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sms 01-08-2013 03:50 PM

Bad Injector?
Oh great joy... imagine every time you go into reverse, after 10 seconds you're in limp mode. Oh, and if you get stopped in rush hour traffic, limp mode - and in the high speed lane.

Apparently the culprit is a bad injector in #5... but these are backordered and it may be weeks?

Does this seem plausible? This si the 5th time since May that the car has been in for engine problems. To say I'm disheartened with BMW right now would be an understandment. When the thing runs - it's a pleasure, but way too often it's been a pain.

Wildblue 01-08-2013 05:15 PM

Which size engine, the 550? Yes, I'd say that's possible.

Not good though if the car has been in the shop 5 times in 9 months for engine problems. If it's a new car, I think that would qualify for the lemon law.

sms 01-08-2013 05:43 PM

Yeah, 550. A 2010. I bought it certified, but am beginning to believe the "Tommy Boy " quote where they are discussing the "guarantee"

jadnashuanh 01-08-2013 07:25 PM

Top Tier Gasoline
I don't know if this might make a difference, but a bunch of auto manufacturers (BMW included) have set some standards for fuel that has proven to keep their engines running well. Brands get tested periodically, and the approved list changes occassionally. Their recommendation is that if you do NOT use fuel from one of these Top Tier fuel suppliers, that you use fuel injector cleaner on a periodic basis. Check this out... it might prevent future problems.

My dealer didn't mention any of this, but I did see a brochure at another one (from BMW) that discussed it. Check it out.

My guess is that this is not commonly known but should be.

mason 01-10-2013 12:19 PM

Oh yes, it happens to me a few times a year. They changed 4 injectors for me. Service guy told me that the other 4 would act up soon but BMW didn't authorize to change all 8. It is happening to me now. The sneaky thing is that it always happens to me at night time or weekend, when the dealerships are closed. Next day, the problem usually goes away. So, when I bring it to dealership, they look at me like an idiot saying there is nothing wrong.

jadnashuanh 01-10-2013 03:25 PM


Originally Posted by mason (Post 7303840)
Oh yes, it happens to me a few times a year. .

Out of curiosity, do you usually fill up at one of the Top Tier suppliers as listed on that site Do you use injector cleaner if you don't?

mason 01-11-2013 07:48 AM

Apparently, BP and Hess are not part it. I also do a lot to Costco gas. I doubt it has anything to do with it. I have another BMW that takes Hess, BP and Costco with no problem and that car is 75,000 miles and counting. I haven't tried any injector cleaner. Those cleaner only cleans up a small amount of dirt besides the car is still under warranty so I rather have BMW to fix it.

This car is near the lease mileage limit and the lease is up in May, so it is only being used sparingly.

After 3 years, I am more than ready to walk away from this car. 1) V8 MPG is too much for me to take, 2) the ride is too floaty for back passenger and 3) trunk is not as useful as I anticipate. I have 2 young kids. Sometimes we need 2 strollers when we go out. 2 strollers in GT gives me no more space in the trunk. I just got the new MB GL diesel. I am very happy with it.

jadnashuanh 01-11-2013 01:50 PM

The amount of detergents in the gasoline does make a difference. I do not have the Brochure BMW printed and I picked up at one dealer anymore, but it had a recommendation about the frequency of use of injector cleaner, and if I remember, it was fairly frequent when not using fuel from the TopTierGas group. I'm just curious if following that guideline would have made a difference. I occasionally use a tank from a place that's not on the list, but that's probably less than 5% of my fillups, and then, they're usually not in succession.

I drove both the V8 and the I6, and while there was more power, for most of my driving, I find the I6 has plenty. Now, I would have opted for the diesel, if it was available I think. That extra torque and mileage would have made a difference overall.

mason 01-14-2013 12:29 PM

Well, another thing is that BMW manual recommends BP, but Top Tier Gas has no BP. If we need to put in injector cleaner so often ourselves, then BMW is way too sensitive. I recently read an article (I think on insideline) about a comparison between no name gas and brand name gas. After 10,000 miles, the difference in engines are minimal.

I really think it is as simple as BMW got a batch of defective injectors.

jadnashuanh 01-14-2013 02:03 PM

After following those on the Top Tier Gas list for awhile, some of the firms do change out. Additives do cost money, and to save a penny or two at the manufacturing level, it can make a difference in their bottom line. I have no way of knowing how close some of the suppliers not on the list are to the magic cutoff, and they may be close, so that could account for the differences seen in that test you mentioned. But, at least around here, the difference in cost is minimal to chose one that is on the list, so I've been doing that 95% of the time. When on a trip, I make exceptions when in a strange area, and needing to fill up. Some of the no-name, local gas stations buy gas from various vendors, and their fuel might be good one delivery, and not so good the I choose a brand with a corporate backing (I've been mostly using SHell).

If you notice, the auto manufacturer consortium that started up Top Tier Gas testing includes six big car, it's not just BMW that says buying good gas prevents issues, it's BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and Audi.

mason 01-15-2013 08:55 AM

Then how do you explain they are printing BP on the manual. Is your car really going to suffer if you don't use Castro for motor oil? BMW recommends Castro oil. I know for fact that I have done Costco gas for more than 3 years with BMW, M-B, Toyota, Honda; 4 spots, 6 spots and 8 spots engines. I think I have enough sample size to say at least BP or Costco is not the problem. My BMW GT is the only one having problem. The problem only comes when the colder temperature is present or if I don't touch it for a week.

I have people in BMW corporate telling me in private that don't waste the money on those injectors cleaner.

Fish23 01-15-2013 10:18 AM

Based on jad's tip about Top Tier, I vif isted the site and saw that there are companies in Canada. Since its regular fuel (87 octane) is about 4 cents/litre cheaper than "the rest" and its 91 octane is only 10 cents/litre more than that ('the rest' usually charge 15 cents/litre more), I sent a general question to COSTCO Canada HQ in Ottawa (just down the road from where I work) asking:

a. from whom does COSTCO get its gasoline; and

b. would COSTCO Gasoline qualify in the Top Tier program (I included the link)?

The next day I received a reply stating:

a. there are only 15 refineries in Canada to supply gasoline regardless of
brand name; (this did not surprise me as I knew this already); and

b. COSTCO gas is unbranded, meets the minimum standard set by the Canadian
government, and has no additives thus it could not meet Top Tier requirements.

That said, I have no problem throwing a bottle of injector cleaner every 5 tankfuls or so since the car runs well on COSTCO gas and, in addition to the better price, if I use my COSTCO AMEX/Membership card to pay, I receive a 2% rebate annually to spend in the warehouse.

As for the reference to BP gasoline in the owner's manual, I suspect that it likely reflects the UK and/or Europe and not North America though I stand to be corrected.

jadnashuanh 01-15-2013 11:14 AM

The EPA in the USA requires some minimum detergent in gasoline sold here (that may differ depending on what country you live in). It is up to the individual company to decide if it wants to provide more. How you drive (lots of short trips, only highway, mixed) can make a difference on how effective the detergents that are in the gas can work. So, your results may differ. What isn't known, is if with a certain driving style, switching to a fuel on the Top Tier Gas list would solve an existing problem.

As I read the test procedure, they take the fuel w/o detergents, run a test engine until most of the injectors fail. How long that takes, I don't know. Then, after replacing the injectors, run that same engine in the same cycle, and the injectors must remain clean and working once the detergents are added.

How sensitive any individual engine is to these effects, I don't know, but the corporate word is if you choose a fuel from the Top Tier Gas list, you should have fewer, if any problems maintaining a clean internal engine.

I don't think BMW, along with the other big manufacturers in the consortium, has any stake in the fuel companies; only that their cars run without problems. WHen an injector fails, it could either be an electrical problem, or clogged. But, trying to run dirty will affect overall performance, economy, and longevity while it is compromised. Just like we try to keep the oil clean and working, I feel it's good to try to keep the rest of the internals at their peak...I'll take their suggestions...they have many more engineers studying this than I could hope to cover. The inconvenience of one service call, even if BMW pays for it, is worth seeking out a supplier that is recommended if it has any reasonable expectations of avoiding a problem (to me, it does).

BMW has millions of miles of test data where they spent the time to analyze what characteristics their engines work best with in oil. You don't have to use Castrol, there are others available that meet the requirements. If you keep your car only during the lease period, you probably would never notice a difference. If you keep a car until you're tired of it (and with me, that's typically 6-8 years), longevity is a factor, and again, I'll take the manufactuer's testing results and choose an oil that meets their specs.

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