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Old 07-19-2013, 02:41 PM   #1
iverson03tj
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Huge Oil Sludge Problem, what's the best technique to cure it!

I have a friend , who just bought a 2010 x3 44,000km still under warentee, and took it to the dealership due to a slight hesitation in the the engine, she found out that there is major oil sludge built up.

The car was a lease return so im guessing the previous owner never changed it, the dealer said the vanos soleniod should be replaced as weel, and they quoted her at $1200!!!

Guys any input is much appreciated!!

So i guess my question is:

1) What oil flush techneque works the best, and wont cost an arm and a leg,

2) does the vanos solenoid need to be replaced?

3) anything the mechanic should look at in terms of engine wear?
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:34 PM   #2
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you can do an oil flush, but i probably wouldn't bother. the damage that has been done is not going to be reversed (accelerated wear due to improper lubrication). on the other hand, you're only about 19000km over the oil change interval. just change the oil and see.

also, vanos solenoid hardly comes into contact with oil at all, not sure if i buy that that's what went. if the vanos isn't working you'd know (and see the code)
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:27 PM   #3
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I seems like there is nothing to loose, try Seafoam few times. It might help somewhat.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:17 PM   #4
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Change the oil and filter as cheaply as possible, put on about 200 km, change the oil again, drive 800 km with some sustained highway time, change the oil and filter again.

See what happens, let us know but I bet a cookie everything is fine and will be fine.

Don't use de-sludgers until you've changed the oil a few times, You don't want to release vast soapy blocks of yuck into the oil passages
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:39 AM   #5
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I agree with subdad. Change frequently a couple times, then use seafoam is there's still sludge. You can use a cheaper synthetic oil to save some cash, since you'll be changing it very quickly.

Was this purchased from the dealer? If so, they should be covering the costs.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:25 PM   #6
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Sledge isn't always due to not changing of oil. Often these cars are owned by city folk who drive it 1-10km at a time and hardly see highway use.

The old timers trick to removing sludge is adding a bit of ATF fluid in the oil and running it for 500km or so and then changing the oil.


Another thing you could try is running diesel engine oil which has cleaning agents in it. Don't be fooled by the "diesel" part, basically its like car oil but better; mainly because it does not have to adhere to strict environmental rules like "gasoline" oil does. Diesel oils have much high ZDDP levels (good for older cars with tappet engines) and have far superior thermal breakdown resistance.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:21 PM   #7
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Throwing a half can of seafoam into the crank case will help break down sludge build up.
All seafoam really is is kerosene pretty close to diesel fuel. run that for 500km change it out and check. if you still got it..run another half can. take it for a good highway run as well.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
just change the oil and see
Quote:
Change frequently a couple times
Quote:
take it for a good highway run as well.
Quote:
Was this purchased from the dealer? If so, they should be covering the costs.
Quote:
still under warentee,
I'd be inclined to whine pretty hard at the dealer/seller too. Was it maintained according to the BMW book? If Yes then the dealer/seller should cover any repair cost, of No then "Why did you sell me this POS? Fix it, Pay me or See me in small claims court."

Easiest thing to do is sigh, change the oil (with the cheapest dinosaur squeezings available) and see if the problem goes away.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:24 PM   #9
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1. Engine Flush/Cleaner, run for 15 minutes.
2. Oil Service
3. Wait and see as mentioned above short trips are a killer.

As far as the vanos solenoids go, does she have codes? On these motors the solenoids have become a very common thing to replace, in fact it is almost expected, regular service or not.

As far as the $1200 goes, that is a joke, even from the dealer, we do solenoids for $XXX plus your service and you couldn't even come close to $1200, that quote doesn't make a lot of sense to me on a 20-30 minute job.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:56 PM   #10
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Let's go back to the original problem, OP said:
Quote:
took it to the dealership due to a slight hesitation in the the engine
and
Quote:
the dealer said the vanos soleniod should be replaced as weel
As well as what? What causes hesitation in a 2010 X3?
2010! Should run like a champ until I buy it in 2020.

I bet another cookie that fresh oil and a highway run will have it running strong.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:40 AM   #11
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Now if they said rough starting, rough idle and vanos solenoid codes, that makes sense...

A hesitation itself can be caused by a number of things, they must have codes and perhaps did not tell her because again $1200 for solenoids and a service, not adding up.

Ask her what the codes were.

Also ment to say, add cleaner while engine is warm and let run.

@SubDad, a 2010 run strong until 2020... that must be sarcasm. BMW along with most others do not make a car that runs strong for more than 4-5 years before major issues start to arise, from headlights to fuel pumps its all rip out and replace and hand the customer a $XXXX bill each time, disgusting.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:26 PM   #12
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@Blackedout95.
Not sarcasm, but wishful thinking or mistaking how autos used to be built with the way they're built now. Used to be a (60s, 70s) car would be a lump of rust with a strong engine after five years, then there was a sweet spot (late 80s, early 90s: discuss) where cars didn't rust and stayed reliable for 10 years minimum, and now rust-free bodies are junked because everything mechanical is made of brittle plastic surrounding unique computer modules.

Note the cars I have listed: an '86 E30 that has ancillary issues but the major bits are strong.
And an 2008 Altima that could use a new transmission. A transmission, for Gawd's sake! Transmissions aren't supposed to die- starters, alternators and rads, sure, but the transmission?

My last two daily drivers were 12 and 14 years old when entropy got them.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:28 PM   #13
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how can you bitch about reliability on a car that has had zero maintenance.

if you want reliable, do your maintenance.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:37 PM   #14
Blackedout95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubDad View Post
@Blackedout95.
Not sarcasm, but wishful thinking or mistaking how autos used to be built with the way they're built now. Used to be a (60s, 70s) car would be a lump of rust with a strong engine after five years, then there was a sweet spot (late 80s, early 90s: discuss) where cars didn't rust and stayed reliable for 10 years minimum, and now rust-free bodies are junked because everything mechanical is made of brittle plastic surrounding unique computer modules.

Note the cars I have listed: an '86 E30 that has ancillary issues but the major bits are strong.
And an 2008 Altima that could use a new transmission. A transmission, for Gawd's sake! Transmissions aren't supposed to die- starters, alternators and rads, sure, but the transmission?

My last two daily drivers were 12 and 14 years old when entropy got them.

I see them daily, it is wishful and I totally agree with you, they are not the way they should be. It will be quite the view to see a 2010 X3 or E90 etc in 2040, the days of the E30 are no more!
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Blackedout95 View Post
I see them daily, it is wishful and I totally agree with you, they are not the way they should be. It will be quite the view to see a 2010 X3 or E90 etc in 2040, the days of the E30 are no more!
When the engine fails... LSx swap it. I guess they would have LS15 by then
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