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The engine in my BMW died at 72k miles, no warning lights and no weird noises. It died when I was driving the speed limit (65) on the highway doing nothing out of the ordinary. I coasted to the side of the highway to check it out: the engine was not overheating and there was no fluids on the ground. As I tried starting the car up again I could hear the fuel pump turning on and the starter motor clicking, but the engine wouldn't turn over. I got the car towed to the dealership and a few days later it was made known to me by the dealership that my engine was seized and that I would have to pay $19,000 for a new engine and $6,000 for the labor to install it. I made the dealership aware that I kept up with the maintenance, and that nothing was indicating to me that my engine was about to fail. I instructed the dealership to contact BMW North America (BMW Headquarters for North America) for a "good will" replacement, but my request was denied.

So... Do any of you fatwalleters have any suggestions on what I should do?

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Titled in CA, I'm assuming lender held the title, ///B/M/W/// paid off a $5k loan balance and gave OP a $52k check, OP s... (more)

taxmantoo (Oct. 01, 2013 @ 9:00a) |

Correct, everything but "signed her rights over". I only signed regular transfer paper documents.

zgirl1999 (Oct. 01, 2013 @ 11:22a) |

Haha, I am going to send him this post.

zgirl1999 (Oct. 01, 2013 @ 11:26a) |

zgirl1999 said:BMW NA bought my car back. I received a $51K check for my dead 2008 BMW M3 about a week ago. Additionally BMW NA paid my attorney fees. I'm glad that BMW NA has decided to do the right thing.

Thanks to all of you!! I love Fatwallet.
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Crown Vic?

More details please. What kind of beemer? How old? Single owner? If not how long have you had it? Whom did you buy it from? Did previous owner(s) give maintenance records? All maintenance done at BMW dealerships? Or at least local shops? Got records?

Are you saying it had no oil?

Who did your last oil change?

Do you have a receipt?

Can the dealership prove that XYZ failed and that's why?

Go to an independent mechanic. For $19K + $6K = $25K you can get a used BMW or other luxury make or a nice new non-fancy car. I smell 300% dealer profit.

Any chance you might have gotten water into the intake? Large puddle perhaps?

cars need oil

samiam68 said:   Go to an independent mechanic. For $19K + $6K = $25K you can get a used BMW or other luxury make or a nice new non-fancy car. I smell 300% dealer profit.

This is a no-brainer, but you are assuming that OP is willing to pay for a new engine.

One step being missed in your post is to determine cause of the engine failure first and then see if anyone (other than OP) if responsible (for this) can make this right.

newbietx said:   More details please. What kind of beemer? How old? Single owner? If not how long have you had it? Whom did you buy it from? Did previous owner(s) give maintenance records? All maintenance done at BMW dealerships? Or at least local shops? Got records?
It's a 2008 BMW M3, I am the original owner, had it since it had 14 miles on the odometer. I bought it from the BMW dealership. I kept all paperwork the BMW dealership gave me.


jason745 said:   Are you saying it had no oil?

Who did your last oil change?

Do you have a receipt?

Can the dealership prove that XYZ failed and that's why?

I didn't say it didn't have oil, it had oil. The car usually asks to add 1 more quart when it senses a dip below 1 quart in the reserve (which happened a few months ago, nothing out of the ordinary). The engine doesn't even have a dipstick, it's all on the on board computer which tells me when I have to go in for regulary scheduled maintence (replace the oil/change brake pads) or do things like adding an extra quart of oil. I always have all my service done at the dealership since I purchased the extended maintence warranty (which covers all fluids). I have all the receipts.

The dealership isn't saying much, they don't know why it happened. All they are saying is the engine is seized.


Mr0ffic3r said:   Any chance you might have gotten water into the intake? Large puddle perhaps?
No, there wasn't any water around when and before my engine died.

One thing about oil: I would have known about it if it had no oil. The computer would tell me to add an extra quart of oil -OR- the red oil light would come on. Also, the engine was not hot at all when I pulled over, the dashboard's temperature gauge was in the middle like it always was after the engine gets warmed up. So I really doubt this was an oil problem.

OP you have a good case. Fight it with BMW NA. BTW does extended warranty cover engine failure? Read up the fine print and post back please.

ETA: Is there a $$ limit on the repairs via the extended warranty? Can repairs be done at non-BMW dealership also?

zgirl1999 said:   The car usually asks to add 1 more quart when it senses a dip below 1 quart in the reserve (which happened a few months ago, nothing out of the ordinary). Maybe it's just my ignorance, but I didnt think having to add oil was a ordinary thing to have to do...

newbietx said:   OP you have a good case. Fight it with BMW NA. BTW does extended warranty cover engine failure? Read up the fine print and post back please.

ETA: Is there a $$ limit on the repairs via the extended warranty? Can repairs be done at non-BMW dealership also?


OP has maintenance/service plan. I dont think theres mention of Extended Warranty... .


The dealership is definitely trying to take advantage of you... you can negotiate much cheaper price INSTALLED for an engine pulled from a totaled M3.

***IMP Q:: did you EVER had any warranty/recall work done on the engine ? Ms are notorious for their valve issues, etc.... that MIGHT have caused a failure ! an argument you can TRY to bring up with the dealership - or that IF the repair was done negligently/improperly*** - ARE there any signs of burns/fire under the hood ? If so, many manufacturers will try to help customer, regardless of warranty status or recalls, to avoid litigation and safety issues.



Im sorry for your loss - M3 is among my "I want it"s.

Glitch99 said:   zgirl1999 said:   The car usually asks to add 1 more quart when it senses a dip below 1 quart in the reserve (which happened a few months ago, nothing out of the ordinary). Maybe it's just my ignorance, but I didnt think having to add oil was a ordinary thing to have to do...It is on an M3.

OP, have you tried asking at m3forums? Maybe someone will have some advice or a similar situation.

Glitch99 said:   zgirl1999 said:   The car usually asks to add 1 more quart when it senses a dip below 1 quart in the reserve (which happened a few months ago, nothing out of the ordinary). Maybe it's just my ignorance, but I didnt think having to add oil was a ordinary thing to have to do...

Yes, you should check your dipstick regularly. If it ever dips below the minimum mark you should add an extra quart of oil which should bring it back up to maximum marking on your dipstick.

newbietx said:   OP you have a good case. Fight it with BMW NA. BTW does extended warranty cover engine failure? Read up the fine print and post back please.

ETA: Is there a $$ limit on the repairs via the extended warranty? Can repairs be done at non-BMW dealership also?


I have the extended maintenance warranty, not the extended warranty. Things like engine failures are not covered under maintenance... Repairs can be done at non-BMW dealerships once you are out of warranty (which is my case), however a non-BMW dealership would also want to put a new engine in, which would cost the same as what it would cost at BMW.

Sorry my bad, misunderstood maintenance warranty for extended warranty.

I'd push this dealer to the side and start making my own inroads with BMW NA. I'd hit up some M3 forums if you don't already. I'm sure someone on there might have suggestions for how you may approach dealing with corporate BMW. If you are relying on the dealership like you are "supposed to" for maintaining your BMW, and it ends up dead at 72k, I'd want them to tell me who screwed up.

Alamgirian6329 said:   The dealership is definitely trying to take advantage of you... you can negotiate much cheaper price INSTALLED for an engine pulled from a totaled M3.

***IMP Q:: did you EVER had any warranty/recall work done on the engine ? Ms are notorious for their valve issues, etc.... that MIGHT have caused a failure ! an argument you can TRY to bring up with the dealership - or that IF the repair was done negligently/improperly*** - ARE there any signs of burns/fire under the hood ? If so, many manufacturers will try to help customer, regardless of warranty status or recalls, to avoid litigation and safety issues.



Im sorry for your loss - M3 is among my "I want it"s.


I did ask around for a used M3 engine, the cheapest I got was for $15k for a used engine with 70k miles.

There were no signs of burns or fire under the hood.

I never had any recall work done on the engine, NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT!! I did have all 8 of my ignition coils go bad at about 49k miles which were replaced under warranty for free.


BingBlangBlaow said:   OP, have you tried asking at m3forums? Maybe someone will have some advice or a similar situation.
Good Idea, I will need to post over there..

Did the dealer maintain the car? If it were me and my pocket either used or rebuilt engine, and I'd get it out of the dealer and find a good independent BMW / German mechanic

Start posting on BMW forums to start getting viral exposure

Highlight that its a 2008 m3 purchased brand new and always serviced at BMW . Ask for help and corporate contacts from
Other people who have succeeded against BMW


You may need an attorney

+1 for get an independent mechanic to determine the cause of the seize. This sorta stuff doesn't "just happen".
If its someone's fault, figure out how to establish their fault and perhaps pursue that.
And if you find yourself on the hook for the new engine, here is a crazy idea but its the difference between spending $25 or spending about $4-5K. Do you know anyone who is handy or are you handy? Get a gantry crane, a chilton manual, and a M3 engine off eBay and do the work yourself. Might sound crazy, but you will save what many Americans make in 1 year.
If you do it yourself, don't forget to add oil!!

VicVinegar said:   I'd push this dealer to the side and start making my own inroads with BMW NA. I'd hit up some M3 forums if you don't already. I'm sure someone on there might have suggestions for how you may approach dealing with corporate BMW. If you are relying on the dealership like you are "supposed to" for maintaining your BMW, and it ends up dead at 72k, I'd want them to tell me who screwed up.

Your post is bang on! I have started a case at BMW NA today and they'll get back to me within 3-5 business days, I might as well try m3forums to get caught up on how to deal with the corporate big wigs.

I feel that my dealership didn't try hard enough with BMW NA, I am actually starting to believe that they didn't contact BMW NA at all.

zgirl1999 said:   Glitch99 said:   zgirl1999 said:   The car usually asks to add 1 more quart when it senses a dip below 1 quart in the reserve (which happened a few months ago, nothing out of the ordinary). Maybe it's just my ignorance, but I didnt think having to add oil was a ordinary thing to have to do...

Yes, you should check your dipstick regularly. If it ever dips below the minimum mark you should add an extra quart of oil which should bring it back up to maximum marking on your dipstick.

I understand that, I mean that having to add oil typically indicates a problem and is not "ordinary". But BigBang says that's not the case with this particular car.

zgirl1999 said:   Glitch99 said:   zgirl1999 said:   The car usually asks to add 1 more quart when it senses a dip below 1 quart in the reserve (which happened a few months ago, nothing out of the ordinary). Maybe it's just my ignorance, but I didnt think having to add oil was a ordinary thing to have to do...

Yes, you should check your dipstick regularly. If it ever dips below the minimum mark you should add an extra quart of oil which should bring it back up to maximum marking on your dipstick.

BMW's, at least for the past few years don't have dipsticks. It is all computer monitored.

OIiverQuackenbush said:   +1 for get an independent mechanic to determine the cause of the seize. This sorta stuff doesn't "just happen".
If its someone's fault, figure out how to establish their fault and perhaps pursue that.
And if you find yourself on the hook for the new engine, here is a crazy idea but its the difference between spending $25 or spending about $4-5K. Do you know anyone who is handy or are you handy? Get a gantry crane, a chilton manual, and a M3 engine off eBay and do the work yourself. Might sound crazy, but you will save what many Americans make in 1 year.
If you do it yourself, don't forget to add oil!!

An M3 is not a normal BMW. Parts like that aren't readily available, especially for E9X's (2008-up)

The ///M3 requires a very specific (this 10w60 Castrol TWS Syntec) oil that only BMW ///M models use. Most smaller BMW dealerships don't even have this oil in stock. Do you know if the correct oil was used? Check your receipts. If the dealer used something else, any decent attorney can make them eat the loss.

Are all the parts fused? Can an engine seize if it displays no signs of overheating?

tennis8363 said:   OIiverQuackenbush said:   +1 for get an independent mechanic to determine the cause of the seize. This sorta stuff doesn't "just happen".
If its someone's fault, figure out how to establish their fault and perhaps pursue that.
And if you find yourself on the hook for the new engine, here is a crazy idea but its the difference between spending $25 or spending about $4-5K. Do you know anyone who is handy or are you handy? Get a gantry crane, a chilton manual, and a M3 engine off eBay and do the work yourself. Might sound crazy, but you will save what many Americans make in 1 year.
If you do it yourself, don't forget to add oil!!

An M3 is not a normal BMW. Parts like that aren't readily available, especially for E9X's (2008-up)


Correct, and they are difficult to work on. Every foreign car mechanic nearby is terrified of my E46 ///M3 and this one is even more complex.

jasonh328 said:   The ///M3 requires a very specific (this 10w60 Castrol TWS Syntec) oil that only BMW ///M models use. Most smaller BMW dealerships don't even have this oil in stock. Do you know if the correct oil was used? Check your receipts. If the dealer used something else, any decent attorney can make them eat the loss.

Yeah, I tried to stop an an autozone for 10-60 but they never have it (it needs to be special ordered), I always ended up having to go to a BMW dealership for the 10-60. The last time the car was asking to add a quart of oil I went to the dealership and they didn't give me a receipt (they didn't charge me for it because of my extended maintenance), so I am not really sure if they put the right kind.

Argyll said:   Are all the parts fused? Can an engine seize if it displays no signs of overheating?

No idea, I am guessing yes...

If the car's out of warranty, I'm not sure what case OP has. If there was some "hidden" warranty up to 75 or 100K miles, wouldn't that be the official warranty then? I had a car's engine go out at 60.5k miles, warranty expired at 60K so I had to eat the $5K. This was a longer time ago, but a bitter pill to swallow. Lesson learned though, a warranty for X miles is a warranty for X miles.

Under the best of circumstances BMW NA seeks to avoid covering costly warranty repairs. For instance, when they were having all of their fuel pump issues a couple of years ago more than a few customers were denied warranty repairs on the basis of a conclusory determination of bad gas (absent any testing of said gas). Even if there was some basis here to put the blame on them - for instance prior engine repairs that did not resolve the concern before the warranty expired, they would still probably fight you on this to the bitter end. The fact of the matter is that generally their repair obligations end when the warranty expires. So from a legal perspective, whatever your argument to the contrary, they are starting from a position of strength. My expectation is that BMW might agree to pay for a small portion of the engine replacement as customer goodwill.

zgirl1999 said:   Alamgirian6329 said:   The dealership is definitely trying to take advantage of you... you can negotiate much cheaper price INSTALLED for an engine pulled from a totaled M3.

***IMP Q:: did you EVER had any warranty/recall work done on the engine ? Ms are notorious for their valve issues, etc.... that MIGHT have caused a failure ! an argument you can TRY to bring up with the dealership - or that IF the repair was done negligently/improperly*** - ARE there any signs of burns/fire under the hood ? If so, many manufacturers will try to help customer, regardless of warranty status or recalls, to avoid litigation and safety issues.



Im sorry for your loss - M3 is among my "I want it"s.


I did ask around for a used M3 engine, the cheapest I got was for $15k for a used engine with 70k miles.

There were no signs of burns or fire under the hood.

I never had any recall work done on the engine, NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT!! I did have all 8 of my ignition coils go bad at about 49k miles which were replaced under warranty for free.


BingBlangBlaow said:   OP, have you tried asking at m3forums? Maybe someone will have some advice or a similar situation.
Good Idea, I will need to post over there..


I just checked car-part.com It lists 2 engines in CA in the 9k-10k range. Not too many of these engines out there. One has 10k the other 40k. If you can't get any results from BMW, try shopping it around to some independent mechanics, but they might be hard to find.

Timing belt? I'm not familiar with BMW but I had a Geo that did the same thing when my timing belt went. I don't know if that would be considered as "seized up".

Some manufacturers (especially luxury makes) will make good will repairs in some situations (like this one) when something fails prematurely to (a) avoid bad press and (b) ensure customer loyalty.

Outside of that, this is not a normal BMW. It has a hand-built engine. Properly maintained, an engine like this virtually never fails at this mileage. Since the OP states that she took the car in for maintenance as scheduled, I would suspect the dealer failed to perform the maintenance correctly. This is not much of stretch considering that ///M models require a ton of maintenance and that most regular BMW techs don't know the service requirements for ///M models and don't have the proper training to service them.

Glitch99 said:   zgirl1999 said:   Glitch99 said:   zgirl1999 said:   The car usually asks to add 1 more quart when it senses a dip below 1 quart in the reserve (which happened a few months ago, nothing out of the ordinary). Maybe it's just my ignorance, but I didnt think having to add oil was a ordinary thing to have to do...

Yes, you should check your dipstick regularly. If it ever dips below the minimum mark you should add an extra quart of oil which should bring it back up to maximum marking on your dipstick.

I understand that, I mean that having to add oil typically indicates a problem and is not "ordinary". But BigBang says that's not the case with this particular car.


I think all car manufacturers have an oil burning spec of what they consider normal. Especially for a car like this with such high compression ratio. Burning a quart in about 4k, half way between an oil change would definitely be within spec.

As for the op, I hope the best for you. It sounds like a stealership following their MO, good luck. Not a BMW fan, but that car is absolutely fantastic and makes me drool.

captainlynne said:   Timing belt? I'm not familiar with BMW but I had a Geo that did the same thing when my timing belt went. I don't know if that would be considered as "seized up".

Internet quote of the of the day.

captainlynne said:   Timing belt? I'm not familiar with BMW but I had a Geo that did the same thing when my timing belt went. I don't know if that would be considered as "seized up".

This engine has timing chains (2). BMW say they last the life of the car.

OP, have you explored the option of going through your insurance company to see if they will cover the damage? It's possible this can fall under comprehensive coverage. I had a friend install an amp in my vehicle and he ended up drilling into the main wiring harness while running a power wire, causing the car to fail completely. Labor and parts through the dealer were 4K+. Geico covered everything 100%. My friend paid the deductible.

Skipping 616 Messages...
Matematik said:   
zgirl1999 said:   
... his name is Bogdan...

  
"Never mess with Mother Nature, mother-in-laws or mother 'freaking' Ukrainians..."  

  
Haha, I am going to send him this post.



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