Our New BM Tech Business Lounge

For many of you the inconvenience of being without your car is very annoying and at times, quite disruptive to your normal work routine. To make your life a little easier, we have introduced a new Customer Business Lounge for those who would like to carry on their business while we service their BMW or Mini at the Canterbury Branch.

Business Lounge with Grass image C

This lounge is not actually a waiting room; instead it’s been designed to be your second, temporary office, where you will be able to enjoy all the same benefits as you would in your own home or office.

The BM Tech Business Lounge offers, free Wi-Fi, desks, a laser printer and a photocopier/scanner/ fax. You will even have access to a computer if you need one.

The business lounge is available to all our BMW and Mini clients free of charge; however bookings are essential as we can only accommodate a few clients at a time. There are some conditions so please do not hesitate in contacting the Canterbury Branch on 9836-1888 for more information.

Diagnosis, X-Rays and Blood tests!

Why is it okay for doctors and health care professionals to charge for diagnosis like x-rays and blood tests, but it’s not okay for mechanics or technicians to charge for diagnosis?
One of my most fascinating observations over the past 24 years as an owner of an automotive service centre is that many customers don’t want to be charged for diagnosis. For some reason, many customers think that just because a technician hasn’t actually “fixed” the problem, they shouldn’t have to pay for the time it took to find or diagnose the problem!

Almost every day, a car arrives with issues like running rough or stalling. The owners discuss the issue and are happy to leave the car for us to diagnose. We then inspect the car by carrying out a series of checks starting from the simple basics like checking the fuses to full-on checks like checking wiring voltage drops or even frequency patterns on oscilloscopes. It’s not dissimilar to doctors carrying out heart ECG or blood tests; the only difference is that technicians do it on machines, not people.
Just like doctors, technicians are trained in what they do. Servicing and fixing cars like replacing brakes or changing the oil is relatively easy. Once trained in how to do these mechanical type jobs, technicians become very quick at it and charge for the privilege; it’s how we make a living.

Diagnosing problems however, is a whole different kettle of fish. Today’s modern cars demand that technicians invest in equipment unheard of twenty years ago. These fancy new machines must also be accompanied by fancy training.
The cost of a new computer scanner to connect to the new vehicle’s on-board computers cost around $25,000 to $50,000. Plus, the training to use the scanners and to constantly keep up with new vehicle technology generally costs around $5000 per technician. A lot of the training these days is held overseas so there’s also the lost productivity which needs to be factored in.

One big misconception that many customers have about these new computer scanners which technicians use to plug in the vehicle’s computer is that they think that the computers actually find the problem, not the technician. This is far from reality! Sure, the scanner will point the technician in certain direction, but this is where it stops; the rest is up to the technician to test and confirm what the computer has indicated. E.g. A BMW’s ABS warning light is on. The computer scanner tells the technician the ABS wheel sensor is out of specifications. The technician then connects an oscilloscope to check the wave pattern of the sensor, and then they remove the sensor and proceed to test it using a multimeter to check things like resistance. Once it is confirmed that the sensor is faulty, the technician will stop and call the customer with a quotation. This procedure, before anything was fixed, has taken approximately 45 to 60 minutes! This time is then charged for, and then if the customer wants it fixed, the cost to replace it is also (separately) charged for.
The fact is the most expensive part of operating an automotive service centre is the investment in diagnostic machines and diagnostic training, but for the strangest reasons, which I’m still baffled about, is the fact that many customers refuse to understand why we need to charge the time it takes to diagnose a problem.

To be fair, most customers totally understand and are very accepting, but I would say that about 20% don’t, so my question is, why do so many owners challenge the fact that we charge for diagnosis? I would love to hear your thoughts.  Thanks.

The New BMW X3

The new BMW X3 is a far cry from its predecessor.  This new all-wheel-drive model is an outstanding piece of machinery which actually drives and handles like a sports coupe, and looks so much better than the last one!

BMW X3 Bronze
The performance from the new engines is truly breathtaking and to think that they only use around 5 to 7 litres of fuel per 100 kms is amazing.  There are four versions which you can buy:

The xDrive 30d is a 6 cyl. diesel with 190kW which can accelerate to 100km/h in 6.2 sec. That’s quick!

The xDrive 20d is a 4 cyl. diesel with 135kW and the fuel economy is 5.6 litres per 100 kms.

The petrol versions are both 4 cyls. and come in a xDrive 20i and a xDrive 28i. The 28i is a turbocharged version with 180kWs of power and can accelerate to 100 km/h in 6.7 sec.  Not bad for a 4 cyl!

What I really like is the high ground clearance which  enables you  to park anywhere without worrying about damaging the front spoiler.

If you’re looking for a spacious, powerful, economical and safe vehicle you really can’t go past the X3.  It’s that good!

Going Overseas?

Leaning Tower 1In the last two years, we have noticed a growing trend with many of our customers travelling overseas during our winter months. However, a problem can arise with a car’s battery if it is sitting around doing nothing for two or more weeks. Last year, we had many instances with flat batteries after the owners arrived back from holidays.  You can just imagine how annoying and inconvenient this can be!

 

BM Tech offers many solutions to avoid that dreaded no-start situation, including:

  • Free Battery Testing while you wait; using our electronic carbon-pile battery tester.
  • Servicing of your vehicle whilst you are away. This is where we can pick up your car from your home and then deliver it back once the service (and battery test) is complete; and
  • an Airport Valet Service where you can leave your vehicle at BM Tech Essendon for service and then we can drop you off at the airport. Once we’ve finished the service, we then deliver the car to Jetport Airport Parking. On your arrival you will be picked up by the Jetport Courtesy Bus to take you back to your vehicle.

If you would like more specific information, please call our Canterbury Branch on 9836-1888 or Essendon on 9379-8810.

The New BMW 3 Series

The all new BMW 3 Series or F30 as we call it has arrived. There will be three versions available in Australia; the economical and surprisingly powerful diesel engined 320d, the new 328i will have an engine that is actually a four cylinder turbo which will combine the best performance with terrific economy, and then there’s the 335i with the incredible turbocharged six cylinder engine. These cars have been designed with near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution for amazing balance and handling. I think these new F30s are going to sell very well.

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My pick would have to be the 328i.  The beauty of the engine in this car is that when you’re not using the power, the fuel economy is terrific, but when you want big acceleration, like when overtaking, it’s like a big six cylinder engine. The best of both worlds!  Well done BMW!

 

CANTERBURY WORKSHOP EXPANSION

BM Tech Canterbury has expanded into the workshop next door.

Eight years ago, when we moved to our current location on Canterbury Road, the size of the new workshop was a huge contrast from the old Box Hill site; Canterbury was so big!  However, it’s amazing how quickly we out grew it.  Our customer base is growing rapidly and we are beginning to experience the same issues that were evident in our old workshop.  We desperately needed more room to move and additional areas for work bays.  Fortunately, the property next door became available just in time so we made the decision to expand.

Workshop Front Both Sides

We now have four more working bays and a wonderful new car park at the front which will make drop-offs and pick-ups even easier than before. Our capacity to service and repair cars and provide better, more efficient customer service has improved noticeably.

Warranty Woes

Too many people underestimate the value and importance of parts warranty.

Some people nowadays are importing parts from overseas themselves. The problem is that you don’t know what the quality is like.

Countless companies who sell on web sites like eBay claim they sell original equipment manufactured (OEM) parts, only to find out that the quality is not OEM. Proper OEM parts are from manufacturers who actually supply for BMW directly, so the quality should be equal to the original. The parts from many of these internet companies are not OEM and the quality is appalling and in some cases unsafe.

Many people who have also purchased parts from overseas know too well the difficulty when claiming warranty. Not only is it difficult to get warranty but they have to pay the freight charges again, not to mention the labour again to have it replaced a second time. BM Tech highly recommends against this due to the far-too-common poor outcome for customers.

Cost of Parts Dropping

The rising Australian dollar, particularly against the Euro currency, is finally beginning to make an impact on BMW parts prices. We are seeing the cost of regular service parts like filters and brakes, coming down, and it’s not just the common parts, even odd items like computer modules etc. are also reducing in price. Unfortunately due to our very small market and distance from Europe we always will have to pay a little more than the European and USA markets.

BM Tech has always passed on the savings on original parts where possible. Of course there are some parts which attract better or worse discounts, such as when parts are needed to be purchased from BMW on the same day as required; they come with very little discount, however, when parts are purchased on stock orders, especially when we import them ourselves from Europe, they carry much better discounts.

BM Tech now stocks over 1000 lines of commonly bought parts so we can apply these larger discounts on to you. All common service parts will now be sold to you at trade prices. This is a great saving to you and even makes us competitive with other workshops using lesser quality parts.

You will now not only pay less for your BMW maintenance, but more importantly, will still be able to enjoy the benefits of our full two year warranty.

Victorian Roadworthy Certificates Changes

This year, Vicroads has radically changed the way we check and process vehicles which need Roadworthy Certificates (RWC).

The new process involves extensive body structural checks and the new task of taking photographs of each vehicle to provide proof and authenticity in the preparation of the report. This extra cost for you (and extra work for workshops) at first appears to be a burden on your hip pocket, but these new rules are a great result for consumers. Firstly, the quality of RWC inspections will improve because it’s getting a lot harder for shabby workshops, and the all-too-familiar horror story of purchasing a vehicle with a RWC only to find out it is full of problems, hopefully will no longer exist. These new rules are to protect you, the consumer.

Unfortunately, the extra time it will take to provide a certificate means the price will need to rise and the days of waiting for a Roadworthy Report can no longer occur. Roadworthy Certificates, including second inspections, will have to be booked in for a whole day.

Please speak to our Service Advisors for more information.