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  #1  
Old 08-13-2023, 06:59 AM
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M57 3.0d - oil everywhere and lots of white smoke

Hi all,

Just broke down on the side of the road:

10 minutes into driving home (after a great day dirt biking!) with a small trailer and dirt bike on the back - I noticed a possible small decrease in power, then saw a huge plume of white smoke behind me and an odd noise from the engine, possibly turbo area. Immediately pulled over and saw oil everywhere in the engine bay. Looks like it may have come out from the valve cover gasket.

Disconnected the intake charge pipe after the intercooler from the intake, and heaps of oil was being blown out here (like your hand would immediately be covered in oil while car is running), also noticed a small pin hole in the rubber/silicone elbow piece which was squirting oily air out when connected and engine revved slightly.

I suspected the turbo oil seals have failed (also quite a bit of oil in the turbo region, but hard to see exactly where from), or the CCV was blocked somehow (have the vortex type). Anyway, I put my spare 1L of oil into the engine (bringing it close to full again) and then manged to limp the car home 45 mins / 60 km with the electrical connector of the turbo disconnected (seemed to minimize turbo air flow, guessing sets the variable vanes to a neutral position?) and the intake charge pipe disconnected, the smoke quickly cleared up as it was burnt from the intake and no more could be added as the charge pipe was off. No horrible engine noises thankfully. Also no engine lights at all funnily enough.

At home I did the dipstick test - while idling I pulled the dipstick, and got no oil squirting up (or any noticable airflow), so maybe the CCV is okay? There does seem a bit excessive blowby from the oil filler cap see video here: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JQeHFrVUxKdVRB

I'm planning to investigate further tomorrow when there is some light, but hoping someone can point me in the direction of the likely culprit. I've got a laptop with ISTA+ too if that is any use in troubleshooting.

Car summary:
It's actually my E83 X3, however figured I'd post here as it's the M57 which is much more common on the X5 - and it's much more active here.

285,000 km, oil and filter change every 10,000 km it's whole life with full synthetic 5W-40 LL01 oil.

EGR system has been disabled (removed vacuum actuator connection, and blanked exhaust gas port into EGR cooler).

Generally been really reliable, I blanked the swirl flaps and cleaned the oil gunk from the intake when I bought it ~60,000 km ago. Always noticed a bit of oil sitting on the intake charge pipe, but figured it was pretty common, however maybe this little bit has built up and totally filled the intercooler and it hit a critical point today? Always been a bit of oil build up on the aluminium part of the charge pipe after the intercooler which I've been trying to figure out for some time, guess this little pin prick hole in the rubber section is to blame and may have been there a while.

Car doesn't really use much oil, maybe 1L in 10,000 km normally. I noticed it possibly used 0.5-1L of oil driving home with everything disconnected - maybe still pushing into the intake side of the turbo.

Always had a slight feeling the turbo didn't build pressure quite as well as my e53 X5 M57, but it would still hit ~1.4 BAR, or a little above 20 PSI with a decent bit of throttle (just viewed from the OBD2 reader).

Coolant temps were nominal, somewhere 80-90 the whole way home.

edit:Not sure if the valve cover gasket is the cause or symptom... But likely an overdue maintenance item here.

Any help welcome!

Last edited by AUSBMX; 08-13-2023 at 07:06 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2023, 07:42 AM
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Wow, cool video! I'm not familiar with diesels. Hope you find the problem.
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Old 08-13-2023, 09:11 AM
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A failed turbo could cause excess oil in boost hoses and grey smoke but that alone would not explain if the oil has leaked from cam cover gasket. Cam cover gasket alone could be the culprit because the higher intake ducts from intake manifold go thru the cam cover to cylinder head and cam cover seal also works on the intake ducts. If the seal fails part of the boost pressure escapes into cam housing causing excess breathing and oil via CCV.

Regarding turbo you could remove the intake pipe from MAF to turbo and check the play on turbo axle and see the compressor blades. No longitudinal play allowed, a small less than 1 mm radial play is normal.
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Last edited by Clavurion; 08-13-2023 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 08-13-2023, 10:17 AM
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Also check for aluminium anywhere. I’ve seen them run like this with burned pistons…. Not saying that’s definitely the problem but worth to check at least!

Hope she’s not badly hurt!
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Old 08-13-2023, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas.ua View Post
Also check for aluminium anywhere. I’ve seen them run like this with burned pistons…. Not saying that’s definitely the problem but worth to check at least!

Hope she’s not badly hurt!
Injector correctional values with diagnostics would show if there are compression issues. A cylinder with burned piston would show high positive correctional value.
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Old 08-13-2023, 09:40 PM
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What modifications have you done ?

Sent from my TMAF035G using Tapatalk
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Old 08-14-2023, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clavurion View Post
A failed turbo could cause excess oil in boost hoses and grey smoke but that alone would not explain if the oil has leaked from cam cover gasket. Cam cover gasket alone could be the culprit because the higher intake ducts from intake manifold go thru the cam cover to cylinder head and cam cover seal also works on the intake ducts. If the seal fails part of the boost pressure escapes into cam housing causing excess breathing and oil via CCV.

Regarding turbo you could remove the intake pipe from MAF to turbo and check the play on turbo axle and see the compressor blades. No longitudinal play allowed, a small less than 1 mm radial play is normal.
Thanks mate, very helpful. I'm thinking the most likely cause is the cam cover gasket like you said, don't believe it has ever been changed, at least not since I've owned it. Would this also cause the oil to enter the intake though? I guess if crankcase pressure is high, the oil return from the turbo is at a higher pressure, thus bigger pressure differential across the turbo oil seals...

Haven't had a chance to check much yet due to work, except degreasing and cleaning off all the oil. I'll pop out shortly and see if I can remember how to see the injector correctional values with ISTA - hopefully not a hole melted in a piston!

EDIT: Just did the smooth running control test (turbo controller plugged back in, and intake pipe re-connected, only idling), nothing too crazy
INJ#[min|max]

1 [ 0.0|2.0]
5 [ 0.0|0.8]
3 [-0.8|0.0]
6 [-0.4|0.1]
2 [-1.1|0.0]
4 [-0.9|0.0]

ISTA says "OK: -5.0 to 4.0"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas.ua View Post
Also check for aluminium anywhere. I’ve seen them run like this with burned pistons…. Not saying that’s definitely the problem but worth to check at least!

Hope she’s not badly hurt!
I hope not either!

Quote:
Originally Posted by getty150 View Post
What modifications have you done ?

Sent from my TMAF035G using Tapatalk

Pretty much stock, except blanked swirl flaps, and disabled EGR. No DPF on this model fortunately either.

Last edited by AUSBMX; 08-14-2023 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 08-14-2023, 06:50 AM
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I'm actually flying to Germany at the end of the week for a friends wedding, so I'm just going to order all the parts over there, much cheaper than Australia.

So far I've got:
1. New intake pipes, turbo->intercooler, and 2x joints from intercooler -> intake. These don't seem to exist anywhere in Australia for purchase.

€142.00, LLS brand, apparently German.

https://www.amazon.de/-/en/dp/B0BNXY...hk_typ_imgToDp

2. New Elring Vacuum pump seal

€8.57

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B09...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

3. New Elring valve cover gasket,

€23.20

https://www.amazon.de/dp/B005H7DTWM?...roduct_details

I guess it will also be a good opportunity to do the vacuum lines, I've had a few lengths of it sitting in the garage for a while now. Anything else I should tackle while I'm in there with a lot off the engine?
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Old 08-14-2023, 07:31 AM
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For valve cover gasket change you also need Drei Bond 1209 sealant (BMW: 07589062376) for small corner parts on both sides of the vacuum pump.

One thing you should renew while intake manifold if out is the coolant flange on cylinder head. This is prone to leak. And only take the original BMW part (many after market versions have small deviation on measurements). Nr. 9

https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/sho...diagId=11_3465
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Old 08-14-2023, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clavurion View Post
For valve cover gasket change you also need Drei Bond 1209 sealant (BMW: 07589062376) for small corner parts on both sides of the vacuum pump.

One thing you should renew while intake manifold if out is the coolant flange on cylinder head. This is prone to leak. And only take the original BMW part (many after market versions have small deviation on measurements). Nr. 9

https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/sho...diagId=11_3465
Thanks Clavurion - you're an incredible resource with these cars!

I have a tube of Threebond (Same company as Drei Bond?) 1211 which is roughly equivalent.

Yeah good call on the coolant flange, is the Meyle flange okay? https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Or you recommend actually buying through BMW instead?
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