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E21, E30 General discussion and technical help for 1975-1991 3 series cars.

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Old 07-26-2007, 09:33 PM   #1
celsdogg
 
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oil consumption

i know engines are supposed to consume a bit of oil over time. but lately, my M20 seems to be consuming a lot. today it needed a quart.

its last oil change was 1200 miles ago. before this last oil change, it needed two quarts in the 3k miles between oil changes. there is no leaking or smoking of any sort. but im gonna pull the plugs tomorrow and see how they look. hope the rings and gasket are ok.

in my last E30 i would need a quart between oil changes, but that was just before oil change time, and that engine had a leak. so what is going on here?

i guess i do drive it particularly hard. my bentley says that BMW consideres it excessive if it needs a quart every 390 miles. above that, its fine.

thoughts or ideas?
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:44 PM   #2
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Sounds fishy. Like when I have a problem and overlook something... which I do a lot, sadly.

Let us know what the spark plugs tell you.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:11 PM   #3
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My car started using more as I got near 165,000 or so. After an overheat and rebuilt cylinder head, I'm not sure how it's doing cause I don't drive it much. But when it started, it was as mysterious as you seem to find yours
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:11 PM   #4
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u know..i think its normal.

I say this because my 330 has ate a quart and a half one one oil change when i drove it like a monster. Otherwise she doesnt drink any. No leaks anywhere and no exhaust smoke what so ever.

318 on the other hand has never taken any oil. Except when i ran 5-30 by accident and it didnt like that.


I went to the dealer and asked them about the car taking oil, theey said it was normal for bmws to take about a quart.

but i would still check things out.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:19 PM   #5
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Mine eats about a quart between changes. Barely anything over that and I drive it hard. I'll ask my partners over here and see what I get.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:53 PM   #6
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Whats the weight and brand of the oil your using?
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:57 PM   #7
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I rarely lose any oil in between changes (maybe I'm lucky), but I wouldn't think it to be normal to lose more than a quart but it sounds like you could be normal, how old is your engine?
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Old 07-27-2007, 01:03 AM   #8
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thanks everyone.

its 5w-30, non synth. i have almost 160k on it now.

i changed the plugs about 10k miles ago. when i pulled those, they looked great, and im not expecting the current plugs to be any different.
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Old 07-27-2007, 01:10 AM   #9
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Might be time to do this.
http://www.blackstone-labs.com/
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Old 07-27-2007, 01:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celsdogg
thanks everyone.

its 5w-30, non synth. i have almost 160k on it now.

i changed the plugs about 10k miles ago. when i pulled those, they looked great, and im not expecting the current plugs to be any different.
Should just be normal then with an older engine. It doesn't sound like its causing any significant difficulties.
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Old 07-27-2007, 02:51 AM   #11
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I'd be using a little heavier wt oil this time of year (especially if you're running non-syn) try using 10-30. A quart of non-syn in 3500 is normal. Plus you mentioned you're driving it harder that could be a contributing factor.
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:31 AM   #12
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I used to lose about a quart per 4k in the old 325i. 5W-30 at 160k is pretty thin. A car can still burn a good amount of oil without much detection. I would concur with c1's recommendation, go to 10W-30 and see how the car adjusts to it.
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Old 07-27-2007, 02:37 PM   #13
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ok, here they are. the number 5 spark plug smelled strongly like gas while the others were all faint, and none of them smelled like burning oil. the number 6 plug had a bunch of heavy grease around it, it was weird.

they looked fine when i had them out, but they look worse in the photos.

thoughts?
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Old 07-27-2007, 03:29 PM   #14
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just for reference, here is the previous set of plugs. changed late last year.
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Old 07-27-2007, 03:50 PM   #15
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In person, does plug #1 look very white in comparison to plug #4?

Also, I've heard that oil (on #6) can find it's way above the spark plug. Personally, I've never had that problem, but a DIY on Pelican Parts says that it's not necessarily a huge deal.

For reference, I always use Mobil Clean 5000 (10W-40). I change my oil every 2500 - 3000 miles. My car has 146,000 miles on it and the car burns absolutely no oil, but then again, that could be an M42 thing.

Edit: Can I ask why you changed to Bosch +4 plugs?
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