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My god...I'm glad I repair my own cars!

Old 10-06-2018, 08:53 PM
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Tom400CFI
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Default My god...I'm glad I repair my own cars!

Become a DIY'er. That is the theme of this thread. Become your own DIY'er. I guess the other theme is: don't buy modern European cars.

My Mom drove her '08 BMW 535i from Maine to PA for an antique car event. On her way back the car starts leaking oil. How fast? She don't know. Why not? The car don't have no dipstick. Now, dipsticks have been a reliable device for...IDK....100 years or so? But BMW is going to do it better. They put a sensor in the pan that combined with software can "calculate" oil level...then display it on a digital screen inside the car. Brilliant.





That display quit working at the same time the car started leaking so there is no possible way that she could determine her own oil level.



So she has it towed to the nearest Beemer dealer. They diagnose it and tell her that it's the oil filter housing gasket (a very common problem on this car) and that the turbo shaft seals are leaking oil (a very uncommon and unlikely problem on this car). Replacing the two turbos will only cost her $7000.00!! That basically totals the car. What's she going to do?? She needs to get home; does she spend $7k? Or does she risk driving a car home, leaking oil, which she can't monitor the rate of oil leakage?

ASE questions time. A 2008 BMW 535i with 150,000 miles comes in with oil leaks. Technician A says that both turbo shaft seals are leaking and that the car needs the two turbos replaced to fix the oil leak. Technician B says, How the F can oil from a leaky turbo shaft seal end up on the out side of the engine and all over the ground? Which technician is correct?

B. When turbo shaft seals leak, you get blue smoke out the exhaust....not puddles under the car. WTF? I called the dealer and talked to the service writer. He stated the diagnosis. I asked him how a shaft seal leak would result in a puddle under the car? He said "because the turbo is leaking". I said, "where does the oil go, that leaks past the shaft seal?" ...big pause. I say, "Either into the intake air stream at the compressor, or into the exhaust stream at the turbine.......right?" He agrees. So I say, "So either way, we get blue smoke out the exhaust...not oil on the ground.". He says, "No, it's getting oil on the ground because the turbo shaft seals are leaking." OMG, dude....you're a service writer??? Yikes. I ask the guy, "You DO know how a turbo works.......right?" He replies, "Let me get the tech who worked on the car, he can explain it better." Good idea.

Tech gets on the phone...he's nice, polite...decent sounding guy, but we have the same conversation. The tech "don't get it". I tell him that I appreciate his time, thanks for talking to me. Please top off the oil for my mom, she's going to pick up the car and drive it back to Maine. I told my mom to run the car, look under it for rate of oil leak. She reported one drop every 30 seconds. I said, drive it home...Which she did. $7000.00

Don't buy massively depreciating, Eurpoean ****-boxes (that's a clue that they're insanely expensive to keep running)....and DIY to protect yourself from re-TARDS who wield wrenches.



.

Last edited by Tom400CFI; 10-06-2018 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:06 PM
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No problemo as I only buy Vettes these days.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:31 PM
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I learned my German car lesson years ago. Great to drive when they are new, really expensive to keep running when they get older. That's even if you do all your own work.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:33 PM
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..... FYI … The local Clearwater Mercedes dealer gets $450.00 per hour for labor …..
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:47 PM
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That's why I can't wait for my new cars to go out of warranty - so I can repair them myself. The average lifespan of a car I own is 23 years. Helps to have grown up using tools and how to read a service manual.
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:53 PM
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Isn't that the same era where they decided that transmission fluid is a forever fill?

"Why don't you buy a new truck?"
Me: this ones got 200k on it and I have less into it than the cost of your sedan that's 5 years old and been in for service 5 times now.... and my window regulator is still the factory one, not getting replaced at 38k miles.

I had this very conversation with my sister. That's one of the reasons. However I do have to look as putting 700 miles a week on a 14 year old vehicle will catch up with me eventually, no matter how well I take care of it.
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:40 AM
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Maybe. My last truck (a '96 L31/5speed, 4x4) went 296,000 miles...engine still ran like new. Trans (NV3500) went out...and frankly that only happened b/c I beat it. Awesome truck and I want another.



Originally Posted by ihatebarkingdogs View Post
"Well we need to replace the headlight module. $2,500 per side, and we have to change both sides, so $5,000".
That is some focked up chit. "Car totaled, from headlights"
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom400CFI View Post
Maybe. My last truck (a '96 L31/5speed, 4x4) went 296,000 miles...engine still ran like new. Trans (NV3500) went out...and frankly that only happened b/c I beat it. Awesome truck and I want another.




That is some focked up chit. "Car totaled, from headlights"
None of the l31s we had made it far past 200k. 1 pulled 10k lb trailers its whole life though and the other spent its life with the gas pedal treated as an on off switch. The dump didn't have an oil change for 90k because the guys are lazy, at least he added oil to it. The other truck they stopped serving for 60k. If I would have bent the valve straight it probably would have kept going. Now it's got a 383 we built. Because racetruck

For the first 140k that truck did have proper maintenance though because that was dads truck. The LS is at about the same milage with the same on off treatment so we'll see how it does. If the I6 in my daily were to let go tomorrow I wouldn't even be mad. Again, drive it like I stole it. They just seem to be able to take the abuse.

My aunt has a 2007 328i I think... something like that. Anyway, they still can't figure out why the batter goes dead if it sits more than a week or two. So they gave her a battery tender. That pos rides and drives like absolute chit. And the seats are too small for my fat *** but that's a story for another day. The current problem is the check engine light that won't go out because of something with the trans that they say it needs a rebuild... you really do pay for the engineering, that's for damn sure.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:41 AM
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That BMW needs a tree-fiddy swap!
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ihatebarkingdogs View Post
I recently did some work on my Porsche Cayenne. I needed to replace the coolant I had lost during the repairs. I wasn't convinced I knew what "flavor" coolant this POS uses, so to be safe, I went to the Porsche Stealer to get a jug. The 20-something at the parts counter got a gallon and I asked him "is this ready to use, or does it need to be diluted with water?" "Just pour it in as-is". At $54 a gallon, I only bought one figuring it would be almost enough. I got home and read the label / instructions. "Dilute 50/50 with mineral-free tap water before introducing to the cooling system". Thanks guy. For $54, you almost messed my car up.

I had a VERY good friend that bought a 2008 BMW M3 new. It had the unlimited 5-year 50,000 mile warranty. Every time he took it in for service, it got something "new" put on it. Like a steering wheel. Huh? My guess is that some tech wanted an M3 steering wheel for his own ride so he "warranted" the wheel in my friends car. He took this car to the same servicing dealer he bought it at for 5 years. It was just out of warranty and he took it in for routine service. He mentioned "you know, one of the headlights is kind of lazy when I first turn them on, I've mentioned this before, but it never got fixed and now its getting worse". "Well we need to replace the headlight module. $2,500 per side, and we have to change both sides, so $5,000". "Why didn't this get fixed when I first began to mention it years ago?" He had just been quoted about 2,000 to do the brakes on it, which it needed and he was ready to pay. But after the headlight quote he said "F this car" Took it across the street to the MB dealer and traded it in on a 2012 C63. Which was even wilder and more expensive to maintain than the M3, but that's another story.

When I can't keep up with the Cayenne I'll off it. I didn't pay much for it, they depreciate rapidly because of the maintaince costs, so no one wants them. Thank goodness I can fix my own cars. I couldn't afford a KIA if I couldn't.
We had a Cayenne in the shop recently, had electrical gremlins. The tech found that water was getting into the relay center (by the master cylinder), so make sure you check that area for leaks.
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Old 10-07-2018, 08:02 AM
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Retired and spend mostly every day working on some thing. Every time i get lazy and have some one else do the repair i can not believe the charges. Now if it is not broke i do not fix it. Call uber it is cheaper!
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:13 AM
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I bought a 1990 BMW 535i with 35000 miles on it from a family friend. It was an awesome car that was well made, rock solid, and handled really well for a car its bulk. I sold it at 21 years old to a neighborhood kid for $1000. It had its common issues but they were few and well documented.

Given the nice time with the 535, I followed that with a 2000 528. Leading up to 100k, all the cooling system bits started weeping and failing because they were some kind of composite. The upper radiator hose connection was known to simply blow off entirely giving you seconds to get off the road and engine off before destroying it. Well, that aint happening with mama driving so nearly $1000 in parts and my labor and I traded it in. This car was the smoothest, quietest thing when running, but as it aged stuff just simply fell apart. Interior and exterior bits. Engine parts. The automatic valve adjustment system would fail due to oil gumming because of extended oil change inntervals. Amazing difference one decade and one model change can make. I got the german engineering thing outta my system and havent looked back.

I tell family and friends to just lease the things and enjoy them if you gotta have that hood ornament, but go buy a domestic or Japanese car if you intend to keep it longer than 5 years.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:35 AM
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Ive owned 7 German cars and really never had a problem with any of them, Very safe, very nicely optioned vehicles. Ive had everything from an 86 635csi to 2013 Mercedes C300... I put my wife in 5 BMW;s and the Benzo.Very reliable and safe cars. The worst problem I ever had was needing a radiator expansion tank on one of our 740li with 100k miles on it. Oh, the 635csi had 225k miles on it, all original and in excellent shape... I sold it for $1300. more than I bought it for 2 years after daily driving it...

Just like every other car brand on earth, theres good ones and bad ones... some people are just a little unlucky I suppose...
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jv9999 View Post
I learned my German car lesson years ago. Great to drive when they are new, really expensive to keep running when they get older. That's even if you do all your own work.
I learned the opposite lesson. My 99 W210 has 480 on the clock, rebuilt head, same engine block and trans (which says a lot coming from me). I spent most of the money on consumables and body work because of the WI salt but that is with any of my cars. You just have to go with their maintenance schedule which is more stringent than the US cars. I have another 99 W140 and a W220 with over 200K.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ex-x-fire View Post
That BMW needs a tree-fiddy swap!
Totally. for the rpice of two turbos, you could buy a 350 AND have it installed.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:40 AM
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This was a fun read at GRM. A very long thread on a guys diy head bolt replacement on mis R63 AMG. It's been a while since I read it, but iirc The dealership wanted to charge him over 30,000.00$ to repair the car!!
https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/fo.../110824/page1/
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by C409 View Post
..... FYI The local Clearwater Mercedes dealer gets $450.00 per hour for labor ..
That seems a way too high. It is a bit more than the GM dealership around here but not that high. What is the company name? Lokey?
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Old 10-07-2018, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom400CFI View Post
Become a DIY'er. That is the theme of this thread. Become your own DIY'er. I guess the other theme is: don't buy modern European cars.

My Mom drove her '08 BMW 535i from Maine to PA for an antique car event. On her way back the car starts leaking oil. How fast? She don't know. Why not? The car don't have no dipstick. Now, dipsticks have been a reliable device for...IDK....100 years or so? But BMW is going to do it better. They put a sensor in the pan that combined with software can "calculate" oil level...then display it on a digital screen inside the car. Brilliant.





That display quit working at the same time the car started leaking so there is no possible way that she could determine her own oil level.



So she has it towed to the nearest Beemer dealer. They diagnose it and tell her that it's the oil filter housing gasket (a very common problem on this car) and that the turbo shaft seals are leaking oil (a very uncommon and unlikely problem on this car). Replacing the two turbos will only cost her $7000.00!! That basically totals the car. What's she going to do?? She needs to get home; does she spend $7k? Or does she risk driving a car home, leaking oil, which she can't monitor the rate of oil leakage?

ASE questions time. A 2008 BMW 535i with 150,000 miles comes in with oil leaks. Technician A says that both turbo shaft seals are leaking and that the car needs the two turbos replaced to fix the oil leak. Technician B says, How the F can oil from a leaky turbo shaft seal end up on the out side of the engine and all over the ground? Which technician is correct?

B. When turbo shaft seals leak, you get blue smoke out the exhaust....not puddles under the car. WTF? I called the dealer and talked to the service writer. He stated the diagnosis. I asked him how a shaft seal leak would result in a puddle under the car? He said "because the turbo is leaking". I said, "where does the oil go, that leaks past the shaft seal?" ...big pause. I say, "Either into the intake air stream at the compressor, or into the exhaust stream at the turbine.......right?" He agrees. So I say, "So either way, we get blue smoke out the exhaust...not oil on the ground.". He says, "No, it's getting oil on the ground because the turbo shaft seals are leaking." OMG, dude....you're a service writer??? Yikes. I ask the guy, "You DO know how a turbo works.......right?" He replies, "Let me get the tech who worked on the car, he can explain it better." Good idea.

Tech gets on the phone...he's nice, polite...decent sounding guy, but we have the same conversation. The tech "don't get it". I tell him that I appreciate his time, thanks for talking to me. Please top off the oil for my mom, she's going to pick up the car and drive it back to Maine. I told my mom to run the car, look under it for rate of oil leak. She reported one drop every 30 seconds. I said, drive it home...Which she did. $7000.00

Don't buy massively depreciating, Eurpoean ****-boxes (that's a clue that they're insanely expensive to keep running)....and DIY to protect yourself from re-TARDS who wield wrenches.



.
As an ex Rolls/Bmw dealer parts mgr. I can I can offer up this fact: business was good
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:03 PM
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My brother has been into European cars for a while with some of the same problems.

His BMW 750 was leaking oil and they could not tell how much to add. They said several other things were wrong too. Finally they gave up and just said it needs a new motor at an enormous price. They didn't realize it was still under warranty. He pressed them on it and they put in a brand new factory motor for no charge. It has been fine since (about a year now).

His previous Audi A8 was running fine and he took it in for a normal oil change service. They cam back with a list of things that were wrong including brakes. suspension, exhaust, transmission, and needed a tune up. Their estimate was 7 or 8 thousand. He called me because they were trying to make him afraid of what would happen to the car and the dangers if he drove it any more. I checked out his car and although everything wasn't new and perfect, it was working acceptably and would not cause anything catastrophic. He drove it for about a year and a half more without any problems before he sold it.

His previous BMW 535 was reported to need several thousand in repairs that they found when doing an oil change service. He dismissed those claims without repairs because in a different area of the same dealership he had already reached an agreement on trading to another car.

In short, they consistently try to sell expensive repairs. Some of them may be needed, but others not. Be careful and if possible do you own work.

A lot of cars are going the way of not having a dipstick any more. My Charger R/T had the dipstick tube, but no stick. It only had a plug in the end of the tube. I bought the dipstick that the factory left out. My 300 does not have a stick either, but it can be checked/filled from a plug hole in the side of the transmission when warmed up and running.
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:12 PM
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When I looked into an oil change franchise years ago, I surmised that the money was NOT in oil changes but in other stuff they can sell you. Listening to them, soon as I pull out of the shop, I'd probably get a ticket for the defective bulb or my car would blow up if I didn't do all they wanted. Friend of mine told me that the dealer would lose $3 for every oil change done. You do the math and draw the lines to connect the dots. MB Audi etc cater to the higher heeled people and can afford more. GM not so much. Again join the dots.
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