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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all

I have recently taken my BMW M4 into bmw for a break fluid service. I got a call from them saying that they’re having problems taking off bolts in the break callipers todo the oil change as they have been over tightened and they could break them if they continue to try which would cost me over £1k to replace.

The vehicle has full BMW service history surely bmw would be liable for this as it was one of their mechanics, or a person approved by them who did the work last time and has caused this issue?

would I be correct in assuming that since the service history is there and they can clearly see it was a bmw approved mechanic or maybe even a bmw mechanic (id have to double check, car is still there and I just got it a couple months ago) then they should replace them in the event they do break them at no cost to me.

any advice or previous experience would be a huge help!
 

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Sadly, I don't think it would ever be clear cut. You'd have to show that they over-tightened the bolts which directly resulted in them becoming stuck. They'd probably contend that there's no evidence that they over tightened them and that it just happens sometimes owing to heat/dust/corrosion and any other excuse they can think of. So formal 'liability' might be tricky to establish.

However, if no one else has ever touched the car and it has always been serviced there, then it's not an unreasonable start point to 'expect' them to sort it out and not at your expense. Just don't expect them to jump at the chance.

Worst case - £1k to fix sounds like replacing the calipers in their entirety. I'm assuming we're talking about the bleed nipple here - it is possible to get these drilled out and replaced without going to the full expense of calipers although it might mean taking it somewhere a bit more entrepreneurial with some engineering skills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The car is 2014 and it was serviced by a bmw garage in Northern Ireland for the previous owner. It’s only ever been BMW serviced and even the person on the phone said that they believe the last person to touch it has overtightened it rather than it’s just stuck.
If it was erosion etc then I’d understand it not being anyone’s fault. Surely over tightening is negligence on their part.
thanks for the responses!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Agreed, 6 years isn't long enough for it to become seized through age
Some ham fisted oaf had too many shreddies for breakfast!
The enduring power of three Shredded Wheat

but seriously it is down to them
As Evog said , why can't they drill it out
Good luck
Hahaha agreed!

I’ll most definitely chase it up! It just seems like the answer is too simple for there to even be any attempt to argue against it!

just wanted to make sure I wasn't wrong to think they caused the problem so they should fix it.

as you said I also don’t understand how they aren’t able to resolve the issue via drilling etc seeing as they are BMW, this must be something they come across regularly.
 

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Ah, right - understand a bit more now. If there is liability (and point above still stands) - the liability is with the Northern Ireland dealer who did the work rather than BMW per se. The dealers are all franchises so they're separate companies licenced by BMW. If a hypothetical dealer in Kent does something horrendous to your car, it doesn't mean that you have a claim against the dealer you happen to have taken it to in Scotland - your claim is against the Kent dealer.

Legally, if the previous service wasn't done for you, you have no contract with the Northern Ireland dealer so it is a problem for the tort of negligence - which is a world of legal ass pain compared to pursuing a breach of contract so you're already fighting with one hand behind your back.

The commercial reality of the legal ramblings being:
  • Your current dealer has no liability to you over something done by another dealer. And neither does BMW UK as distributor or BMW Germany as manufacturer.
  • The Northern Ireland dealer might have some liability in negligence but good luck with that.
  • The current dealer might help you out from a goodwill perspective - or, if you can get the NI dealer to admit fault, your current dealer might do the work at the expense of the NI dealer. That little bun fight might be well assisted by getting BMW involved to referee between their franchisees as they don't like the brand being tarnished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ah, right - understand a bit more now. If there is liability (and point above still stands) - the liability is with the Northern Ireland dealer who did the work rather than BMW per se. The dealers are all franchises so they're separate companies licenced by BMW. If a hypothetical dealer in Kent does something horrendous to your car, it doesn't mean that you have a claim against the dealer you happen to have taken it to in Scotland - your claim is against the Kent dealer.

Legally, if the previous service wasn't done for you, you have no contract with the Northern Ireland dealer so it is a problem for the tort of negligence - which is a world of legal ass pain compared to pursuing a breach of contract so you're already fighting with one hand behind your back.

The commercial reality of the legal ramblings being:
  • Your current dealer has no liability to you over something done by another dealer. And neither does BMW UK as distributor or BMW Germany as manufacturer.
  • The Northern Ireland dealer might have some liability in negligence but good luck with that.
  • The current dealer might help you out from a goodwill perspective - or, if you can get the NI dealer to admit fault, your current dealer might do the work at the expense of the NI dealer. That little bun fight might be well assisted by getting BMW involved to referee between their franchisees as they don't like the brand being tarnished.
That’s cleared a lot up for me, thanks for your reply.
I have started a conversation with bmw customer services who have recommended I call the NI dealer and go from there and they would assist me.

fingers crossed!
 

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They can't drill them out because they are "Technicians" and not mechanics they can only do what the computer tell's them to do.
Me i would put a bit of heat on it and it would be out.
Any old school mechanic wouldn't blink at that sort of job even if it snapped "tap a small torques bit into it" job done 1k my ass.
Sorry for my rant but they do P me off and the money they charge.
 

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As you say, they are not mechanics. Their thinking comes from a book and they never had to keep an old banger on the road so they never developed the skills. This is a job for the hot spanner. Warm the bleed nipple up and it will come out easily. Six years old? It won't have rusted in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just a quick update

so I have contacted the last dealership (bmw in Glasgow) who last did the service 2/3 years ago and they have said over tightening is almost impossible and that it is a common fault that the bleed nipples on the blue M sport break callipers break off.

I have written an email to BMW customer services as now I have one garage telling me they’ve been overtightened and one telling me it’s virtually impossible to over tighten them.

When I called the customer services team they said they couldn’t do much until BMW actually go ahead and try to undo the valves as no damage has yet occurred however I’d rather be sure they would do something in the event they do break them.

I have also booked it into another garage whilst I wait for a reply from BMW to see if they can do the service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Further update

booked into kwickfit at 12, had the car back by 2!

no issue for them! Looks like someone may have been trying to make a bit of money out of me.

not too sure if I’ll be continuing to use bmw to perform my services.

thanks all for the replies
 

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KF often get a bad reputation. Never used them for anything other than tyres and years back discs and pads due to free lifetime replacement of pads

Can only say from personal experience they’ve been good and other than the usual bit of haggling on price matching would be happy to use.
 

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KF often get a bad reputation. Never used them for anything other than tyres and years back discs and pads due to free lifetime replacement of pads
Can only say from personal experience they’ve been good and other than the usual bit of haggling on price matching would be happy to use.
Agreed - they are a franchise , so the quality of service varies wildly, so I feel fortunate to live near one of the good ones
 

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It’s all down to the tech working your car and if he can be bothered (or have the know how) or if he was like most chasing his monthly bonus to try to remove your bleed nipples or not or drill them out and recut the threads for the new bleed screws

When I worked for the dealers I would repair as much as I could like repairing engines,auto gearboxes, locks, dash instruments,ecus , modules with my own equipment

I would get called in to the office once a month as I would loose the dealers upto £10,000 a month repairing things instead or just replacing for a new one and the customers bills would be a lot less

The service advisories would put customers my way that they got on with to save them money

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