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      05-01-2017, 04:30 PM   #1
Typhoon707
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Exclamation Did I get Scammed by Dealer?

Hi Everyone,
I recently purchased a 2013 BMW E92 328i Msport with 37,099 miles on it. I've put about 700 miles on it since then. The Service Engine Soon light came on a few days ago after my attempts to reset the throttle body (coincidence?). I brought it in to the dealer today and they said the reason for the light is because my sensors or something weren't able to respond due to an outdated module software. They are charging me $475 USD plus tax to update to the newest software.

The car did not drive any differently after the light and autozone's basic OBD device said there were no faults.

The dealer told me the update was absolutely necessary. My question is, did I really need a software update? and is $475 dollars really a reasonable price for this update? (The process is going to take approx. 2 hours)

Thanks everyone.

Last edited by Typhoon707; 05-01-2017 at 05:21 PM. Reason: Changed "ECU" to "Module" to better reflect what was told to me
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      05-01-2017, 05:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Typhoon707 View Post
Hi Everyone,
I recently purchased a 2013 BMW 328i Msport with 37,099 miles on it. I've put about 700 miles on it since then. The Service Engine Soon light came on a few days ago after my attempts to reset the throttle body (coincidence?). I brought it in to the dealer today and they said the reason for the light is because my sensors or something weren't able to respond due to an outdated module software. They are charging me $475 USD plus tax to update to the newest software.

The car did not drive any differently after the light and autozone's basic OBD device said there were no faults.

The dealer told me the update was absolutely necessary. My question is, did I really need a software update? and is $475 dollars really a reasonable price for this update? (The process is going to take approx. 2 hours)

Thanks everyone.
I would look for an indy shop to do the update. The BMW dealer in my area also quoted me around $400. I found an indy shop that's going to do it for $125. You can probably even find someone to do it for less. In my case I just wanted to make sure I had the latest software.
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      05-01-2017, 05:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by xxe90335ixx View Post
I would look for an indy shop to do the update. The BMW dealer in my area also quoted me around $400. I found an indy shop that's going to do it for $125. You can probably even find someone to do it for less. In my case I just wanted to make sure I had the latest software.
Ugh, I gave my dealer the greenlight because he was saying how I risk damaging my engine and stuff if I didn't update. I feel like an idiot now.

Could not updating really damage my engine?!
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      05-01-2017, 05:21 PM   #4
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I think the dealer should have updated the software for your car before you purchasing it. Especially if as you said:"The dealer told me the update was absolutely necessary". Basically they knew about this, unless the software rolled out AFTER you purchased the vehicle. But: being purchased from (any) dealer, you should have some sort of warranty on the car (not a new-car warranty, but a BMW dealer sells at a greater price than private party, because allegedly the car has been inspected and all defects fixed). Am I wrong? I don't know. But I would certainly ask about that. They should stand behind their product. How long ago did you buy the car?
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      05-01-2017, 05:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by doru View Post
I think the dealer should have updated the software for your car before you purchasing it. Especially if as you said:"The dealer told me the update was absolutely necessary". Basically they knew about this, unless the software rolled out AFTER you purchased the vehicle. But: being purchased from (any) dealer, you should have some sort of warranty on the car (not a new-car warranty, but a BMW dealer sells at a greater price than private party, because allegedly the car has been inspected and all defects fixed). Am I wrong? I don't know. But I would certainly ask about that. They should stand behind their product. How long ago did you buy the car?
Oops, I forgot to mention I bought the car from a used car dealership about 3 hours away from where I live (my bad). This BMW dealership that I brought the vehicle to is 2 miles from where I live...

Bought the vehicle "as is". But honestly, what software could be "necessary"? Its a 2013 E92, the last year of the E92...I'd have thought that they'd fixed all the problems by then, and a recall would be issued if it was "necessary".
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      05-01-2017, 05:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon707 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
I think the dealer should have updated the software for your car before you purchasing it. Especially if as you said:"The dealer told me the update was absolutely necessary". Basically they knew about this, unless the software rolled out AFTER you purchased the vehicle. But: being purchased from (any) dealer, you should have some sort of warranty on the car (not a new-car warranty, but a BMW dealer sells at a greater price than private party, because allegedly the car has been inspected and all defects fixed). Am I wrong? I don't know. But I would certainly ask about that. They should stand behind their product. How long ago did you buy the car?
Oops, I forgot to mention I bought the car from a used car dealership about 3 hours away from where I live (my bad). This BMW dealership that I brought the vehicle to is 2 miles from where I live...

Bought the vehicle "as is". But honestly, what software could be "necessary"? Its a 2013 E92, the last year of the E92...I'd have thought that they'd fixed all the problems by then, and a recall would be issued if it was "necessary".
There's a reason we call dealers "stealerships" on here
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      05-02-2017, 01:58 AM   #7
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Find a good Indy shop. The dealer is not your friend. They only smile at you because smiling gets them more money.

They also strong arm. Yay.

Next time you'll know. No worries
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      05-02-2017, 09:21 AM   #8
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I have a different opinion of independent shops. I used a local one when I first bought my BMW. They only worked on German cars and quoted BMW prices.

But, it saved me a 2 hour round trip to the closest dealership. In the end they cost me more money because they used after market parts that failed soon after installation. A battery lasted 2 years. Rear shocks failed in the first year and BMW dealer told me they weren't the right size.

When I go to the dealer I know the job is going to be done right the first time and I have recourse in the event it isn't. As complex as these new cars are, would you rather have someone who occasionally works on a BMW as opposed to someone who works on them each and every day and knows all of the faults and gotchas?

Do you pay more? Certainly. But, my time is very valuable to me. I see the value in using someone who knows my product inside and out. This isn't to say that there aren't many good independents. There are, but, it's not like they around every corner.
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      05-02-2017, 05:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Saberdave View Post
I have a different opinion of independent shops. I used a local one when I first bought my BMW. They only worked on German cars and quoted BMW prices.

But, it saved me a 2 hour round trip to the closest dealership. In the end they cost me more money because they used after market parts that failed soon after installation. A battery lasted 2 years. Rear shocks failed in the first year and BMW dealer told me they weren't the right size.

When I go to the dealer I know the job is going to be done right the first time and I have recourse in the event it isn't. As complex as these new cars are, would you rather have someone who occasionally works on a BMW as opposed to someone who works on them each and every day and knows all of the faults and gotchas?

Do you pay more? Certainly. But, my time is very valuable to me. I see the value in using someone who knows my product inside and out. This isn't to say that there aren't many good independents. There are, but, it's not like they around every corner.
So your going to judge every independent shop based on your experience with the shitty one you went to? Not really ideal there's plenty of reputable shops with years of experience everywhere. I rather have an experienced tech work on my car rather than a kid that just graduated from a mechanic trade school
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      05-02-2017, 08:39 PM   #10
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My Indy shop has been working on my car since it came out of warranty, 2012. They only use OEM parts, every technician is a former BMW dealer tech, and the owner has over 25 years experience working on BMWs. The owner told me his shop has over 50 years combined experience. They never once tried to upsell me unnecessary repairs. The owner is professional, the shop is immaculate, and prices are reasonable. The quality of work in my opinion, is much better than my local BMW stealership.

Last edited by ny325; 05-02-2017 at 08:47 PM.
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      05-02-2017, 08:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Typhoon707 View Post
Ugh, I gave my dealer the greenlight because he was saying how I risk damaging my engine and stuff if I didn't update. I feel like an idiot now.

Could not updating really damage my engine?!
No, you won't. Your car doesn't even use the throttle; it's always wide open, and uses Valvetronic to control engine speed.

You can update all the modules in your car for the small cost of a USB K+DCAN cable, and you'd even be able to see which module is supposedly not responding. Ask them if there's a service bulletin posted for it, and what that bulletin number is.

Last edited by Welcome to NBA Jam; 05-02-2017 at 08:54 PM.
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      05-02-2017, 08:58 PM   #12
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We all live and learn from our experiences OP. That's part of life.
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      05-02-2017, 11:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon707 View Post
Oops, I forgot to mention I bought the car from a used car dealership about 3 hours away from where I live (my bad). This BMW dealership that I brought the vehicle to is 2 miles from where I live...

Bought the vehicle "as is". But honestly, what software could be "necessary"? Its a 2013 E92, the last year of the E92...I'd have thought that they'd fixed all the problems by then, and a recall would be issued if it was "necessary".
Without seeing the TSB it's hard to tell if the upgrade is "necessary", but historically there has been a number of TSB with software upgrades that were very necessary indeed to avoid damages (like some that improved the lifetime of valve tappets, or camshafts).

In short, you want to see the SIB or TSB. Some SIB are covered under extended warranty also.


As for installing the update yourself, you may be able to do this, but know in advance that installing the software is pretty involved and that mismanipulation can result in bricking some rater expensive electronics. That being said many are doing it and it works fine for them.
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      05-02-2017, 11:25 PM   #14
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ISTA/P keeps it pretty safe and automated. As long as you're hooked up to an adequate battery charger and you have as many electronics shut down in your car as you can, it'll run and do its thing. A strong battery and battery charger are the two most important things.
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      05-03-2017, 02:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saberdave View Post
I have a different opinion of independent shops. I used a local one when I first bought my BMW. They only worked on German cars and quoted BMW prices.

But, it saved me a 2 hour round trip to the closest dealership. In the end they cost me more money because they used after market parts that failed soon after installation. A battery lasted 2 years. Rear shocks failed in the first year and BMW dealer told me they weren't the right size.

When I go to the dealer I know the job is going to be done right the first time and I have recourse in the event it isn't. As complex as these new cars are, would you rather have someone who occasionally works on a BMW as opposed to someone who works on them each and every day and knows all of the faults and gotchas?

Do you pay more? Certainly. But, my time is very valuable to me. I see the value in using someone who knows my product inside and out. This isn't to say that there aren't many good independents. There are, but, it's not like they around every corner.
Sorry for your experience. I try to stay with BMW specific shops with great reputations when I recommend to others.

These cars are not rocket science, though, anyone can diagnose problems with relatively cheap code readers, find the exact parts and part numbers through BMW online microfiches and repair with relatively commonplace tools.

If the shop you went to couldn't manage to do that, then they were on the lower end of the scale.
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      05-03-2017, 06:49 AM   #16
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The same thing happened to me when I got my X5 from an individual. My dealer charges $200 for a software update. They hook the car up for 5 hours and walk away. I then complained to BMW and they noticed where a different dealer did the update wrong many years earlier and I got a check back for $200.

In your case the parts may have been changed by an indy or owner who did not do the required software updates.
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      05-04-2017, 05:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by smassey321 View Post
The same thing happened to me when I got my X5 from an individual. My dealer charges $200 for a software update. They hook the car up for 5 hours and walk away. I then complained to BMW and they noticed where a different dealer did the update wrong many years earlier and I got a check back for $200.

In your case the parts may have been changed by an indy or owner who did not do the required software updates.
"required software" is totally subjective in almost all cases. These con artists hire good linguists and lawyers to back them up.

Thugs, that's all they are. "So, how can we make money off the files in this computer?"

The car would run fine without any updates.
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      05-18-2017, 12:08 PM   #18
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Think of it as a learning experience my friend. I've been through the "needed software update" scenario as well only to learn that you can do it yourself for free.
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      05-18-2017, 12:33 PM   #19
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Dated firmware damaging the engine? What a crock of shit... They really would say anything to make a buck.
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      05-18-2017, 01:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saberdave View Post
I have a different opinion of independent shops. I used a local one when I first bought my BMW. They only worked on German cars and quoted BMW prices.

But, it saved me a 2 hour round trip to the closest dealership. In the end they cost me more money because they used after market parts that failed soon after installation. A battery lasted 2 years. Rear shocks failed in the first year and BMW dealer told me they weren't the right size.

When I go to the dealer I know the job is going to be done right the first time and I have recourse in the event it isn't. As complex as these new cars are, would you rather have someone who occasionally works on a BMW as opposed to someone who works on them each and every day and knows all of the faults and gotchas?

Do you pay more? Certainly. But, my time is very valuable to me. I see the value in using someone who knows my product inside and out. This isn't to say that there aren't many good independents. There are, but, it's not like they around every corner.
This all depends on the dealership and the shop. My local dealer had a complete change over in their maintenance department. Prior to the changes, spectacular. I got a 20% discount off all work because of the amount of services I have purchased over the years. Rarely was an indy cheaper or more convenient. Then everything changed. New service manger. The last three times I brought my car in I had to bring it back because they didn't do the job right. The last time they didn't close the hood all the way. Driving on the highway 80 miles an hour and it almost flies open. That was the last straw.

My indy employs guys that used to work at another local dealership. They know what they are doing. They have three locations. They match coupons. They have competitive prices. I can call them and talk to them. They are great. And each time have done the job right the first time. Only draw back, no loaner.

I don't think there are any fair generalizations here.

Last edited by e36power; 05-18-2017 at 01:36 PM.
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