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4.8is cpo interpretation.

Discussion in 'E53 X5 (2000-2006)' started by corima, Nov 3, 2008.

    corima guest

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    My leaning 4.8is has now been properely diagnosed, finally. The left front "air bag", "air spring", 'air strut" what ever you want to call it, is leaking. Very easy to see after spraying it with some soapy water. First dealer charged me 400 clams to adjust the level sensors. I knew that wasnt it. Anyway, they tell it is not covered by my BMW CPO. It isnt a shock or a mcpherson strut. Would you really call it maintenance item? Wouldnt mind some help in interpreting the CPO. It seems really vague. Thanks, Steve


    http://www.bmwusa.com/cpo

    corima guest

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    Wow! 50 view and nothing. Well, I am moving on to plan B. No help from BMW NA, no help from Dealer. Looks like I wont be buying a new one, from them, for my wife after all. Am having a new air strut delivered next week, and am planning on replacing it myself. Doesnt seem to be a DIY on this anywhere. At least there is no spring to compress. Anybody replaced a front air strut on a 4.8is! Any tips? I might take pictures, and come up with a DIY on this.
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    Jeff Gomon

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    Not Clear....at all....

    I'll bite on this....

    It clearly states in the CPO Warranty that the Front Suspension and Rear Suspension IS covered but that the Suspension Dampers (shock absorbers/strut elements) are NOT. So the question falls to this, is the air bag suspension components considered a damper of some sort or is it actually part of the suspension?

    In my opinion, the shock inserts/dampers should be considered wear items needing replacement as part of normal preventative maintenance, say every 60-80k miles. Normally, they would work in conjunction with the coil springs and speak to ride/handling characteristics, primarily controlling suspension rebound. While they ARE a part of the suspension "system", they are clearly not covered.

    I have this same airbag system on my 2005 X5 4.4i and have some familiarity with it. In this configuration, there are no coil springs as part of the strut assembly. The airbags replace the coil springs and, as you found, they support the weight of the vehicle. The air bag is NOT a damping component. It should, in my opinion, be considered much like the coil spring it replaces. The coil spring is an important suspension piece that is controlled, ultimately, by the damper. I would press this issue and mention it is a safety issue as well. If the bag ultimately ruptures catastrophically at speed or in a corner, it could easily upset the balance and trajectory of the vehicle potentially causing an accident.

    If this were me, I would argue the air bag is not a damper, by definition, but a suspension component that supports the vehicle and adjusts the ride height explicitly. If not considered a "Wear and Tear" item, then it should be covered, in my opinion. I am sure the aforementioned normal "Wear and Tear" umbrella casts a wide shadow. If that doesn't hurt enough, the disclaimer "The Certified Pre-Owned BMW Limited Warranty is designed to protect owners from defects in materials and workmanship on covered parts and components will give the Maufacturer more ammo to deny. So even if the dealer/manufacturer concedes the airbag IS a suspension component, they may still say that perhaps it failed under "Wear and Tear" conditions. Proving it actually failed because of some sort of defect is even harder as testing would need to be done.

    This is an example of a situation where having a good relationship with your dealership and service department is paramount. Those guys can go to bat for you with BMW NA or at least cut you a smoking deal on parts/installation if they can't get NA to concede.

    I wish I had more precise answers for you. Don't give up!!!

    corima guest

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    Thanks for the reply. I have been "discussing" just those issues with the CPO rep. So far, nothing has been descided. Overall, it has been a slow process. But, I will keep everybody updated. If I end up replacing it myself, I am thinking about doing it as a DIY piece since I cant seem to find one anywhere. Thanks again.
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    Jeff Gomon

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    I would imagine replacing the assembly would be easier as there is no coil spring to compress and worry about. Not certain though, as I have not worked on mine either:eek:

    I am interested in what ultimately comes of this...keep us posted.

    corima guest

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    CPO interpretation.

    Just thought I would update everybody on this situation. Last week, the air strut was completely replaced with a new one. The service manager said that half the cost would be picked up by BMW NA and the other half by the dealer. When I asked what changed their mind? He just said that there was there some situations in my favor. This must be code for something. I am very pleased that they did this. I never once raised my voice during any discussion. I just tried to remain on topic and focused. Thanks for the words of wisdom.
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    granthr

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    Glad to hear BMW and your Dealer did the right thing! :D You have an awesome truck there, if you can call it that. Enjoy now that it is on all fours again! :D

    GR
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    Jeff Gomon

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    Yes, that is excellent news indeed. I had a feeling it would go your way. The dealership did right by you because BMW NA would only reimburse the claim for half of parts and shop rate. It is amazing the response you get when you maintain control, stay on topic, present facts and stick with your position. These service advisors deal with knuckleheads all day long so a reasonable, level headed person is always taken better care of. Right or wrong, that is what I have seen. You took the right approach....

    Inversely, saw a guy come into the service drive a few weeks back with a 2001 3 series when I was visiting my local dealership for my monthly advertising visit. He didn't buy his car there, did not have it serviced there but asked if they would hook up his car to their computer and reset the SRS light. His independent shop set off while during some work and couldn't do it. The service adviser asked for some basic information such as VIN # and name, which is standard, so they could pull it in. They were hoping to gain him as a customer as well so were not going to charge him for the reset. This guy went nuts thinking they were going to charge him and send him junk mail and and a bunch of other things. He didn't even wait to hear it was at no charge. He stormed off yelling in the building how this dealership sucked and no wonder they didn't sell him a car initially!!! Some people......

    Glad the 4.8 is fixed and back on the road. Did you get to see the damage once it was removed? What did they determine was the actual problem? Just curious.....

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