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E39 M5 (1998-2003)

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  #1  
Old 02-24-2006, 10:51 AM
Brian Randell's Avatar
Brian Randell Brian Randell is offline
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Question Customer Abuse

My brother has an E39 M5 that he got from Cutter in June 2003 (I got mine in January). He's got ~44K miles on the car. In the last week or so, he's been having problems when he accelerates (regardless of gear) where the RPMs ramp up as if he's driving an automatic and gear is not engaged.

Since he lives in Newport Beach, CA, he takes his car to Sterling BMW for maintenance. The tech calls him to tell him the problem could be one of two things:

a) transmission
b) clutch

The kicker is this according to the tech: if the clutch needs to be replaced, my brother has to pay for it because it's "customer abuse". The tech says this is "in the contract".

I've never heard of such a thing. Anybody?

Now granted, we don't know what the problem is yet, but I'm not liking what I'm hear so far.

Cheers,

Brian
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2006, 10:53 AM
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Sounds like the clutch is slipping, it will burn out with use, like brakes.
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2006, 10:58 AM
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Brian Randell Brian Randell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lao270
Sounds like the clutch is slipping, it will burn out with use, like brakes.
Correct. But how is this a) abuse, and b) not warranty?

The only thing I know that's not covered by the warranty is tires. Even brakes are covered.

Cheers,

Brian
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Old 02-24-2006, 11:00 AM
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I don't have an M5, so I don't how fast the clutch should burn out. They think it burned out too fast. But it sounds like he had fun doing it!
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2006, 11:07 AM
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the tech obviously recognises that a normal clutch, especially a durable one like on an M5, should not wear out at 40+k. Having said that, the tech assumes that the car has been driven very hard and the (customer) burnt the clutch prematurely. How is that a warranty issue on the part of the manufacturer??
There you have it~
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  #6  
Old 02-25-2006, 11:32 PM
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If you really want to research this IN DEPTH, go to the E39 forum at m5board.com. You can spend days going over clutch threads.

Bottom line is the 9 inch OE clutch is probably too small for the S62 engine. There are many reports of "premature" clutch failure. The clutch can last for for a long time (mine has 36K miles, others well over 50K miles) but you can burn it out very quickly with a few high powered accelerations while slipping the clutch.

BMW has generally responded to all of this by allowing one clutch change per car without too much hassle. The clutch is definately not part of the CPO warranty, but should be part of the orginal 4 year warranty and may be part of the maintenance contract. When I bought the extended maintenance (not warranty) for my car, I made sure to ask my SA about the clutch. He told me on two separate occasions the clutch will be covered. However, if a tech documents, for whatever reason, "customer abuse" neither the warranty or the maintanence contract will cover it.
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2006, 08:47 AM
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Brian Randell Brian Randell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM
If you really want to research this IN DEPTH, go to the E39 forum at m5board.com. You can spend days going over clutch threads.

Bottom line is the 9 inch OE clutch is probably too small for the S62 engine. There are many reports of "premature" clutch failure. The clutch can last for for a long time (mine has 36K miles, others well over 50K miles) but you can burn it out very quickly with a few high powered accelerations while slipping the clutch.

BMW has generally responded to all of this by allowing one clutch change per car without too much hassle. The clutch is definately not part of the CPO warranty, but should be part of the orginal 4 year warranty and may be part of the maintenance contract. When I bought the extended maintenance (not warranty) for my car, I made sure to ask my SA about the clutch. He told me on two separate occasions the clutch will be covered. However, if a tech documents, for whatever reason, "customer abuse" neither the warranty or the maintanence contract will cover it.
Thanks Kevin. I'll poke around for future reference.

Cheers,

Brian
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  #8  
Old 02-26-2006, 08:51 AM
Brian Randell's Avatar
Brian Randell Brian Randell is offline
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Location: Upland, CA
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Randell
My brother has an E39 M5 that he got from Cutter in June 2003 (I got mine in January). He's got ~44K miles on the car. In the last week or so, he's been having problems when he accelerates (regardless of gear) where the RPMs ramp up as if he's driving an automatic and gear is not engaged.

Since he lives in Newport Beach, CA, he takes his car to Sterling BMW for maintenance. The tech calls him to tell him the problem could be one of two things:

a) transmission
b) clutch

The kicker is this according to the tech: if the clutch needs to be replaced, my brother has to pay for it because it's "customer abuse". The tech says this is "in the contract".

I've never heard of such a thing. Anybody?

Now granted, we don't know what the problem is yet, but I'm not liking what I'm hear so far.

Cheers,

Brian
OK here's an update on what the problem was: the clutch.

Resolution: fixed under warranty.

That said, when you buy an "Ultimate Driving Machine", it's hard to see where the line between driving hard ends and customer abuse begins. That said, my brother was guilty of niether. He simply lives in a bad part of LA where he spent more time in traffic than on the open road.

Cheers,

Brian
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