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      02-05-2019, 12:31 PM   #27

Drives: 2017 M240i 6MT
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: California

iTrader: (0)

Yeah, I wrote this when I was in a very strong rant mode, now have a little more perspective. It happened in SoCal (twice) and in Bay Area once. After probably 40+ indie mechanic visits (almost all neutral/good) this is the only multi-paragraph rant I have about oil changes. I think the next visit will be fine.

Now that I've cooled off, it's true I am expecting a dealership experience that's difficult with their incentives (echoing G35POPPEDMYCH). Small indie shops can vet every mechanic, keep low employee turnover, maximize quality, and the best don't have to upsell. Dealerships must answer to BMWNA, keep margins in line, and service high volumes, so they will have higher randomness and be worse at rare cases/situations. Just accept the system and find the best local one. Yelping is a little less effective since there are so many employees that a particular dealership's rating might not be enough, whereas it probably will be for a 3-mechanic shop.

Based on this thread I'm going to guess the experience is 80% individual dealer and 20% brand based, possibly % more brand-based for BMW due to the 2nd owner situation. Not sure how to quantify this, but JD Power does have a dealership service experience comparo (, where Infiniti, Porsche, Audi, GM brands, and Lexus are high up, while BMW and MB are middle of the pack. There is a difference, but probably not nearly enough to switch brands over.

Some brands have more certainty, or more lenient policies. Lexus "2 visits" = not going to miss your warranty by 500 miles. Audi = 1 visit, so your experience is shortened. BMW and Mini are the *only* brands who don't transfer the maintenance warranty to 2nd owners, and I fell into this unlucky slot.

I strongly considered doing maintenance at indies and basically found no info on whether people got hassled on lease returns, because the situation is so rare. You need to be (1) second owner as a lease *takeover* (2) have an MY2015+ where maintenance plans stopped transferring. This leaves a window of leases that started July 2014-early 2015, and I couldn't find results on the forums. There's also another awkward situation where people may have 45K leases and only 36K covered under maintenance plan. You have 9K miles where you're out of warranty. The 36K didn't come into play until MY2017/July 2016, so only this year will we probably start hearing stories about this, and not very many people do 15K/yr leases either. Anyhow, it's unlikely I will be in this 2nd owner situation again with another BMW, and routine oil changes should go smoothly.

Last edited by EstorilM240; 02-05-2019 at 12:43 PM..