Buying a second-hand car is a risk, there’s no question about that – even if it’s a prestige car.

We’ve put together this handy guide to help you minimise that risk! We want your new pre-owned car to give you sheer driving pleasure, not a long list of issues to fix.  

First things first – set your budget

Set yourself a budget based on what you can afford and then search for cars at the cheapest possible price with the lowest possible kilometres. Don’t forget to include ongoing costs in your budget such as fuel, maintenance, registration, insurance and interest on finance.

Check the history

The fewer the owners the better. You want a great service history with the original service book.

Look out for regular servicing because, as we know, a lot of modern cars have long service intervals, which in our opinion is not good for your car! So if you can get a car which has been serviced more often, or at least had regular in-between oil changes, that’s a great thing.

Also, it’s worth checking whether the car is stolen, has any outstanding loans or has a previous insurance write-off. You can check that on the VicRoads website here.

Ask the hard questions

Don’t be afraid to ask the seller for more details. Here are a few questions to start with:

  • How long have they owned the car?
  • Why are they selling it?
  • Has the vehicle ever been damaged?
  • Are there issues not immediately apparent in the photos?
  • Do they have the original service book?
  • Will it pass a roadworthy test?

Take it for a spin

  • Check for steering issues – turn the steering wheel from one lock to the other and look out for difficult turning, vibrations, looseness, excessive play and to see if the car travels in a straight line.
  • Turn the radio off and listen for any irregular noises or rough idle from the engine.
  • Drive to a steep hill and park the car to test the handbrake.
  • Drive on different road surfaces and at different speeds(including on a highway if you can), and check for anysuspension noises over bumps.
  • Check the transmission shifts up and down through the gears smoothly
  • If the car is a manual check that the clutch doesn’t slip and actuates smoothly.
  • Check the air-conditioning and heating – with Melbourne having four seasons in one day, you don’t want to be without either!

Know the value – get a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Don’t inherit someone else’s problem!

If you’re not an expert, it’s worth getting a pre-purchase inspection from an experienced mechanic.

Our own famous 250-point, eight-page checklist is the most comprehensive vehicle inspection you’ll find anywhere. What’s more, it’s specific to BMWs, Minis, Audis and VWs!

It covers absolutely everything on the car. No stone is left unturned. We’ve been doing it for 30 years and it’s somethingthat we do every day here at BM Tech.

We know the ins and outs of each model and can give you an idea of what issues might arise in the future, not just the ones that exist already.

For pre-purchase inspections, our 250 point check is a must.

Find out more about the BM Tech PPI here.

Negotiate price

There’s no harm in asking!

If you have a pre-purchase inspection report, use any faults to negotiate a lower price based on the cost of fixing these issues. If you don’t have the report, make a list of any faults you find during your test drive.

If there are no faults (that’s great!), you should still negotiate – best case scenario you pay less for a great car, and worst case, you pay the same as the asking price.

Get your paperwork in order

Obtain the original service history log book/paperwork and if the car is being sold with a roadworthy certificate, make sure you also have the original version (that is no more than 30 days old when the sale takes place) – don’t accept photocopies.

As the vehicle register maintained by VicRoads does not provide evidence of title, make sure you ask the seller for a receipt and keep this as proof of purchase and ownership for vehicle registration.

The receipt should be dated and include:

  • your name and address
  • the sellers name, address and signature, and
  • the vehicle’s details such as Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), registration number, make and model.

That’s it!

Happy car hunting! We’re here to help you with the purchase of your next pride and joy.

The beginning of a long friendship

When Joe Brogno, owner of BM Tech, was a young mechanic working at Grand Prix BMW in Hawthorn in 1985, a new employee Chris Caruso started and from his very first day as a first year apprentice, was assigned to Joe.

Chris went on to become a qualified Mechanic and a registered BMW Technician. In his early apprenticeship days, Chris would often work with Joe who taught him all his knowledge of the trade. 

BM Tech is born

Joe left the company and started BM Tech in 1987 from his father’s garage in Camberwell, and would often call on Chris to help him after hours to finish off large mechanical jobs. This continued when the BM Tech workshop opened in Box Hill in 1989.

As BM Tech continued to grow and become busier, Chris was being called in more and more to help, so in 1992 Chris was officially offered a full-time job. Joe is glad to say that Chris has been with him ever since; that’s over 30 years with BM Tech – pretty much since we started!

A long story short

Over the years, Chris developed many skills; from being a BMW Technician, he eventually was promoted to the roles of Leading Hand, Foreman, Quality Control Officer, Workshop Controller and finally, he is now the Workshop Manager at BM Tech Canterbury.

Chris’ biggest strength is his ability to manage and control teams of Technicians to ensure that the work gets done quickly, efficiently and most importantly, properly.

Chris is more than just an employee, he is a good friend and a great mentor to all the staff, and we are so glad that he continually chooses to work with all of us here at BM Tech.

This Christmas, why not treat your special vehicle with the enduring gift that gives you complete location tracking and history, and so much more, at any time from your smartphone.

For only $695, we will supply and install the advanced M-Protekt Global Asset Recovery Device in your vehicle, ready for your summer driving.

And, if you’d like to gift the M-Protekt to a special friend for Christmas, we will be happy to install it later at a time that is convenient with them.

Feel safe knowing that you will always know where your cars are and have been, with the added advantage of being alerted when something has gone wrong. Read on to find out more about this wonderful additional to your pride and joy.


Buy the M-Protekt Now


Why you need this electronic device:

  • Protect your family
  • Peace of mind – leave your unattended vehicle without the shock surprises
  • Allows you to negotiate lower insurance premiums
  • Finances – keeping your wallet protected

By choosing the M-Protekt Global Asset Recovery Device, you are providing the greatest opportunity to recover your lost or stolen asset, with the added benefit of being able to check the unit’s location at any time via our smartphone apps.

Key Features


  • Instant notification alerts, informs that the vehicle is in a collision
  • Alert recipients are provided with the event and location
  • All logged in users sharing the account receive the same information
  • Increase the response time of your family, friends & emergency services


  • Any significant shock wave will send an alert, such as a vehicle hit when parked
  • Movement of the stationary vehicle will send an alert. Someone attempting to tow your vehicle
  • Helps provide important information such as date and time
  • Claiming on a hit and run can hurt your wallet & can affect your future insurance premiums


  • Alert is sent if the device no longer receives power from the asset
  • Device has a back-up battery of 6-8 hours
  • Keep informed of battery disconnection or tampering
  • Enables user to take immediate action by receiving the alert


  • Instant notifications of 200 metres or more of movement
  • Activate/deactivate at the touch of a button
  • Notify multiple users

PLUS vs LIVE Subscription

Choose from two great subscription options:




Impact Alert
Geolock Alert
Tilk/Shock Alert
Power Alert
Location on demand
3 year warranty
100 free location credits
Unlimited location credits
Free smartphone app access
24/7 response centre assistance    
Pull driver reports anytime, date and time specific
All data can be exported and edited via Microsoft Excel
Service intervals alerts can be set for engine hours, mileage, insurance and registration
Creative live alerts specific to each vehicle to save you time and constant monitoring
All alerts can be customised per vehicle and for a specific date and time
Live alerts sent via email to one or mulitple recipients for:    
High speed
Battery disconnection
Battery volt drop
Ignition on/off
Geofence in/out (time delay)

Interested in purchasing the M-Protekt? Fill out the form below or call us on 03 9836 1888

Each year we take a delegation to the BMW Independents Service Centres Association, BIMRS, Annual Meeting in the USA to stay in touch with everything that is state-of-the-art in our industry, and to put our Technicians through an intensive week of technical training.

This year we took one of our youngest mechanics (Callum) and we’ve come back with some amazing tools and techniques to substantially reduce some maintenance costs without sacrificing on quality.

Callum (right) and myself.

How do you reduce costs without reducing quality?

It’s important to both us and you that we carry out a service and maintenance program as per the factory directives, exactly as stipulated in the BMW handbook, using original BMW parts and lubricants. This ensures your new car warranty remains intact and the current value of your car is maintained.

However, this strict adherence to factory directives has been our greatest challenge in offering more affordable pricing to the BMW community.

So how have we managed to reduce costs without reducing quality? The answer is tools and training.

BIMRS: The heart of BM Tech’s innovation.

BIMRS is a non-profit association of Independent BMW Service Professionals dedicated to education and training. There are 180 members worldwide and every year we meet in the United States for a whole week of training courses and seminars.

This annual meeting is crucial to BM Tech’s growth and continuing innovation. There’s nothing like this offered anywhere in Australia so it’s necessary for us to travel overseas to gain the most advanced training and experience on offer worldwide. Only a handful of Australian technicians make the trip each year.

The anti-competitive laws in the USA are such that BMW North America is obliged to assist and work closely with the independent service providers to ensure they have an in-depth knowledge of each model and how best to repair and maintain them.


Drinks after a long day of learning – can you spot us?

Practicing What You Preach in Customer Satisfaction

We were inspired by customer service trainer Jeremy O’Neal from AdvisorFix with the ultimate show of practicing what you preach. Jeremy purchased one of the worst performing workshops in Southern California and turned it into a 5-star rated business through his focus on customer satisfaction and staff training.

This training which Jeremy provides ensures that all our staff, from our most junior to our head technician, can service cars efficiently and more accurately, allowing us to charge our customers less.

Innovative Tools

One of the BIMRS members has a business which specialises in designing tools that make repairing BMWs and Minis easier and cheaper. We visited his workshop in San Diego and came home with some great new tools and products that are already saving our customers thousands of dollars in repairs.

We are undoubtedly one of the best-tooled BMW workshops in Australia and it’s these innovative tools which will allow us to turn some $10,000 repairs into a $4,500 ones, or some $1,500 repairs into a $450 ones!

Lunch in the sun after spending the morning tool shopping.

For example, there’s a water pipe on a BMW V8 motor that runs down the middle of the engine, and until now the only way to fix that pipe was to remove significant engine components. This is a massive job that costs about $8,000. That’s 8 grand just to fix a little pipe! We now have a tool that enables us to replace the pipe without major engine work, bringing the price down to about $4,500. That’s a huge saving which our customers are now enjoying.

Another problem that occurs on some high performance BMWs is an annoying buzzing sound generated by the rear muffler. This muffler can have a little butterfly rattle when idling or when you accelerate. Previously, the only way to fix it was to replace the muffler, which is over $1,500.

Understandably, most people decide to live with the noise rather than to pay that much to fix it. It’s not harming your car, but it’s an incredibly annoying sound and significantly reducing that “sheer driving pleasure”. With a fantastic new product, we can fix it now for just $450! A saving of over $1000!

Turning Limitation Into Strength

Originally we thought that strictly following factory directives would limit our ability to offer an affordable service to our community – that perhaps it wasn’t possible to make service and repairs more affordably without skimping on quality. But in fact it’s forced us to think outside the box, to find new and innovative ways to reduce the cost, and ultimately offer a more efficient and higher-quality service.

– Joe


How servicing cars has changed since “the good old bad old days”

Back when I was sixteen, I was lucky enough to find an Apprenticeship at a BMW Dealer in Melbourne. It was a good experience in a lot of ways, but it was certainly very different to now.

Back then the idea of customer service in the car servicing industry didn’t really exist. If a car needed extra repairs there was no prior communication with the customer, the Dealer would do the work and at the end of the day the customer would be slapped with a fee that was much higher than they’d expected.

It was these kinds of business practices that really led to a distrust of Mechanics. How many times have you put off servicing your car because you thought your Mechanic would rip you off?

Even as a young Apprentice, this didn’t sit well with me and it was one of the things that made me decide to start my own workshop. I wanted to start a business where I could run things according to my values. I wanted to come to work every day and have positive experiences with my customers.


Raising the standard of car servicing

My parents came here from Italy in 1952. I’m Australian, but I recognise my heritage and I think in part it inspired my love of European engineering.

I grew up in Camberwell, and that’s where BM Tech was born, in my parents’ garage. It was just me on my own back then, working on one car a day.

My brother-in-law Nick and I working on his car at our home back when I was an Apprentice.

When BM Tech started to grow, I moved premises from my parents’ house to a factory in Box Hill. I also started bringing people in to help me run it. I think it’s important to hire staff with the same business values as you. A good customer experience starts with a happy workplace, and a lot of my Employees have been working at BM Tech since the early days.

I really wanted to push the boundaries of customer experience. We were one of the first Service Centres in Australia to offer free loan cars, after-hours drop off and pick up, and free cleaning. These days we offer just short of a full detail with every service. While some of these things might feel commonplace these days, back then it really was the leading edge of customer service.

Recently, BM Tech won “Best Automotive Workshop in Victoria” in the Larger Business Category. It was great for my staff and I to get recognition for the 30 years of hard work.

Chris Caruso and I. Chris was my Apprentice at the Dealership where we all began, and has been with me ever since.

How technology is changing the way we service cars

We are always looking to improve and offer more to our customers. These days a big part of that is educating customers on how technological advances are affecting how their car is serviced.

When BM Tech began, cars needed more servicing. You could tell when a car needed a service because it wouldn’t be running well, and would often be using too much fuel.

Negley Aspeling and I. Negley was my Foreman back in the day and we are still friends today.

Thanks to advances in technology, modern cars tune themselves, and they generally don’t go out of tune. This can give people a false sense of security because a car can be overdue for a service but still be running well.

Some manufacturers say that it’s fine for cars to go a lot longer between services, but I disagree. If a car always has long gaps between services, the oil can get dirty, which causes engine problems. That’s why we recommend getting a car serviced halfway or in between oil changes, even if it doesn’t get driven much.

A car service is an investment, and the bottom line is, if you service a car regularly it should last for a very long time.

BM Tech has evolved so much since the early days in my parents’ garage but I think the vision I started out with has stayed the same, even as BM Tech has grown.

Joe Brogno, Owner and Founder of BM Tech

The Victorian Automotive Industry Awards are on again and I am pleased and proud to announce that we have been shortlisted as a Finalist for the Best Automotive Repairer in Victoria.

This is absolutely awesome as there are so many great Automotive Workshops out there. To be included as one of the top businesses among so many others is simply wonderful.

From day one, I’ve only ever wanted to provide the best service for not only our customers, but for our staff as well. To be recognised as one of the best in our field has made it all the more worth it.

The Awards night, where they will announce the winner, will be held at a Gala Event at Crown on 20th May, so fingers crossed that we’ll take home the gold on the night.

You can find out more about the Awards night here.

Whether we win or not, I’m so proud that we have been chosen as Finalists as one of the Best Repair Centres in Victoria.

BM Tech have been servicing BMWs for over 26 years. When BMW started manufacturing the new Mini earlier this century, BM Tech began servicing this make as well.

Over the years we have had many clients ask us to service their other cars with the same level of customer service and attention to detail, and occasionally we have. Now, due to your requests, BM Tech has set up a new purpose built workshop with expert mechanics for both the Audi and Volkswagen makes, AVW Tech.

You will find AVW Tech right next door to BM Tech Canterbury.

At AVW Tech you will experience the same great level of service for your Audi or VW that you have become accustomed to at BM Tech.

For the inaugural opening of AVW Tech we have a special offer of 25% off your Audi or VW service until the end of November, 2015.  For bookings or to make an enquiry please call 9836-1000. Thanks.

Blue Audi & Black VW

On the evening of the 21st May, BM Tech hosted a special evening of fashion and decadence in a boutique secret location in Collingwood hosted by Fashion Stylist, Nadia Bartel.


BM Tech arranged to have three local and exclusive Fashion Designers who recently showcased their designs at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival at this event. For BM Tech clients that didn’t get the chance to get to the Festival and see Melbourne’s finest Designers, the evening allowed them to get up close to their exquisite creations. We were fortunate to have top Designers, Yeojin Bae, Livia Arena and Aurelio Costarella, displaying their latest creations.

The night began with people arriving on the white carpet and being greeted with a glass of exquisite boutique sparkling wine and decadent desserts by Burch & Purchese. The desserts were simply amazing and deliciously devoured throughout the evening. The background music was the sound of a wonderful harp played by the very talented Harpist, Huhana Rae.

What I loved was seeing the expressions on everyone’s faces as they were asked to pose for photographs in front of our media board; it was like they were treated as celebrities! We even had a glimpse of glamour with the presence of Jessica Peart who is a finalist in the 2015 Miss Universe Australia! Good luck to Jessica who is competing for the title in June.

Fashion Stylist, Editor and Curator, Nadia Bartel, did a magnificent job in hosting the BM Tech event and treated everyone with her personal insight into each of the Designer’s creations and stories.  Her interview with Yeojin Bae was inspiring to say the least. Please watch the videos below of Nadia talking about the designers and their creations, as well as her interview with Yeojin Bae. You can also find out more about Nadia at her online fashion hub at The Chronicles of Nadia.

We were also proud to be supporting the Think Pink Foundation at this event. The Think Pink Foundation is an amazing group of people who help and support women going through breast cancer, especially for women who are from regional areas who have to come to the city for treatment. The Foundation assists these women with all sorts of amazing things including supportive care, education programmes; a range of therapies and accommodation.

We were able to capture some of the evening and have shared this with you in the online gallery. Click through and please be patient for the images to load… enjoy!

The Australian Motoring Festival was held in March at the Melbourne Showgrounds and we were fortunate to have secured a display stand in the retail hub pavilion to showcase BM Tech to the public.

This event was formed with the cooperation of the RACV and the VACC to re-introduce a new-style motor show for Melbourne.

Many of you would remember the fantastic motor shows which Melbourne used to hold every March. This show began in 1935 and for years was such a great event, frequented by well over 100,000 people.

Unfortunately over time, some of the car manufacturers stopped displaying their cars and the show eventually came to a disappointing demise in 2011.

I think an international city like Melbourne definitely needs a motor show.  These shows are a great way to see and check out the latest models and give the public a great chance to compare every make and model in one convenient location.

To the RACV and VACC’s credit, I think they have created a unique and novel way to see and compare cars in a new, interactive way. This new motor show definitely did that in ways which I’d never seen before. Being able to roadtest a new model on a test-track was a big bonus to potential buyers and I’m sure this part of the event will only get bigger and better.

What I loved about this show was that it allowed the motor industry to showcase not only new cars, but also showed the public how cars are designed and made to showcasing the latest accessories; it even showcased a vast range of the new and ever-popular e-Bikes , which were a huge hit.

One accessory which I never knew existed was this amazing new mini jump-start battery, the size of which can fit in your pocket, which can start an engine with a dead flat battery several times, and can also re-charge your mobile phone or even run your laptop for many hours. I had to buy one of course!

A big hit was the amazing classic cars on display. Having these cars on show revealed to the public where cars came from and how they have progressed over the years. It was a real treat seeing these beautifully restored cars all under one roof.

Our display looked terrific and we had a ball meeting many new people over the four days.  We also met quite a few potential new customers including many existing ones who came by to say hello.  Not only were we presenting BMW and Mini owners the benefits of having their cars serviced and repaired with us, but we were also informing everyone about our new products such as the Torque Tuner, which improves low-down performance and the new German-made tow bars which we have recently become agents for.

Judging by the success of the event this year, we are hopeful to once again attend next year.

Even though there only a handful of manufacturers there, I believe this first show was a big success and has laid the foundations for a bigger and better event next year. Rumour has it that BMW and Subaru will display their cars next year! I really hope that all the car manufacturers embrace this new style motor show because the public needs to be informed about the latest models and technology trends, and with electric cars now becoming more and more common, the need to inform and educate the motorist is now more important than ever.

All in all, the Australian Motoring Festival was an important hit for the motoring public and I believe that if every car manufacturer gets on board, it will truly become one of the great international motor shows on the world calendar. I’m already looking forward to the next one!

Joe at the BM Tech stand at the new Motor Show

Joe at the BM Tech stand at the new Motor Show