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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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  #1  
Old 05-19-2013, 11:17 PM
HagarOne HagarOne is offline
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Location: NW Alabama
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: '92 325i
oil drains

Picked up a 2000 740iL Friday night, it was down to the "add" notch of the oil dipstick. Added a quart of oil to it and drove it home (125 miles). Was doing some running around in it today and once back home, thought I should check the oil again to see what it was using. No oil on the dipstick! Haven't seen any spots on the driveway where I have been parking it, so must be buring lots of oil, right. Well, a couple of hours later, for whatever reason, checked it again (car cooled down by now). This time it showed above the "add" notch, so............figuring I have some clogged oil drain lines on the top end somewhere, taking the oil quite a while to drain back to the pan? If that's the issue, can it hurt the vehicle to drive it this way?

Thanks,
Hagar
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2013, 11:45 PM
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ebida3 ebida3 is offline
Society of the 7's East
Location: High Point, NC
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 555
Mein Auto: 2001 740iL
Ummm....Let's start this way. First of all, a qt. every 100 miles would show as blue smoke pouring out the exhaust especially upon acceleration.

Start fresh, change the oil and put cardboard under the car. Re-check oil at 100 miles. If there is no leak, including oil leaking on the engine and burning off before dripping then proceed.

The only thing that can cause this much oil consumption other than leaking is only three things:

1. Valve guides
2. Rings
3. Gaskets

Valve guides....If the oil return passages were clogged you would see blue smoke upon initial start ups and heavy acceleration. The oil would have to by pass the valve seals to do this. If the oil passages are that mucked up you may see evidence of this muck under the oil fill cap, it looks like thick tar. And if that was the case you will see the oil pooled up in the head while looking into the oil filler cap hole.

Rings....A compression and/or a leak down test would show this. Evidenced by blowing blue smoke all the time.

Gaskets....Oil leaking into the cooling system. This would show as a milky mess in the cooling system and/or engine. look in the radiator and oil filler see check this.

To answer your question whether you can drive this way, although the oil capacity is large, 8 (7.5 us qts.), liters I believe, it is a risky proposition. Driving with a quart low in the pan will not blow the engine. Driving with any of the above conditions will eventually lead to the plugs fouling and the car not running or idling right.

Last edited by ebida3; 05-19-2013 at 11:53 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2013, 02:06 PM
newbmwowner26 newbmwowner26 is offline
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Location: new york
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: United States
new here need some.help

Hey guys new here.....proud owner of a 97' bmw.
740il alpina.....very loud and very fast. Gunna get
an oil change for it at mieneke on saturday. Said
they were gunna use valvoline....any ideas about
what type off oil should be used for this car??jus dont wanna puy soomethin in it to mess it up. Thanks
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  #4  
Old 05-20-2013, 04:04 PM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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Location: Hemet, Ca
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 456
Mein Auto: 1995 325i Convertible
Another place to lose oil is having a bad oil separator and sucking it into the intake. This usually will show white smoke when you accelerate. If you think you have blocked oil 'drains', add a quart of Marvel Mystery oil or Seafoam to the crank case prior to changing the oil. Do not over fill. (I would change the oil filter though). Drive for about 25-50 miles or per instructions in the container. Drain the oil, change the filter, refill with Castrol Edge or Mobil - 1 10w-30. Both meet and exceed any spec's by BMW. I personally prefer Castrol Edge, but I know many who would kill rather than use anything but Mobil 1.
I buy it at Walmart as to whichever is on sale. I also prefer Marvel over Seafoam. I have used it in the gas and occasionally in the oil for many years...and never had sludge or plugged injectors (or before that had to rebuild a carburetor).
If you are not getting rattles, low oil pressure warning etc, shouls be okay to drive while you take care of this. (Note: I always give my car 10+ minutes sitting level before I check my oil.)
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  #5  
Old 05-20-2013, 11:12 PM
HagarOne HagarOne is offline
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Location: NW Alabama
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: '92 325i
I guess I wasn't clear on the problem. In the end annalysis, I did not lose the oil, it just took some time for it to flow back down into the pan to show on the stick again. Had it changed today as I plan to travel and didn't have time to change it myself. Used Mobil 1
5w20 as that was what the oil change shop had for this car (2000 740iL) and what was on the records I got with the car. We'll see where it goes from here. Thanks for the input. I bought this thing to drive for a couple of months and resell, but I like it and may keep it, so, sure I wil be back here with more questions. Thanks again.

Hagar
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  #6  
Old 05-22-2013, 03:00 AM
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ebida3 ebida3 is offline
Society of the 7's East
Location: High Point, NC
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 555
Mein Auto: 2001 740iL
Look under oil cap for sludge. If there is sludge you can bet your oil galley return holes are somewhat obstructed.
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