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Sorting out everything on your car....Wow


Mac
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Given I'd decided to keep my M3 for another year*, I've set up about sorting everything out - anything that was slightly annoying, or not *quite* right.

As some background though, I do a lot of miles for this kind of car - although it's dropping, I'm probably on target for 20k miles this year, and it did 27k last. I also don't have an awful lot of mechanical sympathy I don't think - my car, even though I enjoy it, isn't massively up on my list of every day priorities. I *enjoy* my car, so I use it, I don't worry about stuff on it.

The flip side to that though is that I don't skimp on maintenance. I scratched a wing mirror housing - I replaced it, I scratched the iDrive spiny thing, I replaced it. You get the idea - if I know something is wrong, I'll have it fixed….But I expect everything like that to be picked up when I service it.

Anyway, cos I've decided to keep it, I've given it some love. I've had all the tyres replaced, I've had the 4 wheel alignment done (more on that in a minute), valeted, serviced, and now the rear shocks replaced too.

Oh my god, it feels like a brand new car again. I know there's a lot of placebo in having your car serviced - it's like when it's clean, it just seems to go better. I think though that things like your alignment you forget about, as you know how your car feels every day. It's only when it's corrected and how planted it feels all of a sudden, you realise that it was out before.

My car is back to being pristine, and feeling bloody ace. Sounds awesome, goes like stink, and feels as fixed to the road as if god himself had nailed it there.

All of a sudden my want to buy a new car has…diminished. I've now had an M3 for getting on for 3 years. For anyone that knows me, that's fairly astonishing as my boredom level for 'stuff' is terrible.

It's bloody awesome when you get to re-appreciate what you have, isn't it +++

*Knowing that my decisions, even solid ones, rarely face up to reality....this may change next week when it's raining and it's giving me the rage cos it nearly threw me in to a lake.

Cool story, bro, yeah ?

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Had the wheel alignment done (I forget what BMW call it) but they relieve you of £300 for the privilege.

£300 well spent. Car felt so much better afterwards. The thing is, I have never had to have this done on any previous cars.

Is this down to the fact that BMWs need it as they are set up with greater precision than other brands or because they are more vulnerable to speed bumps and potholes?

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For some reason BMWs are prone to it - no idea why. Incidentally, don't pay BMW 300 quid to do it - hunt out anyone that has the Hunter laser alignment system, and I bet you they'll do it for a third of that price...Exactly the same system BMW use too! Bizarrely, it was the dealer who suggested that to me the first time I had it done!

I've had my 4 wheel alignment done roughly every 6 months - it's been adjusted 3 times, and in tolerance for the rest....makes a hell of difference though doesn't it? Odd thing is you can't really tell when it's out. It's only when you get back in when it's been done, and you realise how 'solid' it feels.

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I'd get it detailed, not valeted.

Find a good detailer, get a proper job done on it, then get him to wash it once a week too. That's what I do now. Saves me scratching it and keeps it looking like new (I had it detailed before delivery so the dealer never touched it). Makes a collosal difference. Mine was next to another of the same colour and they looked like two entirely different finishes/colours.

If you're really making it pristine, you'll be blown away by how it'll look after a full professional detail.

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Sure - my dealer has the Hunter system which is apparently the 'normal' system that BMW used. When I was supposed to get it done - wow, probably a year ago - for some reason it was broken. Anyway, the guy just pointed me at the general direction with 'anyone with this system will be able to do it properly for you'...and I've saved a ton of cash everytime since!

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I did think about it - at 2k/miles a month I'm not sure it's worth the money.

If they're a good detailer, you'll think it is a different car. Plus, if you take it to them every week or fortnight for a wash then it'll stay pristine. Most detailers will come to a very reasonable arrangement on pricing if they know you're going back every week or so for the wash (and I have booked mine in for a 3 month glaze top up too).

On a car like an M3, I think you'd appreciate the difference it'll make.+++

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£300!! Ruddy hell!

I have mine done every single time I have new tyres on, and they charge me £5 to check and adjust!

It's definitely something worth having done, as it's something you don't notice until it's put right again, especially with our pot hole and speed hump riddled roads these days.

I don't think BMW's are any more or less prone to needing it, every car i've ever had has needed adjustment.

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Sure - my dealer has the Hunter system which is apparently the 'normal' system that BMW used. When I was supposed to get it done - wow, probably a year ago - for some reason it was broken. Anyway, the guy just pointed me at the general direction with 'anyone with this system will be able to do it properly for you'...and I've saved a ton of cash everytime since!

There is a place at J23 M1 that has a Hunter but when I rang them they didn't fill me with with confidence hence I thought the extra was worth it.

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I saw a lovely 993 today when I took my car to the detailers. Black and the shape is just sooooooooo perfect. I'd love one to keep and cherish for decades. Their prices are only going in one direction too (for the good ones).

Uh-oh.

My car is at the Porsche garage ahead of me picking it up tomorrow.

What have you done?

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There is a place at J23 M1 that has a Hunter but when I rang them they didn't fill me with with confidence hence I thought the extra was worth it.

Oh, I completely get that. Tipex - there's a fair difference between wheel balancing and alignment.

The place I used set my confidence mainly because he spent some time talking to me about what I wanted. There are tolerances in alignment that suit what a car is used for - mine is mostly used on the motorway for example - so he spent some time asking me about that sort of stuff.

Then, after deciding what I wanted, came back and told me the figures were wrong cos I'd over-sized my tyres therefore we needed to go through it again :grin: I do know what you mean though - you'd rather pay a bit more to have confidence in the end result.

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I don't think BMW's are any more or less prone to needing it, every car i've ever had has needed adjustment.

I'd slightly adjust my previous opinion - I don't think BMWs are more *prone* to needing adjustment as such, it just feels to affect the drive more than on other cars I've had.

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It's pretty obvious Tipex is talking about the usual fast fit 'do the wheels point forwards when the steering wheel is irritatingly a few degrees off centre' offer, not the full-on geometry check you get on a Hunter.

It's a proper 4 wheel laser alignment with a print out of all measurements before and after.

No idea who makes it, but it's not rocket science, anyone who tells you otherwise is bullshitting you.

You can even do it yourself using string and get very accurate results, it's just measurements, nothing else.

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Ah, good point - I use different people for different things.

For servicing I have to go to the main dealer - I use Sytner in Loughton. They've been price competitive and always do what I ask.

Fixing stuff - I use Highams Park Motor Company. BMW approved independent - have used them for years, very good reputation, and very competitive. Usual quotes are some 50% of that quoted by Sytner. If I didn't have warranty to think about for servicing I'd be with them all the time +++ They have a great reputation in the BMW Community, but ruin it by not marketing...Which I find odd. Clive, the guy who runs it, seems to be of the type "I can pay my mortgage, have nice car, why work harder" which I kind of respect in some ways.

For alignment, I've switched to these people, after 'following the people' if that makes sense.

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