I got this car a week or so ago from my uncle and it is using oil...

Asked by Jan 14, 2009 at 02:45 PM about the 1997 BMW 5 Series 528i Sedan RWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I took the car to the garage and they told me the tail pipe was greasy and thats bad.  I know NOTHING about cars! After calling my uncle I find out he said he has always put in a quart of oil once a month and its fine and I can continue to do that for however long and it will not be a problem... However everyone else is making a big deal out of it and telling me I need to sell it or trade it in... Please tell me your thoughts... I have no idea what to do..

2 Answers

8,775

1 quart a month isn't much depending on how much it was driven. Make sure you're using the proper weight oil I know a lot of euro cars take high viscosity oil. Also the tail pipe being 'greasy' can mean a couple things, I'd recommend going to a different shop to have it looked at. Without seeing itI can think of a couple things that can make it 'greasy'. Hell if you're running rich it'll get a black suit that gets slimey when even the slightest bit wet, for all we know that's the problem. A good mechanic should be able to know more by seeing it in person, but frankly there isn't a definite answer that we can give you over the internet. Can't think of any problems that would be an 'ohh my god sell it now' situation. It's not like a rod tap or a cracked head. If it's running fine that kinda rules out rings and head gasket as that would through of compression or cause a 'dead' cylinder, but as I said diagnosis over the internet is hard to begin with. Take it somewhere else though. It seems like they see someone with a BMW and want to bend you over the parts counter, considering they gave no indication of what the problem could be. We have a couple bimmer fans here that'll hopefully weigh in as I'm not too familiar with 'em.

3,885

If it is burning oil, your piston rings could be bad. That can be a very expensive job, considering it is a European car, you should not attempt this yourself. But yeah, take it to a shop that specializes in euro cars or if you have a car savvy friend or someone who isn't out for your wallet take it to them.

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