Tag Archives: BMW 135i

Driving Ms Pinklea

Two days ago, I got a phone call from the dealership at which I bought my car. They sent me a letter recently too, suggesting that my car “may be due for service”.

I actually do not drive a whole lot. I do drive to and from work, of course, but having the career I have, that has not happened since June 30th and will not resume until September 7th. I also drive to and from Porsche Guy’s home, usually at weekends, but he often comes to my place (such as when he doesn’t have water), so that is a bit sporadic. Where I live, I can walk to just about any service I require, and I do. Walking is part of my fitness routine, so I try to do it most days, particularly those days when I’m not working out at the gym.

The dealership’s suggestion that my car “may be due for service” is based upon the average number of kilometres that the average driver drives in a year. PG tells me, and Wikipedia confirms, that this is approximately 16,000 kilometres. (Actually, PG said 20,000 km, but that’s pretty close. Besides, the Wikipedia number is based upon a 2004 study in Canada, so maybe we’re driving more in 2010. I don’t know.)

My car, my precious BMW 135i, is a 2009 model. I have had her since October 2008, which is almost two years. Theoretically, then, I should have about 32,000 km on her.

I have only 22,000 km. I guess this means that I am a “below average” driver – in klicks driven only, thank you very much. I’m reasonably competent elsewhere in my driving – notwithstanding that teeny little accident where I totalled the car a few years ago. But let’s not talk about that, shall we?

Let’s talk instead about why the dealership actually phoned me. It seems that my car is being recalled. Yes, a so-called “luxury” vehicle such as a BMW is being recalled. It seems that there are some safety issues with the seatbelt assembly, as well as something that needs repairing in the taillight seals. There may be something else, too, but I wasn’t really listening to the woman from the dealership as she was explaining it all to me – I was too busy stifling my laughter. I mean, really, how absurd! A BMW recall?! Whatever happened to good old German engineering? Maybe they took a page out of the American manufacturers’ playbook?

Anyway, I duly made the service appointment for next Tuesday, after being assured that there will be a loaner car for me. Not that I think I will need it, other than to go home and then back to pick up my car the next day. Oh yes, they will need my car for a whole day, because computers will need to be reset, I was told. I wonder how long it actually takes to push the few buttons to do that? Maybe the car’s computers are not Apples but PCs, in which case, it might take a really long time. Who knows? Not me: I have an Apple laptop.

Then yesterday, I actually needed to take my car to go somewhere that was too far to walk. I got in, started her up, and there on the dashboard display I saw the word “SERVICE”. I checked my manual: that means that the car now requires some servicing, based upon the type of driving I do and the number of klicks that I have driven. I checked further to determine exactly what kind of service she needed, and I think it might be an oil change and an overall checkup.

Good thing she’s already going in to the dealership next Tuesday. They may need to keep her for longer. That oil change may take days.

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Another reason I love my BMW

images5If you have been reading my blog regularly (all one of you – hi DD!), you will probably recall that I am the proud owner of a 2009 BMW 135i, my dream-come-true car. I planned and saved for this car for a long time, so when I took delivery of it last June, I was just over the moon.

Further, you may recall that just two months later, I was involved in a collision in which I totalled said car. Yes, I did. I cried SO hard. For a car. I know, just a car, but it was so upsetting! Fortunately, I was absolutely fine, only a slightly sore nose where the airbag had bonked me – but that didn’t matter. I had just totalled a brand new car that I had owned for only two months! How could I!

I had no problems dealing with the insurance company, and since I had a full vehicle replacement cost policy, they paid me the full price of the car. But the car had been a custom order, and my dealer couldn’t find me the exact same one anywhere in Canada (I wanted a colour called Monaco Blue, the all-season tires, and a standard transmission.) So I had to custom order the car again. And I had to wait again. And I had to rent The Mighty Hyundai for a while – a very long while, it seemed.

But my new Beemer did arrive in October, just as good as the old one, and I was just as happy – and twice as careful, believe me! And at some point later, driving around, I allowed myself to really think about what had happened, and about what MIGHT have happened if I had not been in that particular car. What if I had been in that accident in my previous vehicle, a 1995 VW Golf GTI?

It was clear to me that I’d be either dead or badly hurt. The Golf had no airbags and it was a smaller, lighter car. I wouldn’t have had much of a chance to escape entirely uninjured in it.

So I decided to write a letter to BMW. I wanted to thank them for building such a strong and safe car. I recounted the whole story, and concluded my letter by praising my salesperson at my dealership, who was so understanding and helpful throughout all my lengthy dealings with him. I told them that I planned to drive my BMW happily – and safely – for many years to come.

I mailed it off, expecting perhaps a return form letter along the lines of “Thank you for your interest in BMWs”.

Ten days later, UPS delivered a package to my house. In it was a box and a personalized letter from the Customer Interaction Specialist for BMW Canada. He thanked me profusely for sharing my experiences with them, and expressed his relief that I was able to walk away from such a serious accident. He wrote that because of the time and effort I took to write them such a positive story, he was sending me a small token of their appreciation.

I opened the box. It was a folding, black BMW umbrella, with the BMW crest (it’s actually referred to as a “roundel”) on the handle. It’s big and sturdy. It also retails for 80$ (I know! For an umbrella?!). 80230305901-c

But I got it for the price of a stamp. (Oh, and I guess I had to buy the car in the first place, didn’t I. Twice. But let’s not nit-pick.) Regardless, I was thrilled! I got a personalized letter from BMW! I got a present from them! They know who I am! They like me!

This is what a luxury car is all about. It’s all the little extras.

She’s baaaaack…

I have finally picked up my do-over BMW 135i! This is the car that I first ordered last March, took delivery of in June, drove for eight weeks, totalled, and re-ordered in August. I have spent a total of five and a half months waiting for this car, and only two months actually driving it. But the wait is over. She is parked in my garage, next to DD’s Honda Fit. I drove her home like a little old lady. I love her! She is my dream car, after I decided 25 years ago, upon sighting my first BMW 2002, that one day I would own a BMW. Well, to be fair, I don’t actually own all of her yet (the bank currently owns just over half of her). But I have the driving privileges, not the bank.

And I don’t miss The Mighty Hyundai one little bit.