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      09-24-2010, 03:41 PM   #1
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Warped Rotors at 15K miles, dealer will not cover under warranty---Can Anyone Help???

Hey guys, here is my situation...I purchased a late '08 E92 back in January of this year with exactly 9k miles on it. It was/is in flawless condition, no cosmetic or mechanical defects whatsoever, clean carfax, etc.

At approx 14K miles I began to notice some vibration in the steering wheel when medium to hard braking from speeds above 60mph (no vibration when lightly braking), this vibration goes away once the car is below 35mph. Thought it was odd so after a month of this I took the car in for the 15k mile tune-up and to have them burnish the rotors- I assumed the vibration was from brake pad residue build up (per my advisor, tried hard braking from higher speeds but this also did not work). I also do not track the car (it is my DD), have never used launch control and almost all miles put on it are freeway miles.

After the dealer (BMW Seattle) inspected and burnished the rotors and test drove it after each burnishing, they surmised that the vibration must be due to warped rotors. I assumed this would be covered by the maintenance warranty as brakes and rotors are covered. However, the dealer told me that BMW will only replace rotors when the brakes need replacing and I had a good 18k miles left until the brakes would need replacing. The vibration is now getting worse and worse and I do not want to wait 18+ months to have this covered under warranty. I was quoted $1200 for two new front rotors (since they are cross-drilled they cannot be shaved) which is rediculous considering it should be covered under warranty. Not to mention that if I am going to spend that much $$$ I'd rather put it towards mods and not new rotors.

After discussing all this at length with my advisor he gave me an 800 number to BMW USA. He said I can file a complaint and see if they will agree to cover my rotors. Since this appears to be my only option I wanted to ask the forum if there is anything I can specifically say to BMW USA when I call to get this covered? Also curious to know if anyone else has had this issue and if they were able to get the dealer to cover it or solved the issue another way.

Any help and advice is greatly appreciated. I have visited this forum quite frequently for info on mods, etc and have found it to be very useful and there are definetely some very knowledgeable members who I am hoping can assist. This is however my first post so apoligies if this is not the right place for this type of question.

Thanks!
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      09-24-2010, 03:55 PM   #2
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If you were the original owner, you could vehemently argue you did not track the car, or drive in a way to cause such issue. But with a used car, you just don't know how it was driven for the 9K miles before you. That's a risk you take when buying a used car.

What I'd do is to politely try to get it fixed under warranty, arguing even if car was tracked once or twice by previous owner, performance brakes shouldn't be affected like that. The M3 is not supposed to be driven like a Buick. If unsuccessful with local dealers, I'd try BMWNA as a last resort. If no go, you'd be on your own. Good luck, and keep us posted.
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      09-24-2010, 04:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
If you were the original owner, you could vehemently argue you did not track the car, or drive in a way to cause such issue. But with a used car, you just don't know how it was driven for the 9K miles before you. That's a risk you take when buying a used car.

What I'd do is to politely try to get it fixed under warranty, arguing even if car was tracked once or twice by previous owner, performance brakes shouldn't be affected like that. The M3 is not supposed to be driven like a Buick. If unsuccessful with local dealers, I'd try BMWNA as a last resort. If no go, you'd be on your own. Good luck, and keep us posted.
Thanks for reply....What you said is definetely true, in fact I was starting to wonder the same thing myself. I purchased the car with 0 mods, just added a Remus exhaust and the install shop said the pipes were completely stock. Now I know that people track this car stock so just because it had not been modded does not mean it hasn't been tracked. The real reason I don't think it was tracked was that I drove it for over 5k miles before the vibrating started. If the vibrating had started sooner then I would see it being more likely to having been tracked by the first owner.

Also, when I asked to speak to the advisor's manager they said this happens somewhat regularly and that they have replaced rotors in the past but BMW did not reimburse them for the parts and labor. The "warranty person" at BMW Seattle will not replace rotors for customers under warranty unless it is being done with the brakes. Aparently this is what BMW USA's official warranty is, however, I went to the owner manual and it simply says rotors and brakes are covered and there are no asterisks or anything about when this would not apply.
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      09-24-2010, 07:28 PM   #4
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Find some used rotors off here and have indy shop and have them do it then. Dealerships will typically charge more. Swapping rotors is easy to do, just messy.
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      09-25-2010, 10:46 PM   #5
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Find a local independent shop (brake shop) with an on-the-car bake lathe, like this:

http://www.procutusa.com/

Also have them install a new set of BMW pads and be done with the problem for a while.

I use equipment this in my automotive class. Unless your rotors are very worn or have extreme run-out a light cut will solve the problem. I finally did this to my wife’s 525iT and she’s no longer whining.
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      09-26-2010, 09:49 AM   #6
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Just go to a different dealer.

Had the same issue, warped front rotors on my m5 after 10k miles, but with lots of track time. First dealer said no way, I just went to a different dealer 80 miles away and presto, new rotors and pads all around.

Also, what I have noticed is that if you have warped rotors, you can turn them on a lathe, but inevitably they will re-warp.

Good luck
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      09-26-2010, 04:03 PM   #7
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I doubt very much that they are warped. Has someone who knows what he is doing checked them for runout?

It's probably just pad deposit. They will probably improve as the deposits burn off in time.
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      09-27-2010, 08:29 AM   #8
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I got new pads and rotors at 19K, and I track the car, without issue. You are being hosed.
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      09-28-2010, 08:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpina527 View Post
I doubt very much that they are warped. Has someone who knows what he is doing checked them for runout?

It's probably just pad deposit. They will probably improve as the deposits burn off in time.
yeah I'd try rebedding the brakes
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      10-03-2010, 08:01 AM   #10
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You can run Hawk blue pads to clean off the deposits, they're very aggressive when they're cold so you should be able to scrape off all deposits. Just don't leave them on too long or they're wear away the rotors. also, remember to clean and wax your wheels beforehand and clean it off as soon as you're done especially before it interacts with the rain or snow/salt and the rotor filings start to rust on the wheel. Ask me how I know.
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      10-03-2010, 05:01 PM   #11
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I'm in the same boat as you, however I am at 15k(KMS). I never tracked the car and I've used launch Control like twice and that was back at 5k kms. I'm pretty damn pissed that this happens to a high performance car. Sure I drive it hard at times, however I'm not going lemans... I bought this car in order for it to be driven hard at time and responsible at times. I'm not driving a "buick" For example, I have this straight away close to my house and I go a little fast and press the brakes decently hard, But this is only like once in 3 weeks I do that.

Is their something wrong if I continue to drive my car with warped rotors?
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      10-04-2010, 03:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandye90m3 View Post
I'm in the same boat as you, however I am at 15k(KMS). I never tracked the car and I've used launch Control like twice and that was back at 5k kms. I'm pretty damn pissed that this happens to a high performance car. Sure I drive it hard at times, however I'm not going lemans... I bought this car in order for it to be driven hard at time and responsible at times. I'm not driving a "buick" For example, I have this straight away close to my house and I go a little fast and press the brakes decently hard, But this is only like once in 3 weeks I do that.

Is their something wrong if I continue to drive my car with warped rotors?
Who told you your rotors are warped? Get them checked by someone who knows how to check them properly.
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      10-06-2010, 09:52 AM   #13
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It would be extremely hard to warp these rotors. Perhaps you don't brake had enough often enough and have uneven pad deposits on them.
In order to warp them you have to super-heat them (i.e. track time) then stop the car and park it without letting them cool off.
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      10-08-2010, 07:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dexx View Post
It would be extremely hard to warp these rotors. Perhaps you don't brake had enough often enough and have uneven pad deposits on them.
In order to warp them you have to super-heat them (i.e. track time) then stop the car and park it without letting them cool off.
I do remember driving it hard one day, was playing on the freeway with a CLK63 and we were braking fairly hard at times. I parked the car immediately after and left it in the garage for at least an hour or so, since the rotor compound on these rotors are softer than a regular 3 series, would you forsee this causing a warping? Drove it hard for about 15 or 20 mins
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      10-08-2010, 07:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpina527 View Post
Who told you your rotors are warped? Get them checked by someone who knows how to check them properly.
In my case it was BMW Seattle (dealership), but it sounds like a very similar issue to Sandye90m3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandye90m3 View Post
I'm in the same boat as you, however I am at 15k(KMS). I never tracked the car and I've used launch Control like twice and that was back at 5k kms. I'm pretty damn pissed that this happens to a high performance car. Sure I drive it hard at times, however I'm not going lemans... I bought this car in order for it to be driven hard at time and responsible at times. I'm not driving a "buick" For example, I have this straight away close to my house and I go a little fast and press the brakes decently hard, But this is only like once in 3 weeks I do that.

Is their something wrong if I continue to drive my car with warped rotors?
Totally agree, I was so effing pissed when the advisor handed me a quote of $1,200+ for two new rotors that SHOULD be covered under warranty. I'm planning on calling BMW NA next week to escalate the issue. I want to get it escalated quick as I just ordered new rims and tires and I have feeling that I need to get this resolved while I still have the OEM 19s on. I wouldn't put it passed them to blame the new rim/tire set up for the warping (even though that doesn't make any sense)

Will let you know what happens...
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      11-02-2010, 02:00 PM   #16
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Any updates? I am about to be dealing with the same issue.
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      11-02-2010, 02:36 PM   #17
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Yea...I called up BMW NA three weeks ago, they told me to take the car in again for another inspection of both the brakes and rotors. The rep I spoke with at BMW NA was totally cool and didn't shoot me down with my first request, just said he needed up to date info then told me to call him back after the inspection. I couldn't get an appointment with a loaner at BMW Seattle until this Friday, 11/5. After the car is done I will be calling the rep back that afternoon to see what they can do and will advise back to the thread. Car has ~17,500 mi today so brake pads should last about another 10-12K I'm guessing so we'll see what they can do.
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      11-08-2010, 04:05 PM   #18
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Any new news Special?
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      11-09-2010, 05:55 PM   #19
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BMW guy finally called back today (left VM on Friday after I picked up the car from Service) and he needs to verify stats of my M with the dealership. He is going to update me this Friday but I may not have a final answer for up to two weeks depending on the variables we're working with.

I will update the thread with any new developments.
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      11-10-2010, 11:06 AM   #20
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I am wondering if there was some kind of issue with the last owner in the BMW files that is causing all this?

Driving and braking hard on the interstate is nothing like the conditions created at the track, i.e. 120-60 with full brakes, and unless your garage is 50yds from the interstate, you rotors will have had time to cool. There is a huge difference between street braking hard and how hard your car can actually brake, and the pads and rotors are set up for street braking rather than track braking.

It doesn't sound like you have abused your brakes at all.
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      11-10-2010, 12:28 PM   #21
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If you have a good dealership, BMW will cover it. One of my track cohorts had pads and rotors replaced at 4k on his M3 (under the maintenance program) this summer and he indeed tracked it extensively (i.e blue rotors).
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      11-19-2010, 07:20 PM   #22
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Update:
The rep from BMW NA just got back to me yesterday. He said after taking my case to the powers that be that BMW will not cover new rotors. I asked for the manager or supervisor's info so I could escalate but he was a bit rude and told me there is nothing more I can do. I know that is not the case (the reps are probably told to tell customers that to avoid escalations and finally concessions) but I am having my prepaid legal service through work handle this now. I wanted to discuss my issue with a manager before going this route as it will be far less costly for them to replace my rotors ($1200) vs. paying their council to handle the case.
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