E46 Fanatics Forum banner
1 - 20 of 65 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2001 330i with Dinan air box and uuc exhaust - no other mechanical mods save 18" wheels,75k on the clocks. First 50k at hands of owner 1 over course of ten years, purchased in extremely clean shape and looked over thoroughly by qualified BMW shop at 60k with no problems found prior to mods.

Used/abused as daily commuter car these days, driven somewhat hard by most standards but not raced or abused or anything. All maintenance performed on or ahead of time by trustworthy parties using appropriate methods/materials.

It's burning oil, light comes on after about 2k from oil change and it's typically short about a quart of oil at that time. Screw is a little clunky going in and out of pan, mechanic (sound but non BMW specialist) thinks pan should be replaced sometime soon as a result.

Is this symptom simply the result of me modding and driving like a whipped jackass on the freeway m-f occasionally hand shifting auto trans and allowing to sit at higher rev range to bask in drone, accelerating hard off line and generally being an ass, or should I be concerned something bigger is amiss?

I know I'm not adding years to its life but should I be worried it's about to grenade if I don't start being gentle? Is there a mod to address issue?

Common condition? Source for alarm? Reasonable expectation of sacrificing long term durability for short term amusement?

Yes I always change it at 3k ( before recent trend of light coming on early and apparent burning) and use full synthetic and always the same brand/weight etc and change filter etc. No visibly apparent leaks.

I know this, burning oil is not good.

Thanks for any feedback/suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,863 Posts
The mechanic that wants to change your oil pan is a retard , that the first thing that came to my mind .

So if I get it straight , you burn a quart every 2k miles? What oil is used?

The issue with oil burning is extremely broad and cant be put in simple words as in why and whats the cause. There are many causes why and where can these BMWs burn oil. My personal stand point along with many others has always been the fact that the motor isnt broken in properly when its new. BMW doesnt recommend old school type of break in, they have their own "way" of breaking in the motor but the thing is they'll never explain it to you when you buy the car new UNLESS you ask them how(I think the owners manual has it too but not sure). They claim that these engines are so precise they dont need break in...BS. And the fact that these cars are sold with synthetic oil right from factory doesnt help one bit in breaking in the motor.

In short , oil burning in BMWs is more common then seeing Asians working at the sushi place. BMW has even issues a bulletin saying its absolutely OK to burn upto 1quart every 1k miles, and if you walk into any dealership they will be glad to show that to you and tell you that its Absolutely normal and its all OK. They did a great job at covering up their as$es. But think about it , BMW recommends oil changes every 15 k miles and if the car burns a quart every 1k mile , then you would have already gone through 2 oil changes before you reach your ACTUAL oil change :rofl::rofl: Good thing BMW covered their as$ and you cant sue them for that.

Anyway, many BMW owners have settled on the fact that its ok to burn oil and choose to top up instead of fixing the issue , I still say thats wrong and the car should not burn oil in normal driving conditions . However , if you drive very aggressive(long high revs, high downshifts ) it would be very normal for the car to burn some oil (how much? it'll depend on the situation). Most of not all of oil burning would be because it blows by the valve seals.

If the engine is used under normal driving conditions (normal doesnt mean driving like a grandma, it just means you're not doing endurance racing), the engine should NOT burn any significant amount of oil between changes. NOW, the length of oil changes will vary with everyone, some will change every 15k miles and then we have others who think they should change every 3k miles( the oil change interval SOLELY depends on the oil that you use and nothing else ). I tell you this, your oil will evaporate upto 1litre on a 15k mile oil change. It will in fact evaporate, not burn, so you should absolutely expect to loose a liter on a 15k miles change regardless. Now if your car also burns some oil, it'll be much more.

What oil you use? Mileage on the car?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Don't know if this is related at all but my car was burning oil and I could smell it while driving. I had to replace my valve cover gasket and Now I don't leak anything (I take out my splash plate occasionally to check for any leaks). Doesn't really sound like you are having the same problem but its just a thought.
 

·
Registered
2016 340i xD 6-spd
Joined
·
26,649 Posts
Use advanced/title search for 'losing oil,' 'burning oil,' 'wtf is my oil going?'

Oh, also read oil threads or use LL-01

XL50 and mirror helps too. But the best help you'll get comes from reading fanatics, searching for symptoms, and watching the diy vids on whatever you're planning on doing. There's one out there with Marisa Tomei doing the FSR but I haven't found it yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
if your burning oil and have to add a qt every 1/2k miles, its most likely your crank case vent valve. And DEF change all your breather tubes too(4).

In the first pic...pop that lil breather tube off and look how much build up there is in the tube. If its clogged, then change all.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You guys are fantastic thanks so much for the replies and intel ( and yes I searched and read some other threads but still thought it prudent to throw my question out there given my precise scenario/setup, sorry to waste the personal/philosophical/electronic bandwidth for people thus concerned but I figured anyone who took the time to read and reply didn't mind doing so, apologies to anyone who could not resist replying for cutting into your designated timeframe for online hardcore tranny chat... No I'm kidding and thanks for the recommends)...

I'll take a look at the described issue. BlockedOut your answer is very intriguing as well and a big thanks and gtk.

Ftr I'm running 10w-40 (Chevron as it was on sale by the case, I think my mech is merely not schooled at all in bmws and I am now motivated to locate a good local shop of which there seem many).

Thanks for all your input, will poke around and see if there's any of described conditions... Much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,664 Posts
OP. Don't bother checking into anything. I absolutely know for sure what your problem is. It's not your oil--don't read oil threads, don't search for LL01. It's not your CCV.

It's your valve stem seals. They're hard and dried. Can keep topping up or get a top end rebuild. This seems to be a problem on S52B32 and M54B30 engines and I don't know why.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,080 Posts
The mechanic that wants to change your oil pan is a retard , that the first thing that came to my mind .

So if I get it straight , you burn a quart every 2k miles? What oil is used?

The issue with oil burning is extremely broad and cant be put in simple words as in why and whats the cause. There are many causes why and where can these BMWs burn oil. My personal stand point along with many others has always been the fact that the motor isnt broken in properly when its new. BMW doesnt recommend old school type of break in, they have their own "way" of breaking in the motor but the thing is they'll never explain it to you when you buy the car new UNLESS you ask them how(I think the owners manual has it too but not sure). They claim that these engines are so precise they dont need break in...BS. And the fact that these cars are sold with synthetic oil right from factory doesnt help one bit in breaking in the motor.

In short , oil burning in BMWs is more common then seeing Asians working at the sushi place. BMW has even issues a bulletin saying its absolutely OK to burn upto 1quart every 1k miles, and if you walk into any dealership they will be glad to show that to you and tell you that its Absolutely normal and its all OK. They did a great job at covering up their as$es. But think about it , BMW recommends oil changes every 15 k miles and if the car burns a quart every 1k mile , then you would have already gone through 2 oil changes before you reach your ACTUAL oil change :rofl::rofl: Good thing BMW covered their as$ and you cant sue them for that.

Anyway, many BMW owners have settled on the fact that its ok to burn oil and choose to top up instead of fixing the issue , I still say thats wrong and the car should not burn oil in normal driving conditions . However , if you drive very aggressive(long high revs, high downshifts ) it would be very normal for the car to burn some oil (how much? it'll depend on the situation). Most of not all of oil burning would be because it blows by the valve seals.

If the engine is used under normal driving conditions (normal doesnt mean driving like a grandma, it just means you're not doing endurance racing), the engine should NOT burn any significant amount of oil between changes. NOW, the length of oil changes will vary with everyone, some will change every 15k miles and then we have others who think they should change every 3k miles( the oil change interval SOLELY depends on the oil that you use and nothing else ). I tell you this, your oil will evaporate upto 1litre on a 15k mile oil change. It will in fact evaporate, not burn, so you should absolutely expect to loose a liter on a 15k miles change regardless. Now if your car also burns some oil, it'll be much more.

What oil you use? Mileage on the car?
You sir, are my favorite member.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OP. .

It's your valve stem seals. They're hard and dried. Can keep topping up or get a top end rebuild. This seems to be a problem on S52B32 and M54B30 engines and I don't know why.
Cripes that's not good to know, but yet it is. Fork. I've looked into just about everything else mentioned here and don't see any signs of leakage etc.

I guess it's time to get a real mechanic and see what they think. I haven't had to fix nearly anything on this car since I bought it, but this is what you get for modding and flogging and I've done both (hangs head in shame).

Time to pay the piper ...

So, while he's in there, if it is a rebuild... What should I upgrade? :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,863 Posts
OP. Don't bother checking into anything. I absolutely know for sure what your problem is. It's not your oil--don't read oil threads, don't search for LL01. It's not your CCV.

It's your valve stem seals. They're hard and dried. Can keep topping up or get a top end rebuild. This seems to be a problem on S52B32 and M54B30 engines and I don't know why.
It doesnt seem to be a problem on properly broken in and properly maintained engines m just so you know.

On my last oil change my car lost 1.5 liters on a 10k mile (15k kms) oil change, out of which more then half is lost by evaporation and we're left with about 750ml of burned oil (lost otherwise). I know where the oil burns and why it does in my car , it blows by the valve seals on hard downshifts, just as I mentioned before. But the amount of oil that burns compared to the mileage on the oil change doesnt pose any concerns.

Just as another example, my previous oil change was during winter period and I had gone about 9k miles on the oil , due to the outside temp and my driving style during the winter I only lost .75 liter of oil (about half evaporates)

Yes, I drive for 10k miles on an oil change and try to promote others to do the same .

Cripes that's not good to know, but yet it is. Fork. I've looked into just about everything else mentioned here and don't see any signs of leakage etc.

I guess it's time to get a real mechanic and see what they think. I haven't had to fix nearly anything on this car since I bought it, but this is what you get for modding and flogging and I've done both (hangs head in shame).

Time to pay the piper ...

So, while he's in there, if it is a rebuild... What should I upgrade? :)
No need to upgrade.

Start small: check leaks, check CCV if necessary replace (simply based on mileage). Switch oils, you have a great variety of oils to choose from but stick with Castrol , 0w30,5w30,5w40 are all great oils by Castrol . Try and see if it makes a difference
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
688 Posts
It doesnt seem to be a problem on properly broken in and properly maintained engines m just so you know.

On my last oil change my car lost 1.5 liters on a 10k mile (15k kms) oil change, out of which more then half is lost by evaporation and we're left with about 750ml of burned oil (lost otherwise). I know where the oil burns and why it does in my car , it blows by the valve seals on hard downshifts, just as I mentioned before. But the amount of oil that burns compared to the mileage on the oil change doesnt pose any concerns.

Just as another example, my previous oil change was during winter period and I had gone about 9k miles on the oil , due to the outside temp and my driving style during the winter I only lost .75 liter of oil (about half evaporates)

Yes, I drive for 10k miles on an oil change and try to promote others to do the same .


No need to upgrade.

Start small: check leaks, check CCV if necessary replace (simply based on mileage). Switch oils, you have a great variety of oils to choose from but stick with Castrol , 0w30,5w30,5w40 are all great oils by Castrol . Try and see if it makes a difference
I agree with blocked 100%. No need to dive into the engine without trying the simple stuff first. I'd personally try the bmw genuine oil first, as it is darn near impossible to find the german castrol that meets the specification. I burned a decent amount of oil when I used mobil 1 0w-40, and now once switched back to bmw oil have burned next to none. Granted, I have been doing more highway driving but I still beat on it regularly.

There is also a test involving a plastic bag over the oil fill hole that will give you *some* idea of the condition of your CCV, I will try to search and see if I can come up with it. Bottom line is you use the plastic bag to check for excessive pressure or vacuum, both of which are not good.

Best of luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Cool thanks for the G2 everyone, I'll source the preferred oil and see what happens after next change, I've only been swapping the stuff at such short intervals because I'm always afraid there's exponential degradation once it gets low and I figured it was not worth messing around with (sorry mother earth). Since I just swapped in fresh juice it will be a month or so based on mileage.

Thanks again to all, this is precisely the reason I posted vs merely reading, opinions/impressions vary and only time and close inspection will surface the true culprit.
 

·
Registered
2016 340i xD 6-spd
Joined
·
26,649 Posts
The "G2"? Sorry, that sounds like a code you think I should know, but I don't.

CCV is a decent bet and common reason for oil loss without evidence of dripping/leaking, so look at that seriously. Of course, Mango could be right about valve stem seals, but even the best guessers here only top out at around 3-4% correct! I'm at 2.34% and quite proud of my record! Mango, I've been running the numbers on, and he's at an incredible 4.28%--it's an admirable record he's got, but he is still just an Internet person!

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Personally, if I had a major oil problem such as you, I would start by looking at the pavement where I park, not tearing apart the motor.
I agree, it is really worth it to just start with the little things before you go crazy ripping into the motor. Is it possible it is the valve stems? Yeah it is, it is also possible it is the rings burning some oil, caused my improper break-in or just abuse over time. You could have a leak down test performed by a trusted mechanic to test for rings, but I myself would start looking EVERYWHERE for leaks.

Take your plastic shield off the bottom, and check for leaks for a week or so on the ground.
 

·
Slightly Modded ///Member
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
even the best guessers here only top out at around 3-4% correct! I'm at 2.34% and quite proud of my record! Mango, I've been running the numbers on, and he's at an incredible 4.28%--it's an admirable record he's got, but he is still just an Internet person!
I prefer to think of Mango slightly differently. In the basement of the BMW North America headquarters, there is a large steel door with the seemingly innocuous title "knowledge continuity" stenciled on it. Behind this door you will find a dark room filled with life support equipment fashioned mostly from BMW coolant systems. In the center, resting on a custom made cradle of beige alacantara, is the disembodied head of BMW mechanic Hanz Jemango, who was aged 24 when Bavarian Motorwerkz was founded in 1917. He is currently 119 years old but is kept in top condition due to regular preventative maintenance. Since his body failed in 1963, he has been connected to BMW's mainframe computer assisting in the most challenging cases of mechanical troubleshooting. But he was never personally fulfilled by this work, until sometime in 1993 an unsuspecting network administrator hooked up a dialup modem to the mainframe computer, and Hanz was able to connect to the nascent world wide web and begin his long odyssey of helping enthusiasts understand the precious machines they drive. You can understand his special affinity for the coolant systems as they are the very implements sustaining his life.
 
1 - 20 of 65 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top