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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Serv Dept damaged engine! need input pls.



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      10-11-2012, 05:54 AM   #1
Aces_High
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Serv Dept damaged engine! need input pls.

hey all, so its been a long time since i've posted here, and again need the board's input on a present issue.

Summary:
The vehicle, a 328i was taken into bmw service due to very audible diesel clanking, especially on cold starts. Even after warming up to operating temp, the diesel noise was clearly audible, from outside, inside. SA informed that there was a bmw bulletin regarding this, and if they couldn't fix it, they'd have to remove the head to change some valve related (lifter? rockers?) items. They ended up doing this after the first attempt didn't reduce/eliminate the diesel sound at all.

The warranty on the vehicle ended 5 months ago.

The issues:
Began noticing a particular smell from within the cabin, smelled like something burning. It was persistent, and a few times during dusk hours, there was smoke visible radiating from the grill area, and over the headlights. This smell and smoke began getting worse, and upon deep examination of the engine bay, oil could clearly be seen dripping out from the area where the head and engine mate, right above the exhaust headers. The oil was actually spewed all over the protective aluminum sheeting across from the headers. By judgement of visual data, and smell, it appears the head has not been properly installed after they took it off.

Concern:
The vehicle is no longer under warranty, but even if it was, the vehicle wouldn't just be taken back and a fix requested. To my understanding the head is one of the most important components in the engine. The concern is that the damage might go deeper than just the leaking of oil from the head externally. This engine had less than 35K on the odometer, so it was lightly used, and was going to be kept for the long term. Having this issue, bring into question the long term impacts from damage to internal components. I've spoken to a few mechanics who have stated if there was oil/water mixture, it could have damaged other engine components, and rust out the piston rings.

Input:
Stuck on the correct course of action at this point. Personally I'd like them to transplant a new N52 engine into the vehicle, but how realistic is that. I do not want to return to the dealership who caused the damage, so that they do not minimize and cover up any potential issues. I've heard that sometimes, they even send people from corporate to resolve such as these.

i know we've got a diverse forum with people with all kinds of backgrounds and expertise. So input would be hugely appreciated. thanks.
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      10-11-2012, 06:20 AM   #2
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Oh man... This sucks...

What did he say? Did you inform them already?
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      10-11-2012, 08:11 AM   #3
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I'd get in contact with BMW NA and start logging down every detail on paper...
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      10-11-2012, 08:16 AM   #4
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Before you run to BMW NA, I'd talk to the dealership in question and ask them to make it right. If nothing happens there, then I'd talk to BMW NA. However I would document everything so that if it does come in to question you have your ass covered.
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      10-11-2012, 08:43 AM   #5
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There's no issue speaking with my SA about this, in fact he's a great guy, and we're on really good terms. I know he's not responsible as he didn't work on the car, and I surely don't want him to get into trouble, however being that in the end it is dealership error/damage, how is one to make sure that they wont minimize things to minimize costs to themselves. I imagine if I contact him with this issue , he'll say bring it in , but what if damage is already done to the engine, or the longevity has been impacted. Say they find water in the oil, what's to keep them from just doing an oil change along with fixing the head leak, only to have the engine start burning oil at 60k because the rings got corroded and no longer function properly. I mean the car's already been driven in this condition for a while now (since the repair job), the person driving it smelled it, and was aware that the car had been serviced so had thought it was something fluid related burning off, and with a/c on, windows up, vent closed, you dont really smell it. you smell it most on days with no wind, since the smoke doesn't get blown away and lingers around the hood driver area. no lights have been triggered. Car was a gem before this incident occurred.
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      10-11-2012, 09:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aces_High View Post
There's no issue speaking with my SA about this, in fact he's a great guy, and we're on really good terms. I know he's not responsible as he didn't work on the car, and I surely don't want him to get into trouble, however being that in the end it is dealership error/damage, how is one to make sure that they wont minimize things to minimize costs to themselves. I imagine if I contact him with this issue , he'll say bring it in , but what if damage is already done to the engine, or the longevity has been impacted. Say they find water in the oil, what's to keep them from just doing an oil change along with fixing the head leak, only to have the engine start burning oil at 60k because the rings got corroded and no longer function properly. I mean the car's already been driven in this condition for a while now (since the repair job), the person driving it smelled it, and was aware that the car had been serviced so had thought it was something fluid related burning off, and with a/c on, windows up, vent closed, you dont really smell it. you smell it most on days with no wind, since the smoke doesn't get blown away and lingers around the hood driver area. no lights have been triggered. Car was a gem before this incident occurred.
Unlike lots of guys here, you seem to have a great attitude which can only help you. Relationships are everything. Good luck.
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      10-11-2012, 09:16 AM   #7
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I don't think it's a big deal. I had the same thing happen to me when I brought my 328i in for the lifter tick issue. They replaced the lifters and accidentally snapped some of the valve cover bolts (they are aluminum) which caused the oil burning & smoke you mentioned. Brought it back and they replaced the broken bolts. This was a few years ago and the engine is doing great. If you want you could insist on an engine wash to clean off the leaked oil, but it would be a stretch to ask for a new engine.
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      10-11-2012, 09:43 AM   #8
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If oil is dripping from the plate above the headers as you have discovered, I would say it's likely coming from the valve cover gasket, not the head/engine block mating area which is below the headers. It's possible the tech spoiled the VCG when putting it back together which from my experience would be easy to do. Just my 2 cents. Good luck I hope you get to the bottom of it.
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      10-11-2012, 09:52 AM   #9
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I know how you feel about not wanting to return to the dealership that did the damage, but if anyone is going to help you on their dime rather than yours, they'd be the only ones. It sucks, but accidents happen and people make mistakes, and you need to give them the chance to make it right unless you want to pay for the mistake out of your pocket. If it makes you feel better, chances are the dealership won't assign the same tech to the job (or better yet, will have that tech watch over the shoulder of someone more qualified), but I agree with others that you need to give them a chance to fix their mistake before you escalate to BMW NA.

And I also agree that you seem to be a pretty cool customer under the circumstances. Don't lose that, because although some people find that getting angry gets them faster service, in my experience that's only because the people doing the service want to get rid of those customers as quickly as possible since they're so unpleasant, whereas being a cool customer often not only gets you faster service out of gratitude rather than aversion, but also gets you service above and beyond the norm.
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