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 www.easterntyres.com.au 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

BM Tech is excited to announce that we are now using new and innovative digital technology to record faults and run reports when servicing cars.

Streamlined service

Our new DVI system is being used throughout BM Tech to streamline the process when cars are brought to us for servicing. By replacing the paper job cards with tablets, everyone at BM Tech are able to see the work that needs attention. Every Technician and Service Advisor have their own tablet or iPad to use when recording information about the service.

Real-time and cloud-based

And our DVI system is multi-user and cloud based. This means that when a Technician is recording information on the tablet, everyone in the organisation has real-time access to the same report. This also reduces Technician downtime and thus increases efficiency. Clients will receive the report instantly and they are able to see the work required.  As they will be more informed, they can then  quickly provide approval for the work they would like completed,  with greater confidence, transparency and trust.

Transparency for our customers

The great thing about DVI is that it creates this transparency for the client by recording images of the reported items and gives them a better understanding of the faults, based on simple and easy to use symbols and images. Many clients who are contacted via the DVI system find that they have more control of the issues at hand and feel more comfortable knowing the report is as accurate as can be.

No “5 o’clock shock”

The DVI uses the traffic light system to classify the condition or status of the fault, i.e. if the box next to the item is Green then this is okay, if it’s marked Yellow, then this indicates that it requires attention but not critical, and if it’s marked red then it’s recommended that it be dealt with as soon as possible; it’s that simple.

Taking images is one of the best parts of the DVI and this is what most people give positive feedback for. They love the honesty which comes with showing images and in some cases, videos of the fault or issue. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words!

BM Tech has rolled out our new DVI system and we will be using it on most vehicles we service. Some work will not require us to use the DVI system, such as diagnostic work, so we will be contacting clients directly to discuss those outcomes.

If you have any questions or queries, please contact me on 0413 732 970 or email me at joe@bmtech.com.au.

Watch this video to see how the DVI process works:

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

IMPACT ALERT

  • 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

TILT/SHOCK ALERT

  • 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

POWER DISCONNECTION

  • 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

GEOLOCK

  • 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:

Features

Plus

Live

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

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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