That Christmas Sunday Service was fun, wasn't it? Seems ages ago now already, but it was so nice to see cars and PHers in real life once more. Hope you all enjoyed the stickers! It was on my way home from Caffeine & Machine, though, that I noticed a problem with the 335i. Parked up to take some photos in the sunshine that had replaced the showers, something caught my eye: on the nice new front Michelins, it said 'Primacy 4', where it should have said 'Pilot Sport 4'. Kwik Fit had put the wrong tyres on. Having charged me for the right ones. D'oh.
Now, it turns out there's not a great deal of price difference between Pilot Sport and Primacy, and it's hardly like the car was an undrivable mess as a result of a slightly less expensive Michelin. I must be honest, given the whole brake and wheel fiasco, I was content just to leave it and hope for better luck in future. I whinged on Twitter and thought little more of it. Even when Kwik Fit Customer Service got in contact, I said the tyres were fine, really - I just couldn't be bothered.
It was only when Michelin's UK PR Conor Twomey messaged that I changed my mind. He made some calls, Customer Service were back in touch very quickly, the correct Pilot Sport 4s were dispatched and... they were for the rear axle. Then the correct tyres were in stock, ready to be fitted... but having said I'd be there at lunchtime, I arrived to be told they were going to call to book an appointment. Finally, the front PS4s were fitted last weekend, and some Kwik Fit vouchers are on the way as an apology. Probably I'm still not going to rush back.
Speaking of apologies (and not rushing back anywhere), it should be noted that the dealer principal of North Oxford rang before Christmas and contributed £400 to the bill, which was very much appreciated. Park Royal offered to pay another £200 but, quite frankly, I felt awkward accepting any more. Instead I have the equivalent of store credit there, which, given the price of official BMW bits and bobs, will probably buy some floormats and an air freshener. But it was a nice gesture at least. Obviously I'd have preferred a properly prepared BMW Approved Used car and none of the inconvenience, but there we go. The money can go towards a spare wheel now the tyres aren't run-flat. And I can stop thinking about it.
Happily, when it isn't at Kwik Fit, the 335i is a dream. It was our transport for Christmas - the first time I've used my own car over the festive period - and the big(ish) BMW was ideal for everything. It was sufficiently commodious to carry all the Christmas clobber, mature enough to ferry family around without drawing attention - yet still quick enough to be fun on rare solo drives. Naturally I'm already craving a little more performance; it's strong enough, with 295lb ft from the N55 straight-six, but the 335i weighs 1,650kg before it has people, wine, and shower gel gift sets in. It never struggled, but nor did the BMW feel as effortlessly quick as it does without ballast. Almost certainly a 335d - with a chunky 465lb ft - wouldn't have felt the impact so much. A bit of research suggests an ECU tickle and some intake work could get both power and torque nearer 400 points, which sounds nice. Especially with the tyres to now make the most of it!
We'll see - as usual, I'm getting a little ahead of myself on car plans. For the moment I'm content just to keep it running; a 3.0-litre 3 Series was pushing the budget somewhat in August. With the rise in price of everything since then - I saw a similar one for sale recently at £6k more than we paid - plus the costs of both a house move and imminent baby arrival, modifications really will have to take a back seat for a while. The occasional top up of super unleaded has been ditched as well. There's nothing I want more than to ferry my first child around in the Touring - and don't want to sell having endured this hassle - so perhaps it'll just have to be used a little more frugally in the coming weeks. Which is probably why everyone bought an xDrive 335d...
Car: 2014 BMW 335i M Sport Touring (F31)
Run by: Matt
Bought: August 2021
Purchase price: £19,500
Last month at a glance: Michelin Matt gets Michelin mad
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