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      03-28-2014, 11:01 PM   #1
whats77inaname
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So I was reading my new issue of Motor Trend and in discussing the M3/M4....

...Albert Biermann, vice president of engineering, BMW M, made a very interesting comment. When asked "What are the five things about your car (M3/M4) that you'd want people to know?" his last comment was:

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Last one is performance on a racetrack. This is not a pretender. Like all the M3s before, this is a track car.
I've heard of BMW denying warranty claims for E9x M3s that have been tracked, yet here we have the VP of BMW M saying, in print, that the E9x series is a track car.

Am I missing something?
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      03-28-2014, 11:20 PM   #2
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Well, a few things here....

VP of BMW M saying it's a track car has nothing to do with BMW denying warranty claims due to track use, but based on what I have seen, denying claims due to track use is a YMMV thing.

I personally would not consider the factory M3 a track car, the brakes can only handle a few laps and that's it. The E9x M3's design is not robust enough for continued track used IMO, a real track car is something like the Dodge Viper ACR. (No disrespect to any fellow M3 owners, but the Viper ACR can handle laps after laps of aggressive driving on tracks, and the M3 is simply not on the same level)
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      03-28-2014, 11:26 PM   #3
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I just wonder, if they were ever sued for denying a warranty claim with the excuse of "the car was tracked", how much water would that hold in court, when you have the VP of Engineering for M stating that it is, in fact, a track car.
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      03-29-2014, 06:58 AM   #4
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What is YMMV? Also, my car has done several 20 minute sessions on Road America (lots of hard braking with three 135+ mph straights) and my brakes were just fine . Never an issue.

I do think "competitive" tracking (racing) is a totally different animal.
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      03-29-2014, 08:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKE_M3 View Post
What is YMMV? Also, my car has done several 20 minute sessions on Road America (lots of hard braking with three 135+ mph straights) and my brakes were just fine . Never an issue.

I do think "competitive" tracking (racing) is a totally different animal.
Try Google for YMMV.
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      03-29-2014, 08:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKE_M3
What is YMMV? Also, my car has done several 20 minute sessions on Road America (lots of hard braking with three 135+ mph straights) and my brakes were just fine . Never an issue.

I do think "competitive" tracking (racing) is a totally different animal.
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      03-29-2014, 08:31 AM   #7
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They can't deny warranty claims for track use. Their own marketing material for the M3 shows it on racetracks. In fact their tag line for the E92 was "Racecars shouldn't be confined to racetracks." They can and do deny Ultimate Service stuff like extra pad and rotor replacements due to excessive wear from track use because they explicitly say in the manual that Ultimate Service doesn't cover wear rates from that type of use, but that doesn't apply to warranty stuff. Read the terms of the Limited Warranty if you're worried, but tracking doesn't fall under abuse or misuse. And special case incidents like money shifting on the track (misuse) wouldn't be covered whether it happened on or off the track.
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      03-29-2014, 09:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
They can't deny warranty claims for track use. Their own marketing material for the M3 shows it on racetracks. In fact their tag line for the E92 was "Racecars shouldn't be confined to racetracks." They can and do deny Ultimate Service stuff like extra pad and rotor replacements due to excessive wear from track use because they explicitly say in the manual that Ultimate Service doesn't cover wear rates from that type of use, but that doesn't apply to warranty stuff. Read the terms of the Limited Warranty if you're worried, but tracking doesn't fall under abuse or misuse. And special case incidents like money shifting on the track (misuse) wouldn't be covered whether it happened on or off the track.
You and I think alike, but, we have a member who spun a bearings on track @ 75k miles. Towed his car straight from the track to the dealership. He has an extended warranty, and they denied him b/c they said he was tracking the car. Then BMWNA said the same thing, that and his rev limiter hit 8660 rpms. He has no tune, just exhaust, seats, KWs, and a BBK.
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      03-29-2014, 10:01 AM   #9
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I think you raise an interesting point, i.e., how what BMW says (or prints) about expected performance leads owners to operate their cars, routinely, at performance limits?
Surely BMW knows that encouraging people to run their cars hard is more likely going to produce a broken car. Which, in turn, means they shell out more in warranty money - something they would rather not do. So the question for BMW, it seems to me, is - How do I encourage owners to run the car hard (sell cars), fix the ones expected to break, and not loose money on the deal? Simple solution: Charge more money for the new car to cover expected loses during the warranty period and make them pay through the nose for the extended warranty - and maybe, under certain circumstances, don't even offer an extended warranty.
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      03-29-2014, 11:35 AM   #10
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I track the crap out of my car and have even rolled through the service doors sprayed with track rubber on R888's and race pads. Not once have they denied warranty for tracking, and the service advisor knows my car sees the hard knock life. Im guessing it depends on the dealer?
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      03-29-2014, 11:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whats77inaname View Post
...Albert Biermann, vice president of engineering, BMW M, made a very interesting comment. When asked "What are the five things about your car (M3/M4) that you'd want people to know?" his last comment was:



I've heard of BMW denying warranty claims for E9x M3s that have been tracked, yet here we have the VP of BMW M saying, in print, that the E9x series is a track car.

Am I missing something?
The fact is that no M3 since the E30 platform has been a real track car (except for the occasional limited edition versions). Every M3 platform, including the E90 needs several upgrades and modifications before you can even think of taking it to the track.
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      03-29-2014, 11:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whats77inaname
You and I think alike, but, we have a member who spun a bearings on track @ 75k miles. Towed his car straight from the track to the dealership. He has an extended warranty, and they denied him b/c they said he was tracking the car. Then BMWNA said the same thing, that and his rev limiter hit 8660 rpms. He has no tune, just exhaust, seats, KWs, and a BBK.
The terms of an extended warranty can be different. BMW's own extended warranty isn't even a BMW warranty, and in that period BMWNA isn't obligated to do anything, so I can't exactly fault them especially given the number of goodwill stories they have.

The fact that that person hit 8660 RPM also suggests to me either a tune that he's lying about or a downshift executed too early in a braking zone.
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      03-29-2014, 12:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petros View Post
The fact is that no M3 since the E30 platform has been a real track car (except for the occasional limited edition versions). Every M3 platform, including the E90 needs several upgrades and modifications before you can even think of taking it to the track.
I guess it depends what you mean by "several". Brake fluid is required, brake pads are strongly recommended unless you're a first-timer (and sometimes even then depending on the track), and camber plates are a wise investment if you'll be doing more than 4 days per year in order to avoid premature tire wear. That's about all you need.

Two out of those three are standard upgrades you'd need on ANY car to track it safely. I was at CotA yesterday working the tech area for their VIP event and we had a Z06, a CTS-V, and even an R8 all come in due to boiling their stock brake fluid, so I would hardly call the M3 out for sharing the same shortcomings that are found on other cars, including more expensive and track-focused models.
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Last edited by jphughan; 03-29-2014 at 12:22 PM.
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      03-29-2014, 07:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
I guess it depends what you mean by "several". Brake fluid is required, brake pads are strongly recommended unless you're a first-timer (and sometimes even then depending on the track), and camber plates are a wise investment if you'll be doing more than 4 days per year in order to avoid premature tire wear. That's about all you need.

Two out of those three are standard upgrades you'd need on ANY car to track it safely. I was at CotA yesterday working the tech area for their VIP event and we had a Z06, a CTS-V, and even an R8 all come in due to boiling their stock brake fluid, so I would hardly call the M3 out for sharing the same shortcomings that are found on other cars, including more expensive and track-focused models.
there is the powersteering cooler which is hopelessly inadequate for track use. the seats which offer little lateral support. suspension alignment that requires camber plates at the front. the suspension itself with its too soft springs and dampers. subframe bushings which allow too much flex and risk breaking diff bolts under hard acceleration. and yes the damn sliding caliper brakes with tiny pads and nonexistent cooling ducts.

sure, for the occasional light duty track use you can get along without addressing most of these issues. but for a BMW exec to come out and claim the M3 is a "track car" despite all those shortcomings is just laughable.
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      03-29-2014, 07:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whats77inaname View Post
You and I think alike, but, we have a member who spun a bearings on track @ 75k miles. Towed his car straight from the track to the dealership. He has an extended warranty, and they denied him b/c they said he was tracking the car. Then BMWNA said the same thing, that and his rev limiter hit 8660 rpms. He has no tune, just exhaust, seats, KWs, and a BBK.
if they had proof about 8660rpm, which likely they were able to download from the car, then they found their reason to deny the claim. certainly a money shift was possible.
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      03-29-2014, 07:41 PM   #16
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if they had proof about 8660rpm, which likely they were able to download from the car, then they found their reason to deny the claim. certainly a money shift was possible.
Given that Benvo and other tuners raise can and do raise the RPM limit to 8600, I can't believe an extra 60 rpms is enough to throw bearings.
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      03-29-2014, 08:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petros
there is the powersteering cooler which is hopelessly inadequate for track use. the seats which offer little lateral support. suspension alignment that requires camber plates at the front. the suspension itself with its too soft springs and dampers. subframe bushings which allow too much flex and risk breaking diff bolts under hard acceleration. and yes the damn sliding caliper brakes with tiny pads and nonexistent cooling ducts.

sure, for the occasional light duty track use you can get along without addressing most of these issues. but for a BMW exec to come out and claim the M3 is a "track car" despite all those shortcomings is just laughable.
Fair enough. I don't think anyone is claiming that the M3 is a full-blown track car like a GT3RS, but rather a track-capable. The M3 for a while now has been about mixing DD livability with track capability, and I suspect that was Biermann's point.

I haven't had any problems as a result of the power steering fluid reservoir losing fluid, the seats are pretty supportive once I set the bolsters (not a full track seat of course, but those aren't comfortable for DD and make entry/exit harder), and suspension again is a compromise between livability and performance. At the end of the day, unfortunately very few M3 owners track their cars, and BMW is catering to that market more and more these days -- just look at the new "M Performance Vehicle" lineup. I've found that with my fairly minimal mods it's plenty track-capable while still remaining totally livable as a DD, which is important to me given that it's my only car,
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      03-29-2014, 08:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whats77inaname
Quote:
Originally Posted by quiksi View Post
if they had proof about 8660rpm, which likely they were able to download from the car, then they found their reason to deny the claim. certainly a money shift was possible.
Given that Benvo and other tuners raise can and do raise the RPM limit to 8600, I can't believe an extra 60 rpms is enough to throw bearings.
It's probably not, but as the above poster said, that plus track use is enough to deny the request. In fact either one by itself probably would have been enough. Keep in mind that in this story you're talking about, the owner apparently asked BMWNA to cover an issue while under an EXTENDED warranty, which means it would have been a goodwill replacement. I don't fault the owner for trying to get some help from them, but I don't fault BMWNA for declining under the circumstances either. But none of that had any bearing (no pun intended) on the coverage afforded by the factory warranty.
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      03-29-2014, 08:25 PM   #19
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Screen grab from the M3 owners manual. Track driving is fine. I believe that all competitive driving is a warranty voider meaning any official lap timing or podiums.
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      03-29-2014, 08:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petros
Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
I guess it depends what you mean by "several". Brake fluid is required, brake pads are strongly recommended unless you're a first-timer (and sometimes even then depending on the track), and camber plates are a wise investment if you'll be doing more than 4 days per year in order to avoid premature tire wear. That's about all you need.

Two out of those three are standard upgrades you'd need on ANY car to track it safely. I was at CotA yesterday working the tech area for their VIP event and we had a Z06, a CTS-V, and even an R8 all come in due to boiling their stock brake fluid, so I would hardly call the M3 out for sharing the same shortcomings that are found on other cars, including more expensive and track-focused models.
there is the powersteering cooler which is hopelessly inadequate for track use. the seats which offer little lateral support. suspension alignment that requires camber plates at the front. the suspension itself with its too soft springs and dampers. subframe bushings which allow too much flex and risk breaking diff bolts under hard acceleration. and yes the damn sliding caliper brakes with tiny pads and nonexistent cooling ducts.

sure, for the occasional light duty track use you can get along without addressing most of these issues. but for a BMW exec to come out and claim the M3 is a "track car" despite all those shortcomings is just laughable.
Wrong. You only need a brake upgrade and as mentioned, that's pretty much standard for every car you can drive home.
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      03-29-2014, 08:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petros
Quote:
Originally Posted by whats77inaname View Post
...Albert Biermann, vice president of engineering, BMW M, made a very interesting comment. When asked "What are the five things about your car (M3/M4) that you'd want people to know?" his last comment was:



I've heard of BMW denying warranty claims for E9x M3s that have been tracked, yet here we have the VP of BMW M saying, in print, that the E9x series is a track car.

Am I missing something?
The fact is that no M3 since the E30 platform has been a real track car (except for the occasional limited edition versions). Every M3 platform, including the E90 needs several upgrades and modifications before you can even think of taking it to the track.
Having had an E30 M3 that I drove off the lot brand new, I can tell you that my current E90 M3 is far more track capable than my E30 was in stock form
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      03-29-2014, 09:31 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whats77inaname View Post
Given that Benvo and other tuners raise can and do raise the RPM limit to 8600, I can't believe an extra 60 rpms is enough to throw bearings.
it may not, but it's an easy excuse for BMW to deny warranty that would likely hold up in a court
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