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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 10-30-2011, 12:21 PM   #1
sailnav
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Help! I made a mistake.

I'm replacing my valve cover gasket on my 2001 330i. Friday I took it off late in the day. I closed the hood. Yesterday we had a rainstorm and I spent time cleaning the valve cover indoors. Today, I'm finishing the job. When I opened the hood I noticed that some water had come through the hood vents and gotten on the exposed engine. I wiped everything up with rags and used a hairdryer to dry any remaining moisture. I had a little rust developing on some camshaft lobes which I wiped off and re-oiled. Do I need to do anything else?
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:12 PM   #2
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You should be fine. Once thr car gets to operating temp and the oil gets up there it'll clean it all up for you.

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Old 10-30-2011, 01:26 PM   #3
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Depends how much water might have gotten in. If it's more than a couple ounces you might consider changing your oil. Small amounts will evaporate when warm, more can cause damage.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:27 PM   #4
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Add some seafoam to the crankcase and through the brake booster to drive out that moisture. Pretty much the only time I would suggest running it through the crankcase on our cars though. You will need to change your oil ~200mi after.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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I started it up after the valve cover gasket job was complete and it sounds normal. Before I started it I checked the dipstick and it was at the full mark. I really don't know how much water got in. I'm 2800 miles from Inspection II, so I think I'll start it tomorrow by changing the oil. This is actually my wife's car, and she's out of town. Thanks goodness.
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:22 PM   #6
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change oil before starting engine.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:28 PM   #7
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change oil before starting engine.
Uh what? You're supposed to change the oil when the engine is warm. This suggestion is stupid.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:57 PM   #8
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Uh what? You're supposed to change the oil when the engine is warm. This suggestion is stupid.
lol you can change it when cool. warm engine make its a bit easier to drain but unless you using 75 weight oil its gonna drain very quickly.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:18 PM   #9
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Warm engine will more thoroughly drain it.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:34 PM   #10
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Yeah, it theoretically is possible to do it without starting the engine but there will prob be some junk/nasty oil left which will not completely drain out. I doubt the outside temp in the dirty jerz is all that helpful this time of year to make it drain easily. Getting it up to operating temp first will not only make it easier but much quicker of a job. Besides, he prob wants to have it done before his wife comes home and knows something went wrong.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:55 PM   #11
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Uh what? You're supposed to change the oil when the engine is warm. This suggestion is stupid.
Isn't the whole idea to get the water out with the oil without starting the engine as to avoid causing harm to it?
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:00 AM   #12
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Isn't the whole idea to get the water out with the oil without starting the engine as to avoid causing harm to it?
If the water is all the way up where the cams are its not going anywhere when he drains the oil.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:05 AM   #13
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OP starting your car at this point (which you already have) isn't going to cause damage.
In the long run MAYBE. But I'm doubtful it would. It would be good measure to change your oil if you're unsure how much water got in. But warm the engine up before. It's not going to hurt anything.
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:24 PM   #14
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I changed the oil today. I really couldn't tell how much water was in there. The car seems fine.
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:10 PM   #15
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Surprised noone mentioned just looking at the oil. If there is significant moisture in the engine, the oil will look like chocolate milk.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:02 PM   #16
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Surprised noone mentioned just looking at the oil. If there is significant moisture in the engine, the oil will look like chocolate milk.
True enough but that doesn't occur until the motor has run for some time. From the explanation the OP gave this hasn't happened.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:17 PM   #17
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I drained the oil after getting the engine to operating temp. The oil did have a brown color to it, but it had been in the engine for 14K miles.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:15 PM   #18
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You waited 14k between oil changes? That in itself is probably worse than whatever water got in.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:42 PM   #19
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If the water is all the way up where the cams are its not going anywhere when he drains the oil.
the valve train has holes that drain oil to the pan.
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