Last post on Mar 25, 2013 at 4:00 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Electrical, Engine, Sedan, Wagon
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#1934 of 2734 Re: 1997 BMW 528i Rough idle at cold start [udive200]
Jun 20, 2007 (7:10 am)
Most likely the problem is with your VANOS cam timing system. Said system uses oil pressure to adjust the timing if each cam shaft by pressing against a spring loaded collar gear. As the seals wear out they are not able to maintain the neccessary oil pressure required to conteract the force of the springs, and as such the cams are mis-timed upon start-up. As the problem gradually worsens over a period that is typically a couple of years, idling of the engine becomes problematic regardless of how long it has been running or how recently the throttle was blipped.
As I understand it, the repair at a dealership usually costs between five and six hundred dollars.
Let us know how you make out.
#1935 of 2734 Re: Maintenance & repairs [tlouie]
Jun 20, 2007 (7:22 am)
As a general statement, no, you don't need to maintain your car more often than is recommended by the Owner's Manual.
Your specific question regarding oil changes is fairly easily addressed, consider the following:
- Most six cylinder engines in the three liter range from most manufacturers have an oil capacity of between four and five quarts. Your new car uses seven.
- Most modern ULEV (or better) engines (engines that produce FAAAAR fewer combustion byproducts than older engines) are able to go between six thousand and seventy-five hundred miles between oil changes, on conventional oil. Your car requires the use of a very high quality synthetic oil (most synthetics cannot meet the BMW LL-01 oil spec, and not a single conventional or semi-synthetic oil can).
- Viewed as a whole, your very efficient (from a combustion perspective) engine with half again as much oil as most other engines of a similar size, and using only the best oil money can buy, can safely go the ~15,000 miles as recommended by BMW.
- One other point. BMW has now been recommending a 15,000 mile OCI since the introduction of the E46 3-Series back in late 1998. If the 15,000 mile OCI is bad for the engines, we'd be seeing hundreds (if not thousands) of posts clogging up these sites complaining about failed engines. I've seen a handful, and in every case the engine was abused (i.e. run WAAAAY longer than 15,000 miles before the oil was changed and/or run far too low on oil).
I hope this helps.
#1936 of 2734 Re: 1997 BMW 528i Rough idle at cold start [shipo]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jun 20, 2007 (8:13 am)
I think some people can also run into problems with VANOS if they are using the wrong weight of oil, can't they?
#1937 of 2734 Re: 1997 BMW 528i Rough idle at cold start [Mr_Shiftright]
Jun 20, 2007 (9:01 am)
That makes sense. That said, all accounts of VANOS acting up that I've been privy to were a result of worn oil control "O" rings in the VANOS assembly itself. Could it be that incorrect oil usage is responsible for the worn rings? Ain't no way I'd rule that possibility out.
Based upon my very unscientific observations, there seems to be a very hit and miss nature to this problem. Take two seemingly identical cars, driven in seemingly identical conditions and using the same oil, and you might could well find that one runs perfectly while the other will be barely able to maintain an idle. Go figure.
#1938 of 2734 Re: 1997 BMW 528i Rough idle at cold start [shipo]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jun 20, 2007 (9:47 am)
I was thinking that if the oil is too heavy on cold start up, it won't work the hydraulics for the cam shift.
#1939 of 2734 Re: 1997 BMW 528i Rough idle at cold start [Mr_Shiftright]
Jun 20, 2007 (10:07 am)
If memory serves, the problem isn't that the oil is too heavy, it's that the oil is leaking past the "O" rings, thus reducing the pressure brought to bear against the VANOS spring. That said, you may have something there in that the oil would be far more likely to leak past the "O" rings when warmer/thinner than when cool in a newly cold-started engine.
The absolute heaviest "cold" oil allowable (i.e. that meets the BMW LL-01 oil spec) is 5W-30. It would be interesting to see if the folks who've had the greatest incidence of problems are those that have used the factory BMW/Castrol 5W-30 engine oil versus those of us who converted our cars over to the thinner Mobil 1 0W-40 and/or Castrol Syntec 0W-30 oils.
Jun 23, 2007 (2:23 am)
My friend owns one of these. He has a rebuilt engine on it. The car is fine except it will take 10-20 seconds to strat , he has to keep turning the ksy give it gas for that time till the ignition kicks off. He says the mecahnic said it was a problem with some valves or something not sure what he said. am planning to buy this car from him but not sure if this is a safe buy, the rebuilt engine has 50k now.
At the same time another guy is trying to sell me a 97 MITS eclipse with 73 k on it, looks runs nice. Whats your opinion?
#1941 of 2734 Re: Maintenance & repairs [shipo]
Jun 23, 2007 (6:44 am)
Thanks for info, do you know what maintenance is needed during the 4 yr. Ultimate Service and does it pay to purchase the 2yr. extended maintenance plan?
#1942 of 2734 Re: Maintenance & repairs [tlouie]
Jun 23, 2007 (7:07 am)
Ummm, I'm not sure what the "4 yr. Ultimate Service" is, so I cannot comment. Regarding the extended maintenance plan, they seem to be something of a deal if you don't like DIY type of jobs. Personally I wouldn't bother as I do my own brakes and oil and filters and such, however, for someone not so inclined, the general consensus "buy it".
#1943 of 2734 Re: Maintenance & repairs [shipo]
Jun 23, 2007 (11:43 am)
The 4 yr. Service I am inquiring about is the 4 year free maintenance included in the purchase of a new BMW. Wanted to know other than once a year oil changes what else is schedules and included. Do you also think the extended warranty is advisable since european cars are horrible with reliability. Don't know if BMW's have improved with 2008 models, it's why I am debating the 528xi over the 535xi since the 535xi is turbocharged. It's new and first year for this engine, don't know if kinks have ironed out yet.