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BMW N63 Engine Recall? Long term issues?

zimctzimct Posts: 16
edited June 2015 in BMW
I just had my 2011 BMW 550 in for service, and was informed about the N63 "Customer Care Package"...
I call it a major recall !!!
They had my car for 4 days and did significant work with what they call newly designed parts.

Will this just delay the problems, or is this a real fix?

Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    edited June 2015
    That's tough to answer. Skepticism abounds. Some say the problems are being masked rather than solved:

    Why BMW's N63 Engine Eats Batteries

    The N63 Engine Recall...ER...Customer Care Package

  • zimctzimct Posts: 16
    Thank you for the comment!! That's my fear... I have the car on warranty through fall of 2016. I'm not confident to keep it once the warranty expires??? Love the car, one of the best and most fun to drive ever. That said, when the warranty is done, think I'll trade this in...
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,995
    I could type for hours and not fully address all of the issues here. In some of the other topics much has been said about choosing the correct engine oil for a given car and the specs on this engine mean that something that is APPROVED to meet BMW's LL-01 specification is required. There were many dealers who have been using the LL-98 spec product in its place and everyone turned a blind eye to the practice. Both products are excellent choices but the LL-98 is a conventional oil product while to meet the demands of LL-01 a full synthetic (Group IV base stock) must be used. If someone drove the way it was intended, aggressively, then the LL-98 was in fact sufficient, but soccer mom style driving exposed the products weakness.

    What's troubling is if you look up the specs in aftermarket service information it can be very misleading. One source starts off with BMW High Performance Synthetic Oil, 5W30 which would be the LL-01. But then it says Mobil 1 5W30. While that's a great product it is usually going to be dexos approved, which mean it is thinner than a 5W30 that only meets the API and ILSAC specs, while the BMW LL-01 is thicker than the API and ILSAC specs. That means that the service information is wrong and could lead to someone using a product that isn't going to protect that engine, and it's emissions system correctly.

    For example you can find information that states Valvoline Synpower is approved and in fact the MST version of the product is LL-01 approved. Today the most likely Synpower 5W30 that you will find on the store shelves is going to be dexos approved in contradiction to what they said they were going to do back when this article was written. http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/do-i-have-to-use-the-manufacturers-oil.html That means the Synpower 5W30 you are likely to find will be too thin to meet the BMW specification. That's where the 5W40, 0W30 "European Spec." products come in. But even then one must be diligent about checking the approvals for a given product, not just the brand's recommendation.

    The link above about the charging system "only" charging the battery during decal is partially correct. The battery will be accepting a charge anytime the system voltage is higher than it's static voltage. Fuel economy requirements have engineers controlling the charging system output under programs that attempt to measure the batteries state of charge and try to maintain it in the sweet spot between approximately 70% and 90% state of charge. Then as the article reports the system runs cooling fans to drop the under hood temperatures after shut-down putting a drain on the battery. Depending on someone's normal vehicle use (driving habits) if there isn't enough time spent on the highway the battery becomes depleted and ends up staying at a low state of charge which causes it to sulfate. (A sulfated battery occurs when sulfur crystals form in the plates damaging them and weakening the electrolyte.) The AGM battery they are switching to is more resistant to sulfating than previous versions. The electrolyte is "A" absorbed in a "G" glass "M" matting. which makes it a good deep cycle battery. By using a battery that can better tolerate being discharged to approximately a 30% state of charge instead of the 70% and then recharged the tendency for the battery to fail is expected to be corrected.

    BTW the idea of dumping this car once the warranty is up is a win for the manufacturers. Getting a consumer to lose confidence in their present vehicle for what-ever reason means another new one will be sold.....

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Thanks for all this good material----I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion about trading in however. Don't you think that a buyer would think twice about buying another BMW after this debacle? And even if you put the burden for the problems on the dealer, what does that say about dealer competence for this product?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,995
    edited July 2015

    Thanks for all this good material----I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion about trading in however.

    So this BMW owner buys a Mercedes the next time, another buys an Audi etcetera. Meanwhile those companies are seeing owners move from their products to BMW or someone else. The bottom line is they are going to sell cars no matter what gets said about them. The book the E-Myth explains this phenomenon quite nicely.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-E-Myth-Revisited-Small-Businesses/dp/0887307280

    Paraphrased. Any publicity is good even if it is very negative. A short time removed from the most negative publicity possible if a consumer is asked to give a reference between two companies, one that they have heard of even though it's very negative and o ne that they have never heard of, which one do you think get's recommended?


    Don't you think that a buyer would think twice about buying another BMW after this debacle? And even if you put the burden for the problems on the dealer, what does that say about dealer competence for this product?

    Those questions have essentially been answered in the other threads referred to. All of the "expert" advice through the years has often led to consumers making choices based on price over competency and quality first. The dealers and of course independent shops had to deal with the fact that if they took the high road and marketed on quality first they actually lost consumer support while if they gave in and used less expensive products and marketed on price they gained market share. Meanwhile the on-going tendency for original owners to not keep vehicles long term as suggested by the O.P. with the trade in choice rewards not paying as much attention to what are otherwise recognized as critical details.

    The only thing that has really changed as of right now is that thanks to the articles that were presented five to ten years ago still being available is they can now be viewed in hindsight as to what the results of their advice really were. Those articles were usually written in such a way that they allowed for the suggestion that a shop who would only use an approved product for a given vehicle and charge for it correctly were only doing so for an alleged monetary gain. This kind of thing still dominates the information that most consumers are exposed to and is one of the major reasons that it is hard to find qualified techs and it's going to get to be a lot worse before it gets better.

    Lastly I have to wonder what the techs assigned to do this campaign are being paid when compared to what legitimate flat rate times would be for the repair(s). Techs have been left to struggle with that aspect of the career for decades and everyone else turns a cold shoulder to that fact. Typically this will pay between 60%-70% of what the tech would earn for the same job if it was customer pay and that happens under a pay plan that is strangely called "Flat Rate". The tech will be expected to either still flourish with such a production discrepancy or else sell higher profitable services to make up for the poorly compensated work rates. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out what happens to a trade when it is (mis) managed like that.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Maybe chain stores have profited by placing price before quality but I don't think that holds true for independent auto repair. Consumers are not stupid all the time. If you look at say Yelp reviews in my area for specialized repair shops such as BMW or Porsche, or even "type specific" repair shops, like Japanese only, German only, etc, the most expensive shops with the best techs still get the best reviews. Yes, some people are crazy enough to take their 3-4 year old BMW or Porsche to Quickie-Lube or whatever, or Mr. Brakes, but most aren't.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,995
    edited July 2015

    Maybe chain stores have profited by placing price before quality but I don't think that holds true for independent auto repair. Consumers are not stupid all the time. If you look at say Yelp reviews in my area for specialized repair shops

    Yelp? For all of their claims that paying them doesn't influence the quality of the reviews that you find on the site the reality is that if a business doesn't pay them the bad reviews are less likely to be filtered and the good ones are usually deleted while the opposite is true if someone does pay for advertising with them. So far they have managed to win most of the lawsuits filed against them which is more in line with how they word what they claim to do than what is really happening.

    http://nypost.com/2014/10/13/restaurant-fights-yelps-alleged-extortion/

    You'd have to be a member of iATN to read this thread, there are many more like it.

    http://members.iatn.net/forums/search/search.aspx?action=viewthread&m=415754&t=415699&forum=forum15&ft=1&fv=4&qv=1

    In a nutshell Yelp can only subtract from my bottom line as a business, while they cannot (do not) enhance what I can do for my customers in any fashion. Yes I am back open on a limited, referral only basis. I get tired way to easy to put in full days work so I'm limiting what we take in.

    such as BMW or Porsche, or even "type specific" repair shops, like Japanese only, German only, etc, the most expensive shops with the best techs still get the best reviews.

    The only review that my shop has is a very bad one which was written by another shop owner who opened with no prior experience, advertises the cheapest price in town, has been a revolving door for the least experienced techs in the county and can't fix a sandwich. While it's "not recommended" by the site it also isn't going away unless I pay to advertise with them.

    Yes, some people are crazy enough to take their 3-4 year old BMW or Porsche to Quickie-Lube or whatever, or Mr. Brakes, but most aren't.

    For the consumer at large it is information overload and they are not getting to have a clear picture of exactly what is an apples to apples comparison between shops. They have repeatedly been told to ask price first and usually don't know to do anything else. The results of that pricing pressure are visible in every facet if one simply opens their eyes to it.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Glad to hear you are sort of back in business, Doc!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well Doc we'll agree to disagree about Yelp. It's pretty easy to filter out the nutcase complaints and the "stacked" reviews that are phony. I've found Yelp to be extremely good at directing me towards reliable businesses. One problem for shop owners who get bad reviews is that they don't know how to respond to them properly.

    If you see multiple bad reviews on Yelp, with no or belligerent responses from the owner of the business you can almost be certain the public is right.

    If you see 15 good reviews and one bad one, chances are you can at least spend the time to check the place out.

    It's the same with review sites like TripAdvisor. If 200 people love a hotel and 3 rate it terrible, who do you think is right?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,995
    To justify Yelp you write a response that has to include words like if, stacked, phony, nutcase, and then it switches to trying to compare its use to a completely different business such as a hotel. Exactly what is left to disagree about? You won't find any glowing reviews about my shop on that site. You won't find them for dozens of other great shops that I can name from around the country either.

    Now would you be willing to pay for the subscription to them just to see if any good reviews then become visible for my or any one of those other shops that I will give you the information for? I've been marketed to by representatives of that site. I know what they promised me for a fee. If you are willing to put up the $$$$ you too will get to see what happens.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well of course Yelp doesn't review every business on earth. It's just one place to check, along with Angie's List, then you run it by the BBB to see if there is a complaint file. You might also peek at the AAA recommended list.

    You don't need to pay to get reviewed on Yelp.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 120,447
    I have to agree about reviews on Yelp... The bad reviews get buried under "not recommended", if it's a place that advertises on Yelp.

    Yelp is a very useful tool... for restaurants.. lol.

    I'll disagree about all publicity being good.. The unintended acceleration debacle almost killed Audi, even if it wasn't factual.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited July 2015
    I don't much trust Yelp either, although I did help my sister find a good mechanic in VA using Yelp. For food, we use Trip Advisor and Zomato and Yelp, but we take them all with a big grain of salt.

    When someone submits a consumer car or dealer review here, it gets reviewed by a real person. Even then it's hard to spot some of the fake ones.

    Time to write a 550 review @zimct. ;)

    And that "customer care package" language reminds me of what owners used to accuse Honda of doing - rolling in fixes when cars came in for service instead of making the fix a recall or at least a public campaign, with efforts to contact all owners of the affected cars.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Swerving back on topic--I'm not sure this N63 engine issue could have been solved even by the most conscientious dealer. Sometimes automakers just make a mistake and it's hell to get it worked out.
  • zimctzimct Posts: 16
    Hey guys, thanks for all of the great input. I'm just one person, but from my perspective, if I get rid of the BMW, I'll go to a different manufacturer...
    I have had Lexus cars and SUVs for years. The BMW in many ways is superior, but if you don't have confidence in it, it's worth very little. It's very disappointing because this is my first BMW, and it will likely be my last.

    In the end, BMW does not just sell more cars in my case.
    Have a good one, thanks for the help.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    If you are interested in a potential class action suit, save your receipts - the lawyers are all over the TSBs and I assume, the "customer care packages" too.

    (link)
  • About 6 months ago the car started sputtering when you accelerate.
    I found online that you can take your BMW 750LI xdrive in for a customer care package ( They did not call it a recall but a customer care package.) I thought this would correct the problems because they replace some sensors and vacuum hose but the problem is still there.



    BMW did a full diagnostic and said (Remove and replace all injectors (x8), ignition coils (x8),and spark plugs (x8) (During the inspection found the vehicle misfiring) final cost will run $6777.00 my warranty company will refuse to pay because they wanted to know what would you replace all 8 injectors and all of the other parts because all 8 injectors cant be bad. The warranty company think BMW know they have a faulted Injection systems and trying to upgrade and correct the problem at the customer expense. The car burn major oil, BMW claim this is normal.

    I will get a second opinion. This is the worst car I have
    ever own and when you spend a 100,000 on a car you expect to drive it more then 4 years without all of the problems these car has cost us. I thought BMW quality meant something to the company , their name and their customers.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You would not be the first dissatisfied 7 series owner, that's for sure. What year is yours?
  • lsc_123lsc_123 MichiganPosts: 1
    Does anyone have any idea how the retail price will be reflected with a new N69 engine? I own a 2011 BMW 550i xdrive with 105,000 miles and I'm trying to determine what the car would be worth with the new engine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I don't think the value will change, because every car needs an engine. However, it would certainly be a good sales tool for you--meaning you would be more likely to get the higher end of the current value range.

    If, say, you look at all the Porsche Boxsters and 996s that have had new engines installed, due to a known defect in those cars, you'll find that they aren't selling for any more than the ones that didn't manifest the defect in the first place. But you will see, in the adverts, that the sellers are trying to re-assure the potential buyers than the problem won't happen to them.


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