My BMW E87 with N43B20 engine [part 3] BMW mechanics in Romania


From previous parts (spark plug broke in engine and NOX sensor fail) you know that I bought a second hand BMW e87 118i with some simple problems, but the mechanics that repaired this car were amateurs, it’s like in the quote:

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire a amateur.

All started when I found out that my car had a recall, I was really intrigued how can BMW make a recall on a 2009 vehicle, so I put the wheels in motion and made an appointment.

There weren’t many details about this recall, it should be a simple “Quality Enhancement” recall but after a quick google search I found out that they will check vacuum pump(also responsible for assistive braking) and if there is a problem it will be a lot of work(one full day).

In the second part of this short series I explained in detail how I also changed my brake vacuum sensor and still have the “Start/stop system” not working warning.

Before BMW recall service

So at 10:00, I just let my car at BMW service (more exactly BMW Romania) , the professional mechanics how I believed then.

On the instrument cluster I had only the “Auto start-stop” warning, and I knew that I had some problems with injectors on cold start, but they didn’t ask I also didn’t mention this aspect.

CCID list : only CCID-397 (about start/stop problem)

After BMW recall service

I still remember that day I had to finish a really long task, the next day was had to present the feature that I had worked for the last 2 weeks and I’m wasting time taking my car for a 40min trip to BMW professional mechanics, so I came to terms with the idea and started my work day after I delivered my car.

At around 16:00 I got a call from the service that the car is ready, and all went great, I have a problem with a vacuum sensor for the auto start/stop system and if I want they can resolve this issue with about 300€.

I was so happy that everything went great, so it was worth it and went after my car for another 40min trip.

And I had a really nice surprise after I started my car, from one warning I just upgraded to five warnings, with no word from BMW professional mechanics and representatives.

Upgraded CCID list :

  • CCID-29 -> Engine Problem, Power Reduced
  • CCID-30 -> Engine Problem, Stop Engine
  • CCID-71 -> Brake Pads Worn
  • CCID-397 -> About start/stop system not working
  • CCID-431 -> Brake Loading Too High

I tried to call them after I got home, but the work day was over for them, for me only half was done.

If you are curious my demo on the next day went really well, I was able to finish my task.

What was really going on

Well the next day, I was able to get in touch with them and set another appointment for my car but only after lunch, because you know I matter so much for them.

So I arrived at their location and they took it again for diagnosis for about 45 minutes, after which the guy that was responsible for my car printed out around 40 of A4 paper with reports from ISTA+ application (BMW service application) that I have a lot of DTCs and the cost for repairing all of them will be around 2600€(for changing the faulty vacuum sensor and all 4 injectors).

This puzzled me, how a car that costs 4000€ on second hand market and in good working condition(the day before) have a repair bill of more that half of it’s value. After a lot of discussions, I found out that all they did was to update the car software, from a 2009 to a 2021 software update, but they didn’t knew anything about why I got so many errors, so they gave me my car with the new software and automatically new errors.

I felt like I’ve been tricked, so I went to their reception for writing a feedback form, when they heard that I have a negative review the location manager was called, so I spoke to him, a really nice guy, tried to understand my problem, but after a visit to the mechanics department, there was nothing to be done for the moment, their solution was to make another appointment free of change, for finding out if the vacuum sensor is really broken or is the wiring, hoses or vacuum pump. I went home and another 2 hours of my time was wasted with them.

After I arrived home I connected my OBD adaptor and tried to see the DTCs by myself, I never saw so many on this car(around 10).

I started to investigate cluster warnings, and one of them( CCID-71 -> Brake Pads Worn) got me thinking, what if they just updated my car software and also deleted all my configured settings, like when will be the next oil service, or when the next brake disc, pads will need change.

And I was right, these “professional” BMW mechanics in my case in Romania, didn’t set any service intervals. My car was in their service almost 8 hours and all they did was a ECUs update, and trying to trick me into paying them a lot for the nothing, because before going to this recall I had only “CCID-397 -> About start/stop system not working” warning at the car start, and it didn’t appeared in the driving session.

So I set my service intervals, and I only had 4 warnings left, a clear win for the day.

I called them again and canceled my next week appointment. The feedback request arrived about 15 days after this adventure, I’m sure it doesn’t count because was written in local language.

Final thoughts

After working about 2 months on this car, I had the wrong impression that the professional mechanics from BMW will magically help me out, seems that I know better what was the problems with this car.

BMW have really nice cars with a lot of innovations, but I will never recomand their mechanics in my location, for my car with engine N43B20 they are expensive and incompetent.

Next on this topic …

Part 4 will be a short story about how I manage to repair my car after BMW estimated a repair bill of 2600€ with only 100€.

If you enjoyed this little story it will be great if you can follow me,

and maybe a like for my review on Google Maps.

Thank you!!!



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