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Sorry this post is so long***8230;I purchased a 2001 750 IL BMW from a local used car business in Nov 2010. The car had 171,000. miles on it. Since the miles were high I purchased an extended warranty for three years unlimited miles.

In January my car broke down as the temp gauge went to red .I pulled over immediately. I called a tow truck and had the car told to an independent repair facility. This facility strictly works on BMW's... Well the repair shop opened up a claim with the warranty company and a repair quote was faxed to the warranty co. The repair faculty called me and said the warranty co. had said they would ship certain parts. Therefore not allowing the repair facility to profit off any parts. Neither here nor there I certainly do not agree with this tactic but the repair facility did not challenge the warranty co. Instead the repair facility called me complaining about how they were not going to make any money off of the parts and basically they were not in the business not to make money. However, he said he felt sorry for me since I had just purchased the car and he would agree to do the repairs as negotiated by the warranty company. Then he went over certain parts and labor and sales taxes I would be responsible for. The work that was authorized was to replace the radiator, thermostat, electric fan motor, replace the intake manifold gasket also throttle cover plate and gasket and replace vacuum pipe below. Replace and repair rear ball joints and arms. Well it took almost a month for the repairs to be negotiated by the warranty co. and the repair facility to complete the work. I paid 844.00 out of pocket and the warranty co paid 1141.00. Making this a total of almost 2000.00.

After the repairs were completed I picked up my vehicle and I drove it and 150 miles later the low coolant light comes on along with the check engine light. I continued to drive it a mile to the next exit off the freeway which did not end up happening cause a huge clanging noise happened and I lost power. Well to say the least I called a tow truck to have the car towed back to the repair facility that just had made the repairs. I was very professional told them what happened and then the gentleman says to me we will look at your car but I don't think I want to work on your vehicle anymore. So I asked him why he would say this especially when he was just paid for work that he did on my car. This man stated as I told you before we are in the business to make money and I didn***8217;t make any money off your car last time cause of the warranty co. So I said well I don't think you lost money on the repairs you made and I would like to know what currently is wrong with my car so he said he would look at the car. I immediately contacted my bank and put a stop payment on my 844.00 check. Then I contacted the warranty company and asked them if they had paid this claim. The warranty adjustor said yes they paid by American express so I explained my concerns with the adjustor and he said well let the guy look at the vehicle and see what he says.

It took several phone calls and one week to hear back from the repair facility and I was told the timing chain broke and burnt valves open. Then the repair facility told me that he just did not want to do anymore work on my car because he did not want to deal with the warranty company. At this time I asked him why did the low coolant light come on and the car also seemed like it had a higher idle or rpm after I picked the car up. He said he didn***8217;t know it could be several reasons and then said again I don't want to work on your car anymore. Well I asked him if he had talked with the warranty company and he said yes and they wanted him to fax over and estimate to repair the car and that he agreed he would do that however he did not want to work on the car. I said ok well can you fax me a copy of your estimate when you***8217;re done which he did comply.

I then contacted the warranty company with several concerns I addressed the concern that I felt like red flags were being thrown out do to the repair facility not wanting to continue to work on my car and I asked the adjustor if he would fax over a copy of the original work that was submitted for payment so I could see it and compare with mine to make sure they matched. Well the adjustor called the repair facility and they faxed him the originals of my copies that I signed and then the adjustor phoned me and said I needed to remove my vehicle from this repair facility as they had committed fraud and the warranty company will no longer do business with this shop. I asked the adjustor what they had found he stated that the shopped billed the warranty company for a new electric fan which was what was approved for and the shop charged and installed a used one...about a 300.00 difference. Well I told the adjustor how am I suppose to handle getting my car out when I stopped payment on his check. The adjustor stated that I would need to pay the facility and have my car towed to another shop. I asked the adjustor for a referral but he stated they don't have a preferred list. The adjustor also stated that he had not made this repair facility aware of what they had found and would not do so until my car was off their premises.

I immediately that day within the hour found another repair shop and went and paid this facility 844.00 in cash to replace the stopped payment check. The car was towed to another facility. The new facility stated that the electric fan was used and the valley pan and plate were never touched as stated on the repair bill. I asked the new repair tech if he thought there was anything the prior mechanic had done or could have not done to create the timing chain to break. Such as throttle cover plate/gasket or any thing that had to do with the replacement of the radiator or intake manifold he stated he really didn***8217;t know... This tells me he really did not want to get involved. In the meantime the warranty company sent out an adjustor who took pictures and they have approved the claim to replace the engine which gets more complicated....

At this point: Can anyone tell me the answer to the following questions?

1) Is it possible for the timing chain to break due to the repairs that were completed by the original repairs?

2) What is the most common way the mechanics charge their hours by Chilton's, All Data or Mitchell.?

...Any Help advise suggestions PLEASE
 

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Sick Puppy Motorwerks
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Short answers:
#1) NO, the timing chain is a seperate issue.
#2) BMW shops use the BMW suggested times for repairs. Independant's use one of the three you mentioned, but they should all be fairly close. The differences between shops is generally what they charge for an hours worth of time.

Personally, if you brought the car to my shop and had a warranty company supply parts, I would not be real interested in working on it either. As for the stop payment on the check for work that was performed based on an estimate - you are fraudulaent theere, you did the right thing by paying on the stopped check, because the original repair shop would have put a mechanic's lien on your vehicle.


I would find a BMW dealership close to you and see if they will honor your warranty company for repairs. Most independants really do not have the experience to be working on these V12's - have seen too many of them destroyed by incompetance.
Good luck
 

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I'm surprised that this shop actually told you that they make money on parts. Shops are only supposed to charge labor plus what the parts cost THEM, though it is not uncommon for them buy wholesale and charge retail. Either way these guys sound like racketeers and it is good that you got the car out of the shop. Never let a tech work on your car if he says "I don't want to..." or "I don't feel comfortable..." because this either means that they don't know how to, or they will do the bare minimum to get the car out of the shop.

I agree that the chain is a separate issue, and it did take 150 miles for the new problem to pop up. I wouldn't know how to purposely make a timing chain go bad 150 miles later.

Other than the dealership, every shop I worked for used Alldata, but I know some use Mitchell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Short answers:
#1) NO, the timing chain is a seperate issue.
#2) BMW shops use the BMW suggested times for repairs. Independant's use one of the three you mentioned, but they should all be fairly close. The differences between shops is generally what they charge for an hours worth of time.

Personally, if you brought the car to my shop and had a warranty company supply parts, I would not be real interested in working on it either. As for the stop payment on the check for work that was performed based on an estimate - you are fraudulaent theere, you did the right thing by paying on the stopped check, because the original repair shop would have put a mechanic's lien on your vehicle.

I would find a BMW dealership close to you and see if they will honor your warranty company for repairs. Most independants really do not have the experience to be working on these V12's - have seen too many of them destroyed by incompetance.
Good luck
Well The reason due to the failure of the engine was the timing chain broke and burnt the valves open. Could you explain other than where and tear what would cause a timing chain to break. Also the only reason I stopped the payment on the check was due to the low coolant light coming on and the check engine light coming on after paying to have the radiator replaced. I did pay the man for his services and my intentions were to not pay him as he had my vehicle ... I just wanted to know why the car broke down after 150 miles of being paid 1900.00 to repair my car. The low coolant light and check engine light made me fearful that there was and more than likely still is a coolant leak. Since the new mechanic reviewed the bill and checked the parts that were paid for he stated the valley pan and seal were never touched as I paid for this service. On top of the used electric fan being installed and charging the warranty co. full price. I have read up and researched that possible coolant leaks can come from the valley pan... I just did not know if this could affect the engine... But I still would like to know if a timing chain can fail due to other than wear and tear..? I am really not sure if this car is worth the investment to put a used engine in... I love the car and everything about it but after the warranty pays their portion it will leave me with another 2500.00 to 3000.00 out of pocket. Plus the 844.00 I paid to the other mechanic. This is allot of money to spend after only purchasing the car 4 months ago...Oh and FYI There is a huge difference in labor hours between all data and mitchells All Data quotes 30 hours for replacement and Mitchells quotes 12.5 of course I have only been told this by the mechanic and the warranty company..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm surprised that this shop actually told you that they make money on parts. Shops are only supposed to charge labor plus what the parts cost THEM, though it is not uncommon for them buy wholesale and charge retail. Either way these guys sound like racketeers and it is good that you got the car out of the shop. Never let a tech work on your car if he says "I don't want to..." or "I don't feel comfortable..." because this either means that they don't know how to, or they will do the bare minimum to get the car out of the shop.

I agree that the chain is a separate issue, and it did take 150 miles for the new problem to pop up. I wouldn't know how to purposely make a timing chain go bad 150 miles later.

Other than the dealership, every shop I worked for used Alldata, but I know some use Mitchell.
Yes me too. However he was very upset that the warrenty company was taking his markup away...I am not saying that he purposely made the timimg chain go bad. I was trying to understand why a timing chain could break other than wear and tear...
 

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I was trying to understand why a timing chain could break other than wear and tear...
A timing chain can break if the chain guide breaks down & looses the "plastic" coating (I'm not sure what the material is that the chain actually rubs against), or if the chain tensioner completely fails. Either would give the chain to much slack/free play causing the chain to break. If the chain guide did start breaking apart, you'll easily be able to find broken "plastic" bits in your oil pan (again, plastic? not sure).

Usually when a timing chain guide does start breaking apart you'll get a P0010 or P0020 code complaining about (vanos) timing problems.

I have never heard of a timing chain on it's own, breaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A timing chain can break if the chain guide breaks down & looses the "plastic" coating (I'm not sure what the material is that the chain actually rubs against), or if the chain tensioner completely fails. Either would give the chain to much slack/free play causing the chain to break. If the chain guide did start breaking apart, you'll easily be able to find broken "plastic" bits in your oil pan (again, plastic? not sure).

Usually when a timing chain guide does start breaking apart you'll get a P0010 or P0020 code complaining about (vanos) timing problems.

I have never heard of a timing chain on it's own, breaking.
Thank you for the above explanation. So if I am understanding you correctly The timimg chain usually breaks beacause of Timing problems ie the codes listed above..
Yes the oil pain was droped and parts as you stated above were found in the pan...
Did I understand that correctly?
Also if this is the case what causes the timing to mess up.. is the a part that can be adjusted that controls the timing? Thank You Again for your help
 
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