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Duncan View Drop Down

Joined: 28-April-2004
Location: Berkshire
Status: Offline
Points: 34
Direct Link To This Post Topic: Inspection 11 rip off
    Posted: 01-May-2004 at 21:12


1998 - 323i Coupe Lux (e36) Cosmo, full black leather & walnut, 7 series 225/16 classic alloys 


I thought I'd share one or two gems with you.

I had an Inspection 11 some 6000 mile ago and was not happy at their very poor and inacurate diagnosis.

Today I had a service from an independant guy with 25 years (actual getting hands dirty) experience....What A Difference....I got a written report as well.

I went for the Castrol Formula RS 10W-60 and am very very pleased. The Dealer, very well known, tried to sell me 0w-30 SLX even though BMW'S Bracknel HQ said 10w40 synthetic was recommended, not 0W. I have the single vanos 2494cc M52 which was re-worked according to the technical bulletin I have in October 1997...I dont know all the mods, but some special tools were also issued.

The engine is sweeter and quieter at 68000 than it's ever been in the last two years. For those not sure this M52 takes just over 6.5 litres when properly drained.

Also, I have had a (talk is cheap) diagnosis from the Dealer on a Front of engine sissing/wurring belt noise, that has slightly spoilt the hum of the L6s when idling. The Dealer prevaricated about the Air con bearing, then the power stearing bearing, then the belts needed changing..... and all this Bull poopie ! from people who want £70 per hour or more.

My guy diagnosed the fault in no time.... He found the Serpentine Belt Tensioner pulley in urgent neet of replacement, and must be done in the next three weeks........why do just a few BMW workshops give you a lousy diagnosis. Are they looking for a major breakdown when A FAULT IS NOT CORRECTED when reported ? is not attended too !

Further, I reported for Inspection 11, minor steering wheel wobble when motorway breaking quite hard at between 100 and 60mph. No clue from  them, so I replaced the Front discs (needed in my opinion) and pads and cleaned up the callipers properly to be sure of absolutely free and clean moving pads.

My guy spotted the niggling problem with the front brakes and found that the lower suspension arm rear bushes were weak, and although they are designed to have play, mine seemed to provide little support for the suspension arms........this is the cause of the wobble experienced thru the steering column at higher braking speeds.

I did phone a guy with a 1st Class degree in metalurgy over the sheer strength for synthetic oils on older engines, when hacking down the Motorways, and he agreed with the advice on the M5 Power forum, do not use 0w-30 during the Summer on pre 2000 standard production engines. These engines were not designed for 0w-30 and the oil does not provide the same level of support for big end shells etcetera.

So there you have it, my angst is now solved, regrettably not by the Dealer, and the advice and diagnosis given may help others here.

I have not set about knocking the Dealer in this posting, some are clearly very good at what they do.....However, on this and other occasions, proper engineering matters have not been diagnosed in a satisfactory manner.

Enjoy your long week end folks




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