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Thread: Talk Me Down From the Ledge, Please?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
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    South Central Wisconsin
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    Talk Me Down From the Ledge, Please?

    After a long night shift, I headed home today in -9ºF weather. About 20-25 minutes from home, I noticed the yellow oil pressure warning indicator. Being in no position to immediately investigate during a -30ºF windchill on the interstate, I kept driving. At a stoplight about a mile from home, I smelled what seemed like road tar—or burning oil. I arrived home, threw open the iced-over hood, and discovered oil all over the right side of the engine bay. I impulsively pulled up the dipstick, and black oil literally boiled up from it, splattering my jacket as I jumped back. And being as tired as I am right now, I’m not sure whether to cry and plan to buy a new car, or whether I just need to replace the valve cover gasket (I think), fill the ZHP with fresh Mobil1 0W40 and LiquiMoly Ceratec, clean up the engine bay and drive on.

    Thoughts?


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    Last edited by MsRN; 01-25-2019 at 09:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Picton, ON
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    don't jump!!

    first off - this sucks, and mostly because it's the middle of winter.

    if oil is bubbling out of the dipstick, then you have positive pressure in the crankcase. do you still have a CCV with the supercharger? regardless... with those temps you're experiencing, it sounds like you may have some frozen oil condensate somewhere in the CCV/PCV plumbing. that would cause pressure buildup in the crankcase, head, etc - oil will escape at the path of least resistance, which is usually the valve cover gasket. hopefully your valve cover didn't crack.

    i have experienced this firsthand with my old ZHP - before i figured out how to heat the oil catch can so that the system wouldn't freeze over (we have a similar climate here).

    get some sleep, and then have a look for the source of the oil leak. you got this!
    peter

    2009 BMW 335i M Sport 6MT

    2015 VW Golf TSI Comfortline 5MT

    2007 BMW X3 3.0si M Sport 6MT

  3. #3
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    The car still has crankcase ventilation—there’s a PCV hose between the valve cover and the S/C. So are you thinking that the PCV hose could have frozen? Or by CCV are you referring to another part of the CV system?


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  4. #4
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    The dealership had one valve cover gasket in stock; I’ll pick it up with oil and a filter after a nap. According to the parts guy at my dealership, this is a common problem for E46s in this climate, and there are a few fixes for it. More later!


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsRN View Post
    The car still has crankcase ventilation—there’s a PCV hose between the valve cover and the S/C. So are you thinking that the PCV hose could have frozen? Or by CCV are you referring to another part of the CV system?
    yep... exactly, that hose. pull it off and check the insides!


    Quote Originally Posted by MsRN View Post
    The dealership had one valve cover gasket in stock; I’ll pick it up with oil and a filter after a nap. According to the parts guy at my dealership, this is a common problem for E46s in this climate, and there are a few fixes for it. More later!
    if there is positive crankcase pressure, you need to find the root cause - hopefully it's the PCV hose (or the PCV itself!).
    peter

    2009 BMW 335i M Sport 6MT

    2015 VW Golf TSI Comfortline 5MT

    2007 BMW X3 3.0si M Sport 6MT

  6. #6
    I get mayo in the winter and I have been running around around in 5th gear to see if it being at higher rpm levels helps combat that, I will let you know if that helps.

  7. #7
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    The whole OEM CCV system is eliminated with the TS supercharger. It replaces the stock manifold. All there is, is one hose from the valve cover to the PCV valve on top the the supercharger manifold. My bet would be that PCV valve got frozen. That PCV valve is a BMW part but I don't know the part number.

    My car had mayo in that PCV valve and it's been down here its whole life. Michele, I'd consider getting an oil catch can. That's the route I'm going to take. I already had one in it but the baffling wasn't good enough. It's gotta have good baffling
    Dinan CAI &Throttle body, ESS Tuning TS2, Bimmerbrakes gen3 headers, UUC SSK & DSSR. Achilles oil pump, VAC oil pan baffle
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sockethead View Post
    The whole OEM CCV system is eliminated with the TS supercharger. It replaces the stock manifold. All there is, is one hose from the valve cover to the PCV valve on top the the supercharger manifold. My bet would be that PCV valve got frozen. That PCV valve is a BMW part but I don't know the part number.

    My car had mayo in that PCV valve and it's been down here its whole life. Michele, I'd consider getting an oil catch can. That's the route I'm going to take. I already had one in it but the baffling wasn't good enough. It's gotta have good baffling
    I assume by ‘mayo’ you’re referring to congealed oil/sludge? I’ll look at the PCV valve when I replace the valve cover this weekend. And I’ll look into an oil catch can, while I’m at it.


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  9. #9
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    I jut had a look at the Radium catch can; I think I now know what you mean by ‘mayo’. That model of catch can doesn’t appear to use baffles, but instead uses stainless mesh material. Do you think that would work, or should I look elsewhere?


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  10. #10
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    Also, does the fact that I changed to a mechanical thermostat, which runs the engine cooler, have any bearing on this scenario?


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