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Discussion Starter #41
That heat exchanger is the transmission fluid cooler, just so you know.

I should say that differently. It looks like the cooler used on an automatic transmission. Since the car is a diesel, then your mileage may vary.

You are describing conditions that arise out of the oil remaining cold too much of the time. Your trips are not long enough to fully heat the oil so that the water vapor that naturally exists can burn off. You partially warm the oil then park the car. This repeats day after day, and the water vapors accumulate and turn to a goo, that clogs coolers and creates problems of the sort you found. If I am correct on the transmission cooler, then you are doing the same thing to the transmission. The goo you found in the cooler can be condensation from the transmission fluid.

Part of the cause of these troubles is a short commute. If you get to work in 10 or 15 minutes, then you are making short trips that contribute to condensation in the motor oil. Your car is an '01, so one obvious take-away here is that it takes years of short commutes to make this problem come to a head.

jdstrickland, it's definitely to do with the engine oil. If you take a look at the last photo, of the housing you'll see two openings with a black rubber gasket ( top of housing) that's where the exchanger attaches. None the less I think you hit on an interesting point with the short trips as I grabbed a diagnostic app and hardware for the car a while back and pulled up an electric auxiliary water heater error ( the error still pops up now even after clearing). The car doesn't come up to temp in this cold weather and yesterday I surfed through topics on its failure and it mentioned the symptoms I'm experiencing, so you could very well be right ( in a round about way) about the gumming up on the water side due to the oil not getting up to temperature. This error doesn't signal a warning light so god knows how long it's been faulty for. Thanks for the input!
 

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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
Glad you got it sorted. Bad/sticky oil return valve was probably due to history of not changing oil enough. If one motor mount was bad, the other is probably as well. Likely transmission mounts are also showing signs of age. Probably best to replace them all - sorry to suggest more work
Hahahaha, suggestions are appreciated (even if it has to do with more work, DOH!) I have it planned to do the other motor mount as I have a few more things to get out of the way the next time my brother in law goes on vacation and lets me have the space. Now that I've figured out the Auxiliary heater error/failure, it's an easy fix by just replacing. The list seems to get longer, 13 year old car so I guess it***8217;s to be expected.

It seems logical that the one way valve failure has something to do oil change frequency but last owner had his scheduled and was in order, saying that he had it for one year***8230;. who knows, but I seem to lean towards design flaw.
 

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So, I have a swing and a miss on the oil cooler. We do not have the diesel engines over here, something that looks like what we do have has to be explored. If you have an oil cooler, then fine. The gasoline engines have a thingy that looks similar, but is for the automatic transmission.

You posted a pic of the inside of your oil filter housing that contained the check valve, and the spring was rusty. You went on to describe some goo that sounds like condensation. I guessed that you make short trips, and it seems I might have guessed right. Given the totality of your description and the pics, I think you need to ride your bicycle to work. Your trips are too short for the engine to come up to temp. The result of the short trips is condensation -- water vapors -- building up in the motor oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #44 (Edited)
Not being critical, jdstrickland, so don't me wrong. I understand you are not here and can't get a full picture especially with my written word and pictures that aren't described. Sorry if I came out aggressive, it wasn't my intention

I was serious when I think you hit the nail on the head that the engine doesn't get up to temp hence the gumming but in this case on the water side of the cooler...not because of my driving style but because of the auxiliary water heater failure, which heats the coolant temp when the cold weather doesn't permit the engine to do so. Today I could hardly get a quarter up the temperature scale on the gauge until I turned the heater off. and then it almost got to half way (normal). How long this has been going on for, I don't know, I've had the car for a bit less than a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Funny thing is now that the heat exchanger is "unblocked" the problem is even more exaggerated, consumption is way up and the fuel consumption gauge pegs itself frequently...... Hope I didn't fry anything when I took apart the starter motor (didn't disconnect the battery....uuuuuffff) . :facepalm:
 

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Funny thing is now that the heat exchanger is "unblocked" the problem is even more exaggerated, consumption is way up and the fuel consumption gauge pegs itself frequently...... Hope I didn't fry anything when I took apart the starter motor (didn't disconnect the battery....uuuuuffff) . :facepalm:

You may have disturbed something in the vacuum system with all the disassembly that you did. Also, I'm not sure if the diesel has vanos, but on the gasoline engines the vanos is fed right from the oil filter housing, and at times people doing work on the OFHG can get some debris in the oil system that can cause the vanos cylinder to stick.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
You may have disturbed something in the vacuum system with all the disassembly that you did. Also, I'm not sure if the diesel has vanos, but on the gasoline engines the vanos is fed right from the oil filter housing, and at times people doing work on the OFHG can get some debris in the oil system that can cause the vanos cylinder to stick.
No vanos on this system, but after replacing the auxiliary heater system I'll see if the problem persists., if so, you've given me a lead. Tanks for the input! ;)
 

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Alright, I know what you're thinking," a newby who hasn't read through the threads on the oil pressure sensor/switch!"

Yes I have read and yes I have used the advanced search to find threads, but no matter how many keywords I use I still end up with dozens of pages.

I've got a "cold start" oil light that stays on for about 5-6 seconds every time I leave the car parked for a couple of hours or more . Upon start up (when the light is on) it sounds as if I have done an oil change then when the light turns off there is an audible change in engine note. (just as after an oil change)

I think it fair to assume that the filter housing is emptying back into the sump, the question is what is giving way? I've done a considerable amount of searching on the issue and have found one thread (can't bloody find the thread again for reference for the life of me!!) that mentioned the one way valve that sits in the housing. It seems that this one way valve does have a tendency to deform.

Can anyone confirm this, heard of this problem and/or can give me any suggestions?
I actually know the answer 8) It's the drain back valve. It gets sloppy and develops axial play to the point of never holding oil. Sounds like the startup after your oil change and nothings in there until pressure cycles oil through. Dry startup sound last about 1-3 seconds and red oil light stays lit after battery light goes away. For some people the length of time the red oil light goes away is different, but it'll always happen after the red battery light has already gone away. It's a terrible problem with only 2 fixes
1) get another oil filter housing. Approximately $400 for the part new. Or, do like me and try your luck at a salvage yard and pay less than half. Went there to practice taking art oil filter housing before I did mine, and I thought I'd ask how much for one that I thought was good looking. $13. Sold Went to take mine out and compare. Yup, the valve was way way way too playful. The junk yard one was solid by comparison. Got lucky but for how long. Answer. 30k miles. It just came back today, that's way I'm looking this up again and found this old thread.
2) there is, as far as I could find, only one company that addresses this problem with a new valve, www.vanos.bmw.com

But you will have to press the old one out, fit the new one in, yourself. IDK if if needs a press or if you can tap it with a hammer and socket. After taking apart the ones from the junk yard to practice with, I should've tried doing that at the yard to see how hard it would be.
After all my messing around, I don't think it would be hard. Maybe a slide hammer to get it out, destroying it of course, and then using a socket that fits the exact outer diameter of the valve, with some engine oil for lube and a regular hammer to tap it in should do the trick.
No mechanic will do this for you, they ALL either suck at being a human, or are just dumb cuz their scope of service stretches about as far as they can throw their car keys out the shop door. If they ain't seen it come in before, they don't know what your talking about. Sorry if you happen to be a mechanic, if you don't think you suck at being a human, then... you might be rare as unicorn farts. Probably the latter though.

BTW
This only happens after the engine has been warmed. After around 8 - 12 hours, first start is normal again because oil got cold and thick, and red oil light goes away with battery.

Test this by turning your car off after you notice the problem, then starting her up again. Red oil pressure light goes away with the battery light. All is normal again. Something to do with pressure, right.

Next step, take measurements of your oil level. Plan to do this when you drive straight to a place where the car will sit for 4+ hours before starting again, like work.
A) after driving somewhere from your first start of the day, when you turn off the car, immediately check your oil level and write it down along with the time it was taken - if problem exists with OFH drain back Valve, oil will be higher than the next set of oil level checks
B) after the car has sat for a few hours, hopefully 4+,the longer the better, check oil level - healthy OFH = no change in level taken in step A)
OFH holds 0.5 qts of oil... If oil level is lower by 0.5 qts, you essentially have no valve holding any oil back. Any loss of oil shown on the dipstick is how much oil your OFH valve is not holding back. Likely it closer to 1/2 a quart if your noticing it.

Only other reason oil level would show lower would be you have a massive oil leak, and/or consumption issues which wouldnt let you drive your car very far.

Hope this helps someone.
 

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Given the amount of various flavors of M54 engines that have graced my bays over the years, we've only seen this once. Albeit I have read of such a couple of times on my professional forums. A new OFH fixed it.
There was at one time another company that produced a replacement valve. For the DIY person, a valve out of Russia, China or other areas other than OEM quality is a no-go for a professional shop. Should something untoward happen, I'd be responsible for an engine, or at least the implication of such would be tendered in my direction. You have one, two maybe three cars that have such installed? As a shop owner I couldn't fathom what I consider (potentially) suspicious part into an oiling system. YMMV. I also suspect that any shop that truly cares about their customers in the long run, wouldn't perform such either?
There's an old adage in my business: "Don't make the customer's problem yours."

P.S. I have to thank you for your comments of what you think of my profession. One that I've dedicated decades to with continuous education both technical and professional all these years. I also endeavor to retire at some point and become an educator for the professional European shops with the likes of perhaps WTI & BIMRS.
In the interim I also love to share knowledge and spend time here and on other forums sharing and helping folks find a solution to issues that confront them.

I'll start smelling some unicorn farts....:sneaky:
 

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I actually know the answer 8) It's the drain back valve. It gets sloppy and develops axial play to the point of never holding oil. Sounds like the startup after your oil change and nothings in there until pressure cycles oil through. Dry startup sound last about 1-3 seconds and red oil light stays lit after battery light goes away. For some people the length of time the red oil light goes away is different, but it'll always happen after the red battery light has already gone away. It's a terrible problem with only 2 fixes
1) get another oil filter housing. Approximately $400 for the part new. Or, do like me and try your luck at a salvage yard and pay less than half. Went there to practice taking art oil filter housing before I did mine, and I thought I'd ask how much for one that I thought was good looking. $13. Sold Went to take mine out and compare. Yup, the valve was way way way too playful. The junk yard one was solid by comparison. Got lucky but for how long. Answer. 30k miles. It just came back today, that's way I'm looking this up again and found this old thread.
2) there is, as far as I could find, only one company that addresses this problem with a new valve, www.vanos.bmw.com

But you will have to press the old one out, fit the new one in, yourself. IDK if if needs a press or if you can tap it with a hammer and socket. After taking apart the ones from the junk yard to practice with, I should've tried doing that at the yard to see how hard it would be.
After all my messing around, I don't think it would be hard. Maybe a slide hammer to get it out, destroying it of course, and then using a socket that fits the exact outer diameter of the valve, with some engine oil for lube and a regular hammer to tap it in should do the trick.
No mechanic will do this for you, they ALL either suck at being a human, or are just dumb cuz their scope of service stretches about as far as they can throw their car keys out the shop door. If they ain't seen it come in before, they don't know what your talking about. Sorry if you happen to be a mechanic, if you don't think you suck at being a human, then... you might be rare as unicorn farts. Probably the latter though.

BTW
This only happens after the engine has been warmed. After around 8 - 12 hours, first start is normal again because oil got cold and thick, and red oil light goes away with battery.

Test this by turning your car off after you notice the problem, then starting her up again. Red oil pressure light goes away with the battery light. All is normal again. Something to do with pressure, right.

Next step, take measurements of your oil level. Plan to do this when you drive straight to a place where the car will sit for 4+ hours before starting again, like work.
A) after driving somewhere from your first start of the day, when you turn off the car, immediately check your oil level and write it down along with the time it was taken - if problem exists with OFH drain back Valve, oil will be higher than the next set of oil level checks
B) after the car has sat for a few hours, hopefully 4+,the longer the better, check oil level - healthy OFH = no change in level taken in step A)
OFH holds 0.5 qts of oil... If oil level is lower by 0.5 qts, you essentially have no valve holding any oil back. Any loss of oil shown on the dipstick is how much oil your OFH valve is not holding back. Likely it closer to 1/2 a quart if your noticing it.

Only other reason oil level would show lower would be you have a massive oil leak, and/or consumption issues which wouldnt let you drive your car very far.

Hope this helps someone.
There's more than that valve you linked available.
First, the one you linked is on ebay: Oil cups valve BMW M50 M52 M52TU M54 M56 | eBay
And this similar one: Oil Cup Valve BMW (BMW) M54, M52, M50, M56, M52TU, M50TU, M52B28 | eBay

But also this one, which is arguably a better design: Oil valve BMW M50 M52 M52TU M54 | eBay
They changed the pics for some reason, and you can't see it now, but the triangular platic pedal isn't used at all, instead it's an aluminum half cup that only let's oil flow into one direction.

-fana
 
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