2002 BMW 325i Q&A
2002 BMW 325i Question: Oil leak into cylinder.
Theres smoke coming out my exhaust. My mechanic said that without taking the engine apart he could only tell that oil was leaking into the cylinder. However, I notice my engine has been starting to shake. While in park, the rev got extremely slow and the check engine light came on. I turned the car off and started it back up and the light went off. Are these symptoms related? What needs to be done? - lioneljr
Yes the symptoms are related. Oil leaking into the cylinder can cause a misfire, and a misfire causes the check engine light to come on. The engine needs to be repaired so it won't misfire. - rdude135
-from Virginia Hey lioneljr, the same thing just happened to my 2001 BMW 325cic... garage kept well maintained 90k miles....and I know how seeing all that smoke can freak a person out. I sure was wondering what the...but then I did my homework There is most likely nothing wrong with your engine. The part that needs repair is a simple thing outside the engine. The PCV or in BMW talk Crankcase-Ventilation/oil seperator is most likely the culprit from all that I have been reading from a number of different BMW sites. (do a google or yahoo search on BMW and the phrase above) Apparently these devices are known to go bad a LOT, especially in cold weather, but can fail in non-cold climates too. Just the other night we had a weather freeze warning. On the 7th, at the advice of the TV weatherman, I remembered bringing the spring plants in that I had just two days earlier put out on the back deck. The next day, driving home from the office, was when the problem started with my car... but the PCV had probably been degrading throughout the winter. There is a BMW service bulletin out on the problem instructing their service mechanics and technicians on how to handle customers presenting with the problem, but it seems they have never issued a voluntary recall... I think BMW is slipping. It seems water/condensation can build up in the oil seperator valve (ie PCV) or in one of the several hoses that connect to it and on an especially cold night or morning expand in the plastic and crack it or damage the valve. Oil then can leak back into the engine and exhaust valves and/or cylinders and cause minor or major problems depending on whether the PCV valve fails open or shut. Most often the problem is relatively minor resulting in the thick white/blue smoke you witnessed billowing from your exhuast pipe. If the problem were more serious oil would build up in your cylinders (and since a fluid is incompressible) your engine would have locked up and you would not have been able to start it at all. So thats the good news!!! I have just purchased the BMW Crankcase ventilation kit part #11 61 7 533 from Bavarian Autosport www.BavAuto.com without shipping it came to $169 and the forum say that while it is a tough repair only because of where it is located, a competent do-it-yourselfer should be able to complete the repair over a Saturday. The problem is so prevalent that they make an entire kit that includes the oil seperator valve (which looks like a plastic mechanical heart) and all of the hoses, elbows, and clamps since your old ones might be brittle or have holes that also add to the vaccum problem that can also cause the rough or intermittent idle and the check engine light. These new BMW crankcase valve kits are supposed to be Cold weather enhanced with insulation too. If you take it to the dealer, not under warranty (my 2001 is nolonger under any warranty) it will cost you from $750 to $1000 for the total repair, parts and labor. It seems to me such a ridiculous design that a part like this could fail in a way to destroy an engine without any warning in the worst case scenario or like yours and mine did thankfully with just an awful embarrassing thick plume of white smoke trailing out the tail of a seemingly first class auto. I have owned a '93 BMW 325i and my '01 325cic , while I love the cars and the fun memories, I don't think I will purchase another one for this coming decade. I have had other annoying little simple and big costly things happen with the '01 vehicle that I nolonger believe BMW is the ultimate driving machine... its just corporate bottom lines and advertising now. Sorry to end on a downer, but hope this helps you and others in the continued search for information. P.S. from the statement of your mechanic in your post, I would recommend finding a better informed mechanic. Or talk to him about this and see what he says. - VertexBMW
Does anyone know when BMW started production using the PCV system that does not fail? I've seen a service bulletin dated 2009 but understand this problem may have had an earlier bulletin. Does anyone know if you can tell if the car has an updated system (without removing the manifold)? - Szabaka
My 325i has had a fan/blower problem for the past year or so where it will only work once in a while. when it is working it will not blow on low speed, only high. Las nite I cranked up the heat and...