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    Losing oil in my e46 325xi. What to replace?

    I have a 2002 325xi and for quite some time now I've been losing oil as I drive. I typically have to dump another quart at most in about every 1000 miles. I don't see any signs of leaking or anything so I would assume it's burning oil. What I would like to know is what I would need to replace on my car to stop this. I've been given a few different opinions, but I'd like to see what all of you think. What is the most likely cause for this and what do I replace? I'll be sure to reply back on my findings and what I've done. Thanks in advance!
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    I have read elsewhere on this forum (dembrooks) that 1 qt per 1k miles is considered normal (by whom? BMW?). If it is really burning a lot, you will see white smoke in the exhaust. If you are concerned about engine wear, you could pay a mechanic to run a cylinder leak-down test. Also check for more obscure external leaks, such as the gasket between the oil filter housing and the engine block.
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    I don't see how that could be considered normal. I haven't heard of anyone else with this problem other than people with cars 175k plus. A properly working engine shouldn't burn oil. There is no white smoke and as for leakage, I haven't seen any yet and there aren't any oil spots on my under covers. I will take a closer look at that gasket though. Thanks for your input!
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    I would change the crankcase ventilation valve. It has a few tubes, 1 of which leads back to the crankcase. My cars started using about 1.5 quarts every 3000 miles. Changing this unit solved the problem.
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    Thank you very much. I'll give that a try. That's probably the best suggestion I've been given.
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    I am in almost exactly the same situation. In fact, I posted the same query a few months ago. I don't have any concrete answers for you, but I can give you a little more information.

    The quart per 1000 miles figure comes from the overall oil consumption issue for the E46. New BMW owners sometimes found that their cars burned a quart every 5000 or even 3000 miles. This concerned some owners, who asked if there was a problem that might need to be corrected under warranty. The dealer's standard response was that anything less than a quart per 1000 miles was within BMW specs, and therefore there was nothing wrong with the car.

    The (positive) crankcase ventilation valve is also called the oil separator by BMW. Particularly in cold weather climates, this valve is known to become plugged due to condensation. This can lead to excess oil consumption, and in extremely unlucky occurrences, even severe engine damage.

    Please post back if replacing the oil separator solves your problem. My car has seen freezing temperatures maybe 3 times in the 10 years I've had it, so I haven't been inclined to believe that my oil consumption is due to the known oil separator issue. I'm also reluctant to replace it because BMW has absurdly overengineered this part. A PCV valve is way less than $100 in other makes, and way more than $100 to replace in an E46. But I'm adding a quart every 700 miles, which is really annoying, so if replacing the oil separator in your car solves your oil consumption, I'll pony up.
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    Thank you for your information! I don't know how soon it'll be till I get to replacing it, but I'll be sure to post back as soon as I do.
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    Also I believe I just found the part on rockauto.com for $28. It's not OEM, but I've bought from them many times before and they have dirt cheap prices and quality parts. I searched for Crankcase Vent Valve under my car model.

    http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,ca...parttype,11788

    Hopefully that link works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oc330cic View Post
    A PCV valve is way less than $100 in other makes, and way more than $100 to replace in an E46.
    ?? Only $110 for BMW-sourced winter version with hoses at RM Auto parts. DIY is a PIA however.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerbum011 View Post
    Also I believe I just found the part on rockauto.com for $28. It's not OEM, but I've bought from them many times before and they have dirt cheap prices and quality parts. I searched for Crankcase Vent Valve under my car model.

    http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,ca...parttype,11788

    Hopefully that link works.
    Do not try to replace just the separator valve. Most of the hoses are plastic and by now are very brittle and will not come off in one reusable piece. Some places like BavAuto sell a convenient set of valve, hoses and o-ring for the dipstick tube, which has to come out for this job. Also, decide whether you need the cold-weather version.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKRIT View Post
    ?? Only $110 for BMW-sourced winter version with hoses at RM Auto parts. DIY is a PIA however.
    Sorry, my recollection must be faulty. I was going off memory from other posts I've seen over the years. Probably, I'm thinking of the cost when dealer installed.
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    I have the same problem, only I had my mechanic replace my CCV or PCV as they call it; along with new hoses for it. There was a leak though from the oil filter housing gasket, which replaced, solved the leak. But I am still losing oil, around a quart every 1000 miles, and no sign of smoke out the back nor leak (I am very attentive with checking). I did just check my spark plugs today though and found the threads were covered in oil; so oil is getting in the chamber. But cant be burning since theres no smoke? I read that to check the PCV, is to have the car running and as the car is running, take off the engine cap and see if it struggles to idle. If the idle drops slightly, then that is normal and PCV is good. BMR Parts told me it could be my DISA valve? But Im not too familiar with that piece. My mechanic told me that using different oils than what is regularly used could cause oil consumption; also a trick he did with other BMWs was to drill a 1/8" hole in the oil cap (on top of engine) and that will release back pressure stopping oil from consuming - I have yet to try it, along with trying a different oil. Fingers crossed... for all of us lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I did just check my spark plugs today though and found the threads were covered in oil; so oil is getting in the chamber.
    That actually sounds like the head gasket has failed, allowing the oil to leak into the spark plug wells.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oc330cic View Post
    That actually sounds like the head gasket has failed, allowing the oil to leak into the spark plug wells.
    Its defintely not the head gasket. Coolant is fine and oil is not milky. Full compression in all cylinders. I'm gonna try a different oil than Royal Purple and see if it changes with consumption. If no change, try to re-break-in the engine with a certain procedure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Its defintely not the head gasket. Coolant is fine and oil is not milky. Full compression in all cylinders. I'm gonna try a different oil than Royal Purple and see if it changes with consumption. If no change, try to re-break-in the engine with a certain procedure.
    Hmm, well, obviously oil is getting into the spark plug wells somehow. Valve cover gasket? It's a part known to fail with age, and could lead to that too. Maybe shine a light into the wells and look for the origin?

    Oh, and try switching to BMW's oil. I'm confident that other brands of synthetic oil can protect against wear as well or better, but my dealer's service department suggests that they can also contribute to increased leakage. I'm not sure I believe it entirely, but BMW oil does seem to be at the thicker end of the 5W30 viscosity range.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oc330cic View Post
    The (positive) crankcase ventilation valve is also called the oil separator by BMW. Particularly in cold weather climates, this valve is known to become plugged due to condensation. This can lead to excess oil consumption, and in extremely unlucky occurrences, even severe engine damage.

    Please post back if replacing the oil separator solves your problem. My car has seen freezing temperatures maybe 3 times in the 10 years I've had it, so I haven't been inclined to believe that my oil consumption is due to the known oil separator issue. I'm also reluctant to replace it because BMW has absurdly overengineered this part. A PCV valve is way less than $100 in other makes, and way more than $100 to replace in an E46. But I'm adding a quart every 700 miles, which is really annoying, so if replacing the oil separator in your car solves your oil consumption, I'll pony up.
    It turns out the oil separator was the culprit. I finally gave in and had the dealer replace it, and I made it 1652 miles before needing to add a quart of oil (versus 400 miles previously). Note that a visual inspection of the oil separator does not suffice. I removed more than half the systems obstructing access to the oil separator, and upon noting that the separator visually did not appear to have any leaks or cracks, hoped that it was fine and re-assembled everything, just replacing a few of the deteriorated rubber hoses that I'd already removed.

    When the quart/400 mile oil consumption continued, I decided to have the dealer check the oil separator. The dealer informed me that the device uses a cyclonic action to separate oil and send it back to the oil pan. Mine was clogged internally, and forcing the oil into the air intake. Despite that oil consumption, I did not have the classic blue exhaust smoke.

    On a humorous note, the dealer wrote in the service invoice that consuming a quart every 700 miles is normal. Yeah, and the final stage resistor is a wear item. I love BMW's E46 - don't get me wrong. But some of the lame bullsh:t excuses that they spout to try and avoid admitting that these cars are just highly engineered, with more electronics than ever, and are going to have some issues, well, you can't help but laugh at them.
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    How much did it cost you to have the dealer do the work and what parts were replaced? Thanks...
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    Oil Separator Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    How much did it cost you to have the dealer do the work and what parts were replaced? Thanks...
    The dealer replaced the pressure regulating valve, vent pipe, connecting line, and vent hose. Those are the (generic, non-specific) part names listed on the invoice. The charge for that was $752.

    After that service, the car didn't require an oil topoff until 1600 miles later. However, after that, oil consumption increased to a quart every 200 miles (worse than before). I plan to take it back in to have them look at what happened, and that if it's any part of the oil separator system, that it's warrantied by the previous repair.

    Yes, I'm annoyed that the problem has returned, but I also just got a passenger airbag recall, so at least I'll combine the two services into one visit.
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    You could need new compression and oil scraping rings some oil could be passing into the cylinder and being burnt you could try to use a thicker oil and see if that helps.
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    Intake Manifold and crank shaft

    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerbum011 View Post
    I have a 2002 325xi and for quite some time now I've been losing oil as I drive. I typically have to dump another quart at most in about every 1000 miles. I don't see any signs of leaking or anything so I would assume it's burning oil. What I would like to know is what I would need to replace on my car to stop this. I've been given a few different opinions, but I'd like to see what all of you think. What is the most likely cause for this and what do I replace? I'll be sure to reply back on my findings and what I've done. Thanks in advance!

    I had that problem also . I had to put 1 quart every 2 weeks or so. Finally got the intake manifold and crank shaft replaced and no more oil glut!.
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