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stiubhartach 05-16-2016 12:32 AM

Smoking problem: Fixed
 
Smoking problem fixed.

My X5: 2005 X5 4.4 130k miles. One previous owner, garaged, always maintained at dealer with complete records. Very clean with most common problems already fixed by the dealer.

Problem: A couple of weeks after I purchased my BMW, I noticed a cloud of smoke at take off after idling. So, I do research and read repair records.

1) records show that the CCV system was repaired in the months previously by replacing torn diaphragms.

2) It appears that it did not fix the smoking problem, so the dealer told the PO that it was most likely valve stem seals and would be thousands to fix. So he sold it cheap.

3) I got a good deal on a clean car, but didn't know about the smoking until after purchase.

4) CCV research is very confusing due to model changes.

5) I'm experienced in the auto world, but this is my first BMW and the systems are different in some ways.

6) For the novice: BMW CCV systems are what on an American car would be refered to as the PCV system. Crank case ventilation system vs positive crankcase ventilation system. Both pull blow by gasses out of the crankcase and burn them.

7) BMW CCV is different in that there is less vacuum in the intake manifold due to the Vanos System. There is not a constant flow of suction from the top of the engine. There are two rubber diaphragms that open and close by vacuum to keep oil from entering the tube and getting sucked into the intake manifold.

8) There is no smoking on start up. Only when it sits at idle for a while. I don't believe it is the valve seals. Valve seal problems manifest mainly by oil leaking slowly down the valve stem while the engine is off and pooling in the cylinder. At startup, the oil is burned in a big cloud.

9) I am puzzled, so I do some exploration. Pull the throttle body and look into the intake manifold with a fiber optic scope. See visible oil inside the manifold. So that is how the oil is getting into the combustion chamber. How is the oil getting into the manifold?

10) Do more research. Find oil in the hose to the intake from the CCV valve.

11) Pull the CCV valve apart. Find a new diaphragm, but lots of old burnt oil and dirt caked around the sealing surfaces. See oil pooling in the valve where it should not be. Drain passage back into the engine is clogged.

12) Verdict: the CCV diaphragm was unable to seal correctly due to filth. The oil was unable to return to the engine also due to filth. Therefore the oil was getting sucked into the intake after a period of running with low vacuum.

13) The moron dealer technician did not clean out the CCV body when changing the diaphragm.

14) This was good for me, as I got a good car for a great price. Bad for the PO as he didn't really need to do thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

15) Cost to me: a few hours and $30 for new diaphragms.

Result: over a year now of ownership and not a hint of smoke or oil burning. Oil consumption is about a quart every 4 months. ( small seep at a front gasket)


I also want to thank you all for the excellent information on this site. It's helped out many times. I hope to give back when I can.

jopecasa 05-16-2016 03:07 AM

Thanks for sharing!

StephenVA 05-16-2016 09:47 AM

Grrrreat Post and well thought out approach to a problem that is heavily documented but still trips up lots of owners and some now well documented techs.

Good job and congrats on the purchase!:thumbup:

X5only 05-16-2016 12:36 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by stiubhartach (Post 1078015)

...

11) Pull the CCV valve apart. Find a new diaphragm, but lots of old burnt oil and dirt caked around the sealing surfaces. See oil pooling in the valve where it should not be. Drain passage back into the engine is clogged.

12) Verdict: the CCV diaphragm was unable to seal correctly due to filth. The oil was unable to return to the engine also due to filth. Therefore the oil was getting sucked into the intake after a period of running with low ..
helped out many times. I hope to give back when I can.

This is an incredible post, Stiubhartach! My '05 4.4 smokes only after idling but never upon startup, even after weeks upon weeks of being parked. Or does it only leak under vacuum?:dunno: I also noticed that it's from the left exhaust only. I'm just a weekend DIY and accepted without question that my issue is of course valve stem seals, and never did any systematic investigations to verify this supposition. The smoking onset was quite sudden at around 110k miles and I've been duly performing oil changes with bmw performance oil every 6k miles since I bought the car CPO at around 45k miles. I've been quietly puzzled by this smoking issue but just accepted the common verdict that smoking after extended idling is, of course, the valve stem seals leaking, duh :rolleyes:

I've been putting off fixing it and my workaround so far has been to use shell Rotella t6 + 2 quarts lucas engine stop leak + a bottle of atp205 seal conditioner. That formula has been keeping the smoke away for a bit, but on really extended idling it still does smoke. I'm curious what you cleaned and where the filth was in your finding #10, #11, #12. Could you please point out in the diagram below if that helps? I had already replaced the two pcv sometime back (part no. 13), one had a torn diaphragm, but smoking persisted.

I'm just hoping I made the same diagnostic error as that technician at the dealership you bought your X5!......:D

Thanks for sharing!

4.8iS Le Mans_NZ 05-16-2016 05:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Great explanation, thanks - and a relatively simple solution to your issue!

My N62B48 engine has a similar smoking issue and likewise, this occurs not at startup but only after periods of extended idling, such as in traffic, etc.

The CCV parts listing for the 4.8 engine (see attached pdf) shows the valve (#4) and tube assy (#1) on back of cylinder head are either deleted from, or not applicable to this engine model, leaving just two pipes there (Item Nos. 2 & 3).
So I'm a little unsure of which CCV system part(s) I should be removing, replacing and/or cleaning on this engine.

Any advice would be appreciated.

electricalserv x5 05-16-2016 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stiubhartach (Post 1078015)
Smoking problem fixed.

My X5: 2005 X5 4.4 130k miles. One previous owner, garaged, always maintained at dealer with complete records. Very clean with most common problems already fixed by the dealer.

Problem: A couple of weeks after I purchased my BMW, I noticed a cloud of smoke at take off after idling. So, I do research and read repair records.

1) records show that the CCV system was repaired in the months previously by replacing torn diaphragms.

2) It appears that it did not fix the smoking problem, so the dealer told the PO that it was most likely valve stem seals and would be thousands to fix. So he sold it cheap.

3) I got a good deal on a clean car, but didn't know about the smoking until after purchase.

4) CCV research is very confusing due to model changes.

5) I'm experienced in the auto world, but this is my first BMW and the systems are different in some ways.

6) For the novice: BMW CCV systems are what on an American car would be refered to as the PCV system. Crank case ventilation system vs positive crankcase ventilation system. Both pull blow by gasses out of the crankcase and burn them.

7) BMW CCV is different in that there is less vacuum in the intake manifold due to the Vanos System. There is not a constant flow of suction from the top of the engine. There are two rubber diaphragms that open and close by vacuum to keep oil from entering the tube and getting sucked into the intake manifold.

8) There is no smoking on start up. Only when it sits at idle for a while. I don't believe it is the valve seals. Valve seal problems manifest mainly by oil leaking slowly down the valve stem while the engine is off and pooling in the cylinder. At startup, the oil is burned in a big cloud.

9) I am puzzled, so I do some exploration. Pull the throttle body and look into the intake manifold with a fiber optic scope. See visible oil inside the manifold. So that is how the oil is getting into the combustion chamber. How is the oil getting into the manifold?

10) Do more research. Find oil in the hose to the intake from the CCV valve.

11) Pull the CCV valve apart. Find a new diaphragm, but lots of old burnt oil and dirt caked around the sealing surfaces. See oil pooling in the valve where it should not be. Drain passage back into the engine is clogged.

12) Verdict: the CCV diaphragm was unable to seal correctly due to filth. The oil was unable to return to the engine also due to filth. Therefore the oil was getting sucked into the intake after a period of running with low vacuum.

13) The moron dealer technician did not clean out the CCV body when changing the diaphragm.

14) This was good for me, as I got a good car for a great price. Bad for the PO as he didn't really need to do thousands of dollars worth of repairs.

15) Cost to me: a few hours and $30 for new diaphragms.

Result: over a year now of ownership and not a hint of smoke or oil burning. Oil consumption is about a quart every 4 months. ( small seep at a front gasket)


I also want to thank you all for the excellent information on this site. It's helped out many times. I hope to give back when I can.

I did mine the year I bought my 4.8is, also there are MANY things to make Her to be at the best to 100% .
Do You want to know, just ask.

stiubhartach 05-16-2016 11:58 PM

If the engine smokes at start up, it is usually valve stem seals or a dripping carb or injector depending on the color of the smoke. Or coolant which is another issue all together! It takes a lot of oil burning to make a visible cloud. The amount of oil seeping past valve stem seals while the engine is running will not usually be visible to the eye. A slow seep while off can lead to enough over a few hours to make the cloud on start up. So, if there is no start up smoke, then I would bet that it is not the valve stem seals. I'll try to clarify where my problem was. I failed to take photos, so I'll try and locate enough to work. I take no credit for any photos in this post.

1) To clarify some points first. The Vanos system creates a low pressure vacuum situation in the intake manifold. That makes venting the crankcase a little more difficult than other engines.

2) BMW changed from an external oil separator and diaphragm system to an one that is integrated into the valve cover. This seems to have been done to stop the freezing of the system in cold weather which led to oil being sucked into the cylinders and hydro locking and destroying the engine. I'm not sure, but I think I recall the change was from the m62 to th n62 engines. Someone else can correct me if I'm wrong.

3) here's a quote from a manual where it calls the diaphragm assembly the " pressure control valve and says that it controls the crankcase pressure.

" The remaining vapors are passed to the engine for combustion via the pressure control valve (5) in the intake manifold. One labyrinth separator with a pressure control valve is inte-grated in each of the two cylinder head covers.

The throttle valve is controlled so that there is always a 50 mbar vacuum in the intake man-ifold. The pressure control valve regulates the crankcase pressure to a low 0-30 mbar. "


The manual link and is on page 12:

http://www.internetsomething.com/lpg...2%20Engine.pdf

I'll continue in next post.

stiubhartach 05-17-2016 12:18 AM

4) this is the diaphragm that needs changed periodically. It controls the vacuum in the crankcase and fits into the top of the valve cover. The central orange ring is one of the sealing surfaces as well as the outer area. The plastic cap seems to break tabs when it is pulled off.

http://c1552172.r72.cf0.rackcdn.com/560973_x800.jpg

5) this is a view of the valve cover with the integral pressure valve/ CCV valve.

https://c1552172.ssl.cf0.rackcdn.com/207331_x800.jpg

stiubhartach 05-17-2016 12:29 AM

6) here's another view of the CCV valve from Pelican parts.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarti...mall/pic10.jpg

7) this is a view of the inside of the valve where the gunk was. Photo is from a thread on this site. Photo is a little blurry, but other good photos on the other thread. This is the link to the thread.

http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...nt-repair.html

http://www.xoutpost.com/attachments/...air-bmw007.jpg

stiubhartach 05-17-2016 12:47 AM

8) this is similar to what the integral valve looks like inside. This is NOT the one on the n62. I think this is the external one mounted on the back of the m62. I might be wrong though. The passage toward the bottom is the oil drain to allow the oil to flow back into the engine. If it is plugged and the oil pools then it will get sucked not the intake manifold. Also, under high vacuum like acceleration, the central port is closed by the diaphragm. It only allows flow from the crankcase into the intake under light vacuum. I think this is what was not sealing in my problem. Under acceleration the high vacuum would suck pooled oil out of the valve and directly into the left side of the manifold and into the cylinders.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/a...ps420ef221.jpg

stiubhartach 05-17-2016 01:09 AM

Think I have answered most of the questions, but I will be glad to elaborate if anyone needs more info. So to recap, if you have this issue, this is what I would do.

1) buy two new diaphragms with caps. You will break the caps getting them off.

2) remove the old ones and discard. A torn diaphragm will cause this problem too.

3 clean out all the gunk with carb cleaner. Try not to let it run down into the engine. It's not the end of the world though as its volatile and will evaporate out quickly while driving.

4)Make sure that the drain passage is draining. You can pour a little oil into it and see if it goes down. A pipe cleaner might be helpful.

5) clean out the hose that goes to the intake manifold. The fitting is a handy squeeze clip thing.

6) Reassemble. There is a vacuum nipple on the cap that goes no where. It was confusing to me.

7) I emphatically do NOT recommend ever using any stop leak or oil additive products in a tight tolerance engine like this one. The sealing components tend to gum up the important stuff I use only synthetic oil. I like Mobile One 0-40, but there are many good ones.

8) synthetic oil has amazing performance, but will find every possible leak point. That's just going to happen. But an oil leak doesnt hurt anything, other than your driveway. They are usually not worth fixing. They get fixed eventually during a serious repair.

Thanks for the good response to my post. Please report back if this works for you so that other owners can benefit from the feedback. Photos are always good too.

X5only 05-18-2016 02:10 AM

I'm definitely going to try this tomorrow now that the pcvs have just arrived. Smoke comes only from the passenger side exhaust. And this gets me thinking......when I was doing the water pipe and the upper timing case gaskets, I opened only the driver side intake manifold and cleaned the vent pipes on that side only. I was able to change the passenger side timing cover without opening that side intake. Any way, we shall see tomorrow if cleaning both side stops the smoking....

By the way, in your case the smoking stopped immediately, it wasn't a gradual process, right?

I will be doubly, utterly shocked if this fixes my smoking issue:tapping:

4.8iS Le Mans_NZ 05-18-2016 06:41 PM

N62B48 smokes no more!
 
I'll definitely be replacing and cleaning those CCV parts identified by stiubhartach - many thanks for the pictures and further info.
But for now though, my smoking issue seems to have been cured by a process of trial and error, using quantities of gradually thicker oils in sequence, as follows:
1) pre-insp. II - no smoke evident
2) post-insp. II and fresh Castrol Edge 5W-30 full synthetic oil - big clouds of blue smoke after extended idle
3) drained out 4L of oil and replaced with 4L of Shell 5W-40 full synthetic - still moderate smoke after extended idle, maybe a little less than before
4) drained out 5L of oil and topped up with 5L of Penrite 10W-50 full synthetic oil - no more smoke!

I now plan to run the engine on this cocktail for 5,000 km/3,000 miles, then dump it and refill with 8L of fresh Castrol Edge 5W-40 Titanium, full synthetic.
Will report back the results.

stiubhartach 05-18-2016 10:28 PM

My smoking problem ended immediately after the repairs.

If you are unsure where the smoke is coming from, you can check the intake manifold or CCV hose for oil.

Here's some links.

Oil in CCV hoses after replacing CCV - E46Fanatics

Can I use this (Oil Catch Tank) with the ESS TS ? - Page 10 - E46Fanatics

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...1&d=1292026118

stiubhartach 05-19-2016 01:41 PM

Great link.

https://www.mann-hummel.com/corp/pro...e-ventilation/

crystalworks 05-19-2016 04:27 PM

Thanks for this information. I will be cleaning my oil passages and changing diaphragms as a result. I always thought this was VVS, but I never have smoke on startup... so I've got my fingers crossed this will sort it.

X5only 05-19-2016 06:14 PM

Both pipes, pcv and pcv surfaces were generally clean ... I got a sinking feeling in the pit of me wallet :bawling:

I chatted with my indy and asked him how come there's no smoke at startup if the valve stem seals are leaking. He says when the engine is off there's no vacuum, the leak occurs only under high vacuum conditions. Is this explanation plausible?

4.8iS Le Mans_NZ 05-19-2016 07:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by X5only (Post 1078408)
Both pipes, pcv and pcv surfaces were generally clean ... I got a sinking feeling in the pit of me wallet :bawling:

I chatted with my indy and asked him how come there's no smoke at startup if the valve stem seals are leaking. He says when the engine is off there's no vacuum, the leak occurs only under high vacuum conditions. Is this explanation plausible?

Would be plausible only if the idle vacuum is greater than the vacuum present at higher rpm, which seems wrong to me.
Have you considered trying the thicker oil solution?

upallnight 05-19-2016 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 4.8iS Le Mans_NZ (Post 1078417)
Would be plausible only if the idle vacuum is greater than the vacuum present at higher rpm, which seems wrong to me.
Have you considered trying the thicker oil solution?

At WOT (wide open throttle) there is very little manifold vacuum. At idle because the throttle plate is close and there is just a tiny gap for air to pass through, the vacuum is High. Don't believe this, connect a vacuum gauge at an manifold inlet such as the brake booster and see the vacuum at idle and the vacuum when the throttle is opened.

stiubhartach 05-19-2016 08:25 PM

I would be very surprised if a valve stem seals were leaking enough under vacuum to show visible smoke, but not leaking while the engine is off. Did you try pouring oil into the return passage and watching flow down? That's a hard place to clean.

This I some basics on valve seals:

Automotive Valve Seals: Symptoms Smoke at Startup


This is great post on the CCV system in the n62. Specifically post 18 has some more tests.

http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...8#post25763768

X5only 05-19-2016 08:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stiubhartach (Post 1078421)
I would be very surprised if a valve stem seals were leaking enough under vacuum to show visible smoke, but not leaking while the engine is off. Did you try pouring oil into the return passage and watching flow down? That's a hard place to clean.

This I some basics on valve seals:

Automotive Valve Seals: Symptoms Smoke at Startup


This is great post on the CCV system in the n62. Specifically post 18 has some more tests.

http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...8#post25763768

Trust me, I did make sure there was no obstruction to oil flow. I just read a post where another DIY whose smoking issue at idle was NOT as a result of valve stem seals leak but as a result of vacuum leak! It's a very interesting thread and concurs with you.
http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...lue-smoke.html

He, like you, does not believe that smoking only at idle is a valve stem seal leak. Looks like the mechanics have been taking us for a ride or what?

I just got some pcs seals for the passenger side as that is leaking and, guess what, only the passenger side exhaust leaks.

I will report tomorrow if that fixes anything.

http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/x5-e53-forum/90922-solved-engine-failsafe-after-valve-cover-seal-replacement-blue-smoke.html

"A.) Immediately after a cold startup - the first startup after a prolonged period of the engine being off, like sitting in your garage over night?
If so, valve stem seals could be your issue; but I believe this to be a limited failure only seen in the early 745i.

B.) Or, like mine, does the smoke appear as an embarrassing cloud of shame - typically after accelerating from prolonged idling, like sitting at a really long stop light or stop and go traffic...?

Cause of A.)Valve Stem seals only leak down, meaning they have to sit for a long time and be cold (small) enough for oil to slowly drip past them; theoretically, it could deteriorate to the point where would leak all of the time, but you’d see the smoke issue as a constant factor, rather than just when the engine is warm. When valve stem seals get warm, they expand. The expansion would reseal the path the oil was leaking through until the seal cooled to the point where it was small enough for oil to seep past. This is why failing
valve stem seals can cause smoking at startup - oil has dripped past, collected in your cylinder, and then gets burned off the next time the car starts….and the smoking stops when it gets warm…only to return the next time your car has been sitting and is cold.

Cause of B.) is caused, essentially, by a vacuum leak that prevents the PRVs from sealing...drawing oil into your intake.
"

4.8iS Le Mans_NZ 05-19-2016 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by upallnight (Post 1078420)
At WOT (wide open throttle) there is very little manifold vacuum. At idle because the throttle plate is close and there is just a tiny gap for air to pass through, the vacuum is High. Don't believe this, connect a vacuum gauge at an manifold inlet such as the brake booster and see the vacuum at idle and the vacuum when the throttle is opened.

Of course, that's right.........I was having a little brain fade there.....:iagree:

stiubhartach 05-19-2016 11:12 PM

Your are correct that idle is the highest point of vacuum in the intake manifold in all normal cars. . BMW Vanos is slightly different in that the throttle plate is controlled by the computer and is not used for rpm control and defaults to fully open when the engine is running. That's why there is a supplementary vacuum pump.

stiubhartach 05-19-2016 11:16 PM

Good links to the vacuum link threads. Never thought of that angle, but it makes sense. Here's a little more basics from your very knowledgeable poster.

http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...v-details.html

Note: my x5 had the valve cover gaskets replaced at the dealer.

X5only 05-20-2016 01:02 AM

Here's another one by the same author:
http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...ml#post1011117

If fixing all vacuum leaks stops my smoking issue at extended idle, then the valve stem seals replacement as the default repair for this issue as recommended by professional mechanics, in my book, is going to be the greatest BMW auto repair scandal equivalent to the VW tdi and now Mitsubishi mpg saga.:tsk:

stiubhartach 05-22-2016 03:03 PM

Interesting link. The AGA valve stem tool is what caught my attention. If you were trying to fix a smoking problem and pulled the valve covers to replace the gaskets and clean the vacuum hoses etc, the tool would allow valve stem seal replacement without pulling the heads and cams.

I'm a firm believer in replacing wearable components while you are in the area. This would mean that a valve stem seal replacement would only be another couple of hours rather than an extra 20 hours work. The extra effort would be worth the insurance of new seals.

Tool: 11-12-7-568-838 Valve Stem Seals | AGA Products

X5only 05-22-2016 04:41 PM

I replaced the seals that are on the valve covers (cps etc) but smoking persists on very extended idle- idled for 20 minutes and there was a huge plume of smoke when I hit the accelerator. There was some improvement in performance so I must have had some vacuum leaks - some sensors had signs of oil leak.

I'm taking her in for a thorough smoke test to rule out any vacuum leaks. If no vacuum leaks are found then I will know I'm dealing with valve stem seals leak, right?

4.8iS Le Mans_NZ 05-22-2016 05:48 PM

First try changing the engine oil to something a little thicker, like Mobil 1 10W-40 High Mileage.

stiubhartach 05-23-2016 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by X5only (Post 1078611)
I replaced the seals that are on the valve covers (cps etc) but smoking persists on very extended idle- idled for 20 minutes and there was a huge plume of smoke when I hit the accelerator. There was some improvement in performance so I must have had some vacuum leaks - some sensors had signs of oil leak.

I'm taking her in for a thorough smoke test to rule out any vacuum leaks. If no vacuum leaks are found then I will know I'm dealing with valve stem seals leak, right?

Possibly. Before you drop a couple thousand in repairs on seals, take a physical look inside the intake manifold. I used a fiber optic scope, but the hole is pretty big. You could even put a phone in side I think. Another owner temporarily replace the CCV line with clear PCV line and diagnosed it that way. If you see no oil and it is still smoking, then it is probably seals ( or rings). Rings won't leak while sitting, but will smoke while running, not just at idle. I think that is rare though. Note the dipstick can be a vacuum leak too. Also you can diagnose vacuum level in the crankcase at the dipstick, but I don't remember the particulars.

Here's another thread.

http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...cuum-line.html

X5only 05-23-2016 05:47 PM

The seals on top of the valve covers are very cheap (spent no more than $40 for sensor seals, oil fill cap, etc). There was no oil on the passenger side PCV line that connects on top of the intake manifold- it was bone dry. The driver side PCV line had some oil and the exhaust tips on that side is the one that was smoking heavily (passenger side tail pipe had very little smoke). I'd changed the seals on the dip stick and installed a new oil filler cap (it was leaking oil and there were signs of oil wetness on the side of the valve cover).

Great idea on using a clear pipe to replace PCV lines. I have some old PCV lines and I can cut off the tips and join them to a clear pipe.

I want to conclusively prove it's the valve stem seals that are leaking before embarking on their replacement.

D Unit 05-28-2016 11:31 AM

subscribed

X5only 05-28-2016 01:10 PM

Planning to tackle the smoke issue this weekend. Here's additional info I found in my searches:

545i Blue smoke after idle, Valve seals? - Page 6 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

See post #146.

stiubhartach 05-28-2016 02:19 PM

Good post in #146. I agree with him and disagree with the follow up posters who claim to be BMW techs. I've known some terrible techs who were just glorified parts changers and didn't understand systems at all. Valve stem seals do fail, but CCV vacuum leaks are more common and far cheaper to fix. Remember as you diagnose ,that residual oil in the manifold and hoses will take a while to clean out.

Don't drive the car with a plugged CCV system. The crank case needs vented to the outside air to allow blowby to escape. The intake manifold hose port can be plugged indefinitely.

I fixed an old Alfa Spider I owned by putting a catch can in the equivalent vent line. I just manually drained it once in a while.

Good hunting!

X5only 05-28-2016 02:58 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by stiubhartach (Post 1079097)
Good post in #146. I agree with him and disagree with the follow up posters who claim to be BMW techs. I've known some terrible techs who were just glorified parts changers and didn't understand systems at all. Valve stem seals do fail, but CCV vacuum leaks are more common and far cheaper to fix. Remember as you diagnose ,that residual oil in the manifold and hoses will take a while to clean out.

Don't drive the car with a plugged CCV system. The crank case needs vented to the outside air to allow blowby to escape. The intake manifold hose port can be plugged indefinitely.

I fixed an old Alfa Spider I owned by putting a catch can in the equivalent vent line. I just manually drained it once in a while.

Good hunting!

To clarify, which ports do you mean can be plugged during diagnosis - red arrow or green arrow?

stiubhartach 05-28-2016 03:42 PM

Red arrows must be plugged or you get a vacuum leak which messes up the mixture. Green arrows need to be open, or vented to allow pressure that escapes by the rings into the crankcase to escape. Normally it gets sucked into the intake ( red arrows) and burned in the cylinders.

X5only 05-28-2016 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stiubhartach (Post 1079109)
Red arrows must be plugged or you get a vacuum leak which messes up the mixture. Green arrows need to be open, or vented to allow pressure that escapes by the rings into the crankcase to escape. Normally it gets sucked into the intake ( red arrows) and burned in the cylinders.

Got it, thanks!

X5only 05-28-2016 07:33 PM

Ok, smoke test done by Indy came out negative- no vacuum leaks. Further, my diagnosis shows that the car still smokes after unplugging the pcv hoses and sealing intake manifold ports. I idled for around 20 minutes then revved until smoking stopped, idled again and repeated the process multiple times with the same results- heavy blue-white smoke. So this proves that the valve stem seals is the source of the oil and not the CCV system.

stiubhartach 05-28-2016 10:57 PM

It does appear to be valve stems seals for you. Did you do a visual inspection inside the intake manifold for oil? It's 4 bolts to remove the throttle body. Don't lose the bolts! They are very hard to find replacements for.

X5only 06-10-2016 12:07 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by stiubhartach (Post 1079140)
It does appear to be valve stems seals for you. Did you do a visual inspection inside the intake manifold for oil? It's 4 bolts to remove the throttle body. Don't lose the bolts! They are very hard to find replacements for.

Ok, the driver side pipe has oil, passenger side doesn't- so points to oil being sucked through it implying a vacuum leak somewhere? The other perplexing thing is that there's absolutely no oil on any of my spark plugs! If it were leaking valve stem seals, wouldn't they be fouled?

stiubhartach 06-10-2016 12:40 AM

It definitely looks like oil in the pipe. That's what mine looked like on the drivers side also. That points to good news.

The other thread talked of only a couple plugs being fouled by valve stem seals due to uneven failure rate of the seals. If they all look similar it points to other causes. Also good news for you.

Keep up the search!

fishhouse4 06-29-2018 03:18 PM

Digging up an old thread here but just wanted to share my experience for others:

New to me 06 4.8is with 77k was producing white smoke after extended idle (~ 5 min or so). Of course I assumed it was the dreaded valve stem seals.

Anyways, after reading this thread I pulled the engine covers and investigated my CCV system. Found that the diaphragm on the right side had a tear and the breather hose on the left side cracked open. The PO (or their mechanic) choose to repair both with Duct tape! :confused:

Ordered new hoses and 2 CCV valves for both banks and cleaned inside the housings. Reinstalled everything and my smoke is gone!!! I expect oil consumption to improve (although I need to address small seep at top of upper time chain cover next).

Many thanks for this post! $60 in DIY replacement parts sure beats a valve stem job!!

stiubhartach 06-29-2018 06:22 PM

Congratulations on your victory over poor maintenance! Now we have proof that duct tape isn’t suitable for CCV systems. And congratulations on your new 4.8is. You’ll love it!

JokerElite 10-05-2018 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stiubhartach (Post 1078095)
Think I have answered most of the questions, but I will be glad to elaborate if anyone needs more info. So to recap, if you have this issue, this is what I would do.

1) buy two new diaphragms with caps. You will break the caps getting them off.

2) remove the old ones and discard. A torn diaphragm will cause this problem too.

3 clean out all the gunk with carb cleaner. Try not to let it run down into the engine. It's not the end of the world though as its volatile and will evaporate out quickly while driving.

4)Make sure that the drain passage is draining. You can pour a little oil into it and see if it goes down. A pipe cleaner might be helpful.

5) clean out the hose that goes to the intake manifold. The fitting is a handy squeeze clip thing.

6) Reassemble. There is a vacuum nipple on the cap that goes no where. It was confusing to me.

7) I emphatically do NOT recommend ever using any stop leak or oil additive products in a tight tolerance engine like this one. The sealing components tend to gum up the important stuff I use only synthetic oil. I like Mobile One 0-40, but there are many good ones.

8) synthetic oil has amazing performance, but will find every possible leak point. That's just going to happen. But an oil leak doesnt hurt anything, other than your driveway. They are usually not worth fixing. They get fixed eventually during a serious repair.

Thanks for the good response to my post. Please report back if this works for you so that other owners can benefit from the feedback. Photos are always good too.

Is there supposed to be a hose connected to the CCV cap on a 2005 4.4i? The picture from pelican shows one (not where the arrow is) but it isn't like that on my car.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarti...mall/pic10.jpg

stiubhartach 10-05-2018 01:09 PM

>Is there supposed to be a hose connected to the CCV cap on a 2005 4.4i? The picture from pelican shows one (not where the arrow is) but it isn't like that on my car.

My 2005 4.4i didn’t have one. The nipple on the cap is actually missing.

You can do research on RealOEM to determine when the change occurred.

RealOEM.com - Online BMW Parts Catalog

JokerElite 10-05-2018 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stiubhartach (Post 1143432)
>Is there supposed to be a hose connected to the CCV cap on a 2005 4.4i? The picture from pelican shows one (not where the arrow is) but it isn't like that on my car.

My 2005 4.4i didn’t have one. The nipple on the cap is actually missing.

You can do research on RealOEM to determine when the change occurred.

RealOEM.com - Online BMW Parts Catalog

Strangely enough, my caps have the nipple. And coincidentally my build date is one day after yours!

Would torn diaphragms cause rough idle and stalling? This is actually the problem I was chasing when I noticed they were torn. New ones are on the way.

X5M-ISH 05-09-2019 06:16 PM

This thread (and the other linked thread to McDonaldD’s) compelled me to register and post. As others have stated, by virtue of the power of observation and a bit of mechanical basics, one can conclude that valve stem seals are not the likely culprate to the ‘idling smoke puff of shame’. Whether you drive a BMW or an Acura or Ferrari, vacuum leaks are the devil. This does not mean that valve stem seals don’t fail, it’s just not very common. Not as common as the internet would scare someone to believe and if true would be a huge failure on BMW’s part.

I picked up a 2006 4.8is last week knowing that their was smoking after prolonged idling. However, with how well the engine pulls like a freight train (and concluding a 2,000 mile road trip from picking it up at its place for sale) I am not convinced at all that the valve stem seals are bad. Coming across this thread after five days of searching different key words and reading all the subsequent linked-threads further solidifies vacuum/oil leaks that my IS is currently experiencing. Today being the first day I have had time to take a look around the N62, I have high confidence this is the case.

Summarizing my observations:
*passenger side valve cover noise dampener has oil around the knock outs for the dipstick and CPS.
*pulling off all noise dampening covers reveal both camp position sensors are weaping oil.
*the sensor on the pass-side valve cover in front of the CPS is weaping oil
*the oil filler cap is weaping oil.
*the oil dipstick is not nesting as tight as it should be. Generally on a new motor there is a bit of a ‘pop’ noise when pulling out the dipstick.
*CCV are in good shape, however there looks to be a misalignment issue on both valve covers (not sure if this is normal). Meaning the black plastic hole does not rest equally centered/alligned to the hole below it on the heads. These two respective holes are off by about 3 mm.
*passenger side vacuum hose valve-cover-to-intake-manifold is gummed up with brown crud throughout.
*driver side vacuum hose valve-cover-to-intake-manifold is gummed up with brown crud on the intake port side.
*the bunge located above the throttle body is restricted with brown crud.
*inside of intake manifold shows signs of oil contamination. While I can still see some of the green coating, oil is in there.
*PO had the alternator replaced. I am unable to verify whether the gasket was replaced during reinstallation as discussed in the McDonaldD’s thread. This can also be another point of contention for vacuum leaks.

*Oil consumption is low and under the threshold outlined by the BMW bulletin.
*Gas mileage is around 23-24 highway and 18 city.
*Engine purrs like a kitten at idle and through out rpm range.
*Engine pulls and pulls when the gas pedal is into it.
*no weaping anywhere else around or under the engine.

I like to weigh time involved vs repair price. I’ll be starting with the cheapest solutions first basically replacing every gasket, o ring and hose in and around the vavle covers. Thanks to the OP and McDonaldD for their insighful and detailed threads. Very much appreciated.

X5only 05-09-2019 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by X5M-ISH (Post 1161887)
This thread (and the other linked thread to McDonaldD’s) compelled me to register and post. As others have stated, by virtue of the power of observation and a bit of mechanical basics, one can conclude that valve stem seals are not the likely culprate to the ‘idling smoke puff of shame’. Whether you drive a BMW or an Acura or Ferrari, vacuum leaks are the devil. This does not mean that valve stem seals don’t fail, it’s just not very common. Not as common as the internet would scare someone to believe and if true would be a huge failure on BMW’s part.

I picked up a 2006 4.8is last week knowing that their was smoking after prolonged idling. However, with how well the engine pulls like a freight train (and concluding a 2,000 mile road trip from picking it up at its place for sale) I am not convinced at all that the valve stem seals are bad. Coming across this thread after five days of searching different key words and reading all the subsequent linked-threads further solidifies vacuum/oil leaks that my IS is currently experiencing. Today being the first day I have had time to take a look around the N62, I have high confidence this is the case.

Summarizing my observations:
*passenger side valve cover noise dampener has oil around the knock outs for the dipstick and CPS.
*pulling off all noise dampening covers reveal both camp position sensors are weaping oil.
*the sensor on the pass-side valve cover in front of the CPS is weaping oil
*the oil filler cap is weaping oil.
*the oil dipstick is not nesting as tight as it should be. Generally on a new motor there is a bit of a ‘pop’ noise when pulling out the dipstick.
*CCV are in good shape, however there looks to be a misalignment issue on both valve covers (not sure if this is normal). Meaning the black plastic hole does not rest equally centered/alligned to the hole below it on the heads. These two respective holes are off by about 3 mm.
*passenger side vacuum hose valve-cover-to-intake-manifold is gummed up with brown crud throughout.
*driver side vacuum hose valve-cover-to-intake-manifold is gummed up with brown crud on the intake port side.
*the bunge located above the throttle body is restricted with brown crud.
*inside of intake manifold shows signs of oil contamination. While I can still see some of the green coating, oil is in there.
*PO had the alternator replaced. I am unable to verify whether the gasket was replaced during reinstallation as discussed in the McDonaldD’s thread. This can also be another point of contention for vacuum leaks.

*Oil consumption is low and under the threshold outlined by the BMW bulletin.
*Gas mileage is around 23-24 highway and 18 city.
*Engine purrs like a kitten at idle and through out rpm range.
*Engine pulls and pulls when the gas pedal is into it.
*no weaping anywhere else around or under the engine.

I like to weigh time involved vs repair price. I’ll be starting with the cheapest solutions first basically replacing every gasket, o ring and hose in and around the vavle covers. Thanks to the OP and McDonaldD for their insighful and detailed threads. Very much appreciated.

Been there done all that - twice. I replaced every conceivable seal and gasket, including the oil dipstick seals and oil fill cap seal....everything (valve cover and upper timing case gaskets, vacuum pump seals, etc). What a waste of time and money - the vehicle still smoked like hell. But this is just my case. Yours could be totally different. Nonetheless, by replacing the valve cover gaskets, you've done nearly 80% of the work involved in valve stem seals replacement! So why not just go the extra step to replace them, whether they're the culprit or not. You see, I was in the same boat and I really wanted to avoid tackling the valve stem seals because I was very fearful of the work involved and tools. I don't have a reliable air-compressor and was concerned that family and neighbors would complain if I got a larger one. However, later I learned that an air-compressor is not required (a bungee code is an alternate) and, having watched numerous videos, the task of replacing the valve stem seals is not hard - just time consuming. And I found a cheaper tool (about $370) as an alternative to the AGA tool.

stiubhartach 05-09-2019 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by X5M-ISH (Post 1161887)
This thread (and the other linked thread to McDonaldD’s) compelled me to register and post.

*passenger side vacuum hose valve-cover-to-intake-manifold is gummed up with brown crud throughout.
*driver side vacuum hose valve-cover-to-intake-manifold is gummed up with brown crud on the intake port side.
*the bunge located above the throttle body is restricted with brown crud.
*inside of intake manifold shows signs of oil contamination. While I can still see some of the green coating, oil is in there.

Welcome to the Xoutpost community! And congratulations on purchasing an excellent piece of engineering.

Notes on your findings.

1. Oil in the throttle body and intake manifold indicates that it’s sucking oil out of the engine. There no other route for oil to enter the intake manifold. And the only exit route is into the cylinder and out the tail pipe as smoke.

2. External oil leaks are messy, but don’t harm the engine. As long as you keep the oil level up. So, if you’re looking to minimize cost, you can wait. Just park over cardboard.

Emory39 06-04-2019 11:28 PM

The X5 had been burning some oil and a small puff of smoke after extended Idle. I have replaced the CCV last November I thought cool that's it. But no still burning oil, so today I decided to look into it and ended up finding this threat.


*I have no visible oil leak.
* CCV system is clean of gunk
* there is oil residue in the hoses and the intake


Heres what I think is where it gets weird, or it is ok.
I did a vacuum test at various spots.


*intake manifold 0 vacuum
*small hose at intake hose 0 vacuum

*dip stick 0 vacuum
*vacuum pump 60 vacuum




the gauge did not register any vacuum on those places, but there was maybe 0.5 in vacuum.
Can someone with a vacuum gauge test this spots for vacuum and report back? Or give me another point of views that I might be missing.

stiubhartach 06-04-2019 11:56 PM

The VANOS engine controls rpm by adjusting the valve timing rather than throttle position (air flow). The throttle plate opens fully while the engine is running. This means that there’s negligible vacuum at idle. That’s the main weakness of the CCV system.

Here’s more info:

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=911135

Emory39 06-05-2019 10:14 AM

So I went over that thread, and what i got from it is that I might need to remove the valve covers to better clean the ccv "cyclone separators" on the underside of the valve cover. And replace the ccv valves again beacuse I noticed that the inner seal have a small piece of it mising.


Will that be the best way to follow the diagnosis?

stiubhartach 06-05-2019 10:42 AM

The 'cyclone' oil separator is in the M62 engine. Your N62 engine has a simple valve built into the head. There's no cyclone underneath.



The correct way to clean the valve is to remove the valve cover. I was lazy and cleaned mine by blowing carb cleaner down the hole and into the engine. Then I immediately changed the oil. This is NOT the correct way.







Here's more info with a good explanation of failures:


https://www.meeknet.co.uk/e31/BMW_M6...entilation.htm


Underside of the valve cover:


https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/8lAAA...rp/s-l1600.jpg


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