BMW Diagnostics

Today’s common diagnostic pitfalls are a challenging bunch of multiple issues at hand, let me explain.

Diesel Particulate Filter

For instance an older gentleman with late model BMW 328 diesel having a problematic DPF at a very early stage. DPF stands for Diesel Particulate Filter. Diesel particulate filters are devices that capture diesel particulates from the exhaust gas of the diesel engine to prevent their release to the air.

Clogged DPF Filter

His BMW’s odometer reads only 98 000 kms. Naturally to have a clogged DPF this early in a  diesel BMW sends off a ringer for me. The gentleman has been at the BMW dealer to find a solution, he even contacted the customer care at BMW Canada for no results, other than being told his car is out of warranty.

2016’s 328 Diesel BMW

Unfortunately the DPF is only covered for a relatively short time in Canada, even though in the USA they are covered for 10 years or 120 000 miles, we are talking about a 2016’s 328 diesel BMW vehicle. The first thing that occurred to me was that this should not happen unless this vehicle was not driven as intended, interestingly nobody ever asked that question yet. I asked the client about his driving habits, and he said he drives only locally a few kilometers each trip. It’s worth pointing out this is a crucial problem due to no self clean will be run by the engine management computer to burn out the DPF.  The DPF cleaning wanted to start probably many times, except it gets shut down every time due to short distance driving.

This whole problem could be prevented if the client was informed at the time of purchase about his diesel emission maintenance requirements, this is very, very unfortunate.  The lack of introduction of the special needs of the system can’t be understated as it can lead to early DPF failure.

The Consequences to Use Wrong Motor Oil in a Diesel  BMW

Furthermore the client gets his oil changes elsewhere and he’s not aware of the special diesel specific motor oil requirement either for DPF equipped vehicles.

Having the wrong oil a LL01 or any other BMW specific like an LL17+FE oil put in could have a detrimental effect on the DPF by zinc poisoning of the particulate filter.

Only LL04 or equivalent like MB 229.51 oil must be used to prevent DPF poisoning. Unfortunately clients should be asking questions instead of just taking their chances.

Diesel BMW’ Special Needs and Requirements

Fortunately we managed to flush the clogged DPF with the print out of before and after pressure readings. I have explained to the client all the special needs and requirements he has to be aware of from here on going forward.</

Theoretically this is not my job and not my responsibility, except it would be the same problem recurring sooner than later no matter what, if he does not change his driving routine.  This can’t be emphasized enough.

Any questions, how may we help? Call us with your question.
Telephone: 905.795.0419


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Clogged Diesel BMW intake with carbon build up

If you thought to drive your modern BMW diesel in the city for short distances this is what you going to end up to deal with. For example on the next photos you can see the clogged intake of a BMW’s M57 diesel engine, which is straight 6. This engine produced from 1998, in the upper Austrian engine plant in Steyr. The engine was only available in north America or Canada since 2009 and it is a sequential turbo diesel .

To view bigger photo click on the thumbnails. Click on your browser back button to return to this page.

As they say a picture is worth a thousand word, there are a few things you should do to reduce the likelihood of this disaster;

#1, try to avoid driving short distances, there is a reason why the big rigs use diesel engines reliably.

#2, switch to Shell super diesel which burns cleaner due to higher cetane (diesel octane is called cetane) number and additional detergent in the fuel. Yes it does cost more and there is a reason for that.

#3, switch to a slightly heavier motor oil, from a 5/30 BMW to 5/40 BMW LL04 recommended by us to reduce the blow by in the intake system.

#4, you need to take it out and have it driven spiritedly for a considerable distance at least a hundred kilometers one way in a long stretch or more. While the problem is 3 fold as above short distance driving + poor fuel quality + light weight oil all will play a role in a clogged intake tract like above.

The same intakes, after Sonic Cleaning.

To view bigger photo click on the thumbnails. Click on your browser back button to return to this page.

This will happen to any modern diesel regardless of the make an model. Worth to note, the same scenario goes for the Mercedes MLGL and R class diesels.

This engines use a lot of exhaust gas re-circulation which contains sooth, routed pre DPF filter so the sooth will mix with oil vapour and will stick to everything in it’s path.

Related: Diesel System Cleaner

Albeit on a completely clogged intake there is no way to remove the thick carbon deposits except walnut shell blasting the intake ports and sonic clean the manifold.  We suggest to use the LM brand diesel system treatment as part of the regular maintenance on modern BMW or Mercedes diesel engines for optimal performance on the long run.

If you like to know more please don’t hesitate to ask.
Telephone: 905.795.0419

We wish you safe motoring, Techmax Auto Repair.