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      11-02-2018, 08:29 PM   #1
bacardi198
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BMW Replacing N55

Hey all,

This is a followup to my original thread here: https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh...php?p=23808531

Quick recap: I siphoned a quart of oil out of my coolant expansion tank, thought it might be left over from when the OFHG was replaced under warranty so I took it to BMW to have it flushed and cleaned.

Dealer flushed and cleaned the system, but said oil was still bubbling up into the expansion tank. Field engineer recommended replacing the entire OFH assembly, thinking it may be cracked; BMW did the repair as a goodwill, knocking cost from ~$1700 down to $350. OFH assembly was replaced, but oil was still bubbling into the expansion tank.

Back and forth for ~4 days between dealer and BMW/engineers, and they decide that something is wrong with the motor internally. Service manager called last Friday said he'd been emailing with BMWNA to get them to step up to the plate and stand behind their product since I only have 37k miles. He said he'd let me know when he gets a decision, and I waited for a call.

Finally got a call today, BMW has agreed to pay for all parts for a new engine (remanufactured, part #11002298312 for the curious), including the cooling system hoses and everything the contaminated coolant was running through. They asked me to pay the labor, which comes to $2,589.40 out the door. That's a lot of money, but I'm super thankful for BMW being gracious with their offer. I gave the go-ahead, the engine should be in early next week, and the service manager said it should be ready to go at the end of next week or the beginning of the following week. Service manager said BMW was eating close to $18k in parts on this job.

Anyone have any thoughts on this whole ordeal? Service manager also said the new motor should fix the problem, but said there's a very small, very rare chance that it's something with the turbo that could be causing the oil to leak into the coolant. What would that be? Since the turbo is one of the few parts swapped from the old motor to the new motor, it would be crazy to replace the engine and then find out the turbo was the problem .

I guess it will be nice to have a new engine either way?

Last edited by bacardi198; 11-02-2018 at 11:16 PM..
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      11-03-2018, 08:50 AM   #2
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I'm kinda surprised they didn't bother to check the cylinder head gasket. However that repair includes dropping the engine anyways so I guess they figured might as well go with a new engine.

I doubt it's your turbo.
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      11-03-2018, 09:40 AM   #3
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Yikes. Scary thread.
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      11-03-2018, 01:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
I'm kinda surprised they didn't bother to check the cylinder head gasket. However that repair includes dropping the engine anyways so I guess they figured might as well go with a new engine.

I doubt it's your turbo.
I had the same thought, actually. Since replacing the engine was the solution after consulting with the field engineers (and presumably BMW through PuMA), I suppose they thought if the head gasket could be the issue, it'd make sense to just swap the motor to be on the safe side.

The car had no performance issues at all, no temperature/overhearting problems, no active codes or shadow codes, and idled as it should. Service manager (who is also the shop foreman) felt that if the head gasket was to blame there would be other signs or symptoms, but the car seemed to run just fine.

Such an odd chain of events, honestly. After looking into it, it seems like BMW describes it as a "short engine," but it's basically an entire engine with all new components...seems to include the water pump, injectors, etc. so that's a positive I guess.

Being out of warranty by 12 months, but only having 37k, I suppose I can't really complain about $2600 for a new engine...right?
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      11-03-2018, 01:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bacardi198 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
I'm kinda surprised they didn't bother to check the cylinder head gasket. However that repair includes dropping the engine anyways so I guess they figured might as well go with a new engine.

I doubt it's your turbo.
I had the same thought, actually. Since replacing the engine was the solution after consulting with the field engineers (and presumably BMW through PuMA), I suppose they thought if the head gasket could be the issue, it'd make sense to just swap the motor to be on the safe side.

The car had no performance issues at all, no temperature/overhearting problems, no active codes or shadow codes, and idled as it should. Service manager (who is also the shop foreman) felt that if the head gasket was to blame there would be other signs or symptoms, but the car seemed to run just fine.

Such an odd chain of events, honestly. After looking into it, it seems like BMW describes it as a "short engine," but it's basically an entire engine with all new components...seems to include the water pump, injectors, etc. so that's a positive I guess.

Being out of warranty by 12 months, but only having 37k, I suppose I can't really complain about $2600 for a new engine...right?
IMO you came out ahead and the great part is that the repair comes with a two year warranty. Glad to hear it is getting resolved.
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      11-04-2018, 08:24 PM   #6
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Any engine trouble is literally very troublesome to say the least. Also glad to hear that the problem is getting addressed.
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      11-19-2018, 01:36 PM   #7
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Just an update to this saga...BMW still has my car, today being the 35th day of my car being at the dealership (dropped off on October 16th).

The engine swap was supposed to be complete on November 9th; I understand BMW is doing me a solid by agreeing to pay for the parts, but at what point am I allowed to be frustrated?

The service advisor does not communicate with me at all...each time they've given me an estimated day of completion, I don't hear anything from the dealer (SA, manager, anyone) until I call and ask towards the end of that day if the car is ready. Shouldn't the SA be at least keeping me in the loop?

All three times that they've missed the date for it be ready has been blamed on some parts not shipping from where they were supposed to, so the extra transit time is delaying it. Now as of Friday, there were some "lines" being shipped from Germany and it should be ready tomorrow or Wednesday. But the "parts were in and the engine just needed to be bolted back up to the car" last week according to the service manager...and then randomly on Friday afternoon when I call (because again, no one texts or calls with updates), they're waiting on some lines from Germany.

Just venting, I guess.
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      11-20-2018, 12:49 AM   #8
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They are busy plus you are not paying for the engine = low priority.

Its like that for all dealers, thats just the way it is sadly.

BTW, that "18k$" for the engine is baloney, its probably more like 3-4k TOPS actual value for them, possibly less.
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      11-25-2018, 05:26 AM   #9
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That price is realistic. Engines through BMW are not cheap
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      11-30-2018, 11:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMachuca3d View Post
They are busy plus you are not paying for the engine = low priority.

Its like that for all dealers, thats just the way it is sadly.

BTW, that "18k$" for the engine is baloney, its probably more like 3-4k TOPS actual value for them, possibly less.
Yes, the MSRP is grossly inflated, but even at dealer cost it's over $10k in parts considering it's the engine, all cooling system lines and hoses, thermostat, etc. The way I look at it is a used N55 goes for $3k on eBay, not installed...so $2,600 for a brand new motor and cooling system including installation is a deal for me.

Update to the saga: motor was reinstalled and taken for a roadtest, but there was oil bubbling up into the coolant afterwards. SA thinks it was from leftover oil in the radiator, so they're going to flush the coolant and check again.

What a nightmare.

Last edited by bacardi198; 11-30-2018 at 11:44 AM..
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      11-30-2018, 11:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bacardi198 View Post
Yes, the MSRP is grossly inflated, but even at dealer cost it's over $10k in parts considering it's the engine, all cooling system lines and hoses, thermostat, etc. The way I look at it is a used N55 goes for $3k on eBay, not installed...so $2,600 for a brand new motor and cooling system including installation is a deal for me.

Update to the saga: motor was reinstalled and taken for a roadtest, but there was oil bubbling up into the coolant afterwards. SA thinks it was from leftover oil in the radiator, so they're going to flush the coolant and check again.

What a nightmare.
You are almost there. Engine replacements are not as easy or smooth as one may expect. It's good to see the dealer being very diligent.
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      11-30-2018, 10:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfm56d7b View Post
You are almost there. Engine replacements are not as easy or smooth as one may expect. It's good to see the dealer being very diligent.
Agreed on that.
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      12-12-2018, 08:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfm56d7b View Post
You are almost there. Engine replacements are not as easy or smooth as one may expect. It's good to see the dealer being very diligent.
I appreciate the kind words!

Unfortunately...

I got the car back one week ago exactly.

There was some oil still bubbling to the top, definitely seemed to look like the remnants of what was left in the radiator (one of the only things not replaced in the cooling system).

Then Monday I got an "Engine Coolant Low" message...called the dealer, they said bring it by in the morning to top it off, and that it must have been an air pocket.

Well after the car cooled down, I opened the coolant expansion tank and it was empty...that's about 1.5 to 2 quarts of coolant missing. Which is 20ish percent of the system capacity.

Brought it to the dealer, they refilled it and the SA said to call tomorrow (today) since the service manager had a family emergency and didn't make it in to work. He said that the service manager would coordinate with me on a final coolant flush to get rid of the little bit of oil at the top.

The low coolant messaged popped up again on the way home, I let it cool down and then took a peek into the coolant tank...it was full of oil.

I took it up to the dealer today to meet with the manager and show him...the car was too hot to take the cap off of the tank completely but he opened it enough to allow the oil at the top to spill out and immediately said "oh, that's not just a little left in the radiator."

He said he's going to be out for the rest of the week, and asked me to give them the car back on Monday morning. He said he's going to call the field engineer back in and then we'll go from there, I guess.

At this point, a brand new engine and cooling system didn't remedy it...it has to be the turbo, right? I'm not sure where else it would be happening.

This was disheartening, but we will see next week I guess. At this point, I think it's a bit ridiculous to be expected to pay $2,500 in labor on a gamble/guess that doesn't fix the problem.
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      12-12-2018, 08:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bacardi198 View Post
I appreciate the kind words!

Unfortunately...

I got the car back one week ago exactly.

There was some oil still bubbling to the top, definitely seemed to look like the remnants of what was left in the radiator (one of the only things not replaced in the cooling system).

Then Monday I got an "Engine Coolant Low" message...called the dealer, they said bring it by in the morning to top it off, and that it must have been an air pocket.

Well after the car cooled down, I opened the coolant expansion tank and it was empty...that's about 1.5 to 2 quarts of coolant missing. Which is 20ish percent of the system capacity.

Brought it to the dealer, they refilled it and the SA said to call tomorrow (today) since the service manager had a family emergency and didn't make it in to work. He said that the service manager would coordinate with me on a final coolant flush to get rid of the little bit of oil at the top.

The low coolant messaged popped up again on the way home, I let it cool down and then took a peek into the coolant tank...it was full of oil.

I took it up to the dealer today to meet with the manager and show him...the car was too hot to take the cap off of the tank completely but he opened it enough to allow the oil at the top to spill out and immediately said "oh, that's not just a little left in the radiator."

He said he's going to be out for the rest of the week, and asked me to give them the car back on Monday morning. He said he's going to call the field engineer back in and then we'll go from there, I guess.

At this point, a brand new engine and cooling system didn't remedy it...it has to be the turbo, right? I'm not sure where else it would be happening.

This was disheartening, but we will see next week I guess. At this point, I think it's a bit ridiculous to be expected to pay $2,500 in labor on a gamble/guess that doesn't fix the problem.
Sorry to hear that the fix does not work. At this point do make dealer pay for any further work as the original diagnosis(new engine + cooling system) was incorrect.
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      12-12-2018, 08:25 PM   #15
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Thanks for the update. Disheartening- no doubt. Did the new engine come with its own new turbo or the old one was reused?

These leaks have a definitive root cause. It's just the first attempt that did not succeed. BMW field engineers are quite good at their jobs.
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      12-12-2018, 08:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfm56d7b View Post
Thanks for the update. Disheartening- no doubt. Did the new engine come with its own new turbo or the old one was reused?

These leaks have a definitive root cause. It's just the first attempt that did not succeed. BMW field engineers are quite good at their jobs.
Interestingly enough, the only parts that are swapped from the old motor to the new motor are the intake manifold and exhaust manifold (including the turbo). Everything else is included and already installed on the new engine when it comes in on the crate.

Agreed on the field engineers knowing their stuff -- he originally mentioned (casually) that the turbo could be the cause, albeit being an extremely rare chance. I guess this was that one in a million, as they say.

Since the turbo has coolant and oil feeds, I'm assuming that's where the cross-over is happening. We shall see when the field engineer steps in again next week. I will be sure to keep you guys updated!
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      12-13-2018, 12:13 AM   #17
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It doesn't make sense to be the turbo, there's no coolant running to the turbo.
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      12-13-2018, 06:37 AM   #18
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Replacement engines are not new but rather factory renovated.
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      12-13-2018, 07:52 AM   #19
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It doesn't make sense to be the turbo, there's no coolant running to the turbo.
There actually is a coolant line.
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      12-13-2018, 01:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
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It doesn't make sense to be the turbo, there's no coolant running to the turbo.
See the attached image for a diagram of the turbo for the N55B30; check numbers 7 and 8, which are the coolant feed and return lines for the turbo.

If anyone else would like to learn the ins and outs of the motor in their car, check out the technical training manual from BMW; it's very in-depth and has amazing diagrams for everything about the engine.

Here is a link: http://www.bimmerpost.com/goodiesfor...nformation.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. C4 View Post
Replacement engines are not new but rather factory renovated.
For sure, I mentioned that it was remanufactured in the OP with the part number, but I just refer to it as new for brevity's sake since it's essentially new (as opposed to a used motor from a salvage yard, etc.). Hope that clears it up .
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Last edited by bacardi198; 12-13-2018 at 03:40 PM..
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      12-17-2018, 07:16 AM   #21
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thanks, Didn't knew that !!!
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      12-20-2018, 11:12 AM   #22
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thanks, Didn't knew that !!!
No worries at all!

Small update for anyone interested: The car has been at the dealership since Monday morning, with no communication from anyone since then. I called a bit ago, and the SA doesn't have any info at all, which is frustrating. The car hasn't even been pulled into the service bay since it was dropped off, from what I can discern

I'm going to replace the X1 loaner with something different later today since it's almost over the 4,000 mile limit that they try capping loaners at before pulling them out of service, if I catch the service manager or if there's any news, I'll post here.
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