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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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Old 08-15-2004, 08:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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All I see on this forum is how horrible BMW dealerships are. I only have limited experience with them, the the one in New London,CT recovered the radio code for me and there was no charge. They also programmed a key at no charge. Maybe they were just luring me in but they seemed quite accomadating.
Is anyone happy with their local dealer?
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Old 08-15-2004, 09:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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dealerships in general usually try to rip everyone off, but i'm glad you had a good experience
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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One thing to keep in mind is that ANY dealership makes a bulk of their money in parts, service and leasing. The actual money made when a new car is purchased is minor when compared to what they make on the three things I just mentioned. So if your car is still under warranty, that doesn't matter to you or them because the manufacturer foots the bill.
But when there is no warranty, WATCH OUT!

A good example is when I went to a dealer to retrieve my radio code. Before he looked it up, he said there would be a $25.00 fee for the TEN SECONDS it would take to look up on the computer. I had already taken the serial number of the radio myself.

I said they were crazy and I would rather replace the radio then give them $25.00 for a code on a 1998 cassette AM/FM. ..As I got into my car in the lot, he gave me a piece of paper with code on it. Very nice of him. It's obvious that the dealership will rip you off every way they can. They may give "NICE" service with free coffee and donuts, but you're paying thropugh the nose.

It's noone's fault specifically, just the nature of the business.

I've been fortunate as I have had no major problems with the car. I try to do everything myself, oil changes, tuneups, brakes, etc.

But if the car ever needed a major repair that I could not handle, I would go to a local mechanic who I have used in the past with other cars.

You have to find someone you trust.
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Old 08-15-2004, 11:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Fadec... well said!!!!... Bravo... that pretty much explains it to a T. Find someone you trust... find a good parts dealer... IE Internet site you can trust... and start doing as much as you can your self to the car. But when something major happens... make sure you got a mech that knows what he's doing.. and isnt a finacial integrity vialator.
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Old 08-15-2004, 11:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There are good BMW Centers out there...but unfortunatly it is dependant on the service writers most of the time...unfortunatly if you have a great service department your sales department sucks and if you have a crappy service dept, the sales dept is usually stellar... oh well, the price you pay to get your car fixed right.
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Old 08-15-2004, 11:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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the parts counter in Little Rock AR is the best that I have heard of, but I can't say anything about sales or service cuz I've never had a need for either of them.
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Old 08-15-2004, 11:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Their used sales aren't so hot. I did some preliminary shopping at the beginning of the summer for another family member. The guy at Toyota treated me 8000x better.
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Old 08-16-2004, 12:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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In Richmond they are ok. I haven't talk to many sales associates, but the parts people are pretty cool. Service tried to dick me over by getting me to drop my car off so they could look at my gas door hinge. I was like look man, I just want somebody to look at this f**king part and let me know what I need to fix it. Ends up the part was 0.32 and they would have charged me for labor and everything. Went home, put the piece in about 30 secs. Only bad experience with the dealership.
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Old 08-16-2004, 01:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Weatherford BMW in berkley are really good.
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Old 08-16-2004, 06:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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When I bought my car the previous owner had it Certified and E-tested at the BMW dealership before buying it off lease.
The e-test went fine (because it is regulated by the government) no chance of scamming.
The certification was a little different!
Then changed all 4 tires plus the spare???
They changed out the front windshield cause there was a chip????
They changed out the rear springs saying they were busted????
Replaced all belts?????
Replaced some engine sensors, saying they were malfunctioning????
The final bill was $4500.00 on a perfect 2001 330i.
If you see some of the garbage on the roads that are certified, this car should not have cost more than $150 to certify!
Needless to say I didnt pay for any of this, just goes to show if you let the BMW dealership rip you off...THEY WILL!
BOTTOM LINE is BMW Dealerships have a license to steel...End of story!
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