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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 02-06-2013, 07:58 AM   #1
customisbetter
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Oil Separator Failure is fun

So I was driving down the highway and my interior filled with smoke. I promptly freak out and pull over at an intersection. Smoke is billowing out of the hood. Another motorist pulls up to me and without thinking I scream,
"BMWs don't catch fire!"

They gave me a weird look and drove off.

Anyways I managed to park the car in the parking lot next to where I stopped and had the car towed. The entire engine bay was filled with oil.

The oil separator (old style) filled with water and cracked open. It also blew out my leaky VGC. Two birds with one stone I guess. Its all getting replaced at my old work right now.

Anyways here are the mandatory Valvetrain photos! 166k 02 325xi. Driven hard everyday that I've had it. Mobil 1 at every change by the dealer.



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Old 02-06-2013, 08:02 AM   #2
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While you are at it, read the 3rd link below in my signature.

I spent some time up your way back in the day when Olds was still in business.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

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Old 02-06-2013, 08:03 AM   #3
customisbetter
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My thermostat is open as well that's getting done tomorrow! Good call.

Yeah I miss seeing that Oldsmobile sign every day. Ah well.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:09 AM   #4
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I was around when the Reatta Craft Plant was still going!
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:13 AM   #5
Zell
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Lmfao @ your reaction
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:36 AM   #6
customisbetter
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I was around when the Reatta Craft Plant was still going!
Yeah I wish they would turn that into a huge race track or something. The huge lots of pavement are already there! haha
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by customisbetter View Post
So I was driving down the highway and my interior filled with smoke. I promptly freak out and pull over at an intersection. Smoke is billowing out of the hood. Another motorist pulls up to me and without thinking I scream,
"BMWs don't catch fire!"

They gave me a weird look and drove off.


...
LMAO
Famous last words..

Thanks for the chuckle!

Sorry to hear about your engine troubles though.. Hope you get it fixed and back on the road soon.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
customisbetter
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Got it back today! Still smells a little but At least it works! Next on the list is both O2 sensors aren't working apparently so that blows. The thermostat is working great however.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:37 PM   #9
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Oil may cook off O2 sensors with time, but likely best they be replaced. Bosch from Amazon usually about $50 each.
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Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

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Old 02-06-2013, 04:01 PM   #10
peytonracer4
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Was this due to the cold weather?
I never understood where the water goes once it evaporated from the oil.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:29 PM   #11
customisbetter
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Was this due to the cold weather?
I never understood where the water goes once it evaporated from the oil.
Yes it was. I make short trips daily. Less than six miles to work and back. Plus its been in the teens for the past couple weeks. The condensation seeps in there and freezes. The new ones are insulated with foam to reduce condensation.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:14 PM   #12
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The insulated CCV does nothing to help reduce the condensation inside the engine, however, it may at least try to reduce the condensation it inside the CCV. But if the mayo/goo gets a head start, you are in trouble regardless if you have a cold weather CCV.

If you continue to make a lot of short trips, you really need to monitor your oil cap weekly and then make sure you actually get the car out on the highway at least 1 hour per week to really cook off all the moisture.

I assume if you popped your oil fill cap and left it open when the engine is parked the water vapor may not get trapped in the top of the engine and escape? The problem with this approach is to remember to put your oil cap back on before you take off for the next trip!
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:49 AM   #13
peytonracer4
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Where does the water actually go on longer trips though? It evaporates but where does it escape?
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:01 AM   #14
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Where does the water actually go on longer trips though? It evaporates but where does it escape?
It gets sucked into the intake manifold. The rest is history.

Edit: It evaporates (absorbed by the air) and then gets sucked into the intake manifold, then through the cylinder and out the exhaust.
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