Take It to The Dealer, Or Take A Chance?

Last year I bought a used SUV. A solid vehicle with low miles and a clear Carfax report. What I didn’t know at the time was how expensive it would be every time it came within spitting distance of the dealer’s service department.

Why so expensive you ask? It was a BMW. Known for their reliability and $100 oil changes. I guess you’ll only know about the oil changes if you’ve been to get one.

It is also expensive it you have any type of warning message. Like “Oil level sensor malfunction”, that sounds important. It was, and it cost me $200 for a programming update and for them to clear the warning message.

Last week someone accidentally unplugged the power coupling underneath the driver’s side seat. Can’t fault a kid for cleaning, accidents happen. I reattached the power coupling with no issues. But then I got an error warning. “Driver’s side airbag malfunction”. My first thought was “uh oh, another expensive trip to the dealership.”

As an experiment I unplugged the passenger side power coupling then plugged it back in. Turned the car back on and now I have matching airbag warnings on the driver’s and passenger’s side.

After a few hours of research, I found that this a common problem with BMW vehicles. But wait, I can also fix it myself? With the help of the Creator C310 Diagnostic Scan tool.

The scan tool was $60, the instructions were easy to follow. It took me ten minutes to clear both error messages. An empowering feeling. All I did was take a chance.

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