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Old 12-29-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
Hairyhobo
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E46 320ci Oil and Petrol Consumption Change

hi, I am after some advice for the following change i have noticed in my car...

I have a 2000 plate E46 320ci, and I've had it about 4 years now. About 4-5 months ago my water pump broke while driving, which i stopped the car and sat and watched all the water pour out. I replaced it a few days later and all was fine with my car.

Around 2 months after I needed a service on my car, which I had oil changed, oil filter, fuel filter, pollen and i think something else.
Ever since the the last service i have lost around 40-50 miles from a full tank of petrol. Also after around 1 month from the service the Oil had gone from full to the oil light coming on. I topped this up and around 3 weeks after my oil was just above the minimum marker on the dip stick. I've put in another 2 litres.
Also i noticed on the underside of the oil cap i've noticed a light brown goo, which is all over the underside of the cap and runs down the inside of the engine cover (not sure of the name where you pour the oil in). This was'nt there 3 weeks ago.

The car doesn't overheat, i've not done lots of motorway miles in it since the service, if any. I do around 30-40 a day, Mon to Fri. I dont believe its the cold as its never acted like this before, since i'ved owned it. I've not driven it harder, in fact i have driven it even slower to see any difference. The MPG reading has not changed from 27.9 (its been like that for agesssss).
I use the 5-30 oil, castrol.

If anyone has any ideas of what I need to look at to check, etc that would be awesome.

thanks
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:10 PM   #2
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For excessive oil consumption issues look into the crankcase ventilation system. (CCV) When it isn't working properly, oil is burned in the combustion chamber.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:20 PM   #3
Yewzer B Lewzer
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E46 320ci Oil and Petrol Consumption Change

^^agree, also verify that your thermostat is holding the coolant at the proper temp. Goo on oil cap could be from that or from too many short trips without fully heating the oil up.


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Old 12-30-2013, 05:22 AM   #4
Hairyhobo
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would this effect the drastic fuel consumption change?
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:39 AM   #5
Hairyhobo
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on an added note, my heater has been working on and off. Basically I would press the button and nothing would come out, then after a few days it would start working again (even stranger, it stopped working one day and i was pressing the buttons all day and then the next it was still the same and i pulled up in a garage, pressed them all again and nothing. Filled up the car with petrol and started it and the heaters started again.

If the heater element (hedgehog) was on the blink, would it cause the car to put more fuel in the choke when starting (its a 2000 year) because its not heating up correctly and the car is not reading the temperature?
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:23 AM   #6
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Reset your MPG reading, see where you are now. If it isn't reset it will keep a running average since the last reset.

It isn't unusual to loose some mileage during cooler/cold weather.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated, tires will loose about 1 PSI for every 10F cooler temps.
Here in the US, winter blends of gasoline can reduce your mileage. I don't know about gas blends across the pond

I don't know if the 320Ci has the hidden ODB menu items, if it does you can monitor the actual coolant temp to see if your thermostat is failed open. Search for Easter Eggs here for the thread with the ODB menu.
That would cost a little in mileage and could be contributing to the condensation on the oil cap.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:21 AM   #7
Yewzer B Lewzer
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The hedgehog isn't actually a heating element, though it looks like it could be. It's function is to detect the cooling and/or heating capacity of the air going through the duct by inputting a known power into the heat sink, then measuring the resulting temperature of the heat sink. In this way it can arrive at a control loop value based on air temperature and velocity, which is used in the auto climate system. This will not affect how the car runs, just the fan speed will be non-functioning or erratic.

Yes, a bad thermostat will affect fuel economy, and cannot be detected just by looking at the tem gauge.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:52 PM   #8
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As stated by other members, a soft fail thermostat will contribute to both your excessive oil and fuel consumption. Get that fixed first. CCV is very suspect with the "goo" you found under your oil cap. Replace that and don't forget to replace the dipstick tube. Before you do that however, check your temps; should be in the mid 90's C. If not, replace that too. Once these items are fixed, you should return to more normal oil and fuel consumption. To prevent further occurrences, take the car on the motorway for a good long half hour run at least once a week.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:22 AM   #9
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sorry in the delay, but thanks for the info. It gives me something to start looking.
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