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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 03-02-2013, 10:15 AM
jertronic jertronic is offline
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Oil consumption

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Typically I wait until this warning trips before adding oil. The interval is ~5,000 miles. After adding an entire quart the oil change is done about 2,000 miles later.

Question- should I add oil earlier, say when the level is down 1/2 quart? And does this level of oil consumption act as an indication that the engine is wearing faster than normal?
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2013, 10:25 AM
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Seems a little excessive but not necessarily unheard of.

Are you leaking or burning the oil? May have to look under the motor when its on a lift and see any leaks.

Waiting til the light comes on you still have a margin for error so probably no big deal.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:57 PM
Klamalama Klamalama is offline
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I think you're waiting too long. I keep mine at max level. Oil is cheap insurance.
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2013, 08:48 PM
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One quart over 5000 miles is nothing to be concerned about.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:59 PM
Pilgrim Pilgrim is offline
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One quart over 5K isn't a problem. And there's no need to worry about filling a half-quart. Just wait till it's down a quart.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:49 PM
sptt144 sptt144 is offline
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Overfilling oil is more of a concern than being down a little so you should be fine. Losing a quart of oil without leaks is probably a headgasket going bad. I hope you have a leak.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:51 AM
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A quart over 5000 miles is pretty common, and not a sign of a significant problem.

Overfilling is worst than underfilling, but being a 1/2 quart over wouldn't be significant. You can, of course, only add 1/2 the bottle and save the rest for later.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:54 AM
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Wait for the signal. The engine pan is large and receive almost 7quart. Being 1quart low is nowhere close to an issue.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jertronic View Post
Attachment 364495

Typically I wait until this warning trips before adding oil. The interval is ~5,000 miles. After adding an entire quart the oil change is done about 2,000 miles later.

Question- should I add oil earlier, say when the level is down 1/2 quart? And does this level of oil consumption act as an indication that the engine is wearing faster than normal?

Not a problem to add when a quart low, but modern BMW engines commonly go much longer without need for oil addition.

Typically, for a N54, before the ECU says it's time for that first ever oil change, the car might ask for a quart. Then, rarely before 10-15k oil change intervals determined by degree of engine use and the 3 sensor oil level/condition system.

Have no experience w/N52 but have to assume performance is no different. So....is needing oil every 5k mi an issue? Looks like!

You've excessive oil consumption. Where? Could be internal or, Laser has it right, could be an external leak. Recommend you bring the issue up w/your mech.

HERE's interesting info....
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  #10  
Old 03-03-2013, 06:59 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Which brand of oil are you using and which viscosity?

Just fyi, the "full" point* is the point at which the light is activated to top off the oil level. Everything you add (usually a litre/quart) after that is extra to ensure a margin of safety.

*if you could ensure that your oil never went below this level, the engine would never suffer from a lack of oil

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  #11  
Old 03-03-2013, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Not a problem to add when a quart low, but modern BMW engines commonly go much longer without need for oil addition.

Typically, for a N54, before the ECU says it's time for that first ever oil change, the car might ask for a quart. Then, rarely before 10-15k oil change intervals determined by degree of engine use and the 3 sensor oil level/condition system.

Have no experience w/N52 but have to assume performance is no different. So....is needing oil every 5k mi an issue? Looks like!

You've excessive oil consumption. Where? Could be internal or, Laser has it right, could be an external leak. Recommend you bring the issue up w/your mech.

HERE's interesting info....
I guess it depends on driving conditions, my car takes a quart every 4k miles since new with my 90% city driving.
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  #12  
Old 03-03-2013, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by lqaddict View Post
I guess it depends on driving conditions, my car takes a quart every 4k miles since new with my 90% city driving.

That's high for any late model car - what's BMW have to say?
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
That's high for any late model car - what's BMW have to say?
The same tune repeated here - it's normal.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
That's high for any late model car - what's BMW have to say?
BMW will tell you that any oil usage up to 1 qt / 1000 miles is "normal".

No one here thinks that, but most people here wouldn't have a problem with a quart every 5000 miles, either.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:10 AM
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Worse I did was 1/2 quart down @ 8K miles on the first change. Agree a quart down is no big deal as most cars only carry 5 quarts, the BMW has a bigger 7 quart pan. As others have said overfull will be more of a problem than running a quart down.
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  #16  
Old 03-03-2013, 09:26 AM
jertronic jertronic is offline
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My indy uses Motul 8100 5W-40. When I add one quart after 5K between oil changes Mobil one 0W-40 goes in, or the same Motul 5-40 if I remember to buy one at the shop ahead of time.

He has my car over the weekend, in fact, for an oil change and other miscellaneous items.

-engine air filter and cabin air filter
-lubricate or replace chirping interior blower motor
-fluid change both differentials
-fluid change transfer box
-replace and register battery

Some of the maintenance items are straight forward DIY procedures. I don't currently have tools, however. How much of douche bag will I come across as being if I suggest to my fiancÚ to register for tools. Vera Wang china versus shop tools. Dumb question.... I know.
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  #17  
Old 03-03-2013, 09:47 AM
Pilgrim Pilgrim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post

Have no experience w/N52 but have to assume performance is no different. So....is needing oil every 5k mi an issue? Looks like!

You've excessive oil consumption. Where? Could be internal or, Laser has it right, could be an external leak. Recommend you bring the issue up w/your mech.
I can't imagine that consumption of 1/2 quart of oil in 5K miles is an issue. I disagree that the oil consumption is excessive.

IF there is a leak, that's an issue. And it's one that can be addressed. However, it must be the slowest leak in North America.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilgrim View Post
I can't imagine that consumption of 1/2 quart of oil in 5K miles is an issue. I disagree that the oil consumption is excessive.

IF there is a leak, that's an issue. And it's one that can be addressed. However, it must be the slowest leak in North America.

2X, actually. Back in the day, a quart in 1k mi was a red flag. Today engines are much more efficient in oil use and service life, with synthetics and their better lubricity over time.

Some disagree, but I say for N54/N55 & N52, a quart in 5k mi is off target. Many of us go oil change to oil change with no additions, 10-15k mi. I certainly do, chipped & ripped.

So. Is a a quart every 5k mi, not an exception but typical, excessive? Maybe we have a dealer tech or two among us that can give perspective....??
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:07 AM
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galahad05 galahad05 is offline
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As it stands these days I think I'm seeing 1 quart down in 6k miles. This on a motor with 64k miles on it.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:51 AM
jertronic jertronic is offline
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I have an N51 if it makes any difference. Apparently the N51 runs a higher normal operating temperature than the N52. The higher temperature has something to do with the emissions make up of the SULEV pathway.

The milage is 88K. The 1 quart every 5,000 mile usage began at around 60K. FWIW my driving style has evolved over the 20K. I used to baby the heck out of the car. Now I drive spirited and push the rpms. Basically, it's as if I discovered DS mode at roughly the 60K mark.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:35 AM
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When I lived 2 miles from work, the car never really had a chance to warm up properly during my drive, I drove the car gently, and the engine used up about a half a quart between oil changes, about 5k miles.

Now I live about 15 miles from work and the car warms up properly during my drives, I drive the car in a much more spirited way, and oil consumption went down to ZERO between oil changes, the same 5k miles.

Go figure...
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlsonTheFlyer View Post
When I lived 2 miles from work, the car never really had a chance to warm up properly during my drive, I drove the car gently, and the engine used up about a half a quart between oil changes, about 5k miles.

Now I live about 15 miles from work and the car warms up properly during my drives, I drive the car in a much more spirited way, and oil consumption went down to ZERO between oil changes, the same 5k miles.

Go figure...
I'm guessing with your previous commute your engine spent more actual running time "cold". Thus you had slightly higher blow-by the piston rings.
These engines run hypereutectic pistons, which means tight cylinder-to-piston tolerances when cold, but even hypereutectics expand with temperature....
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:41 PM
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May be a difference among engines but my 2004 330Ci ZHP with over 120K miles has only had oil added between factory changes once or twice since new.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:53 PM
BashedBarrique BashedBarrique is offline
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I haven't owned my 325i for 5,000 miles yet but it hasn't shown any loss of oil over the 1500 miles I've driven it, if the oil level monitor is to be believed.

But I agree with the folks that say one quart every 5,000 miles is not something to be worried about, so long as it isn't leaking it.

I have owned almost 20 cars over the last 25 years and have had new cars that used a quart every 5-6k miles and ran great and lasted nearly 200,000 miles before I sold them, so I wouldn't sweat one quart of oil every 5k miles unless there were other signs of engine problems (smoky exhaust, rough running, fouled plugs etc.).
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:21 PM
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Well at least it's better than my 66 MGB which got about 300 miles to the gallon of oil.

Had to buy used oil in gallon jugs and carry with me for a road trip
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