Regularly servicing your BMW is not only essential to keep the vehicle in working order, it is required to maintain the manufacturer's warranty. If you purchase a new vehicle, make sure that for the duration of ownership all maintenance and repairs are properly documented. On the other hand, when purchasing a used BMW you will want to choose a vehicle with adequate service records. Currently, BMW keeps computerised records of all maintenance and warranty work completed at authorised BMW dealerships. If you own a new vehicle, or a pre-owned vehicle that has only been serviced at dealerships, it will be easy to obtain complete service records. If your vehicle has been serviced at non-authorised dealerships, you will have to do a little more digging to come up with your vehicle maintenance history.
The easiest way to determine service records is to look in your owner's manual. There is a maintenance record section in all owners' manuals. Although this used to be the main place to find proof of maintenance, now that everything is computerised, technicians are not as likely to take the time to fill out the manual. If your owner's manual is blank, move on to the next step.
Talk to your BMW service department. With a vehicle identification number (VIN) they can access service records completed at authorised BMW dealerships. Some dealerships are a little apprehensive to give service information over the phone. If you already have a relationship with a service adviser; it should be fairly easy to obtain this information. Alternatively, you can visit the dealership in person.
Run a CARFAX vehicle report. Visit the CARFAX website, enter the vehicle's VIN. For a fee, CARFAX will run a report. The report will list all services completed at authorised mechanic shops, as well as bodyworks garages.
- If you are purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle from a dealership, chances are they can provide you with the vehicle's maintenance records. Due to privacy protection, a dealership may not provide you with service records on a car if you are not the vehicle's original owner. Ask the owner for a signed letter from BMW giving permission to release the service records.
- When buying a used car from an individual, always ask for proof of vehicle maintenance. A well-maintained vehicle will last longer and is less likely to need pricey repairs. As a vehicle owner, holding complete service records on a vehicle will make the car more valuable when it comes to resale. There are companies that offer vehicle service verification. If you decide to use one of these companies, verify their credibility with the Better Business Bureau before giving out any personal information.