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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I called my dealer to set up a recall fix and an oil change and they informed me that the X5 was due to be inspected for the Valve Seal inspection and timing belt chain inspection.

The results of the testing are that the timing chain is tight and does not need to be replaced but they approved replacing the Valve Stem Seals. This will be done at no charge. In addition, they are covering 3 oil changes and replacing the battery at no charge.

I warned him (kinda jokingly) that this thing better come back to me with nothing else "found" that will be chargeable and he already hit me with an expansion tank crack for coolant. I knew there was a small leak some where and they are replacing it for the cost of the part (Their cost: $195) only since they have it apart already.

To summarize:

Valve stem seals
battery
oil change
new coolant expansion tank

$195 + tax

MY QUESTIONS

1. I am no mechanic (not even close). I do basic maintenance items only with brakes being about as complicated as I will undertake. That said, I really don't know how complex of a job the VSS replacement is. What would need to be replaced in addition to the seals just to get the VSS job done? In other words and given how these things leak all kinds of different colors (LOL) what else am I "getting"? Do the heads come off, new head gaskets?

Anything else?

2. I assume that many, many components will need to be removed/disassembled in order to do the VSS job (He stated they "drop the engine" on to a cart). These items that are disconnected to drop the engine are 88K miles and 8 years old. Something (a hose, a wire, a clamp etc.) WILL BREAK during this VSS job. Who pays for these things? What if something doesn't work right after they are done such as the cooling fan? Again, who pays to diagnose and fix after the fact?

3. This question is a scary one because I have only had this thing since October so my "repair fund" only only up to $375 ($125 a month saved so far). Is there anything else I should have them do while they have it opened up to take advantage of the labor savings? I can probably spend $800 on items in this category if it makes sense and will avoid future expense.



That is a ****-ton of stuff to throw at you folks here, but I respect your learned opinions and would really appreciate any information and/or advice. The car is there now and they start on it tomorrow. He thinks it will be good top go on late Friday or early Monday.

Thank you all for any help.

Jim
 

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A crack in the expansion tank happens with your mileage.

When the dealer takes out the engine to change out the valve steam seals one of the steps is to disconnect the coolant lines. Disconnecting the coolant parts at that point is effortless which is probably why they aren't charging you to purge(bleed) the system of air during this visit to the dealer. By the way, a 3rd party shop with a pro would not need to take the engine out but the dealer doesn't care about the extra repairs costs of an engine removal at the convenience of the mechanic.

Not sure if you know but the valve stem seals and battery are one of the items covered under the BMW class action BANG lawsuit. BMW fought long and hard to avoid this situation but ultimately they have to fix a larger issue which is oil consumption, for those impacted. Ultimately if your fix doesn't resolve the consumption issue they have to perform more free work. If a condition is reached they will cover a portion of engine replacement which is prorated on mileage. There is a chart available. I guess they thought you had a consumption issue possibly based on smoke from the exhaust. You could ask about how you monitor oil consumption going forward if you care and depending on how long you think you'll own the car.

Pooled into the lawsuit is a flaw for battery drain depending on your driving. Regardless if you are a victim of this your battery said it was low and the timing worked out for a free replacement.

My opinion is to save your money on repairs and take one visit to the dealer at a time.
 

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If, in the course of the job, they break something, they will (should) replace it by themselves (and not even tell you).
If they find something ancillary, not related to the job, they will inform you and you will pay (or choose to forgo the repair).
Now, they could say, we were taking the engine out and noticed the XYZ was broken. You'll have to use your judgement on those.
Say they find a bad motor mount. That would be your problem and not likely caused by this repair.
Say the found a broken vacuum hose (those brittle plastic ones). That would be their problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A crack in the expansion tank happens with your mileage.

When the dealer takes out the engine to change out the valve steam seals one of the steps is to disconnect the coolant lines. Disconnecting the coolant parts at that point is effortless which is probably why they aren't charging you to purge(bleed) the system of air during this visit to the dealer. By the way, a 3rd party shop with a pro would not need to take the engine out but the dealer doesn't care about the extra repairs costs of an engine removal at the convenience of the mechanic.

Not sure if you know but the valve stem seals and battery are one of the items covered under the BMW class action BANG lawsuit. BMW fought long and hard to avoid this situation but ultimately they have to fix a larger issue which is oil consumption, for those impacted. Ultimately if your fix doesn't resolve the consumption issue they have to perform more free work. If a condition is reached they will cover a portion of engine replacement which is prorated on mileage. There is a chart available. I guess they thought you had a consumption issue possibly based on smoke from the exhaust. You could ask about how you monitor oil consumption going forward if you care and depending on how long you think you'll own the car.

Pooled into the lawsuit is a flaw for battery drain depending on your driving. Regardless if you are a victim of this your battery said it was low and the timing worked out for a free replacement.

My opinion is to save your money on repairs and take one visit to the dealer at a time.


The advisor told me this was the result of the lawsuit so I read up further on it last night. This is why I asked for the battery and oil changes. They agreed although the first response to the oil change ask was "no". When we next spoke I asked again and he "checked on it" and wa-LA!; oil change included. Interestingly, the battery is only 18 months old. He conformed it would now be an AMG battery of a higher amperage. The lawsuit claimed that batteries are an issue due to the cooling fan staying on for long periods after the car is turned off because they run so hot. Wonderful.

Would it make any sense to replace the thermostat with a cooler one? Can this even be done without screwing up the engine or the have it spit codes?
 

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The advisor told me this was the result of the lawsuit so I read up further on it last night. This is why I asked for the battery and oil changes. They agreed although the first response to the oil change ask was "no". When we next spoke I asked again and he "checked on it" and wa-LA!; oil change included. Interestingly, the battery is only 18 months old. He conformed it would now be an AMG battery of a higher amperage. The lawsuit claimed that batteries are an issue due to the cooling fan staying on for long periods after the car is turned off because they run so hot. Wonderful.



Would it make any sense to replace the thermostat with a cooler one? Can this even be done without screwing up the engine or the have it spit codes?


Some people tried thermostat of lower temperature. Not sure about results. Problem with N63 is design that emphasizes performance at any cost and efficiency at any cost.
Better solution would be oil with better base stocks that can exchange temperature better. Just thought. I am no fan of Redline oils as they do not have approvals, but due to Ester base stock they tend to run cooler on track.
Just a thought.


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Discussion Starter #8
Some people tried thermostat of lower temperature. Not sure about results. Problem with N63 is design that emphasizes performance at any cost and efficiency at any cost.
Better solution would be oil with better base stocks that can exchange temperature better. Just thought. I am no fan of Redline oils as they do not have approvals, but due to Ester base stock they tend to run cooler on track.
Just a thought.


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Planned on having the dealer do the oil changes to help keep track of the usage.
 

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Living in a desert climate with an N63 I always ensure I let the engine cool after extended spirited driving prior to shutting it down (time permitting). This does a couple of things - thermally stabilizes the oil in the turbo lines, the turbo’s themselves, allows coolant flow using the vehicle’s mechanical pump to remove heat from the engine (so the electric water pump doesn’t have to after shutdown) and ensures the fan remains off after shutdown. - protects the battery and the cooling system.

When they are doing the VSS they will probably break the crossover pipe as it has a plastic fitting which should really be stainless imo...




N63 E70 X5 2012
 

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I recall someone once posting that the turbo lines or something could be wrapped in a heat shield to prevent some of the heat from soaking into the engine and slow down the hardening of the rubber components. I believe this improvement is a technical bulletin that applies to the M engines but they didn't care to apply it for the regular engines. Can anyone link it?
 

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Ive always felt that if a repair was 'covered' that anything that broke as a result should be covered.

The rationale is that if something breaks, it was either (a) the mechanics fault, or (b) a failure of the part to be capable of being properly disassembled following BMWs published procedure.....they could argue, I suppose, that even though it was a part failure it occurred after the warranty for that part expired.

Id just decline to pay it, leads to a retarded standoff if they want to push it.....
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Dealer called today and said it should be done by lunch tomorrow. I'll scan and post what the service right ups look like. I'm really curious as to the list of parts used. That should give me a very good idea of what rainbow colors of fluids this thing leaks have at least been temporarily stopped. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What do you all think I will notice in terms of performance change after the seals etc are done, if any?
 

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What do you all think I will notice in terms of performance change after the seals etc are done, if any?

I'm editing what I previously stated:

I don't think it changes much of anything with performance/power when you just do the AGA tool VSS job and don't remove the heads in the traditional way. Replacing the VSS saves your cats and stops the oil consumption. I have gasket leaks that will be replaced as part of the VSS job and I will be taking the heads off and cleaning so I DO expect some lost horsepower back from resealing. I think any performance gains are contingent on the condition of the engine/seals.


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Discussion Starter #16
I'm editing what I previously stated:

I don't think it changes much of anything with performance/power when you just do the AGA tool VSS job and don't remove the heads in the traditional way. Replacing the VSS saves your cats and stops the oil consumption. I have gasket leaks that will be replaced as part of the VSS job and I will be taking the heads off and cleaning so I DO expect some lost horsepower back from resealing. I think any performance gains are contingent on the condition of the engine/seals.


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Makes sense. I would have considered the walnut shell (or other) cleaning costs while they had the heads off but they used the AGA tools.

Just got the mail to go get it.

It better be good!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Here is the first of the service order pages. I am really curious what you folks see, if anything, that is note worthy.

I KNOW it was in my mind, but my ears told me it was quieter on the way home. The valve trains, I mean. It also did seem peppier. Again, in my mind, I am sure. One thing that isn't debatable is the fact that my gas milage was better after I picked it up today. I averaged about 16.5 mpg previously. Today after 125 miles of all around driving it was 19.1 mpg.

I find the cylinder compression test numbers very intriguing (they are in the next block of images one post down). That said, I don't really know if the are good or not. Given the parameters listed on the form itself it SEEMS that the spreads are great. Are they though? I am sure there are those here that can tell us all. Please.

What else can be gleaned?

The remaining pages are below
 

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My reading on the AGA fix is that it is a fix for valve stem seals but not a full solution for the engine failures. Kind of a long term band-aid. I would guess that your engine did run better but had minimal performance improvement. I think the N63 has more likelihood of carbon buildup that is not addressed during the AGA procedure. Looks like they did a god job though. I don't see many accounts of people having to do valve stem seals a second time no matter what method they were replaced with.
 

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Without searching through the part numbers of what they replaced, I wonder if they touched the timing covers.
 
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