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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 01-17-2013, 07:51 AM
KSUTJH KSUTJH is offline
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Excessive oil use?

I am curious what you all consider excessive oil usage? My 525 with 197,000 miles is using about a quart of oil every 1000 miles, no leaks, and no smoke. Im kind of at a loss to explain where the oil is going, but I guess the cats are doing their job and hence no noticeable smoking.
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2013, 08:08 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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According to BMW, you are at the point of acceptable on consumption. It is most likely going past your oil control rings & out the exhaust. Try to imagine how many cylinder firings there are in 1000 miles and divide that quart of oil over that number & you can easily see why you had no smoke. My oil consumption got to 1 qt/500 miles at which point I pulled the engine & rebuilt it. Really the only thing wrong was that the oil control rings were completely full of carbon. After rebuild, I lose nothing over the 7500 mi oil change interval.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2013, 08:24 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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At 197K, timarnold is probably right. However, you may want to check your CCV too. I find that the "smokey exhaust" symptom tends to be intermittent and not entirely noticeable unless you are really looking all the time.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:26 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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My oil usage was 1 qt every 5000 miles and then my CCV went bad-started using 1qt every 1000 miles afterwards-replaced the CCV 3 times and still 1 qt every 1000 miles--instaed of rebuilding the engine or going in and replaceing the valve seals ( which I understand to be the problem) I tried something outside of the box--I did away with the CCV all together and installed an Oil Catch Can--this catch can sits over to the right of the maf and air filter housing--one hose goes from the catch can to the valve cover and the other hose goes from the catch can to the distribution unit attached toe the intake manifold--on that hose though I have and old timey PVC fitting from a Ford 6 cylinder attached to the hose and then fitted into the catch can.. What this does is introduces full vacuum into the crankcase and seals the rings and stops oil from being used--my oil consumption went from 1qt every 1000 miles to 1 qt every 3000 and then 1qt every 5000 miles--I did this back when I had 150000 miles on the car--I now have almost 250000 miles on the car--my fuel mileage is great the car pulls great and the engine doesn't use oil like it once did.
Now with that stated--if your leaking oil because your valvecover has gone bad--or you have a break soemwhere in your CCV system--you have vacuum leaks--the crankcase relies on vacuum introduced to control oil useage--you can go back behind the car and drag your finger threw the tailpipe and it will come out black as tar--when the oil control is going on you can do the same and your finger will come out almost as clean as it went in--might check to make sure you don't have vac leaks anywhere and replace the CCV system and the 4 hose's that go with it --then see if this cleans everything up for you--if it doesn't than you might try my approach and see how it works for you---Also to check for vac leaks--go to the search engine and type in --Vacuum leaks revisited--you will find all the spots that should be checked there to start in your quest on getting control of the oil consumption
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:32 AM
KSUTJH KSUTJH is offline
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I tend to agree on the likely culprit being carbon buildup on the rings. I am lucky enough to have an excellent indy here in town who has been very helpful and reluctant to just start tearing into things without good cause. Since I am not the original owner of the car, we have no way of knowing exactly what oil and fuel has been used in it over the years and according to him, these things can really add to carbon accumulation. He recommends using a product made here in town by BG Products that he has had good luck with in reversing some carbon buildup, so I might give it a try.
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2013, 08:44 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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I would definitely recommend trying a few things like the BG cleaner. There is almost no downside risk. In my case, the cleaners made an improvement, but it was never effective enough to be permanent.
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2013, 01:53 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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A good cleaner like BG may help clean the carbon some, but as I hoped to point out to you above is that full vacuum introduced into the crank case will start to reseal your piston rings. I learned that from my hotroding day many years ago--For high horse power engine you will notice that the stronger ones run today what is called a vacuum pump--there are two reasons for it being added to the engine-1 is to elimante blow by gasses that might create pressure in the crank case (making the turning of the engine rpm's harder to acheive 2--to help seal ,first the oil rings then the compression rings--When I first tried this oil catch can--I didn't know for sure if it would work or not--but it did--no cell light coming on and the only draw back is every couple of months I clean the PVC valve out with throttlebody cleaner--don't sell it short--I built and installed this for less than 60 bucks and built can from parts purchased from Lowes hardware--Good luck to ya--hope it works out OK
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:07 AM
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doru doru is online now
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When my car started to "use" oil, it was the leaky OFH that caused it. Once the problem was fixed, I have no more oil consumption. 110K miles.
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Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket
TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:26 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
When my car started to "use" oil, it was the leaky OFH that caused it. Once the problem was fixed, I have no more oil consumption. 110K miles.
I have no experience with the UV dye method of detecting oil leaks.

Does it work? Is it worth the effort and cost and equipment?
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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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  #10  
Old 01-18-2013, 10:01 AM
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doru doru is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I have no experience with the UV dye method of detecting oil leaks.

Does it work? Is it worth the effort and cost and equipment?
It depends where the oil leak is, and what type of car/engine you have.

For the i6 or v8 rwd, I wouldn't bother.

A fwd or awd is different. You have the transmission, differential & engine, all under the hood, all tight together. If one of those components starts leaking oil, you might have no idea where it comes from. That is when you look into the dye & UV aid.
__________________
Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket
TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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