Why Use a BMW Auto Repair Shop vs. a Dealership

Published On: August 29th, 2021Categories: 3 European Auto Service, BMW, MaintenanceBy

BMW Auto Repair, BMW Maintenance, ASE Certified Technicians, OEM PartsIf you own or lease a BMW, you know how important it is to keep up with routine maintenance. The dealership would have you believe that they are the only option to service your car. In truth, many independent BMW Auto Repair Shops can do routine BMW maintenance, process recalls, and provide warranty services. They employ ASE Certified Technicians and have specialized equipment. They also use OEM Parts and may offer aftermarket upgrades that your dealership won’t touch.

Many independent auto shops are more cost-effective and have a faster turnaround as well. What does that mean for you and your BMW? It means BMW Auto Repair Shops provide all the services you expect from your dealership, plus a high level of personal customer service often lacking in their corporate counterpart.

BMW Auto Repair ASE Certified Technicians

What is an ASE Certified Technician, and why is it important? ASE stands for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, established in 1972. They are an independent, non-profit organization. Their main job is to improve the quality of auto repair services by testing and certifying automotive professionals. Although anyone can work on cars, well-trained mechanics spend years learning the art of auto repair. These professionals must meet standardized criteria of performance to become ASE Certified Technicians.

BMW Factory Training

Factory-Trained Mechanics undergo a rigorous 16-week STEP program of factory-specific services on one brand of car. A BMW factory-trained mechanic will be well versed in all aspects of BMW maintenance, service, and repairs. Factory training is available to any mechanic who meets their entrance criteria and wishes to invest in it.

Whether you take your vehicle to a BMW dealer or an independent BMW auto repair shop, be sure to look for the ASE Certified badge. If you don’t see one prominently displayed, ask if their mechanics have specific factory training or certifications.

BMW Auto Repair Service Equipment

High-end vehicles often require specialized equipment to diagnose and repair issues. This equipment can be expensive and requires specialized training to use. BMW dealerships have easy access to this equipment since they work in partnership with the auto manufacturer. However, BMW independent auto repair shops also have access to the same equipment and training opportunities as the dealerships.

OEM Parts & Aftermarket Parts

What are OEM parts? They are Original Equipment Manufacturer parts made directly by the manufacturer. The availability of OEM parts is wholly dictated by the manufacturer.

What are aftermarket parts? Aftermarket parts are regulated & inspected, automobile components manufactured by third parties. Many manufacturers offer aftermarket auto parts, so long wait times are rare.

BMW Dealerships are required by the manufacturer to use only OEM parts, and there is usually a hefty mark-up included in the price. On the other hand, Independent auto repair shops have the flexibility to use either OEM parts or less expensive aftermarket parts. This flexibility can save you 20-60% on parts costs alone. 

BMW Maintenance & Warranty Coverage

New BMWs often come with a free routine maintenance service package (oil changes, basic tune-ups, tire rotations) for a limited time. Of course, this package is not actually free. The costs are wrapped into the car’s sticker price, so the dealership doesn’t lose money when the services are eventually performed. It’s wise to take advantage of all those dealer services while they last. 

Nevertheless, certain repairs will occasionally fall outside those free dealer services. Whenever you find yourself facing an expensive dealer repair, shop around for a better price. Individual BMW Auto Repair shops will be happy to provide you with an estimate. Many independent shops offer very comprehensive parts & service warranties on their work.

BMW Auto Repair Personalized Service

I think we can all agree that dealerships lack the personal touch when it comes to customer service. They have a high turnaround rate in employees, so you rarely see the same person twice. Most service writers in dealerships work on commission, so their biggest focus is upselling services. You have no direct contact with the BMW mechanic, so you have to rely on the person on the phone or at the counter to convey your needs accurately. Plus, if you drive an older model car, they frequently urge you to buy a brand new one.

Individual BMW auto repair shops depend on every single customer, so their attention to your needs is often very detailed. The shop owner is frequently found behind the counter or in the garage. Therefore, you can speak directly to the person in charge of your car’s service. The employee turn-over is usually far less in independent BMW shops due to the more casual atmosphere. Additionally, BMW shop managers strive to build long-term relationships with their customers. Fortunately, high-pressure sales techniques are rarely used in smaller service shops.

BMW Auto Repair Shop in Pomona, CA

Taylor Co European Auto Services offers a menu of repair and maintenance services tailored to your coupe, sedan, or SUV. One of our qualified technicians will stay with your BMW from start to finish. We focus on providing quality repairs, friendly customer service, and affordable prices.

Make an Appointment

If you have any concerns about your BMW or need to take care of an overdue service item, call us at (909) 316-6166 or visit our website to schedule an appointment. We will be happy to answer any of your questions. 

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