For almost a year, my BMW 323i stay parked in the garage because the few times I was driving it, it would stall out on me in the middle of the road, turning into driveways and in the middle of intersections.
I took it to the usual yahoo mechanic my wife took it to when it was her car. (Yea she took the new Ford Edge I picked out for herself! Left me with the junker). He usually does the oil changes and some prior maintenance things like alignment but this last time I dropped it off to ask about my stalling problem and to see if he could “hook it up to the computer” and I gave him the details of what was happening. He returned the car saying nothing was wrong possibly needs a new battery so I bought the 140 dollar battery and still the problem remained: stranded one day I said enough.
That’s when it began its stay in the garage. I didn’t need the car after-all so it sat and sat. In retrospect, I know now that doing that was a bad idea for a new battery, more on that in a little bit.
My plan was to get my dad to help me fix it myself. So a couple months go by and my parents visit and my dad and I go for a ride so I can show him the problem. This is when I learned one of the most common sense of things…Me dijo mi apa, “ya llevaste el carro al auto parte?” well, no dad, I had not. Why. “Para conectarlo a la computadora” I didn’t know they did that and for FREE. We went to the Advanced Autoparts and sure enough 5 mins later the little hand held computer spits out a little ticket telling us what was wrong. The yahoo mechanic from before didn’t spit out a ticket. But my dad didn’t have time in this trip to get the part and show me how to fix it.
It was the camshaft sensor. So after my wife calls the guy back to tell him we had diagnosed the problem ourselves, he came back with some outrageous dollar amount to fix it, 2 or 3 hundred bucks. This guy, he didn’t even hook it up to the computer! I did half the work, that should knock out half the price right there.
So a few months more go by until my dad returns the weekend of my daughters birthday to finally check off this project that has been pending for almost a year.
The last time he was here, we looked up some how-to’s online and as my dad hadn’t really worked on too many foreign cars before he was unsure about the complicated engine setup of a BMW. But once he saw the print out of the engine, he said that’s “easy” I had gone out to the Napa Auto Parts to get the sensor ($100) they were the only ones in town that had one.
So once he arrived “we” get to work! Meaning I get to watch.
Growing up I never spent too much time learning these advanced mechanical things from my dad. I learned the basics from my dad, change the oil, change the tires, the fuses, replacing lamps, but nothing like replacing a part in the engine. I wish now, I had.
About an hour later, the camshaft sensor is in.
The battery however, was dead. Turns out that you can keep a car parked for long periods of time without killing the battery. I know I knew that fact before but just for future reference for anyone out there, always drive your cars once in a while so the battery turns and stays charged.
I had to drive the care a few times and jump it each time until the battery got back to normal.
No more stalling out. So I’m driving the car more.