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Old 01-09-2013, 10:22 AM   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 1,523
My Ride: 320i SE Coupe
Originally Posted by sykane View Post
Hey guys, I had a pretty serious issue with my E46 and I'm looking for some advice. I have a 2004 325xi with about 80,000 miles on the clock. Yesterday I started the car up to make a quick trip, and after driving for a few blocks I was at a stop light and my engine begins to lose RPM's and begin to die. I tried revving the engine while at the light but it ended up dying. It didn't want to turn over but I was able to get it started while pumping the gas. I immediately knew there was something wrong with the engine, it idled terribly and tons of smoke poured out the exaust. I immediately pulled over and had the car towed to a mechanic I usually use.

Today I got a call from him. He said that he examined the engine and one of the cylinders was filled with oil. He believes this was caused by a frozen CCV, as I live in upstate NY (Albany) and it has been cold recently. He stated that he drained the oil from the cylinder by removing the spark plug, but there was still a large amount of smoke coming out of the exhaust, which he believes indicates that the piston and its oil ring had been damaged. He advised he believed the only way to repair it would be to rebuild the engine or replace it with a used engine.

My question is if these are really my only options? When I searched for this issue, I saw others had had it and simply needed to drain the oil and replace the valve. Is it possible the smoke is just left over oil and the engine could be ok? Could the oil cause piston damage that would require a rebuild? He advised that rebuilding the engine would be a waste of time due to the labor involved and advised getting a used engine and having him do the swap. He quoted me 5,000+ for the whole thing, which would include the used engine, new belts and everything for that,a new CCV and thermostat (which apparently is throwing coded) What do you guys think? Either way that sounded like a high estimate for a swap so if I have to go that route I would probably look for another shop, any suggestions in the upstate NY area?

Thanks for the help!
Never had this personally but think of it like this. Oil gets sucked into cylinder during piston intake stroke. At bottom of intake stroke all valves in that piston close in readiness for compression stroke. Piston moves up but does not get to top of compression stroke because oil is incompressible and piston cannot complete its travel all the way to TDC. Engine stalls. I can't see how, under these circumstances, valves can be damaged because they are closed and seated. Stems are not exposed. If oil gets pushed out during the exhaust stroke its going to end up in the exhaust manifolds and its going to smoke like hell no matter what until its burnt off. I think you should just fit a new cold weather CCV and see how it goes. I can't see how the valves can get busted, unless the timing went all to hell and they came into contact with the pistons. I guess blown head gasket is a possibility but thats not a replacement engine requirement by any means. Go somewhere else.

Last edited by RayPooley; 01-09-2013 at 10:25 AM.
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