Last post on Nov 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Sedan
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Jan 08, 2009 (7:18 pm)
I have a 2001 325i (130K miles). Oil Separator failed and it's going to cost me $1900. Yes, it was cold outside when it occurred. Apparently, the problem arises more often in cold climate areas.
BMWNA have gotten back to me and told me that there is nothing they can do for me. It's out of warranty. No goodwill, no sharing of costs,"sorry you're on your own".
I have been researching oil separator and BMW on the internet and apparently this seems to be a very popular reocurring problem.
Any sugggestions on what my next step should be? I feel that with all of the news around this issue, and what seems to be poorly manufactured/designed part, that something should be done to have BMW take on some responsibility.
Looking for help.
#4082 of 5378 Re: Not Pleased at all [montrealer1]
Jan 08, 2009 (8:30 pm)
Is that the dealer price? Try a good independent BMW tech.
#4083 of 5378 Re: Not Pleased at all [montrealer1]
Jan 09, 2009 (5:48 am)
We had the exact same issue with our 2001 330i (100,000 and out of warranty). Our estimate was $1600 (we live in Omaha, Nebraska).
I called BMWNA and told them this was a common problem that may be the result of an engineering flaw. The rep said, "these things usually stop here", meaning they would not help me. The next day he called back and said they would look into it and I was very surprised. They covered $1100. (see message 4068, in this message I was the mistaken about how much they covered, it was $1100 and not $900).
We have had several major repairs done with the dealer and all other repairs but oil changes (that was a bad idea=new oil pan twice, but that is another story). We also bought the car as certified used at the dealer. I am not sure if this had anything to do with the outcome.
I hope this is of some help and best of luck.
#4084 of 5378 Re: Update: oil separator issue [jetzzs]
Jan 09, 2009 (6:41 am)
I think the key for you is they treated you well is that you gave BMW (and its dealership) business other than the sale.
I am not saying you should always use dealership, but when you do and something outside of warranty occurs. Dealership and Manufacturer tend to take care of you.
#4085 of 5378 Re: Not Pleased at all [montrealer1]
Jan 09, 2009 (7:59 am)
not sure why someone should be so disappointed that they have a major repair on a vehicle with 130K miles. Hell, my '93 mazda developed a cracked head at 118k miles, yet I never complained once about it nor has it soured me on mazdas in the least. I put $4k into repairing my volvo before it reached 115k miles (and that was just parts, as I did the work myself), yet I still love volvos and would buy another one in a heartbeat.
ya know, there are engines and transmissions out there that don't last 130k miles. Everything fails eventually. Doesn't mean they are poorly manufactured/designed (ok, maybe some), and it certainly doesn't mean the manufacturer should be held liable.
#4086 of 5378 Re: Not Pleased at all [qbrozen]
Jan 09, 2009 (9:34 am)
I disagree that a cracked head at 118k miles is within what would be considered a "normal" repair. A cracked or leaking head gasket - yes, but not a head.
I had an 82 Mazda '626 that needed a new head gasket every 55,000 miles or so. After letting the stealer do the first one, I did the second myself (actually let my two sons have at it). Yes, that experienced soured me on Mazdas.
My '87 BMW with 188,000 miles is still on the original clutch and no tranny work. I'll have to check my records (it was bought used with 125,000 miles on it), but I don't think the head has ever been touched. Heck, even my Dodge Caravan went for 174,000 miles without having any major engine problems. That's what I consider the norm for today's engines, not cracked heads at 118,000 miles.
#4087 of 5378 Re: Not Pleased at all [srs_49]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Jan 09, 2009 (9:40 am)
Actually 80s BMWs were known for cracked heads in the 3 series, so consider yourself fortunate (unless someone put one on before you bought it).
130K is a lot of miles and may well be beyond any "goodwill" gestures from BMW. I mean, think of all the other parts that might normally fail at 130K on any car in the world. When do we stop our expectations as an owner? 150K? 200K?
If you were a good customer at one dealership, and if that dealership is a favored one by BMW, and if the dealer has discretionary monies given it by BMW for these goodwill things, well fine.
But if you are in a situation of having a high mileage car and no particular relationship with a dealer, I don't see where you can expect very much.
#4088 of 5378 Re: Not Pleased at all [srs_49]
Jan 09, 2009 (10:31 am)
I disagree that a cracked head at 118k miles is within what would be considered a "normal" repair.
I didn't say it was normal. But I don't consider it unacceptable, either. My personal view on cars is that once I pass 80k miles, all bets are off. Its nice when it goes longer without major repairs, but I certainly don't expect it to.
#4089 of 5378 Automatic transmission on 96 320iT?
Jan 10, 2009 (12:57 pm)
Long story, but I'm thinking of trying to swap a 1996 520i Touring five speed for a 1996 320i Touring automatic (both German specs). My biggest concerns are the overall reliability of the automatic versus manual transmission, and the degraded handling/control in the winter as I drive daily through a pass that can get sketchy in the snow (and we take frequent snowboarding trips to Austria).
Any thoughts on these two issues or other general comparisons would be great.
#4090 of 5378 Re: Not Pleased at all [jetzzs]
Jan 10, 2009 (1:44 pm)
Appreciate everyone's comments.
I guess my frustration stems from the many examples that I am hearing/reading regarding BMW and oil separators. I know wear/tear repairs become prominent as you get beyond the 100K mark. I accept this.
However, the impression that I have is that there is an issue (again from reading other forums, blogs, etc.)with BMW's oil separator, especially in cold weather climates (regardless of mileage).
In my particular case, my garage door spring broke, which forced me to park my 325 outside while waiting for the door to get repaired. Over the course of 3 days, the oil separator valve(?) froze from condensation build up (this is what I was told). 5 minutes into my drive, engine started to smoke from oil spraying everywhere.
Repairs include replace oil separator, dipstick, vavle cover gaskets & seals.
So, if this is a case of "just an old BMW" wearing. OK, I'll keep quiet and move on. However I will say that I bought a BMW because I thought I would get more than 130K out of my investment.
But if this failure is becoming prevalent in the BMW community (and is getting more awareness because of the advantages of the internet and sharing like this forum), then I am one more data point that needs to be added to the many, potentially more.