Monday, June 11, 2007

Car woes

Two Wednesdays ago I took my BMW convertible to a new shop to have the passenger door fixed, and to find out why the ABS (anti-lock brakes) light comes on intermittently. I was very happy with the friendly folks at the shop and VERY friendly price for the door repair: $25.

However, they weren't able to determine at that time what was causing the ABS light to come on. The computer produced 4 different error codes that related to different things. The mechanic thought it was unlikely that all 4 things needed fixing, but rather, the actual cause of the problem was also triggering other alerts to produce error codes. Rather than trying to fix all of the different things the machanic suggested he reset the computer to erase the error codes. If/when the ABS light comes on again, I should bring it in and the origin of the problem should be found. I drove the car for a week and the ABS light didn't come back on.

Then last Wednesday evening the roof stopped moving when I was opening it. I was pretty sure the roof switch on the console had gone bad. For awhile now I'd had to really push the switch down hard to get the roof to operate. I was hoping to get the door and ABS issues resolved before tackling the roof switch, but no such luck. I tried it several times but the roof didn't move; it was stuck partially open. Thurs morning I called to make an appointment at the garage. They told me Wed of the following week was their 1st available appointment. I told them I'd looked at the weather forecast and saw the possibility of rain on Fri night and Sat morning, and asked them to squeeze me in on Fri, but they said they were unable to. Mon morning (today) was the earliest they could give me. I tried the roof switch again but it didn't respond. So on Fri I made arrangements with my neighbor to park my car with its partially opened roof in their garage Fri evening. As I was about to move the car to the neighbor's garage, I decided to try the roof switch 1 more time - and it worked! I was able to fully close the roof. Fri night it rained.

This morning as I was driving the car to the shop, the ABS light came on again. 'Good timing' I thought to myself. When I arrived I filled them in on the roof switch theory and let them know the ABS light was on, which should give them the necessary error code to diagnose the cause.

While typing the paragraphs above, the garage called. My roof switch theory was correct. It will cost about $200. for the parts and labor to fix it. Unfortunately it will take 3 days to get the switch and the garage is booked until next Tues, so I'm going to pick up the car this evening and bring it back on Tues for them to install the new roof switch.

I asked about the ABS light and they reported that the computer showed no code. They suggested that since it lit up only a mile or 2 from the garage, it may not have had time to register an error code. When the ignition is turned off, the light goes out. When they moved the car, the light didn't come back on. Aaarrrggg...

Murhpy's Law dictates that because I will not be able to open the roof for the next week, we'll have absolutely stunningly beautiful weather.

Drag Queen name of the day: Marion Settledown

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