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      07-05-2012, 05:58 PM   #1
kcgman
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Anyone know why this keeps happening after my annual service appointments?

I have owned my 335d for 3 years now. I have had 3 annual service appointments, and I have had to return my car to the service center after each of those appointments. In all three cases, the problems were related to the urea access panel. I'll skip the issues I had the first year, but this year and last, I ended up having urea coming out of the 335d's rear access door. Last year, I found quite a bit of the stuff crusted down the side of the car, on the garage floor and just behind the access panel lid itself. This year, I've got some urea crusted on the garage floor, on the underside of the panel below the urea tank access lid and underneath the car near the panel. Oddly, this year the urea doesn't appear to be streaming down the outside of the panel like it did last year. I'm guessing that it is coming down the inside of the panel.

Does anyone know why this keeps happening?

Here's a picture of part of what I've got this year.
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      07-06-2012, 11:47 AM   #2
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When the urea liquid dries, the water portion evaporates, and the remaining solids crystallize as this white powder. Either they have spilled some of the liquid when filling the tanks, or they did not tighten the caps properly. This residue can be washed off with a stream of plain water.
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      07-06-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by fjcjr View Post
When the urea liquid dries, the water portion evaporates, and the remaining solids crystallize as this white powder. Either they have spilled some of the liquid when filling the tanks, or they did not tighten the caps properly. This residue can be washed off with a stream of plain water.
Just got back from getting it fixed, and they said that the "vent" was clogged. Candidly, I don't know what that is, but they said that there is some sort of venting mechanism. Hmmm.
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      07-06-2012, 06:43 PM   #4
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I will take a stab they may not be using the proper fill technique. Best I can tell is they should stop filling once the height in the fill tube indicates it's full. It is possible to overfill resulting the the excess coming out the vent of the tanks which when dries, gives that powder residue. No real harm to the car, just hose it down But if the powder forms in the vent, it can block it up.
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      07-07-2012, 04:06 AM   #5
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I will take a stab they may not be using the proper fill technique. Best I can tell is they should stop filling once the height in the fill tube indicates it's full. It is possible to overfill resulting the the excess coming out the vent of the tanks which when dries, gives that powder residue. No real harm to the car, just hose it down But if the powder forms in the vent, it can block it up.
Ah, yes, that's got to be it. Any idea what happens if the vent gets clogged?

Funny enough, when I called the SA to complain that this overflow had happened AGAIN, he said that it was normal, and that it was probably just reacting to the hot weather. He said that it had happened to several diesels on the lot. I explained that after having owned the car for 3 years, it only seemed to happen on the days after I get my annual service appointments at the dealership.
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      07-07-2012, 08:24 AM   #6
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As I've only had one annual service so far, I only have a single data point. But I did not have that problem with mine. Again another guess, but if the vent gets clogged you will have DEF transfer issues which will result in a CEL.

The reason for the vent is to allow for filling and draining the tanks. If you cannot release the displaced air when filling, you wont be able to fill. If you do not let air back in as you consume the DEF, you would collapse the tank or the vacuum created would prevent the DEF from being used.

Reminds me of an old car I had where the gas tank vent got plugged. Turned the 20 gallon tank into about a 12 gallon when it collapsed.
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      07-07-2012, 10:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by kbsilver View Post
As I've only had one annual service so far, I only have a single data point. But I did not have that problem with mine. Again another guess, but if the vent gets clogged you will have DEF transfer issues which will result in a CEL.

The reason for the vent is to allow for filling and draining the tanks. If you cannot release the displaced air when filling, you wont be able to fill. If you do not let air back in as you consume the DEF, you would collapse the tank or the vacuum created would prevent the DEF from being used.

Reminds me of an old car I had where the gas tank vent got plugged. Turned the 20 gallon tank into about a 12 gallon when it collapsed.
Yikes! I hope the Check Engine Light would come on in such a situation. So far so good. It still hacks me off that they can't seem to fill the tank properly year after year.
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      07-07-2012, 05:28 PM   #8
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My dealer has screwed up the process on my car a couple of times. First they've used a screwdriver to open the panel. Then they spilled it the first time and didn't clean it up.

Last time, they broke the cap and the shit leaked out of the car randomly for a couple weeks until it showed empty.
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      07-08-2012, 07:59 AM   #9
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Goes to show not all dealers are the same. Everytime I've been in for any service I always see other d's in the shop so it may be all about how many they work on and the gained experience.

We've had the car for 8 months and 11K miles and not a single issue (was a prior service loaner, 19K on the ODO). Car has been back to the dealer exactly 3 times.

Screw in Tire (1st week!)
Oil Service
Auto Butler (it does come back looking very nice).
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      07-08-2012, 09:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ryballz View Post
My dealer has screwed up the process on my car a couple of times. First they've used a screwdriver to open the panel. Then they spilled it the first time and didn't clean it up.

Last time, they broke the cap and the shit leaked out of the car randomly for a couple weeks until it showed empty.
Did they do something like this perhaps? (What really hacked me off is that they didn't tell me it happened and appeared to try to cover it up with a touch up stick or something). I noticed it a couple of days later when walking to my car. The really worked it too. Paint crushed in two different places around the edge of the cap. A big scratch across the lid and into the panel. When was this guy planning to give up and go read the manual?
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      07-13-2012, 12:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcgman View Post
Did they do something like this perhaps? (What really hacked me off is that they didn't tell me it happened and appeared to try to cover it up with a touch up stick or something). I noticed it a couple of days later when walking to my car. The really worked it too. Paint crushed in two different places around the edge of the cap. A big scratch across the lid and into the panel. When was this guy planning to give up and go read the manual?

Mine didn't look nearly that bad, but they left a couple big chips on the bumper of the car.

They repainted the area and resolved it, but I'm more concerned with a trained technician that doesn't have the common sense not to use a screwdriver on a painted panel.
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      07-13-2012, 06:08 AM   #12
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No problemos with mines they washed my car before delivery
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      07-13-2012, 07:52 AM   #13
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Dealer nicked my cap after going in for my very first service appt. Looked like they used a screw driver to open it.

Just a couple of weeks ago after picking up my car after a service appt, I noticed the same cystalized urea all down the sides of my bumper (like yours). I am of the belief it's just sloppy work by the techs -- they're not cleaning up after themselves.

Fact of the matter is this is just a poor design by BMW. The cap that needs to be removed is not only difficult to remove, it is flexible and painted (hence the risk of cracking paint). Why BMW couldn't put an easy to access/fill port somewhere in the trunk (e.g. inside a side access panel) is beyond me. And by easy to fill I am not talking about requiring the use of a special bottle, I am talking about a HOLE where someone could place a funnel so they can dump the fluid in without a problem.

Last edited by cssnms; 07-13-2012 at 08:43 AM.
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      07-13-2012, 08:34 AM   #14
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Chris it was to easy for them to come with a better solution, the best solution would of been next to the Diesel cap I believe so
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