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      09-04-2010, 04:29 PM   #1
Mr. Boost
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Weird engine noise at first start up after oil change! - Please Help!

I just did an oil change on my 2010 M3 with 6000 miles. The whole process went pretty smooth as usual with any other car. I added the required 8.8 quarts of oil. When I started the car for the first time, I heard this really loud engine noise, like two metals clashing against each other or grinding, and I immediately turned it off. The car was on for less than 3 seconds from start to the point I turned it off when I heard the noise. After that, I tried starting it up again, and it ran normal, no noise. What the hell did I do wrong???? I didn't apply oil to the filter or filter housing and the car had been off for about 1:30 hr when I did the oil change... Could it be that the oil did not reach the valves in time??! What can I do to prevent this from happening next time? Has it happened to anyone else?? I will really appreciate any help anyone can offer.
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      09-05-2010, 01:28 AM   #2
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I didn't apply oil to the filter or filter housing
Probably just that buddy, so don't worry; it takes a couple of seconds for the oil pump to pressurize the system. I filled the housing with oil once new filter was installed, and car started normally. If you have a 6MT, remember clutch always makes a clank that becomes a bang if you release the pedal before it's done. Could have been that too.

Again, if you drained both sumps, reinstalled both plugs with new washers, installed new filter properly, replaced both O-rings on the filter housing cap, and poured 8.8L of oil, there's nothing to worry about. That's EXACTLY how a dealer would have done it. But next time suck the housing dry and fill it with new oil as high as possible after installing new filter; that way you'll do it better than any dealer . Plus the fact you can drain it better too. I had to put 9.5L to finally reach full. Last time it was 9.3L (1,200-mile service), with the 0.2L being the sucked amount from the housing. Hey, you did put a film of oil on the oil cap, right ? Take care.
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      09-05-2010, 12:04 PM   #3
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Damn it... I didn't remove and drain that second smaller plug... I had no damn idea it was related, being use to other cars such as my previous 335i. What should I do know?! Should I do another oil change to drain that second plug??? What is that second plug anyways???

I think I might have a bigger issue now though... After the oil change, I've noticed a weird noise within the engine. It sound as if there's a little piece of metal jumping around in there against every moving part; maybe something chipped off upon started up since the oil did not lubricate the engine in time... The more revs I give it, the more consistent it becomes... It's not very loud but it's noticeable... For some reason, I think I'm F***** big time... Any advise?
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      09-05-2010, 12:21 PM   #4
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when you're removing the oil from the car all the components in the engine that would have had the oil in there otherwise now don't. Even after adding the new oil the engine still needs about 10-15 miles to restore all the oil evenly through the engine.

when you start the car for the first time after an oil change; it's very normal to hear difference noises than you used to, for the first one or two starts after.
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      09-05-2010, 01:16 PM   #5
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Damn it... I didn't remove and drain that second smaller plug...
You're talking about the FRONT one (which is only about 1/2L), right? Hope so, or otherwise you overfilled your engine by 8.3L . If you forgot about the front one, which is the most likely scenario, you probably overfilled your engine a little (depending how and how long you drained the sump), but shouldn't cause any damage; dealers do it all the time. And yes, you'll have to drain it now to bring level to what it should be. And also yes, your new oil was contaminated by that old one, but if you change it again in 7,500 miles or less, you should be fine.

As far as draining, hope you drained the sump with the car level, or even better, with the front a bit lower. But if you raised the front, you left a lot more oil in the back of the large sump (drain plug is in front), and now you'd be overfilled more than you want. And finally, if you didn't do any of the above and are only 1/2L overfilled, are you sure NOTHING fell inside your engine while doing the oil change? The sound you described just doesn't sound right.

Please comment on the above and we go from there buddy.
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      09-05-2010, 01:54 PM   #6
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I drained the oil with the car evenly leveled and I let it drain for a long time. Not only that, the computer is marking the oil level as "ok", so I don't think it's overfilled even though I didn't drain the smaller plug.

In regards to the noise, I'm a 100% sure nothing went in that engine by mistake... I've always done all oil changes on all my cars, and though mistakes are possible, the more experience you have at a certain task the less likely you are to mess up. A piece of something must have broken off in there and Now it's just bumping against every moving part, likely messing everything up...


Question... As M3 owners, are we allowed to perform oil changes if we want to or does the dealer have some kind of law or rule that oil changes for these cars can only be done at the dealer in order to maintain warranty??? Will I loose my warranty if I tell them I did an oil change and now the car is making noises?
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      09-05-2010, 02:41 PM   #7
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I drained the oil with the car evenly leveled and I let it drain for a long time.
Perfect . And yes, with a full drain like that it takes 9.3L, which is exactly what you have in there (8.8L + 0.5L leftover), so no worries there .

As far as owners being able to perform their own oil changes, absolutely... as long as you use factory approved parts/fluids (and have proof of purchase), which I'm sure you did. Now, I wouldn't lie about having done an oil change, as it'll be obvious anyway, but I probably wouldn't say it happened right after the oil change just to avoid dealer personnel jumping to conclusions. In fact, I wouldn't even mention the oil change until asked. If your engine happens to have something, as long as the culprit doesn't point to negligence on your part (like a piece of O-ring inside the engine, or such), BMW should cover it.

Hey, what year, build date, tranny, and mileage on your car? I can only think of a bad main bearing, which has happened a few times, but it'd have to be an '08 or early '09 to suspect that. Finally, how bad is the noise? If 6MT, does it change with the clutch pedal depressed? If you feel it's safe to record it maybe somebody here can identify it. And if it's something 'bouncing around', it should go to the bottom of the pan rather quickly, hopefully without causing any damage first. Sorry to hear about this man; I feel your pain.

Last edited by elp_jc; 09-05-2010 at 03:20 PM.
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      09-05-2010, 05:22 PM   #8
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It has 6k miles and it's an 6MT tranny but I have no idea what the build date is. I don't think it has anything to do with the tranny though, there was no noise prior to the oil change. Clutch depressed or not does not make a difference, tried it already.

I think I'm kinda figuring out what the problem is though. The noise has progressively gotten louder and noticeable as it appears more often; therefore, I assume it's a lifter which became loose upon the dry start up... Once again the higher I rev the more noticeable and constant it becomes. It doesn't sound like it's something jumping around the engine anymore, it's kinda starting to sound in rhythm with the revs of the engine. I'm trying to describe as best as possible, I don't know how good of a job I'm doing! If it is a lifter that's becoming loose, then it should be an easy fix, or so I hope. I'm a bit more calm now since it doesn't sound like something is wondering around in there. Idk, I think I'm gonna take it in on Tuesday and have it looked at.

Hey man I appreciate inmensely you attention to this post and all the input you are giving. It really does suck to be in my position.
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      09-05-2010, 06:37 PM   #9
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I'm a bit more calm now since it doesn't sound like something is wondering around in there.
I'm relieved to hear that . And I'm glad to have helped a little; you always like to hear from somebody quickly when something like that happens. Hey, did you take the car for a spin already? I'd take it for a leisurely 15-mile drive if I were you, to get the oil to full operating temperature, and see if the noise goes away. If not, I'm with you about taking it on Tuesday. Oh, and our engine has (hydraulic) bucket tappets, not lifters, so based on your new noise description, it could be a VANOS problem, although that should trigger a CEL IMO. Good luck man. At any rate, doesn't sound like anything serious now, and hope that doesn't stop you from working on your cars again . Enjoy the rest of your long weekend .

Last edited by elp_jc; 09-05-2010 at 06:43 PM.
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      09-05-2010, 07:20 PM   #10
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I would double check the plugs, maybe? Only reason I suggest is that IF something did fall in and perhaps fused to the top of the piston and is hitting the plug or causing slight damage to a valve or something, you might be able to see it by looking in the plug hole or at the plug itself. It is just a thought....

Hopefully it is just a loose valve or something not too major. Let us know what happens if you decide to take it in.

Perhaps you can localize where the ticking/metal noise is while a friend slightly revs?
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      09-07-2010, 09:32 AM   #11
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Ok, are you guys ready to be freaked the f*** out?, because that's how I am. So I started asking around and spoke to different mechanics from different dealers including Mercedes but none from BMW; all of them told me that if I were to take in the car like that, the dealer would notice I had just done an oil change and would hang on to that not to have BMW liable for the repairs. So in attempt to avoid bieng held negligent, I tried putting the car to pre-oil change state. I started by putting back the old filter and I was going to have a friend give some of his used oil from his m3 in order to darken mine and make it look worn. Turns out that the freaking filter was the problem!! Once I put the old filter on the noise completely vanished and has yet to come back! I have no idea why this happened... It might be that I had the wrong filter to begin with; not having the slightest idea that the filter could be the problem, I didn't take the time to compare both filters and see if there were any differences. What I'll do now is go to the dealer and buy a filter and compare it to the problematic filter to see if there are any differences. I would take the old one out again but I really don't want to keep messing with the car anymore. Does anyone have any idea why this could have happened? If the filter was the wrong size, why would it cause that noise??! Is there anything that can hit the filter and make that noise???
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      09-07-2010, 12:32 PM   #12
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Turns out that the freaking filter was the problem!!
To be quite honest, I didn't scrutinize the filter to see if it was symmetric, but installed the new one in the same position, which was with the letters at the bottom (and yes, p/n was the same). My guess is it shouldn't matter, but maybe it does. It's also possible you had the wrong filter; did you compare them? Were the holes at both sides the same size, meaning filter was seated properly at both ends? Finally, you have to push the filter a bit hard to seat it properly, although screwing the cap should do that for you. I honestly don't see how you can screw up the filter installation , other than deforming filter while being pushed down (either by hand or by the cap), but you'd have seen that after removal, and you can certainly feel it if done by hand. I'd try to get the filter replaced as 'defective' where you bought it. And the good news is nothing happens if filter is bad/defective/whatever, other than allowing some unfiltered oil into the engine, but for the first hundred miles after an oil change, it's a non-issue IMO.

As far as the noise, I can only think about the by-pass valve, but it's good to know a 'bad' oil filter can cause that. We all learned something new today, so thanks for the contribution . And don't get discouraged about working on your car man; it could have happened to a dealer too. At least you learned how to do an oil change right from your experience. Take care.
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