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post #1 of 20 Old Nov 21st, 2008, 5:13 pm Thread Starter
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Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes




I have three problems with my GT that I've been chasing for a bit, and finally had to get BMW Customer Service involved. Not because the dealer wasn't helping and willing to fix it (SJBMW, they rock ) , but mainly because BMW corporate has a very narrow diagnostic process they allow the dealer to use on warranty work. My three issues are -
  • Check Engine Warning with red warning light, and in some percentage of those the bike will not start until power cycled via the key. This is generally followed by a "BMW Motorrad" splashscreen on the LCD, denoting a reset of the ECU and systems.
  • Hesitation similar to turbo lag when opening the throttle slightly from a steady throttle state.
  • Noisy/grinding/squealy clutch intermittently when leaving a stop.
We've opened 2 PUMAS tickets with BMW on the first, the dealer has 7-8 riders on K bikes with the second, and I know I'm not alone on the third. The dealer knows these issues exist, can reproduce them at times outside of the prescribed diagnostic measures, but when using the BMW dictated diagnostic methods no problem can be found, so therefore they do not exist. Needless to say, I'm a little frustrated.

I had an extended conversation with Katie at BMW customer service this morning about these issues specifically, but also about the fact that the processes they have in place to diagnose problems do not work in all cases (mine specifically), and it appears the company is more interested in following the process to the letter of the law rather than understanding the root cause of the bike's problem and resolving it for the customer. Processes are tools; they are here to help us achieve a goal, just like hammers and saws help achieve the goal of building a house. When they don't serve that purpose then we either have the wrong tool, the tool needs to be modified, or a new tool needs to be devised to help achieve the goal. BMW Corporate seems to be (at least partially) in a mindset that they have all encompassing, omnipotent diagnostic tools for all issues on all bikes. This is not possible, at least not in a financially feasible way in most cases. So when problems exhibit themselves in the manner mine are and cannot be diagnosed through the process handbook, they need to step away from the GT-1, take off the white lab coat, and actually lay hands upon the machine, get a little dirty, and figure out what the issues are.

I did run into a stroke of luck. Martin (Corp engineer who was at CCR for the Ask BMW sessions) was on site doing a warranty audit. He was going to ride my bike to check out these issues but ran out of time. The shop could not replicate my issues according to the process so I went to get my bike, slightly dejected but in a civil mood anyway. I got on the bike and the check engine/not starting problem occurred with 3 techs standing there! I sent them to grab Martin and showed him the problem. He seemed very surprised that this was occurring, but told them to update the PUMAS with this and that he verified the occurrence, and will authorize further investigation and work to diagnose. We're starting with the EWS (I got the recall done way back) and if that doesn't resolve it he thinks looking into the harness/CANBus would be the next step.

Dont' get me wrong, I'm happy for this little victory. But it sure would have been nice to not go through the number of hoops I've been through so far to get it.

David Taylor
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post #2 of 20 Old Nov 21st, 2008, 5:17 pm
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

One small hoop for the GT, one large hoop for GT kind.



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post #3 of 20 Old Nov 21st, 2008, 6:39 pm
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

David,
Sorry about your problems. I have number 2 and 3 myself. The turbo lag on mine is not to bad compared to the throttle management before the airbox and reprogram. I have been reading some posts elsewhere that claim a new oxygen sensor has fixed it for them. I still love my GT as well. I did however put off buying a new 650/800 GS because of BMW's ongoing problems with quality. I plan on test riding the dual sports by Honda, Kawasaki, and Susuki before I buy. If any are remotely close in fun factor I will buy the BMW alternative for half the price.

Brian Ley
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post #4 of 20 Old Nov 21st, 2008, 7:00 pm
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

On the Turbo lag issue, there's a bunch of conversations going on over on k-bikes about replacing the O2 sensor, apparently this has made a big difference for the people who've had throttle lag at lower (<5K) RPMs. Just an FYI, it's cheap and easy.
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post #5 of 20 Old Nov 21st, 2008, 9:16 pm
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

Bummer, David, I know exactly how you feel (see my avatar).

Keep pushing, because you deserve to ride the bike you paid for, and because BMW has to be held accountable for these things.

Martin's a good guy, hopefully he can get something moving for you. But I fear it's more BMW AG being difficult than BMW NA. Never underestimate German engineering arrogance.

I've had more than my share of problems with my GT, and with my LTs. If I didn't have a strong mechanical background, a good dealer nearby that's willing to go to bat for me, and access to a supportive website such as this, I'd have given up on BMW long ago. That's the sad truth. I swear I don't know how some riders do it without all that to back them up.

So here goes.

Problem #1. Sorry, no clue. At least Martin saw it happen so he can help push, but the whole experience still sucks.

Problem #2. Like others have said, change the 02 sensor and reset the throttle settings. I've just changed my 02 sensor this afternoon, and I'll be posting a write up with pics, plus my impressions once I get a few miles on it. he throttle reset is described at K-Bikes.com, but it's basically the same as for the LT.

Problem #3. BMW has tried various fixes for this over the years including updating the oil nozzle (to get more oil flow to the clutch plates), and replacing entire clutch packs (which only works for a while). Their latest fix is to change to a thinner oil pump drive gear, as the theory now is that the noise is the oil pump chain rubbing against the back of the clutch basket. I'll see if I can pull up the new part # for that gear.

Hope you get it all sorted. When these bikes run like they're supposed to, they absolutely rock. But when they don't . . .

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
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'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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post #6 of 20 Old Nov 21st, 2008, 9:33 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

On #1, This is the most troubling of the bunch and I've never seen a bunch of BMW techs as happy as these guys were when this happened with Martin there to witness it.

On #2, I mentioned the O2 sensor fis to the guys at the shop and they seemed interested. I mentioned it to Martin and his expression remained blank and noncommittal.

On #3, the service writer told me about the reground oil pump gear, but since the shop hasn't reproduced it yet they can't officially take action. That's understandable and agreeable to me.

And don't get me wrong, I love this bike and have a blast riding it. And I feel that eventually we'll get things sorted out and working. I just hope BMW NA is open to learning some lessons along the way and is willing to venture a little outside the box to explore troubleshooting options outside of the trusty diagnostic handbook.

David Taylor
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post #7 of 20 Old Nov 21st, 2008, 10:01 pm
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTaylor
I just hope BMW NA is open to learning some lessons along the way and is willing to venture a little outside the box to explore troubleshooting options outside of the trusty diagnostic handbook.
OK, here's a thought that I don't think anybody has ventured forth with yet: Try baking them some cookies.

Pst: the O2 sensor change really works.



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post #8 of 20 Old Nov 21st, 2008, 10:08 pm
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

I am experiencing the same type of treatment with a different mechanical issue. I have an EXCELLENT dealer, but they can't really figure out the problem, so now they tell me that they can't even call BMW factory techs to ask for input/suggestions...no phone calls allowed...and are doing it by email only. It has been three days since their last email asking for suggestions and NO REPLY in three days. Sad that a company is managed this way and even more sad that it costs me almost $500 a month to have my bike sit in a shop waiting on someone to EMAIL advice to a tech who is stumped.

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post #9 of 20 Old Nov 22nd, 2008, 12:14 am
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

On my clutch, all I had to do was mention the bike was "juddering" on take off. They won't do much on a strictly noise basis, but apparently "judder" brings up a PUMA entry that tells them to swap out the clutch pack.

Again, having a great relationship with a dealer who's willing to go outside the box helps, but I can see how things are getting tougher now all around.

Ken
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post #10 of 20 Old Nov 23rd, 2008, 1:52 am Thread Starter
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
OK, here's a thought that I don't think anybody has ventured forth with yet: Try baking them some cookies.

Pst: the O2 sensor change really works.
From the posts I've read here and on k-bikes I can see that's the case. I've contacted SJBMW and Forwarded them a few of the threads that talk about this as a fix, and have asked them to communicate this to BMW corporate. Dont' know if it will do any good, but since I was kicking a door down last week I'll see if I can get this throug while it's open.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Meese
On my clutch, all I had to do was mention the bike was "juddering" on take off. They won't do much on a strictly noise basis, but apparently "judder" brings up a PUMA entry that tells them to swap out the clutch pack.
Hmm, the word "judder" came up in my conversations with them. I think I'll use that next week when it goes back in for further diags on the check engine/fail to start issue.

David Taylor
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post #11 of 20 Old Nov 23rd, 2008, 4:02 am
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
Pst: the O2 sensor change really works.
Yep. I replaced mine yesterday and went for a nice, long ride today. The bike is smoother all across the power band and no more slight drop in power just as you're starting to accelerate. I took lots of pics, so I'll have to do a proper write-up.

Ken
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post #12 of 20 Old Nov 23rd, 2008, 6:45 am
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

BMW

I have refused to allow myself to add up all the cost of repairs to my LT in the span of ownership. Because I am trying to keep myself from becoming disenchanted with the LT and BMW in general. I don't think I will purchase another though, I do plan to ride this one till it runs in the ground!

Just the issue of the FD failures and the handling of that issue. My FD failed just 1 to 2 hundred miles out of warranty and BMW said: "SO SORRY" that'll be $400.00 dollars please! I was very lucky as we found it before any damage was done to the housing, only the bearings and seals were changed.

The shock of the first service and the treatment by the dealer was enough to make me want to surrender. I had an appointment a month ahead of time and they chose to take three days to service my bike! Another dealer charged me $400.00 to replace the rear tire! I was on long trips both times, and it just dawned on me both times were in Colorado. Maybe I need to quit going to Colorado!!

Anyway, as my bike sits now to have the rear main seal replaced, It will take some doing to get me to repair it. I am just not motivated to get it fixed. Perhaps some bike fairies will fix it while I am sleeping!

Thanks for allowing me to vent! Frustration is not fun by any means!

Dave, Hope you get things worked out!

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post #13 of 20 Old Nov 23rd, 2008, 7:45 am
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
I took lots of pics, so I'll have to do a proper write-up.
Por favor, I'd love to put a decent write up in the K-bikes HoW (or, can you access that now?)



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post #14 of 20 Old Nov 28th, 2008, 1:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

An update on my situation with my various gremlins.

The bike is in the shop today for further diagnostics on the "check engine/won't start" issue. They will start with another new EWS ring, but will also be load testing the battery and checking a few other things to see if they can learn more.

On the hesitation issue they have seen this on other K bikes but as noted before no faults or anything to detect via the GT-1. The did a deep diagnosis on one bike and found the fuel pressure was out of spec and too low and replacing some parts associated with the fuel delivery system (I don't remember what, sorry) seems to have addressed the issues on one bike. I also shared the O2 sensor replacement/TPS reset fix that Grif, Brian, Ken, and a few others have tried on their own dime with some success. They will look into this as well and see what they can find. The shop completely believes this problem exists, it's just convincing corporate that it'a a real problem that is the hangup.

No updates on the clutch, letting that one rest for a bit while we work the others.

BMW Customer Service has been in touch with the shop on my case and has a dialog going on, but I haven't heard anything back from CS as of yet. I may call next week to keep the pressure and focus on and to let them know I'm not going away.

Finally, San Jose BMW continues be a great dealer, being very supportive and understanding and doing everything they can to try and help resolve these problems. I know they are having to walk a line between what corporate will support and trying to keep me as the customer happy and fix my bike, which I appreciate and understand completely. I do think they are doing some efforts in spite of corporate in order to try and fix the bike and get me satisfied. I'm not sure what more I could ask from Chris, Willie, Pete, Eric and the rest of the crew down there. They consistently go the extra mile to help me and keep my bike on the road. The whole place just plain rocks!

David Taylor
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post #15 of 20 Old Dec 16th, 2008, 11:52 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

Thought some of you might like an update. My GT has been at the shop since last Wednesday to run through a set of BMW prescribed diagnostic steps to investigate the hesitation issue. The tech has now ridden my bike (and another GT) enough that he can readily reproduce the issue. They've made a few adjustments so far but the problem stil presents itself. They are waiting for feedback from BMW NA on next steps.

An interesting twist - BMW NA wants to resolve the hesitation issue first as they want to see if that corrects the check engine/non start problem. Seems to be an interesting approachand I don't buy that they are connected, but we'll let them take their steps.

I am also going to provide the dealer with information regarding the O2 Sensor change that some folks have done to address the hesitation problem. I've gathered some input but would like to hear from anyone else who has done this and has found it successfully resolved or reduced the hesitation problem. If you have please PM me with your email address, model year, and a brief description of what you did to resolve the hesitation. Thanks!

David Taylor
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post #16 of 20 Old Dec 19th, 2008, 10:53 am
 
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

"An interesting twist - BMW NA wants to resolve the hesitation issue first as they want to see if that corrects the check engine/non start problem. Seems to be an interesting approachand I don't buy that they are connected, but we'll let them take their steps. "

I'm not saying this will be the fix to your issue, however as a calibration engineer, that approach is very logical.
The check engine and no start could indeed be related to you hesitation! If the engine has an air leak or any issue that is fuel related, this could cause a check engine and/or no start. I know there are other issue with the BMW EWS system. But fixing fueling issue first ( if they exsist ) make sense.

I hope that adds to your undersatnding of why they might wish to start there.
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post #17 of 20 Old Dec 19th, 2008, 11:19 am
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

Maybe you should start talking Lemon Law.

All these posts regarding poor BMW customer service has put me off purchasing anything NEW from BMW...

I've been wanting a GT or a GSA but I'll be damned if I'll put up with that level of service.
I'll just keep my "older" bikes and wrench on them myself..

I continue to have zero issues with my 01 RT and my 03 CLC.

Probably shouldn't have said that...

Sorry you're having so many problems David... I feel for you...
I'd be tempted to do something rash. Maybe get the local media involved..

Put up something inflamatory on U-Tube..

Trip and fall in the dealers showroom and knock over a stack of bikes...

I hope you can get these issues resolved.

Thinking about a Chrysler Crossfire...

Anybody got anything to say about that ?

John

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post #18 of 20 Old Dec 19th, 2008, 2:52 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSpen
Maybe you should start talking Lemon Law.

All these posts regarding poor BMW customer service has put me off purchasing anything NEW from BMW...

I've been wanting a GT or a GSA but I'll be damned if I'll put up with that level of service.
I'll just keep my "older" bikes and wrench on them myself..

I continue to have zero issues with my 01 RT and my 03 CLC.

Probably shouldn't have said that...

Sorry you're having so many problems David... I feel for you...
I'd be tempted to do something rash. Maybe get the local media involved..

Put up something inflamatory on U-Tube..

Trip and fall in the dealers showroom and knock over a stack of bikes...

I hope you can get these issues resolved.

Thinking about a Chrysler Crossfire...

Anybody got anything to say about that ?

John
I'm not looking to take the dealer to task, they have been fantastic since the first dayt I stepped into their shop over 10 years ago. They are very supportive and proactive in working with me on this, and extremely frustrated with the process and roadblocks BMWNA is putting up in front of them/us to get into the meat of the issue and find a resolution. Corporate is taking a spoon-feeding approach on diagnosing the problem, apparently with the assumption that none of the techs have ever attended a BMW Master Mechanic's school (they all have, many times). It's slow and plodding, and some of it unneccesary as they have already asked for some of this work to be done weeks ago. But in order to keep the work covered under warranty and not get the dealer into a situation where they won't get paid for the diagnostic work we are basically stuck with what we have. AT least I know who they are dealing with; Martin, who was the engineer who came to CCR for the Ask BMW sesions, has taken the lead on my bike and another one exhibiting the hesitation. So good, bad or indifferent, at least there is a familiar face on the other end of the machine.

David Taylor
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post #19 of 20 Old Dec 19th, 2008, 2:54 pm
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSpen

Thinking about a Chrysler Crossfire...

Anybody got anything to say about that ?

John
Slight hi-jack, John. I've been lusting after a Crossfire ever since I saw a group of 'em on an inauguration cross-country ride just prior to showroom unveiling. They're almost all Mercedes-Benz, other than the *tupperware*, and they are no longer being produced. Dealer not far from me had 22 of 'em and discounted the pricing to around +/- 20K. I couldn't talk Cheryl into us getting one, cuz we needed a replacement truck worse than a playthang!!! Darn it!

BTW, Andy has one. I 'almost' took it for a test drive, butt chickened out cuz my will-power wuz in low gear at the time!!! Winning the lottery would put me in high gear!!
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post #20 of 20 Old Dec 19th, 2008, 5:37 pm
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Re: Chasing GT Tech Issues with Broken Processes

Quote:

I'm not looking to take the dealer to task, they have been fantastic since the first dayt I stepped into their shop over 10 years ago. They are very supportive and proactive in working with me on this, and extremely frustrated with the process and roadblocks BMWNA is putting up in front of them/us to get into the meat of the issue and find a resolution.
Ok, Now let's turn this around. It's me saying the OKC dealership is doing all they "can" but they are being restricted in what they can do because of BMW.

They're my good friends and they sure appear to be treating me as well as they can...

You're still getting the shaft. Certainly it doesn't appear that way at the dealership but the bottom line is you've got a bike with problems. That bike is under warranty isn't it? You paid for it didn't you ? .. Can't fix it ?..BMWNA won't let them fix it ? Gimme a new bike please....Or a refund and I'll go buy something else...

That's the way it should work. Too bad it doesn't.. And I'm sitting here all frustrated for you because you can't get something done.

Just p's me off.

Dammit that's just wrong.

Hope you somehow get it resolved...

John

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