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Owning A BMW Can Cause Paranoia

Aug 18, 2007
There is an issue with some BMW cars whereby the steering lock mechanism is sticking, this is an electronic function and has affected cars including the 325i M Sport.

The problem arises when you insert the key and get ready to use the push button start, the dashboard is illuminated with a red steering when symbol and the push button start is disabled.

This happened to me several times a day for a few days and in the end I got stuck in Brighton after I stopped at a post office to ask for directions, I came back out got into my car and the malfunction happened. To my horror repeated attempts to start the car failed and in the distance I saw a wheel clamping van attaching a clamp to a vehicle parked just like me.

I opened the door and to my horror I realised that I was indeed parked on a clamping zone and it looked as though the clamp radar had spotted me. I quickly popped my bonnet so as to look as though I was visually on a breakdown but felt the eyes of a truly dedicated clamper burning into me from a distance.

I was late for an important meeting and was already thinking how bad the day was turning out, I had to think fast because I felt vulnerable and knew how clampers just love to immobilise smart sporty cars. I looked furtively from under my bonnet and could see he suddenly sprang into action.

I was horrified, I could see I was going to be the next victim, hurriedly I jumped back into my car, I repeatedly disengaged and re-engaged the key trying to somehow stimulate the electronic push button start but the steering lock mechanism kept firing in. How was I going to explain this at the meeting, thats if I ever got there of course, then I looked up and our eyes met, he had finished and was just sticking his label on the screen of the other car.

In desperation I hopped back out of the car and slammed the bonnet down, sort of feigning that I was ready to go and perhaps he would just drive off. I remembered a nature programme where the Mother bird pretended to be injured to draw the predator away from her nest! If only I had a disabled badge I thought to myself, I saw the van preparing to do a U turn with its lights flashing.

I took my phone out and prepared to make the call cancelling the meeting and also got the BMW rescue me from hell emergency number from the user manual. I could see the look of glee on his face, a self gratifying smirk of satisfaction was spread from one ear to the other and I was at his mercy about to be nailed and become another statistic.

Bloody BMW I thought to myself, why did I ever buy a BMW?
Why did I buy this one?
Why did I not go to the dealer and get them to sort it out when I had the chance?
Why is this happening to me?

Subconsciously I had continued pressing the start and playing with the key then all of a sudden the car started! But to my horror my reflex action in continually pushing the start pushed it again and killed the engine! Argh! Lots of expletives followed, the clamper was parking next to me, taking his time and savouring every moment, he was a connoisseur of the moment, the captive lamb awaiting dispatch.

I waited and composed myself, I crossed everything and gingerly pushed the start one last time, I looked up, this clamper guy had black teeth and big earrings, tattoos and muscles, dirty fingernails and greasy hair.

He gave me a chilling smile and then suddenly it changed, like an executioner falling through thin ice his smile changed to a look of despair. The engine was running, yes! Yes! Yes! You beauty, I love you car I love you BMW! Life is great oh so great, oh yes, clutch in, gear in, 2.5 fuel injected horsepower released and racing, I let the window down all ready gloating, nothing can stop me now!

I stuck my head out ready to give the loser signals to my assailant, the why cant you get a real job, and the just because I have a nice car, lines were running through my head when his deep voice boomed, you alright mate? Just got my jump leads out in case you needed a start, lovely car by the way, I just traded mine in for an M3 always had German cars, just love the engineering!

I stammered, looked sheepish and smiled before saying, thanks for coming over, I thought you had a friendly face, but I think my car is fine now, then I drove off, looking back in my mirror Im sure I could see a look of You got away but I will get you next time sonny!

I reflected on this event after the meeting and realised that owning a nice car can change your perception of other people and situations, it can make you a little arogant and can generate a state of mind where you are convinced everybody is out to get you.

Of course this is not the case... Or is it?
About the Author
Shaun Parker has owned his BMW M Sport for just about a year and has experienced the highs and lows of driving during this time. He has loved every minute of driving his BMW, why not see what all the fuss is about and test drive a Used BMW today.
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