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Old 01-19-2004, 10:39 PM   #1
vlside
 
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Please help...bent valve+BMW screwing me!!

I know this is going to be a long post, but please read on because I really need any help I can get. To summarize, I bent a valve (perhaps damaged pistons and other internals) on my 2001 M3 and BMW said they will not cover it under warranty because they are saying itís my fault, whereas, I strongly believe it is not. I have no idea what to do now because they are saying it will cost me over $10,000 to fix my car and I donít think I should pay anything.

The long version: On Friday Jan 2, 2004, I was driving on the highway going about 55mph in 6th gear in the slow lane about 2 miles from my exit. My car was running perfectly normal until I hear a quick hissing sound from my engine. It sounded like pressure or air releasing and lasted a brief second. Immediately after, my check engine light came on and 2 seconds later, my engine died. There I am, cruising on the freeway at 55mph with my engine off. I put my car into neutral and tried starting my car again. It started but died about 10 seconds later. By now, I knew something was seriously wrong. I left the engine off and was able to cruise off the freeway and exit.
I pulled to the side of the freeway and tried starting the car again. It started and ran really bad. I could hear the engine grumbling and the entire car shaked. It stayed on for about 10 seconds and died. I tried again and the same thing happened. Of course, I knew I wouldnít be able to drive the car anywhere so I called BMW to have the car towed to the BMW dealer.
Monday 1/5, the service advisor from the BMW dealer called me and told me I had a bent valve. My response was okay, now how long will it take for you guys to fix it. She said there was a problem with that. There was only a 50/50 percent chance that it will be covered under warranty. She said that many times this happens because of an engine over-rev and that she will have to send the M3 computer to BMW to get the DME report. This is when I started getting angry. She was basically saying that I could have caused the problem, but she told me this was the standard procedure. I asked her then, if I did not over-rev when the incident occurred, will the report show it. Her answer was yes. I asked her if this was related to all those blown engines on M3s and she said that was different.
Sidenote: For those of you who donít know it, the M3 computer tracks the RPM of the engine. From what she told me up to this point, I got the understanding that it tracks it each moment but I now understand that it only gives the highest RPM ever on the engine. I have since read on the forums about bent valves and blown engines and it seems like they usually occur from misshifts (going from 3rd to 2nd instead of 4th for example) or what is called money shifts. I know some of you are thinking this is what happened in my case and that I want to lie to the dealer. But the reason I am asking for your help is because this did not happen. I was just driving in 6th gear at normal highway speeds and I feel BMW is screwing me.
To continue the story, the service writer calls me the next Monday and says she has the report back and tells my that she has bad news. She said the report shows that the highest the RPM reached was 8150 and because of this, it will not be covered under warranty. I asked her if the computer tells you this was the RPM the moment the incident the occurred. She said no, the report is not able to tell you that. So I said, so that could have been the moment it was pulled of the lot 3 years ago when purchased or anytime in between. She said yes. Now, am I the only to see something wrong with this? The 8150 RPM could have been months or years ago, yet they are saying that because the RPM was ever that high, it is my fault. She basically told me, it must have not happened a long time ago because the car would have driven really bad and I would have definitely noticed it. Therefore, the over-rev must have happened the second the problem occurred.
I began getting really angry and told her this was definitely not right. All she could tell me is that it was not their decision and that it was BMWís and I needed to contact them if I had a problem with this. I asked if she could find out when a BMW rep will be at the dealer so I could talk to him, since according to her, it was out of the dealers hands. She calls me back the next day and says that two separate BMW reps/technicians looked and my vehicle and they both said it must have been driver error and they will not cover it. The BMW reps told her to tell me that if I have any problems to call BMW directly and she gave an 800 number. I never would have expected this kind of service from BMW but what other option did I have.
The following day, on 1/12, before I had a chance to call BMW, the service writer from the dealer calls me back and tells me I have one last option. They can take off the cylinder head and examine the internals to see if it was in fact caused by a misshift. However, there is a catch. If BMW determines that the engine failed on its own, they will cover it. However, if BMW still determines they still believe it is driver error, they will charge me $2600 for the inspection (this is just to take the head off and to put it back on, without fixing anything). Now again, does this sound right to you?
Hereís my thinking? If there is something further they can do to see if it was driver error, shouldínt they do it before concluding that it is my fault. The are basically ASSUMING that it was driver error because the damage is usually caused by that. BMW does not have any conclusive evidence that it was my fault. In fact, there is actually something the can do (take off the cylinder head) to show that it was my fault but they are not willing to do it. They want me to take a $2600 gamble to prove that I was not at fault and that I did not misshift. Now, based on what has happened, I would be stupid to agree. The worse case scenario would be to agree and have them take off the cylinder head only to have them say it is still my fault and be charged $2600.
I called the 800 number to BMW on Thursday to tell them to situation. They said they will contact the dealer, find out what is going on, and contact me within 48 hours. I have since heard from them and am still waiting.
Just to let you know, I asked the dealer what needed to be done to fix my car. She said it probably needs a new engine and for just the engine, its $5800. That does not include all the other parts and labor. All together, it will be well over $10000 to fix.
You can only imagine the anger and disappointment I have with BMW right now. Not only has my M3 broken down, but I feel like I have been extremely mistreated by BMW. You think you pay more for a quality product and good service but I have no proof of that right now. It is basically coming down to my word (that I did not misshift) versus their word (that I did).
I need your help. What do I do? I donít want to get lawyers involved but I will if I have to. Is what they are saying technically correct? What more can I say to them. I donít think they really care about making a customer happy when they are looking at a $10000 loss. What can I do legally? How much will it cost? Please help with anything, especially if youíve experienced something like this before.
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Old 01-19-2004, 10:54 PM   #2
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What damage did they find after removing the head? There are 2 likely modes of failure for your S54 motor. If there is evidence of valve contact on the piston, you over reved the car so you get to buy a new motor. If the short block failed due to oiling or bearing issues, you get a new motor for free. Check out the M3 engine failure page for more info: http://members.roadfly.com/jason/m3engines.htm

Go to the shop with a camera to take pictures of whatever they find.




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Old 01-19-2004, 10:54 PM   #3
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I am not sure what else you can do but wait for the dealer's response...one question tho...can insurance perhaps cover it if BMW refuses to?
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamdfl
What damage did they find after removing the head? There are 2 likely modes of failure for your S54 motor. If there is evidence of valve contact on the piston, you over reved the car so you get to buy a new motor. If the short block failed due to oiling or bearing issues, you get a new motor for free. Check out the M3 engine failure page for more info: http://members.roadfly.com/jason/m3engines.htm

Go to the shop with a camera to take pictures of whatever they find.




Ed
teamdfl...Thanks for the help. I will look at the page. I have not given BMW authorization to take off the head because I don't want to risk paying $2600 for them to still possibly say it was might fault. Is there anything else I can do to show that I did not over-rev?
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:49 PM   #5
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can you try different dealership and see what they tell you ?
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Old 01-19-2004, 11:52 PM   #6
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Hey, what is the redline of the M3 engine? I thought it redlined around 8200 rpm. I just looked at a photo on the BMWUSA website and it showed the redline north of 8000. If this is correct then there is no way 8150 rpms bent a valve. You would have to go past redline by at least a few hundred rpms to bend a valve.
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:01 AM   #7
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yeah bending a valve at 8150 is bullsh1t

pull out your lawyer

i'm actually getting quite sick of hearing this crap about bmw lately
i'm just glad i know the SA and SM at my dealership personally.
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:04 AM   #8
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you can remove the oil pan and check to see if the bearings are shot or to see what kind of drebis you find in the oil. this can tell you closer to what kind of failure it is and its probably gonna cost you about 300 dollars. If the car is not under factory warranty why not try an independent shop I bet you can do the whole job for about 7000 compared to 10000. Plus I know a shop here in SD who has a brand new motor for sale and they want 4000 compared to the 5800 BMW wants and I bet they are negotiable so If you are interested let me know and I will talk to them for you. Good luck bro and post whatever results come about.
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower619
you can remove the oil pan and check to see if the bearings are shot or to see what kind of drebis you find in the oil. this can tell you closer to what kind of failure it is and its probably gonna cost you about 300 dollars. If the car is not under factory warranty why not try an independent shop I bet you can do the whole job for about 7000 compared to 10000. Plus I know a shop here in SD who has a brand new motor for sale and they want 4000 compared to the 5800 BMW wants and I bet they are negotiable so If you are interested let me know and I will talk to them for you. Good luck bro and post whatever results come about.
Yes, I agree 100%. Go to an independent shop that specializes in BMW's to verify the dealership's "findings". I am sure they are trying to BS their way out of this one as well....
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Old 01-20-2004, 05:14 AM   #10
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I'd stress the fact that since BMW set the redline at 8000rpms, an extra 150 rpms will not do crap to fuk up the engine.

Also, I'd try asking them to show proof that the extra 150rpms did fuk up the motor OR they might even be screwing with you and you did NOT even rev up to there.

Last edited by TeKNiC330; 01-20-2004 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 01-20-2004, 08:35 AM   #11
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You may have to go the legal route. For one, doesnt dinan raise the rev limit to 8150 (not that rev would cause valve/piston contact) Secondly, when you money shift, you would most likely bend most of the valves, not simply one valve. Its a shame you have to go through this, I wish you the best of luck with it.
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Old 01-20-2004, 09:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlside
To continue the story, the service writer calls me the next Monday and says she has the report back and tells my that she has bad news. She said the report shows that the highest the RPM reached was 8150 and because of this, it will not be covered under warranty. I asked her if the computer tells you this was the RPM the moment the incident the occurred. She said no, the report is not able to tell you that. So I said, so that could have been the moment it was pulled of the lot 3 years ago when purchased or anytime in between. She said yes. Now, am I the only to see something wrong with this?
What is "redline" on the M3 engine?
If redline is 8000 rpm, then where does the rev limiter kick in?

If they say the "highest" your engine has been is 8150rpm, then where is the "MECHANICAL overrev" that you caused? It seems as though what they see in your DME is the fact that you probably redlined your engine. SO?
How many M3 owners have NEVER redlined their engines?

Also, what sounds fishy to me is that she is saying you would have to get a NEW engine just because of a bent valve! That is the most assanine thing I've ever heard. If you have a bent valve then you'll need some work but you sure as hell don't need a new engine. It will also depend on the damage caused to the piston top when it met the valve, if it ever did.

In a mechanical over rev, the engine revs would be extremely high.
Imagine if you were in 3rd at redline and you shifted to 2nd instead of 4th.
How many RPMS do you think the engine would actually spin?

What they are "seeing" is that your engine has been to 8150 rpm in an engine who's redline is 8000rpm? Sounds like a far cry from an actual mechanical over rev.

When you spoke with BMW directly, did you actually ask them if BMW did indeed have your engines computer? Why would BMW need to talk with your dealership again, if it was in fact BMW that made the call on your engine?

TT

Last edited by SST; 01-20-2004 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 01-20-2004, 10:15 AM   #13
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Old 01-20-2004, 10:24 AM   #14
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Set the car on fire!! Is it possible that the variable valve timing could be screwed up for that particular cylinder?
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Old 01-20-2004, 10:59 AM   #15
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Can you try a different dealer? Are these the guys you bought your car from? Definitely keep BMW NA involved in this. Maybe it's worth the gamble and have them take the head off? You know it wasn't your fault and you know the engine wasn't over revved so you shouldn't be worried about what they find. Maybe BMW can send down a rep to oversee it? This is I'd be fuming. Good luck to you bro.
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Old 01-20-2004, 11:58 AM   #16
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1. You do not have to pay them the $2600 for inspection. Did you sign any contract that said are willing to pay for their services? No. You simply told them to find what was wrong, and that it was under warranty. You signed nothing, and thus they cannot hold you to it. I was in the same thing for my BMW problem.

2. I have the same ****ing problem!!!!!!!!!! I was parked and when I started the car, the check engine light came on instantly. I quickly drove it to BMW, and they reprogrammed the car. I got the car back, and it ****ed up again, and then I brought it back. They told me it was my fuel filter. So again, I changed the filter. Still the problem. Now I had it checked and the valves are bent!!!!!!!

**** bmw. Last bmw I will ever buy. Their quality lacks, and their warranty is a joke.

Its the same for their lousy control arms. Everyone knows the BMW 3 series control arms are **** and break on their own, but BMW (with the snob mentality) won't admit to it.

I have no more respect for BMW. And like I said, I'm going to move into other cars such as a Benz or Porsche from now on. BMW just lost me as a potential long term client.
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:00 PM   #17
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By the way, if you have to get the work done, get it done by a independent mechanic.

BMW charges $100/hr, and they won't warranty the engine work. So what's the point? Any good mechanic will charge half the price, and do the same work.
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:02 PM   #18
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Keep in mind that you now have a bent valve for no reason. Meaning, the issue isn't your driving, it's a part in your car that ****ed up. So even if you fix/replace the valve, are you going to trust that it doesn't happen again? Nope. And you think BMW will say "Oh ok, we'll warranty it this time". Nope.

This is why you need a entire new engine. The same stage I'm at right now.
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:06 PM   #19
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and for all you guys saying to get a lawyer, this is the route I had to go with. But even then, I won't get a "settlement hearing" till at least March, and won't goto court for another 10 months.

In the meantime, I have to fix/replace it myself. So this is why I have to get a new engine.

What's it cost for a new 330ci engine, anyone know?
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Old 01-20-2004, 12:18 PM   #20
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Thats great. So now I have to worry about one of my valves bending for no apparent reason and then having my dealership accuse me of overevving my motor. This definitely makes me want to re-consider purchasing an E90 when they come out. I really hope BMW NA comes through for you on this one.
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