Last post on Oct 04, 2013 at 10:30 PM
You are in the BMW X3 & X5
What is this discussion about?
BMW X5, Auto Repair, Engine, Oil, Transmission, SUV
#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.
#25 of 79 Re: $25,000 Repair, end of story. [dhr48864]
Mar 06, 2007 (3:37 pm)
Lead off on a different but related thread. '05 X3 2.5 liter gas in Alaska, wouldn't start at -27F, on board computer recorded date, time, and temp when problem occurred, dealer said it was a crank sensor(tells plugs when to fire), replaced when part arrived, no further problems to date (it's been -15F a couple of days but not down to -27) will see how it goes. I also have an intermittent engine whistle when it's cold usually around 2200RPM but today also around 1900RPM (at -15F). I think it may be related to the VANOS system. I told the dealer about the problem last year when it happened, they said they weren't aware of any engine issues in cold temps (couldn't get the whistle to happen that day) now seems to happen more frequently though not when it's warm out (above ~ 40F). Anyone out there have similar cold weather problems?
#26 of 79 Re: $25,000 Repair, end of story. [alaskax3]
Mar 07, 2007 (8:17 am)
I haven't noticed on mine, but will be on the look out for it.
Mar 13, 2007 (7:30 am)
On March 6th My BMWX5 stopped on detroit freeway. I started the car in the morning and drove for about 3-4 miles and saw a huge white smoke coming out of tail pipe and within few minutes car completely stopped. The temperature was around 5degF. Towed it to the dealer and he said it was caused due to "moisture accumilation inside crankcase ventilitaion valve" Follwing parts to be replace, 1) crankcase ventvalve, 2)dipstick tube O-ring, 3) Valve cover gaskets, 6 spark plugs and vent hose. COst $1300. I bought this car new in 2003 and has 77,000 miles. This shouldn't happen this early. I have no warranty. I'm very disappointed with the car. This would be my first and last BMW. The guy who gave a ride back to work that day told me that he saw 2 other BMWs came inot the dealer for same proble. I think BMW has a huge problem on their hand and will not admit.