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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is developing, just seeking advice.

Yesterday a drive train alert came on so I drove about 1.5 miles home. Car wasn’t very peppy, but ok. About a block away from home the engine oil pressure alert came on but I was able to get it into the drive way. About that time the car failed.

Cut to the first call from the dealership. They thought it was the timing belt/chain. Cut to today and they think it’s serious oil sludge. The oil was changed at the dealership in July along with normal service. They said from their records the most it could have gone without a oil change was 5k over the suggestion, but it’s possible it was changed elsewhere.

Could I really have a need for a new engine with these facts? Is there something(s) I need to have them look into?

Thanks for the advice. Had an oil sludge issue with my last Audi, but that was only a few hundred bucks and was covered by a recall.
 

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That's one of the joys of buying a used car. I'm assuming you bought it used since you don't know the maintenance history. You should always look down the oil fill hole of any prospective used car. If the metal parts are not spotless, run! You should also look at the oil sticking to the oil fill cap. If it's milky, that's a good sign that coolant is getting into the oil, run!

If you've sludged up two engines, you must be doing something wrong: wrong oil, too long between changes, etc.

My last BMW has 115k miles and the inside of the engine was spotless. My current non-BMW's, a Chevy with 111k miles and a Honda with 141k miles, have engines that are spotless inside, using synthetic. I don't trust BMW's five digit oil change mileages. I did my first one at 6.5k miles (half what the car called for), and my new one at 8k miles (not the 11k miles it calls for). The Chevy and Honda get oil changes when they ask for them (7k to 12k miles), depending on my driving conditions (short trips in the Honda: 7k miles, all interstate in the Chevy: 12k miles).

You should always use synthetic oil in these cars, and one that meets ACEA A3/B3, or better yet BMW Long Life spec'ed oils (LL-01, LL-04, LL-14, etc.). BMW upped their minimum requirements when they switched lubricant suppliers, requiring LL oils.

If you car is a 28i, it has the N20/N26 engine family. Those built before January 2015 have problems with the timing chain and guides.

So, you have two separate issues to be resolved.
 

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02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 105K miles NOKIAN WR G3 20K miles
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About a block away from home the engine oil pressure alert came on but I was able to get it into the drive way. About that time the car failed.
Do not run this engine again. Get a second opinion. Get a loan.

Red Low Oil Pressure means promptly select neutral, turn the engine off, and wrestle the car off the road RIGHT NOW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes it was purchased used. From the dealership and as a CPO. Oil changes have been done exclusively at the dealership.
 

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Yes it was purchased used. From the dealership and as a CPO. Oil changes have been done exclusively at the dealership.
If it's under CPO, the car had an oil service done at the dealership, you should be covered for any related repair. If you get pushback from the dealership, I would carefully document everything, write a letter to the dealership owner and service manager, and contact BMW NA Customer Relations at 800-831-1117. Let us know how you make out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Like I said, my concern is that it may have gone over the recommendation the one time. Trying to go through bank statements as I swear I had it done somewhere else in that time period, but worried if I can***8217;t find documentation.
 

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Any BMW dealership can print the maintenance history (from your key). It should show each oil change and the mileage. Full synthetic oil shouldn***8217;t turn to sludge even if it goes a little past the recommended mileage.
 

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It would take a long time for even regular oil to turn to sludge. Even 15k on synthetic will certainly not turn to sludge. Something else is going on here. Suspect an internal coolant leak or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It would take a long time for even regular oil to turn to sludge. Even 15k on synthetic will certainly not turn to sludge. Something else is going on here. Suspect an internal coolant leak or something.
Thanks. Right now I feel like that's what the dealership thinks as well, but they're waiting to hear from BMW NA. I'm just surprised that they serviced in July and as well as changed the oil as well and found nothing. I know they don't necessarily look for it, but still. Fine to done in 5,000 miles?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update. Got a call from the dealership and they are putting in a new engine under the warranty. Huge sigh of relief, it does have me wondering if there was more to this than I was told. Whatever the case, I’m immensely impressed by my dealership and BMW NA.
 
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