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From Tue Feb 18 22:23:57 1997
with SMTP (Apple Internet Mail Server 1.1.1); Wed, 19 Feb 1997 01:21:35 -0500
X-Authentication-Warning: tsr owned process doing -bs
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 01:10:24 -0500 (EST)
From: Tay Systems Research <>
Reply-To: Tay Systems Research <>
cc:, Mike Whitley <>,
Ron Browne <>
Subject: Inspection I (long)

On Monday, January 27th, I took my '95 Alpine White 318ti in to the dealer for its Inspection I, and here's the report. :-)

As some of the members on the list have known, I've been comparing the costs of Inspection I and other BMW-maintenance costs, especially here in the Washington, DC area. There are 5 BMW dealers here in the metro vicinity area; my car purchased from Tischer BMW (Silver Spring, MD) where all the unscheduled oil changes, the first OIL SERVICE and warranty related issues have been handled all this time), but for the Inspection I, I wanted to try the other dealers (especially the ones that I've heard positive comments about) and try them out.

After much discussions and research, I've decided to try Heishman's (they do BMW, Porsche and Audi, just like Tischer) located at Arlington, VA. My reasons are threefold: (1) they offer a 15% discount for parts *AND* labor for BMW CCA members (most other dealers only offer 10% and none on parts), (2) one of the service advisors had come highly recommended by name from someone who knows the owner (Scott Heishman) and is a long time DC-area BMW owner and (3) they were conveniently located near downtown DC. Note: unless you bought your car from Heishman, there is no service loaner but they will drop you off/pick you up at the Metro stop (subway) station. BTW, I am also aware and have been informed by other owners that compared to some of the other dealers, their rates aren't the cheapest (shop rate is $65/hr) so the BMW CCA discount makes up for it, hopefully.

At 18,559 miles, the yellow LED and "INSPECTION" words were luminating. This also gave me a chance to see if I could get some minor issues resolved or addressed, mainly:

  • the B-pillar peeling
  • parking brake needs too many pulls (an adjustment)
  • squealing brakes
  • a rare occurence where someitmes the transmission will pop out of second gear when shifting from first at cold
  • passenger side airbag cover (the top) is slightly warped

Here's the invoice, summarized where needed for brevity's sake. The numbers in the parentheses are my explanations/footnotes.

        Body Equipment 1
        Customer states the right airbag cover is warped
        --ordered a new part--parts dept. will call.

        Inspection #1, per BMW check-list                       260.00

        1       11421727300     Oil filter 318is         8.74     8.74
        2       82141486857     Order case 854 (1)       1.95     3.90
        1       99990000009     44K (2)                 21.90    21.90
        2       64118363274     Microfilter (3)         29.00    58.00
        2       61611372747     Wiper rubber (4)         6.56    13.12
                                        TOTAL PARTS             105.66
                                        TOTAL LABOR & PARTS     365.66
        Customer states check the parking brake, seems have to pull
        the handle a lot more than when the vehicle was new.
        --Adjusted the handbrake

        Misc Brakes
        Customer states the brakes are squealing badly.
        --Burnished the brakes some--there was evidence of wheel
        cleaner and tire dressing on the rotors-they are quiet now.
        --Some brake noise will come and go, depending on 
        driving conditions and dust built-up. (5)

        Customer states the transmission will pop out of second
        gear at times, happens most when cold and shifting from
        first to second
        --We could not duplicate this condition. (6)

        Doors--All Doors                                WARRANTY
        Customer states the drivers door is hard to close, does
        not always latch.
        --Adjust the door striker. (7)
        DEF: 512100400
        5121004 (2FRU)


        Shop supplies-BMW                                 10.40
        EPA Hazardous waste removal-BMW                    2.00
        15% Car Club - BMW labor                         -39.00
        15% Car Club - BMW parts                         -42.45


        Total labor                                     260.00
        Total parts                                     105.66
        Total misc.                                    - 42.45
        Total tax                                         5.22

                                        TOTAL INVOICE $ 328.43


  • I bought 6 qts. of Mobil 1 synthetic (10W30) from Price Club/Costco at $20.79, or $3.46 per qt. The 318ti needs 5-1/4 qts (said the dealer) and I got back about a half qt. bottle. My reason for going with Mobil 1? Since I'm following the service interval, I'd feel more comfortable knowing that the additives in the oil will last longer with such long intervals between oil changes, which seems to be in the 8-9K+ miles range.
  • B-pillar problem: mine is only affected at the driver's side door and is hardly noticeable; service advisor recommends holding off until it gets worst as he feels BMW may have another solution besides the present TSB.
  • (1) "Order case 854" is their way of saying, "Genuine BMW windshield washer fluid." :-)
  • (2) "44K" is fuel injector cleaner, or something of that sort.
  • (3) Yes, the 318ti/Compact has *TWO* microfilters. It's actually two small microfilters that is in the size of one regular E36 microfilter.
  • (4) Only the front wiper rubber refills were changed; the rear is still okay and hardly used at all.
  • (5) I've pretty much resigned to the fact that the "squealing brakes" is a "feature" of all BMWs, especially the 318ti's. It happens on the VW Cabrio, on Merc's, etc. The price we pay for good brakes. ;-)
  • (6) I knew that they'd probably not find this problem since it's very intermittent and probably due to the fact that it only occurs 1 out of say, 10-20 times, and often when it's cold. They'll say that they'll keep an eye out on it though they had a case where a 318ti's synchros had to be replaced (a rare incident).
  • (7) This one caught me by surprise! I realize that the doors were hard to close (you have to shut them fairly firmly) but I found out that the technician who was working on my car apparently owns a 318ti Club Sport and had the same problem, so addresssed the issue as a warranty item, which was why I didn't raise this issue up.
  • The replacement airbag cover is here; I'll have to find time to go in during regular weekday hours for about 30 mins. sometime to get the cover replaced for the passenger side.

At $328.43 (not including the cost of the Mobil 1 that I provided; they didn't charge me for their oil, Valvoline 15W-40), it's not too bad, especially with the BWM CCA discount applied. Looks like my $35/yr membership paid off. :)

Am I happy with the work Heishman's did? Yes, and the service advisor was very professional, took the time to explain everything. Will I go back to Heishman for any other future service? Yes, though for Inspection II, I think I may try Passport and see how they compare. :-)

I'm poorer now, but at least the car has been blessed. :-)

Drive safely,

David Tay                       Tay Systems Research
'95 E36/5 318ti Active          Fairfax, Virginia
BMW CCA #130574                 703/760-9022 - Fax 703/893-1154
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