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      07-07-2010, 04:24 PM   #1
RockIt
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How to lose a customer...

My car went in for a service just under 2 weeks ago and as usual I received a service report. Everything was ticked green except the rear brake pads, which were an amber advisory. Half way through the Northern Meet, after some reasonably spirited driving, the brake warning light came on.

Based on the advisory report received the day before I decided to get the rear pads changed and rather than use BMW I bobbed into my local Kwik Fit, who did the job quickly and, I believed efficiently. They told me that the rears were indeed worn, the fronts still had life in them and that they and replaced the rear sensor at no cost, but had not been able to reset the warning light.

Today I rang my local dealership and they told me that they would reset the light at a cost of 25! I quickly searched this forum and came up with some suggestions for resetting it myself, but nothing worked. I therefore rolled into the dealer.

40 mins later a desk jockey tells me that the front pads are worn, therefore the sensor has been triggered. I obviously challenged this, based on the report received from them not 2 weeks before.

"Ah yes sir, that's just a quick visual check. It's the inner pad that's worn."
" So what you're saying is that the visual check is pretty worthless"
Pause......
" it is just a check sir."
" So why are measurements of the pads provided on the service report?"

" Ah...yes...that's just the outer pad measurement."
" So it isn't just a visual check then? It is actually measured?"
" Yes sir...but only the outer pad. This was more thorough. You need new pads. Shall I book it in?"
" No you bloody shan't book it in. This is shoddy service and you don't seem bothered in the slightest."
Longer pause. Shrugs shoulders and looks shifty.
"Well? Are you denying it is a worthless document that customers take in good faith?"
" This was a more thorough check. It's the inner edge you see. Anyway...right sir. Well in that case there's just the invoice"
"What invoice?"
" For 25 to cover resetting the service light."
"But you haven't succeeded!"
" That's because it needs new front pads. This charge is for ATTEMPTING to reset the light"

Cue righteous anger etc.

Unfortunately we had to get somewhere in a hurry so I reluctantly paid the 25. Is it just me or does this seem like pretty poor service?

The place is incredibly convenient, but I doubt I'll be going there again. One of the sales team keeps ringing me to try and get me into another BMW so I'm looking forward to his next call.
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      07-07-2010, 04:36 PM   #2
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What a titty biscuit.

That kind of stuff really pisses me off.
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      07-07-2010, 04:41 PM   #3
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Not just crap service but, what really gets my goat, uninterested service. You take what the dealer says, like you say, in good faith, but time and time again they prove they don't know their arse from elbow. Shame because the good ones get tarnished with the same brush.

Just identified a problem with the X3 (still under warranty) and am now nervous about taking it to the dealer because of the lack of trust in what they say; crazy.
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      07-07-2010, 04:44 PM   #4
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My visits to BMW dealers have always left me very disappointed with the level of customer care and service in general TBH - your story does not surprise me in the slightest.
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      07-07-2010, 04:51 PM   #5
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In my experience many of the service desk employees in BMW dealerships simply don't understand what they are talking about.

Unfortunately, they make stuff up rather than admit it.

I would have flat out refuesed to pay the 25.

Are you supposed to believe them now about the brakes now or before??
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      07-07-2010, 05:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFS View Post
In my experience many of the service desk employees in BMW dealerships simply don't understand what they are talking about.

Unfortunately, they make stuff up rather than admit it.

I would have flat out refuesed to pay the 25.

Are you supposed to believe them now about the brakes now or before??
You're quite right and I should have refused/insisted on seeing the Service Manager etc. As usual I was in a hurry, had popped in for what was supposed to be a 10 minute job and got caught on the hop. A letter to the Service Manager is being drafted though.
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      07-07-2010, 05:56 PM   #7
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Have you checked the pads yourself? I'd whip a wheel off and have a good look.

Did the front sensor go off, or the rear? Which one wouldn't reset? They are quite separate and should show separately on the dash, and be reset separately.

It is true that they can measure the outer pad thickness without removing the wheels - they insert a special tool (though the back end of a vernier caliper will also suffice) into the wheel and can check the outer pad thickness as there is a hole in the pad to the disc. It is better than a visual check that is not really accurate with the wheel on. You can't check the inner pad the same way with the car on the ground, but maybe possible with it in the air, not sure. The sensor is on the inner pad.

It is usual for the pads to wear evenly, so its quite normal for them to only check the outer pads. I'd be wondering why on earth they are not wearing evenly - caliper problem? incorrectly fitted? What was their explanation? How much is left on the outer pad?

EDIT - why the heck couldn't kwikfit reset the indicator? Don't they use (read) the correct service procedure!?!? If my local village garage can, it shouldn't be beyond kwikfit.
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      07-07-2010, 06:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///ajd View Post

EDIT - why the heck couldn't kwikfit reset the indicator? Don't they use (read) the correct service procedure!?!? If my local village garage can, it shouldn't be beyond kwikfit.
I think the trouble KwikFit was having but didn't realise was that the warning light was for the front pads. But I'm with you, Why are the pads wearing so unevenly?

I think if you push it you will get your cash back and may even get a hitherto unknown problem fixed. It may take some calm assertion on your part though.

Good luck and let us know how it goes. Failing that name and shame.
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      07-07-2010, 06:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieL View Post
I think the trouble KwikFit was having but didn't realise was that the warning light was for the front pads.
I thought it was always clear which set of pads the warning is for - its pretty clear on idrive?

I'm not sure BMW have done anything wrong here - as a quick check of the outer pad + no warning would suggest the front pads were OK.

Kwikfit however seemed to have a clear front pad warning light (which works off the inner pad), but failed to notice or seemingly check the thickness of the pad! WTF!

The uneven wear maybe caused by the caliper not floating / moving easily - could be dirt etc. - if indeed it is uneven - need to have a look.
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      07-07-2010, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///ajd View Post
I thought it was always clear which set of pads the warning is for - its pretty clear on idrive?

I'm not sure BMW have done anything wrong here - as a quick check of the outer pad + no warning would suggest the front pads were OK.

Kwikfit however seemed to have a clear front pad warning light (which works off the inner pad), but failed to notice or seemingly check the thickness of the pad! WTF!

The uneven wear maybe caused by the caliper not floating / moving easily - could be dirt etc. - if indeed it is uneven - need to have a look.
This is my first BMW and I've no experience of the warning lights for the pads so I'll bow to your greater knowledge. Your points seem very valid

I'm sure RockIt could get the 25 quid he's already paid off the price of getting his pads replaced if he speaks to the right person, but then again he could save more going to an independant garage. The joys of motoring.
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      07-08-2010, 02:41 AM   #11
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This wouldn't be JCT 600 on Lister Lane would it?
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      07-08-2010, 03:03 AM   #12
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Not that I would trust Kwik Fit either - Bunch of monkeys!!! From what I can read KF checked the fronts and didn't see either - I would forget about both of them and go and find a decent independant.

Good luck

Oh and I'd be ringing the DP purely out of principle
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      07-08-2010, 05:13 AM   #13
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Name and shame?

It could be dangerously close to me, this place you've been...

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      07-08-2010, 06:12 AM   #14
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i HATE this 'it's just a check' excuse, if it doesn't mean anything then why do it? i remember this from about SIX years ago at our local VW dealer, friends car was in for a service and then got MOT'd there 3 days later when they changed the tyres

Dealer 'We had to change the tyres, they were illegal'
Friend 'Well the safety check that YOU gave me 3 days ago shows the tyres to have plenty of tread, it's a 1.0 polo, i doubt i could ruin the tyres in 3 days and it did less than 10 miles in that time, as evidence by the mileage that you wrote down'
Dealer 'Well the MOT check is more thorough'
Friend 'If you're telling me that you told me that my illegal tyres were legal, which you did, then clearly you don't know what you're talking about. And if you don't know what you're talking about then who are you to tell me that they are illegal?

Anyway this faccade carried on till they offered to refund some of the tyre money down to what a local tyre place would charge, i remember it clearly cos it was 75+vat they charged, and any local tyre place were doing the same tyres for 30ish fitted.

Thieves.

Anyway I think it's about time we started complaining to trading standards about s**t dealers, it's thread after thread, story after story and it never changes. Ever.
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      07-08-2010, 06:49 AM   #15
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Trouble with big dealers today is they can't please everyone - their efforts are only exerted when big money is involved, involved for THEM that is - far as the rest go, small fish can wait. It's poor service and majorly disrespectful for people who work hard to own and maintain an expensive car, as opposed to a loaded semi-elitist walking in with his wallet wide open (no disrespect or jealousy intended, just stating a fact). It will probably be the same wherever you go - it's the nature of the industry. In recent times, Sytner seems to be making an attempt to tackle the issue, time will tell how much of a difference they can make.

If the Germans were aware of how the English are managing their brand, I'm sure they would ban most franchises, in the blink of an eye, from using their roundel.

P.S - I used a cheap CD from eBay that demonstrated how to reset service indicator lights - Just like you, I had service done on a previous Beemer by kwik-fit, and resetting them should've been their responsibility unless they explicitly made it clear beforehand.
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      07-08-2010, 09:51 AM   #16
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Now let me tell you of my experience of a VW dealer regarding the wife's Passat this week.. For me.. Truly a breath of fresh air especially after the abysmal recent service from Mercedes, whose honour was saved solely by the fact that they updated the HDD based satnav maps as part of the service...


The VW was saying it needed a service....
Took it to the local VW authorised repairer (they don't do sales)
Drove off in their courtesy car.
Phone call some 4 hours later that the car didnt actually need a service. The last servicing dealer "incorrectly" set the computer to Time&Distance rather than dynamic. They used the Longlife oil though, so all it needed was the setting updated.
Did need an aircon service and regas though so because of the inconvenience they did it for free...
My cynical view is that the supplying dealer set the computer to time&distance as that was a service revenue generator, but anyway....

Very very impressed with this particular VW authorised repair place.
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      07-08-2010, 09:59 AM   #17
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      07-08-2010, 02:10 PM   #18
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I'm confused, which warning lights came on when? Rear amber or red warning, or front amber or red warning?

It sounds like neither warning was on at the BMW check, so they just went by thickness measurement. To be honest it is doubtful that the pads need replacing until the red warning comes on, so not sure they can be criticised. I get more annoyed when they say they need changing and there is clearly 4+mm of life left.
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      07-08-2010, 06:02 PM   #19
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All sorts of interesting comments and apologies for not responding sooner.

1. The car went in for service on Friday 25th June. The service report indicated an amber advisory on the rear pads and a green light on the front pads.

2. On the 26th, half way into Northern Meet 3 the brake warning light came on (car on ramp symbol with triangle & exclamation mark). This is the only symbol that has been displayed and continues to display each time I start and stop the car.

3. On Saturday 3rd Kwik Fit fitted new rear pads and sensor. They advised that the front pads were OK and that they could not disable the warning light as 'our machine is not new enough.'

4. On Wednesday 7th JCT600 Bradford attempted to reset the warning light and informed me that the front pads need changing as detailed in my first post.

I saw little point in using BMW for the pad change as the car is over 3 years old and will either be traded or handed back at the end of the finance agreement. Kwik Fit were simply a convenient, reasonably priced alternative. On reflection I should have gone elsewhere and will explore a local independent in Yeadon.

My specific complaint regarding the main dealer is that the advisory report is essentially worthless, as the front pads were given a green light, then less than 2 weeks later they apparently need changing. In addition, their insistance on a 25 charge for attempting to reset the light is excessive.

TBH I can't get rid of the car soon enough. I've really enjoyed driving it and think it's a fantastic motor, but I would think long and hard before buying another BMW based on the shoddy service I have received ever since pre-delivery. I was fobbed off on delivery dates, the hand over was atrocious for a brand new car. The DP never replied to letters or phone calls, I had to practically drag a technician outside to prove that the climate control unit was faulty etc. etc. The general impression is that they couldn't care less about their customers unless you are about to purchase a car.
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      07-08-2010, 06:21 PM   #20
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Hi Rockit,

What I was asking above is were the warning lights in the car red or amber. The first stage of warning for brakes is amber - e.g. with 2000 miles to go to change, this then turns red when miles gets to zero. In my experience even when on red the pads had more than 3mm remaining (I measured them).

The warning should be separate for both front and rear - in mine you can individually see whether e.g. the front pads have 5000 miles left and the rear have 10000 miles left. You should be able to do this under idrive or using the OBC stalk (can't remember how the latter works).

Its odd how the BMW report said the rears needed doing but it seems that you hadn't had a warning light?

You should be able to rely on the car to tell you when it needs pads, not the dealer. Theres no need to rush when the amber light comes on either - plenty of time to change them.

Kwikfit shouldn't need a machine to reset the warning if they've replaced the right sensor.

PS Get a Porsche, you know you want to.
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      07-09-2010, 01:55 AM   #21
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Just as an aside, with the idrive system when you reset one service indicator (e.g. rear brakes) the next one in-line advances.

SO if the front brake service is nearly due it might go from green to amber (or from amber to red) just because it has become the next service due.
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      07-09-2010, 07:59 AM   #22
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I don't think that you should have been charged at all, admittedly it may have been just a really bad service advisor, but you booked in to have the service light reset and this wasn't done, they could have just given you a quote and maybe they'd have seen you again. It is a pity.
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