Down With the Sickness

David S.
Update by David S. Wallens to the BMW M235i project car
Sep 15, 2015

Our poor BMW would not start after a trip through the car wash.
After a call to BMW roadside assistance, the car was loaded onto a flatbed.
Fields BMW, our local shop, treated us nicely. Upon arriving, all we had to do was sign for the car and drive it away.

While recently driving home from the office, we decided to stop at our local full-service car wash and treat our project BMW M235i to a bath. It was a bit dirty and that seemed like a quick and easy solution.

After exiting the car wash, one of the attendants attempted to start the car.


We tried.

Again, nothing. The starter would engage, but the engine wouldn’t fire.

It was getting late and the car wash was getting ready to close, so we did the only logical thing: call the roadside assistance number listed on the sticker attached to the windshield. Hey, it’s still under warranty.

A very nice lady on the other end of the line asked us to try a few things, but none of them helped revive our BMW.

Finally, she sent a tow truck—and apparently called a few services to find one with the shortest wait time. Some 30 minutes later, our BMW was on a flatbed.

She asked if we needed a ride home. If so, a concierge service could fetch us.

While the car was towed away, we wondered how we had caused this issue. Was it a problem with the aftermarket tune? Did something get wet while the car got its bath? We weren’t in trouble, were we?

Soon after, we got the diagnosis from the dealer: faulty fuel pump. The car would be ready the next day.

What did we learn from this? We have to admit, BMW as well as Fields BMW, our local shop, treated us nicely. The roadside assistance operator called back to make sure we had a ride home. While in their care, the dealer changed the oil. The car was ready when they said it would be. Cookies awaited customers in the waiting room. The car received another bath before we picked it up. Upon arriving, all we had to do was sign for the car and then drive it away.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
9/29/15 10:18 a.m.

Nice CX. However, better CX would be a new car that can stand going through a car wash without dieing.

BoostedBrandon Dork
9/29/15 10:37 a.m.

I don't see any correlation between a car wash and a fuel pump dying. I blame coincidence. Glad you had a good experience, what kind of cookies did they have? Me likey cookie.

drdisque Reader
9/29/15 12:53 p.m.

So now, in addition to water pumps, BMW can't get fuel pumps right either. The first batch of fuel pumps on the N54 when the 135i/335i/535i came out were faulty as well.

chiodos HalfDork
9/29/15 1:16 p.m.

Man I wish I wasn't so grassroots and I could afford a new bmw m235i. my roadside assistance is my toolbox in the trunk, when my old Volvo dies I get to fix it.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/29/15 1:41 p.m.

I hope you brought enough cookies to share with all of us.

T.J. UltimaDork
9/29/15 1:44 p.m.

Anyone else come here to hear this:

Type Q
Type Q Dork
9/29/15 2:04 p.m.

It sounds like the customer experience was the other end spectrum from the Dodge windshield issue.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/29/15 2:09 p.m.
Type Q wrote: It sounds like the customer experience was the other end spectrum from the Dodge windshield issue.

Yes, definitely.

When I first called roadside assistance, the operator was polite and patient. After dispatching a wrecker, she called back to check on me. Did I need a ride home?

When I told the dealership that the car had been chipped, she didn't hang up on me. We'll still investigate, she said.

When I went to pick up the car, I had to wait a few minutes because it was getting a bath.

They didn't know I was with a magazine or anything, either.

And, yes, the cookies were yummy.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/29/15 2:11 p.m.

Oh, and a PS. Just before I left, a 5 Series left the dealership--it sounded like a NASCAR. The driver was obviously one of their techs. The next day I asked our service advisor to put my in touch with him. She knew exactly who I was talking about and had him contact me.

It's amazing how mean an uncorked 5 Series can sound.

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