Are there accurate early signs of a failing CCV? (Burning oil smell concern) - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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Old 01-19-2013, 09:07 PM
awdrev awdrev is offline
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Location: Maryland
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 82
Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X3 3.0 Auto Tran
Question Are there accurate early signs of a failing CCV? (Burning oil smell concern)

Hello all.

So I recently started to have a brief smell of burnt oil inside the car. I researched for a couple of days and it seems that it's either:

1) The Valve Cover Gasket
2) The OFHG
3) The CCV

Before I go any further let me explain where I am at with each one of those choices and the reason for this thread.

Valve Cover Gasket

I understand it should be replaced around 80,000 miles or later. I have seen plenty of videos and I have a pretty good overall idea of what needs to be done. I wanted to see if there were signs of leaks, so I popped open the BMW engine covers and actually found everything to be very clean! The one place where I did not check was the spark plug housings but I will do that soon because I will replace the spark plugs anyways. But notwithstanding that area, every where I looked, it seemed clean without leaks.


As a preliminary matter let me say this: My gasket is leaking and I have confirmed this fact through many observations and sources.

I bought the gasket already and I have two washers for the VANOS but I probably won't get to do that for one or two months. So I understand that's one of the ways burnt oil smell can be getting inside and that may be what's happening.

Question: Does anyone know how exactly the oil gets burnt? Is it because oil gets to the exhaust? I am just having a tough time imagining oil getting that far back to be burnt especially given that the filter unit far away from hot equipment. I was hoping to get input on this


I read and watched plenty of material about this very well known problem. It is of a particular concern to me because it can get quite cold around here so I always try to keep the car in the garage and make sure that the car warms up to an operating temperature all the time.

But I read a couple of threads where users have suggested the possibility of early tell and signs that the CCV is going bad.

Question: Is this true? Are there any veracity to "early tells"? If so, what are the specifics of it. What the thread mentioned is two tells:
(1) The engine oil cap will be difficult to be removed, and when removed, there is a strong vacuum coming from the engine hole.
(2) Once the cap is removed, you can hear a flattering sound, like a duck (whatever that means)

I thought it'll be an interesting discussion given the constant failure of this component.

Last edited by awdrev; 01-19-2013 at 09:26 PM.
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