Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tamgie's List: Unsolicited Endorsement

A lot of small shops won't work on Bimmers, I suspect partly because of the need for specialized diagnostic tools and partly because a lot of Bimmer owners are special tools in need of diagnoses. Myself, I am not a helicopter parent for my car; I like it, and I don't want to break it, but I've had it long enough that I don't flinch at every ding or scuff. It's just a car, you know? Mostly, anyway.

See? I'm not even skeered to park it next to the cart corral at the grocery store.
Very happy with the service at Euro Motor Works. Friendly, and willing to do what's necessary to get the car running and leave minor stuff for the next visit, which is something you don't always get from chain joints or dealerships.

I mentioned that the battery was dead and that I might want a new one because it was the same battery that was in the car when I bought it almost thirteen years ago. From the reaction, I gather that just having a car for thirteen years is almost as unusual as a battery surviving for that long.
.

26 comments:

og said...

lead acid batteries have a conventional lifespan of about three to five years. Depending on duty cycle you can sometimes stretch that to ten or twelve, but yeah. a new battery is probably a good idea. Glad you got the skate back.

Scott J said...

My truck's negative post and terminal look like food left in the fridge too long there's so much corrosion on it.

I figure the battery isn't long for this world.

Bubblehead Les. said...

German Batteries last 13 years? Wow. Good thing you didn't go down the British Sports Cars Rabbit Hole. I've head that with their Lucas Electrical systems, their Battery life is up to 13 days. ; )

Sidheshooter said...

I just had to replace the battery in my '03 mini S on the last trip in for service; the guys at my friendly local import tuning shop were all like, "Dude, that was your original battery in there..."

You still got that one beat.

James Sullivan said...

I replaced the battery in my '99 Accord (I am the sole owner) last year for the first time. I love that car...

Scott J said...

Oh and cool for having a shop that doesn't push the all or nothing service plan on you.

One of many reasons I do 90% of my own work.

RandyGC said...

Scott J, try some baking soda and water on the battery post to clear up the corrosion. (Note: not so much water as to make a path between your positive and negative terminals. ;-) )

I've had a car dealer trying to upsell me on some accessory by hyping the increase in resale value and asked me how long I intended to keep the vehicle. When I answered a minimum of 6-10 years he dropped that line of patter real quick.

KS Gunner said...

Eh, the battery I ha to replace last month was eleven years old so I am not to shocked at on lasting for thirteen years.

Kristophr said...

Bubblehed Les:

Lucas still remains the Prince of Darkness.

MG electrical problems tend to vanish a few days after the last time you drove in the rain.

Gerry N. said...

Like the old Brit. joke. If you take all the light bulbs out of a Jag-u-ah and lay them end to end on the street at night, no one would notice.

Charles Pergiel said...

Somethin' funny going on here. Car batteries here seem to last exactly five years. Everything is fine until one day it is completely dead. 13 years is freakish. I suspect a conspiracy to deprive me of my right to a long life battery.

Will Brown said...

The undiagnosed tools aside, I think most bimmer buyers are really shopping in the prestige market and, whatever else might be said, that quality is well past its "sell by" date after 2 - 3 years of ownership I would think.

Of course, most bimmer buyers aren't actually looking to upgrade their motorcycle to one with lockable doors, either, so there's that.

:)

Happy trails ...

Carteach said...

13 years on a battery is amazing. 5 years is pretty darn good.

When I write an estimate, I break it down into MUST have, should have, and "Do you really love your car?" People seem to like that.... numbers they can see based on real world needs.

I am always amazed at what some folks will refuse, and what others will authorize.

Jay Dee said...

Something I learned in Minnesnowta years ago is that factory batteries need to be replaced after no more 3 years. When you buy the replacement, buy the most cold cranking amps that physically fits under the hood. I put 1,200 CCA in an 84 Civic and could just about drive to work on the starter.

Old NFO said...

Glad your toy is back on the road, and I've NEVER gotten five years, much less TWELVE out of a battery in my life... sigh

Walter Zoomie said...

Try this place in Indy for exclusive Beemer repair.

http://www.ressmotorworks.com/

My neighbor works for them as a mechanic. He really knows his stuff.

Rob K said...

How much of those 13 years were down south in easy winters? Here in Hoosierland, I've found mine give up in January of their 4th or 5th year.

James Sullivan said...

My '99 Accord, that I love more than life itself and which will make me cry like a baby when I finally need to get rid of her, not only had a freakishly long battery life.

She is also the best Snow Car I have ever driven. Front wheel drive, snow tires and a 5 speed transmission. Nothing stops my baby. Nothing.

She used to be gold. Now she's kind of a non-metallic...gold? Tan? I dunno. She never stops, that's all I know.

My only problem has been I have had to replace the resistor pack twice so that I could get the blower/heat/AC to work properly. Other than that...

Everything good you hear about Accords? They're all true, as far as I'm concerned. I've only owned one, but by God, it's like she determined to be the only one ever.

James Sullivan said...

Rob K:

None. The car has never been south of Albany, NY. I live in the Adirondack Mountains.

Anonymous said...


I own an 86 M535i and have discovered that BMW does not sell shop manuals, diagnostic machines or special tools, they want their cars serviced at BMW dealerships only. This is apparently the norm among European car makers. In 2006 BMW went into the Chinese market; as a result you can buy a copy of anything you need for a 2006 or newer BMW.

I assume you have a battery tender attached during the winter months?
What really harms a battery is being allowed to discharge as it sits in storage.

Al_in_Ottawa

B said...

There's a non-profit organization of independent Bimmer shops that you could call on if you ever find yourself in need of a new go-to mechanic:

http://www.bimrs.org/

Rob K said...

James, I was actually asking about Tam's car. But that's impressive, none-the-less.

Precision270 said...

I just sold my '66 mustang to a better home. I bought her in '86 and sold her in '14 so that means I owned that car for 28 years and seeing as I am under 50...

Yup she was my first car, but a gunnie buddy really wanted a muscle (type) car for using as his daily driver and I had relegated the old girl to carport princess because too many things were getting in the way of properly making her fun and good to drive.

28 years was a good run and she was a great car and continues to be for her 3rd owner. Hey, at least I rescued her from powder blue.

CGHill said...

As the owner of a 14-year-old Infiniti, I can testify that Nissan'e OEM batteries die within 72 hours of three years' use. I have since switched to Interstate.

mikee said...

What Tam has done is transplant a new part, the battery, on a car that was a delicately balanced composition of mutually worn-in bits and pieces.

I'd expect an electrical fire within days. Or perhaps wiper blades falling off.

If you get past the two week mark, it means the transplant has been accepted by the car's immune system and you should be OK for the foreseeable future.

Drive safely. At least until the car's stitches heal.

Seerak said...

I'm on my third 12V battery for my Civic, and second for the 144V battery that make it a hybrid. The Vegas climate is hell on lead-acids; battery replacements tend to hit the auto shops in waves with heat or cold spikes.

But you should have seen the expression on the mechanic's face when he told me my brake pads were 2mm from the metal, and I replied "that's pretty good for the original pads." I'd bought the car 8 years and 170k miles ago.

I've been fortunate not to own the Car of Theseus in 22 years of car ownership so far.