trouble working on an E46 M3. It's the cost that would kill you.
    I don't think I'd agree with that. Most dealers don't like to work on old models, and most of the techs aren't up to speed on them, so they lose time working on them and pass that onto the customer. In my area, most dealers send older stuff to specialty shops when they get into trouble with them. For one thing, indy shops are more likely to hold onto special tools and older workshop manuals and spec books for years and years---dealers generally don't.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 187,493

    kyfdx said:

    When you find them, don't be surprised when trying to take parts that you bought elsewhere to have them install becomes a turn off.

    I agree with that. (unless you are just trying to put in a plug for the supplier with that link)

    A dealer would have no trouble working on an E46 M3. It's the cost that would kill you.
    I don't think I'd agree with that. Most dealers don't like to work on old models, and most of the techs aren't up to speed on them.
    Well...since I have a 2006 E46 (the last year for that model), I speak from experience. Of course, just about my BMW dealer. They would love to have all of my repair/maintenance business. You should see the detailed report about my car's "needs", every time I get an oil change.

    Which I usually get at the dealer, because they run a $79 oil change special for E46s. They wouldn't knock $50 off an oil change, unless they were trying to get that repair business. (IMO)

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    You should see the laundry list I got when I took our Avalon into our local dealer for an oil change recently. My brake pads that were "down to nothing" were deemed good for another 10,000 miles at least by my local Indy guy. My front crank seals that were "leaking badly" were "bone dry". My "cracked" battery had no crack etc etc.

    I don't mind "upselling" If something is wrong, please let me know but this was garbage!

    As far as bringing my own parts into a shop, I wouldn't do this! If the parts don't fix the problem everyone will be unhappy and if the parts don't fit or they are defective, you will pay twice at least.

    Don't deny a good shop the profit they make on the parts they sell!
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