July 2015

BMW High Pressure Fuel Pump Issues

In February 2013 BMW announced that it was recalling 569,000 vehicles due to defective High Pressure Fuel Pumps (HPFP). There were 504,000 affected vehicle in the U.S. and another 65,000 in Canada. This is the second time BMW has issued a recall due to defective fuel pumps. The first recall was issued in 2010 and there were 130,000 vehicles involved in that one. If you are one of the 569,000 vehicle owners of a 3 Series sedan, wagon, coupe, or convertible from 2007-2011, a 1 Series coupe or convertible 2008-2012, or a Z4 sports car from 2008-2011 then BMW is recalling your vehicle. This was also a very common problem on the 2007-2009 MINI Cooper S models, and BMW extended the warranty on the HPFP on these models as well.

So, how do you know if you are having the issue? Well that is a good question and it is not always easy one to answer. The HPFP does not always just die, it sometimes prolongs the issue making it confusing to diagnose unless the check engine light comes on. Some of the pumps have been reported to die all at once, with some even failing while driving at freeway speeds, causing the engine to die abruptly (very dangerous). The most common symptom that the HPFP is starting to fail is the engine surging while driving. This is usually followed up by difficulty starting, and then when the engine finally does start, it runs poorly (feels like a diesel engine). When you get to this stage, usually the check engine light will come on and register misfire codes, thankfully making it easier to figure out.

Our recommendation is that if you are having any of these symptoms to get your vehicle to a certified BMW repair specialist and get your vehicle checked before it becomes dangerous, and so that possible warranty coverage may be verified.

335i Fuel Pump

Below is the text of the BMW Service Bulletin:

Applies to: BMW 3 Series 2007-2008 – Turbo Models Only – Engine Codes:  N54    (platforms:  E90, E92, E93)

Additional Models:

MY 2007/2008 E60, E61 – 535i/535xi with N54 engine

MY 2008 E82, E88 – 135is with N54 engine

BMW Technical Bulletin SI B 13 03 09

Date: April 2009

Subject: BMW emissions warranty of the High Pressure Fuel Pump (HDP) has been extended from 4 years or 50,000 miles to 10 years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Situation:

BMW has become aware of a potential problem that could affect the durability of the High Pressure Fuel Pump (HDP) of certain MY 2007/2008 BMW automobiles equipped with N54 engines. It is estimated that only a small percentage of vehicles will actually develop a problem. Vehicles affected may have the Service Engine Soon lamp illuminated with various low fuel pressure-related faults (e.g., 29DC, 29F1, 29F2 ) stored in the Engine Control Module (DME). Also, the affected vehicles may experience long cranking times or reduced engine performance (engine in failsafe mode) when the HDP malfunctions.

Correction:

In the event that the High Pressure Fuel Pump of an MY 2007/2008 3 Series vehicle (335i/xi Sedan/Coupe/Convertible), MY 2007/2008 5 Series vehicle (535i/xi Sedan/Sports Wagon), or MY 2008 1 Series vehicle (135is Coupe/Convertible) with the N54 engine exhibits the symptoms listed above, it should be replaced with the improved part (P/N 13 51 7 592 881). For HDP diagnostic and replacing instructions, refer to SI B12 55 06 and RA 13 51 017, found in BMW TIS.

Emissions Warranty Information

The emissions warranty extension for this component applies to the above-listed models only, and is transferable to any subsequent purchaser of these models.

This extended emissions warranty is applicable to vehicles registered in all 50 states.

Warranty coverage for all other parts is not affected.

BMW will inform all affected owners of the above-listed models of their extended High Pressure Fuel Pump emissions warranty.


If you’re having issues discussed above and are looking for a BMW service facility in Los Angeles, call Haus of MINIS & BMW to schedule a diagnostic appointment.

MINI Recalling 92k Vehicles Over Airbag Flaw

 

MINI Cooper

 An issue with the airbags on Mini Cooper hatchbacks and convertibles has prompted BMW of North America and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a recall for an estimated 91,800 vehicles.

The problem, according to the notice below, stems from the occupant detection mat for the front passenger seat, which may fail to detect a passenger present and therefor fail to deploy the airbag in the event of a crash.

The specific models affected by the recall are the Mini Cooper and Cooper S hardtops from the 2005 and 2006 model years and manufactured between January 5, 2005, and November 28, 2006, as well as the Mini Cooper Convertible and Cooper S Convertible from the 2005 to 2008 model years, manufactured between January 5, 2005, and July 31, 2008.

To address the issue, Mini dealers will be replacing the front passenger seat occupant detection mat, with recalls set to commence on May 1.

Here is a copy of the recall letter:

RECALL Subject : Front Passenger Seat Occupant Detection Mat
Report Receipt Date: APR 06, 2015
NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V205000
Component(s): AIR BAGS
Potential Number of Units Affected: 91,800
Manufacturer: BMW of North America, LLC

SUMMARY:
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2005-2006 MINI Cooper and Cooper S vehicles manufactured January 5, 2005, to November 28, 2006, and 2005-2008 MINI Cooper Convertible and Cooper S Convertible vehicles manufactured January 5, 2005, to July 31, 2008. Due to manufacturing, installation, and exposure issues, the front passenger seat occupant detection mat may not function properly and, as a result, the front passenger air bag may not deploy in a crash.

CONSEQUENCE:
An improperly functioning mat may cause the passenger frontal air bag to be inactive when the seat is occupied, and in the event of a crash, the air bag will not deploy, increasing the passenger’s risk of injury.

REMEDY:
MINI will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front passenger seat occupant detection mat, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 1, 2015. Owners may contact MINI customer service at 1-866-825-1525.

NOTES:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

If you have any questions please call Haus of MINIS & BMW in Sherman Oaks, California and we would be happy to assist.

If you need MINI Cooper Repair, Service or Diagnostics in Los Angeles, please call to schedule an appointment: 855.572.MINI (6464)

Understanding Extended Warranties

In life there are situations that start out great, but sometimes end in an unfortunate, premature way. This does not have to be the case when it comes to the relationship between you and your car. There is a solution, and it’s called an extended warranty, and it can help keep your car a prized possession rather than a cumbersome money pit. In essence an extended warranty is an insurance policy for your vehicle that covers vehicle repairs, instead of collision or accident damage. An extended warranty can safeguard against expensive, unforeseen repairs. Extended warranties are really service contracts, since they cost extra and are sold separately. With all extended warranties it is important that you maintain your vehicle per the manufacturers recommended service intervals. In all the years I have been in the automotive business the only time I have seen extended warranty companies deny coverage it is because the vehicle was not maintained properly, abused, or modified in someway that was detrimental to the vehicle (such as raised or lowered suspension).

An extended warranty may purchased at the time you buy your vehicle or much further along in your ownership experience, but realize if you purchase after the vehicle is out of the manufacturers warranty the cost can be significantly higher.

If you are the type of person that likes to prepared for all eventualities, bearing in mind the ever increasing cost of vehicle repairs, then a service contract can make a lot of sense.

There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing an extended warranty, such as:

Average repair costs for vehicle repairs
Average repair costs for vehicle repairs

What is the reliability record of the vehicle you are buying? Take a look at the reliability history for the vehicle you are considering purchasing. Unfortunately MINI and BMW, according to Consumer Reports are not the most reliable vehicles on the road, so a service contract is highly recommended. As an example the cost of replacement for a new transmission on a MINI or BMW can range between $6000-$8000, so you can see how a service contract can be beneficial to you.

Ask who is behind the warranty that you are considering? According to Consumer Reports the top 5 warranty companies are: Endurance, Carchex, Warranty Direct, Easy Care, and AA Auto Protection If possible stick with one of these companies. From our experience we have found found that Fidelity and MaxCare are also good companies to purchase an extended warranty from.

Can repairs be performed at any repair shop? Some extended warranties stipulate that repairs must be performed at the dealership where the warranty was purchased, this can prove limiting and inconvenient. We recommend purchasing an extended warranty that allows repairs at any certified automotive repair facility. You will definitely appreciate this if your vehicle breaks down or needs repairs while you are on a road trip.

Is the warranty transferable? Some service contracts end when the person who bought the warranty sells the car. A contract that allows you to transfer the warranty to a new buyer is preferable, and it’s a great selling point.

What exactly is covered? Know what is covered, and more importantly what’s not covered.

Is a cash layout required for repairs? Some warranty companies  require that you pay the bill, send in the invoice or receipt and wait for reimbursement. It can take weeks, even months to get reimbursed by the warranty company. You will want a warranty company that pays the dealership or repair facility directly with a credit card.

Remember to compare all of your options before making a decision. Utilize the internet, many companies sell directly online, cutting out the middle man (i.e. the dealership). Shop around, once you have decided on the which brand of vehicle you want to purchase get some quotes from other dealers, it will at least give you an idea of what an extended warranty, with the coverage you want should cost. If you are a member of a credit union, check with them as most offer inexpensive extended warranties that can be purchased directly from them.

In warranty buying, as in many other aspects of life, it helps to educate yourself.

Feel free to contact us at The Haus in Los Angeles, California if you have any questions about the warranty you are considering purchasing, we would be happy to give you our opinion.

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