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Old 12-21-2000, 03:40 AM
Ashman's Avatar
Service Advisor
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone knew what the cost on this would be for an 89 BMW 325IC. I know its a BMW, but I figured someone would know the cost of this based on labor/parts.

My friend's car just threw the belt and its going to need a valve job too most likely.

He was quoted no less than $1600 but that was a rough estimate. the mechanic just said it wont be less than that.

What do you techs out there think this should cost?

So on another note, if you know of a good shop in los angeles that services BMW's or german cars that does good work for good prices, then please let me know so I can have my friend find out what they would charge.

If the price he was given seems right, then At least I can tell him he's not getting screwed.


'92 300CE - Sold
2004 C240 - C7 Wheels
2015 ML350 - P1, Pano, Ash poplar wood, Sport Dinamica interior, Running Boards Keyless go.
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Old 12-21-2000, 07:42 AM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,244
Mention to him that he best hope he did not mess up any pistons. It is my understanding that the reason it may need the valve job when a TB breaks on an "interference" engine is that the valve tries to be at the same place as the piston at the same time. The mech. is making sure he quotes high enoughto cover his butt. $1600 does not sound too off base. I would rather hear the high price versus being told $500 and then it taking $1600. I have an old saying "Bad news known early is better than bad news known late".
'95 E320
'97 Honda CRV
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Old 12-21-2000, 09:51 AM
Posts: n/a
I expect that the $1,600 is for the valve job alone, any lower end damage would be an adder.

Good luck,
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Old 12-21-2000, 11:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
That sounds like a reasonable price. The BMW head is especially difficult to take apart needing many special tools. I would use price as only a second qualifier though. You should only be checking people who do this type of work often.

We charge 15 to 20 hours to do the head work necessary to repair it right. The difference is in the amount of valve work and number of valve guides necessary (when the valves bend over they often expand the bottom of the guide; not replacing them gives very short valve life). If you mulitiply those hours by 70 you get 1400bucks, not much for parts. I would expect anyone in LA that does that kind of work often would get at least 70 per hour. This is not a good place to try and save $200.

Price some quality shops (go there and be sure they only work on German cars and there should be plenty of good BMWs onsite).
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 12-21-2000, 08:51 PM
Ashman's Avatar
Service Advisor
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
Thanks for the replies,

I'll definately forward the info on to my friend.

He was actually at idle, and all he heard was a rattle for s second then the car just died.

So I'm hoping it didn't do too much damage as he wasn't putting the engine under any stress really, btu you never know. I am hoping he gets lucky and it is actually the belt only and doesn't need anything else, but who knows.

I talked to the mechanic his car is at as well, just to try to get a feel for how good the guy is, and he seemed very knowledgable. I noticed he only had BMW's Mercedes and Porsche in his shop, so that of course is a big plus since thats all he works on.

In anycase, My friend will be glad to know that he has been given a decent price, even though it might be higher than that, its good to know its within the right ball park hehe.


'92 300CE - Sold
2004 C240 - C7 Wheels
2015 ML350 - P1, Pano, Ash poplar wood, Sport Dinamica interior, Running Boards Keyless go.
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