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The sixth generation BMW 3 Series Sedan F30/F31/F34 and the first first generation 4 Series Coupe F32/F33/F36. Get the latest 3 and 4 series pricing from our ordering and pricing guide sticky thread.

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  #26  
Old 12-04-2017, 10:21 AM
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So, an update to my situation... I've been on the road for business and my dealership, the one which did the service, has had my car since I left the middle of last month. They have driven the car for a number of miles and then pulled the valve cover off to examine the top end, as well as visually inspecting the oil and filter and borescoping the crankcase through the drain hole. They claim that there appears to be no indication of damage. I have enclosed pictures sent to me by my service advisor.

My take on this is that they would not be able to comprehensively assess whether damage occurred as the evidence might be manifested microscopically. Though they may have looked at the top and bottom of the engine they did not look at the turbocharger and I understand it would be difficult to do so nondestructively. I told him so and that I thought the appropriate next step was to have the oil analyzed by a lab. He indicated that after investigating he could only find one lab which did this sort of thing and that the wait time for an analysis was on the order of a month.

I will be home on Thursday the 7th in time to pick up the car but am concerned about whether I should operate it while waiting for lab results. Does anyone know of a lab that does engine oil analysis that they would recommend? That and any additional thoughts on this are appreciated.
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  #27  
Old 12-04-2017, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 767_Captain View Post
Does anyone know of a lab that does engine oil analysis that they would recommend?
Blackstone Laboratories, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is arguably the best known lab servicing individual consumers. Link: https://www.blackstone-labs.com/

Another lab with extensive experience with engine oil analysis is Polaris Laboratories, based in Indianapolis. This lab is geared more toward OEMs, dealerships/distributors, and lubricant manufacturers, but it can't hurt to contact them anyway. Link: https://polarislabs.com/testing/oil-analysis/
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Last edited by gkr778; 12-04-2017 at 10:42 AM.
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  #28  
Old 12-04-2017, 11:58 AM
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Thanks. As soon as I Googled this Blackstone came up. It looks to be an inexpensive choice so I will pass their information to the dealership.
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  #29  
Old 12-04-2017, 12:15 PM
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  #30  
Old 12-04-2017, 12:41 PM
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My Volvo lost all its oil -- a fitting for the oil cooler had rusted, fractured, and broke off. Soon as I saw the warning light I pulled over, and was greeted by the rapidly expanding puddle of oil so had it towed to my indy. I was concerned that the motor had been destroyed -- but my indy assured me that he had actually tried to destroy a Volvo engine running it without oil and it took much more of an effort for much longer than what I did.

Several years later -- now at 214K, the car still doesn't use oil between changes.

Rather than an engine replacement, I'd prefer at least a 100K, $0 deductible engine warranty. Not sure I'd want them to look at the bearings. If they can't even do an oil change correctly, can they put an engine back together? If you received a new engine (and I think BMW replacement engines are rebuilt) who knows what they might break installing it. If you got a used engine here's no guarantee that it would be any better than the one you have.

If it starts to burn oil or fail to hold oil pressure, sure, you need a new engine....

I'd also second (or third) the Blackstone Labs oil analysis recommendation. I just sent a sample from the BMW off to them this morning.
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  #31  
Old 12-04-2017, 01:29 PM
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This is the likely sequence of events: The drain plug is located at the very bottom of the oil pan. Since the tech forgot to tighten it (torque to spec) the drain plug was free to work it's way out gradually over a period of time due to engine vibration. Oil would have been leaking past the threads of a loose drain plug but it would have been a slow leak on the order of a steady drip while cold to a fast steady drip when hot. When the plug finally wound out of the last thread the oil would have then poured out which is when you saw the warning. The dealer likely has Master Techs doing the engine work who have lots more certification and experience than the lube rack techs. If this was my car I would base my prognosis on the condition and appearance of the rod bearings. A further benefit to you is in receiving new oil pan and valve cover gaskets as these are going to fail at some point anyway and both are expensive to replace.
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  #32  
Old 12-04-2017, 07:47 PM
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I'm late to the party but a few things go through my mind.

1. How long do you plan on keeping the car? Long term or short term (end of lease)?
2 if you plan on keeping the car for the long haul, have the dealer purchase the extended warranty for you on the car. I would assume if the car goes 100K and nothing happens then I would worry too much.
3. It's documented by the dealer on this issue. So if a problem does arise it would be hard for the dealership not to say it wouldn't be covered.

lastly, what do you want the dealership to do for you?

I doubt the dealer will replace the engine.
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  #33  
Old 12-05-2017, 11:38 AM
jwalz1 jwalz1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Shiftright View Post
My Volvo lost all its oil -- a fitting for the oil cooler had rusted, fractured, and broke off. Soon as I saw the warning light I pulled over, and was greeted by the rapidly expanding puddle of oil so had it towed to my indy. I was concerned that the motor had been destroyed -- but my indy assured me that he had actually tried to destroy a Volvo engine running it without oil and it took much more of an effort for much longer than what I did.

Several years later -- now at 214K, the car still doesn't use oil between changes.

Rather than an engine replacement, I'd prefer at least a 100K, $0 deductible engine warranty. .
This.


If the car was making a puddle after you stopped, you may have had plenty of oil to maintain lubrication sufficient to prevent damage. The 3 series has a generous reservoir of oil.

Do the best you can to have the dealer check for damage but I would rather have them warranty the engine (in writing of course) than replace the engine. You can run into all kinds of problems depending on the work if they yank and engine and put in a new one. If you have the warranty they will do this anyway but only if you run into a problem down the road. Just yanking an engine that might be fine is asking for trouble if a guarantee of replacement is an option, and an option you may never need. And if you decide in a couple years you want to move to a new vehicle, you do not have to explain to anyone why the engine has been replaced.

It is funny to me how if anyone has a problem people start yelling about getting a new engine. I know a couple people who have done that on other models and the car drove like crap after the dealer swapped in a new one. Lots of down time, lots of repeat visits.

If it aint broke, don't fix it, get a guarantee from the dealer in writing.
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Last edited by jwalz1; 12-05-2017 at 11:44 AM.
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  #34  
Old 12-05-2017, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by lamb00j View Post
Curious, why did you decide to take the time to back into the parking spot if you were in such a dire need to stop the car?
Nice catch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 767_Captain View Post
... am concerned about whether I should operate it while waiting for lab results.
I wouldn't worry about it. Any damage that has been done won't get any worse just because you drive it.

Although it's difficult to trust the dealer, that's kind of the boat that you're in. Pressing for a zero deductible engine warranty isn't a bad idea. It costs them little and gives you piece of mind.

As an anecdote, a friend of mine had his kid stop by my house while he was in college because the Jeep he was driving was running hot. I checked the obvious things with the cooling system, and all was good. When I checked the dipstick, it was dry. We put in 5 quarts, IIRC, which implies that the engine was basically empty of oil, but it never quit and it ran for many more years later. I think it was just an old engine that burned oil, and the kid never bothered to check the level. Engines can take a lot of abuse.
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  #35  
Old 12-05-2017, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by lamb00j View Post
Curious, why did you decide to take the time to back into the parking spot if you were in such a dire need to stop the car?...
It occurred to me that it might facilitate getting the vehicle up on the back of a tow vehicle's bed if they had access to the front of my car vs. the back. Trust me...I've ruminated over every choice I made that afternoon including why I didn't simply pull over on I-75 instead of taking the off-ramp that was right there when the warning came on. In the end I don't think it made any difference, no more than a matter of seconds, but I could be wrong.

I've already told the dealership I expect them to warranty the engine at a minimum and agree that it is a better option than having the engine changed for all the reasons that have been mentioned in this thread. And the kit from Blackstone is on the way. So we'll see what we see. But in the meantime I sincerely appreciate everyone weighing in; it means a lot.
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  #36  
Old 12-05-2017, 01:58 PM
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I think you're on the right track now. BMW won't replace your engine under warranty now unless you could prove internal damage. I would try to get an extended warranty for the engine. This way the dealer does not have to tear down an engine that may be just fine and with a couple of Blackstone Labs analysis reports under your belt your confidence will eventually be restored.

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