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post #1 of 11 Old Mar 20th, 2006, 5:43 pm Thread Starter
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For those who have BMW 525i

I have this old 1992 BMW 525i that is in a faire good conditions and was running preety good until about 1300 miles ago.
It start using too much engine oil. Little less then a quarter every 500/600 miles.
I've beem adding oil since them (the next oil change is schedule to be 2000 miles from now still) and then on the last 400 miles the engine is strugling to keep idle as soon as I turn it on in the morning.
After the engine warm up it will run fine the rest of the day.

Talking with the guy who sold me the car, he told me (now is why I came here. I thinking he is BS me) that probably I need to do few oil changes in a row, like every 500 miles, until all possible old oil inside that engine is gone. The car was stored for about 18 months before he sold it to me and the first think we did, at his place, before turn it on, was change oil and spark plugs and gas, plus all filters.

Could that idea to change oil few times be true? Or do I have another issue here.
The car doesn't burn oil on the emissions (I try with a with paper there, and it burns pretty clean), doesn't lick oil neither. The engine is very clean, and the spark plugs I removed this weekend (only the first 4) were absolute clean, after 3000 miles.

Thank you for any input.

--------------------------------
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2002 LT - 62,394 miles as of 08/05/2007
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post #2 of 11 Old Mar 20th, 2006, 6:16 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strsout
I have this old 1992 BMW 525i that is in a faire good conditions and was running preety good until about 1300 miles ago.
It start using too much engine oil. Little less then a quarter every 500/600 miles.
I've beem adding oil since them (the next oil change is schedule to be 2000 miles from now still) and then on the last 400 miles the engine is strugling to keep idle as soon as I turn it on in the morning.
After the engine warm up it will run fine the rest of the day.

Talking with the guy who sold me the car, he told me (now is why I came here. I thinking he is BS me) that probably I need to do few oil changes in a row, like every 500 miles, until all possible old oil inside that engine is gone. The car was stored for about 18 months before he sold it to me and the first think we did, at his place, before turn it on, was change oil and spark plugs and gas, plus all filters.

Could that idea to change oil few times be true? Or do I have another issue here.
The car doesn't burn oil on the emissions (I try with a with paper there, and it burns pretty clean), doesn't lick oil neither. The engine is very clean, and the spark plugs I removed this weekend (only the first 4) were absolute clean, after 3000 miles.

Thank you for any input.
The oil changing procedure is total BS.

I think you have something wrong, but the first thing for me would be a compression check, done after the engine has run for a while reasonably well then shut down and the compression check done. If all 6 plugs look good, dry and tan in color, it is hard to know what is wrong. But if one or more is more oily and or black in color, then those cylinders likely have a ring or valve guide issue. Since you do not see an oil leak, then it must be going through the combustion chambers, and should show up on plugs.

Idle problems could be attributed to many things. There is an idle control valve which controls the idle electrically. If that gets dirty or clogged, then idle control suffers. A vacuum leak, such as intake manifold gaskets etc., fuel injection pressure control, fuel filter, fuel pump, injectors, even a leaking seal on the oil dipstick or filler cap. Also, a leaking seal on the fuel filler cap can cause problems.

I think your biggest problem that has to be delved into first is the oil useage. The idle control may well be just a symptom of what is wrong there.

Another thing to check, look at the crankcase ventilation connection on the front left side of the valve cover. It has two hoses, one larger one on top, and a smaller one on the bottom of it. Check the hoses carefully, the small one goes under the manifold and slips over a fitting near the throttle body, behind the manifold. You can see this if you use a good light and look through the holes in the manifold. You may have to remove the plastic cover first, two bolts under the clip in covers.

Do you get grey/white smoke from the exhaust?

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #3 of 11 Old Mar 20th, 2006, 7:53 pm Thread Starter
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Thank you David,
I will check those hoses tomorrow, at day light. Will get those last 2 spark plugs after the weekend (I' leaving Wednesday for a trip, not with this car). I was just being lazy on the last 2, since the first 4 were pretty good.
For the compression, probably I will have to go to a dealer. I don't have neither the hability nor the tools to check it.
But sounds like a good advice. I will keep you informed.

Elton

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Elton 'StrsOut' Marks '02 Silver-Member #337 (or 287?)

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2002 LT - 62,394 miles as of 08/05/2007
2003 GS - 20,960 miles as of 07/11/2008
Loma Linda - CA
IBA#14,458 - AMA


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post #4 of 11 Old Apr 20th, 2006, 10:16 pm Thread Starter
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Today I worked on the 525i again.
Found the problem and I'm amazed.
I had checked the spark plugs on March 17,
On March 17, after checking it, I went to a car wash.
And on March 20 I post here with the problem.
well, today I removed that plastic cover on top of the spark plugs to check those last two spark plugs I haven't checked on March 17.
To my surprise, the last two spark plugs receptacles were FULL of water.
Removed all spark plugs and 5 were like new.
the one with water on the receptacle was yellow.
Any way, changed all plugs and reacembled it. Hard to tell since the car is hot, but it start smoth like always was...
Now, how the water got there is a mistery, but I'm almost sure was from the car wash (on the other hand, we had a lot of rain here and I drove this car on have rain those days...

--------------------------------
Elton 'StrsOut' Marks '02 Silver-Member #337 (or 287?)

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2002 LT - 62,394 miles as of 08/05/2007
2003 GS - 20,960 miles as of 07/11/2008
Loma Linda - CA
IBA#14,458 - AMA


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post #5 of 11 Old Apr 21st, 2006, 7:45 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strsout
Today I worked on the 525i again.
Found the problem and I'm amazed.
I had checked the spark plugs on March 17,
On March 17, after checking it, I went to a car wash.
And on March 20 I post here with the problem.
well, today I removed that plastic cover on top of the spark plugs to check those last two spark plugs I haven't checked on March 17.
To my surprise, the last two spark plugs receptacles were FULL of water.
Removed all spark plugs and 5 were like new.
the one with water on the receptacle was yellow.
Any way, changed all plugs and reacembled it. Hard to tell since the car is hot, but it start smoth like always was...
Now, how the water got there is a mistery, but I'm almost sure was from the car wash (on the other hand, we had a lot of rain here and I drove this car on have rain those days...
Did the water look or smell like there was anti-freeze in it? You could have a coolant leak somewhere. May need a head gasket replaced.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #6 of 11 Old Apr 21st, 2006, 9:15 am
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I think David nailed it - especially with the yellow water comment. Very doubtful if rain/car wash water could stay there - it would boil off rapidly from the heat.

Let's HOPE that all you are seeing is rust colored water and all you need is some new rubber sealing strips around the hood perimeter!

Time for a leak down test of the coolant system. You can rent - sometimes for free I think at Auto Zone - a coolant pressure tester. Really simple to use. Hook it up to your radiator neck where your pressure cap screws on and pump it up slowly until it gets to the desired pressure that your system operates. Your radiator cap will usually say something like 15 psi or (*) bar. Check to see if the needle goes down over an hour or so. You don't really even need to know what your system pressure is - just don't pump it all the way up. You need to do this when the engine is stone cold.

If you have a leak a lot of time the pressure on the system will make your car "pee" right where the leak is, so you may want to clean the suspect area around the plugs first. Sometimes the leak is so small you may need to pump it up several times over 12 hours or so...

If it is just a couple of drops you might want to try a product named CRC Block Weld. Sometimes it works perfectly - other times not at all. But for $8.00 it is worth a shot. You need to follow the directions very carefully, but once again this is easy to do.

Bad news:

That much oil use in that engine is not good... and I hate to say this but many times an engine with oil and coolant problems is just plain toasted, usually from severe overheating. Let's hope I am totally wrong!

Now the good news:

Putting that much oil in it all the time will save you from doing oil changes, just change the filter every couple of years!


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post #7 of 11 Old Apr 21st, 2006, 9:36 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
Did the water look or smell like there was anti-freeze in it? You could have a coolant leak somewhere. May need a head gasket replaced.
No David,
It's mud water. Not from the coolant...
Looks more like it came from the botton to up (yep... sounds strange but I'm wondring if all that rain in California got into that engine somehow)

--------------------------------
Elton 'StrsOut' Marks '02 Silver-Member #337 (or 287?)

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2002 LT - 62,394 miles as of 08/05/2007
2003 GS - 20,960 miles as of 07/11/2008
Loma Linda - CA
IBA#14,458 - AMA


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post #8 of 11 Old Apr 21st, 2006, 9:39 am Thread Starter
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Well,,,
two people talking the same thing... now I got suspicius... Do I have a water leak on the car?
I clean everyting already, but I was so sure it was rain/car wash water

David and Ron,
I will try to run this check and see.
Thank you for the heads up
I will let you guys know the end of it.

Elton

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
I think David nailed it - especially with the yellow water comment. Very doubtful if rain/car wash water could stay there - it would boil off rapidly from the heat.

Let's HOPE that all you are seeing is rust colored water and all you need is some new rubber sealing strips around the hood perimeter!

Time for a leak down test of the coolant system. You can rent - sometimes for free I think at Auto Zone - a coolant pressure tester. Really simple to use. Hook it up to your radiator neck where your pressure cap screws on and pump it up slowly until it gets to the desired pressure that your system operates. Your radiator cap will usually say something like 15 psi or (*) bar. Check to see if the needle goes down over an hour or so. You don't really even need to know what your system pressure is - just don't pump it all the way up. You need to do this when the engine is stone cold.

If you have a leak a lot of time the pressure on the system will make your car "pee" right where the leak is, so you may want to clean the suspect area around the plugs first. Sometimes the leak is so small you may need to pump it up several times over 12 hours or so...

If it is just a couple of drops you might want to try a product named CRC Block Weld. Sometimes it works perfectly - other times not at all. But for $8.00 it is worth a shot. You need to follow the directions very carefully, but once again this is easy to do.

Bad news:

That much oil use in that engine is not good... and I hate to say this but many times an engine with oil and coolant problems is just plain toasted, usually from severe overheating. Let's hope I am totally wrong!

Now the good news:

Putting that much oil in it all the time will save you from doing oil changes, just change the filter every couple of years!

--------------------------------
Elton 'StrsOut' Marks '02 Silver-Member #337 (or 287?)

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

2002 LT - 62,394 miles as of 08/05/2007
2003 GS - 20,960 miles as of 07/11/2008
Loma Linda - CA
IBA#14,458 - AMA


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post #9 of 11 Old Apr 21st, 2006, 10:01 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strsout
Well,,,
two people talking the same thing... now I got suspicius... Do I have a water leak on the car?
I clean everyting already, but I was so sure it was rain/car wash water

David and Ron,
I will try to run this check and see.
Thank you for the heads up
I will let you guys know the end of it.


Elton
Another "quick" check for blown head gasket is to remove the radiator cap, start the engine, and let it run for a little bit, see if you can detect the smell of exhaust gas coming from the radiator opening. On many cars you can watch for bubbles, but on these side flow radiators that does not work, the gas bubbles will vent through the vent opening at the top of the coolant expansion tank, but you would be able to smell it.

Many shops have a combustion gas detector they use, more sensitive than the Mark One nose.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #10 of 11 Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 8:02 am
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I hate to rain on your parade...(no pun indended) but water in the plughole will not cause oil consumption. It is either via the piston rings or thru the valve guides.

If after deccelleration and reaccelleration you get a very noticeable puff of blue smoke it is the rings. If not it is the valve guides.
Also, keep in mind that normal oil consumption for this car is about 1 quart every 1000 miles. 20/50 works best on them. If it runs, ok I would not spend any money on major work. It can get expensive...

Good luck!

Wolfgang

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post #11 of 11 Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 9:50 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang
--------------------------
Also, keep in mind that normal oil consumption for this car is about 1 quart every 1000 miles. 20/50 works best on them. -----------------
Hi Wolfgang! hope you and Emily are enjoying Puerto Rico.

My 525i is surely abnormal then! I only have to less than 2 quarts between oil changes, probably somewhere around 8-12K (I do it when the oil change light bar gets to the end, not by mileage). The car has 160,000 miles on it, so some increase in oil consumption (and leaks) is expected.

I have not been using 20/50, but much lower weight according to the owners manual specs. Should I start using it?

Hmmmmm. Now I think you must have meant 10,000 miles, not 1,000.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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