Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-09-2013, 01:56 PM
mpower1992 mpower1992 is offline
Registered User
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: e46 328ci
Engine sludge help

Long story short while changing the valve cover gasket out last night I found ALOT of sludge build up. So I went to town on it and got most of the sludge out with a vacuum after scraping it loose. Put everything back together and the car ran fine. Today on the way to work my oil light came on first yellow then red and I could hear light tapping from the engine so I pulled over and shut off the car. My guess is it got clogged some where? My mechanic says I need to drop the oil pan and clean out the bottom now too. Considering thats a huge job I would like to get some more opinions. I was thinking maybe seafoam flush might solve the problem? Any help appreciated!
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 11-09-2013, 02:18 PM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34,817
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
With the engine warm, add a quart of Auto Trans Fluid (any brand) to the engine oil, hold it at a fast idle (2500-ish) for about 25 minutes, drain everything, and replace with fresh oil & filter. Depending on the amount of crud in there, you may have to repeat this a couple of times.
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Wounded Warrior Project*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-09-2013, 04:06 PM
Chris90's Avatar
Chris90 Chris90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Massachusetts
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 13,797
Mein Auto: '04 330i
what causes this? I remember seeing some in my E36 dipstick area after running some heavy oil (20W50?) and doing some track days.
__________________
"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice." - Cherokee Expression
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-09-2013, 04:32 PM
WolfieTed WolfieTed is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Land of Kangaroos
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 126
Mein Auto: '99 323i E46
Bob has given the best advice. My mech has been know to fill the engine with diesel, to the top! Without running the motor, to loosen everything up, drain it a few times and then run a flushing agent with oil a couple of times, then finally finishing the job by putting the correct 0W40 (or whatever specs you use) in her.

This is not really recommended, but the diesel will help out, and you can run the engine with diesel in it as it has lubricating properties, however Bob's method is a lot safer and just as good to be honest.

As for what causes it, there are a number of things. But the best 2 explanations are normally:

1: Lots of short trips never give the motor a chance to warm up and condensation in the crank case from a cold block and hot air (from combustion) mixes with the oil and reacts.
2: Coolant in the oil over time will do the same thing

I was wondering if I had this problem, and the VANOS and other small pressure oil lines can block, so you definitely want to get it cleaned ASAP.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-09-2013, 11:46 PM
OlgaMPM OlgaMPM is offline
Registered User
Location: UK
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 77
Mein Auto: E46
Oil has sheared. Incorrect oil type, operating viscosity, and most important the HTHS is to low. And that is why LL01 came about.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-10-2013, 04:36 AM
ahull's Avatar
ahull ahull is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Carolina
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,585
Mein Auto: ist schnell! (03 330i SC)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
With the engine warm, add a quart of Auto Trans Fluid (any brand) to the engine oil, hold it at a fast idle (2500-ish) for about 25 minutes, drain everything, and replace with fresh oil & filter. Depending on the amount of crud in there, you may have to repeat this a couple of times.
This is a good treatment....... but if he's already got the red light and tapping from the engine he's got starvation from restricted flow. I'm not sure the pump is moving anything. Might be best to clean out the bottom first and then do this.
__________________
2003 330i TiAg Sport Pkg ~90k miles
DIY MODS: AA Stage I supercharger, Meyle HD FCAs w Powerflex CABs, Bilstein shocks, Meyle HD Rtabs, Angel Eyes, Clear Corners/Markers w/ LEDs, LED tails, ZHP rims, Akebono pads, AUX input
DIY E46 Merit Badges: Sunroof resurrection, CCV, OFHG, VCG w/ VANOS seals, DISA, Cooling Refresh I, steering giubo, window regs, Magnetic Infandibulator (see wiki)
DIY On deck: Rear Diff bushing. UUC SSK, clutch job eventually, Wavetrac LSD
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-10-2013, 07:18 AM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is online now
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22,348
Mein Auto: 2004 ZHP Sedan
If you knocked a bunch of crud loose and it made it to the pickup on the oil pump, then in theory if you turn the car off, it should settle back to the bottom when the pump stops. So if you start it up after letting it sit, does it get a red oil light right away?

I've had good success with Lubro Moly Pro Engine flush, available at Napa. Pour the whole bottle in and let idle for 20 minutes. Might also want to pull your oil filter to see if it is badly clogged.
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Check out my BMWBLOG!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-10-2013, 10:18 AM
mpower1992 mpower1992 is offline
Registered User
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: e46 328ci
Attempted to do a flush. When i turned the car on there was loud tapping and the engine locked up after a few minutes....time for a new motor?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-10-2013, 12:32 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area and Reno
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,744
Mein Auto: 650i 330cic X5d MINI
Sounds like it. Either that or keep it as an expensive but worthless driveway ornament.

Talk about DIY gone bad. Sorry...
__________________



Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-10-2013, 04:58 PM
ahull's Avatar
ahull ahull is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Carolina
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,585
Mein Auto: ist schnell! (03 330i SC)
Quote:
Originally Posted by FredoinSF View Post
Sounds like it. Either that or keep it as an expensive but worthless driveway ornament.

Talk about DIY gone bad. Sorry...
Save the block, clean it up really well, and put a big piece of glass over it for a coffee table.
__________________
2003 330i TiAg Sport Pkg ~90k miles
DIY MODS: AA Stage I supercharger, Meyle HD FCAs w Powerflex CABs, Bilstein shocks, Meyle HD Rtabs, Angel Eyes, Clear Corners/Markers w/ LEDs, LED tails, ZHP rims, Akebono pads, AUX input
DIY E46 Merit Badges: Sunroof resurrection, CCV, OFHG, VCG w/ VANOS seals, DISA, Cooling Refresh I, steering giubo, window regs, Magnetic Infandibulator (see wiki)
DIY On deck: Rear Diff bushing. UUC SSK, clutch job eventually, Wavetrac LSD
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-11-2013, 05:28 AM
mpower1992 mpower1992 is offline
Registered User
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: e46 328ci
An act of god turned my motor over and i was able to finish the flush! Going to change the oil and pray the tapping goes away... Btw thw filter was caked in crud.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-11-2013, 05:33 AM
mpower1992 mpower1992 is offline
Registered User
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: e46 328ci
Also when i removed the filter i noticed the passage ways didnt completely drain oil is that normal or have i found a clog?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-11-2013, 06:06 AM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is online now
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22,348
Mein Auto: 2004 ZHP Sedan
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpower1992 View Post
Also when i removed the filter i noticed the passage ways didnt completely drain oil is that normal or have i found a clog?
Pull the oil filter housing off and flush it off the engine with carb cleaner. The passageways are probably clogged. Replace the gasket too. I'd also flush/replace the VANOS feed line which is connected to the OFH.
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Check out my BMWBLOG!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-11-2013, 06:21 AM
mpower1992 mpower1992 is offline
Registered User
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: e46 328ci
Thanks found a good diy here http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...diy+oil+feeder
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-11-2013, 06:44 AM
mpower1992 mpower1992 is offline
Registered User
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 12
Mein Auto: e46 328ci
"ze sound is not right" i couldnt of said it better myself...heres a vid of what my engine sounds like
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-11-2013, 02:22 PM
catso's Avatar
catso catso is offline
catso
Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,958
Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpower1992 View Post
Also when i removed the filter i noticed the passage ways didnt completely drain oil is that normal or have i found a clog?
When I did my OFHG awhile back, I had a lot of sludge and crud in the passageways too. Carefully clean it out, then do your flushes.
__________________
Don't be gormless; get some gorm!
![/I][/FONT]

Last edited by catso; 11-11-2013 at 02:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-11-2013, 04:11 PM
jvr826's Avatar
jvr826 jvr826 is offline
Is it Trackday yet?
Location: In the woods. Santa Cruz County, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 8,867
Mein Auto: 05 330ci 6MT
Catso... what has been your oil change interval?
__________________
Jeff R.
Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA - Autocross - Come Join Us!


"You drive like old people $#@%... slow and sloppy!" - George Carlin
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-12-2013, 11:18 AM
catso's Avatar
catso catso is offline
catso
Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,958
Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
Catso... what has been your oil change interval?
Mine is less than 3000 miles, but the accumulation was from the P.O. The car was poorly maintained when I bought it, it had actually sat in a garage not running for almost 3 years and God only knows when the oil was changed before that.
__________________
Don't be gormless; get some gorm!
![/I][/FONT]
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-12-2013, 11:44 AM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34,817
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
Catso... what has been your oil change interval?
Quote:
Originally Posted by catso View Post
Mine is less than 3000 miles, but the accumulation was from the P.O. The car was poorly maintained when I bought it, it had actually sat in a garage not running for almost 3 years and God only knows when the oil was changed before that.
Also, it`s not only the frequency of oil changes, it`s the duration of the trips made by the PO....if he lived 2 or 3 miles from work, that poor engine hardly ever got up to full operating temp....
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Wounded Warrior Project*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-12-2013, 12:00 PM
catso's Avatar
catso catso is offline
catso
Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,958
Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 1988 528e
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Also, it`s not only the frequency of oil changes, it`s the duration of the trips made by the PO....if he lived 2 or 3 miles from work, that poor engine hardly ever got up to full operating temp....
Yes, I still see some yellow crud under the oil filler cap. I've ran some MMO and some oil flush, but I don't want to be too aggressive. I seemed to have made a little progress, but you really can't tell unless you get inside the engine. It runs OK for now, but at times in the past, I saw the oil light flickering. Since I changed the OFHG and cleaned up the passageways, that has stopped.
__________________
Don't be gormless; get some gorm!
![/I][/FONT]
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-19-2013, 12:21 PM
DOTC DOTC is offline
Registered User
Location: Spring, TX
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 325i
I'm going to give the auto trans fluid a shot also. Bought my 2001 BMW 325i a year ago and the sludge was crazy. The filter almost looked like it was never changed and it was just disgusting at how black the oil was when I finally changed it. I used Mobile 0-40 for my "cleaning" oil, changing it out every 2,000 miles and man.. i had chunks of crap in my filters the first couple of changes. Then my engine started leaking oil..so I went to BMW oil and now..no flakes of crap in my filters which makes me thing the BMW oil isn't cleaning out the engine very well if at all.

This reminded me of my 1991 MR2 Turbo I had ages ago. I had a blown turbo seal which was blowing oil into the throttle body and no matter what synthetic i used, they all burned up in the butterfly valve and my gas pedal would stick..and half a day cleaning out oil crud. I used Royal Purple and never had an issue again. I pulled the top end apart and it was gleaming clean and shiny.

Anyway, I'll give the trans fluid a shot, but I may switch to RP and see if that helps me get rid of the last of the crud in the motor.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-19-2013, 01:16 PM
i45stunnaz i45stunnaz is offline
Registered User
Location: texas
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOTC View Post
I'm going to give the auto trans fluid a shot also. Bought my 2001 BMW 325i a year ago and the sludge was crazy. The filter almost looked like it was never changed and it was just disgusting at how black the oil was when I finally changed it. I used Mobile 0-40 for my "cleaning" oil, changing it out every 2,000 miles and man.. i had chunks of crap in my filters the first couple of changes. Then my engine started leaking oil..so I went to BMW oil and now..no flakes of crap in my filters which makes me thing the BMW oil isn't cleaning out the engine very well if at all.

This reminded me of my 1991 MR2 Turbo I had ages ago. I had a blown turbo seal which was blowing oil into the throttle body and no matter what synthetic i used, they all burned up in the butterfly valve and my gas pedal would stick..and half a day cleaning out oil crud. I used Royal Purple and never had an issue again. I pulled the top end apart and it was gleaming clean and shiny.

Anyway, I'll give the trans fluid a shot, but I may switch to RP and see if that helps me get rid of the last of the crud in the motor.
hey let me know how that works I don't have that problem but im from Houston and just recently bought my car idk what the previous owner did or didn't do so im trying to my best to do as much maintenance on it as possible
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-19-2013, 01:25 PM
DOTC DOTC is offline
Registered User
Location: Spring, TX
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by i45stunnaz View Post
hey let me know how that works I don't have that problem but im from Houston and just recently bought my car idk what the previous owner did or didn't do so im trying to my best to do as much maintenance on it as possible
I'll post back, but it may be awhile. I just changed the oil after doing my oil filter housing gasket and one of my oil lines in there was half clogged. I cleaned it with brake cleaner and the filter housing started filling with fluid, there was a pop noise and all this sludge oil started spilling out. So god only know how close I was to having a complete clog. That's why i'm worried now about getting a good detergent oil in there or using some other kind of engine flush. The shop I take my car to for alignments basically told me to stay far far away from Mobile1 0-40. He said its far to thin for the hot weather here and it'll leak out the engine.. too late for me cause the oil pan gasket is leaking like crazy now.

Not that I have a whole lot of reasons for trusting the guy, but when you see Lambo's and Bently's up on the lifts, I'd like to think he knows what he's talking about.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11-19-2013, 01:36 PM
marlin1881 marlin1881 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Colorado
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 937
Mein Auto: 2003 330i ZHP
I would try a lot of the suggestions above. Plan on $100 in supplies/materials to see if you can get a proper pulse out of this thing again.

If it were mine, I'd pull off the valve cover and take a look. I'd imagine you'll have a lot of sludge to scoop out of there. Pull the oil filter and manually clean out anything you can. Same with the VANOS lines.

On an old Jeep, I've filled up a 3gal gas can with diesel fuel and slowly poured it right in the oil filler of the engine, with the drain plug in. Let it set for a while, and then pull the plug. You've got to have some big containers to catch it with, and it will probably make a mess, so plan accordingly.

The carb cleaner is great for spot cleaning and washing hard-to-reach crud out of the system.

Then, button it up, put in some clean oil, AND the quart of ATF, as FastBob mentions.

You've got nothing to lose. So, start with removing the heavy stuff, and then from top to bottom, rinse and clean until it doesn't make sense to go any further.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-19-2013, 03:14 PM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is online now
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22,348
Mein Auto: 2004 ZHP Sedan
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin1881 View Post
I would try a lot of the suggestions above. Plan on $100 in supplies/materials to see if you can get a proper pulse out of this thing again.

If it were mine, I'd pull off the valve cover and take a look. I'd imagine you'll have a lot of sludge to scoop out of there. Pull the oil filter and manually clean out anything you can. Same with the VANOS lines.

On an old Jeep, I've filled up a 3gal gas can with diesel fuel and slowly poured it right in the oil filler of the engine, with the drain plug in. Let it set for a while, and then pull the plug. You've got to have some big containers to catch it with, and it will probably make a mess, so plan accordingly.

The carb cleaner is great for spot cleaning and washing hard-to-reach crud out of the system.

Then, button it up, put in some clean oil, AND the quart of ATF, as FastBob mentions.

You've got nothing to lose. So, start with removing the heavy stuff, and then from top to bottom, rinse and clean until it doesn't make sense to go any further.

Not a bad idea to remove the oil filter housing itself and clean in a vat or something, and also remove the oil pan and clean it/scrape the guts too.
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Check out my BMWBLOG!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms