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BMW 3-Series Maintenance and Repair

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,259
    Very interesting. I have never ever seen an engine oil-lock. I never thought it possible. That would require a substantial amount of oil injected in a very very short time. What a ghastly experience.

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  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Would it take all that much oil (or any other fluid, for that matter), to hydro lock an engine? You would only need a bit more than the volume at the top of the cylinder when the piston is near TDC, wouldn't you?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,259
    edited February 2012
    Yes true, it would have to be enough to bend a connecting rod---but still, the engine is spinning really fast and burning lots of oil, so the volume of oil that would have to be injected must be enormous.

    When a car hydro-locks from hitting a puddle or creek, that's gallons of water all at once going into the air intake.

    I'm wondering if they aren't mistaking oil starvation for hydro-locking. Unless all the connecting rods were bent, I'd tend to doubt it.

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  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    My car has 66K and I have extended warranty and extended free maintenance.
    I was driving on a highway. I gave the car a little bit more gas but it couldn't pass 4000rpm. It didn't shift either. I tried that again the next day. I felt vibration from the whole car and then the "Service Engine Soon" came on.

    I took the car to the dealer and they told me they needed to replace a bad ignition coil spring (warranty). They told me they need to clean each cylinder for excessive carbon deposit. The job would take 4-5 hours and they wanted more than $500! (not included in the warranty or free maintenance program).

    They told me it was the design of the direct injection system and it's unavoidable. My Audi has Direct Injection but it doesn't have this problem! I always put Mobil & Shell Premium gas into my cars....

    I think I have no choice but pay them....
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,934
    of course you have a choice. At minimum, get a 2nd opinion. Especially if it was not having symptoms before.

    So, why not get the coil issue fixed, and see what that does? 66K is awfully early to have carbon issues, when you always use tier 1 gas.

    Can also try a bottle of techron fuel system cleaner.

    also, I am not a mechanic, but what the heck are they going to do to clean each cylinder? Certainly not taking the heads off. As far as I know any cleaning they do would involve cleaners, not dismantling

    You can also ask for exactly what they are going to do for 5 hours.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    They told me something was misfired. They told me they would replace the bad ignition coil spring.
    They highly recommended to do the cleaning. They told me they would take each cylinder out for cleaning. That's why they need 4-5 hours. They said the fuel injection cleaner might help but not that much.
    I asked for the worse case scenario. They said the performance would be reduced and the the car might not moved, just liked somebody who cannot breath. BTW, mine is a 335i.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,801
    Have them fix the coil.. This problem came on suddenly, right? That points to a part that has failed (the coil?), not the build-up of a problem over time..

    Then, if it turns out the cylinders need cleaning, find someone to do it cheaper...

    It sucks that they are trying to upsell you on a warranty repair..

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    edited February 2012
    My Audi has Direct Injection but it doesn't have this problem!

    Want to bet? Google "Audi FSI intake valve deposits" and you'll get over 5,000 hits. Virtually EVERY DI car has a problem with deposits on the intake valves and ports because the fuel is sprayed into the cylinder- there is no fuel spray to assist in keeping the intake valves and ports clean. I have a Mazdaspeed 3 with DI, and it too has deposits. BG has an intake cleaning system that claims to be able to remove the deposits, but I haven't heard from anyone who has used it.
    In any case, I'm virtually certain that my next car won't have a DI engine.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,520
    edited February 2012
    roadburner is right in that this is inherent with a DI engine. And Audi absolutely has it because my GTI had it.

    He is potentially wrong, however, that his next car won't have it (unless buying used). The use of DI will be widespread very shortly thanks to its increased fuel efficiency.

    If they are cleaning it properly, they are removing the head. Although I doubt they are doing that for $500. Also as RB said, there are cleaners out there you can try. It is more of a preventive thing, however, as I've read several reports indicating that the cleaners don't do much after too much buildup has occured.

    So, yes, it is a maintenance item with a DI engine. Personally, I'll be cleaning mine myself. And I have nothing against DI engines for it. I accept the maintenance in exchange for the increased power and efficiency.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    edited February 2012
    Thanks all. I saw that Audi RS4 Carbon Deposit issue article. That's why I expected my Audi would have this problem soon than the Bimmer.
    I heard we cannot "baby" cars with DI. From time to time, we need to drive them hard. Not sure if it is true.
    I probably write a letter to BMW with copies of various complaints from BMW owners. They should include the service as warranty or free maintenance work. They may ignore me...Let's see.
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    I would support the idea to get the coil replaced under warranty. Then use techron for two tanks of gas driving the car hard. If that still doesn't cure the problem, find an indie and get that taken care of. It is certainly worthwhile to spend 20 bucks to see if Techron works for you.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,520
    techron? As in the stuff that goes in the gas tank? If that's what you mean, it won't do anything. Fuel never touches the intake ports, which is where the carbon buildup happens, so no fuel additive is going to help.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • 80K on my '04 325i. Dealer quoted $545 to repair...is this something that I can research pricing thru a indie or just a good suspension/alignment provider? And how can I locate a good indie in my area?
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Fuel never touches the intake ports

    OK

    ...which is where the carbon buildup happens

    So then, where does the carbon come from? I thought carbon was a byproduct of the combustion process that, over time, could build up on the seating surfaces of the valves?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    Dealer quoted $545 to repair

    I'd say that's high considering that Lemforder LCABs go for $89.95/pr. and BMW LCABS are 149.95/pr.

    is this something that I can research pricing thru a indie or just a good suspension/alignment provider?

    A good BMW indie shop would be my choice.

    And how can I locate a good indie in my area?

    Easy- go to bimrs.org">link title

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    Dealer quoted $545 to repair

    I'd say that's high considering that Lemforder LCABs go for $89.95/pr. and BMW LCABS are 149.95/pr.

    is this something that I can research pricing thru a indie or just a good suspension/alignment provider?

    A good BMW indie shop would be my choice.

    And how can I locate a good indie in my area?

    Easy- go to bimrs.org

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    So then, where does the carbon come from?

    It's the oily mist/gunk coming from the PCV system.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • OK guys - sorry I went silent... the car's been in an experienced shop for the last week and a half... Runs like the beast that is now... just pure power.

    Her's what happened. My original ambitious yet young and inexperienced mechanic seems to have been in over his head. The car has an aftermarket supercharger kit from Active Autowerke. The vacuum fittings for this were incorrectly replaced after he had chased down an oil leak for me. The new shop, Steve's European in Waterford, MI were experienced with the supercharger kit and called Active to help the diagnosis and get the routing correct. The vacuum lines were essentially messed up enough that oil was being pumped into the intake and when enough was available and boost was just right, it pumped it into the cyliders. Eventially, there was a continuous strean of oil being pumped into the chambers that I was going through 1 quart / 50 miles... and then the plugs fouled.

    The plugs used by my first mechanic were stock plugs and Active has different plugs spec'd for the supercharger kit.

    The new mechanic re-plumbed all vacuum lines (a real snake-pit) and smoke tested the intake system. The vacuum issue also cause dthe head gasket to blow-through the rear corner due to back pressure generated so they replaced this.

    So - out the door at the new shop $2,600 + $300 for a rental car and the car runs great. I consider this an investment into a long a healthy relationship... I hope my wife agrees! Now my only dilemma is how to explain to the first mechanic that in large part, his inexperienced ambition cost me some real cash. Fortunately I still owe him for the majority of the work he did that caused the problem. I won't stick him with the whole bill, I'll cover any cash he layed out for parts but I'm hoping he'll see the error of his ways and negotiate down the original bill to help cover the cost of getting the car back on the road.

    All in all - I feel fortunate to have found the new mechanic, not have it be the head or anything of significant mechanical damage to the engine. All cylinders measure 180 psi on compression testing and the new mechanic says it is one sweet ride.

    Thank to the several of you, Mr. Shiftright, Roadburner, busiris, and the others who helped along the way. I know you enjoy being part of the forum and I want you to know that for non-mechanics, you are a tremendous resource. I appreciated your hlep on this situation and hope I can return the favor sometime.

    Thanks Guys! Mark
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,259
    Who knows...we might have done even better with an actual car in front of us! :P

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  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,288
    edited February 2012
    Thanks for posting the outcome. Good to hear how these things turn out. Also sounds like you're willing to cut the moron inexperienced person who screwed it up in the first place a decent deal -- you're a reasonable guy.

    Good luck with your car and your newly-found shop!
  • After much research and reading decided to step into a 2011 335i sedan M sport package, Harman Kardon, Navigation, Heated front seats, Premium Package, Sirius satellite radio, etc, etc, etc....MSRP $54,500

    I've only owned Japanese cars and trucks because I beleive in reliability and these vehicles never rank well.

    The 335i runs fantastic and blows away most sedans gives most sports cars a run for the money. Options drive the price up quickly and the fact that you have to purchase the leather interior is just plain tacky in this price range.

    The vehicle just had an engine malfunction light turn on while on the freeway with the family! The car has 11,112 miles on it. Any other owner comments or similar experiences?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,308
    You're well within the warranty period. Take it to the dealership and see what they say.

    It could be anything. The dealer has the equipment to read the codes for the fault.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,520
    edited February 2012
    as I believe we projected (collectively, anyway). oil AND a blown head gasket. definitely explains it all.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,520
    edited February 2012
    what is an engine malfunction light? If you mean the check engine light, it actually has nothing to do with the engine these days. If you look in your owner's manual, and it is the light I think it is, it will tell you it is not urgent and just to take it in when you can. It may even go out on its own before then. It is simply an emissions-related malfunction that may or may not have been a temporary glitch, such as the gas cap not being completely tightened.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,801
    Most of the time that my car tells me there is a problem.... it's a bad sensor, and there actually is no problem...

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,259
    every BMW should have an engine light reset button on the dash, for all the false warnings they give. My MINI (BMW born and built) gives me stored codes at every oil change and there's simply nothing wrong.

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    Now my only dilemma is how to explain to the first mechanic that in large part, his inexperienced ambition cost me some real cash. Fortunately I still owe him for the majority of the work he did that caused the problem. I won't stick him with the whole bill, I'll cover any cash he layed out for parts but I'm hoping he'll see the error of his ways and negotiate down the original bill to help cover the cost of getting the car back on the road.

    He'd better; you essentially paid him to learn how NOT to work on BMWs. I'm glad you were able to finally get the problem resolved.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    I've only owned Japanese cars and trucks because I beleive in reliability

    You mean like my Japanese SUV that required a new head gasket at 60,000 miles?
    Or perhaps you were referring to my Japanese daily driver, which set more fault codes in 60,000 miles than my last three BMWs(which have/had a combined mileage of 380,000 miles).

    The vehicle just had an engine malfunction light turn on while on the freeway with the family! The car has 11,112 miles on it. Any other owner comments or similar experiences?

    As gbrozen pointed out, all you are dealing with is a CEL(Check Engine Light). It could be something as simple as a loose fuel filler cap. You have a warranty(and you should also have access to a BMW loaner), so just take it to the dealer.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

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