TDIclub Secret Society of BMW Owners (SSBMWO)

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
After owning my 535d for 2 1/2 years, still under CPO warranty and only 75k miles, the dealer informed me that I need a new dpf. They rolled their eyes when I asked how much and wasn’t it covered by the warranty. Handed me a sheet that said it wasn’t. They estimated $6,000! Wouldn’t even give me a service report.
I am driving my old Jetta again and looking for a nice Passat.
The attitude of the service department has been “you should expect these kind of costs.”
Any efficiency benefit you might have achieved by driving the diesel was just eliminated by a $6000 dpf replacement price tag.

Sorry to hear of it.

Steve
 

TDIMeister

Phd of TDIClub Enthusiast, Moderator at Large
Joined
May 1, 1999
Location
Canada
TDI
TDI
After owning my 535d for 2 1/2 years, still under CPO warranty and only 75k miles, the dealer informed me that I need a new dpf. They rolled their eyes when I asked how much and wasn’t it covered by the warranty. Handed me a sheet that said it wasn’t. They estimated $6,000! Wouldn’t even give me a service report.
I am driving my old Jetta again and looking for a nice Passat.
The attitude of the service department has been “you should expect these kind of costs.”
Get a second opinion from another dealer, or take it up to the corporate level. The emission control system is warranted for 8 years/ 80k miles by EPA federal mandate.


State motor vehicle emissions warranty provisions are in addition to, and do not void or eliminate, the federal emissions warranties under §207 of the Act. A vehicle that is within the federal warranty period and subject to regulations issued under §202 is therefore covered by the federal emission warranties, notwithstanding valid adoption by a state of separate warranties. Under this situation, the Federal and California warranty provisions are concurrent, and all vehicles, even those sold in California, are subject to Federal warranty provisions. Therefore the Federal 8 year or 80,000 mile warranty period for the specified major emission control components applies to all vehicles, including those sold in California.
 

n1das

TDIClub Enthusiast, Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2002
Location
Nashua, NH, USA
TDI
2014 BMW 535xd ///M-Sport, 2012 BMW X5 Xdrive35d, former 3x TDI owner
Twinkieflyer,

How does the dealer KNOW the DPF needs to be replaced? How did they determine that? What BMW specific codes are stored?

75k miles is way too early to need a DPF replacement. I'm only at 160k miles on my 2014 535dx (July 2013 build) with no DPF issues. My 2012 X5 35d is only at 270k miles and still has the original DPF. DPFs typically don't "go bad" unless they crack and DPFs in diesel BMWs haven't been known to crack. The DPF eventually gets loaded up with ash left over from DPF regenerations and the ash needs to be cleaned out or the DPF replaced. In big trucks, the DPF gets cleaned and reused. In diesel cars, they simply get replaced.

BMW-specific code 452A gets stored when the DPF is approaching its calculated end of life. 452A is an information only code for BMW service to inform the customer that they should schedule a service appointment soon for a $6k DPF replacement. Note that code 452A DOES NOT necessarily mean the DPF needs to be replaced yet. 452A does not trigger a check engine light (CEL) or limp mode and will not cause the car to fail an OBD-II scan for an emission scan to pass state inspection. It is nothing more than an information only code for BMW service. The DPF has a calculated life of around 200k km and 452A code gets set some time before the calculated life reaches 0 km. The remaining DPF life is calculated from a number of parameters so there is no set odometer reading when 452A gets triggered.

When the calculated remaining life of the DPF eventually reaches 0 km, code 4D4A is set. 4D4A is another information only code for BMW service which means the calculated remaining life of the DPF has reached 0 km and the car continued to be driven. 4D4A triggers a one time on-screen warning about the DPF and a DPF symbol on the instrument cluster and gets triggered at exactly 10 minutes after startup. The on-screen warning needs to be manually cleared and the yellow DPF symbol on the cluster goes away after about 20 seconds. 4D4A also does not trigger a CEL or limp mode and will not cause the car to fail an OBD-II scan for emissions testing. The car basically starts nagging the owner about the DPF after the calculated remaining life reaches 0 km. Note that code 4D4A also does not necessarily mean the DPF needs to be replaced yet.

In my 2012 X5 35d, I have codes 452A and 4D4A stored. The codes are permanently stored until the ECU (DDE in BMW-speak) is told that the DPF was replaced. 452A was triggered around 155k miles. 4D4A was triggered around 171k miles. The car currently is at 270k miles and still has the original DPF. I have driven 99k miles since 4D4A code was set. I get the one time warning and DPF symbol display at exactly 10 minutes after startup. I simply clear the on screen warning and drive on. The DPF symbol display goes out about 20 seconds later. I regularly check that DPF regenerations are occurring like they should using a Carly Bluetooth OBD-II adapter for BMWs. The Carly smartphone app is specific to BMWs. At 270k miles, power and fuel economy are still where they should be and DPF regens are still occurring normally so I know I don't have to do anything about the DPF yet. Exactly how far I can go with the original DPF is still a big "?".

You should find out how the dealer determined the DPF needs to be replaced and what codes were stored and please post the codes here.

Good luck.
 
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n1das

TDIClub Enthusiast, Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2002
Location
Nashua, NH, USA
TDI
2014 BMW 535xd ///M-Sport, 2012 BMW X5 Xdrive35d, former 3x TDI owner
The fact that they wouldn't give you a service report is disturbing. Take it to another dealer, one that is competent for an accurate diagnosis and will give a service report. Please post what codes are stored.

It could be that something as simple as a failing thermostat causing the engine to run under-temperature all the time is causing DPF regenerations to be inhibited and then problems snowball from there. It is important that the engine run at the correct temperature at all times. Running under-temperature all the time will also lead to premature glowplug failures due to continuous "afterglow" operation trying to help warm the engine up.

If regens are inhibited long enough, codes 480A (DPF blocked) and 481A (DPF heavily blocked) are set and they will trigger a CEL. Regens are locked out if either of these codes are present. The dealer may have seen one of these codes and assumed the DPF needs to be replaced. The cause of the non-regens needs to be corrected first, otherwise a replacement DPF will soon get plugged up. The DPF likely does not need to be replaced.

You need to get the car to someone who really KNOWS these cars.
 
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Twinkieflyer

Active member
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Location
Blacksburg, Virginia
TDI
2002 ALH 5spd
Thank you for the replies. N1das, your knowledge clearly exceeds the dealers. Roanoke is an hour for me and the next closest is Lynchburg which is 2 hours. This makes it difficult to shop dealers. I didn’t realize the federal law. The dealer doesn’t seem to want to talk with me at all now. He took my email address and said someone would reply.
He also said that was why they didn’t sell diesels, or take them on trade...
I am trying to be reasonable with them but they are not giving me much to work with. My wife is being treated at Duke right now so major distractions with that so hard to take off so many days from work.
I asked them again for a service report. CPO warranty expires tomorrow.
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
Thank you for the replies. N1das, your knowledge clearly exceeds the dealers. Roanoke is an hour for me and the next closest is Lynchburg which is 2 hours. This makes it difficult to shop dealers. I didn’t realize the federal law. The dealer doesn’t seem to want to talk with me at all now. He took my email address and said someone would reply.
He also said that was why they didn’t sell diesels, or take them on trade...
I am trying to be reasonable with them but they are not giving me much to work with. My wife is being treated at Duke right now so major distractions with that so hard to take off so many days from work.
I asked them again for a service report. CPO warranty expires tomorrow.
Despite the expiration of the CPO warranty you have evidence that you brought a warranty issue to them before expiration and they refused to deal with it, or better said they attempted to make what should have been a warranty issue your responsibility when legally it isn't. I would press again on this and want legitimate service repot declaring the DPF bad.

The comment about not selling or taking diesels on trade, I have to believe that BMW might have an issue with this attitude and it just needs to be brought to their attention. This doesn't sound like something the manufacturer would appreciate.

Good luck with your issues, I'd say you might need legal help with this but I'm sure you already know this.

Steve
 

Twinkieflyer

Active member
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Location
Blacksburg, Virginia
TDI
2002 ALH 5spd
I want to thank everyone who has helped with advice on this problem. Without your advice I probably would have just traded the vehicle off.

Two days ago a phoned the BMW complaint line and related my story. Several times I was on hold for quite awhile. At first they said it wasn’t a warranty issue. Armed with the EPA letter info from TDImeister, I started down a different course, and was put on hold again. At the end they reluctantly agreed that the DPF was probably an emissions component, although they had been only covering catalytic converters. They told me to contact the dealer again. The dealer had already stated that the DPF wasn’t covered by the CPO warranty or the emissions warranty.

Knowing that the entire purpose for the DPF was emissions, I called a corporate attorney friend of mine who is vey technical and discussed the situation with him. Although he doesn’t do this can of legal work anymore, he had a former partner who does, and indicated he would be interested to talk with me.

Before I got to talk with him, out of the blue the dealership called me yesterday, to inform me that they had determined that they would cover the part via an emissions warranty claim and asked me not to drive the car. They even offered a loaner. I suspect someone had talked to them because this was a total about face. They reiterated again that 40%of their warranty work was on diesels and they made up less than 10% of their service.

They told me they had ordered the converter from Germany, it would arrive in 3 weeks and not to drive the car.

I have some doubts as to whether this is really the problem based on the info I have gotten here, but I decided not to question them. They said the new DPF is on the way and BMW was going to pay the $6000 warranty bill and they like big ticket jobs so be it.

I think I should look around for a real diesel shop if I don’t have time to do the work myself.

It is unfortunate that although our 5 diesel vehicles have been incredibly reliable, it has been very difficult to get reliable and knowledgeable service locally.

Since I got the new clutch in the Jetta last year from a company who is on this thread, it has been a real pleasure to drive, so I won’t really miss the BMW for a month.

Thank you all again. Oh, one thing I did come to find out, the dealer indicated they had been charging others for this problem. I wonder if they get a phone call....
 

TDIMeister

Phd of TDIClub Enthusiast, Moderator at Large
Joined
May 1, 1999
Location
Canada
TDI
TDI
Glad to read that this appears to be on the way toward a positive resolution. Make sure everything else in the car is working in tip-top shape because one emission or fuel system fault is usually symptomatic of another imminent or developing problem. My friend has an X5 with similar issues, but unfortunately, he bought his with high mileage and won't be able to cite the EPA warranty mandate. Here's a snippet of our correspondence:

Damnit. So the DPF is giving a reduced efficiency warning. Do you think the cleaning products actually work? It sounds like some contain some type of catalyst to somehow oxidize carbon buildup. Of course it's impossible to know which ones are real or not. Some go into the tank, and others are put into the DPF directly.

...

Now it's giving a P0172 code for running too rich, and P2002 for DPF not running as efficiently as expected, and the SCR passive tank pump isn't working at all and is giving a code for that. But the first two things combined with the fuel dilution means I probably have a leaky injector that's spraying all the time. Man this is not something I want to deal with right now...

...

Do you think my theory that it could be a leaky injector? I would think that if it's spraying continuously, it could cause all three of the apparent problems. Slight oil dilution, DPF working less efficiently than expected, and running rich? Or would a leaky injector simply make the DPF hotter all the time, and not plug it? It would be like being partly on a regen cycle all the time. Or it could be making soot instead of burning, depending on how it's spraying? e.g. dripping vs. spraying a fine mist. This leaky injector theory could also explain why the economy readout is 5-6% optimistic. I assumed it was because the orifices are worn bigger than new, from the high pressure spray for many miles.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize this uses a new communication protocol and my old cables wouldn't work anyways. It's called ENET and most adapters are interfaced with ethernet.

It sucks because it's otherwise a ridiculously cool vehicle. Despite the miles, cosmetically, it looks newer than a 1 year old Toyota that had gone through one winter. I'm just afraid that the SCR system might need repaired, the DPF might need replaced entirely, and there could be a bad injector. The DPF is $2200 just for the part, and the injectors are $400 a piece (which isn't a huge huge problem of course...).

...

About 133k now. It seems like a common failure on most diesel cars of this age.
The key to a long troublefree car is to fix anything everything as soon as it crops up and not keep driving on with any issues. When this pattern gets more frequent and expensive than to your liking, seriously consider cutting your losses before it starts to really hurt the wallet and the resaleability gets even worse.

See, not all mandates are bad, are they? :)
 

Twinkieflyer

Active member
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Location
Blacksburg, Virginia
TDI
2002 ALH 5spd
I am trying to decide if I should dump this car after it is fixed or keep it, buy an obd2 of some sort ( I hear Carly is good) and find a good independent shop and a tuner.
The biggest problem I see is the service at the dealership. If I could get parts elsewhere it wouldn’t be so bad long term.
 
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