1995 BMW 328

Engine Performance problem
1995 BMW 328 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 200000 km


I noticed about 10,000 km ago(last month) the engine oil level was getting very low, very quickly, in fact I had to refill about one liter every 800-1000 km. I've been using the Castrol Magnatec 10w40 for the past 30000 km and the Shell Helix Ultra ( 15w50 or something like that) before that.

I switched recently to a cheap oil - ZIC 20w50, because, frankly I can't afford to refill the Shell or the Magnatec every second day or so( the car is doing 500-550 km daily, 6 days per week).

I've tried at the local workshops of course, and got to change the cover gasket(showing a certain leak) but that didn't solve the problem at all. I feel that the mechanics at those workshops keep guessing just as I do but, I can't afford to replace whatever they feel it's wrong next just to end up narrowing the possibilities. One of them suggested that I should replace an external valve, whilst the second one said the engine must be opened and the rings( probably the cylinders rings) must be replaced.

Both these procedures are pretty costly with the local workshops and I would like another opinion before I proceed. Thank you in advance. Regards, John
June 30, 2009.

Unless the lower end got hot and wasted the oil control rings, there is some other reason for the oil consumption. Have you repaired any vacuum leaks?

Dr. Hagerty
Jun 30, 2009.
Thank you for the quick reply. Please forgive my ignorance but I'm not sure what are the vacuum leaks.

I've only had the cover gasket replaced until now and of course the belts. I've had problems with the water pump before and changed it with an original part, along with the radiator but nothing else major. The engine looks very well at least from the outside and, aside from the recent switch to some cheap oil, I've tried my level best to take proper care of it.

It's very hot here right now(Middle East) and I thought(was advised too) of going for a higher weight oil. Even with the current problem, the engine " seems" to respond well, at least well enough for a car with this mileage. The maximum speed I'm driving nowadays is 120kph, reaching 130kph very rarely. The petrol consumption is also ok, the car will do approximately 600km with a full tank of 98 petrol.

I'm not sure if any of this information can be of help, please let me know what other details would you require for a better idea. Thank you. Regards, John

Jun 30, 2009.