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      11-21-2017, 06:38 PM   #67
ubersteuer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban View Post
I just passed 7 years (Oct 2010). Does this mean I could soon be a victim of the dreaded water pump failure? Low miles, going on 35K. Is anyone safe? lol
It's really tough to say. The failures seem to be somewhat inconsistent but more seem to be happening as the cars get older and mileage goes up. Mileage is a contributing factor as components have wear, but age is also a factor along with how many on/off cycles the pieces have as they heat up and cool down.

It's anecdotal but I had far more failures of plastic components on my low mileage 6 cyl e36 (it's a 1992 with 130k on it) that was driven once a week compared to other daily driver e36s I've had through the years, 2 of which had north of 200k on them.

I feel like spending a few hundred bucks to DIY or $1k at a shop is worth the peace of mind on a 7 year old car relative to the value of the car, especially when you consider the havoc a failure can cause. I am pretty aggressive with maintenance as I tend to keep my cars a long time. FWIW, I'm planning to replace mine in the Spring, my car is a 2011 with 70k on it.

Edit: from Mike Miller's schedule -
"Every 60,000 miles: water pump, thermostat, plastic thermostat housing if so equipped
(or replace it once with the aftermarket aluminum thermostat housing) "


but then -

"The N-series engines have electric water pumps and do not seem to suffer the sort of
regular and systematic cooling system failures that led me to recommend replacing the
entire system on the above engines as a preventive measure. If your BMW is a 2006 or
newer and not an E46, then you’ve got an N-series engine.
The word from dealership technicians is that N Series engines will go into limp home
mode if the coolant begins to actually overheat for whatever reason, including electric
water pump failure, and they will actually shut down the engine if it actually overheats. I
would place “moderate” faith in this advice, because the ECU can be programmed and
reprogrammed for reasons that are unknowable to me.
I’m told electric water pumps are not life of the car parts either, and they cost a great deal
more than mechanical water pumps. The difference that militates against recommending
preventive replacement of electric water pumps is that, as of this writing, engines have
not been known to melt down because if it, thanks to limp home mode. Finally, electric
water pump service life is tied more closely to hours in service rather than mileage.

N-Series Engine Water Pumps are electrical and wholly different from the notoriously
problematic water pump of yore. That doesn't mean they last forever, though, and it is
several times more expensive. The thing with an electric water pump is that mileage is less a factor that total running time; the electric motor in the pump is what wears out, and
it is running all the time the engine is running. If the car sits in traffic a lot, you may get
fewer miles out of an electrical water pump than someone who doesn't sit in traffic, i.e., a
rural BMW owner

I do not recommend preventive replacement of the electrical water pump due to cost, and
also because there is less chance of engine melt-down than was the case in the past. Once
the electrical water pump starts to go bad the engine will go into limp home mode. This
enables you to get to the shop before engine meltdown. The older M50-family six
cylinder engines and M60-family V-8 engines didn't go into limp home mode. The water
pump failed and then you literally had seconds to shut down the engine before meltdown.
That is what prompted me to recommend preventive replacement of those water pumps.
"

Last edited by ubersteuer; 11-21-2017 at 06:47 PM.
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      11-21-2017, 07:00 PM   #68
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Thanks for posting that ubersteuer. Will think about it.
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      11-21-2017, 08:52 PM   #69
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Great input Oversteer! Thank you very much.

Mack
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      11-22-2017, 10:45 PM   #70
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So, I tore into the engine bay today and yesterday, and have looked around. Everything seems good, some of the plastics in the hotter parts of the engine bay have become brittle, something that's to be expected. Water pump looks fine, the bolts holding it on look practically new, maybe the pump was recently replaced...one of the hoses does appear to be seeping/weeping a little bit, but it is only slightly damp on the outside.
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      11-24-2017, 06:12 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_flies View Post
So, I tore into the engine bay today and yesterday, and have looked around. Everything seems good, some of the plastics in the hotter parts of the engine bay have become brittle, something that's to be expected. Water pump looks fine, the bolts holding it on look practically new, maybe the pump was recently replaced...one of the hoses does appear to be seeping/weeping a little bit, but it is only slightly damp on the outside.
Did you check Carfax to see if a water pump service was reported?

Since the bolts look practically new, what are your thoughts about replacement?
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      11-24-2017, 08:59 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by mackeroni View Post
Did you check Carfax to see if a water pump service was reported?

Since the bolts look practically new, what are your thoughts about replacement?
I did not check specifically for water pump, dumbly, but the car was regularly serviced at a BMW dealer by the PO, which is somewhat nice to know. Since the bolts look practically new, I'm going to leave it. I'm not really concerned with being stranded, especially since my drive is somewhat short to/from school. And if it does break, I'll get to drive my dad's '17 GTI Sport instead, which is overall a nicer car, just not as much auditory fun. I'll probably be driving that on Monday while I wait for FedEx to deliver the parts I need from ECS to finish my 3-Stage Intake swap. #FirstWorldProblems
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      11-25-2017, 11:44 AM   #73
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Mine (2012 135i) went in August at about 77k miles.
Was on the freeway 100 miles from home on 105 degree weather.
I hadn't read up on it prior, so the yellow light and power loss was annoying. Red light and no response was scary!

Pulled over, let it cool, tried again.
Happened again in about 20 minutes. This time with a giant semi barreling down on me!
So I pulled over, stayed put, and called AAA. Been a "Plus" member for 17 years so trusted them to take care of me. (Used to drive a '66 Mustang with a busted fuel gauge. Getting stranded was a way of life. But never this far from home!)

Anyway, after finding a safe but visible spot to bed down, I realized I pulled into a brand new shopping center. Under construction. Nearest services 3 miles away. No food, water, restroom - nothing.
Though it's in the contract, at 6pm on a Saturday night AAA couldn't locate a driver willing to tow me back 100 miles.
Back and forth, never spoke to the same person twice, at 11pm they finally got me a driver who towed me to a dealer near where family was staying 35 miles away, but in the wrong direction.
Dealer gave me 20% off for the inconvenience but still charged $1800 for the privilege.
Closest trusted indy to me wanted $1200, but was more than 100 miles from my location. Great, trusted shop 104 miles away quoted $1400. But AAA Plus was unable to get me there. Lady on the phone said it would be $20 per mile for the extra if the driver agreed - but again, didn't have one.

Next day, brother drove me half way home. Took train to nearest station, and walked remaining 4 miles.

Car was done Tuesday - I just had to get back to it!
Local rental car would have been $50/day. Knowing it was one way (from just outside SF to really near state Capitol) was $100/day. Damn Camry.

In the end, after talking to two managers and a customer satisfaction guy, AAA came through. Covered the rental, train, 2 meals, and even the $400 difference between the Indy I was going to go to and the dealer I was forced to accept.
But what a pain.

TMI, I know. But they said the people that night just dropped the ball. It's like $2 per additional mile. They should have offered to bring my car to the local dealership, then put me up at a nearby hotel, with food and a rental car agreement. But didn't.

Tl;dr:

After reading up about it more, I could see preventative maintenance replacing the water pump at 80,000 miles. But that wouldn't have helped me.

Relying on AAA can still be a fools bet. They knew they blew it, and came through in the end. But I never made it to my niece's graduation party, and basically threw away a whole weekend.

If you're devastated by inconvenience, PM is a good idea. If you need to save your pennies, wait until it fails but prepared for some downtime.
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      11-25-2017, 12:15 PM   #74
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AAA is a mixed bag depending on a lot of factors. Based on experiences similar to yours (not as bad, but still not great), my standard procedure has developed to 1) call AAA and start the process, and if it's a long wait 2) search for a local tow company and call direct. If one of the local options pans out to be significantly better than AAA, get them started and cancel AAA service, then submit the receipts for reimbursement. Not ideal, but often less frustrating than the run-around with AAA's operators (whose quality is decidedly mixed).
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      11-25-2017, 12:38 PM   #75
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Decidedly.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I had asked two operators "at what point is AAA unable to provide the promised service, such that you'll reimburse me for a private tow."
Neither could answer.
2nd operator kept me on hold for a manager for 45 minutes to check. I hung up before they came back, because the driver finally arrived. 11pm.

When I asked 2 different managers the following Monday, they both said 2 hours.

Here's a good one, too. Flat tire in Lost Springs, Wyoming summer of 2007. After 3 tries finally got a decent connection to a AAA operator. Told her where we were, with Highway numbers and everything.
"Where???"
"Lost Springs. Wyoming."
"Where???"
"Lost Springs. Wyoming."
"What state?"
"Wyoming."
"Is that in Arizona?"
"Um, it's in Wyoming."

I kid you not.
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      11-25-2017, 01:11 PM   #76
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There was another guy on here that had a WP failure and a AAA nightmare. I had pretty good luck, they sent a tow truck within an hour even though I requested a flat bed (via website, not phone). A couple hours later the flat bed showed up. But I wasn't at the side the road, as I had made it back home. Might have felt differently sitting on the side of the road.
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      11-25-2017, 01:57 PM   #77
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I guess it's kind of hit and miss with AAA from what I'm reading here. Hope when I need their services I have good luck. Will definitely let you guys know.
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      11-29-2017, 05:11 PM   #78
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well, got mine done today as preventative maintenance. Figured the car is almost 7 years old, regardless of the fact that it has 13500 miles on it. I have no desire to be stuck for something like this, overheat the engine and cause potential damage or deal with tow trucks and all that.
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      11-29-2017, 08:23 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain slowly View Post
well, got mine done today as preventative maintenance. Figured the car is almost 7 years old, regardless of the fact that it has 13500 miles on it. I have no desire to be stuck for something like this, overheat the engine and cause potential damage or deal with tow trucks and all that.
CS, this is a very personal decision. I admire you for making the choice for preemptive replacement, especially at such low mileage. And, I have to admit to having done the math. You are apparently only driving about 160 miles per month. That number increases to 215 miles per month if you are storing your 135i for three months out of twelve out there on Long Island.

If it had been me, I would have stayed with the original water pump. But personally, I have a middling history of having cars towed to a service location. (That would be two Mazda's towed a total of three times and a VW Jetta towed once.) I have learned from my experience that the pain of a breakdown is all suffered in the moment, or at most over a weekend. Later, when the car is repaired and I am cruising happily back down the road, the pain fades until, after a year or so, the breakdown events morph into fodder for cocktail parties and car shows. As in, "I used to drive a 1990 Volkswagen Jetta. Loved it! One of the best road cars I ever owned...except for that time the fuel pump failed and it left me stranded over a weekend in Cincinnati."

Sorry so long-winded. You caught me in a mood.

Happy Motoring, CS! Here's wishing you many trouble free miles!
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      11-29-2017, 08:45 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackeroni View Post
CS, this is a very personal decision. I admire you for making the choice for preemptive replacement, especially at such low mileage. And, I have to admit to having done the math. You are apparently only driving about 160 miles per month. That number increases to 215 miles per month if you are storing your 135i for three months out of twelve out there on Long Island.

If it had been me, I would have stayed with the original water pump. But personally, I have a middling history of having cars towed to a service location. (That would be two Mazda's towed a total of three times and a VW Jetta towed once.) I have learned from my experience that the pain of a breakdown is all suffered in the moment, or at most over a weekend. Later, when the car is repaired and I am cruising happily back down the road, the pain fades until, after a year or so, the breakdown events morph into fodder for cocktail parties and car shows. As in, "I used to drive a 1990 Volkswagen Jetta. Loved it! One of the best road cars I ever owned...except for that time the fuel pump failed and it left me stranded over a weekend in Cincinnati."

Sorry so long-winded. You caught me in a mood.

Happy Motoring, CS! Here's wishing you many trouble free miles!
Actually, the math is a bit different. This time last year, the car only had 7000 miles on it.... and I had an epiphany; the car will not be a classic and nobody is going to pay me what I would want for it (at least $20k), plus, I actually do like driving it. So, in the past year I've pretty much doubled the mileage. And I plan on driving the car pretty much any time it isn't snowing or there is salt on the road. That leaves me with 8 months per year.

As for the breakdown fear, I gotta admit, when I was younger, it didn't bother me that much when my '86 GTI would randomly refuse to start due to the shitty mechanical fuel distributor. It was almost fun. But now that I'm 40 with a family, the idea of being on the side of the road appeals to me as much as gas station sushi. Especially for a well known issue, and especially since I have a friendly dealer and an extended warranty, so it cost me next to nothing.
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      11-29-2017, 09:09 PM   #81
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Everyone's breakdown experience is different and certainly helps to shape their approach to preventive maintenance. For me, having experienced several breakdowns of varying degrees of severity - the most noteworthy being a truly spectacular turbo failure in a Saab at 1am on the SC/GA border 800 miles from home - I'm inclined to err on the side of safe rather than sorry. I do a fair number of road trips, and the memory of having to track down a Saab specialist in a semi-remote corner of the Deep South left lasting scars.
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      11-30-2017, 03:05 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain slowly View Post
well, got mine done today as preventative maintenance. Figured the car is almost 7 years old, regardless of the fact that it has 13500 miles on it. I have no desire to be stuck for something like this, overheat the engine and cause potential damage or deal with tow trucks and all that.
After reading your post I emailed my trusted S/A and asked her what she thought about preemptively replacing my water pump with almost 35K miles and 7 years on the clock. She said "totally not necessary... are you getting an itch to spend more money? lol Don't do it. Not yet." I told her that there was a discussion on the forum, and 75,000 miles or 7 years was suggested as a general mile/age failure limit for our water pumps, and she said "I think you should leave it alone. We can check the overall condition of your cooling system at your next service visit and give you a better answer/timeline."

I like to be proactive and stay on top of things, especially when it has to do with my car, but I think I'll take her advice and see what they say after an inspection of my cooling system. I know it can fail with hardly any warning, but I'm willing to wait until my dealer can take a look at it first. You know they're just dying to take my money, so if they say wait, then I probably should. I understand the value of peace of mind and the headache/inconvenience/possible catastrophic damage that can occur if your water pump fails, and I appreciate your decision to replace yours before any bad shit happens.
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      11-30-2017, 07:37 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban View Post
After reading your post I emailed my trusted S/A and asked her what she thought about preemptively replacing my water pump with almost 35K miles and 7 years on the clock. She said "totally not necessary... are you getting an itch to spend more money? lol Don't do it. Not yet." I told her that there was a discussion on the forum, and 75,000 miles or 7 years was suggested as a general mile/age failure limit for our water pumps, and she said "I think you should leave it alone. We can check the overall condition of your cooling system at your next service visit and give you a better answer/timeline."

I like to be proactive and stay on top of things, especially when it has to do with my car, but I think I'll take her advice and see what they say after an inspection of my cooling system. I know it can fail with hardly any warning, but I'm willing to wait until my dealer can take a look at it first. You know they're just dying to take my money, so if they say wait, then I probably should. I understand the value of peace of mind and the headache/inconvenience/possible catastrophic damage that can occur if your water pump fails, and I appreciate your decision to replace yours before any bad shit happens.
The thing is, there isn't really much to check, per se. Unless the pump is starting to leak, which sometimes happens, it either works or it doesn't... so, it comes down to dollars and cents and comfort level.
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      11-30-2017, 09:50 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain slowly View Post
The thing is, there isn't really much to check, per se. Unless the pump is starting to leak, which sometimes happens, it either works or it doesn't... so, it comes down to dollars and cents and comfort level.
Exactly, there's nothing to tell if there's a failure imminent. If you're comfortable with the risk of possibly being stranded or having to clear your schedule for the day, wait for it to die. If you're not comfortable with it going out at any moment, or you're nearing that certain mileage and drive your car further away from home, replace it early, just for the security it brings.

Turner Tune is supposed to be delivered today...
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      11-30-2017, 10:45 AM   #85
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Couple of random thoughts on the subject:
This is the only car I have ever owned that has no coolant temperature gauge.
So I use torque pro to monitor water temp and air intake temp... this helps to learn typical patterns in which the system behaves depending on different conditions and any unusual fluctuations may indicate a potential problem before it happens, I hope.
Also I think it's worth mentioning that certain tunes (Dinan comes to mind) do raise water pump operating speed. And this has to have an effect on its longevity, I think.

And sort of off subject - I own a 25 years old italian-made espresso machine that I use everyday twice a day and I have replaced a few failed parts to keep it going, but the electric water pump is still original and still pressurizing the thing to 15bar like the day it was taken out of the box. Go figure...

Last edited by vinylengraver; 11-30-2017 at 10:51 AM.
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      11-30-2017, 11:11 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinylengraver View Post
Couple of random thoughts on the subject:
This is the only car I have ever owned that has no coolant temperature gauge.
So I use torque pro to monitor water temp and air intake temp... this helps to learn typical patterns in which the system behaves depending on different conditions and any unusual fluctuations may indicate a potential problem before it happens, I hope.
Also I think it's worth mentioning that certain tunes (Dinan comes to mind) do raise water pump operating speed. And this has to have an effect on its longevity, I think.

And sort of off subject - I own a 25 years old italian-made espresso machine that I use everyday twice a day and I have replaced a few failed parts to keep it going, but the electric water pump is still original and still pressurizing the thing to 15bar like the day it was taken out of the box. Go figure...
Agreed on the temp gauge.

The espresso machine, however, is probably not pumping water at 250*F, continuously for what are probably 30+ minute drives, and in my case usually more than twice a day. Also, our water pumps are designed for high flow rates, versus espresso machine is probably designed for high pressures. More thoughts...
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      11-30-2017, 11:39 AM   #87
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I recently replaced my water pump at 56,000 miles. Several days beforehand, I started getting code 377A "Deactivation of coolant pump due to blockage". I was able to limp the car around town for several days by simply pulling over, clearing the code to reactivate the pump, and getting back on my way. I don't regret waiting for it to fail rather than replacing it as a maintenance item.
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      11-30-2017, 12:17 PM   #88
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^^ This ^^

I think me and my water pump will be ok... for now... (frantically biting fingernails) lol

Parts break and then you get new ones. Wont be the end of the world.

At less than 35,000 miles I think I should be fine for a good while longer.

But we'll see...
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