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Old 01-26-2007, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2007
Car: 1993 E34 530i
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Is it my PCV??


My 530 v8 is giving me a bit of hassle.

It started the other day driving back from London. At low revs (<2,000 RPM) and especially at idle, I would get a whining/whistling noise coming from the top rear of the engine along with poor idling/loss of power.
Giving it a bit of gas makes it go away.

The day after, I went to drive to work. Acceleration seemed ok, but at idle it ran like crap. Then it would almost die, then surge, almost die, surge (all at idle). Once again, giving it a bit of gas made it go away.

Anyway, I have been trying to figure out the problem today. I started her up, and it seemed to run fine at idle. I gave it revs, held revs etc; but symptoms as above seemed to have gone away.
So I give her a litle drive up the road. The symptoms come back. Some times I get the surging. Sometimes I get the crappy idling, sometime accompanied with the whining noise. Giving revs makes it go

Switching off the engine, and restarting makes the symptoms go away too.

The symptoms are accompanied with an odourless white smoke.

I have noticed that when it is idling badly, I tried to undo the oil filler cap. The vacuum in the crankcase is so high, I struggle to take off the cap.

Typical that this should happen now, just as I plan on selling it!

Any help, advice and pointers will be much appreciated.
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Old 01-30-2007, 07:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey........ did you get this fixed?

Sure sounds like a PVC or I think the Germans call them oil seperators or something like that. I would check all the vacumn lines and usual stuff. Sounds like you are on the right track.
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Haven't had a chance yet. The parts are awaiting my collection at the local stealer.
Plan to do it this weekend, so will update when done. Cheers
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've experienced a similar problems with my 520i, especially the whining noise and stalling at idle/low revs. I do a lot of driving in and around London and it is becoming quite unpleasant!

Last year I had this looked at by my local stealer - they said it was the 'engine breather system' clogged up; I paid about £250; hoses replaced etc- this seemed to cure the problem, but it has started again! This time I am also getting the smell of unburnt fuel when the engine has warmed and air ducts are open. Before taking it back to the stealer I'll do more investigation this time. i'm very interested in knowing how you get along with this.

I imagine you have purchased a PCV - roughtly how much for this? Just to be clear, is this what my Haynes manual refers to as the purge control valve (purge solenoid valve)? It sounds easy enough to fit myself.
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It happened with me once, on my E34 540 and I changed the PCV it worked fine, but after 2 days had the same issue, and finally I got it, and it was this hose,


part 7, it was cracked I changed it and the car is fine now
E34 540i Manual
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Old 02-05-2007, 11:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Talking All Fixed.

Firstly, Thanks to everyone who replied.

Got to replace the PCV on the 530 at the weekend.
Turned out to be a very easy job. What I was worried might take me all day, in fact took only 2 1/2 hours.

The inlet manifold was very oily, and it was quite clear that the PCV had infact gone U.S. I left it standing on one end , and was quite amazed at how much dripped out.
Anyway, a good sparay of carburettor cleaner soon helped. Going to give it another spray tomorrow while it is running to get the remains out.

Needles to say, the car is running nicely again!

Parts from BMW came to about £85 including tax, and that included the inlet manifold gaskets.

Check out for a parts list, under Engine > Intake manifold.
I replaced numbers 3,4,5,7,10 (times 4).
From chatting with a few other v8 owners who have replaced their PCV, they have found the screws holding the PCV on to be a complete git to undo.
Personally, as long as the head is cleaned out, a good T30 torx socket bit and ratchet did the job no problems.

I'll post some instructions, for anyone else who intends to do theirs.
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Old 02-05-2007, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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PCV replacement instructions

Ok folks. Here are some instructions to help with replacing the PCV, and other gaskets involved with the inlet manifold.
It is written with a UK model in mind. You guys in the USA and Europe (who drive on the wrong side of the road ) will need to bear this in mind

1) Disconnect the battery
2) Remove the engine cover and the ignition coil covers.
3) Disconnect the ignition coils by pulling out on the silver retaining clips, then lifting up on the coil connector. Leave them hanging.
4) Remove the air intake boot from the air box and the throttle assembly.
5) Pull the Idle control valve from the throttle housing. Silver, cylindrical shaped. There is a rubber bracket holding it to the accelerator cable bracket.
6) Disconnect the throttle cables from the throttle assembly. You can try to remove the two T30 torx bolts that hold the bracket to the throttle assembly, OR just pinch the plastic tabs and work the cables out through the slots. Lay the cables over by the brake fluid reservoir.
7) Put towels underneath the input and return fuel lines and disconnect them from the fuel rail. The return line is a beast to get off, as it is really tight in there. I just cut the retaining clip and replaced it new.
8) Disconnect the hose(s) on the underside of the throttle assembly. These are easily accessed.
9) Remove the injector harness connections from each cylinder bank. There are three for each bank. Label them appropriately, as they will be moved around a lot. Just pinch the wire clips and lift up to disconnect.
10) Disconnect the connector to the throttle body, on the drivers side. There may be a similar, three-pole connector that is hanging there loose. I do not know what it is used for. Label both so that you know which one is used, if your car was set up like mine.
11) Disconnect the sensor connector from the intake manifold. It is at the front side of the manifold, on the drivers side.
12) Remove four 10mm hex nuts, two on each side, from the injector harness wire boxes.
13) Remove the injector harnesses. I used a large, flat blade screwdriver. Wedge it between the harness box and the fuel rail and ever so gently apply pressure to loosen the connection to the injectors. Work one injector at a time so as to not damage the plastic ears. Lay the driver side harness over by the air box to keep it out of the way. It remains attached to the passenger side harness.
14) Remove the two 10mm plastic nuts that hold the coolant overflow tank to the firewall. There is no need to remove the tank, just loosen it and let it hang there.
15) Remove the ten, 10mm nuts that hold the intake manifold to the engine. Use needle nose pliers to pull the nuts up, so they donít fall down and get lost. Also pull out the ten sleeves that line the intake up on the mounting studs.
16) If possible, have an assistant hold the coolant overflow tank up out of the way while you lift off the intake manifold. It comes off with the fuel rail and injectors still attached. There is no reason to remove the injectors unless you want to replace the o-rings while you are in there.
17) Lift up on the manifold from the passenger side, then slide it toward the firewall to disconnect the oil pipe from the PCV plate. There is a metal bracket that is on the end of the oil pipe that you just lift up on with a flat blade screwdriver and slide back. It is tight in there, but possible. Remove the manifold from the engine as an assembly and place on a clean work surface.
18) Now is a good time to get out the shop vac and clean out the debris in the valley. You will want to get all the crud out of there so that it does not fall into the valve train.
19) Clean the surface where the manifold mates with the heads using a lint free cloth.
20) Time to disassemble the intake manifold. As per previous posts, the T30 bolts will most likely be tight, and the heads may strip when you try to loosen them. You can replace them with M6 hex head bolts.
21) Remove the six T30 bolts from the throttle assembly and the seven T30 bolts from the PCV plate so you can replace the gaskets.
22) The front and rear gaskets look similar, but the front side one has a slight indent on the bottom side. They will fit perfectly into the slots in the intake, so be sure to mark which gasket is front and rear.
23) Install a new PCV plate and cap along with the gasket. The cap is purchased separately. The PCV plate will come with a new o-ring for the oil pipe.
24) Replace the four gaskets on the underside of the intake after cleaning the mating surface.
25) When installing the intake, make sure that the oil pipe is reconnected to the PCV plate. To do this, push the pipe as far forward as possible, then lay the intake into the engine, pushing it toward the back.
26) The injector wiring harness connectors get moved around a lot. Be sure that you have them secured out of the way so that they can be routed back for installation.
27) Work the oil pipe into position in front of the nipple of the PCV plate. Use a flat blade screw driver to push the pipe rearward so that the firewall end engages with the PCV plate, then work the clamp into place, so that the tab locks over the ridge of the plastic.
28) Install the ten alignment sleeves, then the ten nuts for the intake manifold. Torque it to 11 ft. lbs. from the inside out, alternating sides. After torquing the nuts, go back and retorque, just to be sure.
29) Install the injector harnesses. One of the connectors on mine turned a little so I lifted it back off and aligned it prior to pressing it into place. It takes just a little push to get it to lock in.
30) The remainder of installation is the reverse of the removal.
31) Upon first restart, turn the key to position two and let it sit there for a few seconds before trying to start it. Most, if not all, of the fuel dumped out of the fuel rail and the system needs to re-pressurize. It will run rough for a minute, then smooth out.
32) Drive and check for fuel leaks.
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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wow man..glad u fixed it! Thanks for the write up
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