BMW X3 Forum
BMW X3 Forum
Welcome to the ultimate BMW X3 community.
BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      01-10-2022, 11:41 AM   #1
BrownBoy17
New Member
0
Rep
8
Posts

Drives: BMW X3 xDrive28i
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: NYC

iTrader: (0)

Looking for a good & affordable mechanic

Hello everyone,

I'm a newbie to the BMW world and I bought a 2012 X3 xDrive28i @104K miles. I'm recently facing some issue with my car, In a nutshell, I have an engine oil leak where I believe the oil is touching the exhaust which is causing a burning smell when I start the car. I also see a little bit of white smoke coming out from the left side of the engine when I pop the hood up and it goes away after a couple of mins. I took it to the dealership for a diagnostic and the dealership gave me a lot more stuff to repair than what I originally went for. I bought the car for 11K and now the quote for the "issues" from the dealership is coming out to 9K. Insane, I know.

The repairs (?) are:
OIL FILTER HOUSING LEAK-$990
VALVE COVER-$2021
OIL PAN GASKET-$2757
FRONT BRAKES W/ROT-$960
REAR BRAKES W/ROT-$823
BATTERY-$568
SPARK PLUGS- (2 of 2) $460
AIR FILTER-$152

I don't even know if this things needs to be done because I don't see any of these changes required on my infotainment screen when I click on the "vehicle status". Furthermore, I got all of the above mentioned parts from FCP Euro and now I'm desperately looking for an affordable yet effective person/independent mechanic in NYC to help me fix my car. I wish I could do DIY but I don't know anything about cars, and this is my first car. Please advise, it'd help me a lot. Thank you.
Appreciate 0
      01-10-2022, 01:38 PM   #2
pungo
Colonel
pungo's Avatar
United_States
651
Rep
2,147
Posts

Drives: Z4MC, X3 35i, 525i
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MD

iTrader: (5)

Garage List
Welcome to the forum...

Did you have a PPI before purchasing the vehicle? If so, whoever did it, didn't do a very good job since all these items just don't need work all of the sudden. If you didn't have a PPI, you should have to be aware the work that is needed prior to purchasing it.

None of these items will show up in the idrive except maybe the brakes. A independent shop could be 1/2 the price of the dealer. Sorry I don't know of any mechanics to refer you to since I do all my own work, but you could look up bimrs.org to see if there's something in your area. Not sure about a "affordable yet effective" tech since many times you get what you pay for

BTW - Many shops don't want to install parts you bring then since they make a profit off selling the parts as well as them having to deal with parts that may not be the correct ones.
Appreciate 2
      01-10-2022, 02:46 PM   #3
BrownBoy17
New Member
0
Rep
8
Posts

Drives: BMW X3 xDrive28i
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: NYC

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pungo View Post
Welcome to the forum...

Did you have a PPI before purchasing the vehicle? If so, whoever did it, didn't do a very good job since all these items just don't need work all of the sudden. If you didn't have a PPI, you should have to be aware the work that is needed prior to purchasing it.

None of these items will show up in the idrive except maybe the brakes. A independent shop could be 1/2 the price of the dealer. Sorry I don't know of any mechanics to refer you to since I do all my own work, but you could look up bimrs.org to see if there's something in your area. Not sure about a "affordable yet effective" tech since many times you get what you pay for

BTW - Many shops don't want to install parts you bring then since they make a profit off selling the parts as well as them having to deal with parts that may not be the correct ones.
I didn't do any PPI unfortunately. Actually, I don't even know the process of how to do the PPI to begin with. I took a friend who has been driving cars for a while and based on his word, I got the car but I probably shouldn't have done that. I tried looking for at the website you mentioned but couldn't find any. I'm still on the lookout and thank you again for your advice, will definitely keep that in mind.
Appreciate 0
      01-10-2022, 03:22 PM   #4
pungo
Colonel
pungo's Avatar
United_States
651
Rep
2,147
Posts

Drives: Z4MC, X3 35i, 525i
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MD

iTrader: (5)

Garage List
Someone "who has been driving cars for a while" doesn't mean they know them mechanically, which shows since the cost to repair your vehicle is nearly what it's worth .

The next time, do a search on PPI to learn how to get one done, which is money well spent to know what you're getting prior to purchasing.

Maybe join the bmwcca ny chapter where you can find where the local people in your area bring their BMWs for trusted repairs.
Appreciate 1
      01-10-2022, 06:27 PM   #5
Bdavi011
Private First Class
52
Rep
100
Posts

Drives: 2013 BMW X3 3.5i
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Los Angeles

iTrader: (0)

To be perfectly honest, I would only focus on the parts that need immediate repair. The would be the valve cover (buy genuine BMW), which already comes with a gasket in it and the oil filter housing gasket. The oil pan gasket may or may not be leaking. Hard to tell when oil leaks from the top of the engine make it to the bottom and your oil pan looks oily. Regardless, an oil pan leak is common on these engines, regardless of the year of the BMW.

The brakes and rotors should get checked out from an indie around your area. I am willing to bet that they are fine and the dealer is just trying to make $$$.

The air filter is literally ~$20 and takes less than 5 minutes for someone to replace. If you must take it to the indie, then do so, but even you can do this with a torx tool and a flat head screwdriver.

Any reason the dealership gave for needing a new battery? These cars usually store a code if there is voltage issues from a bad battery (mine did and I replaced my battery just a few days ago) code is now gone. But I would not replace a battery unless it has been starting to give issues or I get a code for it.

Spark plugs are easy enough to do on your engine but you do need a special tool to remove/install spark plugs. Plugs are about $10 each and you only need 4 if you have the N20 engine.

Don't worry about not getting a PPI done. It happens. You learn. Not sure how much an indie would charge but if only replacing the valve cover, oil filter housing gaskets, spark plugs and air filter. I would say a fair estimate to be $1k- $1.5k for labor alone and even then I would think that is a bit expensive.

Also, did you buy your car from a private seller or a dealership?

Last edited by Bdavi011; 01-10-2022 at 06:28 PM.. Reason: *labor
Appreciate 1
      01-10-2022, 07:46 PM   #6
marseille82
Captain
marseille82's Avatar
289
Rep
684
Posts

Drives: 2022 X3 M40i
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Boogie down Bronx

iTrader: (0)

There is a independent shop in the Bronx called: BMW Auto Repair Corp.

They are less expensive than the dealers but not cheap either. Their work is top notch though.

Maybe try to get a quote and see if it works for you.

Good luck
Appreciate 1
      01-10-2022, 08:13 PM   #7
brianhinton77
Private First Class
67
Rep
100
Posts

Drives: 2011 X3 28i, 2016 X5 M-Sport
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Alabama

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Doing a quick google search for Independent European Car Repair in New York City yields many results
Appreciate 1
      01-10-2022, 11:05 PM   #8
BrownBoy17
New Member
0
Rep
8
Posts

Drives: BMW X3 xDrive28i
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: NYC

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdavi011 View Post
To be perfectly honest, I would only focus on the parts that need immediate repair. The would be the valve cover (buy genuine BMW), which already comes with a gasket in it and the oil filter housing gasket. The oil pan gasket may or may not be leaking. Hard to tell when oil leaks from the top of the engine make it to the bottom and your oil pan looks oily. Regardless, an oil pan leak is common on these engines, regardless of the year of the BMW.

The brakes and rotors should get checked out from an indie around your area. I am willing to bet that they are fine and the dealer is just trying to make $$$.

The air filter is literally ~$20 and takes less than 5 minutes for someone to replace. If you must take it to the indie, then do so, but even you can do this with a torx tool and a flat head screwdriver.

Any reason the dealership gave for needing a new battery? These cars usually store a code if there is voltage issues from a bad battery (mine did and I replaced my battery just a few days ago) code is now gone. But I would not replace a battery unless it has been starting to give issues or I get a code for it.

Spark plugs are easy enough to do on your engine but you do need a special tool to remove/install spark plugs. Plugs are about $10 each and you only need 4 if you have the N20 engine.

Don't worry about not getting a PPI done. It happens. You learn. Not sure how much an indie would charge but if only replacing the valve cover, oil filter housing gaskets, spark plugs and air filter. I would say a fair estimate to be $1k- $1.5k for labor alone and even then I would think that is a bit expensive.

Also, did you buy your car from a private seller or a dealership?
Thank you so, so much, for such a detailed explanation. I really appreciate it. I have decided that I will be doing the following things based on your and other people advice that I've got from Reddit:

Replace Valve cover along with spark plugs.
Replace oil filter housing gasket.
Replace air filter.
Do battery testing (Autozone does it for free).
Check front and rear brake pads with rotors.
Check for any oil change.
Maybe a quick check for any leak around oil pan.

I have a strong feeling that the dealership just wanted to squeeze as much money as possible from my pocket. But with that said, I will definitely take it to an independent shop and I hope everything is done within $1K. I have spent around $858.36 already….
Appreciate 0
      01-10-2022, 11:06 PM   #9
BrownBoy17
New Member
0
Rep
8
Posts

Drives: BMW X3 xDrive28i
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: NYC

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by marseille82 View Post
There is a independent shop in the Bronx called: BMW Auto Repair Corp.

They are less expensive than the dealers but not cheap either. Their work is top notch though.

Maybe try to get a quote and see if it works for you.

Good luck
I actually called them earlier last week and spoke with Omar. Saw some good reviews about them, but not sure how much he's going to charge me. I really, really hope it's not much…
Appreciate 0
      01-11-2022, 09:24 AM   #10
Opie55
Lieutenant Colonel
637
Rep
1,890
Posts

Drives: '15 650i Convertible
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: US

iTrader: (0)

Your iDrive may say brakes are due but it's worthless. Only a visual inspection will do. If the car does not shimmy when you stop, then you really just need to know how much pad life is left. At 3mm you should start planning for new. Above that you should just monitor them. New pads are about 10mm.
Oil pan leaks are common and it is a huge job on these cars. Even if you found the rare competent mechanic who does that sort of stuff for friends it will cost $1,200 or more. But it's not an emergency usually.
The valve covers on these cars are plastic, so they do crack. But like Pungo, whenever someone posts these dealer repair estimates it just feels like robbery when I know how much it would cost me to do that stuff myself. Most any 10 year old German car will need these sorts of things. There comes a point where it's just economically crazy to own one if you don't DIY.
Appreciate 0
      01-11-2022, 10:21 AM   #11
BrownBoy17
New Member
0
Rep
8
Posts

Drives: BMW X3 xDrive28i
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: NYC

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opie55 View Post
Your iDrive may say brakes are due but it's worthless. Only a visual inspection will do. If the car does not shimmy when you stop, then you really just need to know how much pad life is left. At 3mm you should start planning for new. Above that you should just monitor them. New pads are about 10mm.
Oil pan leaks are common and it is a huge job on these cars. Even if you found the rare competent mechanic who does that sort of stuff for friends it will cost $1,200 or more. But it's not an emergency usually.
The valve covers on these cars are plastic, so they do crack. But like Pungo, whenever someone posts these dealer repair estimates it just feels like robbery when I know how much it would cost me to do that stuff myself. Most any 10 year old German car will need these sorts of things. There comes a point where it's just economically crazy to own one if you don't DIY.
Thanks for your advice! From the dealership they said that my front brake pads are measured at 2mm and the rear brake pads at 3mm, and also both the front and rear rotors are bad. I don't know if I should trust them or not with that so I didn't end up buying any brake pads and rotors.
Appreciate 0
      01-11-2022, 11:04 AM   #12
brave-heart
Private
21
Rep
64
Posts

Drives: 2021 x5 45e, 2012 x3 35i
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: NJ

iTrader: (0)

For your reference, I used a reputable NJ BMW specialist last year for my 2012 x3 35i. Three jobs done - Valve cover (new cover, including gasket), Oil pan gasket , and spark plug ( they just charged the parts, labor included in Valve cover job). Total 600 (valve cover labor) + 600 ( valve cover & gasket parts) + 800 (oil pan) + other parts = 2200 before tax. Dealer charges over 2K for oil pan gasket job alone. I would say do all jobs together in a local shop & get discounts.
Appreciate 1
      01-11-2022, 12:49 PM   #13
slowblackx3f25
xdriv33
slowblackx3f25's Avatar
Canada
10
Rep
76
Posts

Drives: 17' BMW x3 F25 xDrive28i xLine
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2017 BMW x3  [0.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by brave-heart View Post
For your reference, I used a reputable NJ BMW specialist last year for my 2012 x3 35i. Three jobs done - Valve cover (new cover, including gasket), Oil pan gasket , and spark plug ( they just charged the parts, labor included in Valve cover job). Total 600 (valve cover labor) + 600 ( valve cover & gasket parts) + 800 (oil pan) + other parts = 2200 before tax. Dealer charges over 2K for oil pan gasket job alone. I would say do all jobs together in a local shop & get discounts.
Do it at a local BMW experienced shop.

Stay away from stealerships (dealerships) for repairs.
They charge a leg and an arm.

Make sure it's done at a BMW experienced/specialized local shop so it's a smooth sail.

My x3 gets serviced and repaired at a M specialist shop in Toronto.

I don't go to the dealership as they charge way too much in order for them to pay for the dealership resources and all the techs and dealership staff they have on payroll.

Again. Stay away from the dealership. Unless it's for something serious (like a lost key fob or recalls)
Appreciate 1
      01-11-2022, 03:20 PM   #14
Opie55
Lieutenant Colonel
637
Rep
1,890
Posts

Drives: '15 650i Convertible
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: US

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownBoy17 View Post
Thanks for your advice! From the dealership they said that my front brake pads are measured at 2mm and the rear brake pads at 3mm, and also both the front and rear rotors are bad. I don't know if I should trust them or not with that so I didn't end up buying any brake pads and rotors.
If they gave you specific measurements they are probably correct. They have a tool to measure the pads. So you should replace them. The rotors are likely worn thin. For brakes, I would not worry too much about having a place that specializes in BMWs do it. BMW brakes are no different or more complex than any other brakes - or at least any cars with electronic parking brakes. What you want is somebody good who will not gouge you on price, not somebody with a particular sign on his door. As a DIY it's a $500-$600 job for all four wheels. That's a lot less less than you were quoted for 2 wheels. If you can get it done for a couple hours labor on top of that, it will be a deal.
Appreciate 1
      01-13-2022, 10:23 AM   #15
frisbeeguy
Private First Class
United_States
48
Rep
197
Posts

Drives: BMW,Tesla, etc.
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Texas

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
There was a shop in Mamaroneck called Wish Auto. Owner is Japanese, Tomohiro. Very cheap prices for repairs. The question is whether they still exist or not, as I see on google they're closed, but phone number is listed, so maybe worth a call.
Appreciate 1
      01-18-2022, 08:36 AM   #16
capten1001
Private
United_States
26
Rep
58
Posts

Drives: 2019 BMW X3 M40i
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Bethlehem, PA

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by brave-heart View Post
For your reference, I used a reputable NJ BMW specialist last year for my 2012 x3 35i. Three jobs done - Valve cover (new cover, including gasket), Oil pan gasket , and spark plug ( they just charged the parts, labor included in Valve cover job). Total 600 (valve cover labor) + 600 ( valve cover & gasket parts) + 800 (oil pan) + other parts = 2200 before tax. Dealer charges over 2K for oil pan gasket job alone. I would say do all jobs together in a local shop & get discounts.
May I ask which shop in NJ did you use? Thanks.
Appreciate 0
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:00 PM.




xbimmers
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST