Are N55 engines susceptible to brake assist vacuum pump issues?
The following report from NHTSA and ARFC, states a condition in a 535xi that resembles the brake assist problem that's been recognized in the N20/26. Can the N55 be susceptible to the same problem?
ON SUNDAY, AUG. 11, 2013 WHILE TRAVELING IN HEAVY STOP AND GO TRAFFIC ON I-90W, MASS. PIKE NEAR EXIT 10A, TRAFFIC ABOUT 100 YARDS AHEAD STOPPED IN THE TRAVEL LANE. I TAPPED THE BRAKES WITH NO RESPONSE AND PROCEEDED TO APPLY ADDITIONAL PRESSURE, AGAIN NO RESPONSE. MY NEW BMW CRASHED, AT ABOUT 40 MPH, INTO THE REAR OF A VEHICLE IN MY TRAVEL LANE PUSHING THAT VEHICLE INTO THE VEHICLE AHEAD OF IT CAUSING A FOUR CAR CHAIN REACTION ACCIDENT. NO ONE IN THE OTHER THREE CARS CLAIMED TO BE INJURED. MY WIFE RIDING IN THE FRONT PASSENGER SEAT SUSTAINED A CONTUSION, DEPLOYED AIRBAG, ON HER LEG BELOW HER KNEE AND A CHEST PAIN. BOTH DRIVER AND PASSENGER WERE WEARING SEAT BELTS. ALL AIRBAGS (6) IN THE FRONT SEAT COMPARTMENT DEPLOYED.THE WEATHER WAS SUNNY WITH NO PRECIPITATION AND THE ROADWAY WAS DRY. INITIAL APPRAISAL OF THE BMW DAMAGE IS $18,000+ WITH SUPPLEMENTAL APPRAISALS DUE ON THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT WHEN AUTO BODY EXPERTS CAN RAISE THE HOOD.
I haven't heard of any problems with the N55 and have had 2 cars with the N55 without issue, but that being said, since turbo motors use boost, they don't create vacuum when under boost, so the traditional method of pulling vacuum off the intake doesn't work. To create constant vacuum for things like the brakes, a vacuum pump is needed and the N55 has one (different than the one of the N20/6 though).
The brakes still work if the vacuum pump fails, they just stop being power assisted brakes, but if you pushed hard they would actually work and stop the car, might need 2 feet if you are not that strong, but it wouldn't be a 100% no brakes senario like above.
This happens all the time: a recall notice goes out to some select segment of cars for an issue and quite suddenly you have all of these people yelling "me too" on a completely unrelated vehicle. I've seen it on the BMW motorcycle forums, BMW car forums, and does everyone remember the "unintended acceleration" with Toyota where claims of the issue jumped BRANDS? I take one-off's like this with a grain of salt.
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