4th Cylinder Down! - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 06:08 AM
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4th Cylinder Down!

in my 320i, 6 cylinder, the 4th cylinder is working at well below the level of the other 5, about 15-20%! They found this at bmw but didnt go opening everything up to find out why!

Does anyone know what could be causing this?

thnx!

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#2 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 03:20 PM
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Do you mean a lose of compression?
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#3 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 03:21 PM
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if its loss of compression, it could be a vaccum leak...

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#4 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 11:04 PM
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yeah i mean the compression sorry!

if it was a vacuum leak, how would you go about fixing that, something wrong with the valves or..? i've really got no idea, never worked that far into the car!

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#5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 12:27 AM
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If it is one cylinder it could be a problem either with cylinder or with the head. Honestly the only way to find the problem is to take it apart. It may be something simple like a vaccum leak... but I am not sure that this is sypmtomatic of a loss of compression in one cylinder (not saying it can't be, just not familiar with it).
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#6 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 02:02 PM
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I don't understand how a vacuum leak will reduce cylinder compression. Valves, rings, headgasket, and associated items are typical causes of reduced compression.

Greg

97 328iS, Manual, Stock
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#7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 02:07 AM
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There are things you can test without taking apart the engine to see if the problem can be found.

First, leakdown test, of course you need the tester, but basically it compresses air into the cylinder then if it is losing 15-20 percent efficiency, then listen for where the air is leaking out of, if it's the valves leaking then you'll either hear it in the intake or the exhaust.

Second, dry and wet compression test, do a dry compression test on all 6 cylinders, at least twice each one, average them out see if there's a difference, then put about a teaspoon of oil down each cylinder then do the compression test again, if after you put the oil in the compression on the "bad" cylinder averages out with the rest, then you're looking at piston rings.

Both tests require some time and of course the right tools, and of course in the end if either the valves, piston rings, piston, or whatever is actually bad then you will end up doing a tear down of the engine, BUT if you can do these tests yourself CORRECTLY(and i do stress that you do diagnose your car correctly) you'll save up on diagnostic fees that either the dealership or any shop will charge you. Of course if you diagnose incorrectly and they just replace that certain part you think is bad then you're out of luck my friend.

Goodluck with whatever you do.
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