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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)

E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-01-2016, 02:14 AM
TahoeBronco TahoeBronco is offline
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Ever wonder what happens when....

It is said that we can learn a lot from our own mistakes. But it is wiser to learn from the mistakes of other's.

This morning before heading off to work, I checked my oil level. It was down 1 quart so I topped off the levels. While letting the last of the oil drip from the plastic bottle, I also topped off the windshield washer fluid (or "Tobacco Spit" as my granddad used to call it). Then promptly put the cap back on the washer fluid and put the unused bottle back up on the shelf.

Then I pulled off the empty oil bottle, replaced its cap and threw the empty bottle away in the large trash can. While returning back to the car parked in the garage, I stopped to say hello to the neighbor lady getting into her car to drive off to work. And in the words of Steve Martin's the Jerk, "I was a dauber and sexxy guy". (But really doing a better impression of Barney Fife of the Andy Griffith Show). Mr. Smooth pulled down and secured the hood of the car, then got in and drove off to work thinking he is so good to his pretty little ride.

I got about 10 miles down the road and began to smell an odor that first made me think of diesel exhaust, but there was no other diesel pick ups or big rigs around. Then when I was stopped at a red light, I saw the tell tale sign of a little bit of smoke coming up from under the hood. That was when it hit me...

"Dumb ass!!! I bet you forgot to replace the oil cap on the engine", I said to myself.

Yep! Sure enough. Thankfully the cap was still sitting on top of the motor, right where I left it. What a horrible mess I made of the engine compartment. Oil splashed out of round oil fill hole (where the oil cap goes) and all over the side of the engine and soaked into the felt sound proofing material that mounts to the hood itself.

So there I am in my good work clothes trying to wipe up the mess with an oily rag, being very embarrassed at myself, and thinking I got what I deserved. Karma kicked me in the butt again. This time for trying to show off to the pretty ladies and not paying attention to the job at hand. By the way, it took 2 full quarts of oil to fill to the proper level.

I'm lucky and thankful I didn't get on the freeway and head the 35 miles to work at my usual 75-80 MPH with the cap off. I would have certainly lost all the oil out of the engine and that would have caused very serious internal engine damage. I'm also lucky that the oil cap didn't fall down into the fan belt area, which could done serious damage to the radiator and other engine parts.

MORAL OF STORY: Learn from my stupid mistakes!

Pay attention to even the simplest of tasks and to double check that you have reattached all filler caps and access doors, and to remove all tools from the engine bay before driving away. And if your going to show off for the ladies, don't be a "Jerk" or clumsy Barney Fife.

If you learn from my mistake, you won't make a mess of your car and you'll be more like Bond...James Bond.

Humbly yours,

Tahoebronco
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2005 545i E60 (USA), type code NB33 type LIM, steering LL, engine N62, drive HECK, tranny AUT, ALPINE WIESS 3 (300), LEADER DAKOTA BEIGE 3 (LCBA), DOM 12/13/04.
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2016, 03:23 AM
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justinb7116 justinb7116 is offline
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Ha. Nice share. Good thing you are squared away now. Like you mentioned about learning from others mistakes. I've always said, 'Stupid people don't learn from their mistakes, smart people learn from their mistakes and wise people learn from other peoples mistakes." Don't sweat it Tahoe, you weren't the first and you sure won't be the last
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2016, 05:02 AM
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DanielFD DanielFD is offline
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Yes good you got to it in time! I recently made the same mistake, but only let it idle for a couple seconds so thankfully all that happened was that i got a nice shine on my engine covers after wiping down the oil.
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  #4  
Old 11-01-2016, 05:17 AM
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ETNSandman ETNSandman is online now
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I did the same thing when I first got my 545. Such a mess, I drove around 18 miles before I noticed something was a miss. Lost around 2 qts and the engine required cleaning for a bit. Hood pad is still oily....
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2016, 06:02 AM
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Jay Arras Jay Arras is offline
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Maybe it's because of stories like yours that BMW switched to a flip top filler cap.
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  #6  
Old 11-01-2016, 07:09 AM
Norskie Norskie is offline
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Mein Auto:
Way back in the 90's my brother bought an even older 318 (or something like that) which didn't have an oil cap, but instead a rag stuffed into the valve cover.

Luckily the rag didn't get caught up in the valvetrain before he sourced a generic oil cap.

About a year later he limped onto a dealer's lot to trade it for something else. Good thing too, we're not sure the car would have re-started.
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2016, 07:54 AM
twh twh is online now
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Did the same thing on an old Mercedes diesel I had 20 years ago. Found it much later and the hood sound deadening undershield was soaked.
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:07 AM
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eburnz eburnz is online now
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I did this once too but it was my coolant cap, luckily by time I drove down the street the coolant wasn't bubbling yet....
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2016, 09:37 AM
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JayDee4711 JayDee4711 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Arras View Post
Maybe it's because of stories like yours that BMW switched to a flip top filler cap.
That would make sure you don't lose it, but you still can leave it open, right?

I vaguely remember a similar experience. That feels like eons ago and must have been with my W123 Mercedes diesel. The cap was caught by the injection lines.
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This vehicle ran OEM pads on one axle and Akebono Euro on the other (left). Guess which ones were where!
Now there are Akebono Euro pads on both axles (right). This picture was taken after ~2000 miles without a wash.
 
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2016, 04:09 PM
Argon Argon is online now
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This is about the equivalent of leaving the drainplug out of a boat.
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  #11  
Old 11-01-2016, 06:04 PM
MiCakes MiCakes is offline
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I've done this before sad to say. My lesson - don't top off oil at 2 am...
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:18 PM
TX550 TX550 is offline
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Thanks for sharing this story! The timing chain is so close to fill hole that it will easily sling all of our precious oil around fairly quickly. My '08 Navigator has a nice, lifted spout away from the chains where it seems like it would be harder the oil slosh out.
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Old 11-02-2016, 12:55 AM
TahoeBronco TahoeBronco is offline
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Thanks for the moral support everyone. I had no idea that so many other folks from this site would have done the same thing. It's kinda nice knowing I'm not all alone. Anyway, thanks again for all the kind remarks. My ego's wounds are starting to heal.
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2005 545i E60 (USA), type code NB33 type LIM, steering LL, engine N62, drive HECK, tranny AUT, ALPINE WIESS 3 (300), LEADER DAKOTA BEIGE 3 (LCBA), DOM 12/13/04.
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  #14  
Old 11-02-2016, 07:42 AM
twh twh is online now
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There was some fallout from my mistake. For several years afterwards, my wife asked me every time after an oil change if I replaced the filler cap!
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  #15  
Old 11-02-2016, 08:16 PM
TahoeBronco TahoeBronco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twh View Post
There was some fallout from my mistake. For several years afterwards, my wife asked me every time after an oil change if I replaced the filler cap!
Ouch! I hate it when they won't let something go.
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2005 545i E60 (USA), type code NB33 type LIM, steering LL, engine N62, drive HECK, tranny AUT, ALPINE WIESS 3 (300), LEADER DAKOTA BEIGE 3 (LCBA), DOM 12/13/04.
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