Worried about crankcase noises in my E39 530i

Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
12
Location
texas
I've already posted this on a few BMW forums, and they don't seem to know for sure. I've had this ticking/knocking noise since I bought the car a few months back at 80k miles. It now has 83k miles. I think the noise is coming from back of the crankcase. Thing is, I just changed my oil yesterday and discarded it, so if I want to send it in for an oil analysis, how long do I have to run the fresh oil I just put in? Here's a vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmRwrWMjiWM And BTW, car runs, feels and pulls fine.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
224
Location
Durham, NC
I know a few e36 M3 owners (my bro in law has one and knows a lot of other owners) say that they have noisy valves with M1 0w40. But in going to German Castrol Syntec 0w30, it went away. What oil are you running?
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
41,119
Location
Great Lakes
I'd probably run 1k miles before sending the UOA sample in. I saw your note on bimmerforums stating that the noise isn't getting any worse, so there probably won't be much more damage done in another 1k miles. In the meantime, do you have a reputable local indy shop that you can go to in order to get some expert advice? Chances are, they've heard all kinds of noises before and can offer some suggestions.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Messages
124
Location
College Park, MD
If you don't like the tick, get something thick! Get the heaviest oil your weather permits if you don't like the sound of metal clattering! 20w-50
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
41,119
Location
Great Lakes
That's almost like trying to sweep dirt under the carpet. Just because you can't see it, it doesn't mean it's not there. There's obviously something not right with his engine. This engine should run fine on Xw-30 oil, without any such strange noises.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Messages
124
Location
College Park, MD
Right, but if he doesn't want to go to a mechanic to get his problem checked out and ends up on an oil forum then the only way to solve this with an oil is to go thick. You should really get a mechanic to fix this though because just like Quattro Pete says, its something obviously broken in there.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
46,576
Location
New Jersey
BMWs tend to have noisy injectors which sometimes are confused for a valve tick. One thing Ive seen in some BMW engines is that the upper oil pan bolts back out and fall into the oil pan. Too many fall out and you could have something funny going on, with a perfectly functional engine otherwise. Ive seen at least one case where the bolt wore through the pickup tube and ingested itself into the oil pump... not nice. I'd pull the lower pan and have a look.
 

gathermewool

Site Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Messages
9,176
Location
New England
You didn't notice this when you bought the car? Any kind of extended warranty? Is the oil you disposed of still available? How about the filter? Just to make sure it's not a spun bearing or rod knock I'd take a look at both the oil and filter for anything shiny. The video may have made the noise sound worse than it is, but I wouldn't drive a car with that kind of noise.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
2,082
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
 Originally Posted By: newton
BMW brand 5W-30. I think it might be rebranded Castrol.
My dad's 540i got really noisy on dealer 5W30 changed twice as often as the OLM indicates. Bottom end noise, top end noise, clattery lifters, all at 80,000km (not miles). It sounded like a diesel. Switching to GC (not 20W50) solved 3/4 of it, a run of ARX did the rest. My 528i is much noisier on M1 0W40, but not in a specific way. Lots of hash and white noise that goes away on pretty much anything other than M1. I now run GC or occasionally XD-3 15W40 HDEO (dino).
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
46
Location
Oklahoma, USA
Newton, Have you heard some of the GM V6s 3100 engines ect; on youtube? They were noted as having piston slap and a loose piston pin; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwpGTS and one named piston slap warm sound somewhat like your knock somewhat;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwRC7q.... By what I can hear it sounds sort of like a piston pin, sometimes removing plugs wires one at a time will tell which cylinder it is. The culprit might actually quiet down during this process, a rod is usually constant and louder usually, so I don't lend that way. I would lean towards perhaps a piston pin or piston/cylinder damage. Two other things, my brother had an Oldsmobile 98 that had the same type of light tap, he sold the car when it looked like it threw a rod and cracked the pan{my brother sold it for scrap}, but believe it or not when the buyer dropped the pan it was the oil pump that came loose. The buyer fixed it for under $100.00 and my brother became suddenly ill. No UOA fill check that. Secondly, not to wear you slick, but I had a 1994 Nissan 2.4L that had a slight double tap, which sounded like the cross between a lifter and a rod. When it was torn apart the bolts that hold the upper timing sprocket backed-up.... Replace the bolts and she still runs 10 years later.
 

newton

Thread starter
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
12
Location
texas
 Originally Posted By: gathermewool
You didn't notice this when you bought the car? Any kind of extended warranty? Is the oil you disposed of still available? How about the filter? Just to make sure it's not a spun bearing or rod knock I'd take a look at both the oil and filter for anything shiny. The video may have made the noise sound worse than it is, but I wouldn't drive a car with that kind of noise.
No I didn't. You can barely hear it if you're not under the car. No ext. warranty. Old oil looked fine with no metallic particles. Filter was fine and clean. I've driven the car for 2500 miles with this noise and it still runs fine. In fact, I just went out for a drive moments ago. Windows down, radio off, and I hauled through 3 gears shifting at 6000 rpms. Pulls fine and sounds fine. So I have no idea what the sound is now.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
2,082
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
 Originally Posted By: newton
No I didn't. You can barely hear it if you're not under the car. No ext. warranty. Old oil looked fine with no metallic particles. Filter was fine and clean. I've driven the car for 2500 miles with this noise and it still runs fine. In fact, I just went out for a drive moments ago.
You didn't say that in your first post. Stop worrying about it if you can only hear it lying under the car. Seriously. Run some ARX or LC20 to see if it's a noisy hydraulic lifter or something that might quiet down if cleaned up. It's OK to seek perfection (esp. on BITOG), but I wouldn't work yourself up over a noise you can only hear when under the car.
 
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
11,005
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
I'm on the second consecutive RX clean in my 2001 E46 325 (87,000 kms M1 0W40/filrer 8K KMS OCI) and my engine is silent. BMW indy shops are amazed as they usually rattle a bit by now particularly the infamous VANOS seals failing which if you havn'nt changed your are utterly stuffed)? See Beisan Systems for seals thyat work. XW30 oils won't get near my car and neither do they at the BMW dealerships (0W40 only). Get some ester and PAO free oil (Pennzoil Platinum Euro Formula 5W40) and two bottles of RX and a clean filter and run it for 5-6,000 miles. If you have top end noise it will fix it.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
2,082
Location
Toronto-ish, Canada
 Originally Posted By: sprintman
I'm on the second consecutive RX clean in my 2001 E46 325 (87,000 kms M1 0W40/filrer 8K KMS OCI) and my engine is silent. BMW indy shops are amazed as they usually rattle a bit by now particularly the infamous VANOS seals failing which if you havn'nt changed your are utterly stuffed)? See Beisan Systems for seals thyat work. XW30 oils won't get near my car and neither do they at the BMW dealerships (0W40 only). Get some ester and PAO free oil (Pennzoil Platinum Euro Formula 5W40) and two bottles of RX and a clean filter and run it for 5-6,000 miles. If you have top end noise it will fix it.
A run of ARX by Frank's instructions (shorter interval) using XD3 15W40 for clean and rinse greatly reduced my one ticking lifter but hasn't eliminated it. When I went back to GC (which, btw, UOA indicated was thicker than M1 0W40 when I remove it around 6000-8000km OCIs - I hope your "no XW30s" statement is backed by measurements not just PDS) I continued to use maint dose of ARX and the slight tick was always more or less the same. I decided to run XD3 15W40 again this summer because I was replacing VANOS seals and a couple of other things where I might lose some oil. I put 4oz ARX in and I've observed the light tick changing again (comes and goes, changes in character, tick-tick-tick-toink-" "-" "-tick-tock-tock-toink-" "-" "-tick, that sort of thing). This kind of thing happened during my full ARX treatment in 2006 or 2007. I must go back to GC for the winter here, and it's already August. I only drive <15,000km in a year, so I probably have a couple thousand km of driving before cool weather and no chance of getting an ester-free rinse cycle in. Based on your experience, should I perhaps dump a whole bottle or two in and see if the magic happens without a proper rinse, or is the rinse still critical? I doubt I could find an ACEA A3 rated ester-free dino good in cold weather (0W or 5W) to use for rinsing. Maybe I should just do a two-bottle treatment in the spring?
 
Top