For the first time in a reeeeeeal long time, and contrary to pretty much every other BMW dealer experience...this one went great!
Since I have moved the M3 to DD duty, I have been dealing with all of the little things that happen when you don’t give your car the attention it deserves. New wiper blades, check/flush fluids, state inspection...Also, the A/C which used to get so cold it made my hands/arms ache now only got “cool” on the drivers side but blew hot on the passenger side.
I’m a big time DIYer with everything, but I keep a portfolio of dealers, specialized independents, and just general garages that I consider to be “excellent” for situations where I can’t or shouldn’t do it myself. A/C is one of those things.
So to kick it off I called the local garage. They’re a “every-car” garage with a Mercedes specialist on site. A lot of gorgeous old SLs often grace the lot. Owner is a Bimmerhead, and every single employee is in love with my former Ranger. I don’t do HVAC or at least the A/C side of things, and I trust this shop.
“Still got that Red truck?”, as they all shower it with compliments. I had that truck at 3 or 4 different shops during my ownership and everyone just gushed over it. It really is a flipping nice truck that I went above and beyond on as far as maintenance and mods. It’s my FIL’s now.
The owner and I talked about his previous Bimmers as I told him what was going on with the M3. (I live less than a mile from this shop) He goes “There’s a guy around here with a sweet 2002 but it isn’t a 2002...” he continued to describe my car as I grinned like this.
He laughs and says “oh it’s yours, that car is badass!” I gave him the readers digest version of the story and told him I’d come by with it. They did your typical AC service, evacuate and recharge the refrigerant with dye added in order to troubleshoot any future issues/possible leaks. Tech was pretty confident that 18 years was enough to be a little low on refrigerant. Back to icy cold for $160. It was to be inspected as well, but they ran out of stickers so I had to reschedule.
My father and I were talking about the car, and he mentioned that he was pretty sure it still needed an airbag recall!? He took the car for service on the first airbag because it was when replacements were hard to get and I was out of town. He neglected to tell me or maaaaybe they neglected to tell him, or most likely he told me and I for got...that they only had the parts for the drivers side.
Luckily I have not had a passenger in the M3 in a very long time. Anyway I called the only BMW dealer that I don’t dislike, and they verified that there was indeed an open recall for the passenger side airbag. I asked them to inspect it if they had the time because I couldn’t get it done at the local shop and I’d rather not have to take the car in 3 separate times.
The dealer did the recall and inspected it...FOR FREE. I only paid for the emissions test and rolled out of a BMW dealer service shop with an 18 year old car and only $68 fewer dollars in my pocket. I also earned 100/100 on their “your vehicle’s health report” thingy. Not a single recommendation or upsell.
We went to my parents for the first time in almost a month because of overlapping vacations and a rona scare. I went out to the garage to check on the Alltrack. I looked at it, I sat in it and I thought “boy, this really does not feel like my car...” Weird.
Finally I caught a blue S2000 in my rear view mirror this morning approaching the empty, double lane, super hard right exit on to the next highway. I could tell by his pace that he had business with this turn. I’m in the same industry so I obviously couldn’t hold him up...
Me: oh hes going for it
Me: we’re going for it
The 4 of us round the turn (cars and drivers):
Me to S2k guy:
S2k guy to me: