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E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
14-06-2011, 07:41 PM
Post: #1
E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
Have read about and even saw a video clip about an X5 diesel engine destroying itself because of engine oil entering the turbo. As i have both a E39 530d and X5 3l diesel, is there any suggestions as to what to do in case this should happen?
I see P1000 mentioned keeping a fire extinguisher in the car in case of such a senario, but what do you do if the paw-paw hits the fan?
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14-06-2011, 07:48 PM
Post: #2
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
sit and watch and tape it...diesel will continue to detonate until fuel runs out nothing you can do - it wont burn so dont fear.
But its a very rare occurrence - my old man is a diesel mech by trade and has never seen it happen in his lifetime all 75 years of it..

Black Beauty....Z4 M Coupe, once U go Coupe you cant go back. Bluebiggrin
07 Polo Tdi - 96 kw + Revo = grunt
07 A4 Tdi - 125kw+++ added some extra Ponies via software + decat = EGR & DPF delete Cartel
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14-06-2011, 10:04 PM
Post: #3
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
One could argue that you could spray the CO2 extinguisher into the air intake to smother the engine, but unless decently applied this will not work (as proven by Mythbusters Bluebiggrin ) or secondly hit the handbrake, footbrake and try to stall in 2nd gear, but you risk buggering the gearbox/clutch too.

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14-06-2011, 10:24 PM (This post was last modified: 14-06-2011 10:25 PM by Ralf@Speedway Motorsport.)
Post: #4
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
(14-06-2011 10:04 PM)Hellas Wrote:  One could argue that you could spray the CO2 extinguisher into the air intake to smother the engine, but unless decently applied this will not work (as proven by Mythbusters Bluebiggrin ) or secondly hit the handbrake, footbrake and try to stall in 2nd gear, but you risk buggering the gearbox/clutch too.

the 530d is automatic....so the "in gear" trick isn't going to work.

In my early years i worked for a Diesel Electric workshop in Brakpan, and witnessed a turbo runaway on a Turbo Diesel VW Passat....the technician was furiously ripping away at fuel lines and electrical looms....with no reaction, then another "cool-thinking" technician got in the drivers seat, put it into gear and released the clutch against the foot brake.....done

PS...I also have a 2001 530d and it has also crossed my mind as well....what to do ?

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1992 BMW E32 730i
1985 BMW E28 520i

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14-06-2011, 10:37 PM
Post: #5
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
If it is to happen to a auto BMW,,,,, run!!!!

e36 328i.... soon to be "32v8i"
e39 540i
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15-06-2011, 06:49 AM
Post: #6
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
You can try to smother the engine by using a plank on the intake right before the air filter. (Do not try to use a body part) Or maybe a CO2 extinguisher, though I don't know if it will work. Or cut the pipe between the intercooler and the intake manifold to prevent oil from entering the engine, although it will be under great pressure so it might not be the best idea.

@MikeR It is not fuel that is burnt, it is oil that comes from worn out turbo seals, thus the engine feeds on its own oil until there is no more left, and it is completely destroyed.
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15-06-2011, 08:43 AM
Post: #7
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
Put in drive and aim it at your nearest taxi Ka-boom

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15-06-2011, 11:06 AM
Post: #8
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
(15-06-2011 08:43 AM)msm Wrote:  Put in drive and aim it at your nearest taxi Ka-boom

a useful diesel....runs and hides Grin
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15-06-2011, 11:14 AM
Post: #9
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
(15-06-2011 08:43 AM)msm Wrote:  Put in drive and aim it at your nearest taxi Ka-boom

like! Grin
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18-06-2011, 12:50 PM
Post: #10
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
OK guys, i have heard all the advise, now i need to know how to prevent this from happening. Am i right in saying that the seals on the turbo is the problem. They leak and oil gets into the hot turbo, it combusts and it spools up and that is the end???
I have replaced the toilet roll type oil seperator with the upgraded type, the air filter is new, but what else to do??

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18-06-2011, 02:54 PM
Post: #11
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
(18-06-2011 12:50 PM)Solo Man Wrote:  OK guys, i have heard all the advise, now i need to know how to prevent this from happening. Am i right in saying that the seals on the turbo is the problem. They leak and oil gets into the hot turbo, it combusts and it spools up and that is the end???
I have replaced the toilet roll type oil seperator with the upgraded type, the air filter is new, but what else to do??

Replace the turbo... (and not with a rebuilt one, get an OEM one from the garrett distributor, they are relatively cheap @ R9500...)

That is the only way to guarantee that you won't run into this problem. Changing the crankcase breather (loo roll) every third service is a good protocol and will help prevent this from happening, though.

oh, and BTW. The oil leaks past the turbo seals into the intake manifold through the intake valves into the combustion chamber (engine) where it gets combusted and makes the engine run.
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18-06-2011, 04:21 PM
Post: #12
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
(15-06-2011 06:49 AM)P1000 Wrote:  You can try to smother the engine by using a plank on the intake right before the air filter. (Do not try to use a body part) Or maybe a CO2 extinguisher, though I don't know if it will work. Or cut the pipe between the intercooler and the intake manifold to prevent oil from entering the engine, although it will be under great pressure so it might not be the best idea.

@MikeR It is not fuel that is burnt, it is oil that comes from worn out turbo seals, thus the engine feeds on its own oil until there is no more left, and it is completely destroyed.
OIL IS STILL FUEL IN A DIESEL - so in retrospect....when all the fuel is burnt.

Black Beauty....Z4 M Coupe, once U go Coupe you cant go back. Bluebiggrin
07 Polo Tdi - 96 kw + Revo = grunt
07 A4 Tdi - 125kw+++ added some extra Ponies via software + decat = EGR & DPF delete Cartel
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19-06-2011, 01:54 PM
Post: #13
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
ther is nothing wrong with rebuilt turbos,@9500(relatively cheap,almost fell off my chair wen i read that,) you can have your old turbo rebuilt 3 times with 6 month warranty on each rebuild,
the race turbo on my honda was 10k,10k is not cheap
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19-06-2011, 02:12 PM
Post: #14
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
I think you would do well to listen to what P1000 says, as he really knows his stuff.

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19-06-2011, 03:20 PM
Post: #15
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
i think not in this case,my race turbo has been rebuilt before for 3k last year,the reason it failed is because the wastegate gt stuck and the motor tried to see what 400kw was like,and a piece of the sleeve did a dance in the turbo,ther is nothing wrong with rebuilt turbos as long as u take it to a well known company
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19-06-2011, 05:13 PM
Post: #16
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
(19-06-2011 03:20 PM)spawn616 Wrote:  i think not in this case,my race turbo has been rebuilt before for 3k last year,the reason it failed is because the wastegate gt stuck and the motor tried to see what 400kw was like,and a piece of the sleeve did a dance in the turbo,ther is nothing wrong with rebuilt turbos as long as u take it to a well known company

Your race car does not have a VNT turbo. Read Garrett's paper on why you should not rebuild them. But I agree it is possible, but only if you know what you are doing and do not touch the VNT mechanism. The other issue with the rebuild is that the impeller blades are under immense stress at 150000rpm (radial forces), and the rapid acceleration and deceleration of them in the turbo means that they start to suffer from fatigue cracks at the mileage most of these cars are now (200kkm). This leads to the exact thing you will see - many of these turbos fail by spewing out a turbine blade. I have heard of as many occurrences of that happening as plain bearing failure. That is why I recommend that you rather buy the whole turbo @R9500 as opposed to a rebuilt one for R6500. R9500 is cheap in relation to what you will pay for many other OEM turbos - like KKK etc. Or like the Polo TDI - R45k (integrated into exh manifold.)
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20-06-2011, 01:55 PM
Post: #17
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
To replace the beairing and impeller is a simple service kit,that u can order from garrett,turbo direct in meyerton is very good and have rebuilt many vnt or holset turbos,as I said to u in pm,I do not believe our turbos see the extreme temps as the uk diesels do,to replace seals is a far less expensive job than replacing a whole turbo,unless ur housing has hairline cracks then yes I do agree with you in replacing the turbo
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20-06-2011, 02:23 PM (This post was last modified: 20-06-2011 02:46 PM by P1000.)
Post: #18
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
Turbo Direct and Turbo Exchange are probably the only places I recommend for this job (they do the work), unless you have experience or think you are up for this. I just prefer the peace of mind that comes with a new turbo. If you are already going to do the/pay for labour, might as well do it properly 1st time.
(20-06-2011 01:55 PM)spawn616 Wrote:  To replace the beairing and impeller is a simple service kit,that u can order from garrett,turbo direct in meyerton is very good and have rebuilt many vnt or holset turbos,as I said to u in pm,I do not believe our turbos see the extreme temps as the uk diesels do,to replace seals is a far less expensive job than replacing a whole turbo,unless ur housing has hairline cracks then yes I do agree with you in replacing the turbo

What was the VNT turbos used in? I see holset VGT turbos use a completely different technology than VNT - and it should not suffer from the same perils.
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20-06-2011, 06:54 PM
Post: #19
RE: E39 530d - what can one do in case of engine runaway
I am from down under in the Cape region and plan to drive up to Pretoria within the next two weeks. If i visit one of the above mentioned service centres and have my car's turbo serviced/overhauled (bearings, seals, impeller), how long will it take and roughly how much moola?? Anyone with an answer, please help. Also, are these guys the only ones? What about Alpine Developements, do the service/overhaul turbos? And where are they located, as i plan to drive to Durbs after the service. They will have to remove and refitt the turbo as well.
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