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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 05-26-2014, 02:10 PM
five40 five40 is offline
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2000 540i, 110K miles, oil consumption, please help.

I have to put 1/2-2/3 quarts in every 1K miles. Mobil 1 synthetic 15W50.

I have notes from the shop that serviced the car last. They replaced the CCV on 12-2012, found it to be defective, he came back and they switched it out (along with "vent pipe" and "backing plate") under warranty. The shop also did the OSV at a later date. He did say that all parts replaced on the car were OE.

I tried the vacuum test with a ziplock brand sandwich bag around the oil fill opening

I would say that it pulled it down about 1/2", maybe even closer to 2/3". I have attached a pic if that helps. Is that enough vacuum where I should have someone test it with a manometer to see what is says? There is also a picture of the smoke upon startup, to give you an idea of the amount.






What's that look like to you guys vacuum-wise?

If this vacuum is acceptable, then, I have other issues. From what I understand...oil rings. Are there others causes of this oil consumption/white smoke? (coolant leaking through valley pan gasket for the white smoke, maybe a leak elsewhere for the oil?) But my coolant seems to be staying level, so I doubt that. I guess it could be a gasket leaking somewhere, but a lot of them have been replaced already

These are service records from the shop.
10-2012 Lower oil pan gasket
12-2012 Valve cover gasket
12-2012 Left upper timing cover gasket

THEN, on 1.2013, the same shop replaced
Cyclone seperator/oil seperator
Left and right valve cover gaskets
Left and right upper timing cover gasket
Lower timing cover gasket
Upper oil pan gasket, and
Lower oil pan gasket.

Complete list of items done:

Clutch - only 10K miles ago
Thermostat - 10K miles ago
Fan Clutch - 10K miles ago
Expansion Tank - 6 months ago
Coolant temp sensor - 5K miles ago
Plugs - 2 weeks ago
Plug boots - 10K miles ago
Suspension work - 10K miles ago (control arm bushings, stabilizer links, connector boots,
TIming Chain Guides - 5K miles ago (BIGGIE)
Oil Separator - 5K miles ago
CCV - 5K miles ago
Valve cover gaskets 5K miles ago
Upper and lower timing cover gaskets - 5K miles ago
Oil Changes every 3-4K with Mobil synthetic
Lower oil pan gasket
Power steering pump and pump hoses
Ignition switch.
AMS rebuilt - year or so ago
Camshaft Position Sensor - 5K miles ago
Windshield trim - 5K miles ago
Differential Fluid - 10K miles ago
A/C and alternator belt, idler pully
Front and read brake pads rotors, and sensors, as well as rebuilt module.
And some other misc stuff.

Seems like three of those gaskets were quite new when they replaced them again, any ideas why? Did they fail? Did they just decide to redo them all while they were in there?

I will be doing some rislone for the next few oil changes to see if that helps, but a possible rework of the top-end is quite intimidating, as this is my DD. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to do a compression/leakdown test to see what I can see.



I have asked this questions a few times, (without response, would be great to get some opinions): I want to keep the car in good shape, but finances are limited. Am I harming something by continuing to burn this oil? Is it merely a matter or topping it off every other fill-up, or am I harming my car by driving it in this state?

Thanks so much for any help, Bruce.

Last edited by five40; 05-26-2014 at 03:35 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2014, 02:27 PM
Dalva Dalva is offline
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Mein Auto: 525i - 2002
I have the same issue, I had the CCV replaced with little or no improvement; my mechanic has also replaced the valve cover gasket just to be sure. I check the garage floor for any signs of leakage everyday and there is absolutely no sign of it. My mechanic has also suggested an engine flush twice but I am hesitent after reading this forum.
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:28 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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Valve seals come to mind. That is the first thing that popped up when I saw the other things done.
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:33 PM
five40 five40 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalva View Post
I have the same issue, I had the CCV replaced with little or no improvement; my mechanic has also replaced the valve cover gasket just to be sure. I check the garage floor for any signs of leakage everyday and there is absolutely no sign of it. My mechanic has also suggested an engine flush twice but I am hesitent after reading this forum.
I will start parking on concrete to check it, but when I do sometimes, there is no leak. And the is some oil in the tailpipe (but that could be from before the CCV was replaced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by helmet75 View Post
Valve seals come to mind. That is the first thing that popped up when I saw the other things done.
If it is valve seals, would it be consumed by the engine and out the tailpipe, or leak onto the ground?
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:38 PM
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helmet75 helmet75 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by five40 View Post
I will start parking on concrete to check it, but when I do sometimes, there is no leak. And the is some oil in the tailpipe (but that could be from before the CCV was replaced.



If it is valve seals, would it be consumed by the engine and out the tailpipe, or leak onto the ground?
Valve seals will leak in to the combustion chamber as it sits and burn when you start it up. It will not leak on the floor.
Ed or Burning2nd should chime in as they have a lot more experience than I do.
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  #6  
Old 05-26-2014, 03:09 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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The V8 is not known for burning oil. Mine goes 3k between changes, and is always at the top mark on the dipstick at drain time.

Short trips in cold weather can cause sludge to form, and can clog the oil rings. If you look down into the oil filler hole, do you see any sludge? If so, a couple of Rislone treatments may help.

Your baggie test indicates the vacuum is too high, which can point to a defective crankcase vent valve, the only item not on your list of replacements; it's at the backside of the intake manifold. A high vacuum can cause high oil consumption. The specified vacuum is 3-6 water inches, which is a gentle sucking sensation to the palm of the hand.

Burning oil can overheat the cats, and cause them to melt down.

How long have you owned the car? Any idea what kind of oil the PO used?
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Last edited by edjack; 05-26-2014 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:33 PM
five40 five40 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
The V8 is not known for burning oil. Mine goes 3k between changes, and is always at the top mark on the dipstick at drain time.

Short trips in cold weather can cause sludge to form, and can clog the oil rings. If you look down into the oil filler hole, do you see any sludge? If so, a couple of Rislone treatments may help.

Your baggie test indicates the vacuum is too high, which can point to a defective crankcase vent valve, the only item not on your list of replacements; it's at the backside of the intake manifold. A high vacuum can cause high oil consumption. The specified vacuum is 3-6 water inches, which is a gentle sucking sensation to the palm of the hand.

Burning oil can overheat the cats, and cause them to melt down.

How long have you owned the car? Any idea what kind of oil the PO used?
CCV was replaced, found to be defective, then replaced again. Doesn't mean it's not that or a hose. Sorry, I will add a more comprehensive list to the original post.

I don't really get a gentle sucking sensation, I hardly feel anything with my hand. I will have the water test done. How far should the bag go down btw? And you just loosely lay it on there and see how far it takes it down? It's definitely not strong vacuum, certainly not with my hand, maybe I'm not getting a good seal. Dipstick is similar, I read you could check it too, slight vacuum there.

I have had the car 2 months. The PO used the oil I am using.

Last edited by five40; 05-26-2014 at 04:07 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05-26-2014, 04:07 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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The baggie looks like it's really getting sucked in. Did you make sure you're covering the hole completely with your hand?

Is this shop a Euro specialist?
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Last edited by edjack; 05-26-2014 at 04:08 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-26-2014, 04:21 PM
five40 five40 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
The baggie looks like it's really getting sucked in. Did you make sure you're covering the hole completely with your hand?

Is this shop a Euro specialist?
The shop that last serviced it/did CCV. Yeah, they do bimmers mostly/only.

I'll do the test again and take better pic.

Ok, I did it again. It's not as bad as it looks in the pics, I measured, and the deflection is only about 1/4" I made sure I got a good seal with my hand, and I could not call that a strong vacuum. Regardless I will attempt to have my friend to the manometer test tomorrow. Then at least we'll know something.

What's funny is I could swear I read threads before I bought this about oil consumption being just fine with the 540 up to 1qt/1k miles. I guess we read/believe what we want when we're in the mode to buy.


V
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post

Burning oil can overheat the cats, and cause them to melt down.
Is this a common concern/repair for the I6M5 models, as they do consume oil? If so, why not?

Last edited by five40; 05-26-2014 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:59 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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My oil consumption is barely measurable. Are you sure it's getting into the cylinders? Have you pulled the plugs to look for evidence of burned oil? If oil is getting into the combustion chamber, you will likely find carbon deposits on the tip of the plug. I'd pull them all, keeping track of which plug came from which cylinder, and compare their appearance.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:05 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Oops, I missed the photo of the exhaust smoke, but it still might be useful to find out if just one cylinder is burning the oil, or is it all of them? This could give you a clue to pursue.
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Old 04-25-2015, 03:42 AM
03Msportwhite 03Msportwhite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
Oops, I missed the photo of the exhaust smoke, but it still might be useful to find out if just one cylinder is burning the oil, or is it all of them? This could give you a clue to pursue.
I have a 2003 540. I have the same issue. Except my startup smoke is about 5 times thicker. I suspect a vacuum leak. My #1 cylinder plug is the only one that gets fouled. I've done the CCV a total of three times in the last 6 months. First two out of inexperience. But now I have a Draft 42 oil catch can and still smoke. Could my oil return line have something to do with it? (Clogged) I did tap into the return line for the catch can. I also know that before I rescued her, the last owner couldve cared less for any type of maintenance so in the last six months I've changed the oil more times than I care to say and have been working my way towards AMS oil. I am currently on AMS 5W40 European specific. Have had it for maybe 1500 miles and I'm afraid that I have to change it soon. Slowly working the sludge out... I hope. Anyhow. Please let me know what I'm missing. I do suspect amongst other problems the SAP valve tube to be clogged. Carbon or sludge. Haven't had time to pull it apart. But almost every gasket has been replaced minus the upper and lower timing case cover. Any other ideas? Thanks in advanced.
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