Found this after a service from BMW.. Very upset..

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Apr 27, 2003
I got my old's 02 BMW 530i Sport comprehensively serviced last week from the stealership (coolant/plugs/oil/all filters etc). Today on the way home I took my olds car for a drive and I noticed the valvetrain was very loud and unusual. So out of my BITOG curiousity I pulled the filler cap and looked inside and this is what I've found.




I almost had a heart attack. The top end of the motor is covered in the filth! How did all that water contaminant get in the motor? If you look closely you can see 3 water droplets around the filler cap too!! And I know it was perfectly clean just before the service a week ago! BMW are denying all responsibility and claming the headgasket is gone. What a load of garbage; whats the chances of a head gasket gone 1 week after service, on a 60k mile car? Its all country miles too.. And the coolant looks perfectly green with no signs of oil contamination...

What grounds do we stand on? Right now we're very upset and not sure what to do...Now this motor is stuffed and it'll never be the same again.

[ June 05, 2006, 01:13 AM: Message edited by: Leo ]
send a UOA sample. you never know, someone could have poured something else in the motor
No time for a UOA at this stage.

I noticed on the invoice that they did an oil (!)and coolant flush. I'm starting to think maybe they poured the coolant flush stuff into the motor. Thats all I can think of at this stage..
Thats scary looking, I would change the oil as soon as possible.

I hope they step up and take care of it!
If your coolant looks "perfectly green" then they used the wrong coolant. BMW's coolant is blue. Did you draw a sample from the reservoir to view its color?

I would do a interim oil change and see if the moisture condition improves. It's possible that they didn't get the cooling system bled properly and the engine overheated resulting in a damaged engine. If there was no coolant on the sensor due to air in the system then you would never get a reading on the temperature gauge to indicate a hot condition.

Start with the basics and check the compression of the cylinders and the cooling systems ability to maintain pressure. These two procedures are explained in the BMW service manual. It will likely be on your own dime and I wouldn't trust this service center if they can't use the correct coolant.
Thanks guys for your input. I appreciate it.

As for the green coolant, you do have a good point FowVay. The funny thing is that I noticed on the invoice that the coolant is an 'annual change'. 1 year on coolant? Noway. Therefore they must not be using the proper long life stuff? I'll take a sample of the coolant again tonight. I just used a flash light to view the coolant before. The coolant temp gauge is acting the way it always does.

I'd love to change the oil/do a comp test but I might get stung for tampering with the motor. I reckon I'm just going to have to get the car trucked to the stealership, which is 390km away. Can't go easy on this one, I too reckon lawyers might have to come into play.

If they dont budge I'm going to just remove the cam cover, give it a clean and oil change. I'm sick of seeing my olds ripped off at BMW. Charged literally $100USD for 6 quarts of engine oil (Castrol Grp III I suspect) is a perfect example.
I looks like the Tech tried to put on the radiator cap(by mistake) where the oil cap is supposed to be or visa-versa. Then didn't bother to wipe off the excess coolant from the cap. I can't tell from the pictures but, is there coolant on the oil dip stick? If so, then there is deffinatly some concern.
Leo, I'm just curious, do you have any local trusted mechanics around you? If so, ditch the stealership and do the work yourself or get a trusted mechanic.

Fight with BMW about this, they'll deny all they want, but what do you expect from stealers.
Char Baby, nope its definitely not a coolant cap. They aren't interchangeable. On the dipstick you can see the white junk on the numerals, indicating this stuff is floating around in the sump as well. The lifters are very noisy too. Who knows how many need to be replaced, or how badly the top end generally is.

I dont have any real mechanics out here where I am at the moment. Noone knows BMWs at all. A tow mechanic said it might be the headgasket but hes not convinced either. I'm still convinced they threw in the coolant flush instead of oil flush into the motor by mistake. Proof should be if the engine has good compression and it feels it.

BMW are returning our call tomorrow. I'll post up the outcome. We aren't taking 'no' for an answer to their responsibility.
Dump and save the oil. Have a shop do it for confirmation with signed tape as a seal and get a UOA. Also sample the coolant to see if it's BMW aproved. Make a formal complaint in writing. I'd do a few quick changes with HDEO(maybe a flush) and then sample again after a few hundred miles to see if there really is a leak. Hopefully you caught this in time but be prepared for the worst. It sounds like the shop does uneeded service. Maybe they'll even sabotaged a car for additional service.
Coolant leaking into cylinders during the intake stroke will work past the rings during the compression stroke as vapor to contaminate the sump. Much of these vapor contaminants will be blown out the exhaust because of vapor circulation through the PCV system, but glycol that remains behind will condense to liquid state in the motor oil during shutdown cooloff. It's a vicious cycle, and liquid glycol, having a much higher boiling point, will continue to concentrate if there's a head gasket leak. Nasty results on babbit-based main and rod bearings. A UOA showing significantly high lead levels is evidence of glycol contamination. Elevated sodium and silicon levels if conventional or G-05* antifreeze was used would further support probable cylinder head gasket failure and resulting motor oil coolant contamination. As goodvibes indicated, prepare for the worst.

*BMW "blue" is BMW's version of G-05. I'm unaware of any green-dyed G-05 formulations, but that doesn't mean there aren't any - especially in other world markets.

Originally posted by Ray H:
*BMW "blue" is BMW's version of G-05. I'm unaware of any green-dyed G-05 formulations, but that doesn't mean there aren't any - especially in other world markets.

The G-05 that comes factory fill in John Deere tractors and equipment, and the service fill they sell at the dealers, is dyed green.
Just noticed you are in Adelaide, and am unfamiliar with your legal options in Austrailia. Nonetheless, I would say park it and do absolutely nothing except take samples of the oil, coolant, and as many photographs as you can get. Talk to a lawyer before changing anything. Have a mechanic you trust take the samples. To restate the obvious, it is totally absurd that the head gasket would go at only 60k, and one week after being serviced, unless they screwed up the service. I guess there are always a (very) few true lemons out there, but either way you should get a new car out of this.

Originally posted by FowVay:
If your coolant looks "perfectly green" then they used the wrong coolant. BMW's coolant is blue.

Original BMW Antifreeze Coolant sold in Europe is blue-green because it's sooner green than blue.
BMW's antifreeze is not blue G-05, it is glycostantin or G-48. It's not the same thing to my knowledge.

It shouldn't look green.
I can tell you from experience with my Olds minivan, once antifreeze starts getting in the crankcase, copious amounts of sludge will build up very, very quickly.
Jim 5 is absolutely correct about BMW's coolant. It is Glysantin G-48, a specific formulation not related to G-05 or any other version of the BASF patented chemistries. BASF identifies the G-48 as blue/green in color and is a four year fluid as specified in BMW's service manuals.

To my eyes it does not share a hint of green color.
Assuming its coolant in the oil and it sure looks like it: either it leaked its way into the oil or some one poured the wrong stuff into the oil filler opening. If the cooling system passes a pressure check then the latter is supported. Either way I'm sad to say the bearings are probably damaged. How much damage depends in part on how long it was driven this way. If we assume the head gasket let go on its own then it would be a fluke coincidence and I don't really believe that. Another possibile scenario for a blown head gasket is that the wrong kind of antifreze or flush was used resulting in an unfavorable chemical reaction with the old stuff and the head gasket. Or is that even possible?
Good luck sir.
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