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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 04-13-2014, 10:37 AM
schmatt schmatt is offline
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Angry Frustrated with BMW

I just have to vent my frustration with BMW.

First off, I love my BMW. It drives and handles great. But there are a few things that are really frustrating me.

First, I have to put on new tires just about every 1 1/2 years, and that's only because I drive low miles. OK, not a biggie. I understand that since I own a car with RFT's and staggered tires, they are going to wear out faster and be more expensive. I've reset my normal to expect this as part of owning my car.

Next, my water pump failed. No warning, no it's not working correctly. The car just stops. This is at 57k miles. WTF. I come to find out that this is typical! I get it fixed. I'm out $1200. I also find out my valve cover is leaking from the shop. I need a new valve cover gasket. This is a typical thing too. Really! When did the 1980's Detroit move to Germany and take over BMW? What's next? Do they only design these things to last 40k miles? When did BMW's turn into throw away cars?

When you pay this much for a car, I would expect to see similar reliability to most other cars on the road. Apparently I was wrong. I understand that parts and repairs will cost more on a car like this. I just don't expect to be having these major repairs at this low mileage.
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:51 AM
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thekurgan thekurgan is offline
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The gasket isn't always about mileage, but rather time. Rubber only lasts so long, and it is subject to an amazing amount of heat, especially from the turbo engines. The water pump, as I've stated before, is under-engineered; I agree with you there as an electric pump, it should last longer and there is no aftermarket version, as there is/was for the Stewart pump. If you're burning through tires, I'd double check the alignment.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:32 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmatt View Post
I just have to vent my frustration with BMW.

First off, I love my BMW. It drives and handles great. But there are a few things that are really frustrating me.

First, I have to put on new tires just about every 1 1/2 years, and that's only because I drive low miles. OK, not a biggie. I understand that since I own a car with RFT's and staggered tires, they are going to wear out faster and be more expensive. I've reset my normal to expect this as part of owning my car.

Next, my water pump failed. No warning, no it's not working correctly. The car just stops. This is at 57k miles. WTF. I come to find out that this is typical! I get it fixed. I'm out $1200. I also find out my valve cover is leaking from the shop. I need a new valve cover gasket. This is a typical thing too. Really! When did the 1980's Detroit move to Germany and take over BMW? What's next? Do they only design these things to last 40k miles? When did BMW's turn into throw away cars?

When you pay this much for a car, I would expect to see similar reliability to most other cars on the road. Apparently I was wrong. I understand that parts and repairs will cost more on a car like this. I just don't expect to be having these major repairs at this low mileage.

Solution:
Gimme a D!
Gimme an I!
Gimme a Y!
What's that spell? Skill and Self Reliance!

Yup, that's the cure for BMW Blues. Now look, schmatt, what you've had are not major repairs! Nope - normal maintenance on these buggies and given the history of BMW issues, you mighta known.

But most don't know, assuming high price buys reliability. Not so! Check any population of Merc owners - you'll see. Porsche? Har!

No, only certain Japanese brands have achieved what owners prefer: high availability. Sadly, Úlan in short supply, rising sun. Can't have everything.
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:06 PM
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That typical bmw

Learn to diy

Or ditch the car at 60k
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:01 PM
ericgl ericgl is offline
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I am not sure you would fair better with any German marque, and not all Toyotas and Hondas are trouble free; although the odds are better.

Personally I consider walnut blasting, water pump replacement, leaking gaskets, and Mike Miller's recommended maintenance the cost of driving the car I like. I will change to go flats when the time comes, and I really dislike not having a dip stick.
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:14 PM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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to answer your question

Yes everything in our society is throw a way

and yes BMW is a throw away car,

if you search for parts for cars over 5 years you will soon notice the NLA letters, No Longer Available


too bad our politicians we can't throw away

some how they seem to last forever
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:35 PM
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xxE92 xxE92 is offline
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I look at it this way, keeping up with the repairs and maintenance is still way less expensive than the first 3 years of depreciation on a 2014 435i model, especially where I live.
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Old 04-13-2014, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by hondo402000 View Post
Yes everything in our society is throw a way

and yes BMW is a throw away car,
VERY TRUE

BMW = Transport appliances

Just like my aircond at home it played up last month. I replaced a new unit as it's cheaper to replace then to repair

My washing machine made noises, I sold it on ebay as spares and bought a new unit

My local politician had an affair, we ditched him and voted for new one

My wife has made lots of noises, unfortunately IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE
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Old 04-13-2014, 03:25 PM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is offline
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SilverX3 likes to hate on BMW, and yet he still buys them.

These aren't throw away cars, not by any stretch. Cars are always going to be prone to part failures. Cars are increasingly complicated and things will go wrong. Taking any car to the dealer for repairs outside of warranty is a bad idea. People just have this perception that BMWs have to be services by some magic genie at the dealer.

Like Cal said, DIY is a great way to go. When you DIY you safe thousands and get to know how the car is put together, plus it's satisfying to fix something yourself.

My parents owned a Honda odyssey, everything you could imagine has failed on that car. A water pump and a gasket isn't bad at all for an early build BMW.
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Old 04-13-2014, 03:26 PM
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Mark K Mark K is online now
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OP, you are actually lucky. My car went in for routine spring prep for tracking season last Monday. It's still there.

My frustration is not with what the car needs, but with not being able to find a shop that I trust/like to take it to. Indy seemed competent enough but their monkeys moving cars around f*cked up my seat so I decided to never take it there again. Now the dealer has no clue what's wrong with the car which started throwing check engine light and misfire codes while they test drove it. Car was perfectly fine last Sunday.

If it is not done Monday at 5PM, I'll have to take it with CEL on and figure out what to do. After this, I'll probably sell it in Sept at the latest, next week at the soonest.

So, it can be worse. Yet another reason why US is a wrong country to own a BMW - unfortunately, it is a long, long list and getting longer as the time passes.
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:06 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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My input on the 335 engine because that is what most of these issues outside of typical negative camber (tire wear). I honestly think owners are the beta testers on this one. The water pumps for both cars be it 200 watts (328) or 400 watts (335) cools the car sufficiently but fails without warning most the time for no known reasons. BMW is into the 3rd redesign of this pump and those are not major just little tweaks to make it better. If you go back in history of the water pumps for BMW 6 cylinders you will discover that BMW never got the mechanical model correct either and this one goes back to 1990.
I think some components fail due to heat but that can't be the answer because the 328 also suffers some of the same issues regarding valve cover gaskets leaking and water pump dumping. It doesn't suffer from carbon build up on the intake valves however.

The engine is a wonderful piece of engineering but when cost controls are given more emphasis we see the results. Why does the OFHG fail? It didn't fail on engines preceding the E90 until you are into hundreds of thousands of miles or many years. Got to be the sub contractor selection and BMW not pressing them for a gasket that can take the pressure and temperatures of these engines. Same with the valve cover gasket and frankly the water pump. It extends outside the engine too but most of our bitches are around the engine issue.

I am certain this will be my last BMW bought new and I will only buy CPO and not carry it past the CPO warranty in the future. I enjoy DIY and do all my own so far DIY but at some point reoccurring problems that you can predict happening around every 60K miles causes loss of confidence in the product.

Having lived in Europe and driven my BMW there the attitude expressed in Germany was that whatever make you own you replace every 5 years (yes there are exceptions) with something new. It is a status thing. I think this carries over to a lot of reliability decisions which are poor ones in my mind for those of us that like to keep our BMWs forever.

As expressed DIY or a very long extended warranty are about the only ways to reduce ownership costs and you do have to decide what DIY projects you can attack as some don't make sense if you do them every 60K miles.

OP good luck as I see some other failures in your future. This forum is excellent to help an owner out with DIY and educating the owners as to what to expect to happen in the future...

Last edited by fun2drive; 04-13-2014 at 04:11 PM.
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  #12  
Old 04-13-2014, 04:10 PM
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SilverX3 SilverX3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
SilverX3 likes to hate on BMW, and yet he still buys them.

These aren't throw away cars, not by any stretch. Cars are always going to be prone to part failures. Cars are increasingly complicated and things will go wrong. Taking any car to the dealer for repairs outside of warranty is a bad idea. People just have this perception that BMWs have to be services by some magic genie at the dealer. .
You're right ... they are not throw away cars

But lots of parts, dealers WON'T FIX them and I know they can be fixed

Dealers are now PARTS REPLACEMENT not Parts repairers anymore
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:14 PM
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3284me 3284me is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverX3 View Post
That typical bmw

Learn to diy

Or ditch the car at 60k
Oh no I have been trouble free and have 68,000. Car has been more trouble free than all the Japanese and American cars I have purchased over the last 30 years.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:47 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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I look at it this way, keeping up with the repairs and maintenance is still way less expensive than the first 3 years of depreciation on a 2014 435i model, especially where I live.

Good point. The truth is: You're smart to cherry pick units coming off a 3 year lease.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:57 PM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is offline
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You're right ... they are not throw away cars

But lots of parts, dealers WON'T FIX them and I know they can be fixed

Dealers are now PARTS REPLACEMENT not Parts repairers anymore
Every automaker is the same way. They have been for a long time. The fact is that every car is expensive these days, even a Honda can break the bank when things go wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3284me View Post
Oh no I have been trouble free and have 68,000. Car has been more trouble free than all the Japanese and American cars I have purchased over the last 30 years.
I've seen polls on here that say most people have had little to know trouble with their 3. The fact is that most people on these forums post because something is wrong. We don't see people posting about how trouble free their cars are. Other than a small annoying rattle that I need to have the dealer fix, my car is fantastic. Later model year cars are more likely to have all of the kinks worked out.

Consumer reports shows the later year post-lci cars being above average in reliability.
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Last edited by Nerdboss; 04-13-2014 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:04 PM
innovativeit innovativeit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmatt View Post
I just have to vent my frustration with BMW.

First, I have to put on new tires just about every 1 1/2 years, and that's only because I drive low miles. OK, not a biggie. I understand that since I own a car with RFT's and staggered tires, they are going to wear out faster and be more expensive. I've reset my normal to expect this as part of owning my car.
.
My guess is that you have been running Max Performance tires since you live in Dallas and have a staggered setup. Tires have wear ratings. For example, the Bridgestone RE050As have a wear rating of 140 while the Ultra High Performance Bridgestone RE960 AS has a rating of 400. The RE960s are also run flats but are expected to last almost 3 times as long as the RE050As. If you keep putting the RE050As on, you will continue to wear out your tires quickly.

I apologize if you already had considered the tire wear ratings.
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:20 AM
MAGjersey MAGjersey is offline
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Oh no I have been trouble free and have 68,000. Car has been more trouble free than all the Japanese and American cars I have purchased over the last 30 years.
It's because us that own 328's do not have to deal with the engine problems. The N54 is more injury prone.
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:57 AM
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Oh no I have been trouble free and have 68,000. Car has been more trouble free than all the Japanese and American cars I have purchased over the last 30 years.

Good to hear!
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:16 PM
huck328 huck328 is offline
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Thanks for sharing schmatt. It is therapeutic for me to come to this forum and see that other people that own the same car as me are having the same issues. Last week the water pump in my 2008 335 suddenly failed and left me stranded on the way to work. 53,000 miles is a bit disappointing. It took me an hour to limp it to the dealer by driving 2 minutes, then waiting 10 minutes for it to cool off 20 degrees. - then repeat 5 times. I paid the same $1200. First the HPFP and now this? BMW really needs to fire their pump engineer.

To add insult to injury, my glove box had been stuck for a few months. The dealer told me there is an actuator in the door that electronically opens it that had burned out. I had to pay $300 to have it fixed! Why T F is there an electronic motor for something that should be controlled with a $3 spring and latch???? I had probably opened that thing 10 times ever. Holy overengineered.

It is sad that my 2008 BMW has had 4x more mechanical failures than my 1999 Ford Expedition over the last 6 years. (but it is at least 10x more fun to drive)

Vent done.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:43 PM
sptt144 sptt144 is offline
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From what I have seen from all of the cars I have owned, they all end up having the same problems around the same mileage. Google usually tells you how to DIY since everyone shares. So far the 335i has been the same to me. Waterpump, T-Stat, Valve Cover Gasket, Oil Cover Gasket, HPFP, seatbelt extenders, coils, and injectors. Aside from the tire issues, I'm not seeing expensive Transmission or Internal Engine repairs unless they are one-offs. Doesn't seem bad at all to me from my perspective.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:50 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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From what I have seen from all of the cars I have owned, they all end up having the same problems around the same mileage. Google usually tells you how to DIY since everyone shares. So far the 335i has been the same to me. Waterpump, T-Stat, Valve Cover Gasket, Oil Cover Gasket, HPFP, seatbelt extenders, coils, and injectors. Aside from the tire issues, I'm not seeing expensive Transmission or Internal Engine repairs unless they are one-offs. Doesn't seem bad at all to me from my perspective.

Y'know, gotta agree - aside from HPFP, which was a software issue, other stuff's not unusual.

Internal engine failure....there's a killer....check Porsche owners for that.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:14 AM
falar falar is offline
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Unfortunately the deal with electrical water pumps (vs a mechanical) is that when they go, they go. No warning. Just dead.

Even the most expensive and overbuilt aftermarket ones that hot rodders like to use to replace their traditional mechanical units are subject to this. Small electronic motors only last so long, especially living in such high temperatures.........
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:13 AM
schmatt schmatt is offline
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Actually, I do DIY. This is what spawned the frustration. I got all the way down to removing the valve cover and found out that my 10mm deep socket was still not deep enough. Unfortunately, I read a couple of DIY posts that said you could use any deep socket. But apparently not the one I have. This was on a Sunday when nothing is open. So I got almost all the way there and had to put it all back together without actually fixing it. The reason I payed the shop to replace the water pump, was because of the sudden failure and needing to actually work for a living. Had the pump shown signs of failure ahead of time, I could have done that myself too.

Anyway, I guess you're probably right that this is not a major repair. But, it is a gasket. I've never heard of a gasket routinely failing after only 57k miles or 6 years, whichever you want to consider the limiting factor. That is, unless it was faulty. Based on what the shop and everyone else is saying, this isn't faulty, it's just the way the gasket is.

I've already had issues with the VANOS and the cam bearings needing to be replaced. Luckily, this was before the warranty ran out. And the original owner had the standard issue with the HPFP.

I know every car is going to have things go wrong at one point or another, but it just seems like when things go wrong on the BMW, they are more significant, especially in terms of cost. Everyone seems to think there's no big deal about it. It's just routine maintenance. I say that this is not routine maintenance. This is poorly engineered for reliability. They gave up reliability in favor of performance. It's just that I was under the false impression that they engineered a reliable car, seeing how many are on the road. Just a learning lesson for me.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:20 AM
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First, I have to put on new tires just about every 1 1/2 years, and that's only because I drive low miles.
Treadwear - "280"

The treadwear rating is a measurement of the tire's durability, but not the projected tread life. It is important to remember that road surfaces, driving habits, and other factors determine actual tread life.

Since one of your beefs is tire longevity, look for a higher number than is found on your current tires! Each tire manufacturer independently determines treadwear through their own tests. Treadwear is not based on any one industry or government standard.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:29 AM
wilt wilt is offline
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Anyway, I guess you're probably right that this is not a major repair. But, it is a gasket. I've never heard of a gasket routinely failing after only 57k miles or 6 years, whichever you want to consider the limiting factor. That is, unless it was faulty. Based on what the shop and everyone else is saying, this isn't faulty, it's just the way the gasket is..
Frankly, as a DIYer from way back, I also have a gripe that BMW valve covers and gaskets are not more durable. I am accustomed to requiring a new gasket when you REMOVE a valve cover, not simply because it 'got old'. What happened to the metal/paper gaskets rather than rubber which stiffens and gets brittle with years?! My E46 had a valve cover CRACK...plastic, which gets brittle and stiff with years...you can blame attempts to reduce cost and weight in order to offset the increased fatness in our cars while still meeting MPG goals!

Quote:
Originally Posted by schmatt View Post
I know every car is going to have things go wrong at one point or another, but it just seems like when things go wrong on the BMW, they are more significant, especially in terms of cost. Everyone seems to think there's no big deal about it. It's just routine maintenance. I say that this is not routine maintenance. This is poorly engineered for reliability. They gave up reliability in favor of performance. It's just that I was under the false impression that they engineered a reliable car, seeing how many are on the road. Just a learning lesson for me.

And as emission controlled engines have gotten increasingly so much more complex, so much other stuff has to be removed and reinstalled, that our total job costs skyrocket due to greater labor content! Blame technology, emissions control systems, and legislation, not simply BMW

I used to sit on the front tire of my 1960 MGA and remove and reinstall its valve cover in about 15 minutes or less...as you know, it is hard to even get at the valve cover on modern engine!

Last edited by wilt; 04-15-2014 at 07:42 AM.
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