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Old 30th July 2013, 12:20   #91
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Default Re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

To tell you more about the September surprise, I'll have to back up a bit to the beginning of August last year, specifically to the 2nd of August when we brought this Black Beauty home -
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Although the vehicle itself is the subject of a separate & upcoming thread, just wanted to give a little background. Since it was a new car, I decided to run in the car myself for, maybe 1500 kms or so. Now, since the Rapid TDI is a hoot to drive, not only did I run it in but I kept driving it for the next month & a half or so! We even drove the car up to the mountains, to a quaint place called Hartola (in Uttarakhand) when it was less than two weeks old

Then, in the early part of September, I went off to the US for almost ten days or so. Came back over a weekend & I had an eye operation scheduled for the following Tuesday. It was then I felt the pinings for The Devil. I realized I hadn't driven it for over a month and a half, except for one late evening run, sometime in the middle of August! Unbelievable! Decided to drop my son to school on the morning of the 17th of September. Got in, put the key into the slot, touched the "Start/Stop" button, a gentle wheeze, the instrumentation panel lights went a little crazy & started flashing........and nothing more! Huh? Tried again.......same story! Couldn't believe what it sounded like - a dead battery???

Anyway, Rapid to the rescue, dropped my son & came back, hoping against hope, I tried with the other set of keys - same story, Sheesh!! Decided to finish off with the operation & then contact Bird Automotive - in any case, I would be out of action for at least a week as far as driving was concerned so, in my mind, it didn't matter! Fast Forward to post the operation & recovery period and a quick trip to Bangalore - called up Bird Automotive on the 27th, they didn't sound too worried, they promised to send their recovery vehicle the next morning to jump start The Devil and then decide next course of action. Went to sleep in a peaceful frame of mind, anyway I had BSI so what the heck!

Last edited by suman : 30th July 2013 at 12:22.
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Old 30th July 2013, 14:13   #92
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Default Re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

The Bird Automotive Helpline crew landed up the next morning, full of cheer & confidence. In a Bolero. LOL! Not sure what I was expecting but it certainly wasn't a Bolero......you'd somehow think a BMW Helpline would arrive in, well, a BMW! Anyway, they tried cranking a couple of times with the same result. They thereafter set up the jump cables. Idea was to connect up, start up the Bolero and give about half an hour of charge & then try to start up The Devil.

They kept the Bolero in high revs for half an hour, then proceeded to crank up the X1.........wheeze, khut, nothing .

Koi nahin, aur pone ghante laga ke rakhte (No problems, let's keep it connected for another 45 minutes)

In the meantime, I was lambasting the crew about a BMW battery dying out in a year old car - something unheard of in my "cheaper" vehicles like the Fiesta & Safari. The crux of their contention was that one couldn't just leave these vehicles lying around unused as the battery was bound to die because of the numerous background programs (including security programs) that continued to run even when the ignition was "off" & the vehicle locked. According to them, a max of two weeks of non-usage could result in a drained battery. Of course I didn't tell them that the car hadn't been used for over a month and a half

Excuse this poor pic, its the only one I'd taken - Mahindra supporting BMW:
The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles-jump-start.jpg

45 minutes later, the "chief" mechanic climbed into the X1's cabin, full of determination & resolve and pushed the Start/Stop button. Lo & behold! wheeze, khut, nothing!!!!

The enthusiasm had waned and they had run out of ideas. And I had no intentions of letting them go. They spoke to their GM Service, a useless gentleman by the name of Garg (their earlier GM Soundar Rajan was a great guy but he had moved on) - he had a brilliant suggestion of having the car Flat-bedded to the workshop, I said NO! Finally, they told me that they would come back the next morning with an additional battery & try a two pronged attack. Didn't have a choice really and I had no intentions of paying for a flat-bed (ICICI Silver doesn't include upfront waiver of towing charges, Bajaj does) so I agreed.

Kya lag raha, ho jayega do battery se? (What do you feel, will the double battery trick work?)
Arre Sir, X3 jo ek saal khade the, woh bhi start karwa diya tha! (Sir, we got an X3 that had been standing around for a year, up & running!)

And on that promising note, the Bird Automotive Helpline crew rolled back the cables, jumped into their Bolero and roared off to their next port of call. I went back to my apartment to catch a quick nap!

They came back the next morning with another battery and tried a medley of tricks - single, double, nothing worked! So they finally did what they could have done at the beginning - connected the spare battery, started up the car and put the old one back in. I was then asked to drive to the workshop as I would have to leave the car overnight while they charged the existing battery and do a complete diagnostics test to determine the condition & future outcome. So I drove the 10 kms to the workshop and kept the engine running when I got there. Along came a Smart Alec advisor & told me not to worry & switched it off. According to him, the battery would have picked up enough charge on the way. To demonstrate that my fears were groundless, he pressed the Start/Stop button with a wide smile on his face - wheeze, khut, nothing. I was like ROTFL and the look on his face was priceless!

So I collected the Job Card, left The Devil with them and went back home. The saga had just begun............
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Old 30th July 2013, 15:20   #93
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Default Re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue turns a year old - Happy Birthday!

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Renewed the Insurance through ICICI Lombard, cost Rs 49,777 including an Add-on Silver Plan for Rs 19,850, covering Zero Dep, Consumables, Tyres & Hydrostatic Lock. BMW Secure (which is by Bajaj Allianz) was working out to be too expensive & I didn't think it worth the price just for the Return to Invoice facility it offered apart from a few other minor items. Besides, with Bajaj, there was a restriction of twice a year only for claims - ICICI doesn't have that restriction.
I had also renewed my car (Skoda Laura L&K) insurance to ICICI Lombard. Bajaj Allianz was quoting 42K for zero depreciation whereas ICICI was quoting 26.5 with similar coverage as above. I did not think twice but went for ICICI. In any case I never trust insurances.

I am seeing some panel gaps between the bonnet and the bumper. Did you by any chance do any repairs on that region?

Last edited by nitinbose : 30th July 2013 at 15:22.
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Old 30th July 2013, 15:30   #94
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I am seeing some panel gaps between the bonnet and the bumper. Did you by any chance do any repairs on that region?
Nope, non whatsoever, maybe its just the angle.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 14:06   #95
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Default A Lesson learnt!!

Over the course of the next few days, there were a lot of telephonic conversations, some pleasant & some not so pleasant. I was castigating them about the unacceptably poor life of BMW original equipment batteries (they are made by Exide for BMW btw) and they were pleading helplessness about the fact that BMW batteries would die out if the car was lying around unused - the car needed to be used at least once a week (that is BS, I have subsequently left it lying around for 10 days or so & it started with a gentle tap on the Start/Stop button). While I continued to argue with them about the "defective" battery, I decided to google around and speak to a few "other" people at Bird Automotive (whom I trusted more than the workshop team) and guess what I found -
  • Yes, the battery does drain out if left unused. It was all over the BMW forums!
  • The showroom cars have their batteries draining out, in a worst case scenario, in two or three days! Sometimes by the simple act of the doors, dicky etc being opened multiple times by prospective customers when the car is stationary. Thus, they have the chargers connected up on the showroom vehicles.
  • There are a number of background programs (primarily security) that run around the clock, even with the ignition off & the car locked - these programs alone are enough to drain out the battery in a week or ten days, if the car is not used. In my case, it was six weeks except for one short run and that one too was at night, with all lights blazing.
So, in a nutshell, the battery had died due to non-usage of the vehicle and this would neither be covered under regular warranty, nor under BSI! And the final nail in the coffin was that the regular (White) 80ah battery was not in stock anywhere in the NCR.

So they first tried to palm off the Black "Heavy Duty" one which was one & a half times the price. I asked them if they could guarantee that the Heavy Duty one wouldn't conk off if left unused - they said any battery would conk off. So I asked them why on earth they were trying to make more money at my expense & asked them to get me the regular one and get it quickly. Easier said than done - usual blah blah blah about having to get it from Chennai, will take time and will come along with the next set of cars etc etc. I said I didn't care & that the regular one was what I wanted, so they finally placed the formal order for the same.

In the meantime, I kept making my annoyance felt, mostly on the phone & sometimes on email, see samples below -

From: Nishant R <nishant.r@bmw-birdautomotive.in>
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2012 8:28 PM
To: Sumantra.Dutt
Cc: inderjit.garg@bmw-birdautomotive.in; sudha.prakash@bmw-
birdautomotive.in; contact.india@bmw.in
Subject: RE: HR26xx xxxx
Dear Sir,
Thank you for your reply; we are looking forward to send you a detailed diagnosis report to clarify the cause of battery failure in your vehicle.

Thanks and regards
Bird Automotive Pvt.Ltd.
Nishant R
After Sales
Sr. Service Advisor
4 IDC M.G. Road,
Opposite Sector-14
Gurgaon 122001
India.
Tel: +91 124 398 8557
Fax:+91 124 399 6162
Mail: nishant.r@bmw-birdautomotive.in
Web: http://bmw-birdautomotive.in
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is confidential and
may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee.
Access to this email by anyone else is unauthorized. If you are not
the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or any
action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is prohibited and
may be unlawful. When addressed to our clients any opinions or
advice contained in this email are subject to the terms and conditions.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

From: Sumantra.Dutt
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2012 10:03 AM
To: Nishant R
Cc: inderjit.garg@bmw-birdautomotive.in; sudha.prakash@bmw-birdautomotive.in;
contact.india@bmw.in
Subject: RE: HR26xx xxxx
Importance: High
Dear Nishant,
Thank you for your email below. However, the details are very sketchy & as a layman, I would request further clarification on below for my better understanding –
1. Kindly elaborate on your comment “more wake up’s of control units when the ignition switch is off” – what kind of wake-ups would these be? Is it the Security System, or is it anything to do with the vehicle’s on-board computer? As I had mentioned to you, I was out of the country for a couple of weeks & the vehicle was in a locked condition throughout this period & a week prior to my departure & a week after my return (total of 4 weeks). Thus I’m not sure how the battery can be damaged due to “user related conditions” – kindly clarify
2. I would like a specific confirmation from you that the quality of the factory fitted battery in the X1 is such that it drains out completely when the vehicle is in a locked & unused condition for 2 or 3 weeks
3. How much of the “damage” would you attribute to your Helpline trying to crank the engine despite jump starting not working on Day One & initially on Day Two? On Day Two, they had brought another Battery which they connected up when nothing else worked & that is how the
car was started & taken to your workshop. You technician also mentioned that the battery may have gone below the threshold, which would result in it not retaining charge
4. I would also like to understand (based on our telephone conversation) your comment about why “these days, only the black, heavy duty batteries are being provided by BMW”, as a result of which you do not have the White, 80 amp battery type that was fitted in my car (and also used by your helpline) in stock. Does this indicate that BMW now consider the White, 80 amp battery quality to be inferior & have changed over to a proper quality in their new vehicles, without recalling & replacing in their earlier cars? If so, this is completely unethical on the part of BMW
& Bird Automotive – more so, when this vehicle is under a BSI Ultimate coverage for 3 years/60k kms & this is supposed to cover all repairs & defects outside of the warranty period.

Hoping to hear back from you at the earliest in order to enable me to proceed further. Please also email me a soft copy of the Battery Usage Report if possible so that I can see for myself what the results are &
take up appropriately with BMW India.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to put on record my extreme dissatisfaction at the shoddy level of customer service provided by your GM Mr Inderjit Garg. Right from the day that this problem was reported, I have tried to have a meaningful conversation with him about the causes/reasons but he has continuously fobbed me off with a standard “can’t tell you now” – first it was “can’t tell you till you leave the vehicle at the workshop”, then it was “can’t tell you till you leave it here for the next two days till the battery is charged” & finally it was “can’t tell you till I have seen the report”. My last conversation with him was on Monday the 1st of October at 3:45 pm & he told me that he would call me back the same evening, with the report, which he would run through line by line & explain to me – I am still waiting for his call. It is really shocking that one has to put up with this kind of a “couldn’t care less as long as I make my money” kind of attitude, that too from a service head of a so-called “premium” German brand dealership.

Regards,

Sumantra Dutt

From: Nishant R [mailto:nishant.r@bmw-birdautomotive.in]
Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2012 9:37 PM
To: Sumantra.Dutt
Cc: inderjit.garg@bmw-birdautomotive.in; sudha.prakash@bmw-birdautomotive.in
Subject: HR26xx xxxx

Dear Sir,
Greetings!
This is with reference to your BMW X1 bearing VIN No. XXXXX, regd. under license plate number HR26xx xxxx sold on dated 28-07-2011
We wish to update you that said car has reported to us on 29-09-12 at 17925 Km’s for (1) Car not starting .
During the inspection it was observed that the low usage (daily running of the vehicle)and more wake up’s of control units when ignition switch is off ; which leads to the battery drainage and resulting into damaging the
battery. Since the battery got damaged due to user related conditions, so it is beyond the preview of warranty limits.
So as per your verbal approval part (Battery) has been ordered.
Thanks and Regards
Bird Automotive Pvt.Ltd.
Nishant R
After Sales
Sr. Service Advisor
4 IDC M.G. Road,
Opposite Sector-14
Gurgaon 122001
India.
Tel: +91 124 398 8557
Fax:+91 124 399 6162
Mail: nishant.r@bmw-birdautomotive.in
Web: http://bmw-birdautomotive.in
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is confidential and
may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee.
Access to this email by anyone else is unauthorized. If you are not
the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or any
action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is prohibited and
may be unlawful. When addressed to our clients any opinions or
advice contained in this email are subject to the terms and conditions.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

LOL, what a comedy! Well, they did share the Detailed Battery Analysis - I was impressed to note that each & every action is noted on this analysis, you can actually see how many times any door has been opened or electrical components used, in short, anything that is related to battery consumption (including any program) shows up on the report. Very impressive, but did nothing to alleviate my financial pain!

Now that the ordering was done & dusted, the delivery tamasha continued for quite a while (coming soon.....another two or three days max.....almost there....) till I blew my top one afternoon and told them that I'd be forced to go legal if they didn't provide me with a replacement battery or get the new one across immediately as I had had enough of the nonsense & wanted my vehicle back. Sure enough, a miracle materialized and I got a call back in half an hour saying that my new battery was being airlifted and would be available the next day! Thereafter, the battery arrived, was fitted and the vehicle was ready to be picked up on the 13th of October, two weeks after having been driven in to the haloed portals of Bird Automotive! The odo was at 17,926 kms and the total damage was to the tune of Rs 22,781/=!!

AS I DROVE HOME FROM THE WORKSHOP, I PONDERED OVER THE LESSON LEARNT - USE THIS BABY REGULARLY, DON'T LEAVE IT LYING AROUND BEYOND A COUPLE OF WEEKS!! I'd like to share this invaluable lesson with my fellow BMW owners - something to look out for, my friends! If you haven't faced this already, do be careful when you next leave town for an extended period!

Last edited by suman : 2nd August 2013 at 14:15.
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Old 2nd August 2013, 15:17   #96
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Default Re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

If it is of any consolation, Civic's owner manual also stated that low usage (anything below 7 km or 5 miles) trips constitute 'severe' driving conditions and may require more frequent services and consumable replacement. I only have very short trips some even less than 2 kms. My OEM battery failed in about 18 months, 6 months after warranty. Nothing I could do. That being said, the replacement Exide MF lasted 3-4 years, but then I sort of attempted to make my trips of longer duration by taking the long way around whenever time permitted.

Cars are meant to be driven, not sitting about...!

And BTW the germans do have a history of such delay in parts, etc. Anybody who buys one and thinks he is going to get better / prompt service, is living in la la land. Even US forums are full of dealership hassles with german cars.

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Old 2nd August 2013, 16:41   #97
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Default Re: A Lesson learnt!!

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Originally Posted by suman View Post
...they did share the Detailed Battery Analysis...
Amazing! A top-end car that sleeps on a diet of 8A per day, and runs an 80A battery flat in 3 days at times! And there's no circuitry built in to protect the battery from being ruined if it runs down completely - hell, any stupid laptop has that kind of programming built in! Possible to share that Analysis report?

If the car is designed to *EAT* battery, how is it because of 'user related conditions'? Do all BMWs do this, or just the X1? I don't know of any other car that can drain out an 80A battery in a week or 10 days, without retaining enough charge to start it up again.

And damaging a battery to the point of it never being able to retain charge again - now that probably means buckled plates, and bone dry electrolyte levels. Wow! Look for an extra "battery insurance policy" - and never let it lapse by mistake!!
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Old 2nd August 2013, 16:56   #98
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Default Re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

So this means, if you are going away for 3-4 days, you need to disconnect battery terminals and then go. Quite strange.
To put things in perspective, when I went to the US, the safari as well as the indica were left in the apartment complex for more than a month. On coming back, both started at first crank.
When we went for 2 months, we had the indica, and that too started on first crank after 2 months. If a manufacturer cannot take care of such simple things, I wonder what other "design flaws" this X1 has!?
coming to warranty part, does your warranty state that if vehicle is not used for X-days warranty is void? If not, ask them to put this in the BSI clause. On a side note no wonder they call their warranty coverage BS

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Old 2nd August 2013, 19:07   #99
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Technically, a good battery should not drain in a week. So the root cause should be identified.

From the warranty perspective, do I understand the case correctly, that this a one year old car (bought new) so this is the default OEM battery? Whenever I bought a new car, the dealer gave me separate paper for the battery warranty - it has nothing to do with car warranty. And every time, it was only 1 year for the battery. And I was told that battery warranty has to be dealt with the battery vendor directly. Of course, the situation with BMW may be different. After all, it's a company that sells SUVs without a spare tire....
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Old 3rd August 2013, 09:24   #100
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Lol! Guys, the X1 was lying idle for SIX WEEKS, not 3 days or a week

They said that the car needs to be used at least once a week or so, that's their recommendation. I have left it idle for two weeks on subsequent occasions as well and nothing went wrong. But obviously, six weeks is over the threshold.

I may have shouted at them but this is a common phenomena for Bimmers. Do a Google or visit the Bimmer forums and you'll see. In a nutshell, if you do plan not to use the car for a month or more, then you need to consult your dealership. You certainly don't need to disconnect the terminals if you're leaving town for a couple of weeks.
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Old 3rd August 2013, 09:53   #101
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I know it's an unfair comparison but I wonder what Toyota does different. My Altis was lying idle for 2 months at a stretch. No weekly startup also.

Came back and it cranked at the first try. Mind you the red LED in the cabin and security system was enabled.

Infact the car is now 4 years old and still on original battery.
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Old 3rd August 2013, 10:16   #102
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Default Re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

These Germans are notorious for battery drain. Their cars are tech laden and therefore electricals and gizmos eat up a lot. Had a similar issue with my Superb once. I was using the car less and all gizmos were on like the interior mood lightings, auto headlamps always on etc. etc. One fine day after a few days of non driving same experience happened. Luckily the car came to life with the first jump start from the on-road assistance fellow (who came in a dilapidated Esteem btw.. lolz) and the battery has been going strong ever since with a little sensible maintenance of the same.

Don't know what Toyota eats though, never had a issue with the Qualis, Corolla or the Fortuner even after extended sleep overs...

Congrats on the X1 btw.

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Old 3rd August 2013, 10:45   #103
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
And there's no circuitry built in to protect the battery from being ruined if it runs down completely - hell, any stupid laptop has that kind of programming built in!
To be honest, I don't think the Battery got ruined on being drained out - it happened during the multiple cranking when they were trying to start up. That's what I was mentioning in my email - had they tried once & then put in another battery, started it up & taken it in (as we eventually did), the Battery may have been saved. But then, at that point in time, we were hellbent on getting it started on its own juice.
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Possible to share that Analysis report?
Doc, its not a one-pager - its tonnes of paper & I had not carried it back with me. It traces each & every battery activity from Day One - every crank, every door opening, every light being switched on, EVERYTHING! Can you imagine how many sheets of paper? I had, of course, only focussed on the past six weeks 'cos I knew what the issue was
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
If the car is designed to *EAT* battery, how is it because of 'user related conditions'? Do all BMWs do this, or just the X1?
As I said, check out the Bimmer forums on the web, there are enough cases, I think there was even one on our forum.
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
To put things in perspective, when I went to the US, the safari as well as the indica were left in the apartment complex for more than a month. On coming back, both started at first crank.
Yes, that's how it is with all other cars I have owned. Our Skoda Rapid (bought last August) had been pretty much lying around for the first ten months of its arrival with occasional use - never had a problem, always started one crank.
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
coming to warranty part, does your warranty state that if vehicle is not used for X-days warranty is void?
Nope but they are not challenging the warranty aspect. Warranty applies in case of "defects" - there was no defect that could be proved here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
On a side note no wonder they call their warranty coverage BS
BSI has nothing to do with Warranty. BSI stands for BMW Service Inclusive and what it does is - it covers you for ALL consumables etc during servicing or otherwise. That means you do not pay a paise for components or labour during the tenure of BSI. I was trying to squeeze them to treat the battery as a consumable.

And, on a serious note, BSI is worth every paise - I have gone through two oil change services, one rear brake service, one front brake service & brake fluid replacement service. An average service can cost you anything between 20-30k - now you do the Math if BSI is BS or a lifesaver
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Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
From the warranty perspective, do I understand the case correctly, that this a one year old car (bought new) so this is the default OEM battery? Whenever I bought a new car, the dealer gave me separate paper for the battery warranty - it has nothing to do with car warranty. And every time, it was only 1 year for the battery. And I was told that battery warranty has to be dealt with the battery vendor directly. Of course, the situation with BMW may be different.
There was no refusal of warranty, it was just there was no acceptance of any defect. And Exide does not sell BMW batteries off the shelf, they are sold only through BMW.
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Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post
After all, it's a company that sells SUVs without a spare tire....
Not only SUVs, even their sedans are shod with RFTs. And its not just BMW, Merc does the same. And you have the option of changing to regular tubeless without voiding the warranty - in that case, you can buy a space saver tyre but it would still be taking up that space in your boot.
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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
I know it's an unfair comparison but I wonder what Toyota does different. My Altis was lying idle for 2 months at a stretch. No weekly startup also.

Came back and it cranked at the first try. Mind you the red LED in the cabin and security system was enabled.
I believe you but I don't think the level of background programs that run continuously are the same. I've never faced this in any other make.

Last edited by suman : 3rd August 2013 at 10:48.
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Old 3rd August 2013, 10:56   #104
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My suggestions are to switch off everything manually if you are going to leave the car standing. One thing that used to affect BMWs was the climate control, if you change the setting shortly before switching of the car, the sensors still work overtime when cr is switched off..
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Old 3rd August 2013, 11:25   #105
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Default Re: The Devil in Deep Sea Blue : Our BMW X1 Chronicles

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Originally Posted by suman View Post
...I don't think the Battery got ruined on being drained out - it happened during the multiple cranking when they were trying to start up....had they tried once & then put in another battery, started it up & taken it in (as we eventually did), the Battery may have been saved. But then, at that point in time, we were hellbent on getting it started on its own juice.
That effectively should be the dealer's responsibility then.

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Originally Posted by suman View Post
...every crank, every door opening, every light being switched on, EVERYTHING! ...focussed on the past six weeks...
...background programs that run continuously...
Could you put up a sample of how the report looks like, please? Perhaps one week (or 1-2 pages) of details (from when you were not using the car) about what background programs keep running even when the car is not being used, and how much is the current draw.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 3rd August 2013 at 11:27.
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