Car sensors scares

Brought the car to service early in the morning. Sensors in the brakes were indicating the end of life of brake pads, and probably rotors since it’s 2nd brake pad change. So, I was preparing myself mentally and emotionally for the invoice.

Instead, I got a video from the garage explaining disc thickness and brake pad are within specs. The issue is the sensor that measures brake pad wear, it failed. So, no invoice for brakes parts and sensor replacement will be covered by warranty.

I’m pleasantly surprised they did not try to use the car warning message as a justification to order parts. It’s a cliché, but there’s honest people in Switzerland.


Your sensor needs a sensor to sense when it is faulty.

I hope that makes sense.


haha no

I was pleasantly surprised people not following blindly what the computer says. That was the path of less resistance and it leads to higher revenue. But…integrity or honesty got in the way of this. Not all garages are awful :slight_smile:


Wow, that’s amazing. Please do share the garage, these guys deserve all the good publicity!

It’s BMW Häusermann in Aarau. Car is still under warranty, so still go to dealership.

Playing Devil’s advocate here - garages usually provide an itemised bill showing which parts were replaced (and labour costs).
Are you suggesting that a less scrupulous garage would have replaced the sensor but not included it in the bill, providing it free of charge but charging for parts which didn’t need replacing or would they have charged for the replacement sensor and all the brake parts?

If the latter, it would certainly cause me to question the bill.

It’s not only about honesty. Some people with lack of critical thinking just obey the computer. So, it’s part part knowledge and experience to be able to find the truth, part professional integrity to make the right call, and part honesty to tell the truth to the customer. People with lack of these features, would have taken the path of less resistance, changed the pads and rotors and carry on with their lives without worrying too much or even having the intention to be unscrupulous. Bad faith is not necessary, minor omission may be enough to take this path.

I usually apply the trust, but verify approach. I saw the message the maintenance require message coming up in the screen since a few weeks ago and scheduled an appointment. have no idea about the specs of this car or tools to measure. All I found online is that break rotors may last between 50k and 130k km. Very clear boundaries haha. Let’s wait for what the garage says. So, on one hand, I was ready to pay. On the other hand, washed the car yesterday, put my finger on the break disks and thought…this lip is not thaaaaat deep. In case the brake rotor change was suggested, I was thinking about getting a 2nd opinion from a neighbor that specializes in BMW. Thus, I was considering both options. I’m thankful there was no need to have to rely on my very poor German to deal with disagreements with the garage on the work to do. And it’s not about the bill, disagreements happen during diagnostic. If you see an issue with the bill, it’s already too late.

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I don’t wish to dampen your praise but this is a major dealership who I doubt would do something like that. Firstly there would need to be a tacit agreement between management and the workshop that they should drive up the work for greater commissions. Secondly any reputation damage could cause them to lose their franchise with BMW.

I had a major dispute with Zbinden in Olten over negligence and refusal to fix a problem they had created. After endless wrangling I contacted BMW and they immediately ruled in my favour, instructing Zbinden to fix the issue (I was put in cc on that email).

So basically BMW does seem to care and their dealers are kept in line.

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These days, the dealers basically serve at the leisure of the manufacturer.

There’s no place anymore for shenanigans like overbilling the customer.

They have some wiggle room, but not too much.