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Differential fault on low mileage F10 520 Diesel M Sport 66 plate


MarkP
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Hi all, first post by me and not a good one!
 
I purchased the above car in July this year. from a garage.
Car was in mint condition, full BMW service history and only covered 39,000 miles and drove beautifully, I purchased it for £16,500, with a 3 months Engine and Gearbox standard warranty. 
A few weeks ago I started to notice a vibration running through the car, a droaning noise over 55MPH, and with the window down a metallic clattering sound. 
I've had this invested by several local garages, brakes, steering, wheel bearing, balancing all checked, no faults found. It went up on the ramp in gear yesterday, they concluded the noise is coming from the differential.
The warranty has expired, the garage are not interested, and it looks like I'm now going to face a hefty repair bill. 
I expected wear and tear issues further down the line, but not this on a car that's covered now 44,500 miles and is less than 6 years old?
BMW wants £145 an hour to diagnose, so I am reluctant to pay this, when my local garages can diagnose it for free.
I cannot risk using the car until it's been diagnosed by a local transmission specialist in a few weeks. 
 
Has anyone else had this issue if so how much did it cost to resolve, and was it the diff ? I'm going to write to BMW anyway, as I now have a 16K motor that I cannot use until fixed.
Fuming!!
 
 
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Morning Mark

Welcome to the Forum

Not good news at all For what it is worth the Diff failures I have seen have all been on Xdrive cars and most common cause incorrect tyres were the cause. But I am not a garage just an amateur old bloke with a very well-equipped toolbox and a nearly 60 year passion for cars.First gather as much information as you can from the internet to find if it is a "Known" fault also check the Sale of Goods Act as you may have more protection than you or the Garage think particularly if it can be argued the fault existed at sale. 5 months is not very long, and Diffs normally give warning. If the Diff is noisy then clearly it needs changing another diagnosis won't change anything 

My first thought would be a Used Diff from one of the BMW Specialist dismantlers check www.realoem.com for the correct part number then search for the part. To have your diff removed by a Garage and a replacement fitted (not a BMW Dealer) would be about 3 hours work and you would be mobile cost I would think around £500 to £600 including the diff. If you can DIY then just the cost of the Diff plus new Diff Oil, when I did this on a friends X3 the Diff cost £240 from Quarry Motors (a new Diff
from BMW £900+)

You could still pursue your claim against the Selling Garage just make sure you have plenty of Photo/Video evidence of work carried out and damage to the original diff.

Good Luck

Dave 

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11 hours ago, Greydog said:

Morning Mark

Welcome to the Forum

Not good news at all For what it is worth the Diff failures I have seen have all been on Xdrive cars and most common cause incorrect tyres were the cause. But I am not a garage just an amateur old bloke with a very well-equipped toolbox and a nearly 60 year passion for cars.First gather as much information as you can from the internet to find if it is a "Known" fault also check the Sale of Goods Act as you may have more protection than you or the Garage think particularly if it can be argued the fault existed at sale. 5 months is not very long, and Diffs normally give warning. If the Diff is noisy then clearly it needs changing another diagnosis won't change anything 

My first thought would be a Used Diff from one of the BMW Specialist dismantlers check www.realoem.com for the correct part number then search for the part. To have your diff removed by a Garage and a replacement fitted (not a BMW Dealer) would be about 3 hours work and you would be mobile cost I would think around £500 to £600 including the diff. If you can DIY then just the cost of the Diff plus new Diff Oil, when I did this on a friends X3 the Diff cost £240 from Quarry Motors (a new Diff
from BMW £900+)

You could still pursue your claim against the Selling Garage just make sure you have plenty of Photo/Video evidence of work carried out and damage to the original diff.

Good Luck

Dave 

Thanks Dave,

I will take your advice thanks very  much for your knowledge and experience..

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Mark,

I dont know if you have gotten this sorted by now or not but just to add my own experience to this as it may help someone. I had a similar issue myself on my F11, were there was a drone from the rear at speeds of around 50mph. I also thought this was coming from the diff, and as Greydog said, the changing of one is about three hours work and can be expensive, even if you do it yourself. Ive done it on a E90 3 series in the past and didnt fancy doing it again on the ground. 

I did check it myself for all the usual suspects, including the rear wheel bearings which showed no signs of movement. I crossed my fingers and changed the diff fluid and added an additive from LIQUI MOLY to it but sadly this didnt improve the noise. I had suspected it was actually the rear bearings as the fluid taken from the diff was only 12 months old and changed by myself and when I did the latest change the fluid wasnt grey and didnt appear to have any particles in it. So at this point I decided to change the rear bearings anyway as they were probably in since new (2013) and they have a tendency to fail anyway and this car is getting all rubber bits and known common faults changed over time anyway. 

What i had discovered was that the rear bearings were seized into position because they had failed some time ago but didnt make enough noise to be noticed. They were so badly seized that I couldnt get them off so I sent the car to a local garage that I know well and he also couldnt get them off. In the end I found a specialist with a really big hydraulic pullers (normally used on VW transporter front bears apparently) who made light work of the job. Did this get rid of the groaning coming from the rear of my car...... yes it did! It is back to being a nice quite cruiser again. 

Im not suggesting you are wrong about your diagnosis of your car but im more suggesting that these F10/11's are very well insulated from the road noise and this stopped me from hearing the sounds of the rear bearings failing over time which lead to them being welded in position. This meant that when the failing bearing finally made enough noise for me to hear it, it was sudden enough to make me think it was the diff instead. Also the rear bearing didnt have any noticeable wiggle which would typically be an indicator of imminent failure.  

Diagnosing the difference between these two possible failures can be tricky at times and both can be expensive to repair, so for that reason I'd like to say to be sure of what the problem actually is by maybe asking a diff and gearbox specialist to have a look also. Because If had changed my diff out and found it was actually the rear bearings I'd be kicking myself more than a pro goalkeeper at a free pedo kicking competition. 

Hope you got you car sorted and for a reasonable price too. Happy motoring. 

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