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Old 11-17-2010, 11:24 PM   #1
SUBL1ME
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Question 2001 325i - Going through oil like no tomorrow... :S

So I'm not sure what's really happening, but ever since, I would say ~7 months ago, my car has been gobbling oil like no tomorrow. It's not leaking, at least, it's not leaking anywhere that I can see. I took off the splash guard to ensure if it was leaking it would fall onto some cardboard in the garage, but for several straight days of driving and parking it in there - not a drop of oil.

The exuast isn't blue, and it doesn't smell like it's burning oil, so it's not burning oil (unless there's other signs I'm not aware of?)

Here's the amount it's using... So far, I got my oil changed around 3,000km ago (1,864 mi) and I've went through 3 Litres [3.17 Quarts / 101.44 Fluid Ounces (not sure what one U.S. uses to measure oil for vehicles, sorry)] and that's not including the oil put in during the change...

Essentially, every 1,000km / 621mi I find myself putting in a bottle of oil.

Any idea's where it's going? It wasn't this bad before, and I haven't changed my driving habits at all.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:42 AM   #2
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You removed the underskirt...did you find oil residue on it? It'll drip down and blow off excess when driving.

That much oil after last oil change...I'm thinking one of two things...maybe both...oil filter housing o-ring...which you should know is placed about 1/2" below flange on the lid...not 'up to' the lid.

Many miss that they have an old one already there and slide new 0-ring right over it. Open up lid, wipe cap well and look for extra o-ring. If you have one, remove and place o-ring where it should go.

Second guess...maybe you used a different oil...just buying some oil from Walmart in 5L containers that might not be appropriate for your car.

What oil are you using?

If not this...if really no drips...then you have to think head/head gasket...but you're not there yet. Clean up underside really well...clean skid plate...really well and monitor level.

Many do use this much oil...if not dripping from where I said...it's either dripping or burning...and if not head...then slipping past rings...and burning...prolly coz past owner treated it like a dragster or was otherwise an idiot maintenance-wise...don't know for sure...but that is a lot of oil you're going through.



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Old 11-18-2010, 08:48 AM   #3
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Hey Doug, thanks for your thoroughness in your response.

The underskirt is relatively clean, though I did give it a good wipe down and will observe to see what's happening with that. I'll also replace the o-ring regardless now anyway since it's been a while and it wouldn't hurt to do so.

In terms of the oil I pick up, it's Castrol Syntec SAE 5W-40.

Really hoping it's not the head gasket, there's a good day or so!

Cheers Doug!
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:07 AM   #4
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Dmax tends to throw the entire kitchen sink in there and offer generic, vague explanations. I guess its better than nothing.

Sublime, try replacing your oil separator. My friend had this problem on his M3--same exact usage too and voila, new CCV fixed it.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:10 AM   #5
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Dmax tends to throw the entire kitchen sink in there and offer generic, vague explanations.

Not much one can do without experiencing and analysing the problem in person
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:12 AM   #6
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Even if you do not notice oil burning visually due to a lack of smoke, that does not mean you aren't burning oil.

Personally, I would do a leak down test ASAP. I suspect your compression numbers are a bit down and you are losing lots of oil to blow by.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:12 AM   #7
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I would change the CCV also. What was your oil useage before the problem and how many miles on your car???
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:39 AM   #8
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I would change the CCV also. What was your oil useage before the problem and how many miles on your car???
Agree
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SUBL1ME View Post
Hey Doug, thanks for your thoroughness in your response.

The underskirt is relatively clean, though I did give it a good wipe down and will observe to see what's happening with that. I'll also replace the o-ring regardless now anyway since it's been a while and it wouldn't hurt to do so.

In terms of the oil I pick up, it's Castrol Syntec SAE 5W-40.

Really hoping it's not the head gasket, there's a good day or so!

Cheers Doug!
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Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
Dmax tends to throw the entire kitchen sink in there and offer generic, vague explanations. I guess its better than nothing.

Sublime, try replacing your oil separator. My friend had this problem on his M3--same exact usage too and voila, new CCV fixed it.

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Originally Posted by djlinux64 View Post
Not much one can do without experiencing and analysing the problem in person
I actually like the CCV idea and didn't think to toss that in the sink...but I'll admit, I notice a lot of skipping by basics in diagnosis, and lots of guys here miss great oil losses from just dripping. And, frankly, if on top of my random guess o' the day, I also had to come up with the 'right' guess...well, I think I'd just quit...I just put out what comes to mind...and sometimes 'how' it comes to mind. I don't know everything and many know I'm quite conscious of that...

I know ccv's explain great oil loss, and frankly, just thought that my brand new ccv cost me a qt. loss of oil unexplainedly...and my theory is M1 0/40 going through a reputed viscosity drop at 3K miles...or my theory was that...but I also think it's coz I hadn't gone on a long drive and thoroughly cleaned her up inside with heat and 'flow.'

Haven't lost another drop of oil since a single massive loss...CCV may have been it.

Anyway, OP, sorry for the head gasket guess and I'm sorry I didn't think of something less drastic between that and oil filter 0-ring!

Oh, and take car out for really spirited drive in 3rd and exercise her on a long drive...bring oil just in case...driving is much easier than replacing ccv...and it might actually clean itself a bit.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure your oil isn't LL-01...and don't recall a conversation here about whether LL-04 is also acceptable to us...but don't believe it is...and think having a proper oil (nothing personal) is a simple accommodation to make for the sake of your car...adhere to operating fluids' standards...whatever they are. (I sure hope I'm right...I'm not pulling out the list again!)

I'm not saying you're criminal and should be publicly embarrassed for that or anything...I'm just thinking it!
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Old 11-19-2010, 01:42 PM   #10
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It doesn't seem I'm dripping, so I think this weekend I'll go in and replace the o-rings and CCV to see if it will remedy the problem. Djlinux, are there any other tell-tale signs I can use to identify burning of oil? or is it just tests and nothing the eye/nose can sense.

In terms of previous oil useage, I would go every 8,000km (4,970mi) in between oil changes and the low-level warning light would never come on anyway. In terms of current milage, I'm at 160,XXXkm (essentially 100,000 mi)
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:32 PM   #11
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It doesn't seem I'm dripping, so I think this weekend I'll go in and replace the o-rings and CCV to see if it will remedy the problem. Djlinux, are there any other tell-tale signs I can use to identify burning of oil? or is it just tests and nothing the eye/nose can sense.

In terms of previous oil useage, I would go every 8,000km (4,970mi) in between oil changes and the low-level warning light would never come on anyway. In terms of current milage, I'm at 160,XXXkm (essentially 100,000 mi)
You need to put a new low level sensor in. I did it fixed my yellow light problem.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by SUBL1ME View Post
It doesn't seem I'm dripping, so I think this weekend I'll go in and replace the o-rings and CCV to see if it will remedy the problem. Djlinux, are there any other tell-tale signs I can use to identify burning of oil? or is it just tests and nothing the eye/nose can sense.

In terms of previous oil useage, I would go every 8,000km (4,970mi) in between oil changes and the low-level warning light would never come on anyway. In terms of current milage, I'm at 160,XXXkm (essentially 100,000 mi)
Well, if its not leaking and you are 100% sure its not leaking, then its burning.

Where else would it go?

Also, to a fellow Torontonian .
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:43 PM   #13
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You need to put a new low level sensor in. I did it fixed my yellow light problem.
im also having that yellow light but i have oil. thanks for the 411.
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:13 AM   #14
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You need to put a new low level sensor in. I did it fixed my yellow light problem.
Hi everyone,

Sorry for the delay in response, this week has been hectic. In regards to the light tedfredrick, my dipstick does read low oil, so I don't believe it's a faulty light.


But yes everyone, there's really no sign of leaking oil. So, it must be burning I suppose. Does anyone know any common places where oil is burning? There's no blue exhaust/burning oil smell coming out of my car, so if there's any other places/signs please help me out here, I would greatly appreciate it. Someone previously mentioned the head gasket, is there any other places?
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:15 AM   #15
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Oh! and hey Blocked Out, a fellow Torontonian!
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:21 AM   #16
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I checked back but aren't really clear on what you may have done...if anything.

Bad ccv, head/headgasket, and I don't know if because of the ccv or independent of it, slipping past rings and burning.

Have read discussion of switching oil to a one or two time short cycle dino oil...don't know the weight...and trying to reseat rings...lots of hard driving...

Also find out if rings by itself would account for so much burning if ccv was still good...sorry I don't know.

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Old 11-26-2010, 09:07 AM   #17
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I have never heard of oil loss through the head gasket, but I am sure that it is possible but not probible. The reason is the oil passages are usally located far from the cylinder because the water jackets surround the cylinder to aid cooling. I am going to go out on a limb and say you don't have a leak because 1 Q every 600 miles your car would look like the BP oil spill in a week. I have never in my life heard of an oil leak causing that kind of consumtion, and I have been around high performance car all my 48 years. Yes all of them, my dad is a world famous Hot Rodder and racer. Secondly if you can't see it and can't smell it it is being burned very uniformily out the pipe. My guess is that if you didn't feel a large drop in performance you did'nt suck a ring or something like that. Thats why I said the CCV is probably the culprit. I will also go out on a limb and say it is not because you use the wrong oil unless you used something much thinner than the spec. I use some thinner oil once because thats what I had on the shelf from one of my Fords, and the oil consumtion went up from a q every 5k to 1q every 2.5K I have some experience with useing Mobil One oil that is not BMW approved and contrary to common belief your motor doesn't explode. I have 137K on my car and have been using Mobil one 5/30 for the last 60K. Cars used to run on castor oil which is vegetable oil. Hence the company Castrol. Here is my disclaimer; I don't recommend running anything but the approved oil in anybodys car unless you know what you are doing and take the risk. Being a mechnical engineer for the last 30 years I am not as fearfull and superstitios as some.

Next time I will offer more explanation with my answers. Compression check it and rule that out and then change the CCV. I changed mine in 4 hours.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:18 AM   #18
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Hi Torontonians...Subl1me I had a similar problem with my car and replacing CCV solved my problems...
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