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Thread: BMW N63 TT V8: Destroyer of batteries

  1. #1
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    Default BMW N63 TT V8: Destroyer of batteries

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-cult...ns-bmw-n63-v8/

    I have lots of friends who work on cars for a living. You could call them mechanics, but I think of them as supersleuths. I could write a book about some of the mysteries they've solved, like whacked-out windshield wipers caused by faulty fuel pumps or stability control that refuses to work because of dirty engine oil. Today's cars are so electronically interconnected that problems manifest themselves with the most bizarre symptoms. Here's one for you: BMW turbochargers are killing batteries in search of fuel savings.

    BMW is no stranger to strange problems. The company has an admirable track record of introducing new technologies. Unfortunately, the new tech tends to be unreliable at first. The latest example giving BMW's warranty department gas is the N63 twin-turbocharged V8, introduced in 2008.

    BMW of North America has recognized a number of N63 components with high failure rates, including timing chains that stretch and snap, leaking crankcase ventilation and fuel lines, and malfunctioning fuel injectors, mass airflow sensors, and vacuum pumps. Rather than waiting for them to break, BMW NA is proactively replacing the parts with improved components through its shrewdly named Customer Care Package, or CCP. This is not a recall, because recalls address vehicle safety. Instead, BMW says, the CCP represents its "commitment to the long-term reliability of our most technologically advanced products." It is undeniably a good customer service move.

    BMW is also quietly dropping the V8's oil-service interval from 15,000 to 10,000 miles_. Not because of oil-life concerns, but to smokescreen the N63's appetite for motor oil. By shortening the time between oil changes (and sneaking an additional quart into the sump), there's less chance customers will get a low-oil-level warning. Insiders at BMW in Germany say the oil consumption happens to customers who don't ever flog their powerful, turbocharged V8s hard enough to fully break them in. Ironic.

    Finally, the CCP offers a way to cover up the N63's habit of chewing through batteries: It contains a technical service bulletin to replace them at every oil change. This is where things get confusing. Why not just fix the underlying electrical problem? As it turns out, BMW can't.

    As part of its EfficientDynamics push, BMW's cars are loaded with expensive systems to save fuel wherever possible. One of them, the smart-charging system, operates on the premise that you can increase fuel economy slightly by charging the battery only when coasting. Unfortunately, American drivers aren't coasters, we're cruisers, so the system was murdering batteries. BMW's solution was to throw money at the problem, replacing the batteries with Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) units that can cope with deeper and more frequent discharge cycles.

    That worked until the V8 gained turbos. With two very hot turbochargers in the very hot valley of its vee, the N63's cooling system must continue to run long after the engine's been turned off. The system's draw is more than the batteries can deal with, so BMW is now swapping out the old 90-Ah AGMs for 105-Ah units—and hoping they'll survive for at least 10,000 miles.

    The simple solution would be to reprogram the engine computers to keep the battery's state of charge at a higher level. But in modern cars, everything affects something else, often in the most unlikely of ways. Charging the battery more often would affect fuel economy, which would require BMW to recertify the cars with the EPA. The revised mpg numbers would inevitably be lower than the ones advertised. Hello, class-action lawsuit.

    So BMW can't actually fix the battery problem, it can only mask it. While it may be counterintuitive that turbocharging resulted in engines so understressed that they never break in, it's understandable. But who'd have thought adding turbos in search of better fuel economy would accidentally increase battery consumption? I feel for the guy who had to figure that one out.
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    Insiders at BMW in Germany say the oil consumption happens to customers who don't ever flog their powerful, turbocharged V8s hard enough to fully break them in. Ironic.

    Another anecdotal plus for hard engine break-ins.

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    sigh.

    I've had battery issues on my 2011 X5 since day one. I think i've replaced 3 of em already. I am also noticing that I'm dropping a quart of oil every 3000 km's driven, often times less then that.

    I did NOT have a hard engine break in on this car.
    I DID have a hard engine break on my vette though. no issues there.

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    The battery charging thing is common on most BMWs, maybe not as extreme but it happens. I just trickle charge it every few months and its been doing fine.

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    Hmm, don't know about the hard break in thing nowadays.

    Modern machining techniques in engine factories would blow peoples mind. The engines are essentially assembled "broken in".

    But that is incredibly interesting on the charging and batteries!

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    Originally posted by revelations
    Another anecdotal plus for hard engine break-ins.
    Originally posted by InRich
    I am also noticing that I'm dropping a quart of oil every 3000 km's driven, often times less then that.

    I did NOT have a hard engine break in on this car.
    Yea, most of the guys that run into oil consumption problems on the AMG side seems to have the same issues. Purchased cars, easy break-in, and even hard runs later in it's life can't get those rings to ever properly seal again.
    Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
    I have gone above and beyond what I should rightfully have to do to protect my good name

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    My 335i would need a charge all the time. I don't know how many times I would barely start the car and all my radio presets, etc would be reset to factory.

    This V8 is nuts though, 1 battery per year?
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    1 expensive ass battery a year lol. I hate to know what a 105 AGM battery costs
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

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    So there will be really cheap out of warranty X5M, X6M, M5 soon?

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    Connect a CTEK tail to the battery and turn it into a plug in hybrid.
    Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
    I have gone above and beyond what I should rightfully have to do to protect my good name

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    That is some quality control right there.

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    So ive owned 3 BMW's with the TT V8's. No issues with batteries, but definitely issues with going through oil. I have to keep a quart in my trunk at all times. This was the case with all three.
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    my gti went through a quart every 8000km, now my rs4 goes through the same.
    not that big of a deal, i wish it didn't though.

    anything to do with them all running synthetic oil??
    seems more like a german issue rather than just bmw.

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    Originally posted by danno
    my gti went through a quart every 8000km, now my rs4 goes through the same.
    not that big of a deal, i wish it didn't though.

    anything to do with them all running synthetic oil??
    seems more like a german issue rather than just bmw.
    I thought there is a specific german castrol oil that all VW/Audi enthusiast recommend to help with this issue?

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    Poor design and quality control or price to pay for leading edge tech and high horsepower vehicle?
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    God damn Münchner's couldn't build a reliable car to save their lives

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    Ok so I spoke with Ashley from the service dept at http://www.birchwoodbmw.ca and he said that there are several stipulations in place under which they would replace the battery.

    1) They won't replace the battery if the battery froze because you parked it outside in the winter.
    2) They won't replace the battery if you only drive the car for short 5-10 min trips per day or don't drive very often or you store the car for winter.
    3) They only replace the battery ONCE free of charge, and he says it's under a recall memo of the CCP memo (meaning not really part of CCP). After the first time you have to pay for it out of pocket.
    4) Yes, there is an oil consumption and timing belt issue with these motors. Forgot to ask him about the cost of replacement for these.
    5) They won't replace a battery because the voltage is low because the car hasn't left you stranded.
    6) All N63 motors are covered but in his opinion the Road and Track article is exaggerating some defects because they haven't seen any issues with N63 motors here in Winnipeg yet.
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    Hilarious thread. Leasing FTW.

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    BMWs have no real long term vehicle value. This is the kind of car thats only as good as it warranty period.

    When you're not even able to purchase extended warranty for your car, that should say something in itself.

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    Originally posted by RickDaTuner
    BMWs have no real long term vehicle value. This is the kind of car thats only as good as it warranty period.

    When you're not even able to purchase extended warranty for your car, that should say something in itself.
    Since when can you not buy an extended warranty on a BMW?

    I think they had options to extend it up to 10 years when I bought mine? And I can purchase that any time within the original warranty period.

    I can't comment on X5 reliability personally but I see old ass ones on the road all the time. So much for no good out of warranty?

    That and I think it's funny that people think resale value is going to drop like a rock all over replacing a battery once a year. They are expensive but not that expensive.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

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