Category: Cars

G is for German Engineering

I had to say good-by to my car. It was a nice little BMW that used to belong to my mother. She died four years ago, so I haven’t had it very long, and it only had 80,000 miles. I drove to a local coffee shop for a writer’s meeting and on the way home all the check engine lights went on. I took it straight to the mechanic.

The bad news was in the transmission.

We spent a month waiting for Jake to find a used transmission that worked in order to keep the repair price under $5000.

Further examination revealed another problem—the leak on the passenger side was not in the door, but the sunroof where a drain had come undone. The repair for this was beyond Jake’s expertise, so we would have to search farther afield for someone who would do body work or we could just caulk the whole sunroof shut.

Here is where the German engineering comes in: Both these problems are very common with BMWs of this age and mileage.

A transmission with 80,000 miles on it should not die. Why was this problem common? I hope they get it resolved, because that would deter me from buying another BMW.

Leaky sun roof? Really? A little drain hose that should have been clamped was not and the two ends pulled loose. Seems like an easy fix to me, but not after the car has been put together! My mother lived in California, so I’m sure this did not pose much of a problem for her, if it was leaking when she had it. Central Pennsylvania gets plenty of rain. I bet Germany does too.

I don’t mean to dump on the Bavarian Motor Works, but I am disappointed about losing my nice little car, and I need to vent some place. I hope you can forgive me. Everything else about that car was nice and I enjoyed having my own car. It even had some “luxury” features that I appreciated even though I wouldn’t look for them in a new car.

I hope the working parts can be used to keep someone else’s nice little car on the road for a while longer.