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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N55 Turbo Engine Tuning and Exhaust Modifications - 335i Tuning > N55 VANOS Bolt Failure Prevention



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      03-20-2014, 12:28 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Unklejoe View Post
Small Update:

I got the new bolts in the mail.

These are steel class 8.8. Should be the exact same size as the original ones.
Where did you get the bolts from? Thanks
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      03-20-2014, 05:22 PM   #90
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Where did you get the bolts from? Thanks
Mcmaster Carr. They are class 8.8 (equal to grade 5) low profile socket head bolts. M6 x 20mm. 1.0 thread pitch. Zinc plated (zinc plating reduces corrosion between steel bolts and the aluminum VANOS unit)

http://www.mcmaster.com/#90327a138/=r6irrf


Do it and take lots of pics!!!!
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      03-20-2014, 05:33 PM   #91
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Interesting is there an actual sib number or anything I can bring to my SA ? He is a nice guy but he will most likely wanna see something I can bring him
SIB is within this thread. See this post:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...3&postcount=55

This Service Information bulletin SI B12 14 12 dated July 2013.

Let me know how that worked out - I would love to convince my SA to get this done as preventive maintenance..
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      03-20-2014, 05:34 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Andrewe92 View Post
Interesting is there an actual sib number or anything I can bring to my SA ? He is a nice guy but he will most likely wanna see something I can bring him
SIB is within this thread. See this post:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...3&postcount=55

This Service Information bulletin SI B12 14 12 dated July 2013.
Perfect thanks man
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      03-20-2014, 06:24 PM   #93
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2011 BMW 335i coupe(Vanos failure) at 37k Miles, driving home on Tuesday the half engine came on, 20 mins the service engine soon light came on!! Computer gave me a code p0015( B1 camshaft ) next day I started my car and sounded it like a Diesel engine !! Got the valve cover off and and the vanos bolts were broken off!! I don't think is possible to change the bolts without messing with the time chain !! I'm changing the bolts on both vanos!i will be posting pictures as soon as I find the way to do it!! Thank you BMW for the headache!!!!!!
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      03-20-2014, 09:44 PM   #94
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This is worrying. I was looking at buying a 2011 that would probably fall in this build range (most of the VINs I run on RealOEM seem that way anyhow). Should I be sure to avoid it and get a 2011+ build?
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      03-20-2014, 11:39 PM   #95
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This is worrying. I was looking at buying a 2011 that would probably fall in this build range (most of the VINs I run on RealOEM seem that way anyhow). Should I be sure to avoid it and get a 2011+ build?
There are other factors to weigh, such as reports that model year 2012 steering is electric, and thus gives vague road feedback. Not feeling as connected to the road is dissuading. I do not have personal experience with this, so don't flame me!
I don't think the VANOS problem is a huge concern, since this is the first I've heard of it, and I researched the 2011 335 extensively before I bought it. The biggest issue I saw was the hpfp, and that seems to have been corrected in any model after 2010. Granted, you'll still see people mention that their 2011 hpfp failed, but it seems far less frequent than pre-2011 models.
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      03-21-2014, 03:20 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by GB-335xiCoupe View Post
There are other factors to weigh, such as reports that model year 2012 steering is electric, and thus gives vague road feedback. Not feeling as connected to the road is dissuading. I do not have personal experience with this, so don't flame me!
I don't think the VANOS problem is a huge concern, since this is the first I've heard of it, and I researched the 2011 335 extensively before I bought it. The biggest issue I saw was the hpfp, and that seems to have been corrected in any model after 2010. Granted, you'll still see people mention that their 2011 hpfp failed, but it seems far less frequent than pre-2011 models.
Well, my Jeep has me used to zero road feedback as well. I'm not all that concerned as I can learn the limits of a new vehicle in a lot of conditions, or at least I think so. But price is still going to come into play as I am not going to get this vehicle without a CPO/factory extended warranty, and I'm not sure I will be able to afford a 2012 model when I am able to purchase unless I wait a year (not out of the question, but I am an impatient mofo!)

Still, even with VANOS not being as wide spread as the HPFP fiasco, it's ridiculous that a bolt of all things can nuke the engine. I am dissuaded every day more and more about buying one of these cars.

I have no problem working on my own vehicle... the DIY's are fantastic and I can manage most of this myself. I realize the forum is going to have a lot more negative feedback in regards to problems than things working properly, but there seem to be some questionable problems with these vehicles. I'm going to keep looking into things in the coming months, but sadly I may end up staying American with a newer Charger (provided there's nothing crazy wrong with those, but the 5.7 HEMI is quite a solid platform from my experience).
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      03-21-2014, 07:18 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by houston2011 View Post
2011 BMW 335i coupe(Vanos failure) at 37k Miles, driving home on Tuesday the half engine came on, 20 mins the service engine soon light came on!! Computer gave me a code p0015( B1 camshaft ) next day I started my car and sounded it like a Diesel engine !! Got the valve cover off and and the vanos bolts were broken off!! I don't think is possible to change the bolts without messing with the time chain !! I'm changing the bolts on both vanos!i will be posting pictures as soon as I find the way to do it!! Thank you BMW for the headache!!!!!!
Here's my take on the basic procedure required:

1. You need to get the N55 timing tool kit. This includes tools to lock the crank and cams with the motor at top dead center. Also, this includes an alignment tool which you will need when re-installing the VANOS units.

2. Remove valve cover and anything else that is in your way.

3. Lock the crank at TDC by inserting the pin (not quite sure where it goes...somewhere near the trans side of the motor probably). Lock the cams using the tool that comes in the tool kit. It looks like a little bridge thing. Each side will lock on to the cams to prevent them from rotating.

4. Remove the chain tensioner bolt (on the side of the block). This will give you some slack on the chain so you can remove the units.

5. Remove one of the VANOS units by removing the bolt that goes in to the cam. THIS MIGHT BE A REVERSE THREADED BOLT. I am not sure. I would personally buy two new bolts for the VANOS to cam. This way you can test to see if it is reverse threaded before trying to remove.

6. Find a way to secure the chain so that it doesn't fall if possible. Next, either replace the unit or replace the bolts. Repeat for other unit. One at a time.

7. Install tensioner stud (it's basically a bolt that replaces the tensioner and lets you put a preload on the chain).

8. Install alignment piece. This thing has two pins that go in to each trigger wheel on the VANOS unit to allow them to remain aligned while you tighten the bolt. It bolts to the head right in front of the VANOS units. Tighten the VANOS cam bolts.

9. Remove tensioner stud and re-install tensioner.

That's my condensed version. I may have left out some steps but if you are mechanically inclined, you will figure the rest out.

Doesn't seem like a hard procedure in the end. The timing chain on this car is very simple.

I have attached a PDF of the instructions for the timing tool that may help with the procedure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GB-335xiCoupe View Post
There are other factors to weigh, such as reports that model year 2012 steering is electric, and thus gives vague road feedback. Not feeling as connected to the road is dissuading. I do not have personal experience with this, so don't flame me!
I don't think the VANOS problem is a huge concern, since this is the first I've heard of it, and I researched the 2011 335 extensively before I bought it. The biggest issue I saw was the hpfp, and that seems to have been corrected in any model after 2010. Granted, you'll still see people mention that their 2011 hpfp failed, but it seems far less frequent than pre-2011 models.
The 2011 is still a new-ish car. Most of them are just now approaching 50k miles. I bet this will become a more common failure as the cars age. There are probably many 2011 cars with one or two broken bolts driving around with the person being un-aware.

Also, the HPFP issue was never really solved for 2011 and older motors. The 2011 N55 shares the exact same fuel pump design as the N54. The 2012+ N55 has a completely new HPFP design that is driven off of the camshaft (incompatible with our older N55 most likely).

However, there have been many revisions to the HPFP and the failures have been significantly reduced. I would not worry about the fuel pump issue. It's only a couple hundred dollars for the part and the newest revision should last you quite some time.


What I find interesting is that the ECU is able to even pick up on this condition and throw an error code. I am guessing it sees a noisy signal for the camshaft sensor (due to it being attached to the VANOS unit and probably wobbling when the bolts are broken).

It is also interesting that even when all four bolts fail, the sprocket somehow manages to stay on the VANOS unit in many (most) cases. That seems like the ultimate ticking time bomb situation considering if that sprocket were to come off, the motor would be DONE.


Houston, did all 4 of your bolts break?
Attached Images
File Type: pdf AS5000_instructions.pdf (11.13 MB, 1202 views)
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      03-21-2014, 08:40 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houston2011 View Post
2011 BMW 335i coupe(Vanos failure) at 37k Miles, driving home on Tuesday the half engine came on, 20 mins the service engine soon light came on!! Computer gave me a code p0015( B1 camshaft ) next day I started my car and sounded it like a Diesel engine !! Got the valve cover off and and the vanos bolts were broken off!! I don't think is possible to change the bolts without messing with the time chain !! I'm changing the bolts on both vanos!i will be posting pictures as soon as I find the way to do it!! Thank you BMW for the headache!!!!!!
Why would you not take it in to the dealer? You are still under warranty, no?
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      03-21-2014, 09:38 AM   #99
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Talked with Tech

Over the last 2 months I had my HPFP replaced because it was draining battery after the car was turned off, go figure. The pump felt like it was still injecting fine though. I took my car in again this week due to left muffler rattle. Dealership said they couldn't replicate and I said fine I will come in there this morning and show you what I mean. Needless to say we replicated it and they are replacing the left muffler (the one with the valve) for the second time.

All of that is irrelevant to the thread, however, in the process I met a really cool tech at the dealership. He has worked with BMW for 14 years and since I rarely get the opportunity to talk with these guys I started asking him about the vanos situation as my car is in the affected build range. He said 'yes actually we have been performing a fair amount of these vanos repairs'. That to me means that this issue is almost a matter of when and not a matter of if. I asked him if I should do a preventative repair to 1) potentially save cost of a more expensive future repair and 2) get peace of mind. He said that (and this thread has elaborated on it) I would have to replace the entire vanos assemblies. This goes with the problem above of not being able to replace the individual bolts. So in the end the preventative repair through the dealership would be similar in cost to the full repair in the future if the bolts sheared. We agreed that I should just cross my fingers in the meantime. My warranty ends this June. I can't believe BMW didn't do a recall for this small # of cars. They have decided to pass this cost on to the customer if they are out of warranty. This is a prevalent issue in my opinion and should be recall territory.
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      03-21-2014, 10:17 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Numa-IV View Post
Over the last 2 months I had my HPFP replaced because it was draining battery after the car was turned off, go figure. The pump felt like it was still injecting fine though. I took my car in again this week due to left muffler rattle. Dealership said they couldn't replicate and I said fine I will come in there this morning and show you what I mean. Needless to say we replicated it and they are replacing the left muffler (the one with the valve) for the second time.

All of that is irrelevant to the thread, however, in the process I met a really cool tech at the dealership. He has worked with BMW for 14 years and since I rarely get the opportunity to talk with these guys I started asking him about the vanos situation as my car is in the affected build range. He said 'yes actually we have been performing a fair amount of these vanos repairs'. That to me means that this issue is almost a matter of when and not a matter of if. I asked him if I should do a preventative repair to 1) potentially save cost of a more expensive future repair and 2) get peace of mind. He said that (and this thread has elaborated on it) I would have to replace the entire vanos assemblies. This goes with the problem above of not being able to replace the individual bolts. So in the end the preventative repair through the dealership would be similar in cost to the full repair in the future if the bolts sheared. We agreed that I should just cross my fingers in the meantime. My warranty ends this June. I can't believe BMW didn't do a recall for this small # of cars. They have decided to pass this cost on to the customer if they are out of warranty. This is a prevalent issue in my opinion and should be recall territory.
Well you could remove the units and replace just the bolts before they break or you could buy completely new units with the "updated" bolts. We don't really know if the new units fixed the problem either. Sometimes it takes a while for the problem to manifest...many thermal cycles of stress. Chances are, any car with the new units probably hasn't had them for a while (whether it be a 2011 car with the repair done or a 2012 car). Although, they very well might have fixed the problem considering the SIB only references pre-2011 motors.

The dealer probably isn't going to do any preventative maintenance like this on their own good will. So you will likely have to pay. And I guarantee that if you pay the dealer to do the repair, they will not be replacing the bolts; they will make you buy the new units (plus a bunch of other shit you don't need like new aluminum bolts).

The cost of the preventative swap at the dealer might be less for the following reasons:

1. They won't have to remove the oil pan to remove the bolt heads.

2. They won't have to possibly remove the cams to find the bolt heads.

3. The motor won't need to possibly be replaced if the sprocket completely comes off.

Everyone should write a letter/contact BMWNA about this. I did. And I wrote about it in my dealer service survey (which no one probably reads).

It's not a complex or expensive repair for BMW to do as a recall. Might be in their best interest to not have literally thousands of their 2011 car's engines exploding on the highway.

They issued a recall/extended warranty on the HPFP for N54 cars because it got so much media coverage.

Someone should talk to their SA and get a quote on how many hours a preventative swap would take. I heard about 3 hours in another thread. Considering that the timing tool can cost over $300, it might be worth it to just pay the dealer like $500 to do the swap.

If it can be done for $1200 all said and done including, I will pay the dealer. Otherwise, I will swap some steel bolts in myself.
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      03-21-2014, 10:34 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unklejoe View Post
Here's my take on the basic procedure required:

1. You need to get the N55 timing tool kit. This includes tools to lock the crank and cams with the motor at top dead center. Also, this includes an alignment tool which you will need when re-installing the VANOS units.

2. Remove valve cover and anything else that is in your way.

3. Lock the crank at TDC by inserting the pin (not quite sure where it goes...somewhere near the trans side of the motor probably). Lock the cams using the tool that comes in the tool kit. It looks like a little bridge thing. Each side will lock on to the cams to prevent them from rotating.

4. Remove the chain tensioner bolt (on the side of the block). This will give you some slack on the chain so you can remove the units.

5. Remove one of the VANOS units by removing the bolt that goes in to the cam. THIS MIGHT BE A REVERSE THREADED BOLT. I am not sure. I would personally buy two new bolts for the VANOS to cam. This way you can test to see if it is reverse threaded before trying to remove.

6. Find a way to secure the chain so that it doesn't fall if possible. Next, either replace the unit or replace the bolts. Repeat for other unit. One at a time.

7. Install tensioner stud (it's basically a bolt that replaces the tensioner and lets you put a preload on the chain).

8. Install alignment piece. This thing has two pins that go in to each trigger wheel on the VANOS unit to allow them to remain aligned while you tighten the bolt. It bolts to the head right in front of the VANOS units. Tighten the VANOS cam bolts.

9. Remove tensioner stud and re-install tensioner.

That's my condensed version. I may have left out some steps but if you are mechanically inclined, you will figure the rest out.

Doesn't seem like a hard procedure in the end. The timing chain on this car is very simple.

I have attached a PDF of the instructions for the timing tool that may help with the procedure.



The 2011 is still a new-ish car. Most of them are just now approaching 50k miles. I bet this will become a more common failure as the cars age. There are probably many 2011 cars with one or two broken bolts driving around with the person being un-aware.

Also, the HPFP issue was never really solved for 2011 and older motors. The 2011 N55 shares the exact same fuel pump design as the N54. The 2012+ N55 has a completely new HPFP design that is driven off of the camshaft (incompatible with our older N55 most likely).

However, there have been many revisions to the HPFP and the failures have been significantly reduced. I would not worry about the fuel pump issue. It's only a couple hundred dollars for the part and the newest revision should last you quite some time.


What I find interesting is that the ECU is able to even pick up on this condition and throw an error code. I am guessing it sees a noisy signal for the camshaft sensor (due to it being attached to the VANOS unit and probably wobbling when the bolts are broken).

It is also interesting that even when all four bolts fail, the sprocket somehow manages to stay on the VANOS unit in many (most) cases. That seems like the ultimate ticking time bomb situation considering if that sprocket were to come off, the motor would be DONE.


Houston, did all 4 of your bolts break?
All four bolts broke!! Thanks for all the info!!
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      03-21-2014, 10:38 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by JETmn View Post
Why would you not take it in to the dealer? You are still under warranty, no?
I wish It was under warranty!! Salvage car!! I buy and sell BMWs!
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      03-21-2014, 10:41 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unklejoe View Post
Well you could remove the units and replace just the bolts before they break or you could buy completely new units with the "updated" bolts. We don't really know if the new units fixed the problem either. Sometimes it takes a while for the problem to manifest...many thermal cycles of stress. Chances are, any car with the new units probably hasn't had them for a while (whether it be a 2011 car with the repair done or a 2012 car). Although, they very well might have fixed the problem considering the SIB only references pre-2011 motors.

The dealer probably isn't going to do any preventative maintenance like this on their own good will. So you will likely have to pay. And I guarantee that if you pay the dealer to do the repair, they will not be replacing the bolts; they will make you buy the new units (plus a bunch of other shit you don't need like new aluminum bolts).

The cost of the preventative swap at the dealer might be less for the following reasons:

1. They won't have to remove the oil pan to remove the bolt heads.

2. They won't have to possibly remove the cams to find the bolt heads.

3. The motor won't need to possibly be replaced if the sprocket completely comes off.

Everyone should write a letter/contact BMWNA about this. I did. And I wrote about it in my dealer service survey (which no one probably reads).

It's not a complex or expensive repair for BMW to do as a recall. Might be in their best interest to not have literally thousands of their 2011 car's engines exploding on the highway.

They issued a recall/extended warranty on the HPFP for N54 cars because it got so much media coverage.

Someone should talk to their SA and get a quote on how many hours a preventative swap would take. I heard about 3 hours in another thread. Considering that the timing tool can cost over $300, it might be worth it to just pay the dealer like $500 to do the swap.

If it can be done for $1200 all said and done including, I will pay the dealer. Otherwise, I will swap some steel bolts in myself.
Yes I agree I could replace just the bolts myself. The dealer will not. They will replace the entire assembly because it comes all as one in terms of part #. I asked about the cost of a preventative vanos replacement. He said it will 'well exceed $1,000'. I think someone on this thread said each assembly is $600-700? And there are 2 of them. Your probably looking at north of $2 grand for the preventative repair through the dealer, if they will even do it on your instruction.
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      03-21-2014, 11:05 AM   #104
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All four bolts broke!! Thanks for all the info!!
No problem man. Thank you for the info. I'm surprised the sprocket didn't come off. Any idea what's holding it on? You think it's just staying on because there really is no force pushing it in that "off" direction? The chain really only pulls on the side of the sprocket so it might be able to stay on. Depends how loose it is I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Numa-IV View Post
Yes I agree I could replace just the bolts myself. The dealer will not. They will replace the entire assembly because it comes all as one in terms of part #. I asked about the cost of a preventative vanos replacement. He said it will 'well exceed $1,000'. I think someone on this thread said each assembly is $600-700? And there are 2 of them. Your probably looking at north of $2 grand for the preventative repair through the dealer, if they will even do it on your instruction.
Damn.

Each unit is about $305 so around $610 total for the parts. This does not include any gaskets or other things you may want to replace while you are in there.
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      03-21-2014, 02:53 PM   #105
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Please take some good pictures of the vanos units while you are in there and see if there is enough room to get a bolt in and out without taking the vanos unit off. If we can swap the bolts without taking the Vanos off this isn't going to be a big deal and will be an easy replacement.
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      03-21-2014, 07:50 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unklejoe View Post

Everyone should write a letter/contact BMWNA about this. I did. And I wrote about it in my dealer service survey (which no one probably reads).
Can you post this letter you wrote and the address you sent it to? If we bombarded them, they may respond...
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      03-23-2014, 02:18 PM   #107
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Can you post this letter you wrote and the address you sent it to? If we bombarded them, they may respond...

File a complaint here:

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/index.xhtml


Mail complaints here:

BMW of North America, LLC
300 Chestnut Ridge Road
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677-7731

If you haven't had the failure yet, mail a letter stating your concerns about safety and how this looks bad and destroys customer confidence. State how there are threads on internet forums popping up about the failures, etc...

I don't expect them to care but it's worth a try. They may issue a recall just to squash the issue since its so small number of cars impacted.
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      03-24-2014, 05:16 AM   #108
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VANOS

I am going to discuss this with a good friend who is an attorney. Perhaps they will respond if a formal complaint is file.
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      03-24-2014, 10:38 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Unklejoe View Post
File a complaint here:
https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/Vehicl...nt/index.xhtml ...
I don't expect them to care but it's worth a try. They may issue a recall just to squash the issue since its so small number of cars impacted.
For Canadians, here is the equivalent link to file a complaint with Transport Canada (Defect Investigations & Recalls Division).
https://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur....aspx?lang=eng

I just filed the following complaint (description must be 1000 characters or less ...):

Im filing this complaint as Im concerned about the safety of my car. There are several public complaints of users risking their lives due to a documented defect with N55 engines produced from 2/2010 to 12/2010. This engine is used in several BMW models, mine included.

One, or both (intake and/or exhaust) of the VANOS gear assemblies have failed; the attaching bolts may have also loosened and/or broken. This has sometimes caused a sudden loss of power, resulting in a potentially dangerous situation, and failure of the engine.

BMW has issued a Service Information bulletin SI B12 14 12 but has not issued a recall to prevent this issue, even if the vehicles are relatively new, and still under base warranty.





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Last edited by dcaron9999; 03-24-2014 at 11:48 AM.
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      03-24-2014, 07:19 PM   #110
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Here's what I wrote them (I expanded on dcaron9999's template) and mailed to BMW NA:

Dear BMW of North America,
I am writing to you as I am concerned about the safety of my car. There are several public complaints of users risking their lives due to a documented defect with N55 engines produced from 2/2010 to 12/2010. This engine is used in several BMW models, mine included.

One, or both (intake and/or exhaust) of the VANOS gear assemblies have failed; the attaching bolts may have also loosened and/or broken. This has sometimes caused a sudden loss of power, resulting in a potentially dangerous situation, and failure of the engine.

BMW has issued a Service Information bulletin SI B12 14 12 but has not issued a recall to prevent this issue, even if the vehicles are relatively new, and still under base warranty.
Due to this issue, I am considering selling my car before I reach the end of my factory warranty, which happens in 6000 miles or 6 months. I love my BMW and love the way it drives but knowing that this is something that could likely happen to my car, I am unfortunately considering on switching brands.
With this issue being as wide spread as it already is, I assume it will only get worse as the mileage on these cars increases and failures happen more and more. Considering that this only affects a relatively small number of cars, a recall seems like it would avoid a potential media nightmare comparable to the high pressure fuel pump issues the N54 engines have/had, which has led to the extended warranties on those.
Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns. My contact information can be found below:
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