Engine Mechanical problem
1997 BMW 740 V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 181000 miles
I have a 1997 BMW 740iL 4DR sedan. It currently has 181,000 miles on it. Up to this point it had been running fine and has been regularly maintained. In November of 2008 I was driving on the highway heading home at about 11pm. The car was running great as it always has. I decided to quickly put the pedal to the floor to as I believe (clean out any loose carbon deposits). Immediately, I heard a loud noise. However, nothing on the gauges indicated a problem for
about 2-3 minutes later. It seems when I did that the fan and clutch pully came apart damaging the radiator, hoses, and hood. I immediately pulled the car into a roadside restaurant (Burger King) as it began overheating. After inspecting the vehicle I called a tow truck to have it brought to my mechanic. I turns out that due to my collision coverage everthing but the cause(possibly worn or loose clutch fan and pully) will be covered. Prior to putting the allowed parts on the car I requested that the shop run the engine to check for any other damage. They state that they would do that. A month or two later and many conversations with the shop and the insurance company I receive a call from the shop informing me that the parts are replaced but that the car oil light will not go out and after questioning them, that it has little or no oil pressure. Well I am shocked because the car never had oil pressure problems and the oil light never came on before. When I inquired as to what might be the reason for this and could it be caused by the collision damage, I was told that the oil pan gasket got sucked into oil clogging the pump and screen and that this happens with cars with such high mileage. I told them I didn't understand since I have owned many cars with high mileage and never experienced that and have never heard of it. The shop also told me that someone must have put some gasket material on the oil pan that got sucked into the oil pan. I bought the car 8 years ago and no one has ever opened the engine. I had the insurance appraiser go out to look at it and they stated it looks like the possibly the gasket got sucked into oil pan and of course is not covered(which I expected).
---My real concern is that I am wondering if something got into the oil whether vandalism or otherwise to cause this. ---In my limited understanding, there argument suggests a process that takes years and that this happened in a two month period while the car was in their shop parked and not being driven. Pardon me, but non of this makes sense to me but I need an expert opinion! My options are lay out approximately another $2000 from my limited funds or go to court with the insurance company to establish that something else
happened while in the shop. Thanks in advance for your input.
As the resident BMW expert, I have a tendency to side with you about this issue. However the facts are what they are and fighting the insurance company might be a poor choice. The gasket in question is supposed to be a shim type gasket, which would preclude the possibility of it falling apart and being pulled into the oil pick up screen. The two years you did not own the car it was under factory warranty and if repairs were done in a non BMW acceptable manner, then there might be basis to reject your insurance, fine print being what it is. Now I need to understand something here, it took 2 months to repair your car, I need to know why, that job can easily be done in a day, and $2000 for dropping the pan and cleaning the pick up screen and installing a new gasket is fricking high way robbery. It takes 5 hours by the book, where did they hit on $2k? Get back to me and lets see what can be saved here.
April, 14, 2009 AT 6:19 PM
Thanks for your quick reply and thorough analysis. Your point of fighting with the insurance carrier is. Duly noted. It took two months to complete the insurance collision part of the claim for a number of reasons. First, it went in during the Christmas holidays, then no one at the insurance company got back to me after my filing the claim for at least 3 weeks even though I left numerous messages. I was at the time in a rental car paid by them. Another week goes by after the first contact and a appraiser visits the shop. Next I am told they will not use BMW parts but only 'After Market' ones. Another 2 weeks go by fighting them and the appraiser to authorize BMW parts and then I'm told the shop delayed in ordering them. Second, when I asked how much If I had to cover the engine work and they started at 800.00 and implied it could be
more if additional damage was discovered. The $2000.00 number was my own guess as to where this would lead. I never seem to get in or out of there for much less. It just seems so Ludicrous given nothing was wrong with the oil pump or light before it went into the shop.
April, 14, 2009 AT 10:00 PM
Hold the insurance carrier to account on the additional charges. They have a tendency to feel a bit loose with your checkbook if you know what I mean.