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bmw 330D fuel pump


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Hi Im hoping someone can point me in the right direction. 

 

I bought a used BMW from Stoneacre last January. 

The car has been regularly serviced and well looked after. 

 

On Thursday night the car , with no prior warning cut out on me and i had to call a tow truck to get it to my nearest BMW dealer.

They rang me next day to say they had found swarf in the fuel system and asked if I had put wrong fuel in , I advised them I certainly had not! 

 

They then advised me that the whole fuel system would need to be replaced at a cost of £9,600!!! and that they would first have to see if it would also need a new engine , this would cost around 6 hours labour they told me.  The car is only 3 years old and has only done 33,000 miles. 

 

My questions are:

Should it not be down to the garage to tell me what has caused this to happen, my husband has done nothing different to the car, used the same fuel he always does etc and never lets the tank run dry so I am assuming it must be a faulty part? Should we be expected to pay for the garage to find the faulty part?

 

If it is a faulty part (maybe the fuel pump?) should BMW be held responsible for fixing this given the age and mileage of the car?

 

Many thanks.

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I think you're going to have to start off by getting a proper analysis of what has gone wrong and how this swarf ended up in the fuel.

Once you get that, then we can discuss it and advise you as to the next course of action.

I doubt whether there will be much you can do without a proper independent report. However if the report suggests that this is because of some defect in the vehicle then depending on the defect, you may have a route to being compensated for the cost

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Hi I have now had an independent report done which states, no obvious signs of fuel contamination, fuel pump fault,   Do I now have reason to request BMW to cover the cost? Does the Consumer Rights Act apply in this case? it is reasonable to expect a car to last more than 3 years before it costs you £10,000 in repair costs!, 

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I don't quite understand you. You say that you have an analysis which disputes the original opinion that there was fuel contamination. You seem to be suggesting now that it is a fuel pump fault which has been identified – which means presumably the fuel pump has to be replaced.
So I'm not too sure why we are still talking about a £10,000 repair bill

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Yes the fuel pump failed which caused damage to other parts of the car.  so the damage is still the same but we have established that it was not caused by misfuelling, therefore must be a fault within the car.   The original quote from BMW was £9600 plus,  Independent garage have quoted around £7000

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Thank you. That wasn't clear.

So we find that there was swarf in the fuel which caused damage but the swarf was caused by a failed pump. So our only question now is whether one should expect a fuel pump in a 33,000 mile, three year old, BMW to fail and to contaminate the fuel supply. How much did you pay for this vehicle?

 

I understand you've had it for less than a year. How many miles have you done in it?

I think you are going to start having to do some research and ask them questions about the expected life of a BMW fuel pump in the circumstances. I'm pretty certain that you can expect it to last a lot longer than that but I think that you will have to get some independent confirmation – and from more than one source.

 

Obviously my initial response is that a vehicle which you purchase and during its first year of ownership it experiences a problem which costs £10,000 to repair does not measure up to a reasonable consumer's expectation of satisfactory quality

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Okay well that confirms my view that you are entitled to far better than that and I would say that there is probably no difficulty in establishing that there is a breach of contract.

However, I prefer to cover every eventuality and so although I would say that your case is a pretty easy win, it will be helpful if you can get some solid information about the expected lifespan of a BMW fuel pump.

You can start off by asking BMW – although they might be tightlipped about it because they will be suspicious about why you want to know. Start doing some solid research though. At the end you might need to get an independent view of it and this might cost a fee. If you have to do that then we will give them notice that you are about to incur costs on an inspection and an expert opinion so that you are laying down a paper trail and then on the basis that the report comes out in your favour – as I'm sure it will – you will add the cost of the report to your claim.

One particular niggle though is that you are very close to the £10,000 small claim limit. Once you go over £10,000 then it becomes interesting for them to mount a more rigourous defence because they know that if they win, then you will have to pay their costs. Of course there is only the most slender of chances that they might win – but still, these people have bottomless pockets and they might decide that this is a way of putting pressure on you either to give in order to settle for some reduced sum.

I see that you have got a lower quote – or about £7000 for the work to be done – but for a car of that value and of that age et cetera and of that quality then I think that you are entitled to insist on the best quality job possible.

The final thing to add is that the car is a 30,000 mile car. Strictly speaking under contract principles you are entitled to have the car returned to their condition – in other words not brand-new. This means if the work that had to be done produce a car that was in better condition than it was when you bought it, then you are making a profit from the event – and under strict legal principles, that would not be permitted.

On that basis, they might oblige you to pick up a portion of the bill.

On the basis that you have a car with 33,000 miles, they might say that you should only be entitled to, say, 80% of the repair bill. That principle would be correct – and their calculation might be correct although we would have to consider that later.

However, I would advise you to claim for the lot – and let them start trying to save money by suggesting an apportionment.

So your task the moment is to find out more about the life expectancy of petrol pump.

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By the way, I'm not sure that it has ever been mentioned – how did you pay for this?

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Quote

 

Update.   BMW complaints department refuse to accept my independent report , they say they will only accept one from one  of their dealers, I stated that I did not trust their dealers and wanted an independent report and they flatly  refused to take this into consideration. I told them that their dealer wanted to charge me another £800,to even investigate the possibility of car not being misfuelled and they also advised me that in their opinion it was not worth it because outcome would be the same.  Again, BMW flatly refuse to take any of this into consideration .  I have been told that my complaint will not be taken any further and they referred me to the ombudsman.  Absolutely shocking customer service.  I am effectively left with a written off car and they just kept repeating it wont be taken any further !!!!  


 

Update. 

 BMW complaints department refuse to accept my independent report , they say they will only accept one from one  of their dealers,

 

I stated that I did not trust their dealers and wanted an independent report and they flatly  refused to take this into consideration.

I told them that their dealer wanted to charge me another £800,to even investigate the possibility of car not being misfuelled and they also advised me that in their opinion it was not worth it because outcome would be the same. 

Again, BMW flatly refuse to take any of this into consideration . 

 

I have been told that my complaint will not be taken any further and they referred me to the ombudsman

 

Absolutely shocking customer service

 

I am effectively left with a written off car and they just kept repeating it wont be taken any further !!!!  

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Firstly, please could you space your posts properly. A solid block of text is very difficult to deal with.

Secondly, we don't care a hoot about what they say about accepting the report. Once you issue the claim papers, they'll have difficulty rejecting anything if it is a properly compiled independent report.

However, if they had said this to you on the telephone then you should write to them immediately and confirm that you have offered them your report – describe the report and who it's by – and that you note that they have refused even to read it (if they have read it then say that they have refused to accept it). Tell them that their lack of cooperation in this problem will only compound the difficulty and you urge them to reconsider.

The reason that you are sending this letter is to make sure that you've got a paper trail which records their lack of cooperation and their lack of reasonable behaviour towards you.

You should do this every step that they act unreasonably.

Can you tell us who put the report together please and also to to pay for it? How much?

 

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And by the way, when you write the letter, you should rehearse in it all the things that were said. So basically the letter becomes a record of your entire exchange as well as recording the fact that they knocked you back

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Hi Sorry, 

 

Yes I will space properly, I was in a bit of a strop!

 

I used a garage who specialised in BMW repairs near to me . Blackpool motor works ltd.  They charged £110 to inspect and check diagnostics. They have also quoted for repairs.

 

I have set aside some time tomorrow to put in writing as you suggest.  

 

Thank you 

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Okay good.

Lay off the strop please. . We don't need it

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It would have been better if it had been mis-fuelled or that this was admitted, as some, maybe most, insurance companies will payout for the first mis-fuelling mistake. It happens a lot and at a stretch could be called an accident.

 

There are three stages.

1. Mis-fuel, realise and don't start the car, drain and re-fill. The AA have a specialist vehicle for this.

2. Mis-fuel, start but stop shortly afterwards, drain and change fuel and fuel filters.

3. Mis-fuel, drive until engine stops. Expensive.

 

Swarf is almost always caused by mis-fuelling. Diesel is an oil, petrol has no lubricant. The swarf comes from the internal breaking up of the fuel pump as there is no lubricant. It contaminates the tank (via return pipes), lines, filters, HP pipes and injectors. Rarely the engine. Almost never the fuel pump. This is a bit of an over-simplification but................................!

 

Backtrack, remember you might! have misfuelled, contact your Ins Co. and hope for the best.

 

H

42 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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Hi China,

 

It may indeed have "been better" if the car was misfuelled but, in post #1 and subsequently, you ruled that out as a possibility. So I think Hammy1962 is wrong to suggest you try to claim via your insurance. 

 

BFodder asked above that you confirm how you paid for the car purchase - if a credit card or or finance was involved, this could affect your case significantly.

 

Also, the report from Blackpool Motor Works Ltd which cost £110 for the diagnostic report - can you confirm this is a written report.

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If they are offering to have a report carried out by their own engineers, then you should accept this. If this goes to court then I can imagine that they will certainly want to carry out their own report – and you should show as much willing cooperation is possible and you should allow them to carry out an examination and to produce a written report.

However, you should put this to them in writing and it should be stipulated that you will provide the car for the investigation on the basis that you will receive a full copy of the written report as soon as it is completed.

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Hi 

 

Thanks for your  comments. 

 

The car has not been misfuelled but if it had been it would not have been covered by my insurance.

 

The car was paid for by funds from a personal loan so unfortunately not PCP or HP.  

 

I have looked again at the report and although there is a paragraph at the top saying no obvious signs of misfuelling it is followed by a quote so this could perhaps be considered to be just a quote.  I am ringing the garage today to clarify and looking into getting a further inspection report from the AA/RAC.

 

 

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Inform the garage and writing that you are preparing to commission further reports and that if there liabilities established, you will be expecting them to meet the cost of the report.

It's important to keep a paper trail because then they can't say that you were acting on your own initiative and you are responsible for your own expenses.

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Hi China,

 

I'm sure @BankFodder will confirm this for you but I'm concerned that you should have more than a quote which refers to "no obvious signs of misfuelling".

 

To have the best chance of persuading Stoneacre to take responsibility for the failure, or win a court claim against them, you need a report from a specialist mechanical engineer suitably qualified to give expert opinion on the actual or probable cause of the failure.

 

 

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If the fuel system is indeed contaminated with swarf, how is this Stoneacre or BMW's fault?

If it is swarf then the actual or probable cause of the failure is almost certainly a breaking down of the case hardening of the pump rotor caused by a lack of lubricant. Lubricant which is present in Diesel and not Petrol. We may never know how the Petrol got in.

 

H

 

Oh, and for the avoidance of doubt, yes I am suitably qualified to give an expert opinion and I have in the past appeared before a Judge to give evidence as an 'Expert'.

Edited by Hammy1962

42 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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Further to my previous answer. Fuel contamination is not uncommon. It can be caused by many things. Usually it is noted as a mistake by the owner at, or shortly after. fill up. The AA has commissioned a number of vans just for this eventually as it is so common. The contamination can also be caused by the filling station letting the tanks run low or letting them get dirty or water contaminated. The water causes corrosion in the very finely machined parts of the fuel injection system causing wear and swarf.

 

It can also be caused maliciously, if the Diesel Tank level is low, only 5L or so of Petrol can cause havoc.

 

There are also documented reports of Red Diesel causing problems as this is free of duty & tax. The fuel is bleached and sold and not very well looked after...................

 

If, as reported, there is swarf in the fuel injection system then this has to come from somewhere, it doesn't just appear. There can be many causes. It is also possible, though unlikely, that the problem originates from the fuel pump itself but I have to stress this is rare.

 

I know on here there is a penchant to 'Stick it' on the selling Dealer and someone has to be to blame but, as often quoted in court, sometimes bad things happen and nobody is to blame. The OP has had the car for nearly 12 months and done 7,000 miles in it. A BMW fuel pump failure would be rare, even rarer would it contaminate the rest of the system. (Anyone remember the timed Lucas DIP's of the early 80's!!!!!) 

 

A way forward may be an independent report by a fuel specialist. A quick Google search brings up 'Intertek' and 'Crown Oil Services'. There are other companies but what we want is an analysis of the fuel and the engine oil. Usually a bottle full is sent and Chemical and microscopic analysis might determine the cause. If the right test is requested this can detect Petrol in Diesel. I remember standing in front of a client who swore blind the vehicle was not mis-fuelled  whilst he was holding an independent report saying it had been.

 

As a start the repairing BMW specialist can draw off a clear bottle of fuel from the injector spill or return pipes and leave it overnight to settle. If no sediment is found you can also pass it through fine fabric to filter any particles out. 

 

Having said all of this. If the vehicle is correctly flushed out, bled and refilled from scratch. Engine oil and filter changed and a fuel additive such as Millers Diesel Power EcoMax used in the next few tank fulls it might last 600 or 6,000 or 60,000 miles.

 

Good Luck

 

H

Edited by Hammy1962

42 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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Hi Hammy1962

 

Thanks for your comments.  I have seen posts from other owners which show it is possible even though it may be rare

 

Metal Flakes in Fuel System | BimmerFest BMW Forum

 

I agree Stoneacre  couldn't have known this would happen. 

 

All I know is that we 100% have not misfuelled this car ourselves and believe this to be a fuel pump error so I do think BMW should take responsibility.

 

 

 

 

 

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