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Old 08-11-2013, 03:42 AM   #1
Scott_B
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Gunk in oil filter cap.

I am changing oil today and noticed when i open oil filter cap on the inside walls was quite a lot of gunk. I think that tube inside was bit clogged to. I saw a bit of that on engine oil cap as well, wonder what causing that?

Another concern is filter, does it look like it was changed in previous oil change?

Is there way to remove middle part of the cap so i can clean it?









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Old 08-11-2013, 03:59 AM   #2
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Doesn't look good but honestly short of dissassembling the engine and cleaning it, there's not much you can do. Your valve cover gasket needs changing most likely and that would be a great time to inspect for sludge and remove as much as possible by hand. That stuff can clog passages and lifters
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:07 AM   #3
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Any idea what causes sludge in first place? While i lived in Europe quite few people said that Castrol oil is doing that...

How about using 5 minutes engine flush before changing oil, it has any other disadvantages other than clogging oil pump netting/filter

I forgot to tell oil smells like exhaust gases getting to it, probably that destroys chemical formula of oil faster than at 2/3 of its life cycle.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:17 AM   #4
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I would likely say you need to first check your engine coolant temperature to make sure it is running warm enough.

The problem is not Castrol oil, or likely the oil itself unless you are not running synthetic oil. The problem is you are not likely changing the oil enough for the type of driving you are doing, the oil is not likely getting warm enough to cook out the water vapor and also the CCV system is likely not working properly and the dipstick tube is likely clogged up as well. Also agree that likely the oil filter has not been changed as well. Many shops that do not know BMW's do not understand where the oil filter is located and properly do not have BMW filters on hand or even know where it is hiding! And not knowing the vehicle history, you may have inherited someone else's problem as well??

Hopefully you did not buy the car in the past year??? You might want to read this - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...725&highlight=

If it was my car, I would first make sure the thermostat is working properly and I would also put a can of SeaFoam the crankcase. Just wait until you hear comments on the SeaFoam, everyone will have an opinion about this, but I have cleaned up quite a few motors with SeaFoam in the crankcase without major problems. Trust me, I would not consider a 5 minute motor flush, I would put SeaFoam the crankcase, run it 1000 miles, change the oil filter and see how well the oil filter housing has cleaned up, then put a new oil filter in and change the oil filter every 1500 miles. Change the oil at 5k miles and continue the Sea Foam for the next 2-3 oil changes and change at no more than 7500 miles.

Also change the CCV system as well.

Read the 3rd link below in my signature very carefully and pay spacial attention to the Mayo/Yellow Goo section and links.

Hint on your oil change interval, keep an eye on the dipstick, if the oil every is very dark brown/black when checking it using a white towel, it is time to change it. Your oil should never be anything but light brown when checking it. This is even true when running the SeaFoam during clean up, you may need to change your oil more often as you are cleaning out the engine.

Again, there will be a lot of comments about running SeaFoam for the entire time, but I have never had any negative effects on a number of problem engines that had been neglected, it actually cleaned them up in a gentle manner and after running the SeaFoam I found the oil stayed cleaner for longer periods of time. Some will also say AutoRX, with I have also used, but it is expensive and I think SeaFoam will do as good of a job and is way cheaper.

Good luck and take some pictures of the oil filter housing and let us know how the SeaFoam clean up works.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:42 AM   #5
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Normally I am not a proponent of Seafoam.... But in this case I'd say you have nothing to lose and, possibly, everything to gain.

However... I think I would change the oil first... Drive it for a few thousand miles, checking level and condition and then change oil again within 2k-3k miles or so and see what you have.

Good guess that it may be dino oil instead of synthetic... But you may have larger issues.

You can always send in a sample to Blackstone Labs to get your oil analyzed.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:14 AM   #6
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Normally I am not a proponent of Seafoam.... But in this case I'd say you have nothing to lose and, possibly, everything to gain.


I was a bit skeptical at first about SeaFoam Motor Treatment, but I ran into a situaiton where I had an issue that needed to be addressed. Figured, why not, I would rather go this route than the 10 minute harsh chemical flush stuff and it was cheaper and easier to get than AutoRX (although I have used AutoRX in the past as well). Actually ran one car for 2500 miles with the SeaFoam without any leaks or other problems, changed the oil and man after the SeaFoam change the oil stayed clean for FAR longer than prior oil changes.

I even suggest on some higher mileage cars that may not have been well maintained to even use SeaFoam for 250-500 miles before an oil change as well.

I have had not negative side effects so far. Would I use it just because, not likely. No need if the vehicle has been reasonably maintained, but on neglected engines, I have seen good results with no negative side effects.

Some other options are obviously:

AutoRX
Kreen
ATF
Marvel Mystery Oil
BG Engine Purge
STP Multipurpose Motor Treatment

Likely I would consider Kreen, but again, SeaFoam is readily available at almost all parts stores, so this is why I have used it.

I have not tried STP Multipurpose Motor Treatment, not sure they recommend extended use in the engine oil, but SeaFoam does claim you can use it for extended lengths in the crankcase. Also with the 7 qt BMW sump, I would have no issue running an entire can of SeaFoam in the crankcase for clean up purposes.

In the long run, it is best to properly maintain your engine, make sure the coolant temperature is not running cool, make sure the CCV/PCV system is working properly and watch for mayo/yellow goo build up on the oil fill cap in the Winter if you are making short distance drives. The best engine cleaner is hot and clean engine oil that is able to circulate for an hour or more at a time. Long distance highway runs are actually good and beneficial for your engine if you live in a congested city. Try to get your car out every few weeks for a nice drive to treat your engine to a good long cruise and reconnect with your car.

For the folks that live in the Northern US and Canada, I would suggest in the colder months you consider reducing your oil change interval as a matter of habit because the cold temps and short drives tend to lead to far quicker oil contamination than during the warmer months.

I am hoping Scott B can be our current guinea pig and pop a can of SeaFoam in the engine, run it for about 1000 miles, change the oil filter and take another picture and we can see his progress with what ever crankcase additive he decides to use. It hopefully will help build some confidence on some of the products and give us a real world view of what may work well.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:53 AM   #7
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I'm with jfoj, but I a bit more pessimistic. I see water contamination. If the car is driven on short trips and does not warm up sufficiently, then what we see is the result. But if the car is driven across the LA Basin to get to work and back, then it is getting plenty warm and the contamination we see is gonna be expensive to fix.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:03 AM   #8
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Doesn't look good but honestly short of dissassembling the engine and cleaning it, there's not much you can do. Your valve cover gasket needs changing most likely and that would be a great time to inspect for sludge and remove as much as possible by hand. That stuff can clog passages and lifters
WTF Mango. Stop advising people to spend hard earned money based on an assumption and no facts.

OP. I would change the oil as you had, then maybe just go 6000 mi on the next interval to reassess. With clean oil your filter should grab the majority of the filter particulate (it looks like that's what the gunk was) that broke down and was floating around in there. The valve cover will show very little in terms of where that stuff all got to so it's not worth the hassle and expense.
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #9
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Gunk in oil filter cap.

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I'm with jfoj, but I a bit more pessimistic. I see water contamination. If the car is driven on short trips and does not warm up sufficiently, then what we see is the result. But if the car is driven across the LA Basin to get to work and back, then it is getting plenty warm and the contamination we see is gonna be expensive to fix.
+1! Short trips are hard on engines and their oil as neither reaches full operating temperature so water vapor and volitale chemical never boil off. I drive my car once a week at highway speeds for about 20 miles.


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Old 08-11-2013, 05:04 PM   #10
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My wife bought this car baout 2 years ago, she got it with overheated engine not sure how much she paid, she then went to Armenian junk yard in LA and they swapped or repaired engine i guess she paid around for $3000 for that.
then in 8 months she crashed not too bad into someone else, but had had to undertake some body work and she had no money so car stood parked for about 1 year.

Now i trying to fix it as cheap as i can as its really bad overall condition. My guess is first owner drove it harsh without fixing anything and just sold when SHTF. the rest of owners were idiots and did some ghetto repairs to car i can see bunch of signs under the hood, in side cabin etc. e.g. inside trunk trim screwed with wood screws to the body as well as rear stoplights... for the front bumper frame all 6 bolts are different, inside arm rest all broken and all plastic and leather worn off, unscrewed and holding only on gravity power etc.


Anyway car cas 10 check engine codes so i dont really want to invest anything in it just fix as cheap as i can to have it driving for next year or two before she saved money on new car. Mind you she owes $900 in parking tickets just to register car and then another $1500 to get her license back...
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:07 PM   #11
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+1! Short trips are hard on engines and their oil as neither reaches full operating temperature so water vapor and volitale chemical never boil off. I drive my car once a week at highway speeds for about 20 miles.


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I think as soon as temp needle in the middle means it reached temperature. No matter if you drive 2 miles a day, i have another car that i drive only to work and back for more than year without this thing happening to it.
Why you need to go on highway in winter is to have overall all rubber seals gaskets and other parts all over car body warm so they don't crust and break/leak, however in california its not as bad because never too cold.

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Old 08-11-2013, 05:40 PM   #12
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I think as soon as temp needle in the middle means it reached temperature. No matter if you drive 2 miles a day, i have another car that i drive only to work and back for more than year without this thing happening to it.
Usually, you need to run at temp for 20 minutes or so to boil off the condensed water vapors.

This doesn't look like the typical "short trip" sludge. This looks like serious neglect on oil changes. What are your long term intentions with this car? If you're not planning on keeping it, then clean it up as best you can with Seafoam and unload it. No sense wasting a lot of time and money on it.
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:59 PM   #13
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I think as soon as temp needle in the middle means it reached temperature. No matter if you drive 2 miles a day, i have another car that i drive only to work and back for more than year without this thing happening to it.
Why you need to go on highway in winter is to have overall all rubber seals gaskets and other parts all over car body warm so they don't crust and break/leak, however in california its not as bad because never too cold.
The oil isn't even close to getting up to operating temp when the COOLANT temp (that's what the gauge is reading) gets to normal. Furthermore, the coolant temp gauge is buffered and doesn't actually give you a true reading.

When you see the coolant temp get to 12:00, double that amount of time until the oil is heated up. Then add some more time for any moisture to evaporate. A lot depends on the ambient temp, but we're talking 15 to 20 minutes of driving, normally.

Anyways, in the case of your wife's engine...I wouldn't touch it unless there's a problem with it, such as lifter noise or excessive oil consumption. There's clearly a lot of sludge in there. Putting additives in there isn't going to clean it up completely, but what it can do is loosen up the contamination and potentially clog oil passages.

If you're not keeping the car long term, i'd leave well enough alone. Use synthetic oil and change at regular intervals. That will clean it up little by little, and that's all you need at this point, IMO.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:15 PM   #14
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As mentioned temp gauge is buffered, engine can run cold and still show at 12 o'clock on the gauge.

Oil takes 2-3 times as long to get up to temp than the coolant. These engine have 7 qts of oil to warm up.

Change your oil, assume this is how you found this problem, add a can of SeaFoam, it will not clog anything up, change the filter after 1000 mile of SeaFoam, you will know then how things are working. Add oil as needed, change filter again at 1500 miles after the first oil filter change, see what the oil filter housing looks like then.

Watch your oil color, if black at 2500 miles with SeaFoam, change the oil, if not run another 1500 miles.

While what has happened to the engine is not good, likely you can recover without any major issues at this point.

You have to drive the car 10 minutes for the coolant to get up to proper temp, assuming you have a good thermostat, then likely at least another 20 minutes for the oil to be fully warmed up!

You really need to read the 3rd link below in my signature.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:16 PM   #15
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Hi quick one i am doing oil change today, oil i got out of engine is way to dirty new synthetic oil will get dark same minute i put it in. So wonder can i put regular cheapest non synthetic oil 10w-30 from autozone and run it for hour or so then flush to clean at least some sludge? i mean run it without engine flush just by itself with old filter.

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Old 08-11-2013, 11:18 PM   #16
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Hi quick one i am doing oil change today, oil i got out of engine is way to dirty new synthetic oil will get dark same minute i put it in. So wonder can i put regular cheapest non synthetic oil 10w-30 from autozone and run it for hour or so then flush to clean at least some sludge? i mean run it without engine flush just by itself with old filter.
What do you mean "oil is way too dirty"?

What does that mean?

You can do that. but no reason to. drain and refill with good oil unless you have MAJOR problems inside your engine
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:23 PM   #17
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Nevermind i realized you were the same as OP. Remove your valve cover first and see what the condition is. dont assume your whole engine is like the inside of your oil filter housing. it may or may not be. how many oil changes have you done as the owner?
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:26 PM   #18
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Hi quick one i am doing oil change today, oil i got out of engine is way to dirty new synthetic oil will get dark same minute i put it in. So wonder can i put regular cheapest non synthetic oil 10w-30 from autozone and run it for hour or so then flush to clean at least some sludge? i mean run it without engine flush just by itself with old filter.
Running normal oil in it for an hour isn't going to clean anything. If that was the case, the engine would be clean.

As I eluded to above...does the engine have any problems? Ie. would you know this contamination was there if you didn't see the filter housing?
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:31 PM   #19
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I think the OP should change the oil, put in SeaFoam and move forward.

Valve cover can likely wait, if the upper engine has crap in it, SeaFoam will likely slowly dissolve it. At some point the valve cover may need to come off anyway, but unless the OP has downtime to pull the valve cover now, he likely should start trying to clean up the motor.

The oil filter will need to be changed or pulled out often for inspection. This way the OP can see how well things are cleaning up.

The oil likely will look dirty fairly quick, but you can likely run your oil for 2500 miles at least.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:18 AM   #20
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Nevermind i realized you were the same as OP. Remove your valve cover first and see what the condition is. dont assume your whole engine is like the inside of your oil filter housing. it may or may not be. how many oil changes have you done as the owner?
I have no done any oil changes, but wife done one at some shop no idea how many miles ago.
I actually realized just now that it could be just plastic issue i have as aluminum oil filter housing was clean like new. I actually had exact same problem with my other car the choke is made out of plastic and when i pulled it off i seen same sludge on inner side of choke and aluminum engine block head was clean (not like oil supposed to go there normally, probably had PCV problem).

I went ahead and bought cheap ($4 per quart) full synthetic oil (Auto Zone) brand just to flush engine of remains of old oil i dont want new expensive oil to turn black righ after i put it in.

So i either run that oil for a week and then swap it or just use quart of transmission fluid and idle for hour and then change (decent advice from auto zone guy). However i did same thing in my other car and new oil turned dark after about week anyway.


P.S. I don't have torque wrench so i don't want to take valve cover off, i don't have garage and there's dust flying on the parking lot of apartment complex where i work on it. Even if take cover off should i use brush to clean it or what, that sludge was hard as hell and need some chemical to clean up properly, so i'd rather use engine flush and take oil pan cover off in case it clogs oil pump.
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