Charlie at Bimmersport is a stand-up guy - "Adaptive Light Failure"
Had my front driver side Xenon light replaced a couple of months ago at Bimmersport. All was well until I recently took a trip down to Niagara Falls, and it rained heavily. I am used to leaving my head lights on "auto", and when I was heading back to Toronto on the highway I got a "adaptive light failure" warning on the dashboard. When I arrived home and check out the situation, indeed the headlights did not swing left or right.
My 2006 330i is out of warranty, but I took it to BMW to have then run their analysis anyway. $150 (with tax) later they told me that the read out was the "right and left stepper motor controller failing to communicate". I also had heavy condensation in my left head lamp housing. They told me that perhaps when I had my Xenon light replaced, the compartment was not sealed adequately and therefore the condensation occurred, leading to the adaptive light failure.
So I called Charlie at the shop and told him of the situation, he had me bring the car in right away. He ran his own codes, disassembled the front fender to get to the headlamps, did a comparison between right and left headlamps, and so on and so forth. He spent about 4 hours of labour charges working on the car, but in the end only charged me for the SMC part ($250) from BMW.
I've been to Bimmersport about 3 or 4 times for out of warranty repairs (thankfully under $600), and also for all of my oil changes. They are consistently fair in their pricing, and do great work!
I assume disassembled front fender means removing the fender liner so he could access all the hardware to remove the headlamps. That was good of them to not charge for labor, but it's unfortunate that they charged for the new stepper motor due to (presumably) their own error previously. That makes for an expensive xenon bulb, and a bit of a headache including the BMW diagnostics. (although that was really your own decision to pay for that.)
Still glad to hear they didn't just turn you away like some shops would do and made time to fix the issue immediately. Not sure how comfortable I am with expensive mistakes on such minor jobs though.
How long have you had condensation in your headlight for before the stepper motor died?
Misconception: We removed the bumper to change the headlght bulb
Fact: We removed the headlight to change the servo motor for adaptive headlight
JAYR_84 - Thanks for an educated, and thought out comment. It is more useful to those everyone when someone posts on a matter they have knowledge on, as everybody or anybody who can do a quick google search knows only the bulb req. removal of the service cap on the fender liner, however changing the servotronic motor req. re/re of a headlight which means re/re of a bumper. I would not turn away any customer that shows me respect, just like anyone else. I'm a real nice guy, but we're still human beings not a corporate face. A customer of mine came from another big shop around here...with the same issue, but not the same outcome.
Given the fact it was diagnosed elsewhere and not with us, it is a bit tougher situation than if the customer returns right to us without any external factors - that is the best advice for anyone, in any situation!
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