At long last (and yet, strangely, sooner than expected) it looks like the end of the dark, awful COVID-19 tunnel is in sight. Recently, we wrote a blog about maintaining our vehicles while they sit out the lockdown. Now, it’s time to turn our attention to getting our cars ready for more use than they’ve possibly ever seen before.

As we start the slow process of returning to life after lockdown, there are several reasons why our cars will be working harder than ever.

  1. With COVID-19 still at large within the community (no matter how small the risk of infection is), we’re all going to be chary of public transport for some time yet. Those who would normally catch the tram or train to work will be driving their cars and, with winter biting hard, walking to the shops or a friend’s place won’t always be possible.
  2. Many of us have had to tighten our belts as the coronavirus ravaged small and big businesses alike. That car upgrade some of us were planning will have to be put off for another 12 to 18 months, so our current editions will have to work beyond their typical retirement age.
  3. Restrictions may be easing, but the overseas holidays won’t be back on the agenda for some time yet. Which means many of us will be embarking on the classic road trip. That’s hundreds, if not thousands, of extra kilometres for our cars that they would otherwise not be undertaking.

BM Tech Specials to keep your car running

Clearly, it’s never been more important to make sure our vehicles are in tip-top condition, especially with winter bearing down. Considering many of us are on struggle street at the moment, we’ve put together some special deals and services for you to take advantage of.

Oil Service and Vehicle Check Special

Book in before end of April and we’ll service your car for just $330, $390 or $499 depending on your model! Use the code word “MUNICH” to redeem.

Find Your Model:

BMW 1 Series, 2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, X1, X2, X3, X4 and All Mini Models:

  • 4 Cyl & 6 Cyl Petrol Engines – $330.00
  • 4 Cyl Diesel Engines – $330.00
  • 6 Cyl Diesel Engines – $390.00

BMW 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, 8 Series, X5, X6. Most Audi & VW Models:

  • 4 Cyl Diesel & 6 Cyl Petrol Engines – $330.00
  • 6 Cyl Diesel & V8 Engines – $390.00

BMW M Series and High Performance Models:

  • All engines $499.00

Brake Parts Special

With winter upon us, it’s important to make sure your brakes are in optimum condition. If they need to be replaced, we are offering 20% OFF BRAKE PARTS*, and if you have your brakes replaced during an Oil Service then it’s 25% OFF!* Offers includes ORIGINAL Brake Parts (including the Ceramic ATE Brakes). Use the code word “MUNICH” to redeem. Don’t miss out!

* Excludes M Series & some High Performance models

$100 Instant Cashback on Tyres

Purchase 4 x Continental branded passenger, 4×4 or SUV tyres and receive $100 cash back for tyres 17” and above! Or $50 cashback for 14”-16”. Book now at

Need a Tow Bar? We can help!

With road trips destined to be more popular than ever in the near future, we’ve reintroduced the supply and installation of towbars that suit any requirement or budget. Towbar installations are currently booming, so don’t leave this one to the last minute!

Getting your car winter ready

Driving in winter is inherently more dangerous than any other season and, with our cars to get more use than ever, it’s vitally important we have everything in order. Let’s take a look at some of the things that may need attention on your car.


Yep, that’s right, your car’s battery is affected by the weather. To understand why, here’s a very brief science lesson: a lead acid battery (like the one in your car) contains lead plates in electrolyte liquid. These plates create an electro-chemical reaction that produces a charge in the battery terminals. If we think back to high school chem, we’ll recall that reactions are slowed by cold temperatures, and for your battery this means a reduced ability to start and run a vehicle, making it seem sluggish.

This is usually a problem for older batteries (anything over three years) and in temperatures around zero and colder. So, if you live in areas prone to frost, or you’re planning a trip to the snow, bring your car in so we can make sure your battery is up to the task.


When it comes to your safety, there’s nothing more important than the tyres your driving on, especially in winter. More rain and colder temperatures mean slippery and icy conditions. Your tyres are doing more work to maintain traction, and if the tread is worn and unable to disperse enough water, that traction will disappear. Winter roads are far less forgiving than summer ones; a slight correction or braking a fraction late with worn tyres could spell catastrophe.

If you’re unsure or simply want peace of mind, bring your car in and we can perform a quick tread check and make sure your tyres are going to keep you glued to the road.


Windscreen wiper maintenance is often not thought about until we’re stuck in a downpour and the wipers don’t work well enough to maintain visibility. The rubber might be worn to the point that it scrapes across the glass (in some instances leaving irreparable scratches), or patches of rubber may have disintegrated to the point that areas of your windscreen are never free of water. This is not just an inconvenience; it’s dangerous.

In winter, with the sun rising later and setting earlier, we spend more time driving in the dark, which means more time driving into blinding headlights of oncoming traffic. When those headlights get refracted through rain on our windscreens, we cannot see a thing in front of us. Windscreen wipers aren’t expensive to fix, and we can do it in a jiffy, so make sure you bring your car in before the next downpour hits.

The lockdown has us all a bit stir-crazy at the moment, so if you’re in need of a silver lining, consider this: NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) pollution, most of which comes from road transport and power plants, is significantly down globally, by as much as 60% in some countries. In China alone, the reduction is equivalent to removing 192,000 cars from the road.

But, while the COVID-19 lockdown may be good for the air, it’s not necessarily a good thing for your car, sitting neglected and forgotten on the street. Cars are a lot like your golf game – irregular use and periods of dormancy can lead to breakdowns in performance. Fortunately, keeping your car in optimum condition isn’t hard; it’s all about preventative medicine. A little bit of work now prevents massive bills down the road.

The tips we have for you today don’t just relate to the average pandemic either, but to any time when your car falls into disuse, such as extended holidays or a sudden and inexplicable passion for public transport.

1. Don’t let that bird poo sit

Bird poo isn’t just unsightly, it’s also very acidic, with a pH range of 3 to 4.5. This is bad for your paint job, and science explains why: pH measures the concentrations of hydrogen and hydroxide. When they’re equal, the solution is neutral. When hydrogen ions out-number hydroxide ions, it’s acidic, like bird poo. Since nature loves things in balance, when the bird poo lands on your car, it interacts with the hydrocarbons present in the paint in an attempt to neutralise itself, which slowly breaks down the clear coat finish. Therefore, as soon as you see bird dropping on your car, CLEAN IT OFF. If you’re going away for a while, give your car a good clean and, ideally, park it undercover. If that isn’t possible, avoid parking it under trees that act as hot spots for avian congregations.

2. Avoid the sun

Sunlight can damage your car in a number of ways. If continually exposed to UV rays, your car’s paint job will fade and lose its colour, particularly the darker shades. The interior of your car is also at risk as the temperature climbs to extreme highs, particularly the dashboard. Over time, it will crack and fade, as will other commonly used materials within the cabin. Leather upholstery, although treated to better withstand UV damage, will eventually succumb and dry out, cracking and losing its polish. If you’re going away for an extended period, or a pandemic has the car sitting idle for a month or two, and undercover parking isn’t an option, try to leave your vehicle where it will at least get some shade in the heat of the afternoon. And get a windshield cover.

3. Take it for a run

Your car’s battery naturally self-discharges over time and, added to this, the electronics continually draw from it even when the engine is off. The battery is actually charged by the alternator, a process which requires the engine to be running. Normally this isn’t a problem as most of us use our cars every do to commute or run errands. In a lockdown, though, weeks can drift by without the engine turning over. It’s good practice, therefore, to take your car out for a spin at least one a week. And that means actually driving it, not letting it sit idling in front of the house. If, however, you’re going away for a couple of months, you may want to consider investing in a battery charger, which is fitted to your vehicle and keeps the battery fully charged for extended periods of time.

4. Check your tyre pressures before hitting the road

Just like the battery naturally discharging, your car’s tyres also lose pressure over time. Tyres that aren’t inflated to the correct pressure can be dangerous to drive on, as we’ve previously written about. There’s probably every chance that, on the other side of the lockdown, your tyres will be a little deflated (a pandemic can have this effect on the best of us). Make a quick trip to your local servo, check the pressure and, if needed, top them up.

You may want to consider inflating the tyres with Nitrogen. The reason is because normal air or rather oxygen molecules are smaller than the nitrogen molecules and so the pressure loss with nitrogen, which has bigger molecules, is much less than normal air. This means that the pressures in the tyres will remain constant over a longer period and so you would not need to top up the pressures as often. The good news is that we at Eastern Tyre Centre have a Nitrogen machine, so call us anytime to arrange to have your tyres filled with Nitrogen.

Staying at home and only using your car for short drives to the shops is not a healthy environment for your car, especially the battery.  We are noticing a sharp increase in battery related issues and I want to let you know that we are here to help by introducing a new FREE service.

So you understand a little about batteries, the biggest drain on a battery is when you start it. As a battery discharges after starting the engine, the alternator will charge it back up again. You would need to have the engine running for approximately 20 minutes for it to recover, after that the alternator will keep it fully charged ready for the next start-up. Non use of the car will also slowly cause the battery to discharge. 

Abnormal Conditions

In a normal world you would start the engine, drive around for a while like go to work, do that errand, or perhaps go for a long drive somewhere. However, during this COVID-19 isolation we are not allowed to drive too much or not at all, and so the battery will discharge but won’t recover or recharge enough.  Then one day the inevitable will happen, the battery becomes flat and the engine will not start!

So What Do You?

This is where you must be careful.  A modern car is like a computer on wheels, and so if you attempt to Jump-Start a flat battery, and you don’t do it correctly, you can seriously damage electrical or computer components. 

Unless you know what you’re doing, using a battery charger or Jump-Starting an engine yourself is fraught with danger.  I have decided to err on the side of caution, so my advice to you is to call BM Tech or your Roadside Assist service like the RACV.

We Will Come To You!

That’s right, during this difficult COVID-19 isolation period, BM Tech will drive out to where you live* FREE OF CHARGE and Jump-Start the car and/or drive it back to our workshop to recharge and inspect the battery.  We have the know-how and special equipment to safely Jump-Start the engine and re-charge it again. I believe having a professional do it is the safest and surest way to get you going again with minimal fuss.

If this happens to you don’t hesitate in calling us anytime:

BM Tech Canterbury on 9836-1888
BM Tech Essendon on 9379-8810

* Some Conditions Apply

It’s one of those advances in technology that affects our everyday life that we hardly ever think about. Before the introduction of ABS (anti-lock braking system), braking wasn’t anywhere near as simple and effective as it is today.

Prior to the ‘70s, if you had to stop suddenly, it wasn’t simply a matter of slamming on the brakes as hard as you could; you had to practice threshold braking, which involved compressing the brake pedal enough to slow you down but not so much that the wheels locked and sent the car into a dangerous, and possibly fatal, skid. Imagine the presence of mind needed.

Or, if you found yourself on icy roads or slippery surfaces, you might have had to employ another lost technique called cadence braking, which involved mimicking modern-day ABS systems by manually pumping the brakes.

Why is skidding so dangerous?

It may seem like a silly question, but it’s worth considering. If your wheels lock, the brakes no longer have any ability to slow you down, and you also have a very limited ability to steer the car; not only can you not slow down effectively, but you can’t avoid what’s in front of you. Therefore, an ABS not only helps you brake and come to a stop a lot quicker, it also allows you to steer and avoid collisions.

How it works

At a basic level, your ABS has the ability to sense individual wheel speed, and therefore determine when a wheel has stopped spinning. When a wheel stops spinning it means the brakes are no longer having any effect.

To combat this, the ABS releases the brake pressure on that wheel and then rapidly reapplies it, over and over again in quick fire succession. If you’ve ever noticed the brake pedal shuddering under your foot when you slam it on hard, don’t be alarmed – this is the ABS functioning as it’s meant to.

To explain how the ABS manages to do this, we have to get a bit technical. Your car is equipped with something called a tone ring which turns in time with the wheels. It has a magnetic speed sensor which allows it to detect wheel speed. The information is passed on to the ABS through an electronic control unit. The ABS can then adjust your wheel speed through a distribution block and pump which controls individual brake calipers.

What can go wrong with an ABS?

It’s rare for an ABS to malfunction on most models. If something does go wrong, however, it will most likely be a sensor contaminated with debris or metal shavings. Also, wiring can become damaged and brake fluid can become contaminated.

Because the ABS is a part of the entire braking system of your car, if something does go wrong with it, it can affect not only the anti-locking ability but the brakes in general.

If you feel your car is taking longer to brake, or you have to compress the pedal further before you notice any effect, call us right away and book your car in for a check. You do not want to be driving around with compromised brakes.

A (Very) Brief History of ABS brakes

Believe it or not, ABS has been around since the early 1900s. World War II aircraft were equipped with an anti-skid braking system, and while some automobiles had a form of ABS as far back as the 1920s, the first production-line vehicle to have one that most resembles the modern-day version was the 1978 Mercedes Benz W116. The 1990s saw ABS become common across all cars. 

Today, it’s mandated that all new cars sold in Australia are fitted with ABS. Indeed, it’s one of those modern advances that a lot of us can’t believe we once did without.

In a country that sprawls for miles upon miles, from desert to rainforest, sunburnt plains to foggy mountain peaks, the road trip has become an adventure classic. We all feel its pull every now and again, but there are several things we need to think about before we burn off into the outback.

It’s important to remind ourselves how much we rely on our cars when travelling long distances on remote, lonely roads. Prior to setting off, it’s wise (and necessary) to make sure our vehicle is in tip-top condition.


First things first: learn how to change them. It may surprise you, but many people have never changed a tyre, or at least haven’t changed one on their current vehicle. If that’s you, learn how – Eastern Tyres has a fantastic, step-by-step guide on how to change a tyre – and familiarise yourself with where the components are located. That includes the spare tyre, the jack and the wheel brace. You don’t want to be pulling the car apart looking for them in 40-degree heat or torrential rain.

If some of the components are located in areas that may be difficult to access once the car is packed full, try finding an alternative space for them. Also make sure the spare tyre is in good condition and capable of driving hundreds of kilometres to get you to the nearest garage or mechanic.

Always check your tyres before a big trip. Look for:

  • Tyre tread: worn tyres have greatly reduced grip, and in the wet none at all. Eastern Tyres has a great article on how to check your tyres’ tread.
  • Pressure: Low pressure in the tyres can lead to premature wearing, increased heat generation and unsafe driving. You can find the correct tyre pressures for your car inside the driver’s door. Sometimes the front and rear pressures will be different.
  • Tears or bulges: Tyres cop a hammering. Bulges lead to weakened walls, putting the tyre at risk of rupturing.

Always have your tyres checked by a professional. Even if they look good to the eye, they may still need a rotation or an alignment. Small things may not matter too much on a daily city commute, but defects will be amplified on long, hot days in the outback.

Book in your car

Always have your car looked over by a qualified mechanic before a big road trip, and make sure this happens at least a couple of weeks before departure date. You don’t want to have to push back your road trip because a part hasn’t arrived.

Some of the things we’ll look for:

  • Fluid levels (brakes, windscreen wiper, oil, power steering, transmission and coolant)
  • Brake pads
  • Timing belts
  • Spark plugs
  • Battery
  • Air filters
  • Hoses
  • Light bulbs

Clean Your Car

Not only will the car appreciate it, but it’s always nicer travelling in a vehicle that’s shiny and grime-free. Pay particular attention to the windscreen. Make sure the windscreen wipers are clean and the rubber isn’t worn. If it is, the wipers will begin to scratch the glass.

Make sure you also give the inside of the windscreen a good clean. Use hot water with a little detergent to remove the grease and dirt that builds up. It’s this grime that refracts the lights of oncoming vehicles right across the windscreen and makes travelling at night a nightmare.

Take a Map (a real one)

GPS and satellite navigation have changed how we travel. In a lot of ways, it’s made the journey by car safer and more relaxing. But there’s still something to be said for an old-fashioned printed map.

For one, it gives context. Australia sprawls, and a big fold out map provides a fantastic birds-eye view and helps you connect with the road and where you are. Sounds wishy-washy, but it’s true.

More importantly, though, they don’t fail. Technology is great… when it works. Those satellite navigation systems rely on communication to stay updated and uploaded, and some parts of Australia are too remote for this communication to be enabled. If you haven’t downloaded the electronic map, you could find yourself in trouble.

Familiarise yourself with your route on a fold out map so that if technology fails you, you have an infallible back-up.

Road Trip Essentials

There are several items essential for a safe trip in remote areas. Make a list and check them off as you pack the car.

  • Spare batteries
  • Torch
  • Windscreen shade
  • Tyre pressure gauge
  • Air compressor
  • Container to store extra fuel
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Extra water ++
  • Phone and charger
  • Satellite phone (necessary if you’re going particularly remote; these can be hired)

Book a Service

Feeling the road trip call? Make sure you start the journey on the right foot: with a sound, capable vehicle. Book a service with us now and have peace of mind that your car will go the distance.

When summer hits in Australia, we’re all grateful for a well-functioning car air conditioner!

It’s not only a matter of convenience, but also safety, especially for little ones. So, with summer almost upon us, it’s a good time to make sure your car air conditioner is ready to face the heat.

Keeping your air conditioner maintained during Winter

It’s worth mentioning that we recommend turning on your car air conditioner once a month at least, even in winter. The system is full of seals and hoses that can dry out and crack if used too infrequently. Ten minutes is all it needs.

Testing your air conditioner before the Summer heat kicks in

End of Winter is also a good time to make sure it’s working, in terms of both chilling the cabin adequately and not producing an unpleasant odour.

Does your air conditioner have a bad smell? It could be mouldy.

If you do detect an odious smell, it could mean mould has grown due to moisture that has not been properly evaporated. It’s unpleasant and not particularly good for your health; book in with us and we can rectify it quickly and simply.

Air conditioner not blowing cold air? It might need to be re-gassed

A re-gas of your vehicle’s air conditioner involves introducing fresh refrigerant into the system. First, we evacuate your air conditioner of all moisture and oxygen, and then introduce the new refrigerant, correctly measured, into the system, along with some lubricating oil for all the moving parts.

What do we do in a car air conditioner service?

This involves a thorough inspection of the entire system – hoses, pulleys, belts – and a check of both low and high pressures. We operate the system to make sure buttons, thermostats, blowers and the compressor clutch are all in working order, and the condenser is operating at the correct temperature.

The servicing of a car air conditioner is a specialist area and highly regulated. You should always have your car looked over by a reputable service provider. At BM Tech, we’re fully qualified and licensed by Arctick to work on every aspect of your air conditioning system.

How your car air conditioner works

It’s something we all use at one time or another, but most of us are at a loss to explain how a car air conditioner actually works. Below is a brief explanation.


While your AC could theoretically work without one or two of the other parts, it’s toast without the compressor. The compressor is a simple engine-driven pump that compresses the refrigerant gas and pumps it into the system.


To get that nice, chilled air you need on those hot summer days, the refrigerant gas needs to change into a liquid, which is the role of the condenser. In most cases, a car’s condenser is located in front of the radiator, where it is cooled by the strong airflow created by a vehicle in motion.


The reservoir receives the now liquified refrigerant and filters any impurities within it. Without the reservoir, debris and moisture will clog the system in no time and lead to blockages and ruptures.

Accumulator (orifice tube)/thermal expansion valve

From the condenser, the refrigerant liquid is transported through to either the accumulator (also known as the orifice tube) or the thermal expansion valve, depending on your vehicle. They vary in their method but perform the same function: they allow small amounts of liquid to enter the evaporator where they are quickly evaporated. This prevents moisture from escaping the evaporator and causing havoc in the system.


The evaporator is basically a box located under the dashboard. Filtered air is forced over the cooled refrigerant contained within it by a blower, and then travels through ducts and vents, into the cabin of your car, keeping you nice and cool while pedestrians melt on the footpath.

What Is It?

It’s called Pre-Paid Service and it’s what BMW and other car manufacturers are now offering their customers when buying new cars. It’s quite common these days when buying a new car that the servicing costs are included in the price of the car.  Well I won’t hide the fact that this is certainly a threat to our business because a large portion of the cars we work on are less than three years old and still under warranty, so it makes sense that Pre-Paid Servicing is bad for our business.

Of course I’m all for people getting a better deal and saving money where they can, but what I want to make sure is that the public are making an informed decision and not falling for any hype or misconceptions, or worse still, paying more than they should. Pre-Paid servicing is simply that; service (and some repairs), paid upfront for the next three to five years. 

Is It Free?

Is anything really free? Not really.  When I bought my BMW X3, I asked the salesman if there was any servicing in the deal, he indicated that there was that option but I would have had to pay for it, so it wasn’t free at all!  In fact, we negotiated and I paid about $1500 less for the car because we bought it without the servicing included!  The worst part was that if I didn’t mention it, he would’ve just sold me the car with the service plan, with total disregard to my personal circumstances (more about that below).

How Do We Get It?

These BMW Pre-Paid service plans are called Service Inclusive packages.  To be eligible the cars need to be brand new or less than 12 months old and not had any services yet.  These plans also begin from the date of the first registration.

Are there Any Advantages or Disadvantages?

I thought the only way I could benefit is if the cost of the Pre-Paid Service plan would be less than if I was to pay for the servicing normally, so I did a ton of research and discovered a lot about this new concept.

I suppose the biggest advantage is that the Pre-Paid Service amount could be packaged in the price of the car and included in the finance payments and that sounds pretty convenient, but then I thought about it and came up with the conclusion that if I included the Pre-Paid Service through the purchase of the car, I’m also going to be paying interest on the service component, which is not good.

A big disadvantage is that you cannot get your money back if you have to sell the car or if it gets written off before the contract expires, however it is transferable to the new owner.

My calculations discovered that if you were to travel an average amount of kilometers per week and wanted to take the car back to the dealer for service, you could actually be better off under one of these plans compared to paying the normal dealer prices, which is a good thing. 


“if I didn’t mention it, he would’ve just sold me the car with the service plan, with total disregard to my personal circumstances”

One advantage to pre-paying would be that the prices are locked into today’s prices and shielded from future price rises.

On the other hand, I also discovered that if you were to take your car to an independent service centre like BM Tech, in most cases and depending on which plan you have, and the amount of kilometers you travel per week, you would come out spending less than if you pre-paid for a service plan from the dealer!

BM Tech could therefore be a viable, cost saving option – especially since we service all of our cars by the book and using original parts, meaning that there wouldn’t be any difference in quality.

What Are The Different Plans Available?

There are two levels of Service Inclusive plans: BASIC and PLUS, some cover 60,000 kms and some cover 80,000 kms.  They also come in a choice of 3 or 5 years. Depending on the model, prices start at $1495 and can go up over $4000.

The BASIC Plan covers all levels of servicing as indicated on the Condition Based Service (CBS) computer, but excludes brakes, clutch and wiper rubbers. This plan includes, scheduled Oil Services, Vehicle Checks, Brake Fluid changes, Spark Plugs, Micro-filters as well as Air Filters. It’s also important to note that BMW service intervals are every 25,000 – 30,000 kms, so if you are after an “in-between” oil change, then you would have to pay extra for that!

The PLUS Plan includes everything as in the Basic plan but also includes brake pads and discs, and wiper rubbers (wiper rubbers only with an oil change), and would you believe a worn clutch! 

Another little quirk which will definitely go against the Pre-Paid Plans is that the PLUS plans seem to be priced on the assumption that the brake discs or rotors will always need to be replaced when the pads are due; as many of you already know, this is not always the case!  If you pay for a PLUS plan but it turns out that discs are not required on your car during the plan period, then you will almost certainly end up paying significantly more with the Pre-Paid Plan than if you serviced it with BM Tech; it really is a gamble sometimes!

Driving Different Distances Per Year Makes A Big Difference.

I have created a table based on the new and popular 2018 BMW X3 30i G01.  It shows the different Pre-Paid Service plans and I’ve compared them to two driving distances, 100 kms per week and 380 kms per week to show the differences.  Our (BM Tech) customers, who mainly reside in the Melbourne metropolitan area, usually travel an average of 100 to 150 kms per week. This guide indicates how much you would save or lose if you were to take your car to BM Tech for service compared to purchasing or rather buying a car with a Pre-Paid Service plan from a dealer.

How Do I Know When The Services Are Due?

Assuming you drive your car sensibly, Oil Services on BMWs and Minis are usually required at around 25,000 to 30,000 kms (this is way too long but that’s another story), and brakes are normally replaced at around 40,000 – 50,000 kms, so my calculations are based on these assumptions.  Time based services like Vehicle Checks and Brake Fluid flushes are performed every 12 and 24 months respectively.

My calculations are also based on when the services are normally or likely to be due.  This is not an exact science because the BMW Condition Based Service (CBS) computer uses sensors to monitor the condition of the worn parts to ascertain the extent to which servicing is necessary. 

What About Normal CPI Increases?

It’s important to note that the BM Tech service costs also take into account estimated CPI increases each of 2.5% PA, but actual increases could of course be more or less than this.

The Results Are In.

As you can see, my calculations have indicated that if you drive less than the average kilometers per week, then you would be better off not having a Pre-Paid service plan. Buying the car for a cheaper price by not paying for the Pre-Paid plan, and having BM Tech service it, you would be financially better off over the 3-5 years. If this sort of usage matches how you use your car, BM Tech is likely to be a winner.

However, if you were to drive more than 200 kms per week, then the Pre-Paid service plan would be a good option.  The table highlights the fact that the more kilometers you travel per year, the more likely you are to get value out of a Pre-Paid Plan.


“if you were to travel the average or less kilometers per week, then BM Tech would be a good choice”

In Summary.

To summarise, I suppose I have to admit that these plans are kind of okay if you intend to travel lots of kilometers, but then again, if you were to travel less than the average kilometers per week, then BM Tech would be a good choice.  If you intend to only ever have your car serviced at the dealer, a Pre-Paid plan is worth considering.

What I find very interesting is that the Pre-Paid Plans don’t seem to be too cost effective for cars which travel below the normal average kilometers, which makes me think that the manufacturer has carefully designed and calculated the price of the plans to ensure that they are not unduly disadvantaged!

It’s also important to note, that if you were wanting to have that ever important, “In-Between Oil Service” carried out, then you would need to pay for it. This is because these, “out-of-routine” services are not part of the contract plan. My advice would be to seriously consider changing the oil more often regardless if the car has a service plan or not; it’s better for the engine and better for maintaining resale values!

So What’s Best For Me?

My thoughts, based on my research and calculations, would be to keep your money in the bank, let it earn interest (or pay down some of your mortgage) and then pay for your servicing maintenance as-you-go – you’ll more likely be better off financially, but then again I am biased!


A few tips when buying a new BMW, Mini or any other brand which offers Pre-Paid Servicing:

  1. Work out how many kilometers you normally drive per year. If you drive less than 200 to 250 kms per week then you have good reasons to negotiate (read on).
  2. Negotiate the best price you can first.
  3. Then, ask the salesperson how much would they would take off the price if you didn’t want the Pre-Paid Service plan. If they tell you that you can only buy the car with the plan, then walk away, because they are probably not being totally honest with you.
  4. When they agree to sell you the car without the service plan, don’t accept anything less than a $1250 discount.
  5. If the salesperson asks why would you ever buy the car without the service costs included, tell them, “why would I pay for something which I won’t use!”

If you would like more information or would like to see my calculations in detail, then please don’t hesitate to come into one of our branches. We would be more than happy to discuss the advantages and pitfalls of Pre-Paid plans with you.

What do I do when I need new tyres?

First, take down some notes.

Find out the size of the tyre and the brand. This is best done by looking at the numbers on the side of the tyre. Look for a group of three specific numbers, like 195/55R16, then check the brand, like Continental, Michelin, Pirelli etc.

Tip: Check the driver’s side tyres as the numbers won’t be worn out by the constant rubbing against the kerb when parking.

How much should I pay for tyres?

Like anything in life, you pay extra for quality and tyres are no different. The size of the tyre will also determine the price, the bigger the tyre, the more expensive it is.

If you use the example of a 195/55R16 tyre, which is a typical size, a good quality tyre will cost around $150 to $200 each.

If you want a premium tyre, like Michelin, Bridgestone, Pirelli or Continental, you’ll be paying around $200 to $300 per tyre.

If you are after a budget brand, then the average price is $100 to $150 each.

What do I ask for?

After you’ve found a tyre shop to call, mention to them four things;

  • the make and model of the car including the year
  • The brand of the tyre currently on your car
  • The size(s) of the tyre
  • Your spending budget

What do the tyre sizes mean?

The numbers and letters on the side of the tyre are always in a group of three, i.e. 195/55R16 or 225/45R17, this is the size of the tyre.

But there is also a second set which look like, 91V or 100Y, this is the load and speed rating.

Don’t be too concerned by what they mean, all you really need to do is note them down, ready for when you are contacting the tyre shop.

Tip: Always check the numbers on one front and one rear tyre because some cars have wider tyres on the back.

What does the price of the tyre include?

In most cases, the price will always include the fitting and balancing of the tyre.

This includes removing the old tyre off the wheel and re-fitting the new tyre. New valves are normally also included in the price.

Wheel or steering alignments are normally not included in the price and are considered an extra, however it’s always common (and good) practice to have a wheel alignment carried out after having new tyres.

The typical price for a wheel alignment averages around $65 to $100 all up. Later model cars are normally on the higher side since suspension systems are becoming quite intricate.

Why is there such a difference between tyre prices?

You definitely pay more for quality and for the brand name, but for good reasons.

Tyre companies invest thousands of hours and millions of dollars in developing tyres, which can mean the difference in stopping either 1 to 5 meters shorter in distance than a cheaper tyre.

A quality tyre is also less likely to lose traction when driving around a curve in the wet for example.

The big names in tyres like, Continental, Pirelli, Michelin and Bridgestone cost more because they put in the extra effort to make a good, safe tyre.

Can I just replace two tyres?

You certainly can. In many cases only the front or the rear tyres will be replaced, and this is fine.

Tyres on the same axle usually wear at the same rate and need to be replaced at the same time, but the tyre wear can vary between the front and the back, and this is why sometimes tyres are replaced in pairs only.

Try to replace two tyres on the same axle, don’t replace one front and one rear tyre, this is not good practice.

Tip: Always put the new tyres to the front because they are the steering wheels. Also, most of the braking occurs on the front wheels.

How long does it take to replace my tyres, and can I wait?

A good tyre technician should be able to replace four tyres and carry out a wheel alignment in about 1.5 hours. Because of this relatively short time, many people either wait or go for a coffee down the road.

Do I need to make a booking or can I just roll up and wait?

Always best to book a time as most tyre shops cannot stock the myriad of different tyre sizes out there. In some cases they would need to order them in which can take around 3 to 5 hours.

Tip: Enquire and order new tyres before 10am, because if the tyre shop needs to order them in, then they’ll get the tyres on the same day ready for fitting in the afternoon.

Need to change your tyres? Call Eastern Tyre Centre on 03 9836 1000 or book on their website.


We are proud to announce the opening of our new business venture, Eastern Tyre Centre, right next door to BM Tech Canterbury. Eastern Tyre centre is a BestDrive Continental Tyre Dealership, providing tyres to all makes and models.

We chose Continental because they are the main tyre supplier for new BMW, Mercedes, Audi and VW vehicles. As a premium German tyre, Continental have constantly been voted best tyre in the world. They are fitted to 1 in 3 new cars in Europe as original equipment.

You would think that Continental, being a premium brand would be pricey but the good news is they are also reasonably priced and super competitive against the other brands, and of course being a BM Tech customer, you will benefit with even lower prices.

By investing in the best tyre changing equipment on the market, our customers can feel rest assured their car will receive the best of care.

We can also provide great brands such as, Michelin, Bridgestone, Pirelli, Dunlop, Falken and Viking, at great prices too. Off-Road and Four Wheel Drive vehicles will be offered the General Tire brand as well as other premium tyres.

Other services on offer will be tyre puncture repairs, wheel alignments, battery replacements and battery testing.

Our Tyre Shop will now make BM Tech a true One-Stop BMW and German car service centre. Once again providing our BMW community the best in service and quality.

We would love to show you our new tyre shop. Please pop in to our Continental Tyre Dealership, Eastern Tyre Centre anytime, we’d love to give you a tour.

For bookings and quotations, call 9836-1000 and speak to Damian, our manager and expert tyre technician.

Visit for more information.

Special prices for all our BM Tech customers on Continental, General and Viking Tyres. Call 9836-1000 for a Quotation.

BestDrive Canterbury

Eastern Tyre Centre is a BestDrive Continental Tyre Dealership in Canterbury