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Hi all, first post, thought I would share my experiences and get some guidance as having a bit of a nightmare and quite frankly just needed a rant.

Purchased an F10 525d about 4 years ago and put 70K miles on it with no issues at all. That is until I took it into Halliwell Jones Warrington, my closest BMW dealership for its EGR recall. Got a phone call late afternoon to be told they had sheared a bolt carrying out the work and I wouldn’t get my car back for a few days. Not a huge problem normally but I was due to drive 500+ miles for work the next week. Was told in a very condescending tone I couldn’t have a loan car and there was nothing they could do to help; a car of my age will have problems. Had to ring BMW and complain before Halliwell Jones Warrington relented and magically found a car I could loan for my business trip. They would even refund the cost to put it on my insurance (they never did but only £60 so bigger battles to fight). Went into the dealership to get my things from the car and was lead by a very pleasant lady into the workshop where my cars engine was strewn all over the floor in no semblance of order or care. I distinctly remember making the comment, “oh my poor baby what have they done to you” with the retort from the pleasant lady was “oh your quite fond of your car?”. suffice to say the small talk ended at that point.

When I finally got my car back they had done a whole heap of work on it I wasn’t made aware of, including changing the small turbo (the service advisor told me they had changed both but he must have been thinking of someone else car they had mutilated. A check of the paperwork after leaving I discovered his error) and I was shown the warranty invoice for just over 3K. thankfully it was covered by the recall so no cost to me, the dealership just bills BWM directly or something like that. Having been traumatised in seeing the state of my car in the workshop the week before I commented “will it ever be the same again” as to which I got the reply “oh it will be much better now”. Figured I’d had my dose of being talked down to and made to feel suitably inadequate, so I tucked my tail between my legs and ran for the hills. that’s when the real problems started.

With covid lockdowns and such going on the car sat mostly on the drive but around Christmas I started getting intermittent drive train warnings and the occasional loss of power. Hooked it upto ISTA as soon as I could and the car had a handful of open circuit faults on sensors and plausibility errors (Rail-pressure sensor, Exhaust-gas temp, charging pressure control etc etc), which to someone not hugely knowledgeable about these things sounded very much like the area of my car that had previously been sat on the dealerships floor.

Rang Halliwell Jones Warrington again and was told I would have to pay £159 for a diagnostic. Figured I needed the car and I was convinced they had caused the problem so took it back in, again left without a car but thankfully no business trips planned so just inconvenient for my wife and kids (sorry work takes priority kiddies). Got the car back at the end of the day without fault codes showing. Was told they had replaced a wiring loom for one of the sensors (didn’t say which but I figured the exhaust-gas temp) but the other faults they couldn’t investigate because I had a TDI tuning box fitted (2 plugs to uninstall and takes 2 minutes for a total novice like me but hey who am I to argue, I’m not a professional and know nothing) but the fault had cleared so they were fairly confident I wouldn’t have any more problems. Went home and removed the tuning box (took me 4 minutes as I couldn’t figure out how to get one of the connectors off) and took the car for a blast up an A road.…drive train warning appeared and ISTA reported 244C00 charging pressure control deviation.

Really need the car back on the road at this stage as work commitments are stacking up so took the car into my trusted German car specialist I have used for 10+ years on various cars. They spent an hour looking into the faults and were shocked at what they found, I don’t really want to put in writing what the engineer said because quite frankly it’s a little blue but lets just say he wasn’t overly enamoured by the skill of the work done to my engine. Got some lovely photos of the damaged caused to various vac tubes and wiring looms and a bit of a report. He informs me to fix it most likely the turbos are going to have to come off and lots of bits are going to have to be stripped off, its “a big job”. Now I’m booked back into the dealership to see what happens. Not even an apology when I rang either, just the “we have to make you aware it will cost £159 for a diagnostic” and “there are no loan cars available”.

Let’s see what happens…
 

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I don't trust the main dealers at all.
Simple reason is i was a mechanic for nearly 50 years but they have a "master tech" now that can use a computer well but not a mechanic that can use spanner and his knowledge.
 

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Speaking to one of my local mechanics (who runs a racing team in his spare time) and he says engines now are effectively "factory sealed". They are not designed to be repaired and if anything breaks then it is simply a case of tossing out the old unit and putting in a new one. Most of the assembly is done by machines to fixed tolerances which are hard to match by hand. Expect 100K out of a car and then be prepared to scrap it was his opinion. Like Alan says, it's all electronics now. The art of proper spannering is disappearing. Most garages I visit, if there's nobody in the back over 50 years old who actually knows stuff and has experience, probably best avoided.

Still, we're looking at an electric future. £15K for when the battery pack fails. It's an enticing prospect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Speaking to one of my local mechanics (who runs a racing team in his spare time) and he says engines now are effectively "factory sealed". They are not designed to be repaired and if anything breaks then it is simply a case of tossing out the old unit and putting in a new one. Most of the assembly is done by machines to fixed tolerances which are hard to match by hand. Expect 100K out of a car and then be prepared to scrap it was his opinion. Like Alan says, it's all electronics now. The art of proper spannering is disappearing. Most garages I visit, if there's nobody in the back over 50 years old who actually knows stuff and has experience, probably best avoided.

Still, we're looking at an electric future. £15K for when the battery pack fails. It's an enticing prospect.
well thats a depressing thought indeed. would you concider an EGR so ingegral to the engine it can't be replaced without breaking "the seal"? i get what your saying though, my thoughts when the aftersales rep said it would be better than before was, "sure it will be! build by robots and experts to tiny tolerances in germany and then disamtled and rebuilt by a kid in his 20's with a spanner and an NVQ. bound to be just as good".
 

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Sounds like you have had a real crap experience at the hands of the dealers. I am baffled how they can get it so wrong doing what they have done to it. The n47 is actually a decent engine to work on especially in the 5 series as there’s plenty of space around it.
I sort of get what that mechanic said in the previous post but it’s more to do with mentality of the dealers rather than the engines being “factory sealed” it’s easier for them to whip out,throw away than replace. I rebuilt an n47 last year that had spun a big end taking crank and rod out. All parts available but you do have to get bearing shells right as they are all colour coded. Not massively difficult to do but doing it right is more time consuming than replacing the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
update. HWJ denying my problems are anything to do with the work they have done stating the damaged wiring/vac pipes are not near the part of the engine they have worked on and are common faults. The hi pressure problems are unrelated they claim. They have given me the car back still broken and not even an estimate on what it would cost to fix, just that fault investigation is huge so the bill will be very expensive just to diagnose. Managed to get the workshop notes from the rep for the 3 times it’s been in and it shows they have changed the inlet and exhaust manifolds, high pressure turbo (1st visit) and wiring loom for EGR exhaust temp sensor (2nd visit). I'm pretty sure that covers most of the engine so would be really quite disruptive? or am I jumping to conclusions? made a complaint to BMW UK last night as totally not happy with the dealerships response. Feel like I’m being lied to, nothing is being explained and I’m treated like a moron. so let’s see what happens with the complaint.. very despondent with the whole experience. If anyone has any ammunition I could use or the right sort of things I should be saying I would be very appreciative as I’ve never had to complain to a dealership for shoddy work before. Getting to the point I’m just going to get my independent garage to sort it, part ex the car and never go near a BMW again. Having the car off the road is a right pain in the bum.
 

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I have been where you are with a dealership attempting to charge ridiculous prices for what was essentially unnecessary work. Didn't get much assistance from BMW head office either at the time.

In this instance I would think you would have a fairly decent case against the dealership. The car was given to them in a working condition in order to carry out manufacturer-mandated work.
Not only has this work not been completed in a satisfactory fashion but the car was not returned to you in a working state. If the dealership has elected to carry out a bunch of unspecified tasks in addition to the recall work without consulting you, regardless of whether they deemed it necessary or not, then the responsibility is entirely theirs.

In my own case I put my car in for a service and it came back bleeding oil everywhere. It went back into the dealership and they quoted me close to £2k for a new top cover gasket and other sundry works. My local indy took one look at it and put the oil filler cap back on straight. No more leaking oil.

My response to the dealerships was to ask: "You are either incompetent or dishonest: which is it?" I got some lame response from BMW asking why I wasn't happy with the service I'd received.

IIWY I'd go find a solicitor. The dealership broke your car. The least they could do is fix it (without charge).
 
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