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Car burning oil? (320d)

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  • 10-11-2012 7:08pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 43


    I have a BMW E46 3 series diesel. I had the oil changed about 4 months ago and the car has only clocked up small mileage since.

    The yellow oil light came on yesterday evening, so I checked the dipstick and the oil is down to the minimum level. The difference between being at the max mark and the min mark is about a litre of oil (I think). I get the oil changed every year and the yellow oil warning light has appeared in previous years, usually around 6 months after an oil change.





    Do you think that my car is burning oil or would this be normal consumption on a 320d?

    The BMW Owner's Manual states that oil consumption will depend on driving style.


Comments

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 39,282 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo


    Its not too far beyond normal.
    I had an E90 320d and it would need a top up in between oil changes too. When the yellow light comes on, you can simply empty one litre in as thats whats require, but you seem to already know that ;)

    My GF also as an E90 318d now, and hers needed the one litre top up in between her last oil change too.

    I wouldnt be worried about it, i would top up and keep an eye on it to monitor consumption.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,430 ✭✭✭RustyNut


    Have you not checked it since the last oil change?


  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭niallu


    Seems to be common enough, was the same on my e46 (although was a petrol).

    Mechanic told me it was burning oil, after a while it will clog the cat converter....then the engine light comes on.

    It didn't effect the driving or fuel consumption for me, but was still annoying that the burning oil was clogging the cat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,350 ✭✭✭Mar4ix


    need to find out, why it eating oil, as far as i know, there could be two problems, worn oil rings or stem seals, not sure, is any other possible ways, how oil escaping from engine to burning chamber.
    to change rings and stem seals are pretty expensive work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭niallu


    Mar4ix wrote: »
    need to find out, why it eating oil, as far as i know, there could be two problems, worn oil rings or stem seals, not sure, is any other possible ways, how oil escaping from engine to burning chamber.
    to change rings and stem seals are pretty expensive work.


    Yeah as mentioned above it was the seals which needed replacing on mine (quoted 1500 with a new cat which was a cheap enough one for 350e).

    To get rid of the engine light I needed to replace the cat, although if the issue wasn't fixed at the source (leaking seals and then burning oil) then the new cat would be knackered in no time!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,003 ✭✭✭veetwin


    Yeah it's probably definitely not best best practice to wait for the oil light to come on before checking/topping up. Those engines are known to use a drop or two. Obviously engines driven hard or taken on lots of short journeys in stop/start traffic will use more oil.

    Also check your driveway or where you normally park the car to see if there are any leaks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,279 ✭✭✭PaulKK


    Just for balance my e46 320d doesn't burn a drop, 121k miles on it, serviced every 8k miles.


  • Registered Users Posts: 43 Wolfey


    kceire wrote: »
    Its not too far beyond normal.
    I had an E90 320d and it would need a top up in between oil changes too. When the yellow light comes on, you can simply empty one litre in as thats whats require, but you seem to already know that ;)

    My GF also as an E90 318d now, and hers needed the one litre top up in between her last oil change too.

    I wouldnt be worried about it, i would top up and keep an eye on it to monitor consumption.


    Yeah, I would usually just put in a litre of Castrol Edge when necessary between oil changes.




    RustyNut wrote: »
    Have you not checked it since the last oil change?

    I check the dipstick regularly. Oil was only changed 4 months ago and I'm just concerned that the car may be burning oil as it seems a bit excessive to use a litre of engine oil in that period.



    niallu wrote: »
    Yeah as mentioned above it was the seals which needed replacing on mine (quoted 1500 with a new cat which was a cheap enough one for 350e).

    To get rid of the engine light I needed to replace the cat, although if the issue wasn't fixed at the source (leaking seals and then burning oil) then the new cat would be knackered in no time!

    It's only the yellow warning light, not the red light. It only came on for a few seconds when I turned off the engine yesterday evening.

    Would it cost much to replace only the seals (assuming the Cat is okay)?

    Any garage recommendations for this work?





    veetwin wrote: »
    Yeah it's probably definitely not best best practice to wait for the oil light to come on before checking/topping up. Those engines are known to use a drop or two. Obviously engines driven hard or taken on lots of short journeys in stop/start traffic will use more oil.

    Also check your driveway or where you normally park the car to see if there are any leaks.

    As I said above, I always regularly check the engine oil. The yellow light is not serious, but the red one is. The car can still be driven as normal, I just need to top up the oil.


    No leaks on driveway. :cool:


  • Registered Users Posts: 43 Wolfey


    PaulKK wrote: »
    Just for balance my e46 320d doesn't burn a drop, 121k miles on it, serviced every 8k miles.


    Interesting, thanks.

    Do you have any idea what might be the problem with mine?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,430 ✭✭✭RustyNut


    I was only asking as warning lights and sensors can fail and running low on oil can be a major, expensive issue which can easily be avoided by a quick check of the dipstick .

    I don't think 1 liter over 4 months is a big issue.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,279 ✭✭✭PaulKK


    Wolfey wrote: »


    Interesting, thanks.

    Do you have any idea what might be the problem with mine?

    How many miles since the last service and what kind of driving are you doing?

    Mine does a 50km motorway commute and I am very easy on it. If your doing urban driving there might not be anything wrong, could just be the nature of your driving.

    Another point I'd make is it may not have been at the max after its last change.


  • Registered Users Posts: 43 Wolfey


    PaulKK wrote: »
    How many miles since the last service and what kind of driving are you doing?

    Mine does a 50km motorway commute and I am very easy on it. If your doing urban driving there might not be anything wrong, could just be the nature of your driving.

    Another point I'd make is it may not have been at the max after its last change.


    About 2,500 miles since the last service.

    Short trips, city driving. Mostly stuck in heavy traffic in the mornings. However, I do have a heavy right foot! :D


    Do you think I should get the oil seals checked?



    Oil was definitely at max after last service, I checked it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,279 ✭✭✭PaulKK


    Wolfey wrote: »


    About 2,500 miles since the last service.

    Short trips, city driving. Mostly stuck in heavy traffic in the mornings. However, I do have a heavy right foot! :D


    Do you think I should get the oil seals checked?



    Oil was definitely at max after last service, I checked it.

    I'd say it's within its parameters to use a litre over that kind of mileage on short trips. I think it says in the manual it can use 1l every 1000 miles!

    I wouldn't worry tbh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 879 ✭✭✭gibbon75


    Wolfey,

    Have you replaced the crankcase breather filter recently?


  • Registered Users Posts: 43 Wolfey


    gibbon75 wrote: »
    Wolfey,

    Have you replaced the crankcase breather filter recently?


    Changed it in 2010.


  • Registered Users Posts: 879 ✭✭✭gibbon75


    Wolfey wrote: »
    Changed it in 2010.

    What mileage did the car do since?


  • Registered Users Posts: 43 Wolfey


    Probably about 10,000 miles.


  • Registered Users Posts: 285 ✭✭vw4life


    Wolfey wrote: »
    Changed it in 2010.

    definatly worth changing it again


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,487 ✭✭✭Pov06


    Look around the engine bay for spots of oil anywhere, check all the hoses.

    Had a similar issue on a D4-D engine, took me months to find the problem. I discovered the problem when I noticed oil on the radiator. The turbo pressure sensor hose had slipped off and oil was coming out through it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,541 ✭✭✭Leonard Hofstadter


    One litre of oil every 2,500 miles is far from excessive. If it started doing this every 1,000 miles, or less often than that, then I'd be getting worried.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 801 ✭✭✭Wicklowandy


    Its not enough just toservice regularly.

    Pick one day and stick to it. That day every week check 5 tyre pressures, oil, water top up washer fluid, check brake fluid.Have a good look for leaks or anything unusual. If you do it every week, you'll notice as things go wrong.

    When youre checking tyre pressure have a good look for tyre damage to sidewalls etc.

    Its such a set of simple routine things to do.

    In honesty, have you checked the oil in 4 months? If you havent youre not even able to judge the rate of oil consumption (eg did it use it over the 4 months or is something wrong this week that used a litre)

    Every modern diesel car i have had (406, 407, octavia, avensis) have used oil to within handbook tolerances (as someone said can be as much as 1l =1000mls) never been as bad as that but definately a litre between services.


  • Registered Users Posts: 43 Wolfey


    Its not enough just toservice regularly.

    Pick one day and stick to it. That day every week check 5 tyre pressures, oil, water top up washer fluid, check brake fluid.Have a good look for leaks or anything unusual. If you do it every week, you'll notice as things go wrong.

    When youre checking tyre pressure have a good look for tyre damage to sidewalls etc.

    Its such a set of simple routine things to do.

    In honesty, have you checked the oil in 4 months? If you havent youre not even able to judge the rate of oil consumption (eg did it use it over the 4 months or is something wrong this week that used a litre)

    Every modern diesel car i have had (406, 407, octavia, avensis) have used oil to within handbook tolerances (as someone said can be as much as 1l =1000mls) never been as bad as that but definately a litre between services.


    Yes! I have checked various levels/tyre pressures etc. and the engine oil has been dropping consistently since service.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 801 ✭✭✭Wicklowandy


    Keep an eye, but as others have said, even according to the manufacturer its not excessive.

    If its otherwise in good form with the world, i think personally id just keep an eye on it. Check oil level and for leaks, also for oil around turbo and breather pipes


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,184 ✭✭✭✭drunkmonkey


    I had to put in a litre after 23k in mine, Still got 5k more to go before the 30k oil change. Will probably change it some time this week though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,350 ✭✭✭Mar4ix


    I had to put in a litre after 23k in mine, Still got 5k more to go before the 30k oil change. Will probably change it some time this week though.


    If you are driving outside city, then fine, if you drive inside city, suggested oil change is 15 k km. ... at least i got such advice in vw dealer, when getting oil for my wifes newish diesel polo.
    i am consider change oil every 10 kkm , just to stay in safe side.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,930 ✭✭✭✭challengemaster


    gibbon75 wrote: »
    Wolfey,

    Have you replaced the crankcase breather filter recently?
    vw4life wrote: »
    definatly worth changing it again

    Depends if it's the older loo-roll type one or the newer vortex style oil separator. The vortex ones are life-long parts, they don't need replacing as they can't clog.


    Also it's been around 7k miles since my 320cd's oil change, haven't had to top it up at all.


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