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      02-15-2013, 02:46 AM   #1
eppisgood
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Is this the water pump?



Wife was driving up a hill and all of a sudden got a yellow thermostat and then a moment later it turned red, car went into limp mode and she had to pull to the side of the highway. Currently stalled waiting for a tow (est. 45 mins.), thankfully there was zero traffic around. Car has 53,000 miles.

It's a CPO and we have 2 years left, will the tow be free?

Water pump is covered under CPO right?
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      02-15-2013, 03:52 AM   #2
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Yup had same issue at 52k miles. Same thing went from yellow to red and had to pull car over and have it towed all was covered under CPO, even the tow.
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      02-15-2013, 07:28 AM   #3
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Yup had same issue at 52k miles. Same thing went from yellow to red and had to pull car over and have it towed all was covered under CPO, even the tow.
I changed my pump and t stat at 50K prior to a breakdown. Maybe I'm a fan of convenience and reliability and others run to failure. Is it really worth it to run your car until the pump fails and also risk your personal safety, being stranded on the side of the road, risk engine damage and also risk tow truck damage? I just don't understand. Please someone explain this to me. I value other opinions and other maintenance philosophies.
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      02-15-2013, 08:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Originally Posted by Patel511 View Post
Yup had same issue at 52k miles. Same thing went from yellow to red and had to pull car over and have it towed all was covered under CPO, even the tow.
I changed my pump and t stat at 50K prior to a breakdown. Maybe I'm a fan of convenience and reliability and others run to failure. Is it really worth it to run your car until the pump fails and also risk your personal safety, being stranded on the side of the road, risk engine damage and also risk tow truck damage? I just don't understand. Please someone explain this to me. I value other opinions and other maintenance philosophies.
How are you supposed to know when your water pump will go out? Iv seen people on this forum who had their pump go out at like 10,000 miles and others have cracked 100,000 and it hasn't gone yet. Guess I am an idiot also for letting my GF drive my car and having the water pump go out at 30,000 miles while she had it.
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      02-15-2013, 08:53 AM   #5
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How are you supposed to know when your water pump will go out? Iv seen people on this forum who had their pump go out at like 10,000 miles and others have cracked 100,000 and it hasn't gone yet. Guess I am an idiot also for letting my GF drive my car and having the water pump go out at 30,000 miles while she had it.
+1. While I get the sentiment - and it does seem a lot fail around the 50,000 mile mark, you just don't know.

You may end up changing out a working pump at 50,000 that would have gone 100,000 with one that fails at 30,000. Who the heck knows for sure?
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      02-15-2013, 09:03 AM   #6
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Waterpumps just go, they rarely give warning, and if there is "warning" it's usually about 90 seconds before they eat it. You can't really prevent the part from failing, it's an electric pump and at some point it will bite the dust.
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      02-15-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
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Sounds pretty much exactly what happened to me - I was driving pretty hard then hit the freeway to coast on Christmas night - coasting at 140km/h yellow..1..2..red.. power loss..

I cranked the heat up (which was now ice cold) and coasted home below 2K RPM.. eventually the lights went off completely but I knew what had happened so I kept it slow and steady.

Upon my return home I saw that my coolant reservoir has exploded coolant everywhere because of the pressure.

I got it towed to the dealership and got my T-stat and waterpump replaced with labour and everything under $1000 and got it back in a few hours/same day


I was really dreading the day it would happen to me and I knew that I was overdue (120,000km).. so I was semi-prepared and knew exactly what to do.

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      02-15-2013, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad from the OC View Post
I changed my pump and t stat at 50K prior to a breakdown. Maybe I'm a fan of convenience and reliability and others run to failure. Is it really worth it to run your car until the pump fails and also risk your personal safety, being stranded on the side of the road, risk engine damage and also risk tow truck damage? I just don't understand. Please someone explain this to me. I value other opinions and other maintenance philosophies.
The pumps don't all fail at 50K, just a lot of the ones you read about here and even that is a small percentage of the total. I personnally know 4 335i owners with the N54 and two X5 owners with the N55 engine and not a single water pump failure. I have 90k on the original pump in my 335i (N54) (I am knocking on wood) and I plan to replace it at 100k if it doesn't fail before. DIY, this job takes a couple of hours if you are fairly skilled and $500 in parts and fluids assuming you buy your parts online. At the dealer you pay $1,400. It is a crap shoot. Your replacement may have been totally unnecessary or saved you a tow. You will never know. Also, there is no guarantee that the new pump you put in will last as long as your old pump. Like I said, it is a crap shoot. If you feel that by replacing it at 50k you bought some piece of mind, you shouldn't.
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      02-15-2013, 10:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 135Pats View Post
Waterpumps just go, they rarely give warning, and if there is "warning" it's usually about 90 seconds before they eat it. You can't really prevent the part from failing, it's an electric pump and at some point it will bite the dust.
In other threads, some owners reported that before failing, WP kept throwing codes for low-speed months in advance.
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      02-15-2013, 10:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Blackhawk36 View Post
The pumps don't all fail at 50K, just a lot of the ones you read about here and even that is a small percentage of the total. I personnally know 4 335i owners with the N54 and two X5 owners with the N55 engine and not a single water pump failure. I have 90k on the original pump in my 335i (N54) (I am knocking on wood) and I plan to replace it at 100k if it doesn't fail before. DIY, this job takes a couple of hours if you are fairly skilled and $500 in parts and fluids assuming you buy your parts online. At the dealer you pay $1,400. It is a crap shoot. Your replacement may have been totally unnecessary or saved you a tow. You will never know. Also, there is no guarantee that the new pump you put in will last as long as your old pump. Like I said, it is a crap shoot. If you feel that by replacing it at 50k you bought some piece of mind, you shouldn't.
agreed.
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In other threads, some owners reported that before failing, WP kept throwing codes for low-speed months in advance.
Interesting, for the most part it sure seems like these things just break without much in the way of warning. BMW needs to rectify this, their waterpumps have been POS for far too long. A known problem that has never been addressed in a satisfactory manner. If the part routinely failed at say 75K or 100K, fair enough that's a wear item. But these things can go at 3K or 300K, there is no obvious pattern of wear so owners can't anticipate it ahead of time.
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      02-15-2013, 11:47 AM   #11
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Thank you for the responses guys. It was towed to the local dealer, ended up only being about a 20 minute wait from the time she called it in. Bummer part is it's our only car, so I had to borrow a friend's car at midnight to go and pick her up. Thinking I may want to pick up a used Civic as an emergency vehicle. Glad to hear it'll be covered under CPO too, would be a crappy way to end the week by shelling out over $1k. If it's anything but the water pump I'll report back.
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      02-15-2013, 12:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad from the OC View Post
I changed my pump and t stat at 50K prior to a breakdown. Maybe I'm a fan of convenience and reliability and others run to failure. Is it really worth it to run your car until the pump fails and also risk your personal safety, being stranded on the side of the road, risk engine damage and also risk tow truck damage? I just don't understand. Please someone explain this to me. I value other opinions and other maintenance philosophies.
Planned maintenance is always better than unplanned breakdowns, in my book. When the time comes, I'm going to consider this move, given how many WP's fail after 50K. Too bad for the OP, though (if it's his WP), just at 52K.
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      02-15-2013, 09:39 PM   #13
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I forgot to mention that another part of my decision making process regarding replacing my water pump prior to failure is that I'm aware that BMW is on their third part number for my water pump. So I'm assuming that BMW evaluated the root cause of early pump failures and made engineering upgrades to prolong the life. Plus owning a 2006 model, I have the first part number which I would believe to be the most unreliable of the three pumps. So I'm hoping the third time is a charm and believe my chances of getting 100K+ have increased. I also get a flu shot each year too.
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      02-16-2013, 08:10 AM   #14
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Waterpumps just go, they rarely give warning, and if there is "warning" it's usually about 90 seconds before they eat it. You can't really prevent the part from failing, it's an electric pump and at some point it will bite the dust.
I somewhat have to disagree with this point. Not trying to flame here, just discussing the WP failure issue. Sorry for the long post, but this is my pet peeve with the E90.

One of the reasons I bought an E90 with the N52 is I plan on driving it 250,000 miles. The design concept of an electric waterpump is very intriguing because the design gets rid of the main failure of water pumps, which is side-loading of the bearing and seals by the drive belt. The BMW electric water pump should last the life of the car, there is nothing to cause it to fail other than heat.

Heat should be better taken into consideration of the design of the pump. IMO whoever designed the pump (BMW or the OEM supplier) did a poor job at managing the heat load the pump sees during its life. My pump failed at 150,000 miles because the control electronics overheated on a 100+ degree day in July. Someone posted pictures in the Forum of his dissected pump where the motor armature delaminated. Electric motors have been around for over 100 years and are used in service locations where they run for thousands and thousands of hours in much harsher environments than pushing a few gallons of 230 degree coolant around an engine cooling system.

But if the BMW waterpump has a design life of so many miles as a compromise on energy use, weight, or cost factors then fine, just tell us the mean time between failure of the pump and recommend a replacement interval. Or at least give us a water temperature gauge and a better early warning system when it starts to fail. The ECU keeps codes on when the pump starts to fail. There is no reason BMW could not incorporate the codes into a notification of the event so the owner can preemptively replace the pump and avoid a breakdown.

And $500 for a replacement pump is a bit ridiculous; for that kind of price I would expect the pump to be a robust piece that SHOULD last the life of the car. The only bebefit I see to the BMW use of an electric waterpump is the Rest-heat function, and faster warmup of the engine.

Major fail by BMW.
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      02-16-2013, 09:27 AM   #15
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The BMW electric water pump should last the life of the car, there is nothing to cause it to fail other than heat.

Heat should be better taken into consideration of the design of the pump. IMO whoever designed the pump (BMW or the OEM supplier) did a poor job at managing the heat load the pump sees during its life. My pump failed at 150,000 miles because the control electronics overheated on a 100+ degree day in July. Someone posted pictures in the Forum of his dissected pump where the motor armature delaminated. Electric motors have been around for over 100 years and are used in service locations where they run for thousands and thousands of hours in much harsher environments than pushing a few gallons of 230 degree coolant around an engine cooling system.

But if the BMW waterpump has a design life of so many miles as a compromise on energy use, weight, or cost factors then fine, just tell us the mean time between failure of the pump and recommend a replacement interval. Or at least give us a water temperature gauge and a better early warning system when it starts to fail. The ECU keeps codes on when the pump starts to fail. There is no reason BMW could not incorporate the codes into a notification of the event so the owner can preemptively replace the pump and avoid a breakdown.

And $500 for a replacement pump is a bit ridiculous; for that kind of price I would expect the pump to be a robust piece that SHOULD last the life of the car. The only bebefit I see to the BMW use of an electric waterpump is the Rest-heat function, and faster warmup of the engine.

Major fail by BMW.
So true for the part in bold. I wonder if another carmaker uses electric waterpumps? Another "benefit" is also the control of the temperature according to context. On highways, the engine runs hotter (215-230) while in city, it is colder (175-190). But frankly, the results are not spectacular.

That was not a brilliant idea to put electronic on a boiling circuitry.
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      02-16-2013, 09:53 AM   #16
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So true for the part in bold. I wonder if another carmaker uses electric waterpumps? Another "benefit" is also the control of the temperature according to context. On highways, the engine runs hotter (215-230) while in city, it is colder (175-190). But frankly, the results are not spectacular.

That was not a brilliant idea to put electronic on a boiling circuitry.
If it were me I would have mounted the control electronics on the framerail. This position would have allowed for heatsinking the electronics to a large section of metal. We are all conditioned to think waterpumps should be preventative maintenance part (i.e. periodic replacement) because most belt-driven camshaft engines call for waterpump replacement during belt replacement. Most belt-driven waterpumps get replaced at some point. The difference being that those style pumps cost $60 - $90, not $500. A $500 part should not be considered a preventative maintenance item.

This issue is one of the reasons I am not considering a 3-Series as my next car after 25 years of 3-Series ownership. It is rare that BMW does this level of poor engineering. If my pump had failed in heavy bumper-to-bumper traffic and I could not have driven to the shoulder in a very short period of time, my engine would have been seriously damaged and the ensuing traffic jam embarrassing.
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