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I'd left home in my 2000 M5 w/ 46k miles (out of warranty 3/2004) and while driving, heard some fan squeal. Wonder what that's about? About 4-5 miles later at my stop, I exited my vehicle and noticed a slight smell. I hadn't been pushing the car hard or anything but it smelled a bit like, well, oil on manifolds.

After my visit, I returned and started driving back down the lane I was on. Hmm...there's a narrow black stripe on the street I didn't recall on the way in. Was I just not looking? My wife starts wondering what the heck I am doing as I start veering right to left on the road while watching my rear view mirror. A second black stripe is following my course! Uh oh. Temp gauge...reading ok. No oil light. Engine sounds ok. Hmm... Pull immediately to side. Walk to front of car...look under car. It is bleeding a pricey Castrol death. Pop hood...Gadzooks!

Towed to dealer. Oil coming out of Vanos solenoid gasket, need to replace Vanos unit (both replaced a few years back under warranty). Hey!?!?...if it's just a solenoid gasket, why not just replace it? Even the first mechanic suggested doing that (about 1/10th the cost), and they don't even have to remove Vanos. Only after digging did it become clear that the solenoid gasket is not supposed to have to battle high pressure oil and that the piston seal in the vanos unit failed allowing the oil to escape to parts not designed to deal with it necessitating vanos removal/replacement (& new belts/cleanup). Fortunately, I caught the problem early and still had oil in the crankcase but I could just as easily have melted the motor.

I looked around and saw some old posts on Vanos and oil leak, but nothing too much lately. I'm not expecting advice or pointers unless someone has some secret BMW handshake that uncorks an extended warranty I wasn't aware of. I'm just providing a data point if someone else encounters this. I'm not happy since at about twice this repair I could get a new Hyundai or somesuch but I am just figuring my turn was up.

Dan
 

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This concerns me because I have a 2000 M5 with 60K miles and lately it has been consuming Castrol RS like a drunken frat boy at happy hour.

Anybody have any ideas on what I should tell the tech when I bring the car in for the 60K inspection?
 

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MTR5PRT said:
This concerns me because I have a 2000 M5 with 60K miles and lately it has been consuming Castrol RS like a drunken frat boy at happy hour.

Anybody have any ideas on what I should tell the tech when I bring the car in for the 60K inspection?
Interesting post, as I am also from Seattle as dagone is, and I also have had oil problems since day one. I have a '00 w/ approx 67K miles. I put in a quart of oil every 600 or so miles. Its crazy..! The BMW service team always says that "its common for a 400hp car." But that excuse is getting tiresome.

I went in last weekend (Seattle BMW) and am having them monitor my oil consumption. The tech essentially filled my car up with oil, halfway to the dipstick, and told me to come back in either 2,000 miles or 30 days. During that time, I am to add no oil and monitor how many times I fill up the tank. If the "check engine oil" light pops up on the dash, I'm supposed to bring it in as well. By doing this test of theirs, they will be able to determine what the cause is for the crazy oil consumption. I'll fill you in as I find out. Sorry about your misfortune though w/ the '00. They are awesome cars, but thank god I at least have a CPO warranty.

Bojan
 

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Just to be clear, we're not talking about just drinking oil, which my motor has always enjoyed (about a quart every 2k miles). We're talking about oil spattering delightfully inside the engine bay and drooling puddles. If this happens to you, there will be no mystery where the oil went.Serb - if you do find out anything, I would be interested. I keep a case of Castrol in my garage and 2 quarts in the trunk. I've had the same song & dance "this engine just likes oil" from Seattle BMW too.
 

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Serb said:
I put in a quart of oil every 600 or so miles. Its crazy..! The BMW service team always says that "its common for a 400hp car." But that excuse is getting tiresome.
Yeah I have to put a liter of oil every 5-600 miles as well. It is a bit of a nuisance but I guess you have to pay to play...

I remember someone mentioning a reason for the high consumption and that is why I posted my question.

Good luck with that VANOS replacement, both of mine were done at 42K miles.
 

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This is very scary. I'm curious if there is anything that can be done prophylacticly to avoid such a catastrophic failure. Also, is this a design flaw in the product?
 

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Same thing happened to me, I saw the oil line on the road and sure enough it traced right back to my car. Crazy thing is when I pulled over to look under the hood the mechanic who works on my cars was putting gas in his car. he came over and took a look and told me exactly what it was. I did not have to replace both Vanos units just the selanoids.
 

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I'm wondering what time period the engines became such oil sluts. I have a 3/00 build car and it has the 10W60 sticker on it and that's all I put it, but I know that they started making cars run on 5W30 or something like that around the same March or April time period in 2000. My car doesn't (yet) have an oil fetish but it just has 52,000 miles on it. Inspection II came by and left about 2K miles ago and I usually don't need to add any oil in between oil changes (4K miles). No VANOS issues as of yet, just a CPS and they reprogrammed my DME yesterday for some TIS that kept turning on the SES light. Enough acronyms? :hihi:
 

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I also have a 2000 M5 with 76K and it's drunk 15l of Castrol RS in 6000 miles. BMW say they wouldn't touch Castrol RS in a motor like this, and it's going in for a full oil change to TWS. If it keeps drinking it, BMW are gonna have it until they figure out whats wrong. Mine's still under extended warranty (thank god!)

MTR5PRT said:
This concerns me because I have a 2000 M5 with 60K miles and lately it has been consuming Castrol RS like a drunken frat boy at happy hour.

Anybody have any ideas on what I should tell the tech when I bring the car in for the 60K inspection?
 

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According to BMW an M5 can be expect to drink upto 750ml of Oil every 1000km (600 miles)



MTR5PRT said:
Yeah I have to put a liter of oil every 5-600 miles as well. It is a bit of a nuisance but I guess you have to pay to play...

I remember someone mentioning a reason for the high consumption and that is why I posted my question.

Good luck with that VANOS replacement, both of mine were done at 42K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well...seems the posts so far can be summarized as:

a) M5 motors drink oil (probably how they get that last 5-10hp)
b) I have an M5 and thanks, now I have something new to worry about
c) I managed to get away with replacing just the solenoid

(a) I don't think there are any surprises here. I'm not sure about other weight oil, but if you use the TWS Castrol, we should perhaps organize a bulk buy of a tanker or two.

(b) For all the wildebeast eaten by lions and nile crocodiles, a rare few simply stumble and snapped their necks. Similarly, this Vanos problem appears to unpredictable. No sense worrying about an act of God.

(c) The senior tech suggested to me that they'd tried replacing the solenoid a few times in the past and over time, this wasn't very successful, which is why they didn't want to do it for me. I had to decide whether to believe him or not. While I wished replacing the solenoid would cure my problem, my fear was the problem was deeper and I'm out $1k? for the solenoid fix plus $4k for the vanos anyway (or more if I toasted the motor). I took the conservative approach. If someone new has this problem, you might dig a little deeper than I did as to whether replacing the solenoid does the trick. You will probably have to call up the chain till you find someone who actually understands the issue to get a truthful answer.

Dan
 
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