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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > 2008 335, 10 months old, Engine Breakdown :-( Possible Ethanol Poisioning!!!



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      01-29-2009, 08:30 PM   #1
Flyers2385
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2008 335, 10 months old, Engine Breakdown :-( Possible Ethanol Poisioning!!!

Went to leave LA Fitness tonight, turned on the car, engine light illuminated followed by sputtering then shut down. 13k miles on the car, just had the oil service done Thursday, and when I talked to the service rep here in fort myers, the first thing he says is that it is my fault and that I should only put gas from bmw approved stations in my tank. He also mentions how bmw won't cover any damages done by the fuel and that I am on the hook. < now I am enraged > ....I was confused at this diagnosis considering the car has yet to reach the dealership to be reviewed by a mechanic, then he says they have no loaner cars for the week so I am SOL for work tomorrow. By the time the car reached bmw, the dealership is closed so it is just sitting outside for the night. NOT HAPPY with my treatment thus far!
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      01-29-2009, 09:14 PM   #2
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first off: that guy is a horse's ass for telling you that shit over the phone. he has no clue as to what is wrong with the car. but until the car is checked out just keep letting him run his mouth and work him over later.

as for the gas issue: it could possibly be; but that is not your problem. these cars are not sold with a stipulation that you have to buy 100% gas from a select company. bmw knows that the U.S. is making the switch to ethanol (10%) and if they are not designing these cars to run on it they are in for a class action suit.

but with that said: not everyone knows that the ethanol is added to the fuel at the station and not the refinery. so if the guy driving the truck screws it up then everyone that fills up from that underground tank will have problems. have the fuel analized and if that is the case this will be your next step. going to the gas station and filling a claim for bad gas.

do a search and you'll find out if anyone else has collected (i know there have been complaints filed). just never heard back if they got money for repairs.


good luck......
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      01-31-2009, 07:09 PM   #3
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the cars run ok on 10%...HOWEVER...in the past year ive seen at least 50 cars in my shop have gas that was over 10%..ive seen as high as 25%. one of the first things we do on a rough running car or a no start is due an alcohol test. if that is found to be too high..its not a warranty matter and the customer is responsible for the bill. however, that bill is usually then taken to the place they got gas at. always save your receipts guys...seriously.
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      01-31-2009, 11:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K330i View Post
but with that said: not everyone knows that the ethanol is added to the fuel at the station and not the refinery. so if the guy driving the truck screws it up then everyone that fills up from that underground tank will have problems.
I was told by a reputable mechanic that it is mixed at the refinery.
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      01-31-2009, 11:17 PM   #5
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To update my story, when the dealership took possession of my car, they let the battery die which erased the error code from the computer, so after many hours recharging, they are now trying to figure out what is causing the check engine light to illuminate. They tried to blame me for the dead battery, which I thought was comical. Ran tests on the hpfp and came out normal. Finally got my courtesy car today, but its uncertain how long I'll be stuck in the 328.
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      02-01-2009, 02:20 PM   #6
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"BMW approved stations" - LOL. Good luck to them with that one.

For that to apply, they would have to clearly state in the manual which filling stations are approved. Unless I missed the memo, that isn't in there.
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      02-01-2009, 11:26 PM   #7
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food for thought......does your state have mandated testing?

----------------------------------------------------------------

EPA to Crack Down on Ethanol Cheats

Gasoline sold from pumps with signs proclaiming "May Contain 10% Ethanol" may harbor more than 10% ethanol.
By Peter Rohde, Editor, Kiplinger's Biofuels Market Alert

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is stepping up its policing of ethanol in gasoline. With ethanol prices running about $1.30 a gallon less than gasoline, oil companies and fuel distributors have tremendous incentive to put more ethanol in gasoline than the 10% allowed under current Clean Air Act regulations.

"We believe some retailers are either taking inadequate precautions to assure that fuel containing greater than 10% ethanol is not dispensed into motor vehicles and engines certified for gasoline only -- or are selling fuel labeled as 'gasoline' that actually contains greater than 10% ethanol in violation of the Clean Air Act," an EPA spokesman says.

"We are pursuing a number of cases," he says, while declining to discuss specific investigations in progress. He adds that the agency doesn't have enough data yet to provide meaningful numbers.

Auto manufacturers, some state regulators and a maker of gasoline dispenser parts say concentrations ranging from a bit over 11% to as much as 20% are showing up in spot tests. Moreover, an independent analysis of Energy Department monthly data suggests that in the first five months of 2008, there was an excess of 500 million gallons of ethanol. This amount cannot be readily explained by either the amount of E10 blending, as gathered from Energy Department reports, or the meager E85 market

What's at stake?

For cheating distributors, a $32,500 a day fine from EPA, though, so far, the risk of being caught has been miniscule.

For the ethanol industry, its reputation and future sales. Blends of more than 10% haven't been proven OK to use in cars or small engines -- lawn mowers, snowmobiles and so on. Any jump in poor engine performance reports is likely to be laid at the doorstep of the ethanol industry, scotching chances of an official blessing for higher blends.

For consumers, there's a risk that illegal blends will damage motors.
Wholesale gasoline currently fetches about $3 a gallon while ethanol costs about $2.10. Combine the spread with the 51 per gallon federal tax incentive and a blender nets more than a dollar profit for every gallon of ethanol mixed in the fuel. For the typical 29,000 gallon tank truckload, that's roughly $3000 for a 10% ethanol mix. It's easy to do the math to see how overblending adds to profit. And that, automobile and oil industry officials say, is leading more and more fuel distributors to pump up the ethanol concentration.

A 2008 winter survey by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers found the maximum ethanol level in all samples to be 11.6% by volume for premium gasoline and 11.1% for regular. A spokesman for the Alliance, which represents 10 domestic and foreign automakers, says, "There's no question we have concerns -- but we don't believe [overblending] is epidemic."

However, an auto industry official characterizes overblending as significant.

And a manufacturer of components for gasoline dispensers reports testing fuels from clients' service stations and finding ethanol concentrations as high as 20% in E10. An official at the manufacturing company emphasizes that the results were not isolated incidents, but were found in a half dozen states. That largely rules out the possibility that samples were from gasoline/ethanol batches that were inadequately mixed or a result of phase separation, where the ethanol content disassociates from the gasoline component.

Odds are that state authorities will also pay more attention in light of mounting reports of overblending. Tennessee, which has a law requiring annual testing of fuel in all of the state's service stations, has recorded instances of ethanol concentrations of 12% and 13%. But an official with the State Department of Agriculture's Weights and Measures Section says that overblending does not appear to be widespread in the state. He did point out, however, that many states have no testing programs at all.
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      02-02-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
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I'm pleased to see the gov't is doing something to regulate the amount of ethanol being mixed. It comes late of course, but I hope that it deters the over 10% mixtures from being sold.

I picked up my car today from the dealership and I am happy to report it is running well with its new hpfp.
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      02-02-2009, 05:20 PM   #9
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Congrats, that wasn't too long at all. They do need to step up the efforts on this, it is showing up more and more frequently.
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