Check engine and smoke in the crank case - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-25-2004, 06:58 PM
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I've had my M3 for about 150 miles. It has a total of about 47000 miles on it.

Last week it passed a state vehicle inspection given by a BMW dealer. During the inspection they did a minor tune up, (filters, plugs, oil change).

Today I get a check engine light and find smoke in the crank case.

I've known this car since it was brand new. There's never been any major problems with it. There has been a history of a check engine light comming on but no mechanic was ever able to find a cause. The dealer has apparently reset the light a couple times but it always comes back.

Furthermore I'm not sure about it's oil level. The dipstick has no markings to say if the case is full or not. There's just two little notches. I assume the level is supposed to be between them but who knows? Right now the oil level after running for an hour was just barely above the lower notch.

No strange noises....no rough riding. Nothing that feels out of the ordinary. Just the engine light and the smell of smoke from the crank case. Now we're not talking billowing columns of smoke pouring our from under the hood or anything like that mind you....I took the oil cap off and there's just latent smoke hanging around in the case.

Thoughts? Comments? Need I go to the dealer who did the inspection and beat the ever loving bejesus out of him tommorow?

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#2 (permalink) Old 07-25-2004, 07:10 PM
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If you go to one dealer and they cant tell you much about why your check engine light is coming on.. then I would try and take it to another and tell them you need it to be checked out. Unless you have a bad sensor some where... (which a diagnostic test could easily tell) then there has to be a good reason that your light is coming on. I'd exaust all possibilities untill I find an answer about the light. A lot of things can go wrong with out you hearing/smelling/seeing or even feeling a difference in the car.

About the dip stick... if your engine is warm.. them the oil should be between the two lines.... if not a little lower towards the lower notch. when cold... the oil should be in the middle if not towards the upper notch.

Good luck! Hope I helped...
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-25-2004, 07:17 PM
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What could be burning the crank case to give off that smoke? And does a little smoke neccessarily mean a major problem? Could it be that it just doesn't have enough oil, even though the dip stick seems to read that it does?

Uhg....I don't need this. I've got a Dodge with a phantom mysteriously unexplained check engine light on. I really don't need two cars with this problem.

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#4 (permalink) Old 07-25-2004, 07:47 PM
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Allright an hour after it's been sitting there's no hint of smoke in the case. I just stuck my nose in there and it smells like fresh clean warm motor oil. The dipstick read to the exact level of the higher mark.

Right now I'm thinking the oil smoke could have just been a slight burn off of residual oil coating the higher areas of the case after the majority of the oil fell back to the pan. That's consistant with the amount of smoke I was seeing. And not having any remnant smell of burning an hour later seems to back that up somewhat. As since the oil level seems correct.....this may not be a problem.

The engine light however, still bothers me. I agree that if there's no actual problem that there's a bad sending unit somewhere in the car. The question then becomes why a diagnostic on it (and like I said it's apparently had more than one) can't find where the bad unit is. Like I also said I've got the same problem in my Dodge and no one can offer me any help there. Stupid computers.....remember when cars were all electrical and mechanical? That was fun. hahaha

Is it possible that this is a relatively non-issue?

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#5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2004, 07:55 PM
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Phantom problems causing lights to come on can be a hard one to diagnose....just in the sense that what caused the light to come on in the first place may not be a problem when you take it back to the dealer. Hope everything works out for you.

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#6 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 05:43 AM
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I've had oil mysteriously appear in various parts of my engine bay... and if it some how gets on the right part... it will burn off.. like you said. But unless you have tons of smoke... and or a continous plum of a little smoke coming... I wouldnt worry about it... but if a small amount of smoke is still present... it might even be an electrical fire. They often have very small amounts of smoke... untill they get a change to burn something that has a better tendency to produce smoke.. good luck...


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#7 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 06:48 AM
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Your sump isn't leaking near the plug is it?

<span style='color:blue'>&quot;So my BM makes me a flash bastard? Then I guess you're just keeping it real from the seat of your nova?&quot;</span>

<span style='color:gray'>&quot;...and the home of the brave..... is bravey 130bhp from a 7 litre engine? 100bhp/litre or don't bother building it!&quot;</span>

<span style='color:red'>&quot;Aaahh the UK; where every road is jammed, under construction, poorly maintained and unfairly policed, at least we don't get over-taxed for it........ HA HA HA!&quot;</span>
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#8 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 04:29 PM
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I honestly don't know, nor have any idea of phsyical problems that could be causing this.

Let me add another factor though...

This car has been sitting completely stagnate for at least 6 months and almost completely stagnate for another year before that.

I've only driven it less than 200 miles, mostly in traffic going to work. Could the whole thing need another break in period after sitting so long?

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#9 (permalink) Old 07-29-2004, 02:43 PM
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Run check engine codes @ dealer, this is why obd2 sucks, if you had obd1 it is a do it yourself thing.

POWER TO OBD1
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