My story w/ the N52 Eccentric shaft est. repair $3-6K in repairs
Here is my on going story
I have a 2006 e90 330i i had had been getting very strange grinding sound since i bought the car new back in 2006 after about 20k miles i it started getting worse and took it into the shop several times and they kept telling my it was the cats burning off extra emissions which was incorrect since the cats have no moving parts.
After that extremely frustrating experience and seemingly waste of time, I lived with the car making that sound nearly every morning for the next 50k miles until December 2010. I started my car in mid-afternoon, So Cal 71 degree weather, heard the same grinding sound, per usual, then the engine revved higher than usual…. up to nearly the 2900 RPM range and then completely stalled and shut off. (I have an automatic transmission.)
Everyday after that, things progressively got worse. At times, the car would start and stall several times and others it would not start until two attempts, smoke would blow out the exhaust and my MPG was down. I knew that something was horribly wrong.
I took the car into the Mercedes/BMW shop and they concluded that the car had an eccentric shaft problem and there could be three things wrong with it on the internals of the engine and the only way to find out was by taking the engine apart to diagnose the problem.
It was concluded that every time the car would start, the cylinder timing would be completely thrown off and the valves would not open properly. This causes the engine to have valvetronic issues, as I am sure you are well aware. The shop did not charge me a penny, washed the car for me because they felt bad that my car had gone from possibly having a minor malfunction to having a serious engine problem.
This highly experienced, BMW trained technician indicated that they had “never seen a BMW have a problem like this and that there was nothing that I could have done to have break on the car and if it ever did, it should have never had broken in such low miles and age for the vehicle.” They also stated that this was related to the grinding sound that I had been complaining about in the past, which no one could properly diagnose.
By now my car would take one to two minutes to start. I would press the start button several times and the engine would try to turn over but it felt like nothing was moving in the engine. Amazingly, all during the course of these problems, there has not been one ‘check engine’ light or any malfunction warning at all.
The shop called another local dealership, Crevier BMW, and spoke with a tech who indicated that there could be a possible recall and to have me call BMWNA to log a complaint.
I called BMWNA Monday morning and spoke with a representative who instructed me to take it in to a BMW dealership for diagnosis and report back upon completion. The car was delivered to Crevier BMW that same evening.
Thursday I receive a call from Crevier BMW wherein I am told that the fuel injectors need to be cleaned, the MAF sensor in the air filter is broken and there is carbon build up in the engine. Amazing! I am hearing that my car would not start in the morning, or at any time when it was left to sit for over 8 hours, solely because of dirty injectors and a broken MAF sensor.
(Especially since the local shop had indicated that the car had an internal problem.)
I report Crevier’s diagnosis back to the local shop and was told that, “there was no way in hell that it could be dirty fuel injectors and a broken MAF sensor! We checked it and the dealership is just trying to rip you off. I worked at a dealership for 4 years and this is the kind of ‘b.s.’ that made me quit my job.” I have exclusively used premium fuel, the shop checked the fuel pump, fuel pressure and it was all ‘OK’ and to spec.
I instruct Crevier BMW to look the car over again. They insist that they are correct and want to proceed with their ‘estimated’ $600.00 cleaning service. I would not relent and demand that they look the car over again! The car was again evaluated and by that Friday night I received a call from Crevier stating that,
“There is an eccentric shaft problem and that was the reason the car was not starting nor running properly.”
I immediately call BMWNA to report the dealership’s diagnosis. I was told that there was nothing BMWNA could do for me because the car was out of warranty, notwithstanding the fact that I repeatedly reported the problem while the car was still under warranty. I even explained Thursday’s misdiagnosis by Crevier BMW, “cleaning service, MAF filter”, and Friday’s egregious conclusion, only to learn that BMWNA “back up their technicians at the dealerships 100%.”
My car now sits in my drive way because the last time i drove it the car would only go 22MPH even while flooring the accelerator pedal and then completely stalled in the middle of the street on my way back to my house.
I contacted BMWNA to see what my options are, and i will keep everyone posted on the condition of the car and if why and how this happend on a car that has 75k miles and has never been on a race track and has 80% of those miles highway miles. it doesn't had up IMO
Just letting the N52 engine community know what might lurks out there for this engine.
i may have been unlucky and got a lemon but who knows