This weekend, my neighbor stopped over my house to tell me he brought in his 2008 BMW 550I to a foreign specialty mechanics shop in North Olmsted, because the low coolant light was on. They ended up giving him a $2700 bill, saying the vehicle was unsafe to drive and could overheat at any second, the suspension was shot, the steering rack had the wrong fluid in it and was blown out, and it had a horrible oil leak that would destroy the engine. I usually block out other companies name and info, but since this is such a deceptive fraud invoice, I’ve decided to upload it in its entirety:
He asked if we would give a second opinion, and I told him of course and we would happily do it.
Let’s start with the first and most obvious part of the invoice, which ended up being one of the two things this vehicle actually needed, and is not even on the invoice. After asking the customer how many leaks they’ve ever seen or fluids they have ever refilled… and found out it was zero and never… we were pretty sure the coolant level sensor was bad. Plugged in the scanner, and as it turns out, that was the warning on the dash. We did a coolant system pressure test, and found zero leaks – not even a single tiny minor one, negating the $650 charge and warning on the invoice.
Next is the “oil leak near pan and oil filter housing.” As the customer stated they have never seen a drop of oil on the ground, I was worried the bellypan was filled with oil. I had a tech remove it, and we searched the entire engine for this oil leak. This one is humorous. After searching for 10 minutes, we found the absolute smallest drop of oil (near the timing cover gasket, mind you) that had been covered in dirt and was sitting there for the better part of a year – it never even hit the ground. When I tell you it was so small that I couldn’t even get a picture of it with my camera, you can be sure this $1600 repair was a rip off.
Which leads us to the “someone put the wrong power steering fluid in, and the rack seals are blown out. Needs replaced.” We were laughing by the time we got to this one. Yes, many M-Sport and M Series BMWs of this year have active steering, which uses hydraulic fluid instead of power steering fluid. It also has a super bright green and white cap that says DO NOT PUT IN POWER STEERING FLUID! As you can guess, this 550I was not equipped with active steering, and had the correct steering fluid installed. Oh, and the seals? Dryer than a hot day in the middle of texas during the summer. Absolutely no need for replacement (Maybe why they diddn’t put a crazy repair cost on this one.)
Next up is two front lower control arm bushings that this vehicle supposedly needs. SURPRISE! It was the drivers side outer tie rod. Not the bushings at all, and the rest of the suspension was like new. $540 averted!
Total invoice quote (without steering rack) to fix a veterans car by a shady foreign shop – $2700.
Actual cost to repair problems with vehicle from Kazkorp, including full oil change and coolant flush – $425.
This is why we would like to stress getting second opinions, and having trust in the current shop you are using. We routinely ask our customers to have all our quotes doubled checked elsewhere, and are happy to do the same. We even cleaned up his headlights and fogs while we were waiting for CORRECT parts to come in and got him on his way. GOD BLESS THE USA!