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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 05-18-2015, 03:07 PM
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seemyad seemyad is online now
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CCV Question: Can overfilling the oil level cause the CCV assem to leak oil?

I think an indy overfilled my oil level, which has caused my engine to smoke (out of exhaust pipe). The smoke began a week or two after the oil change. I took my car back to the indy. The indy is telling me they did not overfill the oil AND the issue is "likely" the diaphragm on the CCV is bad.

NOTE: This is the indy that just did a full PPI (i requested and paid for it) and told me everything checked fine HOWEVER I needed an oil change, brake fluid flush, and they recommended a fuel injector and induction cleaning service. So I had them change my oil and clean the injectors and induction. One or two weeks later my car is blowing blue smoke out of the exhaust.

The other suspicious thing is they also told me my spark plugs are old and worn and need to be replaced. They said I have misfire codes on three of the spark plugs, so they pulled one out and saw that it was old and needed to be replaced.

I said "That's interesting""I replaced them myself about two years ago and they are 100,000 mile plugs." "I even posted pictures of the old and the new plugs on Bimmerfest when I changed them". I went on to say that "I found a little oil on the number six plug so I had the gasket changed at a BMW repair shop along with some other work" "they even changed my oil filter housing assembly filter while they were at it".

The fact that my spark plugs had a misfire code makes me suspect the head gasket is blown.

Now that they claim my 100,000 mile NGK spark plugs are old and worn out (after 20,000 miles or so), I don't trust them. So I am going to get my car and take it to another shop.

QUESTION: Could overfilling the oil level cause the CCV to fail to some degree and make my engine burn oil causing my exhaust pipe to blow blue smoke?

QUESTION: Could a bad CCV cause virtually new spark plugs to fowl to the extent that a mechanic would say they are simply old and need to be replaced?

QUESTION: Is a blown valve cover (or head) gasket more likely to cause the engine to burn oil than a CCV?


I checked the level last night and it is little more than a quarter inch into the rear section (after the second small notch). I even took a photo of the dip stick. This is AFTER some oil burned off in the trail of blue smoke behind my car.

They want to charge me $650 (or so) to replace the CCV and they also said they are unsure if that is the only problem. By WA law, you have to give the shop you suspect of negligence the opportunity to rectify something they broke. I have complied with the law so now I intend to sue them if the evidence warrants it. If the evidence does not I'll accept it.

Any additional thoughts are welcomed.

Last edited by seemyad; 05-18-2015 at 03:58 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2015, 04:13 PM
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eparayno eparayno is offline
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Burning oil can cause spark plugs to foul quicker than usual. Over filling an engine with oil can cause your symptoms but usually if it's filled enough to where the oil was contacting the crankshaft.

If the oil is overfilled to the point where the rotating crankshaft comes in contact with oil, the crankshaft will aeriate the oil causing it to foam as it rotates. When oil is aeriated with air the oil pump can no longer pump oil throughout the engine so the engine is starved of oil and the oil pressure falls off. Since foam is 99% air, and since the oil pump is only designed to pump liquid, there of course will be no oil pressure at times, & when the oil that's not foamed up goes into the oil pump, you will have OK pressure.

Is the car running fine and has the CCV ever been changed? What about the coil packs? Do you have a code reader? And why would you suspect a blown head gasket? A head gasket can leak oil and/or coolant into the combustion chamber depending where it blew. I doubt your head gasket is bad.
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:40 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
I think an indy overfilled my oil level, which has caused my engine to smoke (out of exhaust pipe). The smoke began a week or two after the oil change. I took my car back to the indy. The indy is telling me they did not overfill the oil AND the issue is "likely" the diaphragm on the CCV is bad.

NOTE: This is the indy that just did a full PPI (i requested and paid for it) and told me everything checked fine HOWEVER I needed an oil change, brake fluid flush, and they recommended a fuel injector and induction cleaning service. So I had them change my oil and clean the injectors and induction. One or two weeks later my car is blowing blue smoke out of the exhaust.

The other suspicious thing is they also told me my spark plugs are old and worn and need to be replaced. They said I have misfire codes on three of the spark plugs, so they pulled one out and saw that it was old and needed to be replaced.

I said "That's interesting""I replaced them myself about two years ago and they are 100,000 mile plugs." "I even posted pictures of the old and the new plugs on Bimmerfest when I changed them". I went on to say that "I found a little oil on the number six plug so I had the gasket changed at a BMW repair shop along with some other work" "they even changed my oil filter housing assembly filter while they were at it".

The fact that my spark plugs had a misfire code makes me suspect the head gasket is blown.

Now that they claim my 100,000 mile NGK spark plugs are old and worn out (after 20,000 miles or so), I don't trust them. So I am going to get my car and take it to another shop.

QUESTION: Could overfilling the oil level cause the CCV to fail to some degree and make my engine burn oil causing my exhaust pipe to blow blue smoke? Not likely

QUESTION: Could a bad CCV cause virtually new spark plugs to fowl to the extent that a mechanic would say they are simply old and need to be replaced? Yes

QUESTION: Is a blown valve cover (or head) gasket more likely to cause the engine to burn oil than a CCV?No, a failed CCV is much more common cause

The most common causes for CCV failure are clogging followed by a diaphragm failure.

I checked the level last night and it is little more than a quarter inch into the rear section (after the second small notch). I even took a photo of the dip stick. This is AFTER some oil burned off in the trail of blue smoke behind my car.

They want to charge me $650 (or so) to replace the CCV and they also said they are unsure if that is the only problem. By WA law, you have to give the shop you suspect of negligence the opportunity to rectify something they broke. I have complied with the law so now I intend to sue them if the evidence warrants it. If the evidence does not I'll accept it.

Any additional thoughts are welcomed.
I don't think you have a legal case. CCV failure is independent of the work the shop performed. That said, you should probably find a different shop.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:09 PM
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Seemyad, if you haven't found a trusted shop yet, checkout zahntech automotive in Redmond. I've used these guys over the years and they're trusted. I work on my cars but whenever I don't have the time or the work is too tough, I take my cars (both bimmers)there. I always inspect their work after any repairs and they do a good job.

All the best!
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:03 PM
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seemyad seemyad is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eparayno View Post
Burning oil can cause spark plugs to foul quicker than usual. Over filling an engine with oil can cause your symptoms but usually if it's filled enough to where the oil was contacting the crankshaft.

If the oil is overfilled to the point where the rotating crankshaft comes in contact with oil, the crankshaft will aeriate the oil causing it to foam as it rotates. When oil is aeriated with air the oil pump can no longer pump oil throughout the engine so the engine is starved of oil and the oil pressure falls off. Since foam is 99% air, and since the oil pump is only designed to pump liquid, there of course will be no oil pressure at times, & when the oil that's not foamed up goes into the oil pump, you will have OK pressure.

Is the car running fine and has the CCV ever been changed? What about the coil packs? Do you have a code reader? And why would you suspect a blown head gasket? A head gasket can leak oil and/or coolant into the combustion chamber depending where it blew. I doubt your head gasket is bad.
Good points all.

I have never changed the CCV and I will assume the previous owner didn't either.

If by coil packs you mean the coils on the spark plug. I doubt they have been changed.

I meant to say VCG but I had head gasket stuck on the brain. I only think that due to potential oil on my spark plugs.

Yes. The car runs as if she were finely tuned. If not for the smoke I would not realize anything is wrong. The engine is very smooth and still purrs like a kitten.

Thank you very much for the education and reply.

The timing seems a bit suspicious and the oil level that I found seemed a bit excessive. I will attach a photo below. Working in electronics we are often given a safe operating tolerance for a component. I view the center of the rectangular section on the dipstick as the proper level. I view the notches on either side of the rectangle as the acceptable tolerance. I view anything above or below the notches on the dipstick as outside of recommended tolerances.

If the dead center of the rectangular section represents the proper level of about 5 quarts. The distance I measured beyond that point after some burn-off is nearly 2 quarts over the adequate level (on a linear scale). My garage where I measured this has virtually zero slope (if any).

Here is a photo of my oil level after my car had been smoking, which burned some off.
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2015, 08:14 PM
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seemyad seemyad is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I don't think you have a legal case. CCV failure is independent of the work the shop performed. That said, you should probably find a different shop.
Thanks Fudman.

I picked my car up today after work. Interestingly they now claim the mechanic was mistaken about my spark plugs. They printed out a picture of my plug from a retail website and said the mechanic did not realize they come with a recessed center pin. This is laughable because when I voiced my concern about overfilling my oil to them this morning, the owner said that could not happen because his mechanics have blah blah years of experience and would not make such an amateur mistake. Yet the same "pro mechanic" with blah blah years of experience mistook my plug as being beyond 100,000 miles and in desperate need of replacing because he did not know our plugs center pin does not extend beyond the points???

I will drop my car off at another indy this evening. It is one I have used in the past. It looks to be around $650 to replace the CCV and the hoses (parts and labor). I sure could use your skills Fudman.

Feel free to view the photo in my preceding post as well as the write up (two paragraphs above it).

Thanks again.

BTW, once this issue is resolved is there any internal damage that I need to be concerned about? As I said in an earlier post the engine is still running very smoothly as if there is nothing wrong. Do I need to have my injectors cleaned again, plugs replaced, or anything like that?

Thanks.

Last edited by seemyad; 05-18-2015 at 08:22 PM.
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2015, 08:15 PM
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seemyad seemyad is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musa View Post
Seemyad, if you haven't found a trusted shop yet, checkout zahntech automotive in Redmond. I've used these guys over the years and they're trusted. I work on my cars but whenever I don't have the time or the work is too tough, I take my cars (both bimmers)there. I always inspect their work after any repairs and they do a good job.

All the best!
Thanks my friend. It is too inconvenient for this issue to try out that indy BUT I definitely will in the future. Thank you.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:50 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
Thanks Fudman.

I picked my car up today after work. Interestingly they now claim the mechanic was mistaken about my spark plugs. They printed out a picture of my plug from a retail website and said the mechanic did not realize they come with a recessed center pin. This is laughable because when I voiced my concern about overfilling my oil to them this morning, the owner said that could not happen because his mechanics have blah blah years of experience and would not make such an amateur mistake. Yet the same "pro mechanic" with blah blah years of experience mistook my plug as being beyond 100,000 miles and in desperate need of replacing because he did not know our plugs center pin does not extend beyond the points???

I will drop my car off at another indy this evening. It is one I have used in the past. It looks to be around $650 to replace the CCV and the hoses (parts and labor). I sure could use your skills Fudman.

Stuff deleted
These mechanics have no clue. First they will damage your car, then they will fix it and will blame everything on you.
You're better off to take things in your own hands and carry out any maintenance the car needs. Or find a good shop that knows BMW's.
Your oil level is about 1/2 - 3/4 qt above the Max level. Not very good. You could suck it out through the dipstick with a Mitivac type device.
As for the CCV, test it to see if it's good. There is a thread by Bluebee how to do it, and covers quite a few aspects. if it's proven to be defective, go ahead and either change it yourself, or as I said find a good BMW specialized indy that can do the work. Make sure you ask what parts they use to perform the work. An honest shop will answer all your questions in detail. And they will also have a small stock of parts & consumables that usually fail/wear. They can show you what they carry.
To start, take off the oil filler cap (after you sucked out the qt of oil) and turn on your car. If you can hear the Chewbacca sound, the CCV diaphragm is torn

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  #9  
Old 05-19-2015, 03:25 PM
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seemyad seemyad is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
These mechanics have no clue. First they will damage your car, then they will fix it and will blame everything on you.
You're better off to take things in your own hands and carry out any maintenance the car needs. Or find a good shop that knows BMW's.
Your oil level is about 1/2 - 3/4 qt above the Max level. Not very good. You could suck it out through the dipstick with a Mitivac type device.
As for the CCV, test it to see if it's good. There is a thread by Bluebee how to do it, and covers quite a few aspects. if it's proven to be defective, go ahead and either change it yourself, or as I said find a good BMW specialized indy that can do the work. Make sure you ask what parts they use to perform the work. An honest shop will answer all your questions in detail. And they will also have a small stock of parts & consumables that usually fail/wear. They can show you what they carry.
To start, take off the oil filler cap (after you sucked out the qt of oil) and turn on your car. If you can hear the Chewbacca sound, the CCV diaphragm is torn

Roger Duru. Also thanks for the estimate on the oil level (after some burned off). My car is at another indy's shop now. They do good work but they can be a little pricey at times. Its getting harder and harder to trust some of these shops.

There is another "specialist" shop by my job I tried twice. They almost got me killed the second time. I installed my front brakes. Then I moved to a smaller place with a small garage. So I bought the Hawks Ceramics and matched rotors for my rear brakes a year later and took them to this shop. They put them on and did not bed them in. As I left the shop I hit the brakes and did not stop. Fortunately there wasn't any cross traffic or pedestrians in front of me as I was powerless to stop in a timely manner. My front brakes still worked but the rear brakes had zero bite. So I did an impromptu bed-in process for the rears and then they bit as normal.

When I was an Avionics Technician on Boeing 777, 767, and 757 I knew my work could kill someone so I took it very seriously. It seems that we have a new generation of mechanics that don't pay attention to detail.

Thanks again for the input.
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  #10  
Old 05-20-2015, 09:35 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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- How to test the crankcase ventilation (aka CCV, CVV, PCV, CPV, & OSV) pressure regulating valve system (1)
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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