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Monday, June 24, 2024

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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March 1999

My service indicator INSPECTION light illuminated at roughly 18500 miles and I had the service performed by the dealer. No surprises on this inspection, which consumed 3 hours of labor ($225) and roughly $55 in parts, for a total cost of roughly $280 (plus government rape). Of course, dealer invoices for routine inspections are largely boilerplate in nature to cover the maximum amount of time BMW NA will reimburse the dealer, so I think it's doubtful it really took that much time, but that's how much I (ne, BMW NA, per scheduled maintenance) was charged to perform the first inspection on the car. Is is worth it? In my honest opinion, no, especially considering what's included (well, here's the important stuff anyway):

Driver's Seat Leather Replacement

I noticed some "delamination" (for lack of a better word) of the leather color from the leather itself in a crack-like fashion, which appeared to be the result of normal wear and compression of the seat, but when I mentioned it to the maintenance technician during the Inspection One, without question he arranged to have the entire seat back leather replaced. I came back two weeks later and left the car with them for the day (actually, I picked it up early -- about 3PM -- so I knew this didn't take them all day). The job looked great. While the tech was writing up the invoice I jokingly asked him, "so it's Free Scheduled maintenance and leather once a year for the first three years or 36K miles, right?"

Tires and brakes status:

At nearly 22K miles, it appears that I have approximately 5-8K worth left on the rear tires, which are wearing at only a slightly greater rate than the fronts, which probably have a solid 10K left. Since I'm not one to do things in a half-ass manner, I'll probably be looking at 4 new tires (possibly five if I replace the spare for consistancy) in the mid-summer timeframe. The brakes, on the other hand, look like they'll make it to 35K, though I'll have to keep an eye on the rears since they are wearing at a faster rate than the fronts.