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      03-21-2010, 01:05 PM   #1
galenpowers
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Should A 545i Motor Last Longer Than 68k?

My 545i has badly scored cylinder wall in cylinder 6. This problem started making a slight ticking noise at about 53K and has gradually gotten worse. The tapping noise is now so loud that I am afraid to use the car. It does make a nice driveway ornament though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHeizw6Jbn0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK43Jtv_908

The dealer and BMWNA are not willing to help with the repair costs. There reasoning is that I have a third party warranty. This warranty covers 50% of the repair. Swope BMW gave me a conservative quote to repair the car of $16,000 and said it will probably be more. So if the warranty company pays half and that leaves at least 8K that bmw feels no need to help with.
The only person that seems to give a $h!t is a local independent repair place here in louisville called Autobahn BMW. They have been absolutely awesome while quickly diagnosing the problem.

Can anyone explain to me why a 50/50 third party warranty means that BMW can wash their hands of a problem that shouldn't have happened to a car of this caliber?

Last edited by galenpowers; 03-21-2010 at 06:52 PM. Reason: typo
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      03-21-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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That sucks bro! I would write BMW N.A. (North America) and tell them your dilemma! Tell them that you are very active in several BMW forums and are feeling discouraged about durability issues and the lack of concern with your local dealership. Of course you will probably want to put it in your own words, but if they care about their reputation..... they might be compelled to do something! Good luck, let us know what happens, B
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      03-21-2010, 06:36 PM   #3
galenpowers
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Contacting BMWNA sounds like a good idea. I have written to them twice and here are the kind of responses you get:

This is what I wrote:

Dear BMW North America

(Attached the two videos)

What I want to know is if BMW is willing to help me get this resolved. I do have a 50/50 third part warranty that will cover some of it.

The car is currently at an independent shop that has been extremely helpful. The local dealer didn't seem to have any idea what the issue was and scared me off.

I read the plugs and checked the compression before I took to to the dealer (Swope). The Cylinder six plug was black and oily and the compression was low by about 20% in that cylinder. The rest of the cylinders were very close to each other. I showed them the plugs, gave them a picture of the plugs and shared the compression data with them and they wanted $950 plus $120 to take a look under the valve cover. That just didn't make sense to me. It sounded like all they did was check the codes (which I had already done) and listened to it. You would think they would pull the plug and look at the cylinder walls or verify the compression numbers wet and dry, strange....

I know that the factory warranty is expired but you would think that this well engineered motor would last longer than 68K. The BMW service records looked good to me and the service writer up to 53K when I bought it. I have done four oil changes over the last 18K while I have been the owner of the car. I have been reading quite a few similar posts from other N62 powered vehicle owners that required an engine replacement, so someone must have a handle on this issue.

Please drop me a note. I am trying to stay a loyal BMW enthusiast .
Thanks, Galen Powers

This is the response:
Dear Mr. Powers:

Thank you for contacting BMW of North America, LLC in regards to your 2004 BMW 545i. I was sorry to read of your concerns.

I apologize that you felt the concerns with your 2004 BMW 545i could not be resolved at an authorized BMW center. BMW adheres to a policy of supporting our national network of authorized BMW centers. Our vehicles are the product of patented engineering and require authorized care to maintain their peak performance, and our BMW technicians are trained and certified to service our vehicles. BMW does not recommend or warrant the services performed by any independent facilities. We are sorry if this causes any inconvenience.

If you have any further questions, please reply to this e-mail or contact the Customer Relations and Services Department at 1-800-831-1117, Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time. Again, thank you for contacting BMW.

Sincerely,

Eowyn Hayden
Customer Relations and Services
Representative

So I responded with these questions:
Here are my questions:

Is there a chance that BMW will participate in this repair if it is determined that the problem is not caused by my negligence and the repairs are conducted at the dealer?

What would that participation look like?

Would BMW recommend a short block, long block a complete motor for this problem?
If I do this repair with an Independent, the most practical solution is a 30K mile used engine for about $5000 plus labor.

What portion of the dealer repair would I be responsible for?

I would be willing to work with the dealer if I was confident that I wasn't going to over pay for the repair.

What do you recommend that I do next? The car is sitting until I get this resolved.

If you can't answer these questions, please direct me to the appropriate contact.

I understand your commitment to your dealer network but it is the independent repair people that fuel the BMW enthusiast's interests and help keep the resale value up on older cars.

Thanks for your assistance. Galen Powers

And BMW North America responded:
Dear Mr. Powers:

Thank you for contacting BMW of North America, LLC regarding your 2004 BMW 545i repairs. I was sorry to read of your concerns.

Your vehicle would need to be taken into one of our certified BMW centers and given a diagnosis before it could be determined if assistance can be provided. We do not have the ability to advise you in a technical matter via e-mail. I suggest contacting the service team at your authorized BMW center directly, so they can review your concerns in person and provide technical support. Our service department is best suited to address all of the specific questions in your email. I do apologize for the inconvenience, but BMW would not be able to provide any assistance with work done at an independent service center.

If you have any further questions, please reply to this e-mail or contact the Customer Relations and Services Department at 1-800-831-1117, Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time. Again, thank you for contacting BMW.

Sincerely,

Eowyn Hayden
Customer Relations and Services
Representative

These mushy open ended replies are totally annoying.
So I went back to the dealer and they said they would discuss it with the BMWNA rep that was coming in in a couple of days. I asked if it would be possible to speak with the rep and the response was "thats not going to happen" I have been calm and reasonable which is probably part of the problem. I guess you have to be a loud annoying pain in the a$$ or they just wipe their feet on you. Not my style... So much for buying a new BMW.

Last edited by galenpowers; 03-21-2010 at 06:56 PM.
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      03-21-2010, 11:54 PM   #4
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Wow..... It sounds like you handled things the way I would have, I have to say it kinda sounds like the run around! I would try to write them again and state the fact that you are an active member of a few prominent BMW forums, and as much as you dont want to, you may have to display your dis-satisfaction with BMW NA and their lack of concern for a unsatisfied client! You might mention that these negative comments could spread like wildfires...... Man, I feel for you..... as much as I have been a loyal BMW fanatic, I am disappointed at the way they have treated you! Let us know what happens! Good luck, Brad
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      03-28-2010, 02:41 PM   #5
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Tapping BMW

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW BRAD View Post
Wow..... It sounds like you handled things the way I would have, I have to say it kinda sounds like the run around! I would try to write them again and state the fact that you are an active member of a few prominent BMW forums, and as much as you dont want to, you may have to display your dis-satisfaction with BMW NA and their lack of concern for a unsatisfied client! You might mention that these negative comments could spread like wildfires...... Man, I feel for you..... as much as I have been a loyal BMW fanatic, I am disappointed at the way they have treated you! Let us know what happens! Good luck, Brad

Thanks for the advice, its a bit challenging to keep a sense of humor about this. I contacted BMW North America again on Thursday. Still waiting for a response. Hopefully they will choose to help with this situation.
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      03-30-2010, 09:41 AM   #6
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In my experience, you need to start the push from an Authorized BMW dealer center. Calling/contact BMWUSA directly will yield to these type of responses (they cannot support companies not within BMW's standards). I understand their type of response - If I'm BMWUSA, and a customer contacted me to pay for an engine replacement with a shop that I have no affiliation with, nor do I know their standards of work, I wouldn't help out either.

Best chance is to have an Authorized dealership batting for you when talking with BMWUSA. I had a similar issue with my E55. I had a very reputable shop diagnose a transmission issue. I called up the dealership, and they said I need to bring it in. I called MBUSA, and they said they can't help me. I talked with the service manager at the local dealership, saying I'm a good customer. They called MBUSA, and they worked it out that they would pay for my diagnosis from the independent shop (tear apart of the trans), transportation of the vehicle to the dealership and payments of all parts.

Good luck!
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      06-08-2010, 09:21 PM   #7
galenpowers
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Things are finally moving forward. Lets just say bmw is no help at all. Lots of hand ringing and bull$h1t answers to direct questions. I wonder if Jim O'Donnell, the president of BMW USA knows how this stuff gets handled. Lets just say that the performance of the local dealer and BMW USA customer service is not what builds the confidence of the enthusiast market, evidently they don't really give a $h!t.

Anyway enough ranting, the guys at ascwarranty.com have been much more reasonable to deal with than BMW USA and the local dealer Swope BMW.They are actually trying to be helpful. BMW USA and Swope could take a page out of their book. The have agreed to pay their portion of the repair so I am finally getting on with it. I am looking for a motor now and Autobahn BMW Louisville will do the work. Wish me luck. Autobahn BMW Louisville has been nothing short of spectacular to work with, these guys are great.
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      06-25-2010, 09:57 PM   #8
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I don't know how you can handle such dilemma and being calm. I have a short fuse-typical lebanese blood-and I won't stand down when a person pays X amount of money and gets a bad grotesque deal. I love BMW, but there is time when you need stand for what is right-and I don't care what brand of vehicle it is. I am a male nurse and what they taught us in school is that we have to be patient advocates. The same I apply in anything in life. If BMW is not willing to stand behind their product craftsmanship, then they can go to hell. A nice letter to vice president of BMWNA will explain why I defected to the competition. Good luck.
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      07-29-2010, 08:55 AM   #9
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That is such bs man... Any luck yet?
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      08-02-2010, 05:45 PM   #10
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Wow makes me nervous
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