Do you need service for a BMW? Be careful - they got mine completely wrong, twice!
In July, my 328i had an A/C problem that started on a road trip to DC. I went to two different mechanics while there, and spent about $750 on parts and diagnostics, only to return to Charlotte without A/C.
When I got back home, I couldn't get an immediate appointment with my local mechanic, so I took my car to Hendrick BMW. I explained exactly what happened, in what order, and what had been done to try to fix the problem in DC. I explained I was convinced that my problems had something to do with the use of a power inverter I had just purchased so I could plug in my laptop and work on the way to DC. After several days, and about $360 in diagnostic charges, I was told that I needed to replace my compressor. The estimate was about $2,400.
Since the estimate seemed high, I called around and opted to have the compressor replaced elsewhere for $1,600. However, once that was done, there was no improvement, and my A/C was exactly as it was when I returned from DC. So, I returned to Hendrick with my new compressor and after another couple of days, and more diagnostics, I was informed that I needed to replace the IHKA module, which would cost about $2,000.
Upon hearing this news, I decided to investigate how much this part cost and whether or not I could repair it myself. I found a replacement part online for $65, ordered it, and then watched a Youtube video on how to replace it. After receiving the part, it took me less than 45 minutes to remove the old part and install the new one. As I suspected would be the case, the problem persisted.
I then took my car to Touring Car in Stallings. I explained the entire story, including my theory of the involvement of the power inverter, and felt as if they actually listened to what I had to say. Two days later, my A/C was fixed.
It turns out all my car ever needed was the battery replaced. It was the original battery (9 years old at this point) which was date-stamped on the battery. They informed me that when I used the power inverter, it caused a drain on the old battery, and the computers redirected the current to necessary components, thus shutting off the blower to the AC. This was missed in DC and, in addition, they replaced a resistor with the wrong part. This is something that absolutely should have been picked up at Hendrick, just as it was by Touring Car.
Unfortunately, I spent several hundred dollars in worthless diagnostic charges and bought a new compressor that I didn't need. Thankfully, I paid $800 less than I would have at Hendrick for the compressor and I never authorized a $2,000 IHKA replacement that also wasn't needed.
To say that I am disappointed is an understatement.