Mechanic has had my car for over two months!

Hi i have figured out the problem


You are asking a legal question, not a car repair one.

1 Like

Seems to me he is doing what he can. Would you prefer that he just give the $7500 back so you can go somewhere else. I dunno though, $10,000 for a transmission and $2000 in rentals compared to the gas savings by having a hybrid? Is this a BMW dealer though?

This is a rare vehicle, I can understand why he had difficulty finding a used transmission. If you have a contract stating that the vehicle will be repaired by a certain deadline or date you may be able to sue for the rental car fees.

A replacement transmission from BMW is $12,500 however that is negotiable and you would be driving a near new loan car at no cost while waiting for your vehicle to be repaired.

This is a performance car, not a Prius, 13.8 seconds in the 1/4 mile.


Not a BMW dealer. He offered to contribute $250 toward rental car fees, but is not budging beyond that. Fuel economy is only 23/30. I found the business he is using to actually re-manufacture the transmission. They confirmed what he said that these parts are hard to find. They claim that they have ordered multiple parts, but they do not know if they will fit until they arrive. They claim they are currently waiting for an order from Germany and that they have sent out an e-mail to another supplier requesting parts.

I don’t have a contract with a deadline, but I have text messages from him initially stating “we are getting closer” on January 16, then on January 17 said the manufacturer “promised me yesterday we would know the completion time by Friday.” On January 22, “Good news. The back-ordered parts are coming out of Germany 14 days out.” February 5 - “no parts yet, he said very soon.”

BMW dealership quoted me “$20,000” to do the job.

What even made you ponder doing this repair at the costs quoted? I dont have my calculator out currently but those figures and the cars value etc do not seem favorable. Then again, I could be wrong about that. What is this vehicle worth that you are actually considering a $10K+ trans replacement?

Dernit…now I have to look it up…

The issue is that I owe 15k on it so if I scrapped it and got another car I would have two car payments and only one car. That is why I decided to spend 10k on a car that is worth between 15k to 20k,

Oh my… Sorry to hear you are in this mess.

Yes. Mess is the right word

I think new it starts about $50,000, 1/4 mile speed or not. You know what BMW stands for though, “Bring Money With”. Yeah my son has one but not a hybrid.

I’m making one key assumption here, and if it’s not true, ignore my advice. That assumption is that your mechanic sourced the two transmissions that “didn’t fit” from BMW. If he’s getting it from some transmission rebuilder then… Look, you’re 12 grand into this, and he needs to stop fooling around and get the transmission from the manufacturer.

Assuming he has done this, then I’m going to suggest you go in a different direction and seek relief from BMW. This is a 6 year old sedan, not a 1950’s Crosley. You should be able to get any part you need for the thing. If parts availability is this bad, then BMW has screwed up and should work with you to figure this out.


Well the OP said BMW quoted $20,000 for the job, instead of $10,000. So I’m sure the dealer would be happy to step up and do it.

The mechanic it is with now can get me a new transmission for 15k, but I think I want to hold to see if they get the parts to remanufacture.

The price that I see from BMW is $12,587 for a remanufactured transmission. Is your car Activehybrid 3, 5 or 7?

Today I tried to have the car towed to a different mechanic. I could not be present, but they refused to release the vehicle. He told me if I want to tow it they have to first undo the work that was done on the transmission and reinstall it into the car. Isn’t that illegal? I can take the car whenever I want with or without the transmission.

Look up mechanics lien laws in your area. A tradesman that performs work is entitled to get paid for work that was done even if the job was not completed. Otherwise they can hold the car with a lien on it to sell if they have to. So yeah they did work, spent time and effort and maybe materials in good faith. Were they gonna give the $7500 back?

1 Like

Not an expert on anything related to this problem, but my sense from the postings above is your best bet is to abandon the idea of repairing this car. Try to get as much of your money as you can back from the shop, then junk it or sell it yourself as a parts car. In the future suggest to stick with make/models that sell in high volumes.

the advice to stick with high-volume cars is a solid one, but in Dan’s current state, it is not helping much

I agree, the whole situation is a mess

I would consider trying to sell it to the shop where it is in right now if they are willing to offer any cash out

getting it into a parts car is unlikely to be the easy route: this is rare model and unlikely it will sell fast, so parts place will likely lowball it