Last post on Oct 04, 2013 at 10:30 PM
You are in the BMW X3 & X5
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BMW X5, Auto Repair, Engine, Oil, Transmission, SUV
#15 of 79 BMW Oil Separator failure in cold weather
Feb 22, 2007 (5:54 pm)
My 2003 X5 with 31,000 miles just broke down on the highway in PA (two weeks after being serviced and coming out of the 4year/50 M warranty). The engine hyrdolocked and would not turnover. When I called roadside assistance, nobody answered the phone to help. The failure was identified as a bad oil separation value. This part was covered under the 2 year extended warranty, but the dealer is requiring I pay $550 to replace all the manifold vent lines, plugs and sensors damaged by oil in the combustion system. They also informed me that can't find any parts and I should expect it to take about two weeks to repair the car. I have called the main office but they claim they can not help. Is this consistent with how others have been treated? Is their any other recourse that can be taken ?
#16 of 79 Re: BMW Oil Separator failure in cold weather [grassosf]
Feb 22, 2007 (6:26 pm)
This is an inherent problem and a faulty BMW design. Once it gets very cold (single digit and below) the moisture in the engine gets frozen and causes oil leaks and a host of other problems. The core problem begins with the moisture build up. It is more of a problem if you drive short distances an the engine do not have sufficient time to get rid of the engine moisture. .....which may have cause my problem three times this season....what a pain. Another hypothsis is that ethanol than is mix into premium gas may contribute to addition moisture in the engine. In my view BMW should pay for your repairs. They have paid for mine, but my car is still under warranty. The service manager that I interact with have suggested that he/BMW is willing to pay for service due to the same issue in the future, even if my warranty runs out. Clearly they know this is a major brand damaging issue. Push back and have them pick up the bill. Good luck.
#17 of 79 Re: BMW Oil Separator failure in cold weather [grassosf]
Feb 23, 2007 (7:27 am)
I called the BMW NA office and was told that nothing could be done for me. I asked that they get me in touch with the BMW NA field rep (they call it an "engineer") to discuss this further. She suggested I call the dealership, which I did and have had noone call from the dealership.
I did find out that this was not a recall issue, even though it certainly qualifies in my uneducated opinion.
Isn't there a governing body that we can call to find out what qualifies as a recall issue?
#18 of 79 BMW X5 Oil Separator = $25,000 Repair
Feb 26, 2007 (6:08 pm)
2003 BMW X5 with 69K miles. 19K out of warranty and no extended warranty.
February 9, I'm driving my usual route to work and the engine hydro-locks and stalls (along with the steering column), before I finally bring it off on a side street to a safe stop.
Car is towed to my usual BMW Certified dealer and is diagnosed with a faulty oil separator, about $1,500. I authorize.
BMW service calls me back two days later to advise that the failed oil separator has resulted in liquid oil breaching the cylinders, blocking combustion, and ultimately caused a crack in the drive shaft i.e. "You need a new engine, about $22,000."
Not sure about post restrictions, so I'll pick up the story in the next one . . .
#19 of 79 $25,000 Repair, continued . . .
Feb 26, 2007 (6:13 pm)
I immediately contact BMWNA National Service who, in a very friendly way, advised that they could do nothing but that I should go through the dealership to contact the field represetnative.
Over two weeks and several conversations, I am advised that the problem is my fault for driving short distances at a time, like when I take the kids to school (I don't have kids) or when I go to the local Starbucks (Okay, I drink Starbucks but the nearest one is about 7 miles away and I always stop on my way to the office, about 20 miles away).
I am told that BMW has no obligation because it is our of warranty and it is not BMW's fault, rather, the government regulations are so stringent on exhaust, BMW has no choice but to design the engine to capture and combust these fumes, etc.
#20 of 79 $25,000 Repair, end of story.
Feb 26, 2007 (6:25 pm)
I would also point out that just 10 weeks prior to this event, the X5 was in for an "Inspection II" where the oil was changed, and all systems were analyzed for parts nearing the end of useful life. I authorized $2 or $3 thousand on that trip to make all recommended replacements.
Doing some poking around at my usual BMW Certified dealership, I learn that FOUR X5's were towed on 2.9.07 for the same problem. Additional X5's were towed after that date, one of which I became aware of when the service tech was conveying how his extended warranty didn't cover this issue. I think it was an attempt to make me feel better that I hadn't wasted the money there.
When all is said and done, I negotiated BMWNA to give me 75% "good-faith" credit on parts, so I'll only be out of pocket about $9,000. ONLY $9,000. The service tech was quick to point out that they will be charging warranty labor rates (BMWNA mandates that they do when BMW is picking up part of the tab so I won't be charged the gouging retail labor rates) and that they are going to waive the charges on the initial work on the oil separator (again, BMWNA mandates and the dealership has contributed nothing out of their pocket).
I particularly liked how the BMWNA field rep was so sincere when he told me how wonderful BMW was for stepping up and showing the "good-faith" on parts.
I don't know who reads these posts and I don't know how easily my registration information could find its way to BMWNA or my local dealership, so I will refrain from any further details until the work is complete and I have the X5 back (to be traded immediately).
I will say, though, in response to the post that inquired about taking some kind of action, there will be more information on this point in the near future. Stay tuned.
#21 of 79 Re: $25,000 Repair, end of story. [bmwnomore]
Feb 26, 2007 (8:26 pm)
Good grief - what a nightmare! Does anyone know whether this is a recent oil separator redesign on BMW's part?
SUVs and Smart Shopper
#22 of 79 Re: $25,000 Repair, end of story. [tidester]
Feb 27, 2007 (7:39 am)
You are living my living nightmare! I too was given the driving habit speech; called BMW who says it "can do nothing"-->call the dealership to wrangle in a field rep. Well the dealership "were you satisfied with your service" person finally called back after 8 days. She will take it through her service mgr., the dealership mgr. to see about getting the rep out...
I did get the impression that the redesign for the oil separator was relatively recent (-1.5 yrs?)
It certainly can't be coincidence that during one of the coldest weeks of the year we ALL had the same problem can it?
#23 of 79 Re: $25,000 Repair, end of story. [dhr48864]
Feb 27, 2007 (9:41 am)
It's not a coincidence at all. One of the things the initial dealership service rep told me was, "this part just isn't designed to handle these kind of temperatures." It was about 5 degrees when this happened.
I am astonished that BMW is clearly aware of this problem and has not instituted a recall. Had I been in a turn or at an intersection when this happened, I would have been powerless to avoid hitting anyting in my path. No warning lights, no visible signs of problems, just a sudden lock and stall on the entire vehicle.
All I would say, DHR, just keep a record of everything and everyone you talk to.
#24 of 79 Re: $25,000 Repair, end of story. [bmwnomore]
Feb 27, 2007 (9:52 am)
Thanks, and I am keeping track of time, person and comments. I also did not have the indicator light come on and when I told the dealership this, there was no response to it. I too am looking at other vehicles right now. In cold weather, my locks (interior door)freeze and so do the door handles. I have to do multiple lock/unlock sequences to have them all open. The cloth on the covers between the front door and the windshill have puckered since the 3rd year and again, no response. I'm very unimpressed with the service I'm receiving as a faithful customer with an older (2001) vehicle.