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      12-12-2013, 09:25 PM   #1
rockbien
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Carbon choking intake at 52k miles

I'm new to this forum. Used to be a Nissan guy (owned, modified, and raced several G20s, NX2000s), but have owned many makes of vehicles. This is my first BMW and might be my last (TBD in the next few months). I never have owned a car that has consumed so much of my waking thoughts. I love every thing about it except the reliability.

I've posted in other threads about my issues, so to be short I've taken the car to the dealer 8 times since the beginning of September and it is currently there waiting to have carbon cleaned. The intake is back ordered.

Last week I went to the dealership to get my ezpass out of my car and got a chance to see it in pieces. I snapped a pic of the intake. If you look into the first runner closely you can see there is considerable deposits on the back of the swirl flap almost completely choking half of the runner. Completely shocked to see that especially since I'm only at 52k miles!

I called BMW NA this morning to file a complaint. I'm hopeful. The rep was using words like "compensation" and "you haven't been having a premium brand experience". Not looking for a handout, just to have my car back and be able to enjoy it. The loaners have been okay, but if I wanted an X1 I would have bought that instead!


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      12-12-2013, 10:16 PM   #2
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I understand exactly how you feel.
Coming from many years of trouble free Japanese cars to the 335d was a major shock for me too.

If you follow my posts here you will find similar experiences. Mine "died" at around 52k miles too.
There are lots threads and topics about this issue here. Some people think we exaggerate and even blame us because we don't drive the car the right way. I have driven close to 500,000 miles in 21 years. At one point in the past I said I would never buy another German car. Well, it to only lasted me a few years. Now I pay the price.
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      12-13-2013, 04:19 AM   #3
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How is the cylinder head looking? Build up in the intake is easy to clean.

Don't be discouraged. More solutions are popping up for this problem due to the US emissions required components. The M57 is a fantastic engine.

BMW NA better take care of this problem for you.
Why did you take your car to the dealer in the first place? Symptoms?
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      12-13-2013, 07:49 AM   #4
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Thanks for the photo. I think this is the first intake we've seen with this amount of build up. Usually this issue is found at the intake ports of the cylinder head and not the intake itself.

It's unfortunate that BMW usually just replaces parts instead of cleaning them. If this were a VW then the intake may be made of metal and the dealer would just clean it. Let us know about the cylinder head.

FWIW soot and diesels go hand and hand. Some engines deal with it better than others.

This car is an '09. Are you the original owner? If so can you give us an idea about your typical driving conditions such as city, hwy, short tripping, long drives, etc.?
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      12-13-2013, 08:33 AM   #5
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Rock like Socom stated dont worry but worry your 2009 should have the latest upgrade on DDE, its a shame BMWoA doesnt help, the car is oustanding with this engine BUT the damn EPA/CARB regs kill us, remove the damn DPF and it will run better and give you more mpg's
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      12-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
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thats ugly. look at the size of the "chunk" on the swirl flap in that first runner

how did the smaller round ports look? The large runners on mine when I pulled the manifold looked pretty good, the smaller ones were worse.
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      12-13-2013, 12:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socom View Post
If so can you give us an idea about your typical driving conditions such as city, hwy, short tripping, long drives, etc.?
I understand the desire to try to figure out if there is some common denominator among the cars that have succumbed thus far, but we all agree that when we bought these cars if the dealership said, "Oh, by the way...if you drive in the city "too much" or on the highway "too much" the engine will need a $10,000 cleaning at around 50k miles."

We would have said "Thank you." and bought a 335i or a Prius.

Right?
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      12-13-2013, 01:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveN007 View Post
I understand the desire to try to figure out if there is some common denominator among the cars that have succumbed thus far, but we all agree that when we bought these cars if the dealership said, "Oh, by the way...if you drive in the city "too much" or on the highway "too much" the engine will need a $10,000 cleaning at around 50k miles."

We would have said "Thank you." and bought a 335i or a Prius.

Right?
Well 335i would need at least one walnut blasting by this mileage and probability spark plugs. BMW mismatched the engine with the application in the US. Can't fix that. In any case if the OP gives us his driving conditions it may be helpful for the community.

Btw you and I both know this isn't a $10k repair.
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      12-13-2013, 01:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 135i_vs_ View Post
How is the cylinder head looking? Build up in the intake is easy to clean.

Don't be discouraged. More solutions are popping up for this problem due to the US emissions required components. The M57 is a fantastic engine.

BMW NA better take care of this problem for you.
Why did you take your car to the dealer in the first place? Symptoms?
The SES has been coming on with regularity since the beginning of September.

The first set of codes were related to the injectors and MAF - all 6 injectors, dry rotted vacuum lines and the MAF were replaced.

Less than a week later SES P0402 (EGR max flow). They replaced the EGR valve. 2 days later SES - same code. Replaced EGR flow sensor. Assured me they got it this time.

4 days later SES - P0101 again (MAF). Replaced plastic intake hose and gauranteed the fix.

6 days later P0101 and P0402 again. Dropped off the car and the next day they called to tell me "minor" carbon deposits in the intake and head. That was on Nov 14th.

Overall since September I did notice that it began to miss in the morning, but just figured it was because it was getting cold. No other symptoms than that and SES. I didn't see the head with the other parts. It was definitely off cause I could see the short block in the engine bay. Maybe they had it in the parts washer or had sent it out somewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Socom
This car is an '09. Are you the original owner? If so can you give us an idea about your typical driving conditions such as city, hwy, short tripping, long drives, etc.?
Bought it pre-owned on Jun 26th this year with 44k miles on it. I drive 50 miles a day 60% at speeds >70 mph and the rest stop and go. No clue on previous owners' driving habits so if there is a connection between the extent of the BU and driving habits it will remain a mystery for my car. It has lower miles for the age of the vehicle if you want to read into that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooper
how did the smaller round ports look?
They rushed me out of the shop so I only had a chance to snap this picture. It was dark in there and didn't realize how bad it was till I was looking at the picture the next day
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      12-13-2013, 02:04 PM   #10
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Wow, that is ugly. Just looking at it, I don't understand how it could get so bad so quickly in 52k miles unless there is something wrong with the fuel. I have twice the miles on my 2009 and haven't had any indication of carbon buildup. I can only hope it has something to do with the fuel, but I think this kind of thing has happened in California too.
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      12-13-2013, 02:30 PM   #11
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I really wonder if this is tied to fuel quality? I honestly have no idea, but I only fill up at Chevron here in Los Angeles. Reported to have 50-51 cetane....not sure if it will prevent any carbon build ups on my 335d, but I'll certainly be watching it closely.

Time will tell...I'm only at 22K miles on my car...all recalls done, and a new DEF tank installed under warranty due to faulty sensors.
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      12-13-2013, 02:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socom View Post
Well 335i would need at least one walnut blasting by this mileage and probability spark plugs. BMW mismatched the engine with the application in the US. Can't fix that. In any case if the OP gives us his driving conditions it may be helpful for the community.
I dont accept this excuse. Yes, our engine is more than capable of moving around much larger vehicles than the 335D but that doesnt excuse the buildup. There are plenty of gas engine cars (and other diesels) which are well "overpowered" for their application (V10 in a viper? LS7 corvette?). Its a design issue that was missed and can surely be fixed under the right conditions without having to cut out 1/3 of the displacement.
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      12-13-2013, 02:57 PM   #13
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Hey OP. Maybe I'm reaching but is it possible you bought a car that was affected by the floods in your area?
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      12-13-2013, 03:16 PM   #14
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Hey OP. Maybe I'm reaching but is it possible you bought a car that was affected by the floods in your area?
I hope not. The timing is about right for it to have gone through Hurricane Sandy. It's possible although I don't see any signs of replaced parts or evidence of water damage and I'm not sure how flooding would have contributed to carbon build-up. Stranger things have happened though.
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      12-13-2013, 03:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoooper View Post
I dont accept this excuse. Yes, our engine is more than capable of moving around much larger vehicles than the 335D but that doesnt excuse the buildup. There are plenty of gas engine cars (and other diesels) which are well "overpowered" for their application (V10 in a viper? LS7 corvette?). Its a design issue that was missed and can surely be fixed under the right conditions without having to cut out 1/3 of the displacement.
Well I wouldn't compare gas to diesel. Gas does not have the same amount of soot and the thermal dynamics are completely different. Just do a Google search and you'll find plenty of info on diesel engines, how idle time and engine load effect performance. IJS.

Last edited by Socom; 12-13-2013 at 03:34 PM.
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      12-13-2013, 03:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockbien View Post
The SES has been coming on with regularity since the beginning of September.

The first set of codes were related to the injectors and MAF - all 6 injectors, dry rotted vacuum lines and the MAF were replaced.

Less than a week later SES P0402 (EGR max flow). They replaced the EGR valve. 2 days later SES - same code. Replaced EGR flow sensor. Assured me they got it this time.

4 days later SES - P0101 again (MAF). Replaced plastic intake hose and gauranteed the fix.

6 days later P0101 and P0402 again. Dropped off the car and the next day they called to tell me "minor" carbon deposits in the intake and head. That was on Nov 14th.

Overall since September I did notice that it began to miss in the morning, but just figured it was because it was getting cold. No other symptoms than that and SES. I didn't see the head with the other parts. It was definitely off cause I could see the short block in the engine bay. Maybe they had it in the parts washer or had sent it out somewhere.



Bought it pre-owned on Jun 26th this year with 44k miles on it. I drive 50 miles a day 60% at speeds >70 mph and the rest stop and go. No clue on previous owners' driving habits so if there is a connection between the extent of the BU and driving habits it will remain a mystery for my car. It has lower miles for the age of the vehicle if you want to read into that.



They rushed me out of the shop so I only had a chance to snap this picture. It was dark in there and didn't realize how bad it was till I was looking at the picture the next day
Wow. They sure threw some parts at it. Surprised you didn't get a new DDE.

Thanks for the info.
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      12-13-2013, 03:50 PM   #17
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How could that be caused by fuel when this engine is direct injection?
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      12-13-2013, 03:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socom View Post
Well 335i would need at least one walnut blasting by this mileage and probability spark plugs. BMW mismatched the engine with the application in the US. Can't fix that. In any case if the OP gives us his driving conditions it may be helpful for the community.

Btw you and I both know this isn't a $10k repair.
I don't know that.

I have seen reports of anywhere from $5000 to $15,000 to deal with the results of carbon build up. Injectors replaced. Intakes replaced. Tons of labor. Long series of diagnostics and fix after fix after fix.

All occurring as early as "the 40s" in terms of mileage.
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      12-13-2013, 04:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I don't know that.

I have seen reports of anywhere from $5000 to $15,000 to deal with the results of carbon build up. Injectors replaced. Intakes replaced. Tons of labor. Long series of diagnostics and fix after fix after fix.

All occurring as early as "the 40s" in terms of mileage.
Can these not be walnut blasted like the n54?
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      12-13-2013, 04:01 PM   #20
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I'm at about 70k mi on my 2011 right now. My plan is to remove the intake manifold this winter and investigate the buildup (and possibly investigate Catch can, EGR delete, and--just for fun--water/meth injection). We'll see if mine looks like yours.

On the bright side, I was on my second engine in my last car by 70k . By that benchmark, our cars are regular 90s corollas as far a reliability goes

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Can these not be walnut blasted like the n54?
They can be, but I know of very few individuals who perform this as preventative maintenance on the diesel (I would suggest more may want to condsider it)
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      12-13-2013, 04:10 PM   #21
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They can be, but I know of very few individuals who perform this as preventative maintenance on the diesel (I would suggest more may want to condsider it)
Former, respectively I disagree. Per the lead tech at my dealership last week, there is NO BMW approved media blasting process yet rolled out to the dealers for diesels. Mine was torn down cleaned and build back up by hand.
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      12-13-2013, 04:22 PM   #22
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Former, respectively I disagree. Per the lead tech at my dealership last week, there is NO BMW approved media blasting process yet rolled out to the dealers for diesels. Mine was torn down cleaned and build back up by hand.
not BMW approved and not possible are two different things. It has already been done at least once, as seen here http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...=917982&page=3
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