UPDATE! **Pictures on page 11 of new motor**
This one is going to be long! If you want to skip to the verdict, scroll down and look for the
I recently experienced something with my car and wanted to give everyone an update and help people in the future that own or want to own an E9x M3. This post is to simply lay down the facts and experience I've had with my M3, BMW North America, and my dealership.
I own a 2008 BMW M3 6 MT. I purchased this vehicle used from the 2nd owner in 2011 with 32,xxx miles, had it inspected and all cleared OK. I never tracked the car and as I understood from asking the previous owner, it was also never tracked prior. I get cost value on OEM BMW parts including oils and filters, so replacing the oil with Castrol BMW suggested 10x60 every 4-5k miles was standard. I ALWAYS warmed up the car as I did with my previous E46 M3. I know how important this is on these types of motors. The car currently has 55,xxx miles on the chassis. My warranty was up in 2012. I did NOT have extended warranty.
As it all started:
In November 2013 I subtly heard a light ticking noise ONLY upon load, but NEVER upon deceleration in any gear. (This noise became progressively worse as the time went on) I immediately checked the oil level and called a BMW dealership shop foreman/friend to ask about the issue. He suggested off the bat it is probably a rod bearing, but without seeing the car, it's impossible to determine. I knew my E46 M3 had a rod bearing recall, so I couldn't imagine that BMW would make this mistake again on the newest generation M3. Within 50 miles of this strange noise, I took it to a really good friend and car hobbyist who has built 600+ hp Audis out of his garage. We listened to the noise, and it sounded like the noise was coming from one of the following: heads (cams, valves, etc), timing chain tensioner or a bad pulley running on the serpentine belt. At this point I was ecstatic that it really didn't sound like it was a rod bearing issue.
I immediately stopped driving the car and parked it until I figured out what to do from here. Due to my lack of spending time on the forums like I used to, I spent hours researching the forums and calling expert M3 owners like my good friend, Drew (AKA DLSJ5), for their input. He again said the same thing, "Bro, trust me! It's the rod bearings". Hat tip to you, good Sir! From there, I searched threads upon threads for information leading to rod bearing issues on the S65 motor. I read everything from bearing tolerances, part number changing with newer models (889/888 to 702/703), BMW *newly added* recommended oils for this motor (10x60 -> 0x40), and more. See here: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=892838
I couldn't believe it! Another M3 horror story with my 2nd BMW!
Luckily, after finding out about EAS offering a reasonably priced service repair on this forum, I gave Tom a call to discuss. We were going to go with the WPC treated OEM and NEW BMW part number (702/703) bearings and ARP bolts. SEE HERE: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=881588
Time to get inspected by the pros:
I had the car towed to EAS, and after delivery I get a call from Tom. At 1st, they also didn't think the sound was specific to rod bearings. They went above and beyond to try and locate the problem with replacing multiple parts that *may* have caused this noise. After not being able to find the issue external to the motor, it was time to dig deeper and pull the oil pan. Upon inspecting the bearings, Tom calls me to let me know that they found the problem! Here is where it gets interesting.
I find out that the noise was due to bad rod bearings. Just on what was inspected at the time, #5 rod and journal of the crankshaft were severely damaged.
Here is the email I received from EAS, "Both the bearing and crank journal are severely damaged, there are bearing pieces in the oil pan. BMW would likely replace the crank – which is what I will be recommending rather than machining, as oversized bearings are not readily available. This will require engine removal, teardown as well as purchase of a new crankshaft to get into running order again. The other option is to simply replace the bearings which would get rid of rod knock, but this is not recommended as a long-term."
BMW North America:
Now I'm looking at a $10k+ job to get my car in decent running order. I couldn't just replace the bearings and know that the car is not fixed and I couldn't sell the car as is and take that big of a hit. After much thought, I gave it a chance to contact BMW N/A with my issue and see if they could help me out. I emailed them a very specific and detailed problem and history with this vehicle with little hope they would read or respond. In the email I mentioned that I knew the part numbers for the item that failed in my car has changed for the newer models and if it weren't for a faulty part, this problem may never have happened. The next day I got a call from a wonderful representative who was sympathetic to my issue, but couldn't make any promises if and what they would be able to do. I cannot list any names of who I contacted, but if you need more specifics in what I wrote or anything like that, please private message me and I'll see how I can help.
I get a call the next day from the same representative with what they were saying would be good news! They told me BMW looked into my case and is goodwilling me a repair! I was shocked! I'm out the money EAS had to charge me to inspect the vehicle, but that's it. I couldn't thank BMW enough for this nice gesture. In addition, they will also be authorizing me an extended warranty service contract to protect the car in coming years and miles. I was in awe!
Here is the email I received to confirm the phone conversation,
"Good morning Justin,
Per our conversation this morning, BMW of North America will goodwill an Extended Service Contract for your vehicle. This way, the repair you need will be covered, as will other repairs if they are necessary in the future. I will contact the service manager at BMW (Omitted) to advise him of this goodwill offer, so that they can get the paperwork started for you when you bring your vehicle back to be repaired. They will also be able to advise you what is covered under this Extended Service Contract."
At the dealer:
After taking the car to the dealership, they signed me to the service contract, and gave me the scenarios to fix my car.
1. Replace the crank shaft and bearings
2. Replace the short block (new pistons, crank, bearings, etc), but reusing both heads and other external motor parts (50k miles on these components)
3. Replace the whole long block (0 miles on the entirety of the motor)
Of course, this all depended on the severity of the current condition. Obviously, option #3 would be best for my case, but I'm happy to not have to fork out the cash for the repair. After doing an oil analysis and motor inspection, there was metal reminisce in the heads due to the amount of metal shavings in the oil, and it was determined the most time/cost effective and best option for here is to replace the entire long block.
So there you have it, having an out of warranty M3, with the correct facts about part numbers, etc. helped me get a brand new motor. I've read multiple sources on oils and breaking in, I want to forward the concern and questions here.
Should I just break in the car with the 10x60, and then replace with 0x40 like many are suggesting?
What oil should I be running on my new motor?
Also, what *IS* the correct way to break in this new motor? How many times should I change the oil before the 1,200 miles are over?
I hope this thread helps and if you have any questions or specifics, please private message me and I'll help. I wanted to post this because there are many threads about people having rod bearing issues, but not much experience with how to proceed with out-of-warranty vehicles.
I'll be honest, BMW made a good move, because I am truthfully astonished by their actions to help me out and it easily convinced me to stay loyal to BMW. I have nothing but good to say about the whole thing regardless of the original issue. They get a thumbs up in my book!