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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys.

So my 730d has had a vortex breather put in at about 20,000 miles ago and im getting the symptoms of a blocked breather again. I had the loo roll type before. The symptoms im having are rough engine, lots of oil leaking on driveway, white/bluish smoke with a strong smell of burning oil.

Ive ordered a new vortex breather but i dont understand how my current breather has given in IF it is this. Cant imagine it being anything else.

Please help.

Cheers guys.
 

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Hi Ibby
I don't think the problems lies with the vortex breather.
if its been ok for 20,000 miles it can't go wrong .... there are no moving parts and its impossible (I believe) for it to block unless something is depositing something more solid than oil in the vortex.
I'll be interested to see what (if anything) is inside the breather when you replace with the new one.
I'd have a close look at the turbo air feed pipe if I was you .... the big pipe that runs from the turbo to the intercooler .... also look at the air feed pipe going in to the EGR ... just release clip and pull pipe back.
There should be a minimal amount of oily residue ... anything more than that and you have problems elsewhere.
Let us know what you find when you replace vortex breather.
p.s. I replaced my 'loo roll' breather at 80,000 miles .... engine (525D) now done 250,000 miles and vortex breather never been touched since it was fitted.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Ibby
I don't think the problems lies with the vortex breather.
if its been ok for 20,000 miles it can't go wrong .... there are no moving parts and its impossible (I believe) for it to block unless something is depositing something more solid than oil in the vortex.
I'll be interested to see what (if anything) is inside the breather when you replace with the new one.
I'd have a close look at the turbo air feed pipe if I was you .... the big pipe that runs from the turbo to the intercooler .... also look at the air feed pipe going in to the EGR ... just release clip and pull pipe back.
There should be a minimal amount of oily residue ... anything more than that and you have problems elsewhere.
Let us know what you find when you replace vortex breather.
p.s. I replaced my 'loo roll' breather at 80,000 miles .... engine (525D) now done 250,000 miles and vortex breather never been touched since it was fitted.
Thanks for your reply mate.

Ive heard about the diaphragm (Positive Crankcase Valve i think) the orange part, to either be stuck open or closed whereas the vortex part is impossible to get blocked up.

Cant remember if it was an OEM vortex part that i used or some other brand. Don't know if this makes a difference.

I'll check both pipes but first will replace the breather with another vortex type and see what happens but i do remember exactly that the symptoms im getting right now are what i got before when i had a blocked loo roll type.

I was really shocked with how much of a difference a new breather made after. It was like a brand new, more refined engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ive also lost about 30% of my power. Overtaking is not exciting anymore even with brand new oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds more like an issue with your turbo.
:-(..... but the oil leak is directly below the sump and not below the turbo. I mean why is it leaking a lot of oil? only thing i can think of is that its getting forced out of weak points meaning theres pressure in crankcase as ive had these symptoms before and its was the breather.

Hopefully a new lung will be coming in today and will see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also, the turbo sounds sweet. Checked the turbine wheel not long ago and it had no play. Change oil regularly.
 

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Hi Ibby
I'd try to find out exactly where the oil is leaking from ... oil leaks should not be ignored. It may be dripping out from sump area but oil has a way of finding devious routes to escape, so where it drips out is often not where its leaking from.
I'd take off engine cover and the under tray and try to clean up the engine with a steam clean (a few 'Hand Car wash' places have them).
Make sure its a steam cleaner and not just a water jet.
Have you removed your airfilter recently .... check if any oil is being blown up from the turbo or crankcase in to the bottom of the filter housing. You will need to take filter out to have a good look. The housing has two holes in the bottom ( I assume to allow any oil to drain out) and if this is happening on your engine it would probably find its way out by dripping out at drivers side of the sump.

p.s. be careful when driving with front under tray off ... if you go too fast wind has a habit of ripping off the rear under trays!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Ibby
I'd try to find out exactly where the oil is leaking from ... oil leaks should not be ignored. It may be dripping out from sump area but oil has a way of finding devious routes to escape, so where it drips out is often not where its leaking from.
I'd take off engine cover and the under tray and try to clean up the engine with a steam clean (a few 'Hand Car wash' places have them).
Make sure its a steam cleaner and not just a water jet.
Have you removed your airfilter recently .... check if any oil is being blown up from the turbo or crankcase in to the bottom of the filter housing. You will need to take filter out to have a good look. The housing has two holes in the bottom ( I assume to allow any oil to drain out) and if this is happening on your engine it would probably find its way out by dripping out at drivers side of the sump.

p.s. be careful when driving with front under tray off ... if you go too fast wind has a habit of ripping off the rear under trays!!
Yea i am going to inspect the car and see where its leaking from once ive installed the new breather. The symptoms exactly match with a faulty breather.

Ive bought a new air filter anyway so will inspect old one.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just done some research and smoky idle with a burning oil smell means a bad breather. The vortex breather has 2 parts, the separator and then the diaphragm (orange rubber bit) which comes in to play at idle. If this is faulty then basically it will smoke. the 4.4, 4.6, 4.8 engines have this as a common problem and the cause is a bad PCV (diaphragm).

Im hoping its this anyway. New OEM breather coming in tomorrow. Think i used a OEM copy rather than a proper BMW breather.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Fixed! replaced breather with a BMW vortex breather and now it runs beautifully. Increased MPG, performance is 100%, very smooth and exhaust smell is a lot cleaner and sweet.

I think the diaphragm gave in. Part wasn't an OEM item so not surprised it didn't last 30k miles.

Replaced air filter as well with a Bosch.

Cheers guys.
 
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