My X1 – Second update at 14 months/23k miles and the Breakdown!

Well it was about time I did a second update on the X1, definitely long overdue. Just reading through everything I wrote in the first update and I agree with everything I wrote initially, Fuel consumption is a fraction worse, usually averaging 31-33mpg over a tank of mixed driving but it’s still fantastic to drive and does everything you want a family car to do as well.

Build quality is still impeccable. After over 23 000 miles it has absolutely no squeaks or rattles anywhere and everything is wearing well despite the abuse a family can throw at a car. Tyres still have good tread all round though I expect the fronts to need replacing in the next 2-4000 miles.

Over the winter months the X-Drive system proved to be hugely reassuring. In wet weather there is no lost of traction and you have no worries ploughing through standing water. We didn’t have masses of snow this year but when we did a drive to the Peak District showed incredible traction even with summer tyres able to drive up slopes and uneven tracks into off road car parks without any slip. I was astonished in truth. The hill descent control is a godsend going down such slippery slopes as well. Select your speed and let the car do everything else keeping your decent steady and most importantly straight on the slipperiest of slopes.

The car had it’s first service at 17k and it was as smooth as you would expect when dealing with a brand like BMW. The work was carried out as instructed and the car returned clean and I spent the day getting to know the BMW 840d whilst it was given some tlc.

Things went a little pear shaped recently however. I started noticing occasionally the car was shunting into gears and some changes were rather harsh. A few times as well the car rolled forward whilst the gearbox selected reverse gear which had always been instant before hand. Then on a drive out I got an error message flash up saying there was a drive-train issue. The car said it was safe to continue driving but after a short time it started struggling to find gears and then slamming the gears in, jerking the car and everything in it and this rapidly got worse to the point it was like being rear ended with every change, a really violent shunt. Despite the car saying it was safe to continue I disagreed and pulled over and called BMW Assist.

Details of the symptoms were logged and a technician was dispatched. All pretty standard for a recovery call but from this point the service from BMW and BMW Assist was incredible. I quickly received a text message which gave me a link to track the technician as they travelled to me so I knew exactly how long I would be waiting. The technician called to say he was on his way and offered to let me know when he was close so I could go off for a coffee whilst I was waiting. He arrived not in your usual recovery van but in a well specced BMW 5 series and quickly determined it wasn’t to be a quick fix and his thoughts were it required a new gearbox. We left my wife and daughter at the park whilst we took my car to the nearest dealer which was my own dealer, Rybrook Warwick and left them the keys. It was a Sunday afternoon so no service department there. The technician then took myself home in the luxurious 5 picking up my wife and daughter on the way. He told me he could arrange a replacement car for me and a short time later Enterprise called me. They told me they always put people in a BMW when it is through BMW assist but because it was now Sunday evening they couldn’t get one until the next morning but they offered to give me a car from another manufacturer to get me through the night. Seeing as I wasn’t planning to go anywhere and we had my wife’s car for emergencies I declined and said I would take the BMW the next day and I got a call at 7.30am on Monday morning to say they were collecting a car for me from another centre and would have it ready a short time later. It turned out to be a highly specced BMW 320d M-Sport, the new shape too, and was given to me paid for by BMW for the duration of my cars repairs.

Rybrook Warwick also called me first thing on Monday morning and told me they would try and look at my car that day despite no booking being in place but would definitely have it looked at the next day and they did so as promised and quickly came to the conclusion it did require a new Gearbox. BMW released the parts and the repair was completed in full by the Thursday which in itself was amazing work and I was kept informed throughout.

It seems gearbox failures of this ZF gearbox are extremely rare, almost unheard of in face so for mine to go at 21k miles was a surprise to all involved. It was all done under warranty which is a good thing because I have seen figures of anywhere between £6-12k for the repair! Imagine being hit with that out of warranty! I was told to leave the hire car at the dealership when I collected my car and I was treated to the best customer service I have experienced by any car manufacturer throughout by everyone I dealt with. I could not fault the BMW’s customer service. I was not left stranded nor left off the road whilst my car was repaired, never out of pocket and always knowing what was happening. You cannot ask for more than that.

Since the repair I have been on holiday covering 1700 demanding miles in two weeks and the car hasn’t missed a beat. I’m sure the fault was a freak incident and my faith in the car hasn’t wavered which is largely down to the reassurance that if anything were to go wrong I would be looked after.

On a slight embarrassing note to finish on some humour, on receiving my car back having covered 21k miles and having the car for 14 months I discovered it also has touch screen as well as the I-Drive toggle. I was baffled when I realised and though they had done something to it whilst it was in their hands at the dealership but it seems I was just misguided. Not overly useful unless you are stationary especially on the smaller screen but all the same, I thought it was feature reserved for the larger screened upgraded system.

I will endeavour to update sooner this time on what I hope will continue to be happy motoring.

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