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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > Blew My Motor Tonight



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      03-08-2013, 09:10 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by shootfirst83 View Post
Thanks man!

The thing that blows my mind is that I'm fully stock.
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OP, what mods did you have on your car?
None.
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      03-08-2013, 09:24 AM   #46
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I drove it for maybe a total of an hour. I'd say four, fifteen minute trips in town. No highway since I was worried about the tire blowing on me.
This makes the blown oil cooler theory plausible. Your oil thermostat might not open up on short trips like that. However I would expect the oil light to come on before a failure like that...
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      03-08-2013, 09:54 AM   #47
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This makes the blown oil cooler theory plausible. Your oil thermostat might not open up on short trips like that. However I would expect the oil light to come on before a failure like that...
Right, in an oil leak/starvation event wouldn't the motor give some heads up beforehand, even if it were "too late"? It sounds like OP's motor just went kaboom, no warning or anything. If oil were leaking from the cooler, you'd also probably notice it pooling at various points before his engine went out. If it were a bang-bang situation where a sudden catastrophic loss of oil took place, I could see the engine falling apart without much warning, but again that doesn't seem to be the case here. OP was able to drive his car multiple times before things went south, and on a 15 min drive oil temps are usually approaching full operating temperature.
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      03-08-2013, 11:07 AM   #48
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Aww..that sucks, I knew there was gonna be a hole in your block..its sounded exactley like a rod going through the wall..hope you are able to get this under warranty..
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      03-08-2013, 12:04 PM   #49
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I would document the pothole incident like crazy. Whether or not the two events are causally related is anybody's guess here, but if you have a police report and other people also reported damage from this pothole, and then you had a catastrophic failure within days after the incident, go to your insurance company and see what they say. Your insurance can, in turn, elect to go after the city. Let them try to deny compensation for the comprehensive claim if multiple people reported the road hazard and your issue occurred immediately after the incident. I'm sure your insurance would be all-too-happy to go after the city rather than pay for a new engine out of its own coffers.

We live in a litigious world. CYA. FWIW, I now drive with a dashcam.
This would fall under collision coverage, not comprehensive. Comprehensive is for acts of nature, i.e, hail, falling trees, flood, deer strike, etc. IF op's insurance pays, it is not likely to go after the city unless it can show the pothole was unavoidable AND the city had notice yet failed to repair it in reasonable time.
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      03-08-2013, 12:09 PM   #50
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Many factors of why insurance may have gone up. The sole fact that you switched companies could already be one reason.
Generally true.


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Another reason is that insurers file for rate increases almost yearly and so that would and could have caused an increase.
Not true. While rate revisions and underwriting changes are common, uniform increases are exceedingly rare. When an insurer files a revision, the rates will go up for some, go down for some, and stay the same for many.
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      03-08-2013, 01:43 PM   #51
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It's insane how you're fully stock and you threw a rod through the side of the block whereas there are people doubling your chp with whp and are perfectly fine.

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      03-08-2013, 01:55 PM   #52
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It's insane how you're fully stock and you threw a rod through the side of the block whereas there are people doubling your chp with whp and are perfectly fine.

While the motor seems generally strong people often forget depending on the MY these motors have completely different components, the early(07-09) N54's have forged internals. The switch to N55 came also with the switch to cast internals to save money(forged were way overkill for stock HP/TQ figures anyway) The cast internals are alos carried over to the current n54 found in the 335is.

So stock strength should vary quite dramatically between early cars and newer cars. I think we will start to see this difference when 335is guys try the vargas stage 3 kits.
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      03-08-2013, 02:03 PM   #53
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It's insane how you're fully stock and you threw a rod through the side of the block whereas there are people doubling your chp with whp and are perfectly fine.

Precisely why I think OP got screwed over by horrible luck. Outright motor failures are on the margins for the N54, you just don't see many of them failing under "normal" driving. Tracking the car is a different ball of wax.
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While the motor seems generally strong people often forget depending on the MY these motors have completely different components, the early(07-09) N54's have forged internals. The switch to N55 came also with the switch to cast internals to save money(forged were way overkill for stock HP/TQ figures anyway) The cast internals are alos carried over to the current n54 found in the 335is.

So stock strength should vary quite dramatically between early cars and newer cars. I think we will start to see this difference when 335is guys try the vargas stage 3 kits.
I don't think there is a consensus on this, there's an old Shiv thread where FFTEC pulled down the entire block and found that the rods were forged, but the pistons were cast. Not positive, but I think the whole "early N54s have forged bottom ends" is a bit of an urban legend. That's not to say the block isn't strong, the motor has proven itself to handle north of 500whp with no issues. RB guys have been hauling for who knows how many miles, and I haven't seen one documented failure due to power.
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      03-08-2013, 02:34 PM   #54
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While the motor seems generally strong people often forget depending on the MY these motors have completely different components, the early(07-09) N54's have forged internals. The switch to N55 came also with the switch to cast internals to save money(forged were way overkill for stock HP/TQ figures anyway) The cast internals are alos carried over to the current n54 found in the 335is.

So stock strength should vary quite dramatically between early cars and newer cars. I think we will start to see this difference when 335is guys try the vargas stage 3 kits.
I read somewhere that was a myth. Nonetheless, cast internals should easily be able to handle 300chp especially on a 6cyl.
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      03-08-2013, 02:44 PM   #55
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I don't think this is a forged vs non-forged issue. A stock motor running stock HP should have no problem handling 50hp per rod. This is well within the range of non-forged rods.

There's either a defect in the manufacturing of the rod or a related failure of a different component that caused this one.
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      03-08-2013, 03:07 PM   #56
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I don't think this is a forged vs non-forged issue. A stock motor running stock HP should have no problem handling 50hp per rod. This is well within the range of non-forged rods.

There's either a defect in the manufacturing of the rod or a related failure of a different component that caused this one.
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      03-08-2013, 06:39 PM   #57
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There are two scenarios I can see happening.

If cause was the pot hole, BMW will deny and insurance should cover all cost.

If it was not the pot hole, it's a manufacturing defect and BMW should cover.

So you have to find the root cause first but if neither covers you, I'd get a lawyer and go after whoever is responsible for the massive pothole.
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      03-08-2013, 10:11 PM   #58
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If it was not the pot hole, it's a manufacturing defect and BMW should cover.

So you have to find the root cause first but if neither covers you, I'd get a lawyer and go after whoever is responsible for the massive pothole.

Blaming the pothole is going to be a tough one unless it caused an obvious failure -- like a broken oil pan, etc.

As for it being a "manufacturing defect"....well, that's what the 4 year/50k miles warranty is for. It covers defects in materials and workmanship. No warranty = on your own (unless BMW chooses to provide assistance). They usually will in a case like this.
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      03-09-2013, 09:16 AM   #59
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Blaming the pothole is going to be a tough one unless it caused an obvious failure -- like a broken oil pan, etc.

As for it being a "manufacturing defect"....well, that's what the 4 year/50k miles warranty is for. It covers defects in materials and workmanship. No warranty = on your own (unless BMW chooses to provide assistance). They usually will in a case like this.
If a completely stock motor throws a rod at anything under 150K with no good reason, I'd argue it's a manufacturing defect. This is not a vanos solenoid or a valvecover gasket. This is something that should *never* happen to an engine of this caliber.
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      03-09-2013, 11:58 AM   #60
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It's insane how you're fully stock and you threw a rod through the side of the block whereas there are people doubling your chp with whp and are perfectly fine.

I agree. It doesn't make any sense to me. I'm hoping that BMW will send someone out to do a diagnostic on it and see what caused it.
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      03-09-2013, 11:59 AM   #61
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There are two scenarios I can see happening.

If cause was the pot hole, BMW will deny and insurance should cover all cost.

If it was not the pot hole, it's a manufacturing defect and BMW should cover.

So you have to find the root cause first but if neither covers you, I'd get a lawyer and go after whoever is responsible for the massive pothole.
I hope you're right. The fact that they wanted to charge me 2 grand to tear down the motor seems a little crazy. I'm hoping they come back and say that BMW will cover it.
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      03-09-2013, 05:13 PM   #62
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I think we can agree that this is a fluke failure. I've never seen an N54 fail in this manner, and I see a lot of them. The only time I've seen a newer BMW engine punch a hole in the block was on an N52 that took in water and bent a rod. Even then, it ran for quite a while before the block failed. Pretty amazing, actually.

Anyway.... I'd think it would have failed much sooner if it was a bad casting, forging, etc. whether it's a manufacturing defect or not, BMW isn't obligated to do anything. That's what a manufacturer's warranty is for. I agree an engine shouldn't have a catastrophic failure at that mileage, but sometimes that's just how the cards are dealt.
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      03-11-2013, 10:52 PM   #63
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Any news op?
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      03-12-2013, 08:08 PM   #64
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Any news op?
The dealership told me that the Service Manager talked to BMW NA and they told him that they won't help out with the replacement. I emailed BMW NA and explained that all I really want is for the someone to tell me what went wrong and not have to pay 2 grand to find out. I just got off the phone with BMW NA and they said that they will not help out with the diagnoses, but if it does turn out to be a manufacturing defect, they may help out. I don't think that's enough for me to spend $2k.

I'm going to go to the dealership tomorrow and talk to the Service Manager and see if I can get them to do anything. The way I see it, I buy a new car every couple of years so it would be in their best interest to work with me somehow. I don't think that's very unreasonable.

Any advice on dealing with BMW NA would be greatly appreciated.
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      03-12-2013, 08:22 PM   #65
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Any advice on dealing with BMW NA would be greatly appreciated.
I suggest you watch the movie John Q, and devise a similar strategy....
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      03-12-2013, 08:26 PM   #66
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I suggest you watch the movie John Q, and devise a similar strategy....
My plan would be doomed from the beginning. I don't have an N54 for a heart...
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