I’ll start this off by saying that I do like cars, I am a car person, I particularly like small convertibles, if this makes me a wanker, so be it… but this blog is not about my masturbation habits, it is about the level of service that one would expect when handing over hard earned dollars in abundance.

 My ride at the moment is the current BMW Z4, a great looking little car that goes like the clappers, and hangs onto the road like the tyres were coated with Supa  Glue. However, at $130,000 they aren’t exactly cheap.

 Still after spending $130,000 you would be safe in the knowledge that they will look after you, and show you a level of service that you just don’t receive from the average Daewoo dealer right?? You would be wrong, majorly wrong…

 Within a month of picking my car up, it went back to the dealer twice as it was stalling for no reason, during this time I was without my new car for 3 days and given a mini to drive around in (by the way, I’m not knocking the Mini) . This issue turned out to be due to a magnet facing the wrong direction, and I was pleased to have the car back once the magnet had been pointed the right way.

A couple of months later, a moment of madness overcame me, and I decided I wanted to hear what drivel was been promoted as fact on 2GB, so I went through the entertainment system and got absolutely nowhere, I tried the AM band and there were no stations at all to be picked up. I tried FM, figuring I must have done something wrong, and was greeted by the familiar FM sounds of McDonalds commercials, whacky morning DJ’s with lame jokes, and ringtones promoted as songs, so I again tried the AM band, and was once again was greeted by the sound of silence.

 I gave BMW a call, and was told to bring it in, which I did. I stood waiting for about an hour whilst 5 service guys pulled things apart and put them back together again and stood around scratching their chins with puzzled vacant looks on their faces. In the end I was given a loan car, and sent on my way…

 Three working days and one weekend later, I was told all fixed come and pick your car up, so I hastily made my way back down to the dealer.

I climbed in and tried the AM radio, great, it worked, a bit crackly in the underground car park, but working. I thanked them and drove up the ramp to leave. Hmm I thought, the crackly sound is still here, so I drove around the block and it was static the whole way, so I thought I’d change the station, well, the static disappeared, along with any other reception. So after waiting five days, my car was back in the dealer with the same problem within 5 minutes of picking it up. I was given the loan car again and sent on my way.

 It was not until over a month later, after numerous phone calls, a couple of meetings, and a lot of grief later that I finally received my car back. In that time the dealer had been forced to wait for approval for the new entertainment system to be installed under warranty by Germany, and then to be shipped from Germany as it was a new car and there were no spares here, and Germany would not allow for one to be taken from another car, much better for me to wait.

 Now my radio works fine, and the stereo is actually a lot louder than it was originally, as it turns out the amplifier hadn’t been working before and now it does.

 Alas though, the Bluetooth phone system which worked well before, now is unusable, but rather than go through the whole sorry saga again, I just have just got myself a third party kit.

 The service manager, whose name is Duncan, told me I was due compensation for my troubles and assured me he would let me know what they would do for me within a week. Well I chased him for approximately a month, and never heard a peep back, this was about 8 months ago, I just gave up in the end.

 So, you may be wondering what has set this off… Well, I needed to change my tyres, something I thought would be reasonably routine, but alas, with BMW there is no such thing.

 The tyres themselves are quite pricey, as they are low profile run flats, $650 a tyre, and these tyres only last 20,000kms and cannot be rotated to extend life, but that is not my issue.

 Upon removing the tyres, it turned out my rear rims had about 4 cracks in each wheel, these would need repairing. So the tyre place sent them away to be welded at a cost of $500, in the meantime my tyres were picked up and disposed of. The rim repairer came back and said that this is a common problem with BMW rims and should be claimed on warranty, so I contacted BMW.

 I was told by BMW that I would need to take the car to them as it was when the damage occurred, this meant getting tyres back from the tip, putting them back on car and getting the car towed to the dealer where they would hold onto the car for a few days to run tests, after which they would make up their mind, and I could have the car towed back to the tyre shop to have the new tyres put on.

This, of course is so far beyond ridiculous, I have decided to pay the $500 and cop it on the chin, but bear this in mind. The reason that BMW needed to check was to ensure before approving a warranty claim that I had not driven on the tyres whilst they were flat, and to see for themselves that the rims were cracked.

For this, all they need is the rims, and my car key. The rims to see the cracks, and my key as it stores information from the computer. As the Z4 computer warns you if the air is low in your tyres, there will be a record on my key of any warning of a flat tyre. If there is no warning showing on there, then I did not drive on flat tyres, or if I did, the computer warning system is faulty, either way it is a warranty issue, and the car is not needed to check this.

 So, if you, or anyone you know is thinking of buying a car, do not consider BMW in any way, shape or form, you will get better service and reliability from a push bike dealer. The Beatles were right when they sang “Money can’t buy me love”

 And don’t go thinking dodgy dealer, the dealer is Trivett Classic BMW in Parramatta, proud winners of BMW’s 2010 Dealership Of The Year award. So if this type of treatment is the best BMW have to offer, then I hate to think of the service levels at other dealers.

 I will finish up on this note, Michael Moore on his show The Awful Truth once did a segment on a particular part of BMW’s history that they don’t like to talk about, here is the link to the clip on youtube.


 And remember, you have been warned… buyer beware.

 Afterthought on the video link, please don’t break my windows….

Winemakers Choice

2 thoughts on “Beamer Blues…

  1. Wixxy, there is a golden rule in buying a car from a dealer, that once you conclude the transaction, you never ever go back unless you really have to. The cracked rims are an issue and yes, under warranty you would have no choice but take them back.

    On the AM issue, Strathfield Car radio could have sorted your radio out in two seconds with no time lost through dealer incompetence and it wouldn’t have been expensive. I still think you’re too young to be listening to AM radio, it’s for old people, it’s dead. Many of the good talkbacks have migrated to FM. What Trivet know about sound systems anyway, you could write on the back of a postage stamp.

    So from what I have read, I would have had to endure Trivitt for the rims, nothing else. I have had Bimmers for years and Merc’s before that and have always given the dealers a wide birth. If you want a 17yo apprentice work on your pride and joy, whilst the guy who really has the qualifications deals with ordering parts, then go back to the dealer.

    For Sydney check out Bimmertech on the Northside (Matthew) is the owner and the one who works on the cars and knows them back the front. 02 9948 1310. For mid-west call Derick Bell at ESR Prestige on 0418205007 – he has the best BMW smash repair place in Sydney and knows many good Bimmer workshops. He knows exactly who you need to take your Z4 to.

    Enjoy the Z4 but you won’t if you keep going back to the dealer..remember the golden rule. Cheers Steve M

  2. Thanks Steve,
    I may just check them out. The stereo did get sorted out eventually, and it would be good to get 3rd party equipment, but I have found it affects the buyback value at the end of your lease when trading it in unfortunately… Next time I may buy another Audi, or a Merc, their service is much better.

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