you may find this particularly interesting if you have a bmw, want a bmw, or understand bmws. here’s whatsup.
i have an uncle who is an expert with cars, so rather than going to the dealership, i always go to him whenever a sign lights up on my car. this would range from anything from a light being out to more serious issues, like this one.
i’m really bad at sticking up for myself and my own safety, so i hadn’t said anything about my car shaking even though it had been happening for almost a year now. i don’t have passengers in my car too frequently anymore, so i didn’t really have anyone calling me out about it. one day, i decided i had had enough and mentioned something to my uncle about it. my uncle naturally took it really seriously when i told him and reprimanded me for not speaking up earlier. he explained to me that my car weighed at least 3,500lbs, so if something was making the whole car shake, it was a big deal.
so, we immediately ran all these tests on it for the rest of the afternoon, and found that every time my car exceeded 2,000RPM (which is anytime anyone drives the car), then the car would shake. however, the car would immediately stop shaking upon turning off the engine and turning it back on again, so it was clearly a software issue rather than a physical issue with the parts. at that point, my uncle got a serious look on his face and explained how he was starting to suspect that the car was protesting since it hadn’t been to the actual BMW dealership in a while, which would make sense, cuz i always went to my uncle to tune up my car as opposed to letting the dealership rip me off. so, he was thinking the dealership itself needed to push a button from their machines to magically make all these problems disappear.
we then went to the dealership about it to confirm our suspicions. see, what they do at the dealership for a “service engine check” sign is plug in a handheld reader that will spit out the codes about what’s wrong with the car. that diagnosis alone costs $211, which may not seem like much, but it’s a lot if you consider all they do is click the reset button in about a minute or two, while claiming it takes “at least 3 hours.” in addition to that, the actual repairs would have costed thousands if there was actually something wrong. and guess what, when we went to the dealership, they confirmed all of our fears. they were trying to get my car in “the shop” for no good reason. they were being vague, dodgy, and insistent about it. they weren’t concerned at all about my safety, and i’m pretty sure it’s because they knew that these cars shake for their benefit. i’d peg the whole situation unethical and corrupt.
anyways, so here’s what we did about it. my uncle got his hands on the very machine that the BMW dealerships use, and we plugged it into my car to see what was really going on. and get this, the first thing we noticed on the reader’s screen is that when my parents bought the car a few years back, they had “cleared” all the “codes.” this could imply one of two things, they wanted to get rid of the history of this car so that we couldn’t see what work had been done on it prior to buying it or there were issues with the car that they chose to ignore and reset. the model i have is a 2008 328i silver coupe, but people always think it’s new, and i’m like aww yee, but i have to admit it was pre-owned, so they might’ve messed with it.
anyways, at this point, my car is working perfectly fine and there’s nothing wrong with it anymore: all the shaking has stopped, and the service engine light has gone off. but wow have i learned a lot about bmw, and i’m grateful to have a good uncle too 🙂