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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-23-2013, 05:03 PM
Tmcgrady Tmcgrady is offline
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Please help!!! Changed oil and YIKES!!

Changed the oil in my 2006 325i E90 BMW. There were metal shavings and three small silver balls and/or ball bearings in the drain pan. They looked similar to bb's but bigger. What does this mean?? I'm scared to drive my car for fear of damaging the engine!! Any help or advice would greatly appreciated!!!!
T
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2013, 05:11 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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It means you need the engine carefully inspected. I don't even know of any bearing that has ball bearing that small. The pieces of metal are probably the bearing housing that broke off and allowed the bearing to to drop into the pan.
Maybe someone that is way more familar with the internals of that engine can pitch in...
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  #3  
Old 06-23-2013, 05:23 PM
Tmcgrady Tmcgrady is offline
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Thank you for that input. I dont't know a lot about cars but balls in the oil simply cant be good. I appreciate your help!!
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  #4  
Old 06-23-2013, 05:32 PM
tsantsa tsantsa is offline
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Can you post some pics?
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  #5  
Old 06-23-2013, 05:36 PM
Tmcgrady Tmcgrady is offline
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sure hold on please
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  #6  
Old 06-23-2013, 05:39 PM
irianjim irianjim is offline
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Man, that sucks. I have no idea about the problem but I do know that the only thing that is supposed to come out is dirty oil. I wouldn't attempt to even start the engine if it were mine. I'd call either the dealer or your indy first thing Monday morning and probably have it towed there after I talked with them. The price of a tow is a whole lot less than a new engine.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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  #7  
Old 06-23-2013, 06:14 PM
Tmcgrady Tmcgrady is offline
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I cant get the pics to post, I'm sorry!
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  #8  
Old 06-23-2013, 06:15 PM
Tmcgrady Tmcgrady is offline
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irianjim, thanks! Beautiful car btw.
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2013, 05:56 AM
TXFred TXFred is offline
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If it was mine, there is no way that I would drive it. It's a time bomb waiting to go off.

Step 1. Bring the pieces to your dealer. Talk to the best mechanics in the shop and see if anyone can figure out where the bearings are from.

Step 2. If they were unable to tell you, start exploring realoem.com and see if you can figure it out.

Step 3. The engine has to come apart to find and replace the bad bearing. This is expensive, but if you wait until the bearing totally fails, it will be even more expensive.

Sorry to give you the bad news, but it looks like your car is going to be out of service for a week or two.

Frederic
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  #10  
Old 06-24-2013, 06:21 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmcgrady View Post
I cant get the pics to post, I'm sorry!

To post a pic:
  • Make it available on your hard disk -- jpg format is good
  • Create a new post
  • Click on the paper clip among icons above the text area
  • MANAGE ATTACHMENTS window appears - click on a BROWSE button
  • Highlight the pic you want to upload and click on OPEN
  • Repeat with next BROWSE button for each pic you want to display
  • Click on the UPLOAD button

Abracadabra! All pics now available - click on the paper clip icon - the lis appears - select pic to insert in msg.

-------------------------

Did your engine make odd noises before the oil change?


.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 06-24-2013 at 08:35 AM.
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2013, 07:23 AM
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CarlsonTheFlyer CarlsonTheFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmcgrady View Post
Changed the oil in my 2006 325i E90 BMW. There were metal shavings and three small silver balls and/or ball bearings in the drain pan. They looked similar to bb's but bigger. What does this mean?? I'm scared to drive my car for fear of damaging the engine!! Any help or advice would greatly appreciated!!!!
T
Are you sure they weren't in the drain pan to begin with? How did your car drive prior to the oil change? I mean, if a bearing inside the engine broke apart, wouldn't you know it and hear it?
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2013, 07:57 AM
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3two8iguy 3two8iguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlsonTheFlyer View Post
Are you sure they weren't in the drain pan to begin with? How did your car drive prior to the oil change? I mean, if a bearing inside the engine broke apart, wouldn't you know it and hear it?
My thoughts exactly...
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  #13  
Old 06-24-2013, 09:19 AM
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CarlsonTheFlyer CarlsonTheFlyer is offline
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I just got a great idea how I can prank my cousin. He is a very reputable BMW indie here in the Atlanta area. I just need to go buy a couple of cheap ball bearings and put my hammer to them, and then stop by his shop.
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2013, 09:44 AM
hotrod2448 hotrod2448 is offline
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I agree with the thought this stuff may have been in the pan before you drained the oil into it. Most bearings inside an engine (main, conrod, cam) are some version of journal bearings not ball bearings. If pieces of those bearings big enough to notice came out you would have known you had a problem before the oil change.
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2013, 10:24 AM
BashedBarrique BashedBarrique is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrod2448 View Post
I agree with the thought this stuff may have been in the pan before you drained the oil into it. Most bearings inside an engine (main, conrod, cam) are some version of journal bearings not ball bearings. If pieces of those bearings big enough to notice came out you would have known you had a problem before the oil change.
I thought this as well. There are little roller bearings in roller valve lifters and roller cam followers but if one of those had failed you would sure as hell know it by the loud clicking or grinding that the missing bearings would cause. And they wouldn't be little balls. They would be little rollers. I'm not sure if the Double VANOS valve actuators use any kind of roller or ball bearings, since I have never had my engine apart, but I doubt it. DSX or calwaterboy could probably answer that question.

I forgot to tighten the cam retaining bolt on a 4.2 liter Ford V6 truck engine I was rebuilding and on initial start up the cam slipped backwards causing the cam lobes to smash all of the rollers on the bottom of the roller lifters.

That was a REAL bad day.

My oil pan was full of little roller bearings, but the cam had seized in the block so the little bits and pieces in the oil pan were hardly the first symptom of my boneheaded mistake.
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  #16  
Old 06-24-2013, 10:29 AM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is online now
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Best to keep your balls out of the oil.
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  #17  
Old 06-24-2013, 10:35 AM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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I first wondered if it is the bearing for the oil pump (about the only thing in the pan that has bearings, I believe.) If not that, it's something in the head - Valvetronic actuator - that dropped down through the oil returns.

If it were a Porsche 986/987 engine, I'd know exactly and tow the car for a rebuild. Certainly the car should not be started; going to be pricey - valve cover and pan both have to come off IMO.
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  #18  
Old 06-26-2013, 07:49 AM
irianjim irianjim is offline
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Any update? You have us all curious now.....
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