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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 > Is this coolant in my oil?



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      01-23-2013, 01:16 AM   #1
JLiusifer
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Is this coolant in my oil?

So I was checking my oil level through on my dash and I noticed I was a little low on oil (In between low and full level). So when I got home I decided to top it off. But after I twisted off the oil cap I noticed that there was yellow/white gunk. This is the first time i've ever seen this. This is not coolant is it??? I have an extended warranty thru BMW. Do you think i should bring this in? Is this normal?

http://i818.photobucket.com/albums/z...ps3142184f.jpg
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      01-23-2013, 01:38 AM   #2
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Looks like what happens when lots of condensation gets mixed with the oil due to cold weather and short trips in the oil separator.


Given that the oil cap is one of the highest parts of the engine, you'll find this residue collected around the oil cap.

You could take it in for peace of mind, but they will probably just tell you its condensation, and drive the car longer, vs short trips where it builds up.

Has it been freezing cold in Minn?

If your head gasket was blown you would have got a low coolant warning a long time ago.
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Last edited by index1489; 01-23-2013 at 01:44 AM.
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      01-23-2013, 01:43 AM   #3
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I think we need a better picture.

A picture of whats under the cover.

you might compare things to the pictures in this thread.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=627435

picture in #4 is what a car in good condition should
look like.

Have it checked both with BMW and a Indy .
You could send a sample into Blackstone.

Last edited by ctuna; 01-23-2013 at 01:49 AM.
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      01-23-2013, 02:00 AM   #4
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just condensation... no big deal clean it off and move on
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      01-23-2013, 08:13 AM   #5
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Must be winter. Normal.
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      01-23-2013, 10:25 AM   #6
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drive it harder and longer
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      01-23-2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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This is not normal. You should bring it into the dealer ASAP.

Too much moisture could tear the seal on one of your gaskets. This would result in a huge repair bill.

BTW, do you drive short distance frequently? (short distance == engine never had a chance to reach operating temperature).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLiusifer View Post
So I was checking my oil level through on my dash and I noticed I was a little low on oil (In between low and full level). So when I got home I decided to top it off. But after I twisted off the oil cap I noticed that there was yellow/white gunk. This is the first time i've ever seen this. This is not coolant is it??? I have an extended warranty thru BMW. Do you think i should bring this in? Is this normal?

http://i818.photobucket.com/albums/z...ps3142184f.jpg
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Last edited by achien; 01-23-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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      01-23-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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I've been getting mixed messages. I drive about 60 city/ 40 hwy.....
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      01-23-2013, 11:37 PM   #9
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look down into the valve cover through the oil fill hole....if the whole insides of the cover are gunked up with residue...its excessive even for condensation....in which case it should be checked out. (indy.....)

If not, and its isolated to the cap area...and you check it every couple of days....you should be okay....

JP
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      01-23-2013, 11:41 PM   #10
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Perfect opportunity for an oil catch can.
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      01-24-2013, 01:32 AM   #11
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Not sure why BMW doesn't install one from the factory... the added drag of emptying it must be a drag for the owners, at the expensive of a much cleaner engine.
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      01-24-2013, 06:25 AM   #12
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As others have said, it's most likely condensation in the oil. Happens when the oil temp is not getting up above 212* F during driving before turning the engine off. An easy test is to wipe off the cap and then go drive for a while to warm up the oil to the normal operating temp (230-240). Then check the cap as soon as you park it. Should be clean still. The cap will be worse on some days then others depending on the ambient humidity and how often you drive then car the previous day. This is all pretty normal for cars that drive "up north".... I lived in North Dakota for 6.5 years and dealt with every winter.
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      01-24-2013, 07:55 AM   #13
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When was the last time you had an oil change? My pre-owned Jeep Grand Cherokee had the same issue when I bought it. I've always made it a point to change the oil in my vehicles every 4500 miles (7000 kms) or so and the Jeep has never had this problem since. My 335i oil cap is as clean as a whistle too.
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      01-25-2013, 03:39 PM   #14
JLiusifer
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I changed my oil 2 months ago. I will try wiping the cap and check again...This is the 1st time ive ever seen something like this before.
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      01-25-2013, 05:05 PM   #15
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You might also check the coolant reservoir. If you see a brown slime in there it could just be that the oil filter housing gasket has failed. Usually it will end up seeping oil into the coolant, but it can also seep into the oil system. These gasket fail pretty regularly, the gasket cost about ten bucks at the dealer and is a DIY in less than an hour if you have an 8mm ratchet wrench. That seems like an awful lot of condensation build up to me. Dig deeper before this cost you a vanos rebuild or worse. That's my two cents. Hope that helps!
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      02-25-2013, 06:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLiusifer View Post
So I was checking my oil level through on my dash and I noticed I was a little low on oil (In between low and full level). So when I got home I decided to top it off. But after I twisted off the oil cap I noticed that there was yellow/white gunk. This is the first time i've ever seen this. This is not coolant is it??? I have an extended warranty thru BMW. Do you think i should bring this in? Is this normal?

http://i818.photobucket.com/albums/z...ps3142184f.jpg
Did you do any more investigation on this?? My cap looks exactly like that.
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      02-25-2013, 08:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millseyent View Post
Did you do any more investigation on this?? My cap looks exactly like that.
It's a water emulsion from short trips and cold weather. It condenses out at the cap because it's the coolest point in the system.
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