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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Water in engine oil?



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      12-23-2012, 04:00 PM   #1
Dr.K
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Water in engine oil?

Hi first time posting but I have a quick question and was wondering if I could get an opinion on this. I was cleaning around my engine bay today and I opened my Oil cap, I found this whitish sludge under the cap. I remember from shop class that if you mix water with oil you will have a whitish sludge. I was just wondering if this happens alot with bmw's?

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Last edited by Dr.K; 12-23-2012 at 04:09 PM.
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      12-23-2012, 05:59 PM   #2
Denny347
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Could it be anti-freeze? Getting water into your engine is actually not all that easy unless you drove through a flooded road and sucked it in the intake.
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      12-23-2012, 06:15 PM   #3
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I have no clue what It is, I had an oil change 2,000 miles ago at the dealership and I haven't tried turning my car into a boat. I emailed my SA hopefully they can figure out what it is.
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      12-23-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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That means the coolant has leaked into the oil system. That is not good. You might have a blown head gasket or something like that. Get it fixed ASAP, or the sludge (mixed water & oil) will damage the bearings inside of your engine.
Sorry about that.
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      12-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #5
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Its most likely condensation. Do you do a lot of short journeys where the car doesn't get up to temperature?...means any moisture that collects in the oil stays in it until the car is run at operating temperature at which point it boils off.
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      12-23-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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My job is only 4 miles away from the house so by the time I get there my temp needle hasn't even moved yet. Hopefully that's the case but if its a head gasket thank god I have my warranty!
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      12-23-2012, 07:05 PM   #7
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Condensation, nothing to worry about here, move along lol...........
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      12-23-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
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hard to tell
drain the oil first and then go from there
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      12-23-2012, 07:34 PM   #9
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It's condensation, it happened to me. Drove the car so short the temp didn't even budge.
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      12-23-2012, 07:47 PM   #10
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Now check your coolant reservoir. If the sludge is there too, I'm willing to bet it's your oil filter housing gasket.
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      12-23-2012, 07:58 PM   #11
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a 3rd on condensation. idling and/or short drives does it.

saw this when i 1st got my car and wasn't driving it much. scary, but nothing really
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      12-23-2012, 08:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumere90 View Post
hard to tell
drain the oil first and then go from there
I agree, draining the oil would be a tell all....if it's totally normal, then I suppose it must be condensation, but I don't really understand why there would be any....short trips doesn't really explain it imho. When my Volvo blew its head gasket the oil looked like that.
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      12-23-2012, 08:54 PM   #13
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I checked the coolant and its nice and green. Will drain the oil and see what happens. How the heck does condensation get into a sealed engine compartment anyways?
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      12-23-2012, 10:15 PM   #14
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take a look with a flashlight down at the camshaft inside the cover when you have the oil cap off...is there sludge all over the cam and head?....if not, then you may be okay with the condensation theory...if the sludge is all over the inside of the valve cover and cam....you have a bigger problem...

The motor creates heat and its colder outside. just like any container, the top of the valve cover where the oil fill cap is located will act like the top of a glass bottle, or even a 2 liter soda bottle...moisture will collect there and mix with the oil. The pcv valve will vent gasses (which now get recycled in the emissions system) but the engine has to heat up a bit for that process to take effect.

this amount of sludge in the short term is of little concern (if its condensation) but the sludge will begin to build up after time...and this is in fact bad for the engine...***after you confirm its only condensation and not a bigger problem***you have to take that baby out for a few spirited drives and get the temp up...heat up that sludge, mix it with the hot oil and it will begin to vaporize and escape through the emissions system.

Drive drive drive!



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      12-24-2012, 12:16 AM   #15
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Checked the inside of the camshaft and it was pretty clear, picture attatched. Its pretty amazing what an Iphone can pick up. I guess these cars are meant to be driven! I will follow up with my SA just in case though.
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      12-24-2012, 07:02 AM   #16
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You are using wrong coolant! Go buy BMW genuine (blue) coolant and drain that cheap stuff.
I would keep a sample of oil and send it to blackstone lab for analysis.
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      12-24-2012, 09:20 AM   #17
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Used to happen in my E46 all the time when I lived 2 miles from work. Had to clean it up every few weeks, but there was not a iota of sludge in that engine ever.

Now that I have a 26 mi commute, I don't have that problem on the E92!

As the others said, drive!
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      12-24-2012, 02:06 PM   #18
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Condensation no doubt and you need to drive the car for a while like an hour a week to flash that off. No big deal...
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      12-24-2012, 03:02 PM   #19
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Check your dipstick. If it looks like a milkshake on it, then its water in the oil. Oh wait, BMW Engineers did not think we needed a dipstick.
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      12-24-2012, 05:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malibu1
Check your dipstick. If it looks like a milkshake on it, then its water in the oil. Oh wait, BMW Engineers did not think we needed a dipstick.
As others have stated-condensation
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      12-25-2012, 03:24 PM   #21
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You really need to get it up to full operating temp at least once a week.
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      12-25-2012, 09:05 PM   #22
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As everyone else have said, condensation.
Don't know why BMW's are extra sensitive to it though, as on every Bmw I have owned I've had it.
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