Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Half-baked, or out to fleece?

My son is trying to dispose of his BM323i and since I am now working for KLKK (kneah-lai-kneh-ker – Hokkien, meaning nothing much to do; walking here and there), I decided to help him out.

He has been servicing this car regularly at Auto Bavaria since he bought it in 2009. There were a couple of things that needed to be dressed up. The hand rests were sticky; apparently, the plastic was melting away. (Coming from a BM, this was surprising.) I promptly had them replaced. I thought there was something not quite right with the air-conditioning as well, since it would take a while for the cooling effect to be felt. I decided to send it to an S8 Auto outlet nearby. I had used its service before; the people there looked professional enough.

The car was plugged to a sophisticated looking machine. The mechanic advised that it would take two hours for the machine to do the diagnosis. The cost would be RM250, including flushing the system. Fair enough.

“Your compressor is not working well; it is flooded.” They telephoned me two hours or so later. Since it was well past six in the evening, I agreed to leave the car with them. Oh, if it is the compressor, it is going to cost me a bomb! I said to myself.

Next morning, I telephoned to check. “No, it is not your compressor but the condenser which is faulty.” I was told that the cost of a replacement was a couple of thousand dollars; nothing is cheap as far as BM parts are concerned.

“Let me see it before you do it.” I advised.

I was met by a so-called air-con expert upon my return to S8 Auto.

“Nothing wrong with your compressor or condenser; your fan was not working well.” He went on to shine his torch light on the culprit. I felt a little relieved; fans should not cost that much.

“Oh, you have to replace the whole housing.” For the BM original, it was close to RM5K, but I could make do with a German equivalent, which would cost close to RM3K.

I was a little sceptical after the series of changes in diagnosis and decided to check things out first.

I took the BM to another workshop specialising in air-con nearby. The mechanic said there was nothing wrong with the fan. When I mentioned S8 Auto, he smiled and gave me a you-know-lah look! And the system seems to be working well. Maybe BM didn’t do a good job in cleaning up the system earlier on!

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