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  •   Henry Catchpole reacted to this post about 6 months ago

    I heard the other day about an early #BMW-X1 that had been recovered into a main dealership with a non-start condition following a breakdown. The labour for diagnostics came to under 100 quid, but the associated repair bill resulted in a final cost that was significant enough to effectively write-off the car.

    / #High-Pressure-Fuel-Pumps / #BMW

    How does £6,000 grab you for a new, high-pressure fuel pump, four injectors, fuel system clean-out and labour? A fuel pump costs £1,250, four injectors add up to over £2,200, then add £150 for the non-re-useable fuel lines and, if needed, a fuel rail for an additional £420. Then there was a couple of days in the workshop to get it all done at whatever they charge (plus VAT), and you can see how it adds up and runs away.

    What happened in this case – and others – is that the finely-machined surfaces in the fuel pump somehow become damaged. Bits whizzed around inside the pump causing more aggro, and then the fi ne mix of metal swarf and diesel found its way into the injectors, ruining them.

    The car went to a BMW independent specialist who quoted £1,200 to supply and fit good used parts, and clean the system out. That’s after the workshop there had completed the same repair on three other #BMW-N47 cars before…

    But I do wonder what causes this problem? It’s not really that common a fault. It could be poor quality diesel from a supermarket station, water in the fuel or even the fact that, after the filter in the fuel pump, there isn’t one in the fuel line. I’d be very tempted to cut a section of the fuel supply pipe out and splice-in an external fuel filter, just as a second line of defence.

    A new, high-pressure fuel pump from BMW will cost a hefty £1,250, but this can be just the start of the expense if using a dealership for repairs.
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  •   Bob BMW reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Solid #flywheel conversions / BMW

    Many diesel owners will have heard of these conversions that replace the #dual-mass-flywheels ( DMF ). A new #DMF can be a lot of money – over £600. However, you can buy solid mass flywheel kits for various BMWs. For a 2007 onwards #BMW-N47 2.0d, such as a #BMW-320d , a flywheel and clutch kit is about £400 all in, including the sprung clutch centre plate. A kit for an older #BMW-M47 is about the same price. But are they worth it? There are stories of broken cranks on some BMW diesels, and these are ones such as the old M47 as fitted in the #Rover-75 diesel. This is due to the cranks in some diesels being made of cast iron as opposed to forged steel, and they can snap across a main bearing. It’s caused by harmonic vibrations and as well as the crank front pulley damper (which must be in perfect condition).

    The purpose of a dual mass flywheel is to absorb these stresses. Some will say the springs in the clutch centre plate on a standard solid flywheel does the job but they don’t – they just absorb the clutch take up. The dual mass flywheel moves about all the time, absorbing the severe vibrations that a four-cylinder diesel creates. Petrol engines, especially sixes, are not as critical but when did you last here of a petrol DMF failing? Exactly. And that tells you just how harsh diesels are on flywheels. So, should you fit one? That’s up to you, but bear in mind that unless you’re keeping the car forever, a new DMF and clutch kit will outlast your time with the car and it’ll be smooth and quiet to drive. A solid flywheel might save you £300 but it will be noisier, have noticeable vibration and whilst the chances of crank trouble is probably slim, is worth the risk? I wouldn’t, but each to their own…
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  •   Bob BMW reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    And now... the #three-cylinder-engine ! #BMW-B38 / #B38 / #BMW

    Well that didn’t take long. I’m told there’s been a problem with the three-cylinder petrol engines as fitted to the MINI, 2 Series Active Tourer and the latest 118i and 318i. The problem first manifests itself when it makes an odd noise upon pressing the clutch down – that’s odd. And it’ll do it again, and again. The fault is reckoned to be the crankshaft thrust washers wearing prematurely and similar things have happened to the N20 four-cylinder as well. A new engine under warranty is, of course, the answer but this is the latest in a series of engine issues – #BMW-N47 chains, #BMW-N43 general malaise etc. And it’s not just BMW – VW and Audi have had plenty of problems but Mercedes seem to be on the ball at the moment. Vauxhalls eat gearboxes for breakfast as well as a litany of EGR faults, and the 1.6 Ford/PSA TDCi engine is an ‘avoid at all costs’ nightmare. BMW has moved fast to identify the problem units under a Quality Enhancement scheme – either a complete new engine or a simple repair if caught in time. And whilst this is going on, millions of 20-year-old Toyota Carinas are still motoring on.


    Parkside Autos in Worksop recently had (another) six-year-old 116i whose sub- 60,000 mile N43 engine had grenaded itself – a few shards of broken chain guide rail had blocked the oil pick-up strainer, and that’s not an isolated case. European manufacturers need to get their act together and fast. Heads must roll for the recent engine troubles because brand loyalty only goes so far in this internet age – too many cock-ups and you’ll have lost market share before you can say ‘Watchdog’ or, with increasing frequency, ‘Kia seven year warranty’.
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    / #BMW-N47 / #BMW swirl flaps / #N47 /

    Just when you thought the diesel swirl flap issue had gone away, it looks like it’s returning again. It’s not as bad as last time when steel swirl flaps could fall into the cylinders and cause a major catastrophe, but it’s a new problem nonetheless, albeit a rare one. The issue is happening on older higher mileage N47 diesels from 2007 onwards. On the previous M47, the swirl flaps had their own pivot and an operating rod, but on the N47 they have utilised the idea Ford used on the 2000-onwards Mk3 Mondeo petrols where the flaps are all operated with one common shaft that goes through the manifold a bit like a skewer in a shish kebab.

    That’s all very well but as Ford found out, the metal rod can wear into the plastic manifold body and even break, resulting in swirl flaps being ingested. BMW has used a brass shaft, but it still has wear issues. I first saw this problem when Parkside Autos in Worksop (01909 506555) had a 2008 #BMW-E90 BMW-320d in with a recurring EGR fault and a loss of boost. After doing the usual jobs of cleaning everything up, repairing a few other bits and resetting fault codes it was noticed that under boost, exhaust gas was appearing from behind the actuator for the swirl flaps.

    Basically, the brass shaft had worn the manifold holes oval and pressurised exhaust EGR gas was leaking. The team removed the manifold, took the swirl flaps out, blocked the hole with a suitably hard resin and reassembled it – result, no more EGR faults and much better performance. Give them a ring if you want to get yours deflapped because another possible scenario is that the brass shaft breaks and one of the swirl flaps jams shut – that will result in diesel going into a cylinder without any air and that won’t end well.
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