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.
I just picked up a 2001 325ci convertible from my wife's friend. She told me the car overheated from a hole in the radiator, and the dealership told her the engine seized and that she needed a new engine...now the car is mine.
I did a compression test and i got (from front to back) 150/100/45/60/70/140. The car would not start. I cleaned the plugs and put them back in and the car started although it was a little difficult to get started. Once running, it idled pretty good, revved fine and even during power braking it ran smoothly and strong. Back down to idle it was a little rough but ran.
I had no anti-freeze or water in it to see if I was getting white smoke so i'm going to replace the radiator and run it to see what happens.
I'm curious to find out if anyone would have any ideas (although i understand that not being here makes it tough) what might be the problem here. Head gasket, valve job, cracked head, warped block or even possibly some buildup on the valves preventing them from closing all the way which is causing the low compression.
Any ideas or tests that i can do before i rip the top half off would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the responses. I think my best bet at this point is to get the radiator in and run it with water/antifreeze to see what if i get any white smoke.
Yes, i completely agree that it's not seized and i feel bad for my wife's friend because the dealership was clearly misleading her although she was looking for an excuse to get a new car. If it wasn't me with it, one of the mechanics there would have gotten it because that is where they were going with it.
Anyway, i'm not sure of what the compression is supposed to be but i'm assuming you are correct with your numbers since the 1st and last cylinders are in that range leading me to believe that the middle of the head/head gasket got wiped out. I believe that it is common for it to take the hit in the middle of the cylinders.
Thanks again and any more advise would be appreciated.
Hey Marti, the oil is clean. No milk. I'm assuming that the rings and cylinders will be good and it must be the head/head gasket. Next move for me is to get a new radiator, run it and see if i get white smoke. Either way, it looks like i'm taking the top half apart.
not really..... a quart over 1500 miles is hard to see @ the tail pipe. i think its when the engine is @ cruise when there is high vacuum is when the oil is consumed thru the cylcone seperator (which was new when the head was redone) you wouldnt notice this as much as say you floored it, or revved it @ a stand still..... right then the engine would be at almost no vacuum.... i thought it was a fluke untill the lady kept coming back w/ the low oil light on. over the next 10K miles, she consitantly burnt 1 quart every 1000-1500 miles. normally these engines will only burn a quart or less every 15,000 miles.
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