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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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  #1  
Old 01-18-2009, 05:10 PM
sequel95 sequel95 is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 750i 2008 E65 4.4L
Oil separator failure - so far $2300 bill

Here in WI it is very cold. Last Thursday was -15F with a colder wind chill. My X5 was parked in my garage, which is not heated but insulated. It was below 32 degrees in my garage. Drove to work Thurs am, all was good, parked outside in the lot. Came back at 5pm, started the car just fine, then drove 2 miles towards interstate. Lots of white smoke was billowing from the back. Engine became very sluggish, then as I was entering the interstate, the engine seized. Fortunately I made it to the side without getting rear ended by a 60 mph semi.

Towed to BMW dealer. Oil separator became stuck due to frozen oil, water, in the separator assembly. Caused high pressure release of oil, and whatever else was in the hoses. Dealer first told me it was a battery and that I needed an oil change due to my service indicator. I do my own oil, so told her not to worry about the oil. She said the battery was the other problem. I asked if we were talking about the same car. Mine smelled like burning oil and rubber. She called me back and said indeed more was wrong.

BMW needs to issue a recall for the oil separator and its high rate of failures. There have to be engineers at Spartanburg who have figured out how to address this problem. My guess it could be done with PVC and a little heat.

I meet with the service manager tomorrow. BMW NA needs to get their arms around this and manage this issue. I refuse to pay one penny for this repair and as a BMWCCA member, I have brought it up with Mike Miller over at Tech Talk. He agrees with my frustration and sent me an SIB on the issue.

I love the brand, and my X5, but like so many of my friends, they take their car in and a massive bill changes their opinions on BMWs, and they move to other brands. Has anyone pursued legal help on this oil separator failure? Thanks, Tom

Last edited by sequel95; 01-19-2009 at 12:06 PM. Reason: typo in 1st paragraph
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2009, 05:50 PM
Ghost-Flame Ghost-Flame is offline
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Sequel95, I support you all the way. If they need another testimonial or anyone with the same problem pm me. Check out this thread on failed CVV

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=339387
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2009, 09:18 AM
sequel95 sequel95 is offline
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UPDATE: BMWNA covering parts for oil separator failure

Hi All, spoke with the local dealership service advisor about my failed oil separator. BMW has agreed to cover the parts damaged by the failure, as long as I cover the labor, which is about 10 hrs at $130 per hour. That's fine with me.

So, this problem is being resolved. BMW really needs to do something to PREVENT operational failure of this oil separator. After I get the repair invoice, I will post the parts replaced.

Here is what I have found to help prevent this problem:

1.) Do not warm up your vehicle. This is stated in the manual and causes excessive condensation buildup in the engine.

2.) In cold climates, drive at least 20 minutes at highway speed to burn off condensation.

3.) Each fall, remove oil separator, clean with brake cleaner, and also clean hoses of residue.

4.) Change oil every 8k miles, instead of 15k. This will remove most condensation in the oil.

I hope this never happens to you. The engine seizes within 10 minutes and if you are on a highway, you have big problems with little warning. If you ever sense a loss of power and a LOT of white smoke out the rear, pull over to a safe area asap.

-Sequel95
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2009, 10:54 PM
Dreamszalone Dreamszalone is offline
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What year is your X5 and is it under BMW warranty










Quote:
Originally Posted by sequel95 View Post
Hi All, spoke with the local dealership service advisor about my failed oil separator. BMW has agreed to cover the parts damaged by the failure, as long as I cover the labor, which is about 10 hrs at $130 per hour. That's fine with me.

So, this problem is being resolved. BMW really needs to do something to PREVENT operational failure of this oil separator. After I get the repair invoice, I will post the parts replaced.

Here is what I have found to help prevent this problem:

1.) Do not warm up your vehicle. This is stated in the manual and causes excessive condensation buildup in the engine.

2.) In cold climates, drive at least 20 minutes at highway speed to burn off condensation.

3.) Each fall, remove oil separator, clean with brake cleaner, and also clean hoses of residue.

4.) Change oil every 8k miles, instead of 15k. This will remove most condensation in the oil.

I hope this never happens to you. The engine seizes within 10 minutes and if you are on a highway, you have big problems with little warning. If you ever sense a loss of power and a LOT of white smoke out the rear, pull over to a safe area asap.

-Sequel95
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  #5  
Old 01-20-2009, 05:22 AM
sequel95 sequel95 is offline
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Location: Milwaukee, WI
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 750i 2008 E65 4.4L
2003 E53 3.0L 74k miles

Hi, my X5 is not under factory or CPO warranty. The costs to bear for the oil separator failure are mine, and in this case, BMW is taking care of the parts. I don't have the vehicle back yet, but the service manager said the labor is about 10 hours. Good luck.
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2009, 08:44 AM
blown383 blown383 is offline
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ouch, that hurt's! it's great you got them to pitch in but they should have to pay for labor as well..............
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  #7  
Old 01-21-2009, 04:36 PM
BankrSteve BankrSteve is offline
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I just had the problem this past week that is described here and over and over again in other forum posts. My repair parts and labor cost $1,286. My extended warranty refused to pay for it because the CVV is a listed part in the emissions system which is excluded from my policy. It appears to me that at the least this should be part of scheduled maintenance. I wonder how much that would cost versus the prospect of a breakdown!
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2011, 06:12 PM
pede0289 pede0289 is offline
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Mine too!

My 2005 X5 just failed to start so I towed to BMW. I was just told it was the oil separator. If I can prove regular oil changes, BMW might pay some money toward it. Which, just tells me they know its defective and aren't issuing a recall. If they don't give me money toward the part or repair, the total bill will be $5000. I have 65k miles on this car and will trade it in for something more reliable instead of fixing it. Frustrated doesn't begin to cover it. I do love this car, but I just had to have it towed to BMW last month too. That was for a gas gauge relay issue. At 65k miles, this is NOT acceptable.
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2011, 09:34 PM
Cincinnati Kid Cincinnati Kid is offline
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Hey Sequel95....

What year is your X5? What engine, mileage?

Does anyone know if the oil separator issue applies to V8 models as well? I assume it does. Specifically a 2010 X5 Xdrive4.8 and a 2003 745li.

Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2011, 09:45 PM
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white75li white75li is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincinnati Kid View Post
Hey Sequel95....

What year is your X5? What engine, mileage?

Does anyone know if the oil separator issue applies to V8 models as well? I assume it does. Specifically a 2010 X5 Xdrive4.8 and a 2003 745li.

Thanks.
No completely deferent system in the v8 engine especially the newer v8 engine
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2011, 07:35 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Well, I change oil on my X5 every 7500miles or 6month period cause I own it since new and woul dlike to keep it as long as I can.
Last time when working on valve-cover gasket etc, I found very minimal sludge on the return hose to CCV almost none. Remind me what my dad always says, pay now pay later; 15kmile oil change is just that.
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2011, 12:12 PM
Alfredo2001X5 Alfredo2001X5 is offline
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Does anyone know of an engineering fix. I was planning to insulate it myself as well as the hoses leading to the seperator. Anyone have thoughts on this or have done this already?
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2011, 02:28 PM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfredo2001X5 View Post
Does anyone know of an engineering fix. I was planning to insulate it myself as well as the hoses leading to the seperator. Anyone have thoughts on this or have done this already?
Thre is an insulated version of the CCV available from BMW; it has an insulation jacket around it.

Don't think the hoses are any different though.
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  #14  
Old 02-06-2011, 07:36 AM
Red Coat Red Coat is offline
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Oil Separator Freeze Up

All,

This is a common problem, well documented on this and other forums. BMWNA is very aware. Mine failed last year and the fix was $5500 Cdn. I negotiated with BMW and we each paid half.
A little history lesson I learned doing some research...because this only happens in approx 1% of the overall world market, BMW does not consider this to be an issue. However in the last 4 - 5 years of production this problem has gone away. This problem part was "re-engineered".
There are two senarios: the vent freezes open or closed, blowing oil out the vent or blowing past your head gaskets. Both lead to catastrophic engine failure, meaing replacement of the engne. Very costly!
There are 2 possible repairs. 1) a type of "heat tape" wrapped around the parts or 2) a complete re-engineer of the parts, which means relocating some of the plumbing. This is what I had done to mine ('03 4.4i sport). The heat tape may not always work. Especialy up here where it gets realy cold - Alberta Canada.
A piece of advice I got from my aftermarket mecahnic...place some cardboard inside the hood in front of the radiator when it gets real cold. This keeps the engine bay warmer and helps eliminate the problem.
If they are in fixing this problem, they may recommend a "valley pan" gasket replacement. I'm told these sometimes wear out around 120,000 Kms. I had mine replaced at the same time. The top of the intake is removed to complete the freeze up repair, so this reduces the overall cost if you have to go back and get that done later.

We stll love the vehicle. Didn't consider trading when the problem showed up. No problems since that reapir.

Good Luck.

Red Coat
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  #15  
Old 09-07-2011, 02:47 PM
Cjlizzard Cjlizzard is offline
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ok winter is quickly approaching here in alberta and I am dreading it for more reasons than one!! I've replaced my oil separator 3 times in the last 4 yrs. My mechanic has tried everything including all the suggestions listed by sequel95...done of them worked. I really dont want to get rid of the car and I do actually like it. However as a last measure i've been thinking about the engine heater that redcoat suggested. Has anyone put one on their X5? Does it work? Canadian Tire sell them for around $100, I'd be happy to spend the money if it avoids another bill this winter!!
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  #16  
Old 02-13-2013, 10:06 PM
chicomaine chicomaine is offline
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Another 2003 X5 4.4I with an Oil Separator Issue... Had it replaced in 2011 when it froze due to a two day cold spell (6 to 10 degrees F). Fast forward 2- years another cold spell (4 to 12 degrees over 3 days) took it out again this time the car went down hard with many faults and failures. Got the car back and it immediately needed a new alternator. This seems like a severe design flaw as you should be able to drive your car in single digit weather without major repair bills. For the folks who had BMWNA "make it right" who did you contact? Did the local dealer assist?
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  #17  
Old 02-14-2013, 07:26 PM
firstcar firstcar is offline
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separator

Thank you for posting. I have a 2003 X5 and live in the NE. After out snowstorm last week (Feb 8th) we had an 8 degree night. 2 days later I was able to shovel my car out and started it. It ran fine for the first 10 minutes. Upon backing it out of the driveway, white smoke poured out of the exhaust. After 2 minutes, car stalled and I had to have it towed to the local BMW mechanic. Blown motor. I had just changed the oil 10 days earlier, on schedule as always, and use BMW coolant following the correct mixture guidelines. I am furious and tired of the "common" "unrecalled" issues with these cars. I also own a 97 540i 6 speed. I have made a commitment to purchasing, owning and maintaining BMW's because of their style and handling, however their reputation is not living up to what has been expected. Window regulators, I replaced 4 last year. Last month was oxygen sensors for cold starting in the winter. This is ridiculous.

Please help with who I should contact to get assistance with my X5. I simply cannot afford to replace a vehicle due to an engineering component that has not been properly handled by BMWNA.

Thank you,
Lee
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  #18  
Old 02-19-2013, 10:29 AM
Davie F Davie F is offline
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Going to get mine changed next week when I get home for peace of mind, have noticed that the car uses about a pint every 1K miles but no smoke or rough running, think it would be wise as it has 84K miles on it now. Have seen complete seperator/hoses kit on ebay by Meyle for 69, I would expect that is a lot cheaper than BMW, my worry would be that the quality may not be as good,has anyone got any recomendations.
Davie
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  #19  
Old 02-19-2013, 02:07 PM
firstcar firstcar is offline
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So after reading through this thread, I sought out a second opinion. As it turns out, my engine was not blown. Anyone having air/oil separator valve issues, I strongly suggest you bring your car to a knowledgeable BMW mechanic who is not after your wallet or car. My 8000k repair job, or the total loss of my vehicle to scrap ended up being a 900 dollar fix due to a fantastic BMW specialist. Get a second opinion!
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  #20  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:57 AM
Madtown Madtown is offline
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The M54 engine does tend to sludge up over time if oil was not changed often which leads to CCV failures. BMW has redesigned the CCV, hoses & dipstick guide tube for cold weather. All these parts need to be replaced if you live in cold weather as the none insulated version will fail again if replaced.
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  #21  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:11 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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F
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  #22  
Old 02-25-2013, 06:49 AM
Davie F Davie F is offline
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Just noticing some of the mayonaise on the oil filler cap, got the full kit to be changed this weekend, model change of 2004 has a different part so its a bit more expensive and not so easy to find on the internet as a lot of the sites I tried did not stock it, BM Bitz has it though. A lot of the sites state that the seperator is the same from 2000-2006 but it only came to light when I entered my registration number.
Davie
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  #23  
Old 03-10-2014, 11:44 AM
wi325ci wi325ci is offline
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Oil Separator issue

Can I assume the issue is the same with the E46s?

I might be having this issue. Took my 2002 325CI into a local mechanic for an oil change. They noticed some problems with the oil change. Said there was a Valve cover and oil filter adapter leak.

http://docs.autovitals.com/EIS/Image...26fcee0d1f.jpg


My wife who drives it during the winter since she has a longer commute said on two different equations the car started to vibrate or shake for about 30 seconds. Both times were on a Monday after the car sat for the weekend. Any idea if this is due to the oil separator problem? From what I have read, this is a cold weather problem that might go away at least until next winter. I had thought since it was 30 degrees this morning, it would have been warm enough to avoid any problems.
I've read this could result in a blown engine but don't want to spend a $1000 if I don't need to.

Any thoughts?
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  #24  
Old 03-10-2014, 01:17 PM
Frankito Frankito is offline
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I have an 05 x5 4.4, so this oil separator problem is only for the v6 and not the v8s ? Bcuz my truck if I take off after idling for a few minutes leaves blueish smoke in the air from the driver side exhaust. Is this the same problem ?
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  #25  
Old 03-11-2014, 06:29 PM
puddinboo puddinboo is offline
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Originally Posted by Frankito View Post
I have an 05 x5 4.4, so this oil separator problem is only for the v6 and not the v8s ? Bcuz my truck if I take off after idling for a few minutes leaves blueish smoke in the air from the driver side exhaust. Is this the same problem ?
blueish smoke would be your valve seals which would be around a 5,000 repair. the v8`s are bad for the seals.
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