Service Update

Ok, Inspection 2 is complete.

Oddly enough, I don’t know what that entails either. So, I asked.

I see on my invoice the parts (totalling less than $150) which includes oil and filters, belts and hoses.

Then I see the labor column. $648. That’s 5 hours of their shop time (yes, $138 per hour).

It went something like this:

me: “Why was I charged 5 hours of labor for something I’m pretty sure I can do in my own driveway in less than 2 hours?”

SA: “It was for Inspection 2 Service”

me: “Ok. What work was done? I know the oil and filter change can’t take those guys more than an hour”

SA: “You see, the MINI is like a transformer…”

me: ” … ”

So, from what I gather, Inspection 2 is where they completely disassemble your car and put it back together…in less than 4 hours! That’s f’ing amazing! Man, BMW sure does know how to train a service tech!

But for that kind of money, I really should have been invited back into the garage, served tea or coffee, given a nice chair to sit in so I could watch the miracle that is Inspection 2.

Or they could have at least given me a sandwich.

Oh yea, among the long list of ‘recommended’ services (totalling over $600) was spark plugs. First of all, I couldn’t believe they weren’t included in the list of services performed during Inspection 2. So, I asked him how much?

UPS will be delivering a set of NGK plugs to me in a day or 2 that I ordered from Moss. Look it up, but the price was a full 2/3 less than what they wanted at the parts counter.

Ok, I’m done. Thanks for listening.

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15 Comments

  1. me: “Ok. What work was done? I know the oil and filter change can’t take those guys more than an hour”
    SA: “You see, the MINI is like a transformer…”

    Actually, from my discussions with MINI I believe that the extra labor costs are due to the highly complex nature of the matter/ant-matter intermix chamber. If the technician doesn’t get the particle mix calibrated correctly your intake manifolds could become mis-aligned which may result in inpurities being injected into the matter stream and might cause a serious decrease in MPG and overall responsiveness…

    Either that or I just need to stop watching Star Trek when I get home! :D

  2. >Or they could have at least given me a sandwich.

    Nothing! Nada, zip, zero, zilch.

    I would have been happy with a smile, and I barely got that.

  3. Sounds like Exidor from Ork! Nanu, Nanu!

    You both made me laff…. FUNNY STUFF!

    Once my warranty expires these MINI Dealers will never see me again! I don’t think we’re talking brainiacs. The techs I’ve dealt with would have a hard time under a shade tree!

  4. I know how you feel DB. These are the exact same guys (at the exact same dealership of which you speak) that quoted me 12 hrs. of labor to replace a clutch. 12 hours!!!!

    In 12 hrs. they could pretty much actually do the complete dissasembly/reassembly of which you spoke in the post!

    Funny that, in less than a single workday day (about 7 hrs. work) they replaced my flywheel AND clutch as well as fixed a door rattle, hood scoop rattle and replaced the passenger-side engine mount!

    I guess that when the work is being done on their dime, they must have some sort of time-compress apparatus available to reduce that actual amount by 1/3…. Sheesh!

    Rich.

  5. I’m sur youcould find an independent shop that would be more reasonable. At least they won;t be thinking about financing that fancy new building.

    I feel liberated when the car goes out of waranty. Then I can shop aroud for fair reasonable service. I can reccomend a good shop not far from your dealer.

  6. So your telling me my car can change into a robot and talk?

    But seriously, lets get down to the real question…

    Autobot or Decepticon?

    I know one flies and the other doesn’t but just didn’t sound as funny. ;-)

  7. You should try an inspection II with a BMW – $650 is getting off easy unfortunately.

    I have an “inspection” coming up with my 3 series that will be happening in my own garage. When it comes down to, there really is not much you couldn’t do with a Haynes manual and some time. Or better yet find a reputable independent BMW shop that’s taking MINIs.

    BTW did they not give you an idea of the final cost before you began? If not that is purely incomprehensible.

  8. Try buying the factory iPod adaptor! My STEALership wanted the equivalent of 2+ hours of labor (plus the $150 part) to install the factory iPod adaptor. I did it, by myself in the driveway in just 45 minutes and I had never done it before. Someone with the tools handy and a bit of experience should be able to do the install in under 30 minutes!

  9. >BTW did they not give you an idea of the final cost before you began? If not that is purely incomprehensible.

    Yes they did, but that was before I got all gung ho on wanting to do the work myself. Besides, I didn’t have the time or the tools.

    >I did it, by myself in the driveway in just 45 minutes and I had never done it before. Someone with the tools handy and a bit of experience should be able to do the install in under 30 minutes!

    I bought mine from Moss for $40. Did it in the driveway. Took about 15 minutes from start to finish, and that included drilling the hole! I know that Todd (with his double-jointed super power) could probably reach up and behind the head unit and have it installed in about 5 minutes.

    Yea, 2 hours is ridiculous.

    Update. I got a call back from my stealer (nice one agranger!) asking how everything was. Told them I still didn’t know what was done for inspection 2. So, they had my guy call me back with the complete checklist right in front of him and he spent 15 minutes reading it off. It is a ton of work that I’m sure would take the lads in the shop 4 hours to complete. I guess it’s the steep rate that I truly have a problem with.

  10. DB: I’ve heard you refer to this as your EX-dealership on WRR several times. Is this Inspection II issue your reason for seeking another source for your MINI purchases or is it the ‘hidden markup’ concern (forced addition of several $k for extended warranty and all the swirlmarks you could ever want)?

  11. Actually it’s not. Sure I got reamed on service, but they did a great job and they always treat me nice.

    In fact, everyone there always is nice to me and gives me all the information I could want.

    But, when they charge $3K – $5K over MSRP for a MINI by saying it’s for extended service, car washes and mats or $40 each for a spark plug (that I can, and did, get from Moss for $10), that’s when I start having problems.

    I’m really just done wasting my money. On the service side, I’m fairly screwed because I’m not that handy with a wrench, but when I’m paying close to $900 for service that doesn’t include spark plugs, I think it might be time.

    Like I said, they are great to deal with. I just don’t believe in their pricing practices.

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