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BMW 5-Series Engine Questions

cls1949cls1949 Posts: 8
A good friend leased a new 2007 525 in early Fall last year. A few months later he notice a bad knock in this engine. BMW ended up replacing his engine. My friend now tells me that this is not an isolated incident, and that BMW is trying to keep it quiet. I'm currently looking to replace my 2004 525, and am a bit concerned. Has anyone heard anything, or worse, had a similar situation?
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Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    What is the basis of his claim?

    The engine in the 2007 525i has been on our roads for nearly two years now and I've yet to hear of a single engine failure, err, with the exception of one in your friend's car. Said another way, with the way such news travels around here at Edmunds, consistent engine failures from E90 325i and 325xi and E60 525i and 525xi models would practically be front page news.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • That's been my position. My friend is much more knowledgeable about autos that I'll ever be, so I tend to listen closely when he talks. But I'm not finding any supporting information in the public domain. I thought it might be helpful if I posted this question in a BMW owner's forum.

    He's been told that other engine failures have occured, and have resulted in repairs, replacements and in some cases, the car being bought back by BMW USA.

    I recall BMW having some trouble when they introduced the new 7's.

    For what it's worth, I'm in the Chicago area.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    In the mid 1990s BMW released their first V8 engine (in both the "7" and the "5"), first in Europe, where it was proven to be very reliable, and then here in North America. Funny thing, those engines started dropping like flies once here on our side of the pond. The problem (as I understand it) was traced to the fact that our fuel has (errr, had) far more sulfur, and the sulfur was literally eating away the cylinder walls. BMW stepped up to the plate and replaced virtually all of the affected engines. To the best of my knowledge, no such problem has existed with BMW engines since then.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • The reason I posed this question was because I'm considering a new 530xi, and a friend had to have the engine replaced on his new 2007 525. I heard from my friend today that the replacement engine has developed the same knock. He expects to turn back the car to BMW under Illinois's Lemon law.

    He maintains that his dealer's mechanic, who worked on his car, says other new cars with 6 cylinder engines have come back with problems.

    I'm scared to pursue a new 5 series at this time. I'm still looking for any feedback here. Thanks.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    In the mid 1990s BMW released their first V8 engine...

    :surprise: :surprise: BMW just got a V8 in the mid 90s??? I did not know that. :surprise: That kind of makes me want to rethink wanting a 550i. :(
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I wouldn't worry too much about the current crop of BMW V8s, they've proven to be quite robust. That said, the new 535i is sure to be a blast to drive. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    I'm looking forward to testing a 535i. The 530i was just too slow for my tastes, but the 550i isn't really worth the extra, what, $9,000 over a 530i. Swift-wise, it definitely blows the 530i away, but when it comes down to actual substance...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I made the exact same decision back in 2002 when I opted for my 530i 5-Speed over a 540i 6-Speed. IIRC, including the Gas Guzzler tax that was then levied against the 540i SP models, the difference via the ED program was just over $8,000. That having been said, the 2008 535i 6-Speed should actually be about as quick as the 2002 540i 6-Speed. Geez, cake and being able to eat it too. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • I have had a 530i for a month now. So far, so good. No knocking coming from my engine.
  • I bought my 525 brand new in September 2006 and I have the same problems with the engine. To make the story short they changed the hydraulic shifters and the noise in the engine continues. Now they say they are going to change the engine. I told them I want a new car. This problem with the engine comes from the manufacturer. They are giving me such a hard time.
    Jacques
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    When a new engine will solve the problem, no manufacturer in the world will give you a new car. If nobody else will, why should BMW?

    Fact of life, a certain (small) percentage of new engines fail. Many years ago Toyota decided to stop QC testing their engines at the factory because it was WAY cheaper to replace the odd field failure than to test every engine. To this day that's exactly what they do, a practice that has been adopted by most of the worlds car manufacturers.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • I'm sorry to hear of your problem. My close friend has had similar issues. He got a new engine, which then developed the same problem. His car- a 525 - was leased, and he is trying to get out of the lease. My friend has contacts in the industry and has been told a couple of other Chicago area dealers have had cars with the same engine issue.

    I was interested in replacing my 2004 525 with a new model, but am now looking at alternatives.
  • Fact of life, if you buy new product it is not your problem if its cheaper for them to check every engine. You pay for a product that is in good shape not for something that has been repaired. In that case the price for that repaired product should be another one, much cheaper. Fact of life. Jacques
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Sorry, I don't understand the language of your post.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    I think what he means is that when you're paying for a brand new car, you expect it to be brand new. If you have to get the engine replaced within a few months, you're paying brand new money for a refurbished car.

    There's a lot to be accounted for when it comes to sentimentality. No matter how cheap or expensive a car (or its engine) is, once it has to be replaced, most people will feel like they now have a flaky heap of junk. They'll always wonder when the next thing will go wrong. In the consumer's mind, peace-of-mind is worth diamonds. When that peace-of-mind is compromised, we want to be compensated.
  • I agree. In my friend's case, he was offered a new car.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I disagree. Buying a new car and then driving some number of miles on it means that the owner got use out of the car and that it is no longer new. If the engine (or any other major component for that matter) fails and the manufacturer replaces said engine, the owner is made whole. Taken to an extreme, I’ve been corresponding with the owner of a car built by another marque in the last few days; said car coughed up it's mill at the 30,000 mile mark and the owner felt cheated that only the engine was replaced instead of the whole car. I don't get it, 30,000 miles of service and then the car gets a factory remanufactured engine gets put in, what's not to like?

    Said another way, if the owner of a car that has experienced a catastrophic failure of a major component gets a new car, it's more a matter of good will than anything else.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Look at it this way, shipo. Historically, cars that have had to have their engines replaced are never the same. Growing up, my dad had a couple engines replaced on a couple of cars. The cars were never the same. They didn't drive the same, tended to be very finicky, opened up a host of check engine lights and other electrical glitches, etc. Not to mention the hit it takes for resale/trade-in. Honestly, in your heart of hearts, would you want to buy a car that you know has a remanufactured engine? Most people wouldn't want to buy one, and most people wouldn't want to be stuck with owning one. I sure wouldn't. "What's next" would always be in the back of my mind. The slightest little unusual tick, bump, groan, whatever, would have me on edge and seeing dollar signs tumbling along the ground behind me. :sick:

    That makes for a very unpleasant ownership.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Look at it this way, shipo. Historically, cars that have had to have their engines replaced are never the same. Growing up, my dad had a couple engines replaced on a couple of cars. The cars were never the same. They didn't drive the same, tended to be very finicky, opened up a host of check engine lights and other electrical glitches, etc."

    Sorry, not buying. I've never seen any evidence to suggest that a factory reman engine is anything other than as good as a factory new engine. Other problems? Not buying that either.

    "Not to mention the hit it takes for resale/trade-in. Honestly, in your heart of hearts, would you want to buy a car that you know has a remanufactured engine?"

    A "Factory Remanufactured" engine? I'd buy it in a heartbeat. A "Rebuilt" engine? Probably not. The difference is that the Factory Reman is a known quantity, the Rebuilt is not. That and the fact that there are fewer miles on the engine than on the car means that, to me at least, it's a pretty good deal.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,013
    I don't think a reman engine hurts value unless it is a high performance car like a Viper or Corvette, and then maybe not....but what concerns me with a replacement engine is the trauma the car goes through when you gut it for the new engine. There are lots of wires, connectors, bolts, nuts, clips, etc. This would definitely worry me.

    Regardless of our point of view, on a new car is definitely sucks to have to do this--even if it eventually turns out right. It just sours the experience from the get-go. I'm sure I'd get over it, but I'd grumble.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • I started this topic. I just heard from my friend with the bad engine in his 2007 525. He was just approved to turn his car back in to BMW.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    That's the replacement engine, right? What's the dealership doing for him?

    This should be encouraging to jacquesl.
  • My friend first had his engine replaced. When the same problem came up he went back to the dealer. After some discussions, the dealer, and I suppose BMW and the leasing company, agreed to take the car back. I understand BMW offered my friend some money at the time the replacement engine was installed.

    My friend says he will reconsider BMW in a few years; after they address these reliability issues.
  • It would be interesting to know what's the official answer of BMW Germany about this.
  • sambo49sambo49 Posts: 36
    I leased a 2007 525 xi in november 06. I had noticed the valve noise about 3 to 4 weeks ago but it sounds like it is getting progressively worse. It was very pronounced while warming up the car this morning.

    I started reading the string of email messages by coincidence this evening and am not sure what to do. Is the pronounced valve lifter noise a sign of imminent failure? Should I take the car back to the dealer and ask for repairs or replacement? I would appreciate any information on this topic. Thanks!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Get it to your dealer and make sure it is at the very least noted. If it gets worse, you're going to want it repaired at the very least, beyond that, you and your dealer get to figure out what to do next.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • cls1949cls1949 Posts: 8
    I started this topic. Your problem sounds much like what happened to my close friend. He leased a 525i in early Fall. He told me the knock was noticeable till the car was warmed up. He was offered a repair but declined. He accepted a replacement engine which developed the same problem. After negotiation, BMW accepted the car back.

    I think you need to contact your dealer. According to what I was told, BMW does have a suggested repair. It's worth a try.

    If you want I can put you in touch with my friend.
  • jacquesljacquesl Posts: 5
    In my case they changed the lifters and the noise continued. Now they offered me to change the engine. An expert told me that If I had this problem most probably, all the engines of this lot have the same problem.
  • sambo49sambo49 Posts: 36
    Thanks to everyone that responded to my message. The valve noise seems to have subsided the last coup0le of days, however I will take it to the dealer as suggested.

    Many Thanks!
  • I was just going thru this thread. Now I am wondering if my engine is experiencing the same thing. I have a 530xi wagon with 7000 miles. I bought it last July. For much of the winter the engine has been making a "ticking" sound in the morning when I first start it. It has been very cold here recently and I attributed it to that. Should I be concerned? I just started it now and it is not ticking, but it is warmed up.
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