2004 BMW 325 Oil consumption issue

Tiny
RSM
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 BMW 325
  • 6 CYL
  • AWD
  • MANUAL
  • 140,000 MILES
Hello,

I have read a significant amount of posts on BMWs excessively using oil but did not see a response that clearly fit, so I thought it worthwhile to post this question. If it has been answered, a link to the post would be appreciated. The car is a 2004 325xi with 140K. Oil light started coming on with concomitant oil consumption. Adding oil would cause the light to go off for awhile. Dealer replaced valve cover gasket as a first run at the problem; some minor improvement. Next the oil separator was replaced; again minimal change. Now the car was checked and the worksheet indicated the following: "found rings not freed up-may need engine. Technician would need further diagnosis time to dissemble motor. Possible vehicle will need motor replaced."

The dealer said he could get a new motor for 7K plus I am sure installation will be pricy. Meanwhile the car runs fine but is using lots of oil. Any other less expensive fix suggestions would be really appreciated. At 140K replacing the engine seems stupid. Also, if it is running fine what is the downside to just pouring oil into it for the forseeable future. Fixes, suggestions, ideas? THANKS!
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Monday, January 4th, 2010 AT 7:18 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
I have had the same experience, the engine in question had no oil rings. Replacement of the engine or just pour oil in it, that is a tough call, I would need to weigh all the variables. For 7k, I just don't know.
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Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 AT 3:19 AM
Tiny
RSM
  • MEMBER
Hi Pat,

I am the guy who you helped with the Z3 bumper replacement. Nice to find you again. Your answer was a little vague. How could the car "have no rings" and run fine with a large amount of oil consumption? Any other options other than the two I proposed to you. Any other diagnostic thoughts?

Thanks,

Richard
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Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 AT 5:19 AM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
I know it seems weird but I took a high mileage CPO 530 M54 motor apart for inspection and there were no oil rings installed from the factory. Other than leaking oil or burning/consuming oil, I do not know how to diagnose this oil usage issue. If the cyclone separator or any of the attached hoses are compromised, there would be something to do. BMW builds one of the best inline six motors on the planet and for one of theirs to consume oil, something is amiss. Smoke test the intake for vacuum leaks. When did this consumption become apparent?
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Friday, January 8th, 2010 AT 8:41 AM
Tiny
MJW334
  • MEMBER
I have the same situation. I have a 325xi with approx 95k miles. After my last 2 changes, my oil kept coming on. No sign of smoke or leaks and car runs fine.
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Friday, January 14th, 2011 AT 5:53 PM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
I just dont know what to tell you here.
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Friday, January 14th, 2011 AT 6:11 PM
Tiny
DR. HAGERTY
  • MEMBER
The folks that build the motors do a great job, it seems that we are sometimes stuck with an oil drinker, and there isn't an obvious reason, so we trauma share and cry in our beers.
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Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 AT 6:44 PM

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