2010-10-24

Mein Wagen tut was er will

So the Bavarians have figured out how to make a pretty solid car which goes fast and makes all kinds of good noises doing it, but they just don't seem to have that electrical thing down.

Yesterday on the way home from Thunderhill I was enjoying some tunes on the radio (yes, I need an auxiliary input wired in!) when suddenly the music cuts out.

Silence.

I glance over to the radio display and there it says "BMW assist inactive."

Bah! We knew that! The subscription for the first couple years is included in the price of the car, but that time has long come and gone, and I had no intention on renewing.

I crane my neck to look at the BMW assist panel--two buttons, one with an "SOS" on it, and one to call for mechanical assistance. The "SOS" button is blinking.

Great. How do I cancel that and get my radio back?

Also, why did my car decide to call the cops anyway? I was not particularly abusive this time around, just cruising down the highway after two days of driving hard the other car.

Was it jealous that the Miata was getting all the attention? It must have not gotten the memo that I took it on two agricultural excursions, and one near-off during that time.

Anyways, I try to cancel the "SOS" and am not succeeding. Turning off the radio helps temporarily, but then the message "BMW assist inactive" comes up again, and the "SOS" button blinks.

I expect that any second a helicopter-load of angry Bavarians will disable my car remotely, then parachute down and whisk me away to an undisclosed location for interrogation about what kind of emotional and physical abuse I was inflicting on poor Bubba the Beemer.

All the while of course I can't have my radio back. I have a few brief successes, but less than a minute after, the SOS cuts in.

Thankfully there is no sound alarm going off, or I would have to pull over and see if turning the car off and on again would do any good.

This continues for about 40 minutes or so, then suddenly Bubba changes his mind about calling for help from BMW, and I get my music back for the remainder of the three-hour trip.