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      03-30-2012, 02:01 AM   #1
swamp2
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Oil consumption changes

Up to 50,000 miles my car never seemed to use any oil whatsoever. However, I just got my first low oil warning and had to add an entire liter to get back to completely full. I change my oil every 7500 miles, redline the car often and get it to the track (road course) a couple times a year. Thus it is well used but absolutely not beaten on.

It seems both the E46 M3 and the E9X M3 exhibit a fairly wide range of oil consumption. Some cars use(d) none, others require a quart or liter or so per oil change, perhaps mid or late into the change cycle. This variation has been noted in both models in both brand new cars and those with some 10s of thousands of miles or so. This is fundamentally a bit troublesome to me. It just does not make complete sense that both situations can be motors with no problems nor pending problems. Well I'm certainly not an engine tribology expert. Any anecdotes or insights appreciated.
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      03-31-2012, 06:21 PM   #2
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[quote=SehrSchnell;11651247]Wow, my car eats oil like there is no tomorrow... Although my car is heavily modded I actually take it fairly easy with the occasional track day. I change my oil every 5K miles, so I actually don't have to add anything in between, but when I bring her in the oil level always dropped.[/QUOTE

that's def not eating oil.. My e46 and now my e90 go through over 1-2 qts @ every 5-10k
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      03-31-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
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^ Thanks guys. Did either of you notice a change in consumption though?
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      04-02-2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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I just hit 62k km (about 39k miles). Car never needed oil top ups between changes. Consumption is barely noticeable on the street. However, when I do track the car, it does eat up more oil and I see the e-reading come down (expected though as it runs pretty much non-stop in the 6500-8400RPM band).

So no changes in oil consuption for me . But I am not yet at the 50k miles mark...
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      04-03-2012, 02:24 AM   #5
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Unless you are burning in excess of a quart for 1200 miles most mechanics would not consider it excessive. Unless you get a strong oil burning smell, see blue smoke out the tailpipe or notice oil residue in the exhaust tips don't worry

With that being said, I have not had to add any oil to my E90 M3 between oil changes as of yet, but I only have about 23000KM (~14000Miles) on it.
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      04-03-2012, 07:17 AM   #6
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I was burning a quart of oil every 2500 miles till the car hit 35000 miles and it stopped burning oil,i mean literary any !
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      04-03-2012, 10:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
Up to 50,000 miles my car never seemed to use any oil whatsoever. However, I just got my first low oil warning and had to add an entire liter to get back to completely full. I change my oil every 7500 miles, redline the car often and get it to the track (road course) a couple times a year. Thus it is well used but absolutely not beaten on.

It seems both the E46 M3 and the E9X M3 exhibit a fairly wide range of oil consumption. Some cars use(d) none, others require a quart or liter or so per oil change, perhaps mid or late into the change cycle. This variation has been noted in both models in both brand new cars and those with some 10s of thousands of miles or so. This is fundamentally a bit troublesome to me. It just does not make complete sense that both situations can be motors with no problems nor pending problems. Well I'm certainly not an engine tribology expert. Any anecdotes or insights appreciated.
Same thing with my STi - wide range of oil consumption on the EJ257.

Here is what I believe contributes to the variance:

-Warm-up methods
-Driving style
-Manufacturing tolerances - blocks and pistons
-Environment - temperature, etc.
-Break-in (maybe a tiny bit on this car; who knows) All these motors are run at the factory, so hard to say.

...now if your car suddenly starts eating more and more oil, then that could be indicative of a problem. UOA will certainly give you some clues if anything is up - excessive fuel in oil, coolant, etc.

I typically add 1-2 quarts between changes and I do them at the factory interval which seems to be 10-12k based on my driving style.
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      04-03-2012, 12:45 PM   #8
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Only had my car for a little while but have noticed it burning oil. Oil indicator was at the max when I purchased the car and I've put a little over 1k miles on it and now the indicator is at about the half way mark. Seems like I will need to add some sooner than later.
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      04-03-2012, 10:56 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tips guys. Will just monitor use and look for further increases.
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      04-03-2012, 11:39 PM   #10
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m3 has diesel dna?
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      04-04-2012, 03:27 PM   #11
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My car sipped oil until about 40K, and after that it uses a quart every 3-3.5K. What was kind of bizarre was that it seemed to switch suddenly, which freaked me out, but everything seems to be okay. Apparently the M3 worry line is 1 quart every 800 miles (wow!) according to my SA.

I have 20-25 track days on the car.

Also, without fail, my lady likes to chug a fresh quart just before I am prepared to do a full change...but I still love her!
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      04-04-2012, 03:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiM3y View Post
Also, without fail, my lady likes to chug a fresh quart just before I am prepared to do a full change...but I still love her!
Haha! Always seems to happen to me as well.
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      04-07-2012, 10:26 AM   #13
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Do you think your incident could be attributed to a change in driving habit that you may not have noticed? For instance, you were doing more driving in city/urban/traffic-heavy environment, or recently the engine oil temps have been running hotter than usual b/c in instances where you would cruise at 3k rpm you now drive at 4k?
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      12-14-2013, 11:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Also, without fail, my lady likes to chug a fresh quart just before I am prepared to do a full change...but I still love her!
Do you pay the extra oil out of your own pocket or is the dealer making your toppings without charging ?

I don't track mine and had to add 1/2 liter at 400 miles and 3/4 liter at 1700 miles. I've been told the factory initial oil fill might have been short of the full volume and the oil sensor tube can take a lot of miles to reflect that. Same thing my 1200 miles service was done at VDC. I'll keep monitoring (new 2013 M3). My exhausts tips insides are not oily and there is no visible oil leak on the ground.
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      12-15-2013, 01:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsweet View Post
Do you pay the extra oil out of your own pocket or is the dealer making your toppings without charging ?

I don't track mine and had to add 1/2 liter at 400 miles and 3/4 liter at 1700 miles. I've been told the factory initial oil fill might have been short of the full volume and the oil sensor tube can take a lot of miles to reflect that. Same thing my 1200 miles service was done at VDC. I'll keep monitoring (new 2013 M3). My exhausts tips insides are not oily and there is no visible oil leak on the ground.

The factory fill is a special oil anyway. I would not base anything on that.
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