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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 07-05-2013, 09:55 AM
dooner328xi dooner328xi is offline
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Unhappy Advice on Engine Block Repair

Hi everyone,

I do not post often but I am looking for advice on my 2007 BMW 328xi. First of all, I love driving my car, it has its quirks, but don't all cars. I have < 50K miles on my car, and I recently found it was using a small amount of coolant when the coolant icon popped up. As it is no longer in warranty, and my BMW dealer is > 1 hour away, I took it to my local BMW shop in Santa Cruz, They found that it had a pinhole leak in the block. They suggested I contact BMW customer relations, which I did, and subsequently took it back to my dealer, which verified the problem, essentially a manufacturing defect in the block. The cost to repair is >$11K. BMW customer relations has come back saying they will cover the parts, but I must pay for the labor still > $6K.

So my question to members is:

1. Do you think this is fair (my wife does not, thinks BMW should cover it all)
2. What will this do to resale value?
3. Should I look into alternatives such as a "glass sealant"
4. Just live with it and drive it till it dies.

Thanks for listening.
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2013, 10:52 AM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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1. Do you think this is fair (my wife does not, thinks BMW should cover it all)
I think she is right.( lawyer up)
2. What will this do to resale value?
Zilch if your honest.
3. Should I look into alternatives such as a "glass sealant"
How well does that work have you researched it how does it work with a magnesium block.
4. Just live with it and drive it till it dies.
That would drive me nuts how could you ever be sure you were going to get someplace.
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2013, 11:10 AM
KSUTJH KSUTJH is offline
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Surely over $11k is high, couldnt you get a brand new motor installed for a lot less than that? I just looked into a new motor for my 2003 525 and it was gonna run around $4k to rebuild, or buy a used one for around $2500 and pay about $1500 to install. So about the same either way.
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2013, 12:48 PM
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Bob Shiftright Bob Shiftright is offline
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I'm not sure that I'd be keen on my dealer taking by motor apart, replacing the block and reassembling it. The techs are nice enough people, but if they can't change the cabin air filter without stripping all the screws, what are the chances that they can reassemble an engine without getting some bolt torqued incorrectly?

I'd probably look into alternatives including patching the leak, a factory rebuild or a used motor before going this route.
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2013, 01:27 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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If your leak is due to porosity and not a crack, and if the defect is in an accessible area and heat will not damage adjacent internal or external components, it can be welded. The guys who can do this kind of work are not easily found, you will need to do some searching, but they exist and can weld the block like it should have been when it left the factory.
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2013, 02:25 PM
dooner328xi dooner328xi is offline
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Thanks, I will talk to some of my BMW friends about a reweld, they use some techs in the Bay Area. The Mag-Alum. engine gives me pause, for both the "glass sealant, and welding. Both my local shop and BMW call it a pin hole leak. It is near the front under the intake manifold, I have tried pics but they don't come out. I looked at used engines at one point and found some with 1-year warranties. for < $3.5K I kinda hate to get lawyers involved I even hate more just living with it for the reason stated. Anyone had a similar circumstance with BMW Customer relations?
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2013, 03:13 PM
twhisten twhisten is offline
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Call them back and be persistent, without being rude. If you are friendly with higher up dealership staff, see if they will back you and help you. I had a problem with an X5 and they initially tried pacifying me until I kept pursuing it. All turned out well in the end. My dealership was a big help in the resolution
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2013, 11:41 AM
dooner328xi dooner328xi is offline
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BMW has said they will pay for the parts and I must pay for the labor. The party line is that it is out of warranty. So I will have it fixed. They will provide a two year parts warranty. The good news is that the oil leak that I have had since day 1 will no doubt now be fixed.
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  #9  
Old 07-18-2013, 12:43 PM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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Are they replacing the block or doing a plug?

Are they replacing the block or doing a plug?
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  #10  
Old 07-18-2013, 12:49 PM
dooner328xi dooner328xi is offline
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Replace the block
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  #11  
Old 07-18-2013, 12:52 PM
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BiHoTTo115 BiHoTTo115 is offline
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$6K in labor? Get rid of the car, that's a down payment on financing a new car, or a hell of a MSD on a lease. I wouldn't do it personally..
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:02 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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easy location to plug ?

if it's just under the manifold it would seem like an easyish location to plug and buy you almost indefinite time .....you would be amazed how many very large and small engine blocks, hp compressor cylinders, turbine casings we have had plugged even from initial manufacturing or casting problems
vacuum sealant injection is also used but problem is the cost of strip down
your location might not be much more than having to use an insert/helicoil and re tap a stripped spark plug scenario
let's all pray BMW will relent and do the right thing covering all your costs....10/11k for that work is over the moon
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:32 PM
ctuna ctuna is offline
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Cost in major metro area's are high

Cost in major metro area's are high.
Especially in Cali and New York .
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2013, 02:49 PM
bmwoem1 bmwoem1 is offline
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Advice on Engine Block Repair

Why are the OP's original posts deleted?


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  #15  
Old 07-18-2013, 05:42 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dooner328xi View Post
I do not post often but I am looking for advice on my 2007 BMW 328xi. First of all, I love driving my car, it has its quirks, but don't all cars. I have < 50K miles on my car, and I recently found it was using a small amount of coolant when the coolant icon popped up. As it is no longer in warranty, and my BMW dealer is > 1 hour away, I took it to my local BMW shop in Santa Cruz, They found that it had a pinhole leak in the block. They suggested I contact BMW customer relations, which I did, and subsequently took it back to my dealer, which verified the problem, essentially a manufacturing defect in the block. The cost to repair is >$11K. BMW customer relations has come back saying they will cover the parts, but I must pay for the labor still > $6K.

Bad casting? It happens....luck o'the draw.

BMW is being generous, but they are not obligated. I say you have a fair deal.

Then again, THIS.


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  #16  
Old 07-18-2013, 06:35 PM
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BB_cuda BB_cuda is offline
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JBweld, the poor man's savior. It depends how much water pressure is associated with the leak. Since the leak has to creep through a casting and reduces pressure as it encounters flow resistance, there is a decent chance this would work.

If my war stories bore you guys, please tell me and i will shut up. I told some on another thread about bearings. Back to regularly scheduled programming.

When i was young and newly married, the new mrs brought a POS 1986 Hyundai Excel into the marraige. I hated the thing from the start. One time it had a water leak in the top of the thermostat housing. It was made of steel. I sanded at the pin hole area and tried to flare the area out. I put JBweld on it and put a light bulb close to it overnight cure it well (it was cold outside). I recall it shooting out quite well before the repair so it had decent pressure there.

WORKED LIKE A CHARM

If i understand, BMW will give you a replacement engine and you pay the labor. So, the $6 grand will be resetting the clock on your N52 engine. Trying to say that the $6 grand will perhaps increase car's value by 3 to 4 grand (although a 50,000 mile engine has alot of life left). That is worth something unless the dealer F's it up. How long is that offer good for? I would just wonder if trying the JBweld first wouldn't hurt that is if you have some time to weigh which way you want to go. If the flaw is wore underneath and you are only seeing the pin hole, the crack could propogate. My bet is it isn't a crack but rather some porosity like an earlier poster mentioned.

One would think that all castings as critical as an engine block would be proof tested with water pressure prior to assembly to catch flawed ones. Proof testing means you expose a part to double its intended working pressure.

When it comes time to sell it, the new engine will be an easy story to the buyer. If you're a standup guy, you will have a song and dance to do to assure a potential buyer that the leak is fixed and won't re occur if JBweld or plugged with helicoil/bolt. They likely would be skeptical of the JBweld though.

One more war story: Dad had a POS 1980 Chevy Citation. He was cruzing down interstate at 55 and the engine stalls. The sucker seased up on him. They take it to the dealer and it is out of warranty. The dealer offered the exact same thing as what BMW is offering you. New engine if customer pays the labor. The oil pump had fractured in half and 4 of 6 rod bearing and all mains were trashed. Dad who was a damn good mechanic and master machinist said the oil pump housing was made from what he called pot metal .. same stuff a carborator is made off. He went for the deal. Completely different situation than you though as you have other repair options and he didn't.

Doing JBweld shouldn't cause the dealer to back out of there offer but trying the helicoil and it going south perhaps could nix the dealer's offer to replace. Not sure how well JBweld sticks to Alusil casting. Keep us posted please and best of luck on your decision.

Last edited by BB_cuda; 07-18-2013 at 07:06 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-18-2013, 07:16 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dooner328xi View Post
Hi everyone,

I do not post often but I am looking for advice on my 2007 BMW 328xi. First of all, I love driving my car, it has its quirks, but don't all cars. I have < 50K miles on my car, and I recently found it was using a small amount of coolant when the coolant icon popped up. As it is no longer in warranty, and my BMW dealer is > 1 hour away, I took it to my local BMW shop in Santa Cruz, They found that it had a pinhole leak in the block. They suggested I contact BMW customer relations, which I did, and subsequently took it back to my dealer, which verified the problem, essentially a manufacturing defect in the block. The cost to repair is >$11K. BMW customer relations has come back saying they will cover the parts, but I must pay for the labor still > $6K.

So my question to members is:

1. Do you think this is fair (my wife does not, thinks BMW should cover it all)
2. What will this do to resale value?
3. Should I look into alternatives such as a "glass sealant"
4. Just live with it and drive it till it dies.

Thanks for listening.
Good God, man...$6K for labor! That's 120 hours at $50.00 per hour (calculated at one man, grant you).
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:43 PM
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TheyCallMeNun TheyCallMeNun is offline
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Advice on Engine Block Repair

To anyone saying the dealers wouldn't do a good job on reassemble of the engine, after having a new head installed...

As I agree, sometimes the dealer's mechanics are completely incompetent, but I think they would do an excellent job on that. Mostly because the people that do simple work at dealerships are typically novice mechanics, or some kid just learning. The Master Techs are the ones that handle a job like this. They are much more experienced and very qualified to do this work. They are probably a little more by the hour so that could be why the dealer is charging that much.. I can't say that for sure though.

When it comes to dealing with the dealer itself. There are some ways to reason with them. First, before continuing to deal with that shop. id suggest you shop around from other local dealers. If one gives you a better price, use it as leverage against the dealer that quoted you 11k. Second, I'd say go to a dealer you have some pull, preferably one where you bought the car or had given plenty of business. And lastly, I'd get someone important in front of me to talk to. Request a manager or something along those lines. He's probably a lot more willing and capable to strike a deal with you.

Poor luck, I hope you get it resolved at a cheaper cost to you.


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  #19  
Old 07-19-2013, 04:56 AM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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If you are going to go for the new engine why not try some stop leak. Pour some in run the engine for a few hours if it stops the leak then flush it out. It could get in the pinhole and stop it up for good. Plus you can buy a lot of coolant for 6 grand
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:00 AM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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Or maybe find a welder thats really good with a TIG machine. All he has to do is zap the pin hole the arc alone should melt the hole closed and no filler rod needed. Once you get the intake off to get to the hole you can walnut blast the intake valves too
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:54 AM
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Whatever came of this? Fix this engine or replaced it?
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:33 AM
dooner328xi dooner328xi is offline
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Well, it is a long story. The dealer, BMW of Monterey, has had my car since 7/22/13. They were supplied with a short block w/o pistons. They are, shall we say, challenged at putting the engine together. I have been given a 2013 328i Sport sedan as a loaner since that time, which is a nice car, better gearbox, steering is a little quick, so I cannot complain about that part, but seriously, 3 weeks with two more expected to put it back together.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:46 AM
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TheyCallMeNun TheyCallMeNun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dooner328xi View Post
Well, it is a long story. The dealer, BMW of Monterey, has had my car since 7/22/13. They were supplied with a short block w/o pistons. They are, shall we say, challenged at putting the engine together. I have been given a 2013 328i Sport sedan as a loaner since that time, which is a nice car, better gearbox, steering is a little quick, so I cannot complain about that part, but seriously, 3 weeks with two more expected to put it back together.
did they give you a base price, quote or anything like that? I wouldn't let them use up all the time they want, especially if you're paying by the hour.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:26 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dooner328xi View Post
Well, it is a long story. The dealer, BMW of Monterey, has had my car since 7/22/13. They were supplied with a short block w/o pistons. They are, shall we say, challenged at putting the engine together. I have been given a 2013 328i Sport sedan as a loaner since that time, which is a nice car, better gearbox, steering is a little quick, so I cannot complain about that part, but seriously, 3 weeks with two more expected to put it back together.

Comes to it, there are indy's far more familiar with internals than your average BMW tech. You know, race guys....San Jose....Milpitas....

Good luck!
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:25 PM
dooner328xi dooner328xi is offline
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Yes, they gave me a quote and after 1 week I had a question about the time being spent. The said they would adhere to the quote for labor.
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