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2004 330i ZHP 6MT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a ZHP ~8 months ago in excellent condition with ~100k miles. A PPI at a very reputable shop found nothing wrong with the car short of a slight CSB clunk and a broken plastic clip on the sunroof. I haven't had any issues with how the car runs, and seems to idle/pull as smoothly as an E46 330xi I used to own that was in similar mechanical condition.

It's been 7500 miles since I bought the car, and the previous owner provided a receipt for the last oil change which happened immediately before the sale. Today, when I changed the oil and replaced the filter and o-rings, I noticed what looked to be the oil pan crush washer around the stem.🤦‍♂️ I removed it and compared it the new one that came with the clean filter; it's definitely the same thing.

So I'm now assuming that those two small O-rings hadn't been sealing properly the entire 7500 miles (hopefully not longer). Again, I've had no issues with how the car runs, but now I'm kind of concerned that perhaps not enough oil was getting to the crankcase due to that crush washer preventing a proper seal. Is there anything I should look out for or any damage this might have caused?

Thanks in advance.
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2005 330ci
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Just when you think you’ve seen at all. I can’t offer any advice, but hopefully it was just the 7500 miles you drove.

Edit: is it possible the two O-rings were able to seal enough for the oil to circulate properly? If the crush washer prevented it from going down far enough, then I could see the O-rings not sealing properly. But then wouldn’t the hold down bolt not go down all the way?
 

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E46 F10 W204 W212
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I thought I’ve seen it all. And oil change places continue to surprise me (or not).

If it was preventing the cap from fully inserting then the cap wouldn’t have come down all the way but you make no mention of that. As stupid as that mistake was I think you’re ok.

Enjoy that new toy!
 

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2002 BMW E46 330i
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571 Posts
Wow, I can’t believe someone messed up one of the most basic procedures in automotive maintenance , and there are probably way more instances of this happening than I would imagine. I believe the filter is the first place oil gets circulated after the pump sucks is out of the sump. If the washer was inhibiting oil flow in your system, oil would never make it past the pump, and therefore your sump would be full of oil, but the rest of your engine wouldn’t, and it would probably be seized. If there wasn’t a complete denial of oil flow but instead a partial blockage then the low oil pressure indicator lamp would have come on at some point. It’s probably alright though.
 

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04 325XIT 05 325IT 03 325XI 05 X5 3.0
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I bought a ZHP ~8 months ago in excellent condition with ~100k miles. A PPI at a very reputable shop found nothing wrong with the car short of a slight CSB clunk and a broken plastic clip on the sunroof. I haven't had any issues with how the car runs, and seems to idle/pull as smoothly as an E46 330xi I used to own that was in similar mechanical condition.

It's been 7500 miles since I bought the car, and the previous owner provided a receipt for the last oil change which happened immediately before the sale. Today, when I changed the oil and replaced the filter and o-rings, I noticed what looked to be the oil pan crush washer around the stem.🤦‍♂️ I removed it and compared it the new one that came with the clean filter; it's definitely the same thing.

So I'm now assuming that those two small O-rings hadn't been sealing properly the entire 7500 miles (hopefully not longer). Again, I've had no issues with how the car runs, but now I'm kind of concerned that perhaps not enough oil was getting to the crankcase due to that crush washer preventing a proper seal. Is there anything I should look out for or any damage this might have caused?

Thanks in advance.
View attachment 943718
Omg that's a first ....
 

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2004 330i ZHP 6MT
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for the replies. Glad this was a jaw dropper other people also.

Just when you think you’ve seen at all. I can’t offer any advice, but hopefully it was just the 7500 miles you drove.

Edit: is it possible the two O-rings were able to seal enough for the oil to circulate properly? If the crush washer prevented it from going down far enough, then I could see the O-rings not sealing properly. But then wouldn’t the hold down bolt not go down all the way?
It's possible. At first I was thinking that the shoulder of the stem controlled how deep the o-rings sit, but it's possible that the shoulder doesn't bottom out. I didn't notice when I took the cap off if seemed like it wasn't down all the way.

I thought I’ve seen it all. And oil change places continue to surprise me (or not).

If it was preventing the cap from fully inserting then the cap wouldn’t have come down all the way but you make no mention of that. As stupid as that mistake was I think you’re ok.

Enjoy that new toy!
Yeah, I didn't notice if the cap seemed 1-2mm higher than it should have been. It's very possible that the stem's shoulder doesn't bottom out on a mating surface of the OFH. And thanks, it's super fun to drive!

Wow, I can’t believe someone messed up one of the most basic procedures in automotive maintenance , and there are probably way more instances of this happening than I would imagine. I believe the filter is the first place oil gets circulated after the pump sucks is out of the sump. If the washer was inhibiting oil flow in your system, oil would never make it past the pump, and therefore your sump would be full of oil, but the rest of your engine wouldn’t, and it would probably be seized. If there wasn’t a complete denial of oil flow but instead a partial blockage then the low oil pressure indicator lamp would have come on at some point. It’s probably alright though.
The washer itself probably wouldn't inhibit oil flow, since its OD wasn't quite as big as the thicker part of the stem above it. No oil pressure lamp even came on, so hopefully it was all good.

Omg that's a first ....
It was a surprise for sure.
 

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I believe the filter is the first place oil gets circulated after the pump sucks is out of the sump. If the washer was inhibiting oil flow in your system, oil would never make it past the pump, and therefore your sump would be full of oil, but the rest of your engine wouldn’t, and it would probably be seized.
Not quite. Even if the filter completely clogged up, there is a bypass valve (relief valve) to let the oil bypassing the filter and the unfiltered oil could go to the bearings and such.
 

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So I'm now assuming that those two small O-rings hadn't been sealing properly the entire 7500 miles (hopefully not longer). Again, I've had no issues with how the car runs, but now I'm kind of concerned that perhaps not enough oil was getting to the crankcase due to that crush washer preventing a proper seal. Is there anything I should look out for or any damage this might have caused?
The 2 o-rings are inserted inside a small cylinder, but with the copper washer wrongly placed above the top o-ring, and it might prevent the O-rings from properly inserted. Then, was the top O-ring inserted deep enough inside the cylinder to seal?
Amazing, some idiots just have to find a place to use the crushed washer. He thought the supplied O-rings and the washer must somehow be fitted inside the filter. That crusher washer is for the pan drain bolt.
 

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2002 BMW E46 330i
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Not quite. Even if the filter completely clogged up, there is a bypass valve (relief valve) to let the oil bypassing the filter and the unfiltered oil could go to the bearings and such.
Oh shoot I forgot about that. I saw that in a oil system diagram but I kinda just forgot it existed
 

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It's been 7500 miles since I purchased the vehicle, and the past proprietor gave a receipt to the last oil change which happened preceding the deal. Today, when I replaced the oil and supplanted the channel and o-rings, I saw what seemed to be the oil container squash washer around the stem. I eliminated it and looked at it the enhanced one that confessed all with the channel; it's certainly exactly the same thing.
 

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2002 330ci auto
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The filter seals on the top and bottom, which is that white papery bit on each end. Since the filter didn't bottom out I think some oil would have bypassed the filter. Those two green o-rings I think would still have been in their cylinder and sealed up.

I doubt there was any drop in oil pressure, and oil still got filtered, although not as much.

People make mistakes and mess up but I really hope that guys realised by now
 

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2002 BMW 540Ti, 2004 BMW 330i ZHP, 2001 325Ci
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846 Posts
I found that same washer in same place an wonder why, been changing the two green o-rings lately so I noticed, going to realoem to see
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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I have seen the weirdest s#!t over the years and the knock on effects from oil filter housing caps. There's several service bulletins about improper oiling, strange noises (have seen myself) and erroneous faults from damaged housing caps.

Do yourself a HUGE favor. Order a genuine new cap from any retailer (not OEM) and NEVER have to think about it again.
 

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Some filters have quite a bit of crush built into them as they seat-
how far did this 'mod' make the housing sit up?
It may have still sealed well enough to filter.
Like Don, I'd be inclined to replace that cap, as
that post's not designed to take the load of the cap being
run down on it.

The o- rings only allow the oil in the housing to drain back into
the crankcase, so likewise, as long as the hole in the bottom
of the housing's sealed up, you won't lose pressure.


One wonders why- was it because the previous oil change had been done
the same way? And the one before that?

t
hadn't seen that before either.
 

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2004 330i ZHP 6MT
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Some comments here and on other threads have suggested that if the seals leak (allowing drain-back to occur), the red oil light will be present on startup for a few seconds. I don't think this ever happened in my case.

After digging around (indulging paranoia), I found another post that referenced the patent for the self-draining OFH design concept with the double o-rings at the end: US5516425A - Oil filter for the cleaning of lubricating oil - Google Patents

Although final engineered parts differ from patent drawings, this shows the mating cylindrical surfaces could be slightly longer than needed. My hope is that even with the crush washer inserted, the seals would have only been 1.2mm (washer thickness) above their intended location, and therefore they may have still sealed, as Spannerhead, TobyB, and A930rocket suggested. The fact that the o-rings are visibly thicker would indicate this is a possibility. This theory could be tested by getting a new OFH cap and hacking apart the old one when I get a chance:
  1. removing old stem from old cap and cut off the basket, so that only the central portion of the stem is left
  2. placing crush washer in the improper position it was found on the old stem
  3. placing the stem in OFH, making sure it bottoms out at location "9" in the drawing
  4. pouring some fresh oil into the filter outlet (center) area
  5. pour a little oil in the center area of the OFH and see if oil is retained or if it drains
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