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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 > Is the dealership mechanic lying to me?



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      01-10-2017, 07:03 PM   #1
vvlpes
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Angry Is the dealership mechanic lying to me?

Few months ago I posted on here about having to get a new oil pan. I ordered the correct part from a BMW dealership etc etc etc and finally had an indy shop that specializes in european cars install the pan. That was on December 28th.

The issue arose the next day. The pan was leaking oil at an alarming rate so I had it towed back to the shop and they had a look at it. First they thought it was just the oil level sensor leaking, but after purchasing a new oil level sensor, installing it, and finding that the oil was still leaking they discovered the bolts that hold the oil level sensor were, according to them, "not installed correctly in the pan". One of the mechanics, who claimed to also be a metal fabricator, said the bolts should not have been press fit into the pan, but should have been welded instead.

They deemed it a defective product and said they were unable to do anything about it and did not want to charge me any additional labor. They suggested sending it to the closest BMW dealership and having them do a warranty replacement of the product or they could try to apply some silicone and hope that after it dries it was capable of keeping the oil from leaking. Mostly they were adamant that they didn't want to cause me any additional financial woes. I figured I would have it sent to the dealership to make sure things were done correctly!


I did just that. I had it towed (again, 160 more dollars!) to Reeves Import Motorcars in Tampa, FL which is the closest BMW dealership to me. After several days of deliberation, I was notified that it was the oil level sensor that was leaking (LOL) and they would replace that for me. I had to explain to them several times and even get them to call the original shop before they believed me it was a BRAND NEW sensor and the same problem arose with the previous sensor installed on the car. They "reexamined" the vehicle and discovered that it was indeed coming through the bolts, like I had told them, like the other shop foreman told them.

This is the kicker. They are claiming the other installer over-tightened the bolts causing them to warp/damage the oil pan.

Now hold on one second... the oil level sensor has 3 brass bushings that the bolts pass through and the nuts tighten down onto. If you were to tighten the bolts so tight that it damaged the oil pan some how, would the brass bushings not have been destroyed (and the plastic body of the sensor as well)?

I'm getting really frustrated. It seems to me everyone there is trying to just sell me a new oil pan and charge me the ridiculous 1300$ labor charge on top of it. I've already spent 1400 getting the pan replaced (parts and labor) which is, in my opinion, still outrageous.


What do I do about this? I'm at my wits end here. I want my car back and I want this simple issue to be done with.
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      01-11-2017, 09:24 AM   #2
robthewrench
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You have the unfortunate situation of 1) supplying your own parts and 2) switching mechanics to perform the same repair.

Because of this, neither shop is going to give you any help.

Shops make mistakes, mechanics break parts or do things wrong and then fail to own up to the truth. It could be the dealer, the indy, or both. This is what is happening to you. Normally you could get the shop to re-do the repair at no cost to you, if they had supplied the original parts and done the original work.

In the business of auto repair, the shops cover the costs of these issues by marking up the margin on the parts and having a charged per hour labor cost that is higher than their actual cost. When a repair job runs into trouble, the shop is usually on the hook to redo the job under warranty. The extra cost of the part mark up and the labor rate difference cover this cost to re-do screwed up repairs.

We often gripe on this forum about the cost of work at the dealer, but what is not said sometimes is that in some cases, the dealer is the best one to do the work, unless you have a tried and true indy who you know will make it right.

So here's my advice, but you won't like it. Start over. Get a quote from both shops (and maybe even a third) to do it right with new parts they provide. Get the job done right to completion by just one shop. If he fails to do it right, get it documented so you can get all your money back in small claims court.

If you hate the situation you are in, do not ever be tempted to save costs by asking to supply your own parts. It voids any warranty you would get from the shop doing the work.

As a final note, I am suspicious of the shop that suggested silicone. A good shop would know this is a half-assed fix that won't last. Also, the complaint about how the pan / bolts are designed is more lies. If the factory could build the car with this same pan on 100,000 vehicles and make it work well, it should work for you. You may have gotten a damaged part to start with, but the design is fine. A more likely scenario is that the mechanic did not install it correctly. A lot of people complain about the 1 use aluminum bolts on BMW motors, but if you follow the instructions to always replace them and not overtighten them, they work fine.
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Last edited by robthewrench; 01-11-2017 at 09:32 AM.
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      01-12-2017, 07:45 AM   #3
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You have a steel oil pan. The studs to mount the oil level sensor are induction-welded to the oil pan. The 1st mechanic probably over torqued the nuts that mount the oil sensor to the pan and started to pull the stud though the pan. He's trying to blame his error on a defective part. Unless the stud was damaged in shipping (got bent) the mechanic should have noticed, or the mechanic dropped/mishandled the pan and bent one of the studs, the only other explanation is he over torqued the nut and pulled the stud out of the oil pan. It might be possible if you find a good mechanic to cut the stud off, drill and tap a new hole in the pan and use gasket sealer on it. Or drill a hole put a machine screw and nut in the hole, then modify the body of the sensor so you can slide it over the hanging screw then tighten it down.

But in reality the original shop owes you a free repair IMO.

This pic is out of focus for the studs, but this is what you are looking at:
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      01-12-2017, 11:12 AM   #4
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Sounds like efthreeoh and the dealer are on the same page about the original mechanic's failure to torque the nuts to the specified amount.

As long as you used a credit card, don't forget you have the additional option of getting the card company to do a charge back. Especially if you can get the dealer to confirm the incorrect installation in writing.
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      01-12-2017, 12:27 PM   #5
patents
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As the installer what torque he applied to the bolts, and if he verified the correct amount of torque to the BMW spec.

Does anyone know the torque spec?

If the installer torqued by feel, and the spec is fairly low, you have an argument that it would be very easy to overtorque by feel.
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      01-12-2017, 04:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patents View Post
As the installer what torque he applied to the bolts, and if he verified the correct amount of torque to the BMW spec.

Does anyone know the torque spec?

If the installer torqued by feel, and the spec is fairly low, you have an argument that it would be very easy to overtorque by feel.
Out of my DIY on the OZS:
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission.
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      01-12-2017, 05:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Out of my DIY on the OZS:
There ya go. That's not much torque at all. Very, very easy to overtorque.

OP's best bet is to bring this up and hope the installer realizes (and admits) that he likely overtorqued the nuts. Ask if he even used a torque wrench.

One reason I never take my car to a mechanic who isn't a BMW specialist is because of BMW's various torque specs. Ever car manufacturer will specify a torque value for each threaded fastener. However, BMWs seem to be particularly susceptible to damage or other adverse effects if the correct torque value isn't applied.
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