BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

My 00 M5 is at 61k miles and way out of warrenty. My SES light has been on quite a bit of late.

I have a local BMW DE instructor (Ralph) who is a great mechanics and very reasonable in terms of hourly rates. He read my fault codes and saw a bunch of them, from MAF to O2 sensor to CAM sensor. He does not have the diagnostic machines to zero in on the exact parts that failed. I took a chance and went to the dealer two weeks ago, and they diagnosed the MAFS and replaced that under emission equipment warranty. The next day the SES came on and stayed on. Ralph read the fault codes again and saw another bunch. I took another chance that it is MAF-induced and took the car back to the dealer. They diagnosed a CAM sensor (not warrenteed), not MAF-related. Total bill: $456. :crying: :crying: Two hours ($145 per hour) for diagnostic and repair. The rest for parts. If I took the car back to Ralph, I save $100 labor (diagnostic is already incurred), but I have to run around for parts, bring the car to him etc. Probably not worth the $100 savings.

So here's my dilemma. Seems to me that I need a shop with the sophisticated diagnostic machines (like a dealer) to zero in on the failed parts. Ralph, with his Peake tool, can only read the fault codes. To use him, I'd need to get all the possible parts that might be bad, and trouble-shoot each by trial and error. Hardly a good way of doing things. Lots of time needed to shop for parts, wait for delivery, arrange returns if appropriate, etc.

I love my M5 and have no intention to sell. It just bugs me to think that I'm totally at the mercy of the stealers any time the SES light comes on. My stealer automatically seeks authorization for $290 (2 hours) for diagnostic. They have never failed to charge me in full as yet. Good inde-shops around here runs $100 per hour labor. I will certainly not go to the stealer after 70k miles on my car.

I bought a 7 years, 100k miles, no-deductible, extended warrenty within one month of getting my car in 2001. Unfortunately, that was with Warrenty-Gold and they are now in bankrupcy. grrrrrrr grrrrrrr I'm not eager to fork over another $3k for yet another warrenty experiment.

I have no problem paying for scheduled maintenance as I can handle it DYI or have Ralph do them. However, if something breaks I'm screwed. I yearn for a simple car that can be diagnosed/fixed the 'old-fashion' way. These state-of-the-art fancy electronics are my worse night-mare. And to think that the E60 has twice the amount of new 'technologies'. :eek: :eek: That'll simply drive me insane.

I know most will tell me that is simply the cost of owning an incredible machine like an M5. I should just shut up and take it like a man. I'm not even sure I have any other choice. However, if any one has a better idea to reduce my cost and aggravation in fixing the car, I'd appreciate it.

I'll stop venting now. Anxiousely awaiting your enlightenment. Thanks.

CP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,564 Posts
Try networking with some of the dealer mechanics. They might be able to point you in the right direction in terms of who to talk to, who does the best work, and who can do it for a better rate. Ask your friend if he knows anyone with the full diagnostic tools, and see what you can come up with.
Next time I talk to my mother I'll ask her if our old neighbor might be able to help. He works full time as a BMW tech at Peter Pan (not the best dealer I know...) but he worked on her E34 for a number of years for a discount and did great work. He was willing in the past to take the car down to Peter Pan and work on it without involving them and thier high prices. I'll let you know, as I understand stomaching those bills isnt that easy.
:cheers:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
chunpng said:
I have no problem paying for scheduled maintenance as I can handle it DYI or have Ralph do them. However, if something breaks I'm screwed. I yearn for a simple car that can be diagnosed/fixed the 'old-fashion' way. These state-of-the-art fancy electronics are my worse night-mare. And to think that the E60 has twice the amount of new 'technologies'. :eek: :eek: That'll simply drive me insane.

I know most will tell me that is simply the cost of owning an incredible machine like an M5. I should just shut up and take it like a man. I'm not even sure I have any other choice. However, if any one has a better idea to reduce my cost and aggravation in fixing the car, I'd appreciate it.

CP
Yup, electronics are a ***** to diagnose if you don't have the right equipment. This might seem far-fetched but you can diagnose your car online via an official BMW website. The catch is you need to buy a $1000 tool to connect your car to your computer. Furthermore, you need to subscribe to the BMW site for $25 per day or $300 per month or $3000 per year. The BMW site is www.bmwtis.com and you can get the tool from www.passthruxs.com.

This is a cheaper alternative that independent shops can use instead of getting an official BMW GT1 diagnostic device ($15K).

So .... after the initial outlay of $1k for the tool, you can diagnose your car just like a BMW tech for $25 per day (provided you know what you're doing). If you factor in the dealer labor rates, potential need for a car rental and the opportunity cost of you taking the time to bring the car in, this alternative could pay for itself in less than 2 visits to the dealer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Joe,

Welcome to the board. What a great first post. You know your stuff.

Unfortunately, I'm not mechanically inclined so I'd not be a 'home-repair' fan. I'll pass this info. on to Ralph though.

Thanks again.

CP
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,445 Posts
JoeCinVA said:
Yup, electronics are a ***** to diagnose if you don't have the right equipment. This might seem far-fetched but you can diagnose your car online via an official BMW website. The catch is you need to buy a $1000 tool to connect your car to your computer. Furthermore, you need to subscribe to the BMW site for $25 per day or $300 per month or $3000 per year. The BMW site is www.bmwtis.com and you can get the tool from www.passthruxs.com.

So .... after the initial outlay of $1k for the tool, you can diagnose your car just like a BMW tech for $25 per day (provided you know what you're doing). If you factor in the dealer labor rates, potential need for a car rental and the opportunity cost of you taking the time to bring the car in, this alternative could pay for itself in less than 2 visits to the dealer.
Wow, so a group of M5 owners could chip in and buy this tool... I know there's more than 10 of us in the bay area, who'd chip in a hundred bucks to own a 1/10 share in this tool?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
767 Posts
I take my M5 to DINAN in Morgan Hill for all work (actually 3 cars), including warrentee (don't trust the dealer). With the BMW CCA discount of 10%, it's about $100/hour for top quality work. And they won't hotrod it, or have a junior punk drive it. I cannot begin to express how professional they are, like keeping it inside the shop when I can't pick it up. We're lucky to have them in the Bay Area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Pong,

Talk to Patrick Minneham, the Service Advisor at Stevens Creek BMW and see what he can do for you. I have been dealing with him for several years now and he has time and time again come through for me as far as matching independent shop prices for repairs, splitting diagnostic costs, taken care of small stuff at minimal charge or free at times, etc. I have spoke of this website on a number of occasions and have even given him the URL to read up on how owners feel about their M cars and thoughts on stealerships, etc. Basically an all around stand up guy, very professional.

Of course, you could go with the indep. shops in the bay area, and I know it's not easy to find a reputable one. But I'll throw out couple of them that I have dealt with at least on more than one occasion that has so far provided very good service at reasonable prices on our 99 E39 528i wagon and 91 E34 Dinan M5: Bavarian Professionals in Berkeley (ask for Nat), Corporate Auto Works in Mountain View (ask for Andrei), and German Motor Specialists in Sunnyvale.

Hope this helps and hope all is well with you and family. Would love to see the RUF some time! :wroom:

Regards,
Charles
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,980 Posts
I have one of the OBDII readers that plugs into my laptop.
Its not that bad of a system and it shows you lots of info if you know what to look for. I paid just under $500.00 USD for it.
I'll look for the site and link it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Hi Charles,

I have used Corporate Auto Works since 1987, for my Volvo and MB. Mike the owner is a great guy. I met Andrei there just last week.

I go to Allison as it is very close to home, and they usually have a BMW loaner. Today I got an X3, not bad, LOVE that sun-roof. That thing is HUGE.

I will talk to Ralph again about the diagnostic matter. He may have a source as well. This board is great. One of the perks of owning an E39 M5.

My RUF is in the shop getting de-rusted. When it comes back out, I'll try to organize a Bay Area lunch before the holiday breaks.

I am exceedingly busy this year and have been derelict in my duties as M5 lunch co-ordinator. Bad, Bad....

Hope you can make our next lunch meet.

CP
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,445 Posts
chunpng said:
My RUF is in the shop getting de-rusted. When it comes back out, I'll try to organize a Bay Area lunch before the holiday breaks.

I am exceedingly busy this year and have been derelict in my duties as M5 lunch co-ordinator. Bad, Bad...
CP
Pong, not to hijack the thread, but what do you mean by derusted? The car looked pristine when I saw it.

I'm all for another lunch, it's about time. Maybe some karting too.... :haha:
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
mottati said:
Pong, not to hijack the thread, but what do you mean by derusted? The car looked pristine when I saw it.

I'm all for another lunch, it's about time. Maybe some karting too.... :haha:
Mike
Hi Mike,

The RUF spent 8+ years high up in the German mountains. The PO drove the car all year long. After the car got here I did a thorough under-carriage inspection and found lots of rusted parts and fasteners. I have already replaced the entire suspension, sways, brakes, A-arms, bearings, etc. I am now repalcing the power steering line and master brake cylinder. I told my tech to inspect/replace all fasteners/brackets etc. underneath, as most of them are in a 'snap-off' condition. I do not begrudge this work. The RUF is a rare find, and I count myself lucky to have it. I'll do what it takes to make it right as I intend to own/enjoy the car for a long time.

I hope I'm not contradicting myself on the 'cheap-skate' image with this reply. I'll definitely arrange a lunch when the RUF comes back.

CP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,619 Posts
chunpng said:
I hope I'm not contradicting myself on the 'cheap-skate' image with this reply.
CP
There's cheap, and there's prudent. Your initial posting was looking for a prudent approach to managing your expenses. Some people don't realize that the reason we can afford cars like this is because we don't throw our money away needlessly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,227 Posts
PhilSeastrand said:
There's cheap, and there's prudent. Your initial posting was looking for a prudent approach to managing your expenses. Some people don't realize that the reason we can afford cars like this is because we don't throw our money away needlessly.
Here Here, well said. I could not agree with you more Phil.

Mark :M5thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,469 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Bill,

The price seems to be right. However, this is a scan tool, code reader, still not capable to zero in (i.e. test for) failed parts. Is that a correct aasumption. Thanks.

CP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,980 Posts
Sorry if these are off topic.
I bought THIS when I never had anyone reply on that system.
Plus the company I work for had this system before and it works good with all the other upgrades we have in shop(exhaust sniffer).

The best thing is you can see a lazy O2 sensor before things happen or don't.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top