50K headache

J’s BMW has now been dubbed the 50K headache. Why anyone would own one of these cars I will never understand. Yes it drives nice. Yes it is quiet and smooth and roomy. Yes I heart the butt warmer so much that he won’t let me use it in the evenings. Because I turn it on and become useless, falling asleep when he is still wide awake and wants to go out for coffee.

That being said, let’s talk about the issues with the car. It is a 2007 higher end model. He has had it for 2 yrs now. It has only 11K miles on it. The CD player has not worked properly since I met him. Thats almost a year now. Recently the windshield wipers stopped working. As in when you press the button they turn on only when they want to and they do not “sense” the rain on the car which they are supposed to. Not in the sense of there being ice in the tension system. Then, the low oil indicator started to come on. Now, BMW’s only get serviced and get their oil changed once a year. It had recently been serviced. The low oil indicator comes on and then when you check the oil it gives a different reading every time. But wait, for those of you who don’t know BMW’s, checking the oil manually means that you sit behind the wheel, push a series of buttons, and the car checks itself, telling you on a computer screen how much oil you have. Pretty cool huh? Does anyone see the major flaw in the system? I mean, if my low oil indicator light comes on, I pop the hood, pull out the dipstick, and check the oil. Now I know if the issue is a sensor or actually my oil level. ‘Cause you know I am good like that and my daddy taught me well. But the BMW HAS NO DIPSTICK!!! So there is no way to tell if it is a sensor issue or not. This leads me to believe that BMW knows that the only dipstick in the car is the one sitting behind the wheel!!!!!

Anyhow, between J and I, I am the one with the brains for mechanical things. Scary huh? Because as I mentioned, I am the type that puts vacuum cleaner handles on backwards. But seriously, he is amazingly intelligent but these things are lost on him. And that is ok. I told him the issue was the sensor somehow. There is no oil under the car. There is no smoking or burning smell. IF the dealership did not put enough oil in when they serviced it, the low oil indicator would have come on 2 months ago, not now.

So he takes the car in and gets a loaner. A lower end Beemer but brand new. I hated that car! The only thing it has going for it is the butt warmer. It sits too low to the ground. Getting in and out of it was like getting in and out of a 2 door vehicle. There was nothing lady like about it. The seats gave me a stiff neck withing 10 minutes of riding, I’d have hated to take it anywhere.

In the end, turns out that the BMW needs software updates just as computers do, and that is what caused the issue with the cd player, wipers, and oil indicator.  The dealership has to download the updates from the company and install them in the car.

J says he owns beemers for “peace of mind.” I say peace of mind is my 8 yr old $14K subaru that rarely gives me a headache and when a sensor goes, I can manually check the oil and know that the issue is the sensor. A car that is as much a work horse as a car. A car that maybe does not have cruise control, a cd player, or a butt warmer but I can drive it and be fairly certain it won’t yell at me when the temperature gets too cold. You see, the dipstick in my car is the one that sits happily under the hood.

Who knew that riding in a “fancy” car would give me such an appreciation for my own!

3 thoughts on “50K headache

  1. Went I went to NH on a motorcycle trip 2 years ago my buddy Robert rode a BMW GS (dual sport). At one section of the trip his hazard lights kept flashing on and off. He pulls over and says, I have to re-boot my bike’s software. WTF? He also mentions getting software upgrades every time the bike goes into service.

  2. Oh here’s another scary thought. All BMWs have “fly by wire” throttle. That means when you press the gas there is no physical connection to the engine. A sensor senses how far you press the gas, that same glitchy software translates it and sends an electronic signal to the engine.

  3. Well being a BMW enthusiast i couldn’t stay away from chiming in on this. You see owning a BMW doesn’t meant that you know a BMW. Though knowing a BMW does require owning it. You really have to be one with it to be able to understand it. Its like a good marriage. It really has to go both ways. I always compare BMWs to women in general. They are easier to get but hard to maintain. Well at least the good ones 🙂

    This is one commitment guys actually look forward to 🙂 Now that I have irked all the females that will actually read this post I will bow out and drive my beamer home 🙂

    Note to J: Get to know your BMW before she gives up on you.

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