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Thread: Why am I getting only 25mpg?

  1. #76
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdpc2 View Post
    I am not far away from you, over the bridge and a bit north. If you are looking for an alternative dealer, I would suggest that you call Max BMW of Danbury. (actually Brookfield now, but who's counting). They aren't perfect, but they are well liked and their shop does a good job for a fair price.

    Let me know if you need any more details.

    Scott
    Hi Scott, thanks for the tip. I checked and they are about 65 miles away and over an hour drive which would make it difficult to drop the bike off. Cross Country BMW in Metuchen NJ is a bit closer so they might be the next one I try(I've had several people warn me to steer clear of Manhattan BMW). In the end all I only really need a good generic bike mechanic as my 1996 R100R is not a very complicated bike, so I'm still trying to find one locally.
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  2. #77
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    The most incompetent dealership...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dieselyoda View Post
    Just to comment, I really take offense to someone passing judgement on a technician/mechanic unless they have been there, and done that.
    You all won't believe where this saga ends up! Just to recap:

    I buy the bike two months ago and bring it to Bergen BMW with instructions to check the bike from head to toe and fix anything that looks like it's about to fail. This is in addition to having them flush, replace, adjust, and tune every maintenance component on the bike. At the time bike was getting 35mpg when it should be getting 45+.

    Get the bike back and it now gets 25mpg.

    Took the bike back to dealership and the service agents first response was that I shouldn't expect better mileage from a bike that old. After insisting that a mechananic check it out they come back and tell me the brake lines have broken down and are preventing the fluid from evacuating from the calipers causing them to slightly grip the rotors thus reducing mileage. Mind you they previously flushed the brake lines and replaced the master cylinder as part of the $1000 service they performed.

    I ordered stainless steel lines from HEL-USA(full front and rear) and gave them to the dealer to install.

    I go to pick up bike this morning and they tell me that after test driving the bike with the new lines that it's still getting friction from the calipers. So $250 in parts and $230 in labor and problem not fixed. They asked me if I wanted them to keep on doing diagnostic work on the bike and told than that after $1500 worth of their wrong diagnostics I wanted to take the bike elsewhere, they gave me the bike and I left.

    NOW THE FUN PART!

    On the highway ride from the dealer to my work...the front right caliper fell off as I was braking for an exit ramp...damn near got killed but managed to stop using rear only. Called the dealer and they sent a truck to pick up the bike, I'm supposed to get it back tomorrow morning BUT only with caliper re-attached NOT rebuilt so now I have to find another BMW dealership to repair the calipers.
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  3. #78
    Registered User rxcrider's Avatar
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    Why am I getting only 25mpg?

    WOW!!!

    First off, glad you are ok - second - that dealership sounds like it is staffed with hacks.

    It the caliper fell off and was dangling, I'd hesitate to trust the new braided line that was just installed.

    I think this is about the time I'd be demanding most of my money back and considering small claims court if they don't make this right. I'd probably skip the service writer and head straight for the owner.

    If you are a member of your local club, you might ask around to see who they use or if one of them is competent with a wrench.

  4. #79
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    Were the bolts just loose?

    Assuming they just didn't properly reattach the caliper, that's staggering negligence.
    2000 R1100RT / 1987 K75C (RIP) / Santa Clarita, CA

  5. #80
    Happily Bent dieselyoda's Avatar
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    I feel for you man. My last job was dealing with exactly what you described but on a larger scale. Mistakes and complacency are a huge issue. A caliper coming loose is an issue and scary at the least. It's hardly the worst I've seen.

    I want to say, F---ing kids don't get doing the job right and taking the time and taking care. Pride in their work is limited to Friday's next paycheck. To make an impact on the paycheck, you needed to crash and get your significant other to spend the coin and go after them. Even still, the technician/mechanic is immune.

    Basics, basics, basics and more basics, Keep It Simple Stupid. If more technicians/mechanics understood KISS, your problem would not be so exaggerated. After all, it's lefty loosy, righty tighty.

    One caution that I hope you would take to heart: the people you are tangling with are just like you and me. I don't have enough fingers on my hand to count all the mistakes I've made and doubt anybody that reads this post has enough fingers either to count their mistakes. We make mistakes. That's how we learn and get better.

    Don't give up. If the dealership you are dealing with has been around any time at all, they have seen this all before and will make it right. Your service adviser is the scapegoat. Don't screw with him, you are number ten on the complaint list.

    After 30 years on the tools and another 5 dealing with kids' mistakes, I had a massive heart attack. Now I'm semi-retired. In my spare time, I deal with my very good friends issues getting satisfactory work from shops. It's tough. A little patience and understanding on your part will get the results you need.

    Trust me, express your concerns clearly, without emotion and demand that the work be checked thoroughly by their top gun. You'll get what you want.

    Ride hard and safe dude.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

  6. #81
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    If they sent you out on your bike with a critical life safety error they made, and their only offer is to screw the caliper back on, they're delusional. Not that you'd want them doing anything more (or perhaps even that much), but, for example, if it has messed up your new brake lines, they need to replace those.
    2000 R1100RT / 1987 K75C (RIP) / Santa Clarita, CA

  7. #82
    Registered User rxcrider's Avatar
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    Diesel - wish I shared your optimism - what I've seen too many times is dealerships who's first measure of a successful service department is profit. This leads to a lack of diagnostic time and hiring the cheapest part changers you can. Who wants to bet they diagnosed the brake hoses without removing or inspecting them. It happens at dealerships and independents and the result is a lack of quality work. Best bet is finding a shop where the mechanic is the owner or one where the customers are on a first name basis with the mechanics.

    Glad I wrench on my own stuff! Wish you were closer so I could give you a hand.

  8. #83
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesInCA View Post
    Were the bolts just loose?

    Assuming they just didn't properly reattach the caliper, that's staggering negligence.
    Both bolts were gone when I pulled over to inspect so I don't know if I was riding with loose bolts or no bolts. I'd have to think that the bolts were there but never tightened because I rode 20miles before I lost the front brake.
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  9. #84
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rxcrider View Post
    Diesel - wish I shared your optimism - what I've seen too many times is dealerships who's first measure of a successful service department is profit. This leads to a lack of diagnostic time and hiring the cheapest part changers you can. Who wants to bet they diagnosed the brake hoses without removing or inspecting them. It happens at dealerships and independents and the result is a lack of quality work. Best bet is finding a shop where the mechanic is the owner or one where the customers are on a first name basis with the mechanics.

    Glad I wrench on my own stuff! Wish you were closer so I could give you a hand.
    I totally agree with you, this HD/BMW dealership is big and fancy, probably used to wealthy clientele that don't look at the bill at all.

    It was clearly a case of profit over diligence since they had already " in theory" checked my brake system before and after flushing it, changing the brake master cylinder, bleeding it again, changing all the break lines then bleeding it again.
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  10. #85
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesInCA View Post
    If they sent you out on your bike with a critical life safety error they made, and their only offer is to screw the caliper back on, they're delusional. Not that you'd want them doing anything more (or perhaps even that much), but, for example, if it has messed up your new brake lines, they need to replace those.
    They offered to refund the $230 labor they charged me to install the F/R break lines. I'm looking into taking them to small claims court to recover that part of the the $1000 service they performed that pertained to the brake system.

    In the mean time I need to find a competent wrench near me that can thoroughly inspect and repair the sticking calipers.... Assuming that's the end cause.
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by wineguyd View Post
    They offered to refund the $230 labor they charged me to install the F/R break lines. I'm looking into taking them to small claims court to recover that part of the the $1000 service they performed that pertained to the brake system.

    In the mean time I need to find a competent wrench near me that can thoroughly inspect and repair the sticking calipers.... Assuming that's the end cause.
    You've been friendly, you've been patient. At this point you'd be doing the community and the owner a favor if you sued them.
    Suppose they do kill someone next time?

  12. #87
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Sounds like you had a pretty frightening moment. Glad to hear that it didn't end in tradgedy.

    So now you've got the bike at home, with brake issues still I be worked on. Assuming that that their (seemingly incompetent) tech is correct, that your front brakes are still dragging (and that the tech's observation wasn't thrown off by the fact that he hadn't tightened the calipers), you've got to find someone to figure it out.

    There are several possible causes: a problem in the rebuilt master cylinder, a kink or blockage in the new or rigid lines, bent or corroded or not lubricates pins that the pads slide on, or maybe even something bent.

    Hopefully a local bmwmoa member can help you diagnose the problem and find a competent mechanic to do the work.

  13. #88
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger 04 RT View Post
    . Assuming that that their (seemingly incompetent) tech is correct, that your front brakes are still dragging (and that the tech's observation wasn't thrown off by the fact that he hadn't tightened the calipers), you've got to find someone to figure it out.

    There are several possible causes: a problem in the rebuilt master cylinder, a kink or blockage in the new or rigid lines, bent or corroded or not lubricates pins that the pads slide on, or maybe even something bent.

    Hopefully a local bmwmoa member can help you diagnose the problem and find a competent mechanic to do the work.
    The front master cylinder was replaced with a brand new one, not rebuilt(they tried to rebuild the old one, did not succeed, but charged me for the rebuild kit parts anyway) so now I have brand new high end brake lines, a brand new Migura brake master cylinder, and a brake system that was flushed and bled three times.

    The main issue I have is that the calipers were not sticking when they first got the bike. I remember clearly how I rotated the front wheel freely when I gave the bike it's first good cleaning...spun freely, and got 35mpg. Now it won't spin, I can feel the resistance. Coincidence or malpractice???????
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

  14. #89
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    Don't post much but perhaps in this instance I can offer some advice. I had a problem with my 95 1100GS front brakes: after a 400 mile initial delivery ride the front brakes were on so hard that the bike could only be moved with the aid of the engine. Four of the eight pistons in the front calipers were seized to the extent that they would move out under the pressure of braking but they would not retract. The fix was to rebuild the calipers - the piston seals were in good shape but there was some very light corrosion in the recesses into which the seals were installed (the bike had not moved in five years before I got it). The calipers are anodized to protect them from corrosion but it is very difficult to fully anodize the inner surfaces of a small groove such as the ones into which the seals are installed. A small stainless steel brush and a lot of isopropyl alcohol cleaned up the grooves, the seals, pistons and internal o-rings that seal the caliper halves were fine and did not require replacement. The calipers now work perfectly. I also had to re-surface the discs since they had become quite glazed. The most difficult part of that is heating up the bolts that attach the disc to the wheel in order to break the thread locker that BMW loves to use. Don't re-use the bolts, get new ones from BMW when you replace the discs.

    NOTE that there is no procedure for disassembling the calipers to perform this fix - those who worship at the blue and white alter of the BMW will tell you that the calipers cannot be disassembled to effect this repair. My opinion of that, after almost 50 years of working on some fairly exotic road-racing machinery is simply that it's BS. Mario at the Brembo factory isn't any more intelligent or capable than you are and really isn't too concerned whether you live or die - you however have some vested interest in that....Another reason BMW or Brembo don't want you to take the calipers apart is that you might see what's inside - in my case the left caliper was filled with STEEL shavings that were far too large to get through the brake line fittings, leading me to conclude that they were a no-extra-charge option from the Bermbo factory.

    If you, or your service tech (obviously not your dealer) don't feel comfortable rebuilding the calipers just buy new ones and bolt them on - you've already replaced most of the other brake system parts so new calipers should solve the problem.

    I would strongly suggest that if you are going to own any piece of machinery as old as yours that you learn to take care of it yourself. These things require the kind of time and attention that is simply not going to be provided by any dealer and very few independent service techs. You are the only one who is going to care enough about your bike (and yourself...) to perform all the work necessary. This has almost cost you your life, don't let it happen to you again. Even if you have little or no mechanical experience you can learn, and the cost of the tools you need to perform maintenance and repairs is not great, it's an investment in the truest sense of the word.

    Oh yeah, I once had an airplane that just got its annual and carb rebuild by a "licensed" A&P at an well regarded aircraft maintenance station - I had an engine failure on takeoff due to, guess what, the carb being incorrectly assembled. It was not pleasant.

    Having said all that I am not at all certain that the brakes are the only cause of your 25mpg problem. Even with the front brakes in the condition they were in I averaged 41mpg on the 400 mile (mostly freeway and going slowly) trip home.

    These can be great bikes if they are in good condition. I hope your problems get solved without much further expense, grief, or risk.

    All the best,

    Bob Johnson

  15. #90
    WineGuyD wineguyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bj333051 View Post
    I would strongly suggest that if you are going to own any piece of machinery as old as yours that you learn to take care of it yourself. These things require the kind of time and attention that is simply not going to be provided by any dealer and very few independent service techs. You are the only one who is going to care enough about your bike (and yourself...) to perform all the work necessary. This has almost cost you your life, don't let it happen to you again. Even if you have little or no mechanical experience you can learn, and the cost of the tools you need to perform maintenance and repairs is not great, it's an investment in the truest sense of the word.
    Thanks Bob, I appreciate the advice. I'm actually pretty handy, used to work on my bikes and cars years ago and I would not be afraid to do a caliper rebuild on my own EXCEPT we sold our house a year ago and now live in an apartment...no garage, no carport, not even a reserved parking space. We have an open parking area and i would not consider any repair that could not be easily completed in a few hours or less. A friend just gave me the name of a local Saab mechanic who races bikes and is a 30 year experienced bike mechanic, the guy said he'd be willing to look at the bike and possible take on the brake project. I'm going to bring the bike to him on Monday and will post the outcome.
    Purveyor of fine wines & spirits
    Rides a 1996 R1100R

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