Last post on Apr 01, 2013 at 5:20 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
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BMW 5 Series, Sedan, Wagon
#4 of 23 Re: 2006 BMW 525i (N52) possible wide spread defect [hchi]
Oct 01, 2011 (3:02 pm)
H. Chi --- Did BMW ever respond? If so, I would like to learn what the result was. I have the same problem.
I have a 2006 530 with the N52 engine. Last year, I had a severe oil leak in the front of the engine. The BMW dealer took a look and discovered a broken cylinder head bolt near the oil filter. The estimate to repair (a complete head gasket replacement) was about $3500. After being turned down for an out-of-warranty repair, I took a stab at replacing the broken bolt myself. That fixed the oil leak.
Fast forward to today - - I was replacing my valve cover gasket (another small oil leak) and noticed that there were three other bolts broken off in the same manner as the first one. Turns out there are 4 aluminum bolts that hold the front of the cylinder head to the block (around the valve train galley). One is external; the other three are under the valve cover.
I plan to contact BMWNA on Monday and would like to know if you has any luck.
#5 of 23 2006 BMW 525i (N52) possible wide spread defect
Oct 01, 2011 (4:35 pm)
BMW wanted me to take it to a BMW dealer at my expense. They stated the service writer and their machanic would have to inspect it and then it coulkd be determined if it "might" be covered. However BMW wanted $1500 to look at it and (thousands) to repair it. Better bolts need to be made. They should be made with a steel core like several bolts that the N52 motor has on the outside holding the wire harness. Yes, 4 bolts are included in the replacement kit and 3 of my the heads sheared off. It is clearly a manufactures defect and I would advise you to file with NHSTA and the BBB. If enough others file, BMW might actually be obligated to do something!!! Maybe I can get re-imbursed the cost of my repairs!!!
I have completed the repairs and the car is fine. I ended up spending about $2,000 for specialty tools, parts, and a scanner. Others who are not so mechanic will have to spend a lot more. Let me know if you need any other assistance, but BMWNA was a waste!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
#6 of 23 2006 BMW 525i (N52) possible wide spread defect
Oct 01, 2011 (4:50 pm)
The aluminum bolts are stretch bolts. They are torqued to a specific amount and turned an additional 90 to 180 degrees to properly torque/stretch the bolts. The N52 aluminum head boats required another 90 degrees after the torque values. (BMW repair recommendation) I did not stretch my bolts and I think they were 15 or 10 nms??? About 88 inch pound of torque if I remember correctly. I never recovered one on the sheared aluminum heads and it is still caught up some where in the oil pan. Good Luck
#7 of 23 Re: 2006 BMW 525i (N52) possible wide spread defect [hchi]
Oct 04, 2011 (5:13 pm)
I started with the local BMW dealer and got confirmation that THIS IS A KNOWN PROBLEM with N52 engines. Next I connected with customer service at BMW North America. I worked my way up from first level customer service rep to manager --- same result --- acknowledged that this is a known problem. BMW will cover repairs if under warranty or, in some cases, will cover under "customer goodwill" if recently out of warranty.
Here is my gripe; BMW knows that this is a design problem (versus a maintenance issue) but refuses to repair. If repaired at a BMW dealer shop, it is a $3,000 to $4,000 repair. OUCH!!
#8 of 23 2006 BMW 525i (N52) possible wide spread
Oct 04, 2011 (8:51 pm)
My car was out of warranty and I purchased the car new. I did not buy the extended warranty. I was about 25,000 miles over and when I called BMWNA, they stated there was not much they would do. If I had the CPO warranty or if I was close to the 40K warranty??? Who knows. A known defect, but bmw refusses to repair or correct it. I find it a little disturbing that they would not recall the problem. I guess 50K buyers are small fish. Are they going to repair it for you at no cost?? Good luck and let me know what happens.
#10 of 23 Re: 2006 BMW 525i (N52) possible wide spread [hchi]
Dec 05, 2011 (7:24 pm)
Update - completed repairs a couple weeks ago. Like you, I had to "invest" about $2,000 in parts, speciality tools, etc. Based on BMW dealer estimate, this was about half the cost of dealer repair. All 4 aluminum head bolts were broken off -- the heads popped off. I dismantled the valve chain guide and other parts in search of the bolt heads, however, no luck. I suspect they are in the oil pan. However, I do not have the ability to remove front frame section and lift engine to pull the oil pan! What a pain! Before this, I would have recommended BMW to others, but not now. My ownership experience with Mercedes Benz was much better. I suppose this kind of issue also fuels the recent Audi sales pitch. On the bright side, I am now discussing options with an investigative legal firm.
#11 of 23 BMW wide spread defect
Dec 05, 2011 (7:55 pm)
Some legal firm did contact me about a class action law suit. If there is enough people maybe BMWNA will take some action. I looked at a new 5 series, but I am a little concerned about some of BMW's shady business practices about known defects and soft recalls!
Now you have experience as I do to do your own repairs. Glad you got it running!!!
#12 of 23 Re: update [hchi]
Dec 14, 2011 (7:41 pm)
Today I found out the my 2006 525I bolt head is missing. Funny thing is I just had the car in for service in August and was in service 6 weeks before that. And none of the service people mentioned that it could be a possibility or checked it. My warranty just expired Oct 2011 in august they never said nothing to me. I told the man this is a scam. A car that was sold over 30 or even 25K that is less than 7 years old should not have broken metal bolts. Bolts are suppose to be strong. I am driving the thinking this thing is going to fall apart. I have had all kind of things repaired on this car. I want to speak to a lawyer.
#13 of 23 I want to start class action suit again BMW for 525i head bold scam
Dec 14, 2011 (7:45 pm)
Like alot of people, we find out after our warranty is over that our head bolts have broken. how Convenient is that. After reading the blog. I think BMW is pulling a scam and perhaps that is why they discounted the model but did not inform the public that the bolts are faulty.