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      05-12-2013, 10:58 PM   #1
AM1N
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Transmission issue - BMWNA refuse to cover

Here's the rundown:

At about 17,000 miles my car started making a nasty grinding noise when shifting from 1st to 2nd (only that shift). Took my car to the dealership and they said there were metal particles in the transmission fluid. They informed me that they needed to replace the fluid but BMW would not pay for it. I asked why and my CA explained that they ran a full "FAST" test on my car (whatever that means) and they ruled that the damaged was caused due to abuse on the car. I succumbed and paid for it. The fluid fix did nothing and the car was still making the same noise. Turns out that my synchro from 1st to 2nd is shot and they said that the ONLY way to fix it is for a brand new transmission and that would cost 7K, for which they would not cover either.

Clearly, I am furious about the situation and don't really know what to do at this point. The exact phrasing from BMW to my CA was that diagnostics show that "the car was being shifted from over 5,000 RPM's from 1st to 2nd." I explained how this is a performance car and should be able to handle high RPM shifts and that there is no reason the transmission should be failing me at just 17,000 miles. He agreed but said that BMW already said they wouldn't cover it and there's nothing the dealership could do about it.

I really want to get this issue fixed as the car is my DD, and the 1M is an extremely rare car.

I guess my question to the people of this forum is: does the whole tranny really need to be replaced because of this one gear issue?

And,

Does anyone have any tips/advice/suggestions as to how to handle this situation?

Thanks all!!!
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      05-12-2013, 11:05 PM   #2
cooler2442
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Unfortunately this is what happens when you buy a performance car with a manual, when something big goes wrong they always try to claim abuse.

Your best bet is to contact BMW NA directly and keep pushing. Unless you have $ for legal action then you can try and make them prove it but you would pay a ton of lawyer fee's.

Also can try a different dealer and see what they say.
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      05-12-2013, 11:22 PM   #3
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The "dealer culture" is to replace rather than repair. Seems unlikely that you would have no option other than replacing the entire transmission. Normally you can rebuild a gearbox or if the problem is just one gear then you should be able to replace that gear.

If you decide that BMW won't pay then I'd recommend finding a good independent BMW specialist.
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      05-13-2013, 12:08 AM   #4
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I would definitely try another dealer. The dealer really should be going to bat for you on this issue. If you are relying on BMW NA to step in and help, I would advise you to not hold your breath.

Go to a different dealer and hopefully they agree that it should be covered under warranty. If that doesn't work, THEN you could explore options on how to force them to prove that it was your abuse of the tyranny that caused the issue.

As for repairing the synchro vs replacement of the tranny, BMW doesn't sell any individual internal tranny components, you'd have to either go to the manufacturer (ZF or maybe Getrag) and see if they offer any replacement parts. I'd prefer a whole new tranny just for peace of mind.

Keep us updated.
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      05-13-2013, 03:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AM1N View Post
... "the car was being shifted from over 5,000 RPM's from 1st to 2nd." I explained how this is a performance car and should be able to handle high RPM shifts ...
Sorry to hear this, and I share your intuition that this should not be happening, and that an occasional >5k gear shift should not result in a broken transmission. Especially if I correctly understand the description of the assumed root cause: Shifting from 1st to 2nd while over 5k rpm.

Certainly there is no first gear "shift-early" advice or instruction in the owners manual. Even if the rev limiter kicks in and you then shift to a higher gear, the warranty for the transmission should not be denied.

How does the dealer know you have shifted in 1st gear over 5k RPM? Did you tell them or did they produce ecu logs over 'high rev' (>X?k RPM) shifts occurrences?
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      05-13-2013, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eeghie View Post
Sorry to hear this, and I share your intuition that this should not be happening, and that an occasional >5k gear shift should not result in a broken transmission. Especially if I correctly understand the description of the assumed root cause: Shifting from 1st to 2nd while over 5k rpm.

Certainly there is no first gear "shift-early" advice or instruction in the owners manual. Even if the rev limiter kicks in and you then shift to a higher gear, the warranty for the transmission should not be denied.

How does the dealer know you have shifted in 1st gear over 5k RPM? Did you tell them or did they produce ecu logs over 'high rev' (>X?k RPM) shifts occurrences?
Yes, they produced ECU logs and determined from there that it was my fault the synchros were damaged =(
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      05-13-2013, 11:05 AM   #7
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Premature synchro wear is not caused by shifting at high rpm, but by inartful use of the clutch.

I agree with others that you should press this warranty issue further.

Neil
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      05-13-2013, 12:13 PM   #8
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I don't know if going to another dealer will help in this matter. I would speak to the Service Manager and explain the entire situation to him especially the fact that shifting at high revs does not cause premature wear to the synchos. Hopefully, the Service Manager is competent enough to understand the issue.

The quality of BMW Technicians and Shop Foremen can vary greatly within a dealership.
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      05-13-2013, 12:20 PM   #9
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As a BMW tech this sounds fishy. Shifting from 1st to 2nd at or over 5000 rpm is totally normal shifting behavior, so unless there is something you are not telling us I would tell you that you are entitled to full warranty replacement and apologies from your dealer and BMW NA.
Call customer relations and get a case started and let's hear the name of the Dealer.
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      05-13-2013, 02:28 PM   #10
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So you can get over BMW sticker shock, try an independent transmission shop, I guarantee they replace synchros all the time or are very familiar with them. They probably have parts suppliers that can get them individual parts too. But I'd also stay with Acetechs line of thought.
If you go to a second dealer, when they punch in your VIN and approach BMW you may run into the same roadblock.
Are you the original owner?
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      05-13-2013, 03:34 PM   #11
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sounds fishy and i agree with others. see another dealer or independent
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      05-13-2013, 05:42 PM   #12
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Could the CDV be a contributing factor to this failure? Or is that not applicable.

Leif W.
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      05-13-2013, 06:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeifW View Post
Could the CDV be a contributing factor to this failure? Or is that not applicable.

Leif W.
That could contribute to premature clutch wear, but is unlikely to affect the synchros.

Neil
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      05-13-2013, 06:29 PM   #14
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Couple of questions: is your 1M 100% stock ? If negative, does it have any mods which might eventually impact clutch and transmission (risk of faster than usual wear 'n tear: tune, CDV delete, clutch stop, etc.) ? Have you (regularly) raced your 1M on a race-track ? Did you ever experience a 'shift mistake' significantly straining the transmission (for example during hard acceleration mistakenly shifting from 2nd to 1st gear, instead of to 3rd gear) ? Is your 1M the first car with a manual transmission you ever got to drive ?

Last but not least: how many miles were clocked on the odometer when you took delivery of your 1M + was it by any chance serviced shortly before you started noticing "a nasty grinding noise when shifting from 1st to 2nd" ?

As was already suggested: get it checked elsewhere. Ain't nothing wrong with getting a second opinion.

Good luck.
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      05-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #15
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Good luck.... it may take a few months though.

BMW now seems to look at ECU logs for any warranty claim. My front rotors are being replaced under warranty, but the ECU logs were read and I was asked if the car was tracked. As soon as the car is plugged in at the dealer, the logs are sent to Germany against the VIN.

In my experience, the dealer generally looks after the customer's and they don't tend to fight claims, it is more BMW themselves who deny claims.

Is there a way to clear ECU logs, perhaps with ECU reset?
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      05-13-2013, 07:26 PM   #16
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I thought when flashing a tune, the ECU was reset? Doesn't the Cobb AP take care of this?
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      05-13-2013, 07:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -cj- View Post
I thought when flashing a tune, the ECU was reset? Doesn't the Cobb AP take care of this?
If the ECU is sent to Germany, BMW can easily find traces of Cobb or JB4. If the ECU isn't sent then it's undetectable.
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      05-13-2013, 08:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDORPHN View Post
That could contribute to premature clutch wear, but is unlikely to affect the synchros.

Neil
Ah, that makes sense.

Leif W.
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      05-13-2013, 08:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
Couple of questions: is your 1M 100% stock ? If negative, does it have any mods which might eventually impact clutch and transmission (risk of faster than usual wear 'n tear: tune, CDV delete, clutch stop, etc.) ? Have you (regularly) raced your 1M on a race-track ? Did you ever experience a 'shift mistake' significantly straining the transmission (for example during hard acceleration mistakenly shifting from 2nd to 1st gear, instead of to 3rd gear) ? Is your 1M the first car with a manual transmission you ever got to drive ?

Last but not least: how many miles were clocked on the odometer when you took delivery of your 1M + was it by any chance serviced shortly before you started noticing "a nasty grinding noise when shifting from 1st to 2nd" ?

As was already suggested: get it checked elsewhere. Ain't nothing wrong with getting a second opinion.

Good luck.
Great questions. I look forward to the OP's responses.

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      05-13-2013, 08:13 PM   #20
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What I don't get is why the dealer isn't pushing the factory for warranty auth so they can get paid to put a tranny in your car.
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      05-13-2013, 08:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
Couple of questions: is your 1M 100% stock ? If negative, does it have any mods which might eventually impact clutch and transmission (risk of faster than usual wear 'n tear: tune, CDV delete, clutch stop, etc.) ? Have you (regularly) raced your 1M on a race-track ? Did you ever experience a 'shift mistake' significantly straining the transmission (for example during hard acceleration mistakenly shifting from 2nd to 1st gear, instead of to 3rd gear) ? Is your 1M the first car with a manual transmission you ever got to drive ?

Last but not least: how many miles were clocked on the odometer when you took delivery of your 1M + was it by any chance serviced shortly before you started noticing "a nasty grinding noise when shifting from 1st to 2nd" ?

As was already suggested: get it checked elsewhere. Ain't nothing wrong with getting a second opinion.

Good luck.

Sorry for the late response.

Current modifications: CDV delete, clutch stop, catless n55 midpipes. Other than those, car is 100% stock. It has never been tracked and I am the original owner. Never had any mis shifts either. This is my second manual car, first was 2008 jeep wrangler which I had 0 problems with.

If I want to replace the individual synchros, doesn't my whole tranny have to be taken apart? That seems like an extremely hectic and potentially risky/dangerous situation for my car.
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      05-13-2013, 09:26 PM   #22
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I have also done the CDV delete and clutch stop also . . . I worry more about the clutch stop. How aggressive did you go with the clutch stop thickness?
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