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prehistoric bony fish
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my 540i-6 to the dealership for an oil change last week. It has 145K miles on it, and they recommended that I clean the injectors, so I agreed.

When I got the car back, it was stalling randomly when it was in neutral, and when it wasn't stalling, it was idling at about 1,400 RPMs, sometimes it would idle around 900, sometimes it would bounce around at around 400.

I took it back for the first time and they said that the culprit was a cracked vacuum cap. They replaced it and I went on my way, but the car continued to stall and idle crazily.
I took it back again and they said that the idle control valve was dirty, and that was the problem. The service advisor explained that the idle control valve could have become gummed up when the pressure cleaned the fuel system. They cleaned the idle control valve and reset the fuel adaptions (I think this is what they said).

So I drove off, but about 20 miles away, the idle starts going crazy again. The car is no longer stalling, and the idle is less crazy, but it still will randomly idle at 1,400 RPM, the idle will still jump around and bounce around 400 RPM. Basically when the problem starts, it's like I'm on the throttle all the time.

So I took it back again this morning and now they're telling me that the idle control valve needs replacing, but they are going to discount it from $508 to $375 for me and not charge labor. They swear that this is a coincidence and that there's nothing they could have done to break the idle control valve.

I don't think it's a coincidence that I've never had a problem with the car's engine in over 2 years and the second I get it back from the oil change and injection cleaning, it's not working right. Furthermore, the SA told me that the injector cleaning could have gummed up the idle control valve, so how can they say they couldn't possibly have done anything to break it? Couldn't gumming it up with stuff from the injector cleaning be the culprit behind it breaking?

So I need some advice on how to handle this situation, and also just about the technical aspects. Does the dealer's story make sense?

Thanks.
-Mike
 

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swinging a big stick
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3,940 Posts
I really, really hope you didnt go to Santa Monica BMW.
 

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122 Posts
I really, really hope you didnt go to Santa Monica BMW.
curious why you say that about Santa Monica BMW...is it that bad?
 

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prehistoric bony fish
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385 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Update - car's fixed

no they obviously broke it and are trying to scam you now. don't let them. let them know that you expect them to put your car back to the condition you gave it to them.
Update:

So I've gotten my car back (from Bob Smith in Calabasas). The master tech took it out driving in Box Canyon, and the revs all of a sudden jumped to 3,000 as he was in the twistys. He, probably being a bit dramatic, said that he almost flew into the canyon.

Anyway, the car idling at 3,000 RPMs, the tech puts it in neutral and pops the hood. He said he found that the throttle cable was becoming entangled with the cruise control cable, which had broken. He removed the cruise control cable and everything is back ship-shape.

Good thing no one was hurt or killed in all of this.

When this all first started happening, I thought to myself, I should see if anything is messing with the throttle cable, but I was too lazy and figured that the dealership would have checked that when there's an idle problem. They didn't, apparently.

After dropping my car off there 3 times, the problem is finally fixed. To their credit, they were very good to me, gave me rides to work and loaners.

The only thing that bothers me about all of this is that the car was shutting off on the freeway and the tech claims that he could have been killed. At one point I had my mom, sister and brother in the car with me just before the problem made itself evident, and then I drove the car for a few days while the dealer said it was fixed but wasn't.

All's well that ends well, no one is hurt or dead in a canyon.
-Mike
 
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