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Re: Scary Fictional Story (archive)

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Posted by Out of warranty on June 15, 2000 at 12:23:25:

In Reply to: Scary Fictional Story posted by Bob ///M3 on June 15, 2000 at 11:02:41:

Hmm, you could just as easily make up a story where the only difference is you got the oil changed at the dealer, and they drain it and see gunk in there and say, whoa, you added something which caused the damage, our analysis shows this is non-oil gunk which we never added, so you're SOL so far as warranty goes.

I just don't want people on the board to pay hundreds of dollars in labor (that's what we're talking in terms of inspection 1 and 2) for routine mainteance work or $90 for an oil change they are more than competent and happy to do themselves for the cost of parts only, out of fear that they will not get warranty coverage based on their DIY (or using a non-dealer to do the recommended service). Of course if your car's under warranty you need to document service, do all the recommended stuff, keep receipts, and use the appropriate replacement filters and fluids (BMW approved) if you're DIY. If you want to use non-approved stuff (i.e., maybe BMW says use only BMW brake fluid and you want to use SUper Blue) maybe then you'd be better of having dealer do it using your parts - mine has done this in the past.

: I understand what you are saying but... Like I said, you never know what could happen.

: I'll give you an example of an off-the-wall, extreme and far-fetched fictional yet possible scenario:

: You take your car in to tire store for a simple front-end alignment. During lunch when all the other shop employees are gone one employee remains at the shop. This is the guy that you unknowingly pissed off last weekend for some reason. Maybe you raced him and beat him, maybe he doesn't like your looks, your attitude, maybe your expensive car or your choice of wheels! Anyway, he's looking for a way to cause you some grief.

: He raises the hood on your M3, unscrews the oil filler cap and pours in a quart or two of Zylol that the painters are using to desolve the shop's floor stain before re-staining it. The painters have gallons of it there, they'll never miss a couple quarts. It all took less than a minute.

: Adding this chemical totally breaks down the lubricating properties of the engine oil. During the three mile drive home from getting the alignment everything seems normal but the next day when you drive to work the engine starts screeching and grinding and then locks-up after driving a four or five miles!

: The oil light never came on! The oil level is right at the full mark! (The Zylol evaporated in the warm engine overnight) The oil appears to look okay for close to 5,000 miles use! Well damn, call BMW and flatbed the car in for evaluation and repair "under warranty".

: Phone call to your office the next day from the dealership; Hello Bubba - When was the last time you changed the engine oil and filter in your car? The reason I'm asking is that we have no record of it being done in the last two years or 26,000 miles! Bubba, the engine oil appears to be very old and has caused your engine to lock-up tight! A new short block would be your best bet and I'm sorry to inform you but this will not be covered under warranty. We can do it for about $10,000 and canhave it ready in about ten days to two weeks after we get started but can't get started on it for at least a week or so. Oh, that estimate doesn't include a new head so count on another couple thousand if the head is damaged.

: But, but, but you say; I change my own oil and filter! I just changed it three months ago and it only has 5,000 miles on it! I use the BMW synthetic oil and the BMW oil filter. I even have my receipts from your parts counter where I bought it! That oil couldn't be bad and have caused the engine to lock up!!! Sorry Bubba......let us know what you would like for us to do with your car; you have my number.

: Okay you say, what is the phone number for my attorneys. I'll get trible damages and maybe even punitive damages too. I may damn well own BMW before this is all over with!

: Why chance it? This obviously is a far-fetched fictional story but like I said; you never know. If BMW had the record/s where they had changed the oil and filter (on schedule) the reply from the dealership's service manager would be completely different.

: We won't even get into what you must do to prove to BMW that the oil is reasonably fresh and must have been tampered with. Get the oil analyzed at a lab? What chemist at BMW do you give the analysis results to? Give it to the service manager at the dealership? A BMWNA service representative? What will he do with the results?
: What, no loaner car while all this gets worked out? Oh yes, I'm suing you so why would you give me a loaner car?

: You may never know who contaminated your oil or be able to even prove it was done BUT if you had your dealer change the oil and filter at the scheduled time the response from the service manager about the engine lock-up would have been completely different.

: I realize this is a totally fictional scenario but why take a chance? Then again maybe your attorneys would suggest otherwise with all the damages you (and them) stand to gain.

: Bob ///M3

: : Yeah, they could "suggest" you didn't do the changes even though you have the receipt, and my attorneys could "suggest" to the court that they are acting in bad faith, warranting treble and/or punitive damages, by making such a ludicrous and absurd argument (what are they saying, you're stockpiling unusued oil & filters in your garage in an intentional effort to have your unmaintaned car break down so you can make a warranty claim?).

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