The perils of using the wrong method trying to correct the problem. We received this BMW 535ix with low oil pressure warning related to a known issue which started from a common oil leak the filter pedestal and cooler gaskets.
This considered a common “maintenance ” type of work on the BMW N55 engines. We charge $450.00 to replace both gaskets, and only viable part is the revised genuine gasket, it will hold up better in the future.
The technician working prior on this engine, (the vehicle has been towed from a another garage), had this “clever” idea to just apply silicone sealant. Unfortunately in a futile attempt, that made the leak actually worse, which resulted in the classic usual result.
When the belt gets soaked long enough with motor oil, it will shred and gets grabbed by the crankshaft and whipped up into a ball or cord and rubber. It gets pushed thru the front crankshaft seal, the timing chain will grab it and the whole thing gets ingested by the engine.
You can imagine what happens with a bunch of cord and rubber, when it gets shredded internally by the timing chain, it creates a complete disaster. Now to fix this, the entire bottom below the oil pan needs to be removed, like axles, differential, the steering rack control arms, the engine mounts and the sub-frame assembly to expose the oil pan.
Naturally the top engine cover, the valve cover has to come off as well, including all the high pressure fuel lines and rail and so forth. The rather mundane gasket replacement turned into a partial engine overhaul, where we have to remove the oil pump and must inspect the connecting rod bearings for excessive wear, due to oil pump suction pipe restriction by the belt pieces.
We went from a $450.00 dollar job to a 6 thousand dollar engine recovery and major resurrection. They tried to fix the oil leak, replaced the front seal the wrong way, as well as by removing the center bolt holding the timing chain sprocket in place by friction.
Needless to say the camshaft timing was moved as the vehicle would need to be set up with a special jig to be precisely timed for proper operation. Worth to note, the center bolt must be replaced, as it’s a single use stretch bolt, or it could cause major engine damage.
We have documented all the problems, detailed with plenty of pictures.
Things that you can see in the photos below happen, when individuals try to repair or maintain BMWs without proper knowledge, expertise and tools.
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BMW N55 Engine Repair
I appreciate my general practitioner or dentist for what they do, but I would not want to get a brain or heart surgery from either one of them. They are a specialists in their own field. This is why they call a specialist, a specialist. They have expertise in their own field and the proper tools and experience to perform a task to the best of their knowledge.
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