2012 BMW X3 Long Term Road Test


2012 BMW X3: First Service Lesson

August 10, 2012

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(Photo by John DiPietro)

Following Erin's 3,000-mile road trip, our 2012 BMW X3 was due for its first service. Our first option was a phone call to Long Beach BMW. It went something like this:

Us: We would like to schedule a service appointment.

Them: Ok, my first available appointment is Monday.

Us: Monday? That is 4 days from now. I just need an oil change.

Them: (Pause) The first available appointment is Monday, sorry.

Us: No thanks. We'll go to another dealership. Bye.

Our next option was Santa Monica BMW. In the past we've alternated between it and Long Beach, depending upon which was most convenient at the time. Historically, we preferred to avoid Santa Monica due to mediocre service. But it was worth a shot. We drove straight over without calling to take our chances...

We pulled into the serivce drive at Santa Monica BMW and were greeted by an advisor. He was courteous and processed our paperwork quickly. "I should be able to have it back to you later this afternoon," he told us. Instead, the car was ready hours before we expected it. In all, our X3 was parked in their garage about 90 minutes. Not too bad without an appointment. It has certainly taken longer in the past.

Over the average year we go through about 100 service visits on long-term vehicles. That means by now I've been involved in well over a thousand of these encounters. For a long time I supported the idea that it was always best to call for an appointment. But over the past year or so I'm more and more inclined to just show up. Just get there early.

As a walk-in I've never been turned away. And as long as the advisor knows you're waiting for the car, they will typically find a way to process your vehicle in a reasonable amount of time. If the car requires extensive work, it is still a good idea to talk it out with an advisor first, and plan the visit. But this experience may have taught us a lesson. The next time we need only an oil change or tire rotation, we're going to try showing up unannounced.

Total Cost: None

Total Days out of Service: None

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 14,540 miles

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