How far do mechanics drive your cars?
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    1. #1

      How far do mechanics drive your cars?

      I've only taken my car to a mechanic twice, once to get a starter replaced as I was working on another car at the time (independent mechanic), and today to get my airbag recall done(dealership). Both repairs involved the battery being disconnected (which resets the trip odometer), both times I got the car back with 23 and 17 miles on the trip odometer respectively. The car in question is reasonably modified, has a half cage and racing seat, slow but fun to drive. Was my car taken for a joyride or is this normal? TBH I don't really mind as its just a base 3 series at the end of the day and the car was returned in the condition I left it in.
      Rule #1

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    3. #2
      Member 0dd_j0b's Avatar
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      Sometimes it depends on the repair. I know suspension stuff they may take it out to highway speeds to ensure nothing surprises the customer, which may result in 10-15+ mile test drives depending on shop location. Though for an airbag? I don't see why a test drive is necessary.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Seabird View Post
      Hell, you know those ancient cave paintings in France? I betcha those animals were really half the size that the hack scribbler drew.

    4. #3
      Don't know about mechanics, but in Ferris Buehler's Day Off, the valets drove the fake Ferrari 175 miles

    5. #4
      Member Harv's Avatar
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      My mechanic is too busy for joy rides.

    6. #5
      Member 4th Branch's Avatar
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      My brother runs his own shop and usually will drive a car a few minutes (<5 miles) to diagnose or after repair. On rare occasions where the vehicle needs to be driven 25-50 miles to clear a code he'll run it by the customer first

      My neighbor dropped off his Tesla p90d to have the windows tinted and a few cosmetic mods, he received an alert on his app that they were driving it in excess of 100mph on street roads, he called the shop immediately and put a 60mph limit via the app

      From experience, the employees/techs tend to abuse customers cars, not management/owners

    7. #6
      Senior Member UncleJB's Avatar
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      From the parking spot, to the service bay, and back around the building to the parking spot. Never seen them drive any further than that but I always wait for my car to be done.

    8. #7
      Member quattrothatcould's Avatar
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      I had the airbag recall done on my E46 a few months ago and the odometer read the same amount as when it went in, FWIW.

    9. #8
      Quote Originally Posted by quattrothatcould View Post
      I had the airbag recall done on my E46 a few months ago and the odometer read the same amount as when it went in, FWIW.
      The thing is, if that was true for my car the trip odometer should be well over 100 miles. They mentioned getting the car washed when I dropped it off at the dealership, the car wash is about 2.5 miles one way. Doesn't account for an extra 10 miles. Like I said I'm not upset, given the car's state of modification I feel like it comes with the territory. Just wondering what other people's experiences are.

    10. #9
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      Yeah that's at the limit of normal in my experience, in both cases it could be a quick romp or it could be a diligent tech. A lot of it depends on what was done and how far away stuff is. It's possible that since they pulled the battery they wanted to make sure no codes popped up and avoid a potential return customer, particularly for the airbag.

      Quote Originally Posted by beefjerky
      TBH I don't really mind as its just a base 3 series at the end of the day
      Yeah, I'm not knocking your car, but it sounds like it's ripe for track work as opposed to joyrides. Something like a 993 cabrio or a Hellcat? Those would be more suspicious--super exciting for 10 minutes as opposed to a reliable performer for 10 years.

    11. #10
      Member joeyfrost's Avatar
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      Excessive mileage. Im a tech and you dont need anywhere near that much unless you are troubleshooting the car and have spoken with the customer. At that point the customer is probably in the car with me.


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    12. #11
      Quote Originally Posted by ghost03 View Post

      Quote Originally Posted by beefjerky
      TBH I don't really mind as its just a base 3 series at the end of the day
      Yeah, I'm not knocking your car, but it sounds like it's ripe for track work as opposed to joyrides. Something like a 993 cabrio or a Hellcat? Those would be more suspicious--super exciting for 10 minutes as opposed to a reliable performer for 10 years. <img src="https://www.vwvortex.com/Anthony/Smilies/embeer.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Beer" class="inlineimg" />
      Haha no offense taken. Just realized they didn't even wash the car though. If I were a low level tech, knowing my car I'd be much more excited by the new M3s and such. Just think it's a little suspicious that the only 2 times I've had work done to my car, it was for a known non driving related issue and yet the car came back with ~20 miles

    13. #12
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      Had a few 100+ mile test drives when I worked at a Chevy/Cadillac dealer years ago. Always involved trying to replicate a difficult to replicate concern so the diagnostic computer could capture the event.

      They put like 50 miles on our old Excursion after doing some emissions repair and then running it through a drive cycle to make sure it was ready for inspection... not a big deal.

    14. #13
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      Last airbag inflator replacement honda techs drove it about 20 feet

    15. #14
      Member fbobberts's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Harv View Post
      My mechanic is too busy for joy rides.
      This.
      I decided to calculate the actual cost of ownership in 3 years and 0 miles driven(maybe 2-3 miles pushed) the 951 cost me $3695.21(maintenance parts). If I was a betting men, I would bet that this is far from the total this 951 will cost me. (PawaK_2001)

      Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
      Good. Sometimes the only way to deal with knuckleheads is to have the lawyers duke it out.

    16. #15
      That's too many miles in my opinion, especially for a repair that has nothing to do with driving around to identify a problem.

    17. #16
      Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      I assume it has a manual transmission.

      Can you imagine how few BMWs those techs see with a manual transmission.

      I imagine everyone took it for a short drive...or at least the ones who know how to drive a car with a manual transmission.
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    18. #17
      Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by roman16v View Post
      Had a few 100+ mile test drives when I worked at a Chevy/Cadillac dealer years ago. Always involved trying to replicate a difficult to replicate concern so the diagnostic computer could capture the event.

      They put like 50 miles on our old Excursion after doing some emissions repair and then running it through a drive cycle to make sure it was ready for inspection... not a big deal.
      This is why context matters. Trying to duplicate an intermittent problem or run a drive cycle is one thing, replacing a starter or an airbag is another matter entirely because neither should require much of a test drive to verify the repair.
      Now this was a superior machine. Ten grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand.

    19. #18
      Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Iroczgirl View Post
      I assume it has a manual transmission.

      Can you imagine how few BMWs those techs see with a manual transmission.

      I imagine everyone took it for a short drive...or at least the ones who know how to drive a car with a manual transmission.
      Time is money for flat rate techs. Unless the entire shop is really slow, I doubt a stick shift 3 series is going to pull techs away from paying work.
      Now this was a superior machine. Ten grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand.

    20. #19
      Member CostcoPizza's Avatar
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      4 miles on my last visit.

    21. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by 4.OMG View Post
      Time is money for flat rate techs. Unless the entire shop is really slow, I doubt a stick shift 3 series is going to pull techs away from paying work.
      FWIW, on the dealership side, only if these were legit miles would I expect the tech to be putting them on. If it's joyride miles, I'd expect it's a porter, who's probably just time card and to whom a manual 3 series would be a lot more interesting than a truck of X3s.

    22. #21
      Member 4.OMG's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by ghost03 View Post
      FWIW, on the dealership side, only if these were legit miles would I expect the tech to be putting them on. If it's joyride miles, I'd expect it's a porter, who's probably just time card and to whom a manual 3 series would be a lot more interesting than a truck of X3s.
      Yes, that's a fair point but I was specifically responding to the person thinking BMW techs would be drawn to this car like moths to a flame because it has a third pedal.
      Now this was a superior machine. Ten grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand.

    23. #22
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      IMO, ~20 miles is ridiculous, considering none of the work they did requires a test drive. You're paying them for the work, are they giving you a $5 discount for your gas that they're burning through when they take your car to get lunch? Super unprofessional.