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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Significant Oil In #4 Spark Plug... VCG?



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      10-10-2014, 08:05 PM   #1
SanDiegoBuff
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Significant Oil In #4 Spark Plug... VCG?

Firt thing first, 2006, 325i, N52, 130k miles.

Went out to run errands this morning, started up the car and got a really nice shaking that hadn't been there before. Figured/hoped it was the easy solution and that the misfire was just due to a bad plug or ignition coil. Diagnosed the issue down to the #4 coil, which, when removed, was coated in oil. Looking down into the plug well, the well was full of oil up to the lower portion of the inner chamfer. I then pulled the remaining coils to check the status of those plugs, and no oil, so the problem is local to #4. Now, the car's got 130k miles on it, so it's probably no surprise that the VCG has been weeping a bit, nothing serious though, and the car doesn't use any more oil than it ever has, so I wasn't too concerned.

There doesn't appea to be any oil leaking from the valvetronic assy, or any other signs of a leak external to the #4 plug that the oil could've come in from the top. Assuming then, that the VCG finally cracked a good amount somewhere around the #4 plug. Anyone have any other ideas or anything else I should look at before I bring it in to have the VCG replaced, or decide to make it a project?

Also, any shop recommendations for North County San Diego would be appreciated.
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      10-11-2014, 06:54 PM   #2
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Could be a spill during filling, but other than that, yes, it is a clear sign of a VCG failure around that well.
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      11-12-2014, 06:56 PM   #3
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I'm curious what you found out?

I have a 2005 325xi and have been fighting this p0303 (cylinder 3 misfiring code) for 2 weeks. Have replaced all coils, plugs, filters, maf switch....but it seems that the nbr 3 sparkplug threads are coated in oil.

You mentioned a VCG failure. Valve cover gasket??
Would a leaky gasket allow oil to seep into the sparkplug chamber from the bottom up?

My mech is telling me that the only way for oil to get to the cylinder and piston head is to pass faulty o-rings or valve guides.

Comments appreciated!!
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      11-12-2014, 08:29 PM   #4
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Really depends. Is your car smoking at all from the exhaust? Is the plug well filling with oil? You said the oil is on the plug threads. Is it only there?
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      11-14-2014, 12:31 PM   #5
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When my VCG failed, it filled up plugs 3 and 4 with oil. Not sure if the 325 has the metal valve cover. If it's the plastic cover, make sure it's not warped like mine. You'll have to replace that also if it is.
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      11-15-2014, 02:05 AM   #6
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my well is not filling with oil, just the threads and some oil in the well. Here is a picture of the well and the plug.
and no smoke from the car at all. Fuel is getting to the plug, so I dont think it's the injector.

I'm told it could be the vcg causing this or the computer needs a reset.
Either way, i made an appt at BMW for monday, so we'll see.

i guess the vcg could be a culprit but i'm not clear if that means oil can enter the engine cylinder and leak to the plug from the piston to the plug and Not from the top down.
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      11-17-2014, 10:45 PM   #7
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Leaking valve cover gasket allows oil to leak on top of the spark plug. That appears to be your problem to me.
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