BMW 323i Nikasil Question - SEC
I am contemplating the purchase of BMW 323i with build date of July 1998, on a 98 S-plate. I am unclear when engine blocks ceased to be manufactured with Nikasil liners, having found out:
- March 1998 from www.lestac.co.uk
- Feb 1998 from BMW customer services, who told me this car should have a steel-lined engine block.
- Sept 1998 from this site, and the advice to avoid pre-1999 cars.
Could anyone advise me whether I should avoid this car?

Thanks in advance
SEC

BMW 323i Nikasil Question - eMBe {P}
I have a date on an official BMW Fax of 9/98
for the 323i 4-door, which effectivley means E46, not E36. But
if someone knows better and has supporting evidence I'll stand corrected.
HJ

lestac ( BMW engine bore liner degredation[sic] issue: www.lestac.co.uk/bmw/nikasil.htm )
listed on FAQ1 on this site says

" --- Steel liners were introduced into production at Week 10 in 1998, i.e. March 1998. --- "

Could it be that the BMW fax that HJ quotes meant to refer to the fact that nikasil liners were used up to week 9/98 - rather than month 9/98 ??
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - Dogbreath
I have looked at that lestac site and can't understand a word of it....it says....7 series are "also effected" I have a 1996 3.5 litre V8 7 series and from reading the lestac site have no idea if my car is effected. Can anyone point me in the right direction.
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - Chad.R
DB,

IIRC, out of the BMW V8 engines, only the 3.0 and 4.0 (M60?) were manufactured with nikasil bore liners.

Your 3.5 and the 4.4 V8 engines (M62?) all have alusil bore liners and should not be effected by any premature bore wear issues.

BTW, are still as happy with your 735 as you seemed to be a while back? I'm considering a 728 or 735 now that prices seem to have dropped to within my grasp.

Chad.R
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - Dogbreath
The 7 series is great - no complaints in terms of handling, reliability, power and comfort. Having said that...I don't like paying £157 for a tyre and £500+ for a major service. Also consumption around town is only 17 mpg and 25mpg on the motorway. The prices in used 7 series are great now (not so good if you own one).

Due to kids growing up, bigger house etc etc next time I buy it may have to be something boring like an Avensis. But I will keep the beemer as long as I can.
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - Rob1
When does this bore wear become apparent?

I'm taking delivery of a Feb 1998 323i Coupe this week so I guess it will not be steel lined?

Anything in particular I need to look out for, my annual mileage will only be about 8000 miles.
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - Dizzy {P}
The Lestac webpage is not perfect -- it is written by an amateur, not an official body -- but I think it is generally easy to understand and the info in it is fairly reliable. An error that I picked up and mentioned to the webmaster last year was immediately put right, so clearly he is keen on accuracy. I think he should be congratulated, not criticised.

Basically, BMW were caught out by petrol in certain areas being marketed with an extra high level of sulphur which attacked the Nikasil lining. The problem itself was not really BMW's fault but they were a bit slow in recognising it. However, once they realised what was happening they made it their responsibility and went far beyond the terms of their warrantee to correct it at their cost. Time has now run out and I doubt if they will accept any new claims except under very special circumstances.

The symptoms were a fairly sudden difficulty in starting plus an equally sudden high increase in oil consumption. I would guess that any engines that are running OK now will continue to be OK in the future as petrol no longer contains high levels of sulphur.

The Lestac webpage explains how to find out if your block has had replacement steel liners fitted. BMW have a record of all cars modified by their dealerships so it shouldn't take more than a 'phone call.
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - eMBe {P}
use search button on this site for "BMW nikasil" and you will find many threads.

dizzy: see
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?v=i&t=11...5
for latest March 2003 example of BMW replacing a nikasil engine foc.
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - Dizzy {P}
MB,

It was that particular out-of-time 'free replacement' that lead me to mention 'special circumstances'. I understood that BMW were limiting their Nikasil extended warrantee to four years from first registration but it does seem that they will consider requests outside of this limit.
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - Richard Turpin
My 328 is Jan 98 and does have the potential problem. however 5000 mile oil changes with fully synthetic oil and 110000 miles on, nil oil consumtion, no problem. My last 328 N reg, needed a "new" engine at 95000 due to this problem. Chiswick BMW did it for free even though it was "out" of warranty due to mileage though not date (3 and 1/2 years old at the time). God knows what they told BMW though. Good work/money for them!
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - Dizzy {P}
Richard,

BMW set a limit of four years or 100,000 miles for f.o.c. repairs so you just scraped in at 3.1/2 years and 95,000 miles.
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - ian
I bought a 98R 528 with 73k miles from a dealer last year. On initially inspecting the car in the garage where it was being prepared I raised the nickasil issue with the sales guy. He calls a technician over who whips out a torch looks at the block and says yes this is one with the nickasil block but we'll change it under warranty before it's sold. It was as if they could do it as a matter of course when selling an approved car, it wasn't as if they knew it was problem already. I'm told that the primary symptom to look out for is a poor idle, normal ones are rock solid. I was also told that this problem affected some parts of the country more than others, the north west being particularly affected. I understood that they would all go at some point, but maybe with the change to low sulphur petrol they might be ok, it is a protective coating so it only needs to be locally breeched for there to become rapid bore wear in this area and loss of oil/compression. I would feel very nervous about buying an M52 engined 3 series or 5 series without this mod, but I think lots of people are unaware of it. Does anybody actually know of anybody who's paid from their own pocket in full. all the cases I've seen BM have done the right thing.
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - IKM
I've been looking to buy a 323 or 328 made aroung 1995 to 1998 and have asked several independent dealers if the car in question is affected by the Nikasil issue. All have told me that there is no problem or have never heard of the problem. I'm not sure what to think since the cars I've seen all seem to run ok, though one did have signs of oil around the filler cap which could indicate excessive bore wear. Does anyone know how to check if the engine is ok and will continue to be ok?
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - eMBe {P}
asked several independent dealers if the
car in question is affected by the Nikasil issue. All
have told me that there is no problem or have never
heard of the problem.


!! Perhaps a clue for avoiding buying from that dealer?

Q.
I'm not sure what to think
since the cars I've seen all seem to run ok, though
one did have signs of oil around the filler cap which
could indicate excessive bore wear. Does anyone know how to
check if the engine is ok and will continue to be
ok?


A. Suggest you visit the lestac website and look up his answer to: "What are the symptoms of cylinder bore wear?"

BMW 323i Nikasil Question - Richard Turpin
Cylider bore wear shows by excessive oil consumptionn plus uneven idling. there is plenty of warning. Owners of such cars should sell when the oil consumption suddenly increases. Buyers should assume they are in for a £3,000 bill unless the contrary is proved. The whole thing is a big cock up by BMW. pity because the 3 series is a genuine drivers car. Just brilliant fun.
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - Dizzy {P}
<< Owners of such cars should sell when the oil consumption suddenly increases. >>

Apart from the fact that it would not be easy to sell a car with blue smoke coming from the exhaust and an uneven idle (and probably difficult starting as well), does no-one these days think it fraudulent, dishonest and/or immoral to knowingly pass on a major fault to an innocent buyer?
BMW 323i Nikasil Question - eMBe {P}
Dizzy - his name is Dick Turpin; I assumed it was an alias and not a true name!

 

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