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      03-24-2014, 08:49 PM   #1
JDATX
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Engine Problems at COTA

I was attending the BMWCCA event at COTA last week-end with my 2011 E90 ZCP and ended-up calling it a day after two sessions as the engine developed random ticking noises and a very loud sound at low RPM, followed by leaking oil.

The 25 minutes on track were great, but when pulling in the pits I started hearing a growling noise at very low RPM that was not there before the session started. As I pulled into the garage I started hearing a lot of random ticking noise, definitively not the typical VANOS ticks.

I checked with a few of the instructors and BMW techs that were on site and they all said that I had to get the car to the dealership ASAP.
As I pulled the car out of the garage I discovered that the engine was leaking oil :-(

I got the car towed on a flatbed to the dealership and I am waiting for their analysis. As the car was lifted on the flatbed, I could see that the whole that the whole panel under the engine was wet with oil.

Rod bearing issue was mentioned as the most likely cause. I did not have any advance notice of this. The engine had developed a slightly louder growling sound in the 2000-3000 range about 6 months ago. I documented it with the dealer, and they attributed it to VANOS noise. I have no idea if those are connected, but now I am here waiting....

I should hear from the dealer this week for their analysis.

3/27 update:
The car needs a new engine, there was metal residue in the oil. It's been diagnosed as a rod bearing failure. So far no questions asked on the replacement under warranty. Crossing my fingers.

4/18 update:
Got the car back today with a new engine, all taken care by BMW under warranty.
The failure was due to upper rod bearing failures on cylinder 2, 3 and 7.

Last edited by JDATX; 04-18-2014 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Update
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      03-24-2014, 08:52 PM   #2
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That's terrible. Sorry to hear about the engine AND that a track day at COTA was ruined.
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      03-24-2014, 10:50 PM   #3
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sorry to say, but sounds like rod bearing failure and blown motor. good luck, hopefully BMW covers it for you.
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      03-24-2014, 10:53 PM   #4
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Lots of mechanical issues at COTA this weekend. There was another 08 with jokes in the block I heard.

Assume yours was the blue one?
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      03-24-2014, 11:58 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear about the issues. Hopefully they get back to you soon and it's not damaged too bad.

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      03-25-2014, 07:25 AM   #6
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Bummer. How many miles on the engine?
Definitely please let us know what the outcome is.
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      03-25-2014, 07:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobuffs View Post
Lots of mechanical issues at COTA this weekend. There was another 08 with jokes in the block I heard.

Assume yours was the blue one?
Yes, I have the blue one.
I saw another E92 at the dealership that came from COTA as well on Friday and a 1M leaving the track on a flatbed Saturday morning.
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      03-25-2014, 07:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbraslins View Post
Bummer. How many miles on the engine?
Definitely please let us know what the outcome is.
The engine has 38800 miles and is stock, no modifications made to it. The car is still under the original warranty for 2 months.
I will update the thread as I have more news.
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      03-25-2014, 07:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDBULL View Post
sorry to say, but sounds like rod bearing failure and blown motor. good luck, hopefully BMW covers it for you.
Sounds like it to me too. All the best OP, please keep us updated.
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      03-25-2014, 07:44 AM   #10
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Thats not good,sorry to hear man.
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      03-25-2014, 08:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDATX View Post
Yes, I have the blue one.
I saw another E92 at the dealership that came from COTA as well on Friday and a 1M leaving the track on a flatbed Saturday morning.
Wow, what the... I have yet to see one BMW engine fail @ track, let alone 3 on the same day.
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      03-25-2014, 08:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDATX View Post
The engine has 38800 miles and is stock, no modifications made to it. The car is still under the original warranty for 2 months.
I will update the thread as I have more news.
Good for you! Lets see what happens best of luck dude
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      03-25-2014, 08:23 AM   #13
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sounds like a rod bearing problem. BMW doesn't seem to have a clue how to make rod bearings that don't self destruct.
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      03-25-2014, 11:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FormulaMMM View Post
Wow, what the... I have yet to see one BMW engine fail @ track, let alone 3 on the same day.
There were some engines lost last year at the same event.
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      03-25-2014, 12:04 PM   #15
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Were getting more and more of these aren't we?
38,000 miles...WTF
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      03-25-2014, 01:11 PM   #16
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Is there something specific to COTA that might put extra stress on the engine?
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      03-25-2014, 01:25 PM   #17
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A bit surprised with the increase in failures from model year 10 to 11.
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      03-25-2014, 02:24 PM   #18
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Very sorry to hear that. Scares me, because I ran the event Saturday and Sunday (50k miles on engine), driving there and back from Dallas with no trouble.

Please keep us updated with the resolution.
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      03-25-2014, 03:10 PM   #19
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1M sounds like it was a case of bad fuel...however gas bought at 2 different locations.
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      03-25-2014, 09:57 PM   #20
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OP...I was your instructor for your first session. Again, I openly apologize for being late to your 2nd session. To BMWCCA's credit...theyd did say to address this with the B students. I thought I could jump out of my C student's car and get into yours...that was not the case. I felt even worse to hear about your issues.

As far as rod bearings...that is a bit pre-emptive. It didn't sound like a normal bearing knock although I am not saying I have a clue as to what it is. So many people jumping to conclusions with zero facts. I'd just wait and see what the dealer says.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbraslins View Post
Is there something specific to COTA that might put extra stress on the engine?
I think so. The surface is quite grippy so add in sticky R-Comps and your drivetrain takes a lot of abuse. My car gets hot really quickly at COTA...much quicker than at any other track in TX. I've seen a LOT of blown engines at COTA and its not just E46 and E9X M3s. Seen a lot of C6 Z06s blow up...4 so far over 6 days at COTA. I do know of 3 rear diff blow ups in BMWs which resulted in dumping the diff oil...I have nevere seen that at another track.
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      03-25-2014, 11:07 PM   #21
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No worries, I know you got carried away on some other stuff, it happens. I'm more disappointed of having missed the rest of the week-end ;-)

I certainly don't know yet if it's a rod bearing issue or not. I am waiting for the dealer analysis. I hope to get something tomorrow and will update the post with what I learn.
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      03-26-2014, 05:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDATX View Post
No worries, I know you got carried away on some other stuff, it happens. I'm more disappointed of having missed the rest of the week-end ;-)

I certainly don't know yet if it's a rod bearing issue or not. I am waiting for the dealer analysis. I hope to get something tomorrow and will update the post with what I learn.
At least your still under warranty!!!! look at the bright side.
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