Poor Andrew (our IT guy) took his BMW 335i into the dealer for a service the other day. His wallet didn’t stand a chance.
Yup! 2 and a half grand. I’d want a complimentary wash & vacuum too. Thankfully, it’s loss is our gain, and this has given us the perfect chance to do a little case study on just how much money you stand to save on parts if you just do a little research, find the best parts for your car and get them direct. Granted, this is an expensive car, and expensive cars have more expensive parts, but regardless of what you drive, this doesn’t mean we can’t save you a few bucks.
If you do your research, things like your oil and air filters are easily sourced. Many higher-end car companies get their filters from companies such as MANN which are readily available direct to the public, and if you search by your car and make sure everything you’re getting is specified to your car, you can save yourself a lot on parts.
The cabin filter, listed as a microfilter on the description above, is charged here at $80, but is actually available for $40. In the case of this car in particular, the brand you can readily buy is probably the same as the filter they’d put in at the factory. If you filter by a car such as a BMW, Spares Box will automatically generate parts closest to what it left the showroom with originally, for instance MANN filters and german engineered Liqui-Moly oil. You also stand to save a few dollars if you grab your own oil and air filters as well, and you could even improve the performance of the car by doing so.
Fluid changes are the bread and butter of any standard service, and as such they often generate the biggest mark-ups that can come back to bite you when you get your service bill. The brake fluid is priced at $40 here, and I guarantee a fair chunk of that is for the privilege of them changing it. A bottle of brake fluid will set you back $7.95 and then all that’s left is to get a trusted mechanic to stick it in for you, saving you hopefully a hell of a mark up.
It’s a similar story when it comes to your engine oil. Once again, the cost of buying your own will be lower. You may still want to get the mechanic to change it for you, but you’re gonna get a premium brand you know and trust, compared to being at the mercy of whatever company supplies your local workshop.
Now let’s take a look at the more expensive bits and bobs. As you can see, the Brakes are the biggest hit on Andrew’s service. Assuming he’s not getting performance discs installed, Andrew could save $30 on his rear disk and another $70 on his fronts just by sourcing them himself.
The Brake Pads are even crazier. They’ve charged him over $200, and premium Ferodo pads are readily available with free shipping for $84.95. If you’re driving something with more generic parts, you probably stand to save even more. You’re still gonna have to get the mechanic to install it, and that’s still gonna be a bit of labour hit, but there you go. You’ve just saved another $200.
It’s only fair to point out that some problems you just can’t avoid, and when it comes down to matters of safety it’s always wise to pay a little more for that extra peace of mind. Most of the time though, just a little research and a little work on your part has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars, as we could have done for Andrew here. If your car is due a service, make sure you go to a trusted mechanic and find out what needs replacing before you agree to any maintenance going ahead. You can search for parts specifically tailored to your daily drive right here.