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      04-26-2019, 08:55 PM   #1
EstorilM240
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PSA: BMW maintenance plans, second owners, beating the system (very cheap service!)

In this thread: Refunds and cancellation, BMW Ultimate Care Plus and maintenance plan upgrades. I figure I'd collect all this information in one thread, since having this would have saved myself many hours. Yay for consumer education, right? Using this forum since applies to all models, feel free to move.

Model year 2003-2014: BMWs had 4 years/50K miles of maintenance. This stayed with the car e.g. second owners got this. This covered, oil, brakes, wipers, and other items. The full list is in the Ultimate Care site

Model year 2015-2016: For US BMWs (but not Canadian), this 4 years/50K maintenance no longer transferred to second owners unless "same household". If you are the second owner, it costs $700 to purchase a refresh and get the maintenance back. [1] Technically, the cutoff date for the no maintenance transfer is July 1, 2014, so some model year 2015 sold before July 1, 2014 would have factory maintenance transfer, but this is no longer relevant to used buyers in 2019.

Model year 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020+: Coverage reduced to 3 years/36K miles. No more wear items like brake pads and rotors. Now covers: Engine Oil, Engine Filter, Brake Fluid, Cabin Micro Filter(s), Engine Air Filter(s), Spark Plugs, Remote Control/Key Battery, Vehicle Check, Fuel Filter (Diesel engines only). Still doesn't transfer to second owner (relevant to used buyers today!). If you are the second owner, it only costs $100 to purchase a refresh and get the maintenance back.

If you want to cover wear items like brakes, you can buy Ultimate Care Plus for $600, or various other prices (prices on BMW's website). Once you buy the Ultimate Care Plus, the maintenance now DOES transfer. Many dealers will try to sell you Ultimate Care Plus at the same time of the refresh, or do some type of upsell. Some will outright lie and say the refresh is $700. Ask for the $100 bare-bones refresh. If I ever find the paperwork with the code for a pure refresh, I will post it here. [2]

Beating the system: Only works in 14 states. Large hassle. Only really works up to 36K miles/3 years.

All maintenance plan upgrades e.g. the Ultimate Care Plus, are cancelable within 60 days for a full refund in 14 states including California and New Jersey, if not yet used. If used, or past 60 days, you can cancel for a monthly pro-rated refund - this is key! California has consumer protection laws that stipulates this and makes it very clear that plans can be canceled for a prorated refund even if services have been performed, and I saw several threads on BMW and Mini forums of people trying to cancel this. As of December 2015, the maintenance plan upgrade paperwork now contains the following clause, probably because enough people caused a ruckus:

"CANCELLATION/REFUNDS (ONLY VALID IN ALABAMA, ALASKA, CALIFORNIA, ILLINOIS, MAINE, MARYLAND, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, PUERTO RICO, SOUTH CAROLINA, VERMONT AND WISCONSIN)

If this Agreement was purchased in any of the states or territories listed in the heading immediately above, it may be cancelled within 60 days of its purchase for a full refund so long as no services have been provided on the Enrolled Vehicle under this Program. At any other time, this Agreement may be cancelled for a pro rata refund less a $25 cancellation fee. The pro rata refund will be calculated based on the number of months that have elapsed since the Agreement became effective. To cancel this Agreement and receive a refund, customers must deliver written notice to the Center where this Agreement was purchased. Customers can deliver this written cancellation notice to the Center where this Agreement was purchased in person, via U.S. mail, or via a courier such as UPS or Federal Express. The Center will pay any refund due within 30 days of its receipt of a written cancellation request. The Program purchaser cannot request a cancellation/refund after selling, trading-in or otherwise surrendering possession as the Program will remain on the Enrolled Vehicle."

This means that it is possible to actually get very cheap brake or other wear item jobs like clutches in those 14 states - for the cost of one month of the maintenance plan upgrade + $25. One can buy the maintenance plan upgrade(s), use them for brake service, then cancel after 1 month. The cost depends on how many months there are until the end of the contract. So buying a $600 contract at month 24 means you get back 11 months out of 12 month contract back for $550 minus the $25 fee = $75 cost, while buying a $600 contract at month 34 means you only get 2 months back = $225 cost. This strategy works best on very high mileage, low-age cars. The main problem is, unless you buy the first Ultimate Care Plus package by 36K/3 years, you can no longer buy any of the extended mileage upgrades, and the first Ultimate Care Package can only be sold up to 36K/3years.

https://bmwusaservice.com/ultimatecare

Obtaining coverage for brakes: The official guideline for brake wear is 3mm according to the service manual. [3] If you're within this, or the wear indicator light is on, you should almost certainly be able to get it covered. The maintenance system may get stuck at 3,200 miles, depending on which of the sensors is triggered - and is waiting for the next brake wear countdown. I've had other dealers quote entirely different metrics on me, depending on whether I vs. BMW was paying, and deliberately changing the measurement of the brake pads to screw with me. Dealership will most likely say when the light comes on

The main flaw is this requires some paperwork hassle. Basically no one cancels these agreements in the first place, so this loophole, like credit card churning for the signup points bonuses, is likely to exist for a while. It's also possible that a dealership will refuse to sell you the maintenance plan upgrade if your service indicator shows that XYZ wear item is already due, but many dealerships will sell a maintenance plan upgrade remotely e.g. over the phone, with you just taking a photo of your mileage. There is also no rule against buying a second maintenance plan upgrade if you've also canceled your first - unlike some credit cards that make you wait 2 years. It shouldn't take more than 1-2 hours to cancel and get a refund if done properly, but it's highly likely to get stonewalled, and dealers may try to defraud by outright not cooperating with the refund until threatened. It's probably way better to just go to an indie, but I bring this up for someone who really wants dealership service and wants to pay as little as possible. In fact, I wouldn't count on this being usable more than once per vehicle, per dealer (it doesn't seem possible to easily correlate records by owner name vs. by VIN, so you might pull it off on multiple cars)

How to actually cancel, strategically and logistically: By law and according to their own contract they must honor the cancelation clause. The best way to ensure everything is covered is to write a strongly worded letter stating you are canceling your plan, and you need a refund as the contract promises. Take photos, send to the dealership via certified mail or FedEx, then call and contact the director of finance of the dealership you bought it from. Escalate as needed (BMWNA can help with a "dealer assist" or have someone reach out), and make sure they don't ghost/ignore you. You can name-drop the California Department of Consumer Affairs and the California Department of Insurance (which is the source for the refund rule).

How did I learn this? Extensive research after being deceived, confused, or outright lied to many times. If I wasted this time, I sure hope some other second owner of a used BMW, or someone stuck in the finance office, benefits from this information in the future. It's kind of sad these things and prices aren't just posted online on BMW's website, but doing so would make it much harder for dealerships to stonewall you. The fact that you even have to buy a refresh through a dealer who will either lie to you and say it's $700 not $100, or try to upsell you, instead of clicking a button on MyBMW and paying with a card, is kind of sad.

[1] https://www.autoblog.com/2014/08/12/...-to-2nd-owner/

[2] https://www.bmwblog.com/2016/01/07/s...d-maintenance/

[3] https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f...ons/1VnYVDEUPc

Last edited by EstorilM240; 09-25-2019 at 01:59 AM..
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      04-26-2019, 10:11 PM   #2
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One reason I didn’t go from my CPO 135 to a CPO X4 M40i was the watered down CPO warranty. My CPO Porsche comes with balance of factory plus two additional years unlimited miles. It’s a lot of peace of mind.
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      05-04-2019, 11:37 AM   #3
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we bought my wife's CPO BMW just before they stopped the 2 years/100k

I don't think we will buy another one.

as for maintenance I really don't care. I enjoy doing the oil/fluid/filter changes and spark plugs. cost me as little as $35 per oil change. takes me same or less time than driving to dealer.
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      05-04-2019, 11:37 AM   #4
EstorilM240
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To add a bit more color and consolidate information, you can buy either:

A. the "SH" refresh for $100. On used dealer cars, the option code is 301. Engine oil, engine filter, brake fluid, micro filter, air filter, spark plugs, remote battery, vehicle check. Goes through 3 years/36K miles. Very worth it considering the high cost of these.

B. the "MP" maintenance plan for $600. On used dealer cars, the option code is 302. This covers wear items like brake pads, brake rotors, windshield wipers, and rotors. Goes through 3 years/36K miles. Almost certainly not worth it unless you drive 100% city stop and go, or do enough track days that you'll need new brakes.

If you bought used car from a private party, or assumed a lease/did swap a lease on model year 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, etc., you can buy the refresh plan by talking to the finance office at a dealership. They may try to upsell you, or claim you still need to pay $700, but you can just opt for the $100 one. If you are encountering trouble in the great labyrinth of dealerships, what you could do is sit down at the desk, say fine, I'll get the $700 one, then you will notice when they hand you the paperwork that there are two separate line items. Then, you simply opt for the 301 / SH refresh for $100 and cross out the $600 one.

Further confirmation:
https://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1560214
https://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1561997

Amazingly, there are very few places where you can get this information and the exact price, probably less than 10 forum posts, so I figured this would help people find in search more.
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      09-22-2019, 10:27 PM   #5
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Maintenance Program Upgrade

I purchased a used F15 in Feb 2019 and it just came up for service, which is when I learned that the maintenance plan did not transfer! oops... Anyway, the dealership offered the aforementioned $700 refresh to keep the 4 year/50,000 warranty in-effect. If I wanted to upgrade I could purchase an additional 12 months/25,000 miles for $1,150. (A combined $1,850). They also said that I would only be covered for 25,000 miles beyond my CURRENT odometer reading. I called another dealership who said if purchasing the upgrade that purchasing a refresh is not necessary. So I purchased the Maintenance Program Upgrade and now I have coverage for an additional 12 months until July 2021/75,000 miles for $1,150. This was all based on 48 months passing from the original in-service date. Took my 30k service from $1,005 to less than $400.
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      09-23-2019, 03:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xdew23 View Post
I purchased a used F15 in Feb 2019 and it just came up for service, which is when I learned that the maintenance plan did not transfer! oops... Anyway, the dealership offered the aforementioned $700 refresh to keep the 4 year/50,000 warranty in-effect. If I wanted to upgrade I could purchase an additional 12 months/25,000 miles for $1,150. (A combined $1,850). They also said that I would only be covered for 25,000 miles beyond my CURRENT odometer reading. I called another dealership who said if purchasing the upgrade that purchasing a refresh is not necessary. So I purchased the Maintenance Program Upgrade and now I have coverage for an additional 12 months until July 2021/75,000 miles for $1,150. This was all based on 48 months passing from the original in-service date. Took my 30k service from $1,005 to less than $400.
What were you charged for in addition to the service (to be just under $400)? I'm a bit confused on the value of the BMW Upgraded Maintenance Plan if it doesn't cover all factory recommended service during its validity period.
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      09-23-2019, 04:01 PM   #7
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Maybe I'm weird but this doesn't feel right to me.
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      09-24-2019, 11:30 PM   #8
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Thank you!
My 2017 M3 is sitting at the dealership waiting to have the brake fluid changed along with the driveshaft recall service. I assumed the fluid service was free and didn't think to ask...
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      09-25-2019, 01:56 AM   #9
EstorilM240
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Glad you found it helpful. Updated the original post to make it a little clearer that for MY2017+, brake fluid is covered but not pads or rotors. Had a pleasant surprise for my most recent service / oil change at 35K where I also got brake fluid done.

For xdew23, I assume your F15 is a MY2016, so you only had the $700 refresh cost, not the $100, and ended up buying the upgraded maintenance plan package. I'm surprised 30K service would reach $1K, I'm guessing items like alignment (never covered) could easily reach in the $300-400 range for an F15 (that's about how much they wanted on my F22), throw the oil change for $300 and a vehicle check and cabin air filter change to get to $1K.
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      09-25-2019, 03:28 PM   #10
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thanks for the write up
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      09-25-2019, 09:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LogicalApex View Post
What were you charged for in addition to the service (to be just under $400)? I'm a bit confused on the value of the BMW Upgraded Maintenance Plan if it doesn't cover all factory recommended service during its validity period.
Under the maintenance plan I received the multipoint inspection, engine oil service and filter, cabin microfilter replacement. ($606 at my dealership) I had to pay for suspension/wheel alignment and intake throttle body fuel injector service ($562 w/ tax). Maybe I didn't need to do the last two, but since I plan to keep this vehicle for as long as I can, I am going to do any recommended service within reason. With brakes coming up and any other unknown I think I will get my money's worth on the balance of the money I paid to re-up until 7/2021 or another 45,000 miles. I think my explanation should cover the below.

Estoril: I did not do a refresh, that would have just got me to my 50,000 miles. I did an extension for $1150 to essentially get a refresh plus another 12 months and 25k miles on TOP of the base maintenance. This seems to be the stance of the BMW regional warranty manager here around Chicago, according to the dealer. Although I had one dealer want to charge me the $700 refresh AND the extension, it's not necessary.
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      10-03-2019, 03:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheirThere View Post
Thank you!
My 2017 M3 is sitting at the dealership waiting to have the brake fluid changed along with the driveshaft recall service. I assumed the fluid service was free and didn't think to ask...
What were you charged for in addition to the service (to be just under $400)? I'm a bit confused on the value of the BMW Upgraded Maintenance Plan if it doesn't cover all factory recommended service during its validity period.
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      10-03-2019, 03:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAILIYAT View Post
What were you charged for in addition to the service (to be just under $400)? I'm a bit confused on the value of the BMW Upgraded Maintenance Plan if it doesn't cover all factory recommended service during its validity period.
$0 out of pocket.
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