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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 12-16-2012, 01:36 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 913
My Ride: F22 M235i JB4
Tracking my E46 Oil consumption issues


I've been having oil consumption issues with my 02 325Ci for a quite a while now, almost 2 years. Do to school, I had not the time, nor funds to properly diagnose the issue. I just want to throw my status up on here and see if anyone else has an idea on what can be causing the issue.


My car has 135K miles on the M54. I run BMW 5W-30 and I check the oil manually and have to add a quart of oil every +/- 700 miles (2 weeks). I daily drive my car, nothing too far, no traffic at all. I do not drive the car hard at all, It will go months without going over 4500RPMs.

At first, because of the rate of consumption I was sure I had an external leak of some sort. I looked in all the normal prone areas, didn't see anything visible. However, I replaced many parts anyways do to preventative maintenance in hopes one of the parts might be the cause of the oil problem.

I replaced the VCG and grommets, I also replaced the Vanos seals with the Besian kit... The consumption continued. Then I replaced the Oil filter housing gasket and the full Crank Case Ventilation system and dip stick seal, hoping this will be the cause... Much to my disappointment, the problem persisted.

I then took the car into my mechanic, explained the issue and showed him the chart of consumption I had been keeping for months. We pulled the car on the rack, removed all the under panels and both visually checked the undercarriage for any sign of oil leaks. Nothing. The engine bay is clean of oil. He then suggest the problem is internal, I'd never seen any black smoke coming from the exhaust ever. However, he suggests my next step will be a compression/leak down test to confirm.

I am reluctant to have the test done because even if it is confirmed to be internal, it just means a very costly repair. At that point it would just be more feasible to sell the car or trade it in and let a dealership eat the cost. I just wanted to see if any of you guys have an opinion or a suggestion on what the problem might be or if I might be overlooking something...? What do you guys think?

BMW ///M235i - JB4 Stage 2 (364whp)

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