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Rant: Paying up for a $tealer check - not the best (archive)

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Posted by Max Fretter (NZ) on January 04, 2001 at 12:37:48:

In Reply to: Re: used 750iL posted by Rodzy on January 02, 2001 at 14:18:28:

Must admit to being very unhappy about the BMW service check ("Prepurchase inspection" or whatever they call it). Had one done at a nothern NZ dealer prior to purchasing my 87 735i for the main reason of getting an expert review of an older car (146000 miles) to see what I was getting myself in for in the way of TLC / $$.

They have missed so far:

- failing front shocks (drivers side weeping) that my local garage (not BMW) would not pass for a Warrant of Fitness - had to drive it from Wellington to upper North Island to get them to issue a warrant. Expecting a new set of shocks (at least front) for approx $700 fitted in the next 6 months now... never had a WOF that read "Please monitor shock leak" before.

- leaking/bust aircon system. Condenser ($900nz) has a hole visible thru the grille (oil seep) and the evap block valve is gone (approx $400nz). I bought car at middle of Nov, they's had the A/c recharged with 134a mid October. No further details of any other work forthcoming, but it seems strange that the a/c people had to put the UV tracer dye in as well at that point....

- passenger side heater valve sticks open

- coming back from trip to dealer to get WoF, the oil cooler hoses they'd disturbed in repairing the transmission before I'd bought it blew off the aftermarket oilcooler. Their mechanic had apparently used air hose (they did fix for free when I had the carcass transported to them during business hours...)

SO.... My viewpoint on these checks is not the best. I'll be writing to BMW NZ suggesting that they don't offer them unless they are warranty-covering the vehicle; if I'd seen the fine print on the thing (the check form) I'd have gone for an AA check and not got a car my wife is starting to call a lemon, simply for all the costs we're facing after less that 3,000 miles on the clock and 2 months of ownership. I took the check to be to a BMW standard, and it's not - it's just a sales tool to my (ex) dealer.

Bear in mind here, that the report I got was down to "lens missing on drivers door lamp", "scratches on tail skirt of vehicle", this sort of apparent inspection detail. I suppose you could tick the aircon box as OK since I suppose I got about half an hours' use out of it before I noticed the capacity going down, but that shows the level of protection these checks are worth unless BMW corporate put some process/standards behind them.

Should be interesting to hear their reply. I'm also considering taking the car and new WoF to MotorSafe (the WoF certifying body - they licence the garages) here in Wellington to get their opinion on the roadworthyness of "The Blob"... should be interesting if the dealer can't issue warrants of fitness on their own cars on the lot anymore.

So, be thankful for that warranty and get as much fixed as you can before it goes belly-up. Please notes as well I haven't been specific about the dealer or location to not incriminate them - if I "get back at them" I want it through official and **lasting** channels)

Max F.

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