$102 For A Diagnostic!?!?!? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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#1 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 03:14 PM
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Hello again,
For those of you who don't remember my story, i went in for an inspection, failed and was told by the mechanic i needed a tune-up, changed the spark plugs, 02 sensor and valve cover gasket, and went in for another inspection, which also failed.
I've broken down (since I have about 15 days left on this big red R) and called the $tealer$hip in Natick (foreign motors west) for those massholes reading this. they want to charge me $102 JUST to run the diagnostics to figure out what's wrong with it!!!!
Is there anyone from the Metrowest area of Massachusetts who knows of someone in the area who does pretty good work on B-Mers for this type of diagnostic?? My appointment is Saturday, so if I hear of a better place before then, I'll break the appointment. Thanks.
Ramy

EDIT: sorry if this should be in the regional forum, but i figure it will be responded to quicker here.
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 04:44 PM
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Dude - for like $150 you can get a code reader from Autozone and diagnose the thing yourself....

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#3 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 05:37 PM
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haha damn that cheap! i pay $120 for a diagnostic.. i was way over that i just bought my own! lol

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#4 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 10:08 PM
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My area does a digital diagnostic for free
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 11:44 PM
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Sounds like you are already wasting alot of money and not getting shit done....when you could have wasted the same amount or more at a proper BMW dealership and get the work done right one time with a lifetime warranty on labour and parts...

Dude when I 1st bought my 1995 318i...it was shit and I knew taking extra dough out on a bank loan to fully diagnose and repair any potential problems was worth it. Most of my peers at the forums will tell you not to go to the stealership...but sometmes that is the safest way especially if you are a 1st time BMW owner. And a owner of a used BMW at that.

Now after a year with my car and on BMW forums and also learning to DIY most of my work, I can safely use my experience and judgement to take my car to various tried and trusted aftermarket mechanics.

Anyway $120 is average for a diagnostic. We paid $95 for an "engine" diagnostic for my girl 2001 Dodge Neon today.

BTW...The local BMW of Manhattan dealership charged me $584 for a full car diagnostic....that means looking at everthing from door hinge squeaks and wiper blades to AC compressors, coolant hoses and everything inside and around the engine. Naturally they found about $2500 worth of shit wrong with my car...but now I can at least feel comfortable a year later knowing my car was realiable because i fixed everything that wuld've eventually left me at the side of a highway..waiting for a $200 tow truck to haul me back to civilization...

learn from my lesson dude...don't be cheap with your car and try to get the dagnostic tool for $150 and learn to DIY...

Good Luck buddy and welcome,
Delmarco

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#6 (permalink) Old 08-18-2005, 08:48 AM
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Well, thanks for all the advice guys. I know what you're saying Del and I agree with you to an extent. I do think I should take it to a mechanic - which I did, their inspection equipment was broken - i would just REALLY rather not take it to the Dealer. I was sort of hoping that some one would give me the name of a reliable BMW mechanic in the area. I know there's European Engineering in Framingham right off of rte. 9, but I don't really trust those guys too much. Any massholes around??

oh, also: I think you can get your fault codes read for free if you have an OBDII. Mine's an OBDI.
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-18-2005, 11:42 AM
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The thing with BMW - it's hit or miss - I was in a jam a few months ago - didn't have time to diagnose and fix a problem so I brought it to the stealer...at the same time my "check engine light happened to be on (unrelated). I knew the check engine light was due to a faulty secondary air injection pump - but hadn't had a chance to get a new one yet -

I didn't mention anything about the check engine light - they charged me $50 to diagnose it and reset it - only to tell me that the fault code read for something wrong with the MAF sesor - they checked it and it was fine....

COMPLETE BS - I dont know if they even read the code because I read out the code on my own and was able to diagnose the problem (and I'm no master mechanic - just your average shade tree..)

Bottom line - even if your going to take your car to be done at BMW - it helps to be able to read a code - diagnose a problem to make sure at the very least you're not getting ripped off....

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#8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2005, 12:41 PM
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OBD I you can read the codes from the car..Your going to pay $100 and the friggin guy is going to do the gas pedal trick that you could do for free..It is a little finiky to initiate but all OBDI cars have the capability..

Complete mod list and pics:

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#9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2005, 12:44 PM
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oh man...i read all about the gas pedal trick and I tried it out and I've heard that it's REALLY finicky...but i think some of my bulbs are out, thus preventing me from even trying this little trick any further. It might be worth doing because if nothing else, they'll let me know what kind of recalls there are on my car, etc.
Thanks for the advice though
Ramy
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-20-2005, 09:25 AM
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the gas pedal trick works...even if your dash bulbs are out or dim.
don't pay some guy $120 to press your gas pedal and tell u whats up.

if you have doubts do it several times to be sure.

Or buy a code reader for your car from Bavauto...i thinks they are like $150 there and cheaper on ebay!

that's $150 for life...

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#11 (permalink) Old 08-20-2005, 07:30 PM
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i've tried tht pedal trick many times, maybe im just slow or smtin but i wouldnt be suprised if they didnt include it on my car, maybe it was a >93' thing, with vanos!

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#12 (permalink) Old 08-20-2005, 08:47 PM
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OBD I was used from MY '92-'95. The gas pedal trick is not a "trick" really. It's the standard (and I believe the only) way of getting the codes.

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#13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2005, 01:40 AM
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nah, if you go to the dealership or to most mechanic's they can pull the fault codes for you buy connecting to the control module (or whatever the fuck it's called). The gas pedal thing is just a cheap way to get the codes.
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#14 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by theironm0nk@Aug 17 2005, 11:08 PM
My area does a digital diagnostic for free
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stuff for sale on my e36.. CHeck it out!
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#15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2005, 06:35 AM
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Nook, don't feel bad, I got hosed at the stealership, also in Mass., when I had a splashguard fall apart on my '97. It was in getting some belts done (which they did a good job on, and for reasonable, because my regular mechanic didn't want to do it), when they said that they "fixed" the splash guard temporarily, and charged me $47 for a half hour of labor. A permanent fix would be $275. Well, their "fix" meant taking the same piece of wire that I had rigged up, and re-tying it, then charging me $47.
I permanently fixed the spashguard with a $25 part from BAV Auto (bavauto.com),
then confronted them about their $47 dollar "temporary fix". The weasel manager said "I'll split it with you" and reduced it by $23. 50
I hope that extra $23.50 is worth the bad press that the place is going to get, and BTW, I would advise anyone who has to use a stealership to put it on their charge card, and if they are unhappy or ripped off, they can dispute it with their credit card company.
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