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      11-25-2013, 05:01 PM   #1
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excessive oil consumption just broken-in car

The car asked for 1 qt. of oil at 400 miles. That lasted until the 1,200 miles break in service which was done 1 month ago at 1,100 miles. Coming out of the break-in service the oil was at middle level. Now at 1,700 miles the oil is again at the min level and the car asked for 1 qt. So I topped it off with the TWS. I did not overfill I used ~0.6-0.7 qt. I am driving the car normally, not excessively hard at all and it was conservatively broken in as per the manual. I have not even rev the car above 7500 RPM yet, and it has never been WOT yet.

I had to add oil twice with only 1,700 miles on the odometer. I feel bad when people complain they have to add oil between 15kmiles services !
If you have an engine that does not require extra oil, it probably came like that out of the factory not because of how you drove it.

The local bmw dealer wanted me to pay for the TWS oil bottle from the part/service dept that I had bought but eventually agreed to pay it "out of goodwill".

Last edited by sunsweet; 11-28-2013 at 08:28 PM.
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      11-25-2013, 05:12 PM   #2
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check to make sure you are not leaking around the oil cap.

Check threads on this problem....
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      11-25-2013, 05:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arter View Post
check to make sure you are not leaking around the oil cap.

Check threads on this problem....
No visible drip around the oil cap or on the sides. Inside the cap is a bit oily of course. My car is not always parked at the same place (not always garaged) so I have not paid attention to leaks under the car.
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      11-25-2013, 05:46 PM   #4
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That is not "excessive". Clearly the factory doesn't fill it to the top (break-in oil is a special 5w30, if you care to know). Also sounds like your dealer didn't double-check the oil level, though I'd rather they slightly underfill it than overfill.

Honestly, I think you are making a big deal over nothing.
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      11-25-2013, 07:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
That is not "excessive". Clearly the factory doesn't fill it to the top
I did not check oil level at 0 miles. I guess I didn't know enough about the car to do that yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
(break-in oil is a special 5w30, if you care to know).
I knew, this is fairly common knowledge. It needed some at 400 miles when I was in Italy (ED).

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Originally Posted by dparm View Post
Also sounds like your dealer didn't double-check the oil level, though I'd rather they slightly underfill it than overfill.
What you mean, underfill ? it was exactly middle after the 1200 service and I ran the idrive check several times the next 100 miles.

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Honestly, I think you are making a big deal over nothing.
So what do you make of threads with people complaining about having to add 1 qt. every 5,000 miles ? I would not complain if I was them. I had to add oil 1 qt. 500 miles after dealer oil change and trust me i double checked oil level several times because I had the issue at 400 miles too. You're not being very helpful.
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      11-25-2013, 08:51 PM   #6
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I would call anything under the "max" line an underfill, even though that can be within the OK zone. If the dealer didn't fill it all the way, they should top it off. Most dealers will do that at no charge. Won't hurt anything but it is just a bit sloppy IMO.

Not sure why you're complaining that it was filled a bit below the max line both times. Technically that's still in the okay zone, but it is sloppy as I said. You're writing it as if the car is burning oil every 500 miles, which is a totally different problem. So far you haven't established a pattern of it drinking oil, only that BMW isn't filling it to the very top.

As for people "complaining" about adding a quart in 5,000 miles, they need to worry about bigger and better things, I agree.
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      11-25-2013, 09:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dparm View Post
I would call anything under the "max" line an underfill, even though that can be within the OK zone. If the dealer didn't fill it all the way, they should top it off. Most dealers will do that at no charge. Won't hurt anything but it is just a bit sloppy IMO.
Just so you know. My 1,200 service was done by BMW NA themselves at VDC. It's BMWNA you're calling "sloppy" not my dealer.

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Not sure why you're complaining that it was filled a bit below the max line both times. Technically that's still in the okay zone, but it is sloppy as I said. You're writing it as if the car is burning oil every 500 miles, which is a totally different problem. So far you haven't established a pattern of it drinking oil, only that BMW isn't filling it to the very top.
If I take your assumption that they factory filled to the mid level then it still consumed half the amount between min and max which is probably ~0.4 liter of oil in only 400 miles (380 to be accurate!) and then they filled it to mid level again at the 1200 service, this time it took ~500 miles to get to min. Would you say twice is not a pattern ?
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      11-26-2013, 12:00 AM   #8
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Based on what you have said its possible your oil was not at the max line at delivery. You have also stated that after the first service the oil was filled to the middle line. Which, as has been stated, is not full.

My suggestion, ensure the oil is at the max line. Then keep an eye on it for a full 5000 miles. If you burn 1 Liter in 5000 miles then you are probably fine.

At this point, this early in your break-in, with the variances that have been noted, its very difficult to make any assumptions.

Personally, I think your fine, continue as stated and monitor.
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      11-26-2013, 12:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEllis View Post
Based on what you have said its possible your oil was not at the max line at delivery. You have also stated that after the first service the oil was filled to the middle line. Which, as has been stated, is not full.

My suggestion, ensure the oil is at the max line. Then keep an eye on it for a full 5000 miles. If you burn 1 Liter in 5000 miles then you are probably fine.

At this point, this early in your break-in, with the variances that have been noted, its very difficult to make any assumptions.

Personally, I think your fine, continue as stated and monitor.
Jellis and Dparm, thanks for thinking through the issue. To assess possible leaks I am going to park the car for a few days (not my daily) with flattened paper bags under the engine it should reveal any leak or the absence thereof.
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      11-26-2013, 08:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsweet View Post
Jellis and Dparm, thanks for thinking through the issue. To assess possible leaks I am going to park the car for a few days (not my daily) with flattened paper bags under the engine it should reveal any leak or the absence thereof.

Bags won't reveal it. The car's bellypan will mask the drips for a long time.
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      11-26-2013, 10:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Bags won't reveal it. The car's bellypan will mask the drips for a long time.
Do you think the bellypan will store 1, 2 qt or more of leaked oil ?
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      11-26-2013, 10:25 AM   #12
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The check oil indicator is not exact and perfect.
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      11-26-2013, 11:14 AM   #13
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The check oil indicator is not exact and perfect.
Excessive oil consumption over that many miles and months is not related to oil indicator accuracy on one reading.
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      11-26-2013, 11:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsweet View Post
Do you think the bellypan will store 1, 2 qt or more of leaked oil ?
LOL the oil will eventually run out of it if you have a significant leak, but a slow drip might never show.
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      11-26-2013, 01:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
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LOL the oil will eventually run out of it if you have a significant leak, but a slow drip might never show.
Here is one case of an oil leaking E92 M3. It was visible. He had excessive oil consumption like I do. Incidentaly his car was build the same month as mine. I am trying to find out if my car has the same issue.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showpos...64&postcount=9

What he wrote in his last post :
"Apparently the problem was a faulty valvetronic actuator. The service reports "oil leak found lots of oil in coolant valley area"...they had to remove the intake and the starter to inspect the like which was coming from the rear area of the motor vanos actuator "

Edit: Also, as seen on the picture his oil level got to 1/4 inbetween min and max within 1 month of doing the 1200 service. Mine got to 0/4 (min level) in about the same time. So i do have significant reasons to be looking for an oil leak.

Last edited by sunsweet; 11-26-2013 at 01:54 PM.
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      11-28-2013, 08:08 PM   #16
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So it continues.
Summary:
-380 miles during break in, car needed 1 qt. 0.75 qt added. Read max and stayed there.
-Was near minimal again at break in service
-1200 miles service done one month ago. 600 miles driven since. Car asked for 1 qt again
-added 0.625 qt. oil indicator back to max. Driven 80+ miles and stayed at max.
-Parked for 2 days. 3 days later took a 125 miles 99% highway cruising trip. Was at max when I left home. When I headed back home it had dropped to 3/4. When I arrived home it was at 1/2.
-Put 2 cardboards under the car. From the front bumper to the door hinges.

Last edited by sunsweet; 11-28-2013 at 08:15 PM.
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      11-30-2013, 05:08 PM   #17
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Are the exhaust tips oily on the inside? Also, get someone to drive behind you for a bit: is there any blue smoke on decel, accel, idle, etc?
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      11-30-2013, 08:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Are the exhaust tips oily on the inside? Also, get someone to drive behind you for a bit: is there any blue smoke on decel, accel, idle, etc?
Update: No oil leak found on cardboard boxes after car sitting 2 days and then idling it 10 minutes (to get oil pressure up in the engine).

I am just reading your post after I washed my car. The wash water probably cleaned the exhaust tips insides. So will have to wait on checking that.
Blue smoke would a giveaway for burned oil, it is a good idea worth checking.
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      12-02-2013, 05:47 PM   #19
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I really think this a product of the finicky electronic oil level gauge. Especially since you do not have a visual leak. If your engine were burning the oil I believe you would see a lot of soot and a lot of smoke.
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      12-03-2013, 09:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I really think this a product of the finicky electronic oil level gauge. Especially since you do not have a visual leak. If your engine were burning the oil I believe you would see a lot of soot and a lot of smoke.
It's hard to determine, certainly the actual oil consumption that OP reports is borderline close to the 100 ml per 100 miles that BMW still allows fors M cars.
Annoying but that's the way at the moment.

I once had an Alfa Romeo with a blown engine that drank oil, but there was no blue smoke from the exhaust either. Only a compression test showed the damage.

One thing worth considering is that these engines take a long time to run in, certainly oil consumption can change a lot over the first 10 K miles. Also, OP seems to move the car gently at the moment, but a few extended runs with WOT are also healthy for the engine. For what it is worth, the oil consumption in my car seems to have gone down since the first track weekend of the car.

Good luck!
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      12-03-2013, 03:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Update: No oil leak found on cardboard boxes after car sitting 2 days and then idling it 10 minutes (to get oil pressure up in the engine).

I am just reading your post after I washed my car. The wash water probably cleaned the exhaust tips insides. So will have to wait on checking that.
Blue smoke would a giveaway for burned oil, it is a good idea worth checking.
You can also pull a plug or two and check for oil burning, and/or examine the back of a few throttle plates.
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      12-10-2013, 10:39 AM   #22
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I always have ny oil reading on my dash. Thats the reading i leave it on. I also have my number 3 button as oil read out level on the idrive screen.

It helps me to understand when it drops and more importantly when my car is properly warmed up (when car begins to read oil level).

I noticed on longer unspirited drives (long hwy cruises going granny mode) that the oil may drop - strange. I suggest giving your car some exercise and let it breathe since 1200mi service was done. Is your car manual? If it is they should have done a transmission fluid swap too.

Let it run hard a bit and see if oil consumption is just as bad. Many on here have had oil level drop pre1200mi service so i wouldnt worry. If it drops to halfway, i suggest putting in only 200-250mL at a time and giving the car a few days for a proper readout.
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