In Reply to: Reputable service in the Bay area? (NOT BMW SF!) posted by Dave on June 06, 2001 at 13:31:27:
I have been taking my car to BMW of San Francisco for the last 9 months, but I now need a new place to go for service. I took the car in for an Inspection 1, to which they also recommended a coolant system flush and brake system flush. Cost? $778. I was actually fine with that, but the service advisor called me during the inspection to tell me that the thermostat was reacting slowly, and should be replaced. It seemed like a good thing to do, since they still had to do the coolant flush anyway. Additional charge? $335! The parts are only $30, and it takes about 15 minutes of work! I told them no on that one, but could not believe they would charge that! If I had all 4 items done at BMW SF, it would have been around $1113. I decided to call around to other BMW dealers, to see how their repair costs compare. For the same 4 services, 1 dealer quoted me $610, and another quoted me $709. That means BMW SF has as much as an 80% mark-up on OTHER DEALER's prices!
I spoke to the Service Manager when I went to pick up my car, but he only gave me the feeling that I was wasting his time. I have spent $4500 for service there over the last 9 months, which I think would make me a pretty good customer. It was obvious, however, that he could not care less if I ever came back. When I asked what their labor rates are, he stated that they do not charge that way. He stated that the GM and the President decide what all the prices are for services. He stated that if I have a problem with the cost of services, I should write a letter to the GM and/or the President (which I am working on). Anyone have suggestions as to who else I could talk/write to about this?
Anyway, I plan to do most of the work on my car myself, but would liked to find a reputable shop in the area (preferably in SF). If anyone knows of one, please let me know.