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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > NA Engine (non-turbo) / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > Oil Catch Can for the 2006 N52



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      11-04-2018, 11:56 AM   #1
Efthreeoh
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Oil Catch Can for the 2006 N52

I searched on "catch" and "OCC". Not much info comes up about catch cans for the N52. An internet search is not much better, so apologies if the question has been asked an answered...

So I'm delving into an area I'm not totally familiar with and looking for some advice. At the 350,000+ mileage I'm at, I'm pretty sure my original PCV system is well past it's useful life, so it needs replacement. Lately I've been noticing a fair amount of oil consumption and a bit of poor idle at cold start (no codes). Fuel consumption and performance are still good, so I doubt I oil consumption due to internal engine condition and it's more related to a worn PCV system.

I've seen one post on an OCC install for the N52 (Vladbud) but that's on the plastic-head N52 with the built-in oil separator in the plastic valve cover. My '06 N52 obviously has the magnesium valve cover and full PCV/oil separator device underneath the intake manifold.

Has anyone installed an OCC for the '06 N52B30? If so can you post what brand of OCC you used, describe the hose routing (i.e. drain back into the oil pan, or capped it off), and and any routing back into the manifold.

Thanks.
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      11-08-2018, 04:39 PM   #2
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I was thinking about this too but found no information. The way I see it, a generic catch can should work. I just don't know if the car will throw codes because it will not have the heated hoses and the heated element at intake manifold plugged in. What else have you found?
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      11-08-2018, 11:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 330iE90 View Post
I was thinking about this too but found no information. The way I see it, a generic catch can should work. I just don't know if the car will throw codes because it will not have the heated hoses and the heated element at intake manifold plugged in. What else have you found?
That is exactly my concern. Turner sells a OCC kit labeled with their name on it. Turner has great customer support and I bought my clutch hardware from them 2 years ago, so I plan on calling them when I get a few minutes. I'll report back in.
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission.
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      11-09-2018, 02:06 AM   #4
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Turner was bought by ECS - who gutted the original team. Whatever support they had back in the day is just a memory now.
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      11-09-2018, 04:19 AM   #5
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Got mine here:

http://www.saikoumichi.com/
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      11-09-2018, 07:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by hassmaschine View Post
Turner was bought by ECS - who gutted the original team. Whatever support they had back in the day is just a memory now.
You're not helping Hass...

I'll still give them a shot. Too bad that happened, but it does answer one question I had, which was why Turner's products show up on ECS' site.
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      11-09-2018, 11:56 AM   #7
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but it seems like the original PCV system lasted 350,000 miles, why not just replace it with new parts? If you were going to mod something, it would seem like trying to fit the N52K valve cover might be a more productive pursuit than adding a random catch can somewhere under the hood.
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      11-09-2018, 12:31 PM   #8
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why would anyone want the cheap plastic, crack prone valve cover?

but yeah, I agree. The PCV system can't cost that much?
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      11-11-2018, 10:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rothwem View Post
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but it seems like the original PCV system lasted 350,000 miles, why not just replace it with new parts? If you were going to mod something, it would seem like trying to fit the N52K valve cover might be a more productive pursuit than adding a random catch can somewhere under the hood.
+1

Why not replace the CCV/Oil separator?
The CCV/Oil separator does things :

- Allows the crank case to be vented. Without venting the pressure would build up inside the crank case due to some small amount of leakage between the cylinder and piston walls letting with each combustion little bit of gases make their way into the crankcase.

- Divert these combustion gases that made their way into the crankcase (called blow by gases in terminology I believe) back into the engine via the intake manifold to be burned again fully. This lowers emissions and also keeps the crankcase oil not diluted with gases.

- Maintains a controlled small amount of vacuum at the crank case. It doesn't let the full vacuum from intake to reach the crank case, not allows the pressure to build up inside crank case neither. It does this by its valve inside the it that works on a small orifice and a balancing spring. This part of it is the PCV (positive pressure crankcase valve) duty.

- It catches any oil or moisture that makes it way from the crank case ventilation, separates these from the gases and diverts them back into the oil pan. It does this by using a cyclonic separator similar to ones used in vacuum cleaners that don't use filter bags to be replaced.

- There is also a one way check valve at the bottom of the return line that goes from the CCV/oil separator to the oil pan. (Only found and needed on the magnesium valve cover N52's). This check valve allows flow only from the CCV back to oil pan, but doesn't allow flow from oil pan back up to the CCV. From what I read previous model BMW engines didn't have this check valve at the return line. And if the CCV had malfunctioned in a way that caused full intake vacuum to be applied to the crankcase, especially if the vent line had been clogged, the CCV would be sucking the engine oil from the oil pan sending it to the intake and in a very short time could cause to burn up all the oil and damage the engine, or cause hydro lock.

The CCV/Oil separator causing extensive oil usage can be due to either the valve part of it not working well or the passages especially the return line being blocked not allowing the oil return back to the pan.

A catch can be used in four ways I can think of on N52 with magnesium valve cover having CCV outside of the valve cover:

- At the end of the crank case vent line, which is the valve cover to CCV line. Its other end will be open to atmosphere. The CCV input from otherwise would be connected to valve cover will be closed up. There are two problems with this: emissions to the atmosphere and more likely hood of full intake vacuum being applied to the oil return line to suck up oil from the oil pan, because the manifold line is closed. If that check valve doesn't function due to dirt and grime, it will likely cause engine damage.

- Same as above but instead of catch can's other end open to the atmosphere, attach it to the CCV inlet. So basically inline between valve cover and CCV. This will catch some of the oil before it goes to the CCV in its can, but if CCV is already pulling too much oil than it should, the can will fill up quickly and then won't be any use unless you keep draining frequently. This won't be a remedy for oil consumption, but will be remedy to keep the intake manifold receive not that much oil, as long as the can is drained before it is full. If it gets full it may cause clogging which makes it not a good idea for same reasons earlier explained.

- Attached at the output of the CCV that would otherwise go to intake manifold. Close the intake manifold to CCV line and vent the output of the catch can to atmosphere. This would be similar to usage of Vladbud's plastic cover engine. The problems here again emissions. And most likely the engine bay will smell burned gases when engine is running. The other thing with this you would have to remove the intake manifold to do this, and if you go through that process why not replace the CCV itself?

- Same as above but instead of blocking off the line from CCV to intake manifold make the output of the CCV go to the intake manifold line. This is less likely to cause full vacuum to reach oil pan to pull oil from there to intake, but still won't remedy oil consumption. If the can is emptied frequently it will prevent intake manifold to be filled with oil though.

In summary, the problem is in the valve part of the CCV if you are experiencing too much oil consumption due to CCV not working well. It is not in the oil catching/separation action of it. The catch can only good for catching oil and not letting it go to the intake.

For anyone replacing the CCV, I highly recommend buying the CCV, the line from valve cover to the CCV and the return line from CCV to the oil pan. The line from valve cover to CCV because it is likely to break during replacement, and if it doesn't break one can return the newly bought one and get some of the money back. The return line because it is even more likely to break. But also having the check valve at its end it is a functional part of the CCV system, good to ensure this check valve works.

One other thing that can be bought is the valve cover gasket O-rings. I think they are optional but due to age of engine not a bad idea to replace.

Another thing, if the starter motor is the original one, it would be a great time to replace both the CCV and starter motor at the same time. Old worn out starter motor fails suddenly and does not come back, based on my and others' experiences. It shows symptoms of weakness though, especially when engine bay is warm, and car is on a down hill position. Slow and long cranking, or not cranking for one or two seconds and then starting cranking are the symptoms I had been experiencing before one day it didn't crank at all and that was it. No matter how I tried to hit on it to free whatever is stuck with a long bar in between intake manifold lines it didn't come back. Post-mortem I found positive side brushes had been stuck on their rails, the springs behind them were not able to push them forward, and so not making contact with the commutators. The solenoid contacts were also wearing out but still looked ok.

Last edited by PhaseP; 11-11-2018 at 11:00 AM.
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      11-11-2018, 01:11 PM   #10
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I never understood how people just replace parts that haven't failed? It's money waisted,,these cars are so easy to work on, just because your in there doing something, dosent mean to replace shit cause your there???? I'm @ 109k, original pump, and starter. If you were to remove the ccv, you can run a can in between, these intakes are covered with oil inside the runners, that make there way back into your engine. It will take some enginnewity, but it will work. That big ball is a baffle,,and collects oil.
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      11-11-2018, 01:34 PM   #11
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lol

Posts soon on this forum:

"Hey guys, I'm changing my oil and filter. Should I replace the entire engine while I'm at it?"

not too far from the truth, really.
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      11-11-2018, 02:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rothwem View Post
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but it seems like the original PCV system lasted 350,000 miles, why not just replace it with new parts? If you were going to mod something, it would seem like trying to fit the N52K valve cover might be a more productive pursuit than adding a random catch can somewhere under the hood.
Well, since I have both versions of the N52, I was considering swapping the plastic valve cover with magnesium if I ever need to for the Z4, which a catch can would make more sense rather than retrofitting the BMW unit. So practicing with my metalhead N52 makes sense to me.
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      11-11-2018, 02:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hassmaschine View Post
lol

Posts soon on this forum:

"Hey guys, I'm changing my oil and filter. Should I replace the entire engine while I'm at it?"

not too far from the truth, really.
Well, replace the oil filter housing at least
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission.
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      11-11-2018, 02:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuniorB View Post
I never understood how people just replace parts that haven't failed? It's money waisted,,these cars are so easy to work on, just because your in there doing something, dosent mean to replace shit cause your there???? I'm @ 109k, original pump, and starter. If you were to remove the ccv, you can run a can in between, these intakes are covered with oil inside the runners, that make there way back into your engine. It will take some enginnewity, but it will work. That big ball is a baffle,,and collects oil.
LOL, you should read a few of my posts. I hope you're not thinking I'm replacing the CCV just because I want to; I'm having an oil consumption issue, which I think is related to a failing CCV system. My car has 250 thousand more miles than yours on the original starter and 2nd WP after the original failed at 149,000.
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission.
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      11-11-2018, 02:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhaseP View Post
+1

Why not replace the CCV/Oil separator?
The CCV/Oil separator does things :

- Allows the crank case to be vented. Without venting the pressure would build up inside the crank case due to some small amount of leakage between the cylinder and piston walls letting with each combustion little bit of gases make their way into the crankcase.

- Divert these combustion gases that made their way into the crankcase (called blow by gases in terminology I believe) back into the engine via the intake manifold to be burned again fully. This lowers emissions and also keeps the crankcase oil not diluted with gases.

- Maintains a controlled small amount of vacuum at the crank case. It doesn't let the full vacuum from intake to reach the crank case, not allows the pressure to build up inside crank case neither. It does this by its valve inside the it that works on a small orifice and a balancing spring. This part of it is the PCV (positive pressure crankcase valve) duty.

- It catches any oil or moisture that makes it way from the crank case ventilation, separates these from the gases and diverts them back into the oil pan. It does this by using a cyclonic separator similar to ones used in vacuum cleaners that don't use filter bags to be replaced.

- There is also a one way check valve at the bottom of the return line that goes from the CCV/oil separator to the oil pan. (Only found and needed on the magnesium valve cover N52's). This check valve allows flow only from the CCV back to oil pan, but doesn't allow flow from oil pan back up to the CCV. From what I read previous model BMW engines didn't have this check valve at the return line. And if the CCV had malfunctioned in a way that caused full intake vacuum to be applied to the crankcase, especially if the vent line had been clogged, the CCV would be sucking the engine oil from the oil pan sending it to the intake and in a very short time could cause to burn up all the oil and damage the engine, or cause hydro lock. *

The CCV/Oil separator causing extensive oil usage can be due to either the valve part of it not working well or the passages especially the return line being blocked not allowing the oil return back to the pan.

A catch can be used in four ways I can think of on N52 with magnesium valve cover having CCV outside of the valve cover:

- At the end of the crank case vent line, which is the valve cover to CCV line. Its other end will be open to atmosphere. The CCV input from otherwise would be connected to valve cover will be closed up. There are two problems with this: emissions to the atmosphere and more likely hood of full intake vacuum being applied to the oil return line to suck up oil from the oil pan, because the manifold line is closed. If that check valve doesn't function due to dirt and grime, it will likely cause engine damage.

- Same as above but instead of catch can's other end open to the atmosphere, attach it to the CCV inlet. So basically inline between valve cover and CCV. This will catch some of the oil before it goes to the CCV in its can, but if CCV is already pulling too much oil than it should, the can will fill up quickly and then won't be any use unless you keep draining frequently. This won't be a remedy for oil consumption, but will be remedy to keep the intake manifold receive not that much oil, as long as the can is drained before it is full. If it gets full it may cause clogging which makes it not a good idea for same reasons earlier explained.

- Attached at the output of the CCV that would otherwise go to intake manifold. Close the intake manifold to CCV line and vent the output of the catch can to atmosphere. This would be similar to usage of Vladbud's plastic cover engine. The problems here again emissions. And most likely the engine bay will smell burned gases when engine is running. The other thing with this you would have to remove the intake manifold to do this, and if you go through that process why not replace the CCV itself?

- Same as above but instead of blocking off the line from CCV to intake manifold make the output of the CCV go to the intake manifold line. This is less likely to cause full vacuum to reach oil pan to pull oil from there to intake, but still won't remedy oil consumption. If the can is emptied frequently it will prevent intake manifold to be filled with oil though.

In summary, the problem is in the valve part of the CCV if you are experiencing too much oil consumption due to CCV not working well. It is not in the oil catching/separation action of it. The catch can only good for catching oil and not letting it go to the intake.

For anyone replacing the CCV, I highly recommend buying the CCV, the line from valve cover to the CCV and the return line from CCV to the oil pan. The line from valve cover to CCV because it is likely to break during replacement, and if it doesn't break one can return the newly bought one and get some of the money back. The return line because it is even more likely to break. But also having the check valve at its end it is a functional part of the CCV system, good to ensure this check valve works.

One other thing that can be bought is the valve cover gasket O-rings. I think they are optional but due to age of engine not a bad idea to replace.

Another thing, if the starter motor is the original one, it would be a great time to replace both the CCV and starter motor at the same time. Old worn out starter motor fails suddenly and does not come back, based on my and others' experiences. It shows symptoms of weakness though, especially when engine bay is warm, and car is on a down hill position. Slow and long cranking, or not cranking for one or two seconds and then starting cranking are the symptoms I had been experiencing before one day it didn't crank at all and that was it. No matter how I tried to hit on it to free whatever is stuck with a long bar in between intake manifold lines it didn't come back. Post-mortem I found positive side brushes had been stuck on their rails, the springs behind them were not able to push them forward, and so not making contact with the commutators. The solenoid contacts were also wearing out but still looked ok.
Thanks, this was the information I was looking for. I was hoping there was a tried and true engineered solution for the metalhead N52, but apparently not. I'll probably drop in a new starter while the manifold is off considering the mileage on the starter. It's cranking the engine fine, but my luck would be I'd button up from the CCV work and the starter would die upon 1st crank My vent line cracked open when I did the valve cover at 305K. I did a decent field repair with JB Weld and a 1/2 copper-pipe butt joint with the intention of replacing the CCV eventually. The whole replacement kit for the CCV is about $350 in parts, so it's not the price I was concern about.

*Long story, but I had a PCV failure on my 1972 Ford Pinto (it had the good motor in it ). Man was it sucking oil from the crankcase; it looked like a low altitude skywriting plane . I thought I holed a piston from predetonation and pulled the engine only to find the ball had fallen out of the check valve (hey I was just 17 and didn't know better). Engines pre-computer controlled went out of ignition timing pretty easily back in the day.
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission.

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 11-11-2018 at 02:45 PM.
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      11-11-2018, 03:56 PM   #16
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I had three times normal than usual oil consumption with my 325xi. First time it was the oil filter housing leaking, second time it was the oil pan leaking, the third time it was the CCV not working as it should. After each time I had fixed one of those, I was back to not even needing to add oil in between CBC oil changes.

If you decide to change the starter Fcpeuro has brand new Bosch OEM for $140 on discount with no core return needed. You will need a new aluminum alternator bolt set too.

And you will need a e-torx wrench. Regular e-torx sockets on ratchet's don't fit in between flywheel housing and firewall.

I would rather have paid the $140 extra on the starter and replaced it when I had done the CCV replacement. It is not fun doing that job of removing the intake manifold with the CCV hoses and wires not even visible, twice. Plus those hoses that are likely to break will break unless you are very careful and two of them come close to the price of a starter. (If you don't break them return the new ones).

And then there is the issue of towing the car if starter decided to die not at home and you either have an automatic, or weren't lucky enough to have parked on a hill or finding people to push your car while you pop the clutch to start the engine.

Everyone has their own priorities. It comes down to opportunity costs, expected values, risk management and all that …
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      11-11-2018, 06:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhaseP View Post
I had three times normal than usual oil consumption with my 325xi. First time it was the oil filter housing leaking, second time it was the oil pan leaking, the third time it was the CCV not working as it should. After each time I had fixed one of those, I was back to not even needing to add oil in between CBC oil changes.

If you decide to change the starter Fcpeuro has brand new Bosch OEM for $140 on discount with no core return needed. You will need a new aluminum alternator bolt set too.

And you will need a e-torx wrench. Regular e-torx sockets on ratchet's don't fit in between flywheel housing and firewall.

I would rather have paid the $140 extra on the starter and replaced it when I had done the CCV replacement. It is not fun doing that job of removing the intake manifold with the CCV hoses and wires not even visible, twice. Plus those hoses that are likely to break will break unless you are very careful and two of them come close to the price of a starter. (If you don't break them return the new ones).

And then there is the issue of towing the car if starter decided to die not at home and you either have an automatic, or weren't lucky enough to have parked on a hill or finding people to push your car while you pop the clutch to start the engine.

Everyone has their own priorities. It comes down to opportunity costs, expected values, risk management and all that
I plan on doing the starter. I'm sure the CCV has seen better days. When I did all the other gaskets over the last few years, the oil consumption never really changed; those gaskets don't leak much. I'm doing all new components for the CCV if I go that route.
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission.
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      11-11-2018, 07:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhaseP View Post
And you will need a e-torx wrench. Regular e-torx sockets on ratchet's don't fit in between flywheel housing and firewall.
a 3/8th flex head ratchet makes a regular e torx socket work fine for starter replacement. I did mine in a parking lot two states away from home.

lifetime warranted starter cost me $160 at the autozone 1/4 mile from the hotel I had AAA drop me off at the night before.
so it's not the end of the world if it dies in the middle of nowhere. Auto, so no option of push start.


as to catch can, I'd rather not. The stock CCV system separates the oil in the valve cover and drops it back into the motor. If you do a catch can that oil mist will be separated outside the engine and in the can. You will have to drain the can and put the oil back in the motor on a regular basis.
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      11-11-2018, 08:27 PM   #19
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Lol, yes I read it, my bad. At 350k I'm thinking its kilometers,and at that miliage I'm thinking your oil consumption isn't a ccv, pvc, or leaking whatever. Maybe your engine say, rings,are worn and you should make sure it's healthy before attacking the ccv. If that's filling with oil,and saturating your intake,,start from the bottom up.
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      11-11-2018, 10:50 PM   #20
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you've seen the mans detailed records he's kept for 300 thousand miles right?

I'm fairly certain he has the most documentation of anyone ever on one of these motors.
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      11-12-2018, 02:05 AM   #21
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Join Date: May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsjames View Post
a 3/8th flex head ratchet makes a regular e torx socket work fine for starter replacement. I did mine in a parking lot two states away from home.
Mine didn't fit, both straight and a flex head.
It is better to have the tool ready that you know will will work for sure than risk to be stuck in the middle of the job.

And I am not the only one, wind to time 21:52 :
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      11-12-2018, 11:10 AM   #22
Efthreeoh
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Originally Posted by JuniorB View Post
Lol, yes I read it, my bad. At 350k I'm thinking its kilometers,and at that miliage I'm thinking your oil consumption isn't a ccv, pvc, or leaking whatever. Maybe your engine say, rings,are worn and you should make sure it's healthy before attacking the ccv. If that's filling with oil,and saturating your intake,,start from the bottom up.
Yup, I have taken into consideration that the engine is not as fresh as when it was new. It originally had 0 oil consumption when new and slowly increased in consumption to about 1L every 10,000 miles (it's currently about 1L per thousand miles). Then around 221,000 the consumption almost doubled within in one OCI. being that was the same time the oil life monitor goes defunct, I thought the oil useage was related to the oil level/quality sensor not being read correctly by the ECU. I verified the reported level by measuring the oil drain of the next oil change. Being the car geek I am, I've kept written records of every fuel fill since 3 miles, so I have excellent fuel consumption data to evaluate the health of the engine. My average MPG has not significantly dropped over time, so if there is oil ring wear causing a higher consumption, I'd expect a commensurate wear of the compression rings and higher fuel consumption. I'm not driving any slower I can tell you that. Next time I pull the plugs, I plan on doing a compression and leak-down test just for curiosity sake.

Thinking replacement of the CCV (or a catch can) is far cheaper than an engine teardown to evaluate internal engine wear, I'm starting with refurbishment of the crankcase vent/oil separation system.
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