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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 07-09-2004, 01:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey everyone... Just wanted to share my BMW experience with you.....

I'm new on the board but I've been reading all the tips & trick in anticipation of becoming a BMW owner.

Here are the specs of the car I took delivery 4 weeks ago:

2004 330Ci ZHP
Jet Black
Manual 6-speed
Alcantara / Laser Cloth Interior
HK Audio, directional bi-xenons

Best car I've ever own... a great city cruiser with looks and performance. Wish I could post pics for you but keep reading and you'll know why I don't have any posted.


Here's where it turns sour:

When I took delivery of the car, it had 8KM's on it, it was fresh off the boat.

2 weeks into carefully driving it through the break-in period, I started to see smoke coming out of the top of the hood everytime I stopped the car (smelled like burning oil). Brought it immediately back to the dealership the very next day and was told it was just excess production wax/grease that was burning off. Dealer told me not to worry and that it wasn't oil... they said they wiped off the excess and I shouldn't see anymore smoke.

Drove it for another 2 days with smoke still coming out and back to the shop I went. 2 days of being in the shop the dealer tells me I have a "mis-casted cylinder". They'll need 2 weeks for a new cylinder to be shipped from Germany.....

I've been in touch with BMW Canada and they won't replace my vehicle. 700KM's on the odometer and I'm having major engine work, I can't believe how disappointed I am with the company.

Anyone else have bad or similar experiences with they new cars???

-- Leftie
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Old 07-09-2004, 02:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know the laws in canada but legally in the US they have to pay. It's not just BMW. Every car company has problems with some new cars. It's extremely rare and I'm sorry to hear that, but you will usually only hear about bad experiences with a new car so good luck with it when it comes back from the shop, you won't be disappointed.
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Old 07-09-2004, 03:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I wouldn't worry about 4 miles on the clock.... it probably did that leaving the production line!! (not quite but it's not a biggie)

That doesn't sound to good. The smoke you described sounds like the head or sump leaking.... not a cylinder!

I've not heard of this problem before and would suggest a visit to an independant mechanic might be worth a try. You warranty will cover all of this at the moment so you might want to stop by the lawyer's office on the way back from 'Car-repairs R us'.
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Old 07-09-2004, 07:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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come back to the dealer repeatedly. in most us states (canada?), the lemon law REQUIRES a replaceemtn of the vehiccel if the same problem shows up a number of times.
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Old 07-10-2004, 10:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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weird things happen and unfortunately you found that out. A "mis-casted cylinder"? and they are waiting for ONE to come in? You don't just replace a cylinder, you have to replace the whole engine block. Hopefully they told you the right thing. Anyway, it can happen. While the engine blocks are maufacture by a computer, we all know what happens when those $%^& computers have a bad day. Sounds like from what the dealer is saying is that one of the cylinders was not casted properly which either means it either was not truely "round" which would allow compression loss, oil consumption and smoke through the exhaust. Or from your description of smoke from under the hood (and sorry Mr White G), it could very well be because of a miscasted cylinder. If the cylinder liner was not properly installed and even .010'' above the deck surface of the block, this would create an oil and even possibly a coolant leak onto the exhaust which would then create the burning oil and smoke that you were experiencing. And contrary to the wisdom here on the board, DON'T take the car to an independent shop. The moment one of those guys even cracks the oil cap on the engine, BMW will not grant you the warranty. Let BMW pay for the engine rebuild and demand an extended warranty at least. If you have problems ever again with the engine, take it back a couple of times and envoke the lemon law. It sounds as if the dealer you took your car to is at least reasonably competent due to the fact that when they actually looked at the car, they found the casting defect.
Take a deep breath and realize all is not lost and this should only just be a postponement to your thrills of driving your new BMW. It should be good as new when you get it back.
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Old 07-10-2004, 11:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I can understand how a bad cylinder might blow smke through the tailpipe, but I can't figure out what would cause smoke under the hood. Can't blame you for being upset though. We pay a premium price for these cars. It would seem reasonable to expect above average quality.
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Old 07-10-2004, 11:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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First off, to the forums, hope you stick around.

I'm sorry, but I would march down to your local dealer, and demmand a new vehicle. They can check you DME to determine abuse by the new owner (you), and provided none is found, replace the car. There is no way, I would plunk down tens of thousands of dollars on a NEW car, and a few weeks into ownership need MAJOR engine repairs.

Buck up, put your daddy pants on, and demmand a replacement. I would contact BMW North America or Canada (wasn't clearly deliniated where you are located) and let them know of the situation. My local BMW dealer has always gone above and beyond necessary requirements, and I would expect no less from any BMW dealer.
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Old 07-10-2004, 11:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds like you got a reasonable answer but I would go back to the dealership, as stated above. Which dealership did you buy your car at? I live in TO and bought my car at the Whitby Experience Centre, which is right next to corporate headquarters for BMW Canada. Make sure you document what has happened, and write a letter to corporate headquarters with copies of your service invoices included. Demand that they get you a new vehicle, or replace the engine. Send the letter registered mail, and don't bother calling.

If all else fails, or if you don't get a reasonable response, then you should contact, in writing, the Department of Consumer and Business Relations. In Ontario, their website is HERE

Good luck!

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Old 07-10-2004, 01:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Leftie89,

Which Province are you from?
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Old 07-10-2004, 01:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zoomin@Jul 10 2004, 12:05 PM
I can understand how a bad cylinder might blow smke through the tailpipe, but I can't figure out what would cause smoke under the hood. Can't blame you for being upset though. We pay a premium price for these cars. It would seem reasonable to expect above average quality.
Zoomin: read through my previous post...
Quote:
If the cylinder liner was not properly installed and even .010'' above the deck surface of the block, this would create an oil and even possibly a coolant leak onto the exhaust which would then create the burning oil and smoke that you were experiencing.
Also, a mis-casted cylinder not allowing the piston rings to seal properly would create significant blowby in the crankcase which would in turn create oil leaks all over the engine at places like valve cover gaskets, oil caps, dipsticks, crankcase vent valves and even oil pan gaskets... all of which could allow oil onto the exhaust or other hot engine components which would indeed cause smoke.
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Old 07-10-2004, 11:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ahhh. the key work is onto. I read as into. Thanks for the clarification!
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Old 07-11-2004, 01:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks guys,

I'm dealing with "The BMW Store" in British Columbia. At first the sales guy was supportive of working with me on getting BMW Canada to replace the car... now it seems like he's trying to convince me the major engine work is no biggie and that I should just wait the two weeks.

I've already been in contact with BMW Canada Customer Service and they tell me they have a no replacement policy. I'm going to keep trying...

Not being a car expert, I was too pissed off to get the full explanation straight. I'm asking the tech to put down in writing what the exact problem is. Is there a difference between a mis-casted cylinder vs. a cylinder head?

EXtech, your second post sounds about right.... does this mean they're replacing the engine block?
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Old 07-11-2004, 02:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I would of gone to the court on that issue...
Person pays BIG bucks for a luxury car with expectations , that car is made using factory' assembly and manufacturing process.
The car has major defect.
Now, after geting customer's money they offer customer to repear car at repear shop...
I have spend myself 6 years in automotive company designing components that currently used in cars. There is a BIG difference in process of assembly on the factory floor and in the local garage, even if it is BMW dealer shop.
No offence, to the BMW service techs, but level of control on factory floor by far outweighs delers shop. Granted, the service techs much more experienced and knowledgable, then your typical employee on assembly line.
Main thing, that is going to be changed sequence of assembly: car will be dissasambled, then assembled without tools jigs and fixtures used in typical assembly process.
Customer can get scratches in the areas, that not easyly accessible, thermal and sound insulation can be pulled off and reattached. Engine supports unloaded and loaded again. Engine alighnment on the support brackets will be changed.
Gosh, not everything will go wrong, but the chances that something will are very high.
And all that for the premium money collected for brand, spanking new, factory build car?
I would feel like been taken for the ride...
C'mon BMW, mistakes happens, the only time no mistake made, is when nothing is done. But have guts to take car with major problem, fix it and sell at discount, or give it to your executive' son-in-law, but give brand new car to a paying customer, as your contract with that customer states...
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Old 07-11-2004, 09:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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No problem Zoomin !

Leftie.. Yes, they will be replacing the block. More than likely the entire short block will be replaced (meaning the block, crank, pistons, connecting rods and piston rings and of course the bearings). This is assuming that nothing else was affected, primarily the cylinder head. I would check with the dealer to find out exactly what it is they are doing. I would try to barter for at least a new complete long block (assembled short block + assembled cylinder head, both already together). Also make sure that the biggest baddest most experienced mofo up there is doing the work, preferably the shop foreman. If all is done right, the car will be as good as new and you'll never know the difference. To be honest, if your car's problem had been caught by QC at the factory, they would have just rolled it around to the powertrain department and a new engine would have been put in place of the malfunctioning one, just like the dealer is doing. This is one of the reasons BMW is not offering to buy the car back.
I'm not sure about Canada's lemon law (or if they have one for that matter) but here is a link to the Texas law texas lemon law
"..If a new motor vehicle does not conform to all applicable manufacturer's, converter's, or distributor's express warranties, the manufacturer, converter, or distributor shall make the repairs necessary to conform the vehicle to the applicable express warranties, notwithstanding that the repairs are made after the expiration of the warranties.."
The industry rule, which is hard to debate in court, is that so long as the manufacturer can restore the vehicle to its original condition, then it is not required to buy the car back or compensate you otherwise. Somewhere in the Lemon Laws that is stated much more clearly but what I quoted above is an excerpt from the Texas Law. Trust me, I think the dealer and possibly BMW and the dealer conjointly should put you in another brand new car. Neither will have lost money and at worse will break even. Suppose they did lose a couple thousand on the deal, it's worth the return future business because of excellent customer service. When I was at the dealer, I witnessed an occasion or two in which the dealership itself put the customer in another new car, so raise some stink with them. I don't believe that court time would be worth it's weight... but that's just me. Sorry for the lengthy reply.
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