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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 05-09-2013, 07:01 PM
DomS DomS is offline
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Location: New Zealand
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 2002 (E39) 530i
Cracked valve cover show similar symptoms as failing CCV?

Hello everyone,

What I initially thought were symptoms of a failing CCV, I think are now symptoms of a cracked valve cover.

Symptoms showing:

- lots of white smoke (burning oil I suspect) from the passenger's side of the engine bay especially apparent during sprinted driving

- "fog horn" like humming sound upon turning off engine which lasts for a few seconds.

- decreased performance in acceleration as of late (something I've not measured, but subjectively feel)

Oil leak located, oil is settling on one of the bolts holding down the valve cover.
Vehicle not sounding generally "healthy".

No excess smoke coming from exhaust, no smoke coming from oil dipstick/related CCV areas.

Can a cracked valve cover cause enough of a vacuum leak to present similar symptoms as a failing CCV/and or related hoses? That's what I'm interested in knowing.

I think that may be the case here.

Thank you,

Dom
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:45 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
Smoke test. There are many small hoses on the six that can fail.
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  #3  
Old 05-10-2013, 04:59 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
Quote:
Originally Posted by DomS View Post
Can a cracked valve cover cause enough of a vacuum leak to present similar symptoms as a failing CCV/and or related hoses? That's what I'm interested in knowing.
Yes, but the symptoms may be misleading. A vacuum leak in the the VC can cause idle issues and can lead to a loss of oil, which can be misconstrued as due to CCV failure. However, that the loss of oil is more likely due to a physical leak and is not being burned due to a failed CCV. Your evidence clearly indicates a VC leak. Fix that first to see if symptoms disappear before replacing the CCV (this is ALWAYS the corrective action of last resort!).
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:01 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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The ccv has another function that I don't think is covered well--there needs to be a balanced vacuum on the crankcase at all times and the ccv does this to an extent---with out the vacuum in the crankcase there are two things that can happen--there can be a build up of pressure that can crack the valve cover and there can be a build up around the piston rings that can cause them not to seal properly and thus oil consumption can arise. Now with the leak in your valvecover--yes, it can result in power loss and you can feel it in the peddle when sporting around--identify where the leak is in the cover and address the problem. I would try using something like The Right Stuff and make the repair--or you could purchase a new or used cover--good luck --hope that helps
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:40 PM
mda185 mda185 is offline
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Mein Auto: 95 525iT w/S52, 03 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by DomS View Post
Hello everyone,

What I initially thought were symptoms of a failing CCV, I think are now symptoms of a cracked valve cover.

Symptoms showing:

- lots of white smoke (burning oil I suspect) from the passenger's side of the engine bay especially apparent during sprinted driving

- "fog horn" like humming sound upon turning off engine which lasts for a few seconds.

Oil leak located, oil is settling on one of the bolts holding down the valve cover.
Vehicle not sounding generally "healthy".

No excess smoke coming from exhaust, no smoke coming from oil dipstick/related CCV areas.

Can a cracked valve cover cause enough of a vacuum leak to present similar symptoms as a failing CCV/and or related hoses? That's what I'm interested in knowing.

I think that may be the case here.

Thank you,

Dom
Sorry to hear you went through the pain of CCV replacement only to find it was not the root problem. I think you need to make clear that passenger side in NZ is the side of the engine with the intake manifold. For many of the forum members in the US, passenger side is the exhaust manifold side.

Your description of foghorn like sound on engine shutoff, makes it sound to me like a device that holds vacuum is leaking down thru a small leak. The first thing that comes to mind is the power brake booster. I have never experienced a valve cover crack and can't comment on that. I do suggest you inspect the condition of the hose between the intake manifold and the brake booster and inspect the condition of the rubber grommet where the plastic fitting goes into the brake booster.

A question none of us have expertise to definitively answer is what happens to CCV operation when you have a vacuum leak. Poolman mentions this in his post and I am speculating it is possible that a vacuum leak will prevent CCV from regulating the crankcase pressure properly and this could make any oil leaks worse due to increased internal pressure. Somewhere in one of the threads on either this forum or Bfc, there was a post describing the vacuum measurement that should be observed with a properly operating CCV system. IIRC it was on the order of 4-5 inches Hg at idle if measured at the oil filler cap location. Most commercial vacuum gauges do not have good resolution at this small value and the author suggesting making a homemade manometer that was very simple to do. I wish I had the link for you but it has been too long since I read it. I think you are at the point where measuring this parameter is going to help figure out when you have isolated and fixed the problem.

Have you been able to positively identify a crack near the bolt where you find oil on the valve cover?

Last edited by mda185; 05-10-2013 at 02:12 PM.
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