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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 02-21-2011, 10:09 PM   #1
MatRacer
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3rd time: frozen oil separator !

This morning my oils separator froze again

oil was bubbling by the the valve cover gasket and dripping on the exhaust manifold. A lot of white smoke! While the car was still running, I tried to open the oil cap, but there seemed to have a lot of pressure in the engice case. SO I stopped the car, removed the oil filler cap and got to work where I have access to a heated garage. the car spent the day inside with the oil cap removed.

I did maybee 35miles this evening and every seemed fine, Except for a little vibration noise when accelarating hard, but didn't seemed to be coming from the engine. Maybe it was that I was so attentive to every little noise, with ventilation and radio turned to off, that I discovered this noise for the first time. I think that (or hope so) the valve cover gasket was the only seal that leaked.


Three weeks ago I had a oil treatment and a full clean-up of the valve at my local bmw shop. I hate to pay for something I can do, and espacillay when it doesn't fix the problem.


The cold climate is getting aways soon... well I hope so! This should help me!


This summer, when the climate will be warmer, I will replace the oil separator and all the hoses fold their cold climate versions. Note that the parts appear to be BO from dealer, but available from Pelican Parts. If I order now, I will still have to wait 8-10 working days. By then, we should be out of the very sold climate. Waiting for this summer will allow me to DIY in a gentle climate.


Me explanation is that the hoses being very cold and the oil vapor being hot, the humidy in the oil and air vapor is freezing in the coponents just like ice cream box is getting frosted. This happen until it blocks...


Please share your experience, and/or comments.

No I don't want to ear about oil selection
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:35 PM   #2
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Wrong oil caused a leak. So a jet of freezing air is entering the oil seperator hoses. Only if you had paid more attention to oil selection, you wouldn't be where you are.

Last edited by GoingNuts; 02-21-2011 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:42 PM   #3
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OP dont wait for summer.

I replaced my OS in my garage when it was -15C outside, took me a good 3 hours but I did it. Purchased the Insulated version when I did it.

Feel free to ask for any tips or questions regarding this job.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:31 AM   #4
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Wrong oil caused a leak. So a jet of freezing air is entering the oil seperator hoses. Only if you had paid more attention to oil selection, you wouldn't be where you are.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by GoingNuts View Post
Wrong oil caused a leak. So a jet of freezing air is entering the oil seperator hoses. Only if you had paid more attention to oil selection, you wouldn't be where you are.
You would easily beat random number generator with your random responses!
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:56 AM   #6
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This is that I did. I guess just do the cold climate installation ASAP.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...791&highlight=
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:10 AM   #7
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The only problem is that I have this in my garage:



I will try to find an place where I could do the job...maybe next week

This morning, I let my car run 15min before driving it. No freezing! Wheater should be more gentle tomorrow...
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:03 AM   #8
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I just talked with my mechanics.

He told me that he cleaned the hoses and the valve with brake cleaner. Then he used air to dry it...

My OS system should be clean! So I would really need the cold climate version.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:31 AM   #9
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Only if you had been more careful with your oil selection, your car would not of ended up looking like that.

Quote:
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The only problem is that I have this in my garage:

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Old 02-22-2011, 11:01 AM   #10
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Only if you had been more careful with your oil selection, your car would not of ended up looking like that.
Yeah for sure
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:37 PM   #11
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OP dont wait for summer.

I replaced my OS in my garage when it was -15C outside, took me a good 3 hours but I did it. Purchased the Insulated version when I did it.

Feel free to ask for any tips or questions regarding this job.
3 hours? This guys a pro.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:43 PM   #12
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This morning, I let my car run 15min before driving it. .
Worse idea.

All this accomplishes is to prolong the time that the engine can get up to operating temp (and thaw things) while subjecting the CCV system to the vacuum and pressure of a running engine.

PS. That E30 will buff out no prob.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:48 PM   #13
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Idea... move to Florida 40 is the coldest it gets here and that is rare.
its like 88 here today
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:57 PM   #14
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Worse idea.

All this accomplishes is to prolong the time that the engine can get up to operating temp (and thaw things) while subjecting the CCV system to the vacuum and pressure of a running engine.

PS. That E30 will buff out no prob.
Well, Letting the car get up to operating temps while being parked permit to the OS to also warm, because it is not subjected to the wind speed. My opinion is that the oil vapor itseft wont get the OS warm enough while running at 40-50mph. But Once warmed, the condensation will not frost on the component because it has previously been warmed by the running engine, with no wind...
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:00 PM   #15
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I don't think the so called "cold climate version" will make much of the difference. It just has some additional insulator over some hoses. I don't see how this may drastically help against freezing, since, anyway, insulation is not perfect and it might just take a bit longer to reach freezing point - but that is it.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Nervous View Post
I don't think the so called "cold climate version" will make much of the difference. It just has some additional insulator over some hoses. I don't see how this may drastically help against freezing, since, anyway, insulation is not perfect and it might just take a bit longer to reach freezing point - but that is it.
So, what you are saying is that all E46's in canada are crapping out ? If that is the case and going by the resports so far, there is only one E46 in canada.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:26 PM   #17
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Well, Letting the car get up to operating temps while being parked permit to the OS to also warm, because it is not subjected to the wind speed. My opinion is that the oil vapor itseft wont get the OS warm enough while running at 40-50mph. But Once warmed, the condensation will not frost on the component because it has previously been warmed by the running engine, with no wind...
Wind is not the primary driver underhood heat here. The additional heat generated by higher load will more then offset any heat lost due to air flow. Getting the car up to operating temperature as quickly as possible is best, so start it up and drive it.

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I don't think the so called "cold climate version" will make much of the difference. It just has some additional insulator over some hoses. I don't see how this may drastically help against freezing, since, anyway, insulation is not perfect and it might just take a bit longer to reach freezing point - but that is it.
I am not sure how much it will help either, but the insulation will hold more heat for longer. It will keep the temp in the O/S higher for longer which should help more oil and water to drain.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:53 PM   #18
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I am not sure how much it will help either, but the insulation will hold more heat for longer. It will keep the temp in the O/S higher for longer which should help more oil and water to drain.
The OS is only working while the car is running. The only goal of the insulation is to minimize the impact of cold weather on the pipes and OS (while the car is running) to allow the oil vapor to heat the pipes enough to avoid frost. The insulation reduces heat loss.

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Wind is not the primary driver underhood heat here. The additional heat generated by higher load will more then offset any heat lost due to air flow. Getting the car up to operating temperature as quickly as possible is best, so start it up and drive it.
We would need to do serious data acquisition to actually proof that...

From my three freezing experience:

1st time: It was extremely cold outside (like -20F) and the car got hot in a garage while I was pressure washing it (I know, Bad Idea!) It froze while running, like 1 miles later.

2nd time: It was cold outside (like -10F) and the car hasn't heated up a lot before driving it. It froze while running, like 2 miles later.

3rd time: It was cold outside (like -10F) and the car hasn't heated up a lot before driving it. It froze while running, like 0,5 miles later.

I experience a lot of very cold days in between these 3 events. Each time, letting the car heat up before driving it. The 2 last freezing happened when the car was not very hot before driving it. I think we can discard the first time because of the washing with HPW and hot water.

From that, I will continu to heat my car before using it in cold weather... I will let you know if I was wrong.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:00 PM   #19
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Yup mine froze up on me a couple of times. Once on the highway (huge smoke behind my car), and another time blew up my valve cover gasket.

I replaced it with the 'clod weather version' but its not a bullet proof solution. After installation and driving I opened the hose at the valve cover to find it nearly frozen solid again. Im just happy winter is coming to an end. Cant see how people in Alberta drive BMWs' - the CCV is clearly a flewed design.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:59 PM   #20
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3 hours? This guys a pro.
I'm not rich and dont have privileges of driving other cars while working on mine. So I try to finish any job as soon as possible.
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