What scares me most about this growing attitude to replace rather than fix is the growing concept of the disposable car. Peoples concept of "owning" a car has changed.
I had a similar event occur to me in the last week. A fellow BMW Tech Group shop owner from Virginia told his vacationing customer to give me a call.
The car was at the dealer in Orlando and the verdict was a $7200 rebuilt tranny. The car was a 95 540i with the 5HP30 trans. The value of the car is only optomistically twice as much as the repair.
Because of my participation in that tech group we have fixed a number of those pattern reverse gear failures. In the final repair the defective part wasn't even itemized as it is so inconsequential. The problem on that unit is that the plastic reverse check ball, while not checking, rattles around its rough cast aluminum chamber till it whittles itself so small it passes through the hole in the intermediate plate.
Due to the fact that the customer was from far away I wound up driving the car 75 miles before we proclaimed it fixed including a 30 mile high speed run up and down I-75. WE probably had as much time in the checking and testing as we did the repair.
With $200 worth of "Golden" BMW fluid and a 100 mile tow, a fifter and some gaskets the bill was right at a grand.
So far so good, but not many shops will do it that way. My friend in Virginia doesn't. The car had 140k on it. If it has another failure soon the value of this repair may be gone. The total equation is complicated, but with dealers not fixing these simple problems cars like that become worthless.
Who can buy a 10-15k car with the risk that tomorrow it will need a 7k repair?
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician