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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2013, 10:53 AM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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My experience with failing CCV system sypmtoms

I recently replaced the complete CCV system including the dipstick tube and distribution piece that snaps into the top of the intake manifold on my 2003 530i M54 engine. I searched for and read multiple threads dealing with this topic prior to the work and found a lot of very useful information. I did not find conclusive descriptions of all the symptoms I was observing prior to the failure of my system. I thought it might be useful to note the observed symptoms here:

1. Slight shudder in engine response when accelerating gently from 800-1500 rpm. Engine would smooth out and run great above 2000 rpm. It actually felt like a problem with the guibo or drive shaft center support bearing.

2. Massive bog in engine response when snapping throttle open from 800 rpm to try to accelerate quickly. The whole drivetrain would buck and oscillate as engine response fell off and picked up again. I also got misfire codes for cylinders 1 and 6. The engine would go into limp home mode after an incident like this. Turning ignition off and on again would clear the CEL and engine response would be back to normal after this. (Normal was still not good, I had the slight shudder noted above.)

3. Oil consumption in the first 1000 miles I owned the car in warm fall weather was about 1 quart. I topped it off and oil consumption was ~ 1/2 quart in the next 1000 miles. In the next 300 miles, the engine consumed another 1/2 quart. I topped it off. During this time, I could notice the smell of burning oil after hard driving that seemed to diminish when the car was driven gently.

4. Less than 500 miles later, the CCV failed completely and my engine started sucking oil up from the oil pan. It was putting out dense clouds of blue smoke just trolling along at 25 mph at low rpm.

5. The oil pan and driver side of the engine block was very wet with fresh oil that did not have a build up of grime and dirt.

6. There was a large blob of mayo on the oil filler cap and obvious deposits coating the inside of the valve cover about 7-10 days before the CCV failed completely. When I removed the old parts, they were all coated on the inside with about 1/8" thick layer of brown mayo. I did not bother inspecting the diaphragm inside the CCV. It was fairly obvious that it was toast from the way the engine was burning oil. Mayo appeared shortly after outside temps dipped into the 20's for an extended period of time.

7. The plastic hoses were very brittle and broke during removal. Car has about 130K miles. I wonder if they were all original parts? PO acted dumb when I asked him about CCV.

Replacement of the complete system cured all of these symptoms although I can't confirm what my new oil consumption numbers are yet. Valve cover gasket was not a factor. The PO replaced it shortly before I bought the car and it is not leaking. The car was putting out dense blue smoke for about 10 miles after completing the repair. This was because I had to drive it about 1/2 mile after CCV failure to get to a parking lot where I could wait for a tow. I must have coated the catalytic converters with a lot of oil before parking the car. This did burn off and everything is good now.

Last edited by mda185; 02-12-2013 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Added info about mayo and oil burning
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2013, 11:30 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Great info. Can you post back what your post-CCV replacement oil consumption is whenever you get a chance? I am 3 years post CCV replacement and am now using a qt every 2,500 miles. I see CCV in my spring time things to do...
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  #3  
Old 02-26-2013, 06:40 PM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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I am now 1200 miles past the CCV system overhaul and my oil consumption has dropped dramatically. I was leaking/burning about 1 qt per 1000 miles in the warmer fall weather. That increased to ~ 1 qt per 500 miles in cold winter weather 30 days before my CCV failed completely. Now, consumption is difficult to measure after first 1200 miles. I estimate it is down 1/8 qt if that. I am using Amsoil European 5w-40 synthetic oil because it is not much more expensive than Mobil 1 Euro 0w-40 when purchased by the case. Mayo accumulation on the valve cover cap has stopped completely. I did see a small amount of mayo on the dipstick where it rubs on the dipstick tube when you pull it out. The oil is still clear and shows almost no sign of darkening or discoloration. That was not the case when I put the recommended Mobil 1 oil in 2000 miles before the system failed. I see this as confirmation that a failing CCV system rapidly increases the rate of contamination of your motor oil.

The smell of burning oil when driving hard has stopped completely. My definition of driving hard is revving the engine close to redline before shifting to get maximum acceleration.

Last edited by mda185; 02-26-2013 at 06:43 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-26-2013, 07:01 PM
gomolka30 gomolka30 is offline
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I had nearly all the same symptoms as you had, but unfortunately my engine shudder (I consider it more of a rumble) is still present. Mine comes on strongest from 1700-2300.

I did not have any mayo on the oil cap, but I did clean it off of rust about 3 months prior, so there definitely was some moisture getting into the valve train area. I fear what it would look like if I were to ever pull off the valve cover.

I had #2 as well, but I attribute that to a disconnected CPS.

I'm only 50 miles into the overhaul so the jury is still out.
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2013, 07:44 PM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomolka30 View Post
I had nearly all the same symptoms as you had, but unfortunately my engine shudder (I consider it more of a rumble) is still present. Mine comes on strongest from 1700-2300.

I did not have any mayo on the oil cap, but I did clean it off of rust about 3 months prior, so there definitely was some moisture getting into the valve train area. I fear what it would look like if I were to ever pull off the valve cover.

I had #2 as well, but I attribute that to a disconnected CPS.

I'm only 50 miles into the overhaul so the jury is still out.
Now that I am getting used to the way my engine runs, I do notice that the shudder is still there but not as pronounced as it was before. I am back to suspecting the transmission mounts or driveshaft giubo or center support bearing. I intend to replace them all. I am also replacing the engine mounts. I don't think my 530i got much love by the previous 3 owners in terms of preventative maintenance. At 130K miles with a manual transmission and no maintenance history, all of these parts are suspect. I have owned E34's for 12 years and a shuddering drive train is usually caused by worn mounts and driveshaft wear. I will start from that assumption here.
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2013, 10:31 PM
gomolka30 gomolka30 is offline
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The same goes for the e28. I have some experience with the 528e. I've seen my fair share of center support bearings trashed.

Can you replicate this shudder in neutral? Or is it only under drive train load?

I remember the center support bearing being mostly affected by load, and to a less extent RPM. If you feathered the gas, it would not be so bad, but still there. If you had a lead foot, it sounded like a jackhammer was trying to break through to your elbow.
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2013, 06:41 PM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomolka30 View Post
The same goes for the e28. I have some experience with the 528e. I've seen my fair share of center support bearings trashed.

Can you replicate this shudder in neutral? Or is it only under drive train load?

I remember the center support bearing being mostly affected by load, and to a less extent RPM. If you feathered the gas, it would not be so bad, but still there. If you had a lead foot, it sounded like a jackhammer was trying to break through to your elbow.
Shudder is only under load. When my CCV was going bad, the drivability on my 530i was really bad and I would have difficulty starting smoothly from a dead stop in traffic. When it would hesitate really badly and then pick up, I could feel the whole drivetrain rocking on its mounts so i have no doubt the tranny mounts and engine mounts are shot. This will contribute to any weakness in the center support bearing. I read somewhere on this forum about a member that just replaced his tranny mounts and the shudder went away. I have no personal experience to back that up.

Yes, when the center support bearing went on one of my E34's, it was not so bad at light throttle but knocked like mad under heavy acceleration. When I replaced all of the mounts, the driveshaft, and the rear subframe bushings on my current E34 Touring, it was a revelation. I never knew how tight one of those cars could feel until I bit the bullet and just replaced everything. I am wondering if the E39 will be similar. My 530i Sport drives and handles like a very nice Buick right now. Shocks and struts are way past their expiration date and as stated earlier, all drivetrain mounts are shot. I am liking the E39 more every day but can't wait to see how it drives when I get through my to do list. All new mounts, H&R Sport springs, and Koni's are next.

Last edited by mda185; 02-27-2013 at 06:48 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2013, 07:13 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Consider replacing the Vanos seals.
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2013, 07:17 PM
daytradeoil daytradeoil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Consider replacing the Vanos seals.
Agreed. Im in the same boat. Kind of feels like a turbo lag at lower rpms
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2013, 03:36 PM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Consider replacing the Vanos seals.
Also on my to do list. I bought my car a rebuilt VANOS for Xmas and have not installed it yet. Are you saying the slight shudder is probably the VANOS? I do notice some remaining lag and hesitation below 2500 rpm now that I am used to the improved driveability after the CCV overhaul.
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2013, 03:39 PM
daytradeoil daytradeoil is offline
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it quite possibly could be. did you get the rebuilt from dr. vanos? when you planning on doing it?

i was looking at those rather then just the seals. at 160k i figured less headache installing and down the line for the whole unit vs just seals
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:30 PM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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Originally Posted by daytradeoil View Post
it quite possibly could be. did you get the rebuilt from dr. vanos? when you planning on doing it?

i was looking at those rather then just the seals. at 160k i figured less headache installing and down the line for the whole unit vs just seals
Yes, I purchased from Dr. Vanos. I won't install it until I figure out why my E34 with the S52 engine swap won't start. I finished the mechanical swap 2 months ago and have been dealing with niggling little problems since then. I think I installed a bad ICV under the intake manifold and that is my no start problem. It fires and tries to idle but just can't make it.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:49 PM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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Update on Oil Consumption

2700 miles after the CCV replacement, I finally had to add a quart of oil. This appears to be good news but I am a little concerned. There was a very slight drop in oil level after 1200 miles. 1500 miles later, I am down a quart. What caused the increase in oil consumption since the maintenance was performed? I still have not replaced the VANOS and I do notice some hesitation off idle and at rpm's less than 3000 that could be due to VANOS seals. This hesitation has gotten worse since I did the CCV work so it looks like a deteriorating situation that will require maintenance soon. Full throttle acceleration between 3000-redline is very strong and smooth.

Mayo build up on the oil cap has stopped. I still see mayo deposits on the bottom of the dip stick. Could this mean the cold weather dip stick tube is still clogging with mayo? I just returned from a 1000 mile round trip to Jay Peak in Vermont for a week of skiing so the car has seen colder than normal NJ temperatures for March. Gas mileage on the trip was an indicated 27-30 mpg depending on driving conditions.

Bottom line is engine runs well with exception of slight hesitation that is probably due to VANOS seals. Oil consumption appears much better than before but this is not conclusive until I see how it does in the next 1000 miles.

Last edited by mda185; 04-04-2013 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 04-04-2013, 01:01 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mda185 View Post
2700 miles after the CCV replacement, I finally had to add a quart of oil. This appears to be good news but I am a little concerned. There was a very slight drop in oil level after 1200 miles. 1500 miles later, I am down a quart. What caused the increase in oil consumption since the maintenance was performed? I still have not replaced the VANOS and I do notice some hesitation off idle and at rpm's less than 3000 that could be due to VANOS seals. This hesitation has gotten worse since I did the CCV work so it looks like a deteriorating situation that will require maintenance soon. Full throttle acceleration between 3000-redline is very strong and smooth.

Mayo build up on the oil cap has stopped. I still see mayo deposits on the bottom of the dip stick. Could this mean the cold weather dip stick tube is still clogging with mayo? I just returned from a 1000 mile round trip to Jay Peak in Vermont for a week of skiing so the car has seen colder than normal NJ temperatures for March. Gas mileage on the trip was an indicated 27-30 mpg depending on driving conditions.

Bottom line is engine runs well with exception of slight hesitation that is probably due to VANOS seals. Oil consumption appears much better than before but this is not conclusive until I see how it does in the next 1000 miles.
Read this thread carefully...
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...CV-replacement
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:16 PM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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Thanks! Great thread with a lot of knowledgeable contributors. I read it very carefully and the major take away for me is to try adding the vacuum line from the intake manifold to the nipple on the CCV I installed. The thread also leads me to believe oil consumption is not a static thing. It will change with weather conditions and driving style. I have bookmarked it and will read it more than once to make sure I digested all the information.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mda185 View Post
Thanks! Great thread with a lot of knowledgeable contributors. I read it very carefully and the major take away for me is to try adding the vacuum line from the intake manifold to the nipple on the CCV I installed. The thread also leads me to believe oil consumption is not a static thing. It will change with weather conditions and driving style. I have bookmarked it and will read it more than once to make sure I digested all the information.
Pilot02 found that the low tension piston rings always require vacuum in order to seal correctly.
By connecting a new vacuum hose from the #6 connection on the CCV, to the capped port on the back of the Intake Manifold, the CCV and Vacuum seems to be maintained correctly...

If the correct vacuum is NOT maintained from the crankcase (from the valve cover) the piston rings develop ring-flutter, and do NOT seal correctly, thus, your car will burn oil, and waste gas.

Thanks!
Jason
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:50 PM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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Update on oil consumption

I had to add another quart of oil after only 800 miles so there was a deteriorating condition. I replaced the oil filter housing gasket today. It was hard and brittle and clearly leaking. The area under the CCV was fairly dry so it is not showing signs of external leakage. By fairly dry, I mean there was some oily residue that is probably getting blown there from the oil filter housing leak. The actual plastic hose connections were dry on the CCV. VANOS is next. Hopefully, oil consumption will improve now. I did not install the vacuum hose mentioned in Pilot02 thread yet.

I am wondering if the initial CCV repair somehow increased the pressure seen by the oil filter housing and made that leak get much worse? Perplexing thing is still that oil consumption immediately after CCV service was vastly improved and then deteriorated in a few thousand miles. I will keep tracking this and report what I learn.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:09 PM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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Update on oil consumption

1000 miles after replacing oil filter housing gasket and oil consumption is much improved. It looks like I am burning 1/3 quart in 1000 miles. No more drip spots on the driveway either. If I can get 3000 miles before needing to add oil on a 130K mile engine that I rev to redline frequently, I will be happy. I will change the oil around 6000 miles. I don't buy into extended oil change intervals even though I am using Amsoil that meets BMW requirements. I tend to run my cars well above 200K miles and just don't think 10-15K mile oil change intervals are the way to get there. I set my goal at 6000 and if life gets a little busy, maybe it will slip to 7000 miles.

Just like my E34, I am finding that these are very rewarding cars to bring back from neglect. It is a great feeling when each additional job has a noticeable impact on performance and driveability and I get closer to understanding why these cars were rated so highly when new. At this point, there are no leaks and CCV appears to be working correctly.

VANOS repair is next. Suspension overhaul after that. I am an old, experienced DIY mechanic and I still would not have attempted to bring this car back without the excellent information on this forum. Thanks to all who have taken the time to document their work.
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:21 PM
AH673000 AH673000 is offline
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Just a note on your observed oil consumption. Synthetic oil is much more sheer stable then Dino oil . So it should not get thinner with each mile driven . But even synthetic oil has limits on maintaining the same characteristics over 6000 miles . Bottom line is your usage per 1000 miles will slightly increase . My 528i uses about a quart every 3-4 thousand miles . It is a 1997 , manual with an original CCV . No mayo or other issues since it has lived in two mild climates its entire life . For the first one to two thousand miles my usage is close to zero.... Then it increases . It also has original Vanos .

Thanks for the excellent info and followup data.
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