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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 05-03-2011, 11:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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E46 318i N42 Smoking BADLY

Hi All,

Last week my bimmer started smoking badly.

If it is idling in the parked position for about a minute and then I accelerate, but shortly once the smoke has blown out there is no smoke and the car runs great.

Car has just recently had the oil and filter replaced.

The smoke is a blueish colour which I beleive indicates oil burning?

I did notice that my coolant was extremely low yesterday...

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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BMW don't encourage idling for any unnecessary length of time, but what do they know LOL?
Have a friend accelerate the car to about 2000 - 2500rpm (While stood of course) and have a smell near the tail-pipe... Does it smell of burnt fuel or OIL ?
Does it smell of "Steam" too?
With the engine off, have a look at the oil filler cap AND dipstick, check for beige or "milky" deposits.
Also you may drain a very small amount of coolant to see if there is any other alien substance...
These simple tests are usually done before suspecting the head gasket failure and before a compression test.
Let me know and we'll take it from there :-)
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok I think it smells of oil. I've checked the dip stick in the morning and oil is clean, but I haven't checked it when the car is warm. Also when I did a oil change I never saw anything. I will need to remove the oil filter this evening and double check again.
I will also check the coolant at the same time. What must I look for in the coolant, also a milky substance. The car doesn't idle badly and sounds fine.
It's really just the smoke.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Worse case scenario would be either piston rings or valve guides.
But if you're lucky, it could simply be poor engine breathing...
Having said all that, if it runs fine and doesn't lose oil then I would be satisfied...
I would really have to be there to diagnose the problem.

The coolant should have its own colour depending on what type of antifreeze is used, usually green or orange. Just dip your finger in to see if there are excessive carbon deposits, if your finger is relatively clean then there isn't a problem.
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There is no major problem with your car.I would say in and I bet, oil separator is shot on your vehicle ,no expensive part ,but crapy access to replace it.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dabsy View Post
BMW don't encourage idling for any unnecessary length of time, but what do they know LOL?
Have a friend accelerate the car to about 2000 - 2500rpm (While stood of course) and have a smell near the tail-pipe... Does it smell of burnt fuel or OIL ?
Does it smell of "Steam" too?
With the engine off, have a look at the oil filler cap AND dipstick, check for beige or "milky" deposits.
Also you may drain a very small amount of coolant to see if there is any other alien substance...
These simple tests are usually done before suspecting the head gasket failure and before a compression test.
Let me know and we'll take it from there :-)
Ok, nothing in the coolant or on the dip stick or oil cap. Tried going down a hill and then stepping on the gas at the bottom and nothing.
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