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Old 10-07-2012, 11:23 PM   #1
tystager93
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Worcester
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My Ride: 2003 325XI
Ticking noise M54 B25

Hey guys, tonight I was driving my 325XI with my brother in a enthusiastic demeanor. When I pulled into the driveway and opened my door I herd a ticking noise, so I popped the hood and could really hear it. For a second I thought it could be an exhaust leak. Quickly ruled that out, I then realized that this morning when I started it up cold there was a small puff of blue smoke, that lasted for maybe 1 second. So I figured screw it i will deal with it in the morning when I can see better. But an hour ago I went out and checked the oil, so it had some time to settle in the pan and there was a very small amount of oil on the way bottom of the dipstick, I understand that this can cause a ticking noise, apparently the lifters. so I am going to put in a quart of fresh Mobile 1 tomorrow. but whats weird is thursday I checked the oil after running the car and letting it sit for an hour as I just did and it was perfect, I am wondering how it could have burned through a quart of oil in less then a week. I normally do not beat on it and try to keep my revs below 5k.

Is it possible that I have a bad head gasket, blue smoke at start up and burning oil would make sense.

anyway I am just wondering if other people have had this issue. normally I would just hook it up to ISTA and run some basic diagnostic tests but I am at my moms house in CT so I am away from my tools and stuff and want to make sure that I am okay to drive home tomorrow night.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
adaseb
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Sometimes when I check my oil it says it's at the half point line, i check an hour later after driving it, it's on the low point, I check an hour later it's at the half point line again.

Car was level and everything.

I see to be the only fanatic with this problem
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:19 PM   #3
Wh33lhop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tystager93 View Post
Hey guys, tonight I was driving my 325XI with my brother in a enthusiastic demeanor. When I pulled into the driveway and opened my door I herd a ticking noise, so I popped the hood and could really hear it. For a second I thought it could be an exhaust leak. Quickly ruled that out, I then realized that this morning when I started it up cold there was a small puff of blue smoke, that lasted for maybe 1 second. So I figured screw it i will deal with it in the morning when I can see better. But an hour ago I went out and checked the oil, so it had some time to settle in the pan and there was a very small amount of oil on the way bottom of the dipstick, I understand that this can cause a ticking noise, apparently the lifters. so I am going to put in a quart of fresh Mobile 1 tomorrow. but whats weird is thursday I checked the oil after running the car and letting it sit for an hour as I just did and it was perfect, I am wondering how it could have burned through a quart of oil in less then a week. I normally do not beat on it and try to keep my revs below 5k.

Is it possible that I have a bad head gasket, blue smoke at start up and burning oil would make sense.

anyway I am just wondering if other people have had this issue. normally I would just hook it up to ISTA and run some basic diagnostic tests but I am at my moms house in CT so I am away from my tools and stuff and want to make sure that I am okay to drive home tomorrow night.
Yes, the M54 has hydraulic lifters and if they do not get enough oil pressure they do not function properly, so you will have too much valve lash ("play" in the cam/lifter/valve stem path) causing the ticking that you hear. The extra valve lash itself is not likely to damage your car.

This lifter tick can be caused by a number of things, but it is mainly either elevated oil temps from beating on the car (in which case it will cool off and be okay) or low oil level.

Blue smoke out the exhaust indicates burnt oil which to me would point to either rings or valve guides before a head gasket, but I would keep an extra quart of oil handy and keep a close eye on the oil level for awhile before I jumped to conclusions. Best time to check it reliably is before you start it up in the morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adaseb View Post
Sometimes when I check my oil it says it's at the half point line, i check an hour later after driving it, it's on the low point, I check an hour later it's at the half point line again.

Car was level and everything.

I see to be the only fanatic with this problem
You are supposed to let the car sit for awhile after you drive it to let all the oil drain to the pan before you check it. If you don't, it will read low.

Last edited by Wh33lhop; 10-08-2012 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:49 PM   #4
tystager93
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Okay thanks, I went down to my local auto store and bought 2 quarts of mobil1 5w30. And put 1.5 quarts in and the ticking has gone away, it did sound like valves to me. Hopefully its noting to serious I really don't want to do rings because I will end up doing a head gasket at the same time and probably a valve cover gasket. Just so I dint have to do them each at different times which would take way more time.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:54 PM   #5
tystager93
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Okay so after driving back to mass tonight my car burnt quite a lot of oil. So far today I have put a total of 3qts of 5w30 but there is no real smoke coming from the exhaust. This thing is really going through oil. I still haven't gone ran a compression test yet but I think the valves could be seriously messed up. Is this common on cars with 190K miles on them?
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:24 AM   #6
trace1144
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it could be what this guy is describing
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:31 AM   #7
MJLavelle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tystager93 View Post
Okay so after driving back to mass tonight my car burnt quite a lot of oil. So far today I have put a total of 3qts of 5w30 but there is no real smoke coming from the exhaust. This thing is really going through oil. I still haven't gone ran a compression test yet but I think the valves could be seriously messed up. Is this common on cars with 190K miles on them?
You are not likely burning that much oil, so that probably means a major oil leak. You need to start looking now. At 190k miles, it could be anywhere, but losing it that fast, I would start with the oil pan gasket.

You are using the wrong oil too. You should be using Mobil 1 0W-40 European Car Formula, if you are going to use Mobil 1? BUT, this is not why you are burning oil.

Last edited by MJLavelle; 10-09-2012 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:54 AM   #8
tystager93
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There is no oil leak. I had it on a lift Friday and its as dry as a bone.


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Old 10-09-2012, 07:57 AM   #9
tystager93
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Just to clarify after adding oil the ticking noise has gone, and so did the oil light, but it turned back on in the last 20 minutes of driving.
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