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535xi - I need some advice please!

Discussion in 'F10/F11 (2010-2017)' started by BeachTravel1219, Feb 3, 2016.

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    Not sure if this is the place to ask service and parts related questions, but I will give it a shot. I admit I am quite "technically challenged" so bear with me. Without wanting to "stereotype" myself, I am a widowed female who basically knows nothing about cars other than if they are comfortable for me to drive long distances (I travel extensively for work), and I place a lot of trust in my service advisors and local dealership and have always been more than satisfied.

    I am a long time BMW owner and currently own a 2011 535xi sedan. The vehicle has just over 60,000 miles on it. Naturally, it is out of warranty and when I inquired at my dealership about perhaps purchasing an extended warranty, was told "it doesn't cover much except major engine failures so best to take your chances." I took that advice and so did not purchase an extended warranty.

    One week ago today, I backed out of my garage and heard a "crunching noise" in the steering column and then the "driver restraint system malfunction" light came on. Turns out that the "sensor" that controls all things in the steering wheel went bad. The service advisor then called to tell me that upon inspection, the "oil filter housing" was leaking and recommended replacement. He did say I could "get by" without replacing it for another 5,000 or so miles, but given that I drive long distances at one stretch (by myself) for work and don't need the threat of breaking down on I-95, I gave the go ahead to repair it.

    Total parts came to just over $675 and with labor and sales tax, my total repair bill came to $2,000. I picked up the vehicle and drove it approximately 3 miles before I heard a "shlossing sound" from under the dash, like water splashing around. I immediately did a U-turn and took it back to the dealer. Now I am told that there is yet another problem. Seems the "valve" to the water line (I am not sure I am describing this right or not) went bad and this was a recent "BMW service bulletin to watch out for" and so now that needs to be replaced to the tune of $300 (parts and labor).

    Needless to day, I asked if this was a coincidence as I just happened to have paid $2,000 for the other two parts and labor and got no less than 3 miles down the road and now another problem has occurred. I was told that it was purely coincidental and maybe it is. I hope it is. I heard the shlossing sound within 1-2 minutes of driving it off the lot. Surely a mechanic heard it when driving it out of the service bay to the car wash and then to the pick up area? Maybe not.

    I can't help but feel perhaps I am being taken advantage of or being "ripped off." I know that it is often "human nature" to always see the bad side. The dealer is a reputable dealer and has serviced my car for a few years. Never a complaint. This could just be a case of pretty bad luck. That said, it is too late for me to get an extended warranty. I might add I just spent $1,600 for 4 new tires as well as another $1,200 for the 50,000 mile check up. I have put a lot of money into this car in the last 6 months.

    While none of us can predict the future, I have to wonder if it makes sense to keep this car and run the risk of more mechanical issues that are very costly or if I should find a new vehicle with a new 50,000 mile warranty? My current car is paid off, so no car payment which is also nice. I realize that spending almost $4,000 in such a short period of time is not as expensive as buying a new car.

    I would appreciate any comments, especially as it pertains to the reliability of BMW going forward. I love the car, love the look, love the safety, but the reliability could be an issue if I keep a car longer than the warranty period, which is normally what I do. Many friends are suggesting I back away from BMW and go to Lexus or even Toyota - better reliability for people like me who tend to own their cars for more than 4 years.

    Many thanks for the help and commentary and again, apologies if this is not the venue to ask such a question.
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    Quite the unfortunate story you have here. First off I can't believe they didn't try to sell you a extended warranty from BMW called certified preowned. Which covers over 10,000 items on the vehicle and has a 50 dollar deductible. Yes the oil filter housing gasket is a common repair on your engine sadly. Can't say though I have seen a SZL (steering column switch cluster) go bad that often. But I have replaced them before so bad luck there. This water valve issue you are having I am not sure of the bulletin they are referencing for the sloshing noise in the heater core. Only bulletin even close to what you describe is bulletin number 64 03 12 which is a issue where a knocking noise is transferred through the body to the cabin. This would no fix your issue you have described. What the issue sounds like to me is a air bubble has been caught in the heater core from the oil filter housing gasket and system has not been bleed completely causing a sloshing noise. The only way I could see the water valves causing the issue is if one or both are sticking causing a low flow thus not bleeding the system properly. However I have yet to need to replace water valves in your style vehicle. As for whether you should keep the vehicle or not is really up to you and what your needs are. Always fun to get a new one but yes payments suck. As for another brand switch depends on if you can put up with the different driving experience you might get and end up missing your BMW. I would ask for the SIB number they are referring to for the water valve issue and look into CPO warranty you should still be able to get I believe.

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