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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 11-14-2012, 09:09 AM   #1
klax
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BMW won't recall defective water pumps (but Toyota will...)

I'm sure this will get moved. Interesting to see how BMW, since 1992 and up through at least the E90 series continues to install a water pump that has an excellent chance of failing between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. Yet, Toyota recalls millions of vehicles built from 2001 for the same reason.

Take note BMW.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #2
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News flash.. bmw really doesnt care much about reliability. At least as a major facet. Sportscars by default are generally more involved to take care of than a family towncar. For toyota it is their livelihood. I personally like cars that are a bit tempermental. Keeps things interesting.

Also bmw has had plenty of warranty extensions, recalls, you're comparing apples and oranges here. I get what you are saying but people have gone well over 100k miles on the originial e46 water pump so. just a mater of looking at the statistics i guess.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:29 AM   #3
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Mine went 148K on the original water pump. Was still working (but I discovered a tiny leak after I took it off) when I replaced it. Same with fuel pump and t-stat.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:45 AM   #4
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water pumps that only make it at a minimum 60,000 miles???

next you're going to tell me that the valve cover gaskets are prone to failure somewhere after 100,000 miles.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:56 AM   #5
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It's just not BMW, many manufactures uses plastic impeller water pumps for cost & weight. VW has the same issues, however, on the 1.8l motor the timing belt drives the water pump. If the pump bearing fails, the timing belt jumps, then you are into at least pulling the cylinder head for bent valves!
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:57 AM   #6
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Toyota is recalling just under 700,000 vehichles for defective water pumps. Don't exaggerate numbers please. The other issue was with the steering shaft. That is pretty serious. They recalled a couple million cars for that one.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:57 AM   #7
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Yea, Toyota > BMW for reliability, anybody who says otherwise is drinking the bmw koolaid.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:27 AM   #8
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700,000 vehicles for defective Toyota water pumps. How many 3 and 5 series have been sold since 1992?
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:33 AM   #9
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and what makes you think that all these water pumps are defective? Because they don't last the life of the car? Find me a pump on a car that does last the life of the car.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:43 AM   #10
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and what makes you think that all these water pumps are defective? Because they don't last the life of the car? Find me a pump on a car that does last the life of the car.
+1

1) BMW water pumps are not "defective" and are not particularly more prone to failure than any other make. Every car uses a water pump. Water pumps use bearings. The life of a bearing is finite regardless of what part of the globe it's from. So take note BMW at what?

2) With the exception of the short-lived 1990s E36 "plastic water impellar" debacle of the 1990s, BMW pumps are excellent and actually superior to many other makes, including many Japanese pumps I've come across. I can't even begin to tell you how many Japanese cars require water pump/cooling jobs before 100k miles. You don't even want to know what a chore of a job a water pump on a Toyota/Honda V6 (or ANY make V6 or even 4 cylinder for that matter) is.

Again, replace your cooling system every 80k miles and you'll never have a problem. If YOU have a problem with that, then you can't afford to be driving any car.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:44 AM   #11
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and what makes you think that all these water pumps are defective? Because they don't last the life of the car? Find me a pump on a car that does last the life of the car.
You my friend are the MAN! I'm making you a UNIFORM RIGHT AWAY!

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Old 11-14-2012, 10:51 AM   #12
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Again, replace your cooling system every 80k miles and you'll never have a problem. If YOU have a problem with that, then you can't afford to be driving any car.
This statement is beyond absurd.

You know how many cars are on the road with over 150k miles are still on their original cooling system? If that were the case, my mom's car will need a new cooling system, my dad's car will need a new cooling system, and my brother's car will need a new cooling system. If I told them all what you said, they'd laugh at me and call me ridiculous.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:07 AM   #13
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Also how many will spend $750+ for a cooling system overhaul on a 10 year old car that cost $18k new??

My 2003 M5 cost over $75k new, so I have no problem spending $ on it as needed.

Heck, I just replaced the timing belt, water pump, all tensioners, idlers, serpentine belt and tensioner, thermostat & new antifreeze on my daughters 2003 VW Beetle, parts only $250.

10 year old water pump was fine when I pulled it.

BTW the only reason Toyota recalled the pumps was due to some safety issue. I have not researched the issue, but likely loss of steering and/or engine cutting out. Toyota did not recall on their own, NHTSA had enough complaints and the numbers determined a recall was needed.

I the E46 was driven like a normal car, the pumps would last even longer, however, we all know what the 20-30 year old male drivers do to their E46! I assume some women even drive them hard!

I would bet the BMW pumps are no worse than most other cars out there, the plastic will not last forever and if you overheat the car for other reasons, change the water pump and auto trans fluid, they do not like the heat!
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:31 AM   #14
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Again, replace your cooling system every 80k miles and you'll never have a problem. If YOU have a problem with that, then you can't afford to be driving any car.
Complete bullshit.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:38 AM   #15
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Tell the new BMW shopper that it is strongly recommded that they completely replace their cooling system at 80,000 miles, better yet put it in the brochure!
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:46 AM   #16
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Tell the new BMW shopper that it is strongly recommded that they completely replace their cooling system at 80,000 miles, better yet put it in the brochure!
I'm sure BMW's sales will skyrocket
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:04 PM   #17
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You my friend are the MAN! I'm making you a UNIFORM RIGHT AWAY!

L, XL, XXL or XXXL??
XL-long, please.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:22 PM   #18
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I replaced my water pump along with the rest of the cooling system at ~185,000km (~114,954 miles). My mechanic confirmed it was the pump that shipped with the car because I wasn't sure since I am the second owner of the car. Although the pump hadn't given me any issues at all till then, it had to be replaced simply because I didn't want to gamble.

Stuff happens, but I'm more than willing to spend a few dollars to keep my car in optimum shape and extend its life.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:46 PM   #19
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Name one person here on this site that has replaced the water pump because it went bad, or the impeller got destroyed. We all do it as preventive maintenance, but I can't recall anyone who has actually seen the pump go bad and then had to replace. OK, well, maybe one, but that is one out of 200,000.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:54 PM   #20
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Name one person here on this site that has replaced the water pump because it went bad, or the impeller got destroyed. We all do it as preventive maintenance, but I can't recall anyone who has actually seen the pump go bad and then had to replace. OK, well, maybe one, but that is one out of 200,000.
I've actually seen a few cases of that happening. It's not exceedingly common, but it can happen. When you've got tons of people with an E46 all with similar products, you can bet that at least a few stories like that are going to happen. It's a numbers game. Quality control is not perfect.

There are few things that will catastrophically fail without warning on the E46. The expansion tank is one of them.

The water pump can catastrophically fail, but it doesn't mean it happens often at all.

The point is, when something is failing, there's a very very high chance that it will exhibit some sort of small failure that will allow you to fix it before it does catastrophically fail.

For water pumps, this is usually leaking, wobbling, or noise. When you see or hear those happening, then you need to replace it. I can go into every part on our car that shows some sort of evidence of failing before finally completely breaking, but that would take up too much time. For example, my rear shocks are leaking. The seals have failed. So what? It's handling just fine. I have lots and lots and lots and lots of time to wait before I can replace them.

Now that I've done my entire cooling system with fresh and updated parts, I am never going to touch it again until anything exhibits any sort of failure, and then replace those parts individually.

Unless I have good reason to replace something, I am going to use all my parts for their intended useful life: AKA, when they show signs of failure.
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