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Monday, December 01, 2008

BMW M3: Needs a Jump Start

Ashley and I were waiting for the valet at the Hilton Hotel on Saturday to drive back home after a couple of awesome days with family at Disneyland. And we were waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Pretty soon I began to think -- there goes the valet's tip, this is taking way to long.

Then a valet approached me and said -- do you have the new black BMW M3? I said yep, that's me. He said it won't start. I thought, you have to be kidding me. The car is only three weeks old and just had the 1200 mile service performed on Wednesday, what was going on.

My immediate thoughts then turned that the valet from when we arrived on Wednesday night MUST have left something on to discharge the battery or that valet did not know how to start it. However, while walking the valet mentioned he had the legendary 1988 E30 BMW M3 and said how much like my new E90 M3 sedan. I then pretty much know it was more than someone not knowing how to start it.

Just for kicks, I sat in the car and tried to start it up. With the key on, the system turned on and I pushed the starter button. The car clicked, but would not turn over. The valet mentioned they had a portable jumping system that they brought over. We hooked it up under the hood and it still would not start. I called AAA (did not have the BMW Roadside Assistance number handy although later I found a sticker with the phone number on the windshield) and they were there in 10 minutes. After letting the battery charge for 3 minutes, it then turned over and started up.

As I pulled away from the Hilton Hotel in Anaheim, I assumed that the battery had somehow gotten too low. After a 90 minute drive home, I figured everything would be fine. But, two and a half hours after we arrived home -- the car would not start again. Perhaps this was really something wrong with the vehicle -- how likely was I to have a bad battery after just 3 weeks. It also seemed to fit quite coincidentally with service I just had performed.

I called the dealership and mentioned the problem, for which they told me to have BMW Roadside Assistance bring it. Still not convinced that my transmission fluid should not be changed, I also asked them to check on that again since my car was a 6MT (manual transmission) vs. the DCT (double clutch transmission). I knew the DCT did not have the transmission serviced at 1200, but I was pretty positive the 6MT needed the service.

Let's just say I was not too happy when I got off the phone with the dealership. I was leaving on a business trip and would not be able to get the car in until Thursday. Fortunately, the Audi A4 was still sitting in the garage as an alternate form of transportation to the airport.

I called BMW Roadside Assistance and scheduled a tow for 8:00am on Thursday morning to get my car to the dealership. After a fantastic first three weeks with the car, I was suddenly very annoyed given the problem with the vehicle and possibly a major service item being missed on the vehicle at a critical time. However, I decided to reserve judgment until Thursday when I take the car in. An update to follow, certainly.