Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The M3 is Up and Running!

It appears we have great news.  The M3 has been returned to her rightful owner and she appears to be holding steady with the limp mode issues resolved.  Emotionally, I have been pulled through a meat grinder.  There is nothing like purchasing a brand new sports car (why buy used as you're just purchasing someone else's problems) and right out of the box the car has issues that the manufacturer has never seen before.  What are the chances?  Has my luck totally forsaken me and headed screaming for the hills of West Virginia?  For those of you who know me, officially I have no hair left to pull out.

So what was the ultimate problem?  To be honest, I am not really sure BMW knows, but here's what they did.  They replaced three parts that center around the Idle Air Control Valve that feeds cylinder bank number one of an eight cylinder engine.  Obviously there are four cylinders to a "bank" and there are two banks, one each side in a "V" block configuration, but that is far as I can go with today's techno speak. 

It appears that every fault code was informing our well schooled BMW techs that the number one bank was being robbed of air (sorry about the pun).  There are basically three components that make an engine operate....fuel, spark/igniter, and air....from there you get violent yet controlled mini explosions that make everything down stream move forward.  For those of you old enough, thing about your last colonoscopy prep!  If one of the three is missing (if "missing" frankly you're screwed) or lacking in the appropriate quantity then an extremely refined on-board computer throws a fault code which then leads to, yep, you guessed it, LIMP MODE - REDUCED POWER - GO HOME WHIMP!

So after replacing these air control parts with no improvement, the geniuses on the other side of the Atlantic decided it must be a glitch in the software.  The next step in this highly thought-out process was to give the car a full on lobotomy and then, like Dr. Frankenstein, hook up the car to these crazy machines and re-install its brain (Abby Normal - not).  Hopefully, we are now glitch free.  With the car in my possession for the past week, all is well, so I am remaining very optimistic.

I am off this Saturday to a BMW autocross event, so we'll put the car through some mild paces and see how she performs.  After that it's a track day the middle of April at Summit Point for a good old fashion thrashing.

Stay tuned for more updates and thanks for your patience in listening to our now extinct tale of woe.

1 comment:

Dave Flogaus said...

Robin... Thanks for the update!