BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Waterpump/t-stat Failure, Any Course of Action?

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      10-25-2012, 05:35 PM   #1
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Waterpump/t-stat Failure, Any Course of Action?

So after wanting a BMW for the last 10 years ( since high school) I was finally able to graduate college save up and afford a used 08' 335. I bought it from an independent dealer (Motorcars Express) out of Chicago. I was very picky in what I wanted so I foudn the exact one with all the options I wanted and bought this one from halfway across the country and had it shipped to me in CT. Before purchasing it I had it sent to an independent mechanic specializing in imports. The report came back fine except for one code he found that had to do with an update that was needed from BMW that had something to do with the interior lights/radio not staying on long enough after opening the car doors or something minor along those lines.

I had the car for roughly a month and a half (drove less than 1,000 mi) and got car overheating warning. That day I promptly drove to the dealer (BMW of New London CT) in order to have him check it out. He said that the T-stat and water pump had failed. He also mentioned that the water pump had thrown a fault code roughly 56 times. This most likely means someone was having this problem before and traded the car in to avoid the repair.

The car has only 27,000 miles on it and I find it fairly unacceptable to have a water pump fail after only 27,000 miles. BMW recommended to have the cylinder heads checked out since there is a "low risk" of warping due to the water pump failing 56 times. I literally cannot afford to have this checked out since I do not have $4,000 that it would take to get it checked out. I am replacing the water pump/t-stat/and coolant flush for $1,700.

The warranty is up on the vehicle (ended last year I believe). What course of action/recommendations do you guys have? Can I now get the extended warranty for the vehicle to protect myself in the event the heads are warped, or will BMW not do this now because I did not complete all the "recommended" service for the vehicle? Do I have any action against the dealer (it has been more than 30 days)?

I just feel defeated as I waited a long time to get a car I wanted, only to find out it has been abused by the previous owner. If I could do it all again I would have had the car sent to a BMW dealership to get it checked out instead of a independent mechanic.

Thank you guys in advance.
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      10-26-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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1700 for water pump service is steep. I paid 1200 and I was already overpaying according to what I read here. I had to take the hit as the car was stranded, but you are being ripped open on this one. Some claim to have this service done for ~900.

If the heads are warped, they will leak, you'll know soon enough.
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      10-26-2012, 01:02 PM   #3
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feel your pain my brotha

hey my waterpump went on me last week you can read my story on my threads. 1700 is way to much i almost paid half the price you are thinking about. Try to find a well known bmwtech shop around your area and get better quotes. try to find out if the pervious owner had this problem.
before the waterpump went on you was the car running perfectly?
i doubt there is anyproblem with internals the dealership is probably just trying to get sum extra money out of you for diagnostics.

you can also find a link on a waterpump and thermostat online and try to find a bmwtech shop to replace it for you for a reasonable price
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      10-26-2012, 01:06 PM   #4
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oh ya since this is your first bmw you probably have no experience with the bmw dealerships they quoted my boy 15000 - 17000 he messed up his drivetrain on his e92 m3 he ended up getting upgraded dinan parts and did the repairs himself costed him 4000-6000.
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      10-26-2012, 02:02 PM   #5
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If you have the space, time, and tools you can diy the water pump on the N54 for substantially less than your dealer is looking to charge you. Check out the VDO pump, you'll save a nice chunk with it and it's the same quality pump you'd buy from your dealer, just without the BMW boxing.

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      10-26-2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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If your indy found no codes and then you drove for 1000 and had the code 56 times, SOMEBODY seems to be lying thru their teeth.

I've got a different engine, but it cost me about 700 for my indy to do the work, including the parts. Do you trust the indy that did the evaluation? Ask him how much.
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      10-26-2012, 04:57 PM   #7
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Damn, just wanted to say sorry for the unfortunate turn of event. I will definitely Yelp some independent shop and start pricing out your options. Similar thing happened to me, $1000 after getting the car, it basically blew up: Water Pump/Thermostat/Valve Cover Gasket...blah blah blah.

Beautiful cars but definitely a pay to play type of game.
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      10-26-2012, 05:38 PM   #8
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Geez your water pump and tstat failed at 27,000??
Mine both failed at 67,000 miles
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      10-26-2012, 07:19 PM   #9
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getbmwparts.com sells the tstat/water pump kit for the 335 for just under 600$. could of prob had it done for 1k or less.
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      10-26-2012, 09:48 PM   #10
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is there something under the Lemon Law? If the code was thrown out 56 times that would show a timeline saying that the dealer was aware of the problem or that it was happening with them and took an active stride to clear the fault code. Did it only throw the code out once for you?

Ask them to pay for it. Similar Issue and the dealer cut me a check back for $1150.
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      10-27-2012, 05:43 AM   #11
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So I'll explain what happened. The shop that pre-inspected the car either didn't know what it was doing, or did not have a BMW scan tool that would have shown the codes. If there were 56 instances of a "failed" water pump, all that means is the code for RPM deviation from the max pump speed showed up. It doesn't mean the car over heated 56 times. The dealer is milking you on this whole thing. First off there is only 1 cylinder head on an N54. Second, if the head is warped, then a simple leak test will show there is an issue with the head gasket. The only time the head is checked for warpage is AFTER there is an indication of a blown headgasket. $4K would indicate the dealer is going to remove the head, check it for warpage and install a new head gasket; all of which is totally unnecessary. Besides, the dealer would not do any of that and just bank the $4k. Have the water pump (the t-stat is probably still good but replace it anyway) replaced at an independent BMW mechanic for $800 or so.

If once the water pump is replaced and then the headgasket indicates it is no longer good, a replacement is in order and you would deal with it at that point. Having the headgasket replaced as part of the water pump repair saves no labor as the two repairs are totally independent of each other, save for draining the coolant, and are on different areas of the engine. Having the T-stat replaced with the water pump should only be the cost of the t-stat (about $100); the T-stat is bolted to the pump and needs to be removed to replace the pump anyway.

Have the car removed from the dealer, taken to an honest independent BMW mechanic and just get the pump and t-stat replaced.

The E9X has been out now long enough that going to a dealer is not necessary and any well-established and qualified independent BMW repair shop should be totally familiar with the model at this point, 8 years after the E9X was released.

Good luck. Tell the dealer he's an asshole for trying to rip you off that bad.

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 10-27-2012 at 06:38 AM.
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      10-27-2012, 05:55 AM   #12
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Yeah just have the WP and thermostat replaced; then have the cooling system pressure tested. No need to pull the head after a single overheat.
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      11-07-2012, 10:16 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by bob.g View Post
getbmwparts.com sells the tstat/water pump kit for the 335 for just under 600$. could of prob had it done for 1k or less.
Thanks for mentioning us - here's a link to the Specials page on our site where this item is located. In stock, ready to ship, and shipping is free within the US!

Jason Reighard
Internet Parts Manager, getBMWparts.com

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