Massive engine failure on my BMW 525d forcing me to sell it

The cost of repairs is close to 70% of the car's resale value in Delhi-NCR.

GTO recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Related Thread: My BMW 530d requires an engine rebuild.

A BHPian PM'ed this to me. Not sharing identity, he can identify himself on the thread if he so wishes.

My N57 525d had an engine knock (similar to the recent X5 thread) last month and I immediately got it towed to my FNG. There were metal particles in the oil filter and after disassembling the engine to diagnose, they have given me an abysmal quote of close to 70% of the car's resale value in Delhi. The registration expires on Jan'22.

The car was always serviced on time with no missed oil changes whatsoever, it was done by BMW till 2019 and by the FNG till now. According to my FNG, this is a common occurrence with even low-run N57 BMWs.

I intended to re-register the car in CH and use it for another 2-3 years, but now I don't want to roll the dice on an engine rebuild when the car is already 10 and would rather part with it for a reasonable amount in an "as is where is" deal.

I thought I'd reach out to you and see if you could connect me with someone in Delhi-NCR who can help me with this situation.

Any help is appreciated!


Would suggest that anyone buying a 525d or 530d get the engine perfectly checked by a BMW workshop.

Here's what BHPian 991.2GT3 had to say on the matter:

The car had just clocked 86k before the engine knock last month. The current state of the vehicle with the engine completely disassembled is a scary sight to witness for any owner. The major parts contributing to the abysmal bill are the crankshaft and connecting rod (~1.5L each). I have been offered complete engines from other salvage cars for Rs 2.5-3 Llakhbut would rather not roll the dice on those.

Due to the age of the car and associated cost and reliability post engine rebuild, I have made up my mind to not explore the repair route as the car's only going to become a money pit going forward. Had the NCR registrations issue not been there, I would have still considered giving my beloved ride another life but in the current scenario, the math just doesn't add up.

After getting quotes from some salvage dealers and my FNG, the FNG has the highest offer so far. ( A little over 2L) It's disheartening to even think of letting the car go like this but sadly it is what it is...

Fellow BHPians, realistically what price should I expect for the vehicle in the current situation?

(Keep in mind that the engine is currently in parts and anyone who buys will have to repair and re-register or use it as a donor vehicle)

86k km in 9.5 years, serviced on time with a complete oil change at 10k intervals. I understand the inhibition about FNG's and am myself always sceptical no matter the case but I make it a point to be present for servicing and major repairs to make sure no trickery is done. After all one can only be so vigilant and it doesn't make sense to get a German car serviced at the workshop after 7/8+ years of age. Had my car gone to BMW all along, I would have easily spent Rs 6 -8 lakhs more overall vs my loss today which is roughly half of that (Resale price in DL - the salvage value I'm getting). Also, I'm sure BMW would not have supported me with a 10yr old car even if it was maintained at their dealers.

Here's what BHPian pedrolourenco had to say on the matter:

The cost of the complete 360-degree check is just around 4K including taxes. I got this done before picking up my Mini Cooper. Earlier I did the same when I had picked up a used A3. Audi was a bit more expensive at around 6K.

But it's absolutely worth it as you come to know stuff that you usually miss out on during a visual inspection and test drive.

Here's what BHPian d3mon had to say on the matter:

Very surprising for a 525d, as that's the one with just 204PS/450NM with completely stress-free internals. What was the mileage when this failure occurred?

Someone had posted previously that the early 320d's sold in India had an extended oil change interval of 1Yr/24K km which was later revised to 1Yr/12K km. I wonder if that was the case with this one too? 24K km oil change interval is pushing it for usage exclusively on autobahns and is sure to destroy the engine in Indian driving conditions with low average speeds, and hence higher engine operating hours.

BTW, 2 of the 3 n57s which broke down were being sent to FNGs for maintenance (the other 530d & this one). I have nothing against FNGs, but unless you are getting all the work done in front of your own eyes, you will not know whether you are being taken for a ride. Who knows if the engine oil used was of substandard quality, was merely topped up, or if nothing was done whatsoever!

Here's what BHPian Turbanator had to say on the matter:

It's not a good idea to get regular services done outside on most of the German cars. Most of these have a lot of electronics and special requirements and if the owner is not fully aware or has control over the purchase of what goes in during the service, chances of lapses are very high. I have seen lookalike oil, filters, belts and whatnot. There are reputed garages where they have knowledgeable staff but they will never have access to anything closer to an Authorised dealership.

When we send our cars for service, these are connected to a smaller computer and based on the advice/ technical updates available, these are either hooked to the main server connected at the manufacturer's end or jobs are carried as described. Similarly, if any technical bulletins are available, those are checked and corrected, usually without a charge.

If one is careful at the time of estimation and keep optional jobs out of the scope, the difference between the service costs at the dealership and outside will be very little and not worth the savings in my opinion.

Coming to this issue, this car is out of warranty and not regularly serviced at BMW so asking them for any favours may not be fruitful. Best case, maybe some nominal discounts can be expected. But, I am sure, at least for BMW, if this car was serviced at the dealership, they would have supported much larger. Not fully but still appreciable for any meaningful consideration. Like in this case, OP was fully supported when the matter was escalated to the right people at BMW.

Regrettably, not many options for the OP here given the nature of the problem. I have gone through a similar issue with Superb many years back but at that time, Skoda dealership offered little better than market salvage rates and one of our directors just took the exchange offer. Due to the NGT rules, the age of this car is a real bummer for any meaningful repair.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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