M52 high oil consumption

My 95 328i touring is using about a litre of oil every 1000 miles, has been for the last 12000 miles or more! She's at 137k miles. She starts and idles perfectly and isn't lacking power, so I don't really suspect
the dreaded sulphur problem. No drips on the driveway either.
I was using 10w40 but went to 15w40 to see if a slightly thicker oil would help. No difference.
A few months after I bought her I ran an engine flush, I added about 1/2 litre of ATF to the oil and ran her for a few 100 miles like that. It seemed to become a problem after that. I'm wondering if I could have got rid of loads of old gunk on a highish mileage engine and done more harm than good!
Any other ideas? Maybe a faulty crankcase breather or something sucking it up into the intake (wild guess!)?
Other than the oil consumption she never misses a beat! Even has AC Schnitzer suspension and an M3 Evo rear anti-roll bar ;-)
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The only way to be sure it's not the bores is to get a 'leakdown test' done. My '99 E36 323i sport touring (M52) has 149k but on the advice on your website relating to the nikasil issues, before I bought it I checked first with BMW directly to reassure myself that it''s got an alusil block. Mine uses no oil at all between services. And I _do_use the revs too :>) Hope you get it diagnosed soon. Regards, JB
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John Burns wrote:

More than likely damaged the bore or the rings.
This technique was good back when men were men and engines had cast iron rings and oil had no detergents in it. It's a very BAD idea - especially running it several 100's of miles - on a modern engine.

While it could be - the coincidence of this starting when you dosed the engine makes me think you've screwed the pooch..

Well - guess you can always start looking for a nice S52 engine to throw in it.
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POINT OF ORDER If the car is a '95, then it is a 325 M50. If the car is a 328 M52, then it is a '96.
Do not look at the Production Date to determine Model Year, look at the 10th digit of the VIN, if an S the car is a '95, if a T the car is a '96. Me thinks you looked at the Production Date and saw 08 through 12 of 1995 and assumed the car was a '95 model, but this would really be a '96 model. I also assume you walked around to the back and read 328 on the trunk lid. The 328 was not used until the '96 model year, and that motor is the M52.
None of this is really germain to the discussion of oil use.
I had an M50 with 225,000 miles on it that did not use as much oil on the entire oil change interval as you claim to use in 1000 miles. Your motor is not a "highish mileage" engine. Indeed, you engine churns out a average of about 11,500 miles per year.
You seem impressed with a station wagon with performance suspension -- rightly so, I might add -- and I have to wonder if you make frequent forays to the Yellow or Red Line on the tachometer, then sustain that engine speed or lift off of the gas and slow down -- maybe enter a turn or whatever. This kind of driving creates high vacuum that can suck oil from lots of places and burn it in the exhaust. You may or may not see this as black soot on the back of the car, but it would explain the oil consumption and no leaks on the ground. The AFT in the oil is something that one would do to to cut the gunk and build up that causes the valve lifters to tick, but the downside is that the AFT also affects the rubber seals. Having said that, I said earlier that your motor is not a high mileage unit, so the AFT should not have done any real damage -- damage is not the right word, by the way.
I know this sounds boring, but try driving for a month or two with out ever letting the tach exceed 4000 RPM, and only let it get that high while on the way to the next gear. DO NOT use engine compression as a brake. See if that changes the oil consumption rate. If it doesn, then you have to make a choice between valve seals and driving like an old lady -- or me -- instead of the spirited driving that you enjoy. .
John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland

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Your sage advice is always welome Mr Strickland :-)
She's one of the first M52s, in fact I was surprised to find you could get an M52 car with the old style E36 grille! Maybe it's just a UK/euro thing and the US got the M52 a few months later.
She does about 65% sitting on cruise control in the 70-80mph range and the rest being "enjoyed" on some very twisty B roads on days when it's too wet or icy for my precious e30 or e28 to venture out :-)
I agree that 137k isn't that high, two of my other cars are a good bit higher. But they are M30s and that's a much better built piece of kit than the M52 in my opinion.

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John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland

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To add from my experience, I don't wear braking pads but burn oil ! Especially on mountain roads, with the three bimmers I had (318, 316i, and Z3 coup 3.0i), no more than 0.25 l / 1000. Very stable whatever the mileages were Last time, I asked the dealer to put a thicker oil. Too early for the moment to judge.

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My M50 (120-166k miles) used lots of oil and I did rev it and cruise at sustained high speeds and use engine braking (never heard that one before). I put a thin synthetic in it once because it was half price; performance seemed better, tappet noise at startup disappeared, but the oil itself disappeared at such a rate I had to change back to thicker stuff because I'd used up all of what I bought. I've got a V8 now and it doesn't seem to use any that I've noticed.
Dan
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The oil consumption spec is 1 litre of oil for 620 miles. Although what you are saying sounds quite high.
Why would you put ATF in the engine?!?
What are the compression and CLT readings?
John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland

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Wow! That's about double what I'm using, I'm amazed it's so high!

It's a very effective cleansing agent. I bought the car incredibly cheap, only cost me 1200GBP (about $2k) 18 months ago and other than needing a damn good clean it was rust free and in good condition. But it had little service history and I wanted to be sure there was no gunk in the engine.
It was originally bought as a winter beater, but it's amazing how handy an estate car is once you get one ;-) Maybe I'm getting old........

Not done any yet.
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replying to John Burns, wektor wrote: M 52 has one main problem he DISA valve, otherwise known as the «Intake Manifold Adjuster Unit», is located on the side of the intake manifold and is a common failure on the M54 and M52TU BMW engines. The failure is caused by the type of materials used in the manufacture of two of the three key valve components. The three key components of the DISA are the flat plastic flapper valve which opens and closes depending on engine rpm and throttle position, the bell crank lever that rotates it, and the vacuum pot that actuates the bell crank lever. The flapper valve is made of 30% glass reinforced nylon and the bell crank lever is made of standard 6/6 nylon. As shown in the pictures on the left, the bell crank lever has a male, hex shaped protrusion, which snaps into a matching female pocket on the flapper valve. These hex shaped sections are what allow the rotation of the bell crank lever to rotate the flapper valve. During normal engine operation, vibrations from pressure pulses inside the intake manifold cause the bell crank lever and flapper valve to vibrate against each other where the hex shaped portions contact each other. These vibrations start a wear process which will cause the tiny glass fibers in the flapper valve to become exposed. Once the fibers become exposed they start to erode away the male hex portion of the weaker bell crank lever. As soon as the erosion starts it’s all down hill from there until the hex is completely worn away. The symptoms of a worn DISA valve include rough idle, lean engine codes and lack of low to mid rpm power. If you disassemble a worn out DISA valve and look at the bell crank lever it’s common to not even recognize that it once had a hex shape on the protrusion. Once the hex is shape is worn off the lever, the flapper valve no longer opens and closes in a controlled manner by the rotation of the bell crank lever. The brittle flapper valvebecomes free to slap around uncontrolled within the DISA support framework. This uncontrolled movement can lead to complete destruction of the flapper valve. The broken pieces of valve have no where else to go except through the intake manifold runners and through the motor, sometimes resulting in severe engine damage. Even a small piece of plastic broken off the flapper valve can hold an intake valve open, resulting in bent valves or much worse. Since the only parts on the DISA valve that typically fail are the flapper valve, bell crank lever and housing seal, why replace the entire unit. Replace the failed internal parts with these http://vanos-bmw.com/disa-bmw-repair-kits upgraded parts and have a much more reliable DISA for 1/3 the cost.
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