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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 2001 325i bmw. Owner said it was driving good till is just stalled out and didn't start again.

Long story short i whipped out my tools before buying it and discovered all 6 of the Spark Plug Wells were FULL of oil (Possible Bad Valve cover Gaskets and CCV). Cleaned them all out and tried to Start it, Cranked over and sounded like it wanted to start but didn't. (No oil coming out the Tail Pipe)

I then checked the Compression on all 6 cylinders, and they all were around 170psi.

So i bought it. :thumbup: for $900 BUCKS!!!

Took it home and pulled the Valve Cover to Replace the Gaskets. Then i noticed a Thick Vanilla Milky Cream Looking Substance All Over the Place,:facepalm::facepalm::facepalm: 3 times bad...
Drained the Oil and Yup Coolant or Water came Flooding out with TONS of Black SLUDGE!!!

My Question Can Coolant Get into the Oil Without being a Blown Head Gasket?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Never thought of it being fuel.

It Cant be Condensation because it was Alot of water, Coolant or Gas coming out when i drained the Oil.

How would alot of Gas get in your Oil?
 

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Could just be condensation from a bad CCV system. It sounds like the car was just very neglected. Probably had long intervals between oil changes and not much was done in the way of refreshing. Good news is you bought the car cheap enough that you can put some cash into it and make a car out of it. I would pull the head and have it completely cleaned and repair or replace anything that needs it along with dropping the oil pan to scrape that out as well. Then put it back together with fresh gaskets and do a couple flush cycles with some high detergent oil and some seafoam to flush anything else that may be in there. Good luck.


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Good thing that you did the oil change. Will you be daily driving this car and if so how many miles will your trips be? The milky substance happens in our cars due to short drives less than 30 miles and/or colder weather. Combine that with long oil change intervals and you're guaranteed some awful oil coming out of that drain hole.
 

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Lots of highway driving and frequent oil changes can clean off the sludge.
Once you're sure the headgasket is OK.
900 bucks, not bad!
 

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Wow, hope it works out for you. Worst case scenario is you can part it out and make more than the $900 you put into it.
 

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Never thought of it being fuel.

It Cant be Condensation because it was Alot of water, Coolant or Gas coming out when i drained the Oil.

How would alot of Gas get in your Oil?
If you tried to start the car many times the unburned fuel will seep into the crank case. My old truck had bad misfire and bad battery last winter and the oil level actually went up by maybe a liter after the winter, and it smelt like pure gas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Water or Coolant in your Oil?

Water can get into the oil two ways. You generally don't have to worry about one of the ways if you drive your car enough to burn off the water during normal driving. This drives off the moisture that simply comes from your engine breathing when it is not being used (cold air enters a hot engine and water condenses) and from combustion by-products. The second more destructive route is through a coolant leak due to a bad gasket, an engine crack, etc. This amount of moisture is generally going to cause serious engine issues including loss of power, oil sludging, etc.


Gas In Your Oil?

The first thing to check is your PCV valve which can pull gas accidentally into the crankcase or another possibility of a bad injector Leaking gas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Water or Coolant in your Oil?

Water can get into the oil two ways. You generally don't have to worry about one of the ways if you drive your car enough to burn off the water during normal driving. This drives off the moisture that simply comes from your engine breathing when it is not being used (cold air enters a hot engine and water condenses) and from combustion by-products. The second more destructive route is through a coolant leak due to a bad gasket, an engine crack, etc. This amount of moisture is generally going to cause serious engine issues including loss of power, oil sludging, etc.


Gas In Your Oil?

The first thing to check is your PCV valve which can pull gas accidentally into the crankcase or another possibility of a bad injector Leaking gas.
Hey thanks Acts238, best response I've heard yet! Water or Coolant: That may explain the Sludge I've found in my oil.
 

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Was the oil level higher than what it should have been before draining it & is there oil in the coolant? I can't remember what the head gasket looks like on the E46, but it is possible to have good cylinder compression with a gasket break between oil & coolant galleys. In a neglected car that has old oil in cold temps without being run for a while, it is possible that the oil fractioned out from settling & what you saw during drain was this. Either way, $900 isn't bad even if it does have a crap engine; if it is coolant & you need to replace the head gasket, I'd be inclined to drop the front subframe & oil pan to check one or two of the main bearing cap races. Coolant in the engine oil tends to not be good for lubrication & can quickly destroy crank bearing surfaces.

EDIT: Also from reading your 1st post, it looks like the previous owner did not change the oil for a VERY long time in addition to having a bad CCV system that would account for the excessive oil in the spark plug wells in addition to lots of sludge build up/yellow mayo in the crankcase. With this engine, I would be very inclined to check the bearing surfaces of the engine... If the bearings don't look too bad, I'd manually de-sludge the engine with the oil pan removed w/ a long bladed screwdriver to pick at things & about 15 or more cans of throttle body cleaner to wash it all away.
 

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