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      04-27-2013, 01:43 PM   #1
TittoBlunt
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Longish Crank and Oil on spark plug threads

So for the past week, I've been getting a longer crank on start up than usual. It only happens in the morning after sitting overnight. Thought it was the battery so I had that replaced a few days ago. Still starts up the same way. I cleaned out my vanos solenoids with no change. Wasn't expecting a fix but wanted to clean it out anyway. So today, I decided to change out my spark plugs in case they were misfiring on cold starts and I noticed there's oil on 2 of the plugs (cylinder 3 and 4). Cylinder 3 had more oil than cylinder 4. There was oil in the spark plug well also. All the other plugs and wells were fine. Any help is appreciated. By the way, it's 07 328i N52 with 75k.
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      04-27-2013, 02:03 PM   #2
galahad05
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Well, first thing, the oil and other fouling is coming from the combustion chamber outward.
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      04-27-2013, 03:18 PM   #3
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i had oil in the spark plugs chamber due to a valve cover gasket leak. i would check that if you havent replaced it already.
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      04-27-2013, 04:48 PM   #4
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Would the VCG really cause this if it's below the spark plug chamber? I also don't have any oil leaking around the VCG.
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      04-28-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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How long crank? I'm having a similar symptom on first start after overnight or longer. Cranks about twice the usual short burst. Maybe one full rev instead of 1/2. My suspicion is a failing eccentric shaft position sensor, but so far no codes at all. My prior BMW (E39, predecessor M54 engine with variable valve timing but no VaNoS) had a camshaft position sensor failure at about 40K, and would crank long and run rough or not start at all. This car now has 42K miles.
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      04-28-2013, 11:25 AM   #6
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Your valve cover gasket is leaking but that shouldn't cause a long crank. Is it a long crank or a slow crank? Does it spit and sputter while cranking?
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      04-28-2013, 06:51 PM   #7
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My starts sound like the one on this thread. http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831832

Once it starts up, I don't have any rough idle or issues at all for the remainder of the day. No codes. Haven't seen or felt anything under WOT. Is there a way to check if the VCG is the problem without having to open up the engine? Would a compression test work? If so, how much would those go for, roughly?
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      04-28-2013, 07:00 PM   #8
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Mine is fundamentally the same, maybe a touch faster right at the start. But I have a new battery and alternator, and no codes. I don't fully understand the idea that the valve cover gasket could be involved, but I haven't seen the top end torn down to that point. I would have thought the purpose of the valve cover gasket would be to keep oil from the valve train from leaking to the outside. How it would get from there into the combustion chamber is beyond me. Oil on the business end of a spark plug could certainly interfere with spark, though.
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      05-10-2013, 08:22 AM   #9
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Just an update. Took the car to my indy and they said that my valve cover was warped. Replaced that (including gasket) to solve the oil leak. They also couldn't find any issue that would cause problems with startup but they did notice that the distributor ignition base (61149144884) was corroded and pretty loose. They assumed that would cause insufficient contact in the mornings to deliver the power. They replaced that also and it seems to have fixed my start up issues. Two mornings so far and haven't had a long crank.
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