Ford versus BMW Service Costs. - Dude - {P}
My daughter has just had her first service (7k miles) on her Ford Ka, and was somewhat taken back by a charge of £115. For a comparison the first oil and filter change at 6.5k miles on my 320d was £77 which included the cost of 5 litres of Castrol SLX synthetic oil at £11 per litre. For a mere oil and filter change, are Ford not being a trifle greedy ????
Ford versus BMW Service Costs. - daveyjp
They are being greedy, Rapidfit would have done it for about £50. smart are worse - first service £120!
Ford versus BMW Service Costs. - Aprilia
They are taking the Mickey. Did you specify SLX? - its a bit over the top for a Ka. The Ka engine is of a fairly antiquated design and a good mineral or semi-synthetic would be just fine. If you want to go fully synthetic then GM SJ fully-synth can be had at £50 for 25 litre from your local Vaux. agent.
Ford versus BMW Service Costs. - Pugugly {P}
Glad I'm not the only one here. Free servicing on 300 and 500 BM
diesels now - that's even cheaper still
Ford versus BMW Service Costs. - Dude - {P}
Sorry if my original thread was not too clear, but the SLX was only used in the BMW. This would most certainly not be the case with Ford, who would have probably used a cheap mineral oil, and makes their service charge for labour look even more extortionate. !!!
Ford versus BMW Service Costs. - Aprilia
Well, that really is a rip-off. I would go back and ask them to account for their bill.
Ford versus BMW Service Costs. - Dizzy {P}
[snip] ... Texaco Havoline Energy 5w-30, the best semi synthetic out there.

HJ, please could you explain further? Thanks.
Ford versus BMW Service Costs. - DavidHM
Apart from anything else, Fords tend to be quite sensitive about it.

£115 sounds like a standard rate for Ford dealers, not Rapid Fit.

Annoying, but at least it keeps your warranty valid and Rapid Fit won't stamp the service book, or so I've heard.
Ford versus BMW Service Costs. - daveyjp
Rapidfit won\'t stamp the service book?

I had a book full of their stamps when I sold a Fiesta and a Focus. They carry out the same work as the dealership using the same parts, so no reason not to stamp the book.
Ford versus BMW Service Costs. - Blue {P}
Our local RapidFit are *excellent* but they won't stamp ther service book as they don't follow the exact same service schedule as Ford...

stamped service books - eMBe {P}
If its worth saying once, its worth repeating a hundred times. Just ask HJ.
Stamped service books mean zilch.
Full record and description of work done with receipts are worth more.
Note: {P} - indicates that I am advertising that my profile can be viewed.
stamped service books - DavidHM
eMBe, if you're a buyer, I agree.

If you were buying a Ford that came with a load of Rapid Fit receipts, or were Ford looking to reject a warranty claim, can you honestly say that you wouldn't use the lack of stamps as an argument to pay less or not at all?
stamped service books - Gregory P
I saw that BMW and mini have a free servicing option. For example, the BMW mini has an option whereby you pay £100 for a tlc package and get free servicing for a year. What is the catch though? If BMW charge so much for servicing, £100 would only mean the mechanic can work on the car for one hour over a year wouldn?t it.

Is the free servicing option a gimmick, where they service your car badly, missing out most of what should be done. Has anyone checked how well the servicing is done e.g. do they miss out the lubrication, do they change the air filter etc etc.

Talking about BMW, I went to their service desk and asked if they could give me a schedule of what is involved in the schedule two service on a BMW. Instead, they gave me a price list that just said what parts are needed. It seems the staff at the desk do not know what a car is, and say I am talking rubbish when I ask whether the tlc package mentioned earlier would include servicing every 6000 miles as oppose to 10 or 20,000 mile interval which HJ says is too long.

Without having used the BMW service, I can see that you don?t pay for a mechanic but those advisors at the desk who know very little about engines anyway.

Can anyone in this forum provide information about the particulars of the servicing of the BMW?s, especially schedule two which I think is a major service. I ask so I can see if BMW actually do anything that is worth the premium of owning a BM.
stamped service books - M.M
There are three degrees of service history proof....

Nothing, stamped service book and receipts.

It is daft to say a fully stamped book is worthless. Read in conjunction with other evidence at/before purchase it can tell you 90% of what you need to know.

A good servicing dealer will add notes near the stamps to help future maintenance...and record brake fluid/coolant changes etc.

I've just checked out a history (post purchase) on a three year old car for a contact. The dealers who had stamped the book were only too happy to "fill in the gaps/details" to give all the info I needed.

But no book or no stamps...where do you start?

stamped service books - eMBe {P}
M.M."middle man DW" : I prefer to take Hj's advice

>>" ... Now ask to see the service history. Not a book full of stamps; the actual bills for all the work on the car which the owner has paid for, or, if a fleet car, a computer print-out of its service history. .... " >>
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stamped service books - M.M

>>I prefer to take Hj's advice

By all means, that's your loss...or anyone else who follows that constraint to the letter.

There are many excellent and genuine cars about with nothing other that a fully stamped service book, to avoid all those is daft.

M.M (The username I am stuck with since we were asked not to keep changing them...and the one I would now like to use thanks).
stamped service books - Dude - {P}
Gregory P - The TLC package on the Mini is actually £100 for 5 years or 50k miles, not 1 year as you mentioned. It is also fully transferable to a second owner if the vehicle is sold before the expiry period, so in total is a good deal.

BMW servicing costs are not so expensive as many people are lead to believe, and well below those of Mercedes, Audi, Volvo, and Suburu. A friend of mine ran a 530i to 170k miles without any major problems, and the total servicing and maintenance costs were less than his previous motor - a Ford Mondeo 2 litre Ghia over a similar mileage. To illustrate this point, you could check out another thread on this forum "BMW versus Ford Servicing Costs".
stamped service books - Aprilia
Dude - where's your data on this claim?

As the former owner of a 7-series I found BMW servicing to be extortionate. Mine was serviced by a very large BMW dealer group. They were charging me for the oil in 500ml 'top up' bottle prices; wanted £95 to check the tracking! They charged me over £80 to change the coolant - and then damaged the engine because they didn't bleed the system properly - cost me £1000's. I could go on - it is a very sore point indeed with me. I will never set foot in a BMW dealership again. They may be OK if it is company money you are spending, but not if its your own money.

Ironically I have a well equipped workshop and could easily have serviced the car myself, but I wanted to keep it 'dealer serviced' and the SH intact. Big mistake.
stamped service books - Dude - {P}
Aprilla - What part of the country was your BeeM dealer based, as they certainly took you to the cleaners. Surely, somebody with your technical knowledge, you could have held them responsible for damaging your engine through inefficient bleeding of the coolant system. I most definitely would have taken this up with BMW GB at Bracknell and your local Trading Standards Office, if you were confident that their main dealer was at fault.

When I get mine serviced, my local dealer is quite happy to allow me to supply my own oil, which works out £`s cheaper.

The data on car servicing was printed some time ago in What Car, and from memory Suburu were most expensive, followed by Volvo. If I can find the full report, will certainly post details on this forum.
stamped service books - Aprilia

The story of my BMW is very long, and best forgotten. I have worked in the motor industry for almost two decades now and have worked for BMW in Munich. Unfortunately all of this is not much use when ranged against BMW (UK). They will back their dealers 100% against the customer. I have put it all down to experience. It is very hard to prove who is responsible for an engine failure sometimes, even when you know who is at fault and even with access to the very best engineering facilities.

A good friend of mine (sadly killed in a car crash just before Christmas) was actually a salesman at the dealer in question and I used to hear plenty of 'stories from the inside' which should have been warning enough. I should never have bought the car in the first place - they are not a car to run with your own taxed income, the dealers see you as a walking cash register.
I still have my old C-class and recently bought a nice Nissan QX V6 for the price of 6-months depreciation on the 7-series - the QX is quite superb and (touch wood) has run perfectly since purchase.
stamped service books - Gregory P
BMW servicing is not cheap at all. An oil change costs £120 at my local dealer. It works out cheaper not to change the oil at all and buy a new car with the savings in a couple of years. And tell me, do BMW do anything magic with an oil change. The change is way too expensive; you can use a bus for a couple of months for the price of just an oil change.
stamped service books - Gregory P
Another point. Aprilia for example had huge problems with BMW, and for paying the huge premiums he got very little value for money. Considering he paid this premium, I would expect a faultless service with no hassles. The fact Dude has a friend that has done a high mileage. This is beyond the point. BMW?S are supposed be ultra reliable and if they fail to get to 200k miles I would say that there is no real benefit of owning a BMW. I can tell you of many cars that are supposedly inferior to BMW but are more durable and are better value for money.

The fact that in Dude?s example that it was cheaper to run the BMW than the ford means that ford also overcharges their customers for servicing. It doesn?t improve BMW?s position in my view.

Anyway, BMW?s are not worth the money anymore. The Which? Survey saw them come out as average which is very disappointing since they cost so much. Contrary to popular belief, they depreciate heavily and there are much better alternatives out there that do not need you to re-mortgage your home. Overall, a BMW is a complete waste of money whichever way you look at it in a private buyer?s point of view.
stamped service books - Aprilia
I have to confess that I did get a bit 'sucked in' by the idea of driving around in a large BMW (I'm only human). The car went well enough, but I think with a car like that you are into 'diminishing returns' - i.e. my cheap, but well cared-for 28k miles Nissan QX does 95% of what the BMW did. The only area it is deficient in is low speed ride (poor on the QX) and I don't like the seat material on the QX (its a sort of velour). Engine and transmission wise the QX is superb, a match for the BMW in my opinion, and the aircon is better. The nice thing about the QX is that is was so reasonably priced (and from a main dealer at that!) that I don't really worry about it financially. If it lasts two years and then goes 'bang' it will still have been sensibly priced motoring.
With the BMW I always had the impression that the dealers were simply trying to extract money from me - they didn't seem to be interested in providing good service. This really staggered me because I expected the absolute best of service, having paid so much for the car. What really annoyed me more than anything was the snotty attitude of some of the dealer staff. On one occassion I went in rather scruffily dressed and they pointedly ignored me. Maybe it was the fact that I was a private owner that led to the poor service - I know from my late friend that most of the their customers were company car owners.
At the end of the day it is their loss, I'll not have anything to do with them again.
stamped service books - John S

Odd. Either it pays to shop around, or perhaps thay assume 7 series owners are loaded! Recently had the 3 series serviced including coolant and brake fluid changes. Big BMW dealer.

Coolant £23 labour, £13-60 antifreeze
Brake fluid ££23 labour, £11 brake fluid, Total £83 inc Vat.

Not cheap, but half the price you were charged. Labour times about 1/2 hour for each and I couldn't do it that fast.


john S
stamped service books - DavidHM
£23 per half hour = £46 per hour; about half what I'd expect to pay in London for pretty much any franchise. Where are you?
stamped service books - Aprilia
John S

That is a very very cheap bill from a BMW dealer. They are charging you 'less than cost' for the antifreeze - my local BMW parts dept. sell the 'long life' antifreeze at about £7 a container (which I think is 1 litre?). Since you would need at least 3 litres at 50% mix that means a minimum £21-worth of anti-freeze sold to you at £13.60. You have a very charitable dealer!

Your labour charge at £46 an hour is also very low for a BMW dealer (esp. if that's including VAT). I think most of them are around £70 or more; up to £100+ in the smarter parts of the South East.
stamped service books - eMBe {P}
Eurocarparts charge about £4.70 for 1.5 litres of BMW spec anti-freeze.

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stamped service books - Aprilia
True enough, eMBe, but its not genuine BMW antifreeze, its made by Febi to meet the BMW specification. BMW dealers sell you genuine BMW antifreeze and unfortunately it costs a lot more than £4.70 for 1.5 litres.
stamped service books - eMBe {P}
but its not genuine BMW antifreeze, its made
by Febi to meet the BMW specification. >>

Aprilia: I know, which is why I said "BMW spec".
1. Anyhow, are you suggesting that the Febi version, although made to meet the BMW spec, does not in fact match BMW spec.?
2. I am intrigues to know in what respect it differs except for the label on the bottle?
3. Would it be unwise to use Febi's "BMW spec" anti-freeze in an ou-of-warranty BMW?

(Or are you just saying that it is like the fact that a M&S garment is different to another one made to exactly the same specification in so far as the shop's label is different?)

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stamped service books - Aprilia

I think we are at cross-purposes here. There is nothing wrong with the Febi antifreeze and you could use it any of the BMW's that take the silicate-type antifeeze.

My post (further up) was in response to 'John S' who had a BMW main dealer do a coolant change. The dealer only charged him £13.60 for antifreeze. The dealer would not use the Febi 'pattern antifreeze' - they would use the BMW-branded stuff which costs more than double the price of the Febi stuff. Since John's car would have needed at least 3 litres I was merely commenting that he had a very charitable BMW dealer (i.e. selling at least £21-worth of product at £13.60). Many a BMW dealer would want £13.60 just to top-up the header tank.

An independent BMW repair *would* likely use the Febi antifreeze and would need 3-4 litres (i.e. £13-17 worth of Febi at retail price).
stamped service books - madf
I had a private BMW320i and found BMW main agent in Manchester very good and reasonable (about £80 from memory) for an oil service. Similar experiences with a company 318i. Similar experiences with Ford.

Withe regard to Aprilia's complaints about the costs of servicing a 7 series, what can you expect? Any car with a retail price > £30k is going to be exorbitant to service : complex, costly spares, low volumes and costs of training staff and high overheads and profit margins menas high prices.

BMW dealers live in nice glass and steel buildings and my personal experiences have been pleasant but I am under no illusions as to who pays for them: the customer.

Buy a > £30k car and pay high servicing costs. Buy a Ford and low prices and high volumes should means lower costs. See the Ford website for examples of costs. I always check before spending my readies: maybe something to do with my Aberdonian background (we make Yorkshire peeps seem generous:-)

Buy a Japanese car and pay higher service costs but have > average reliability.

Chose your car carefully if you are worried about service costs: dealers should show scheduled costs.. (having read Ferrari ones, I would not buy one even if I could afford one..)

stamped service books - Aprilia

I work in the motor industry myself, my father (and grandfather) ran an independent workshop for many decades and, indeed, a friend of mine worked at the BMW dealer in question (as a salesman). I am under no illusions as to the complexity of modern vehicles and have myself run training courses for vehicle technicians.
What I object to is the fact that many dealerships (especially 'prestige' brands) are now 'taking the Mickey' when in comes to servicing. The service dept. is now often by far the most profitable aspect of a dealer's activities. I think I read that charged labour rates have risen by over 40% in the last few years (VW was the worst offender, I think). I also understand that the hourly labour rates to service your typical car now significantly exceed those charged for contract maintenance on an RB211 jet engine!

Some elements of the motor trade have had things their own way for far too long. Many of the prestige dealers have made a fortune over the last few decades. My father was a member of the IMI and he used to attend a lot of their meetings. I well remember a good friend of his started up a small SAAB dealership and not many years later was a millionaire. As a student I worked there off and on. This was before computers were introduced. The parts guys used to hold a kind of 'contest' to see who could charge the most extortionate price for a small part and get away with it; e.g. some punter comes in for a sump washer (say listed at 10p retail) and you charged him £1.50.
There were loads of scams in the service dept. too, but I won't detail them here. I'm harking back to the 1970's and I'm sure that things have been 'cleaned up' a bit since then.

Anyway, BMW dealers want their 7-series owners to just call in and put down the Gold (or Platinum) Card and not argue. I did argue and they didn't like it. They tried to charge me £95 to set the front wheel alignment. When I argued, they told me that it was a very complex task that required an hour to do and many special tools. I pointed out that, fundamentally, it was the same as on a Fiesta and all they needed was a pair of 22mm spanners, a tracking guage and about quarter of an hour to do the job. They knocked about 60% off the bill.
stamped service books - John S

I've checked the bill. Absolutely no question on the consumables prices. Yes, 3 litres of a/freeze; it appears to come in 1.5 litre packs - I've been charged for two at £6.80 each plus VAT. Labour - I'm assuming it was half an hour, as when I last had the brake fluid changed on a 3 series (E30) it was charged at half an hour. It's listed as '4 units', but whatever it was, it is listed as £23, separately from the Inspection 2, which incidentally was £103.5 + VAT for labour.

Swindon main BMW dealer - Dick Lovett. Car's just over the 4 years - maybe I'm getting their reduced 'over 4 years old price?

John S
stamped service books - eMBe {P}
Aprilia: Antifreeze and Oil types -

I have read your contribution to HJ's FAQ no 33
Would you please help enlighten me on the pros/cons, differences between Comma's:

1. antifreeze Xstream Red and Green:

2. oil Syner-G and Syner-Z


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stamped service books - Aprilia

The green stuff is a 'hybrid organo-acid technology' antifreeze. Essentially this is a traditional ethylene glycol antifreeze, moderately silicated, with BASF's Glysantin anti-corrosion package, which was developed for OAT solutions. This type of antifreeze is suitable for most cars that use 'traditional' antifreeze, and indeed is of the type recommended for most Merc. & BMW from the late 1980's on. It contains around 300ppm silicon, which many believe gives better aluminium protection than the latest OAT antifreezes. It may not been suitable for Jap cars which usually require silicate free antifreeze.

The red stuff is the new 'OAT' type. Basically I would only use it in cars which have had this type of antifreeze from new. You don't know what it may do to the seal materials of older engines that were not tested with OAT's. You can't mix OAT with older type antifreezes. If you want to move to OAT's then the system must be fully flushed first.

As regards the oil, well, apart from the obvious viscosity difference the SynerG is an API SL-rated oil that meets the latest VW and MB specs., whereas the SynerZ is an API SJ rated specs. On the face of it the SynerG is the higher-spec. oil and is the one to go for(assuming it meets the viscosity requirements of your engine).
stamped service books - eMBe {P}
Aprilia & John S - thanks for your replies (including the BMW Diesel synthetic oil thread in technical).

David HM - how about answering my Q to your claim that
you can buy a 5l can from an independent .... . This should cost less than £20 no matter what.>> in the thread

Please tell me where? - in the Surrey or W/SW-London area, as I'd like to buy some.

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stamped service books - Aprilia
Makro have had Mobil 1 on offer at £19.99 for a can (4 litre ??) in the past. I can buy SL-rated fully synth at £2 a litre (in 25l drum) from the GM dealer where I have a trade account. Elf fully synth is about £17 for 5 litre (retail) from my local Elf lubricants dealer.

Value my car