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Old 03-09-2013, 01:14 PM   #1
im2stupid
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: ny
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My Ride: '02 e46 330i
Replaced CCV... exhaust pumping out white smoke

TL;DR summary:
1) billowing white smoke from exhaust on cold start on a freezing day (it's not steam... smells burnt rubbery)
2) replaced ccv+hoses with insulated ccv kit
3) test started after the fix and still blows white smoke (I did not drive it, I shut off immediately)
4) Q: is it safe to keep the car running to burn off whatever oil is remaining if I check up on the oil/coolant levels now and then?

----- long version -----
My car rarely gets driven, and for relatively short distances.

Coupled with the freezing weather here recently, I expected car problems (saw some mayo under the oil cap when I did oil changes). Last weekend, my car was parked in the freezing temperature for a full day and a half. When I started the car it started pumping out thick white smoke out of the left exhaust. It smelled almost like faintly burnt rubber... It was gushing out so much it even started seeping into the cabin. I should note the smoke was NOT coming out under the hood, but through the back of the car.

I quickly shutdown the car (within 5 minutes), started googling, and decided to replace the ccv and all the related hoses (I bought the entire insulated ccv repair kit).

After painfully spending two days in the cold replacing the ccv (thank you forum+youtube), I started the car and it's still blowing the same smoke from the exhaust. I shut it off within 5 minutes.

My question is, can I assume for now that this could just be left over oil from the previous fiasco and it will be burnt off in due time? If so how long should I wait before assuming it's a different problem?

Oil and coolant levels were fine before the replacement, and they appear unchanged after 5 minutes of test start..., but again, I shut it down pretty quickly fearing I would harm something.

Can I just leave the car running parked to see if I can burn the rest of whatever seeped in while I monitor the oil and coolant levels? Or is that a bad idea...?

I read on another thread I can remove the spark plugs and turn the engine over to get rid of excess oil? The thing is, the oil level on the dipstick is still almost full so i can't imagine a ton of oil was lost. FYI, the car was in a parked state the whole time.

P.S. I read burnt oil should be blue smoke and burnt coolant is white, but I'm getting mixed messages on that... some verified ccv problems caused white smoke. Also the smoke smells pretty bad... I don't smell anything sweet

If you guys need a video for further diagnosis I can probably take one, but it's pretty simple --- just a constant thick white smoke
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:19 PM   #2
lcoleman
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Does it seem to run ok? I would monitor levels and let it run...probably. Tough to give advice on this without being there to see it.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:39 PM   #3
lszlszx
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Water can accumulate in the exhaust system if you only take short drives.
Are you sure it's not steam?
Correct - oil burning is blue, coolant white smoke and excessive fuel burning would be black.
Let it run and see what happens, keep an eye on coolant temperature.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:34 PM   #4
im2stupid
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Yeah, it starts without a hiccup and sounds perfectly normal, but for obvious reasons I don't want to drive it off the driveway --- the smoke is that thick and continuous. I'm pretty sure it's not steam... I've seen bit of steam out of exhaust before on cold days, but this is nothing like that... it's super cloudy, super fast and continuous stream that lingers in the air for quite a while, and smells pretty bad.

Guess I will start her up again in the morning...

(i've never used it myself, but i've seen some seafoam videos on youtube... the smoke basically looks like that)

Last edited by im2stupid; 03-09-2013 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:54 PM   #5
lcoleman
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Yeah, sounds like oil in the cylinders. I'd keep a close eye on it for a while, then go for a long drive to burn everything off.

Edit: Obviously, if it doesn't improve after 10-15 mins or gets worse, turn it off and reassess.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:48 AM   #6
jfoj
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I would check coolant & oil levels, bring up engine coolant temp on OBC menu, see 3rd link in my signature.

If your CCV pulled oil into the intake/engine/exhaust, it does take a while for it all to burn off.

You will likely need to drive for 10-20 miles to really warm up the engine and make sure all residue is burned off.

Also did you remove your dipstick tube and clean out the double walled bottom of the dipstick tube?
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:29 AM   #7
im2stupid
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I should note that after about 30 minutes of driving around the neighborhood, the smoke has died out substantially. It looks mostly like faint steam now, and dissipates rather quickly around the exhaust instead of filling up the area 6 feet high with a thick fog... there's still a hint of burnt oil smell but I'm hoping that will go away as I drive more.

Quote:
Also did you remove your dipstick tube and clean out the double walled bottom of the dipstick tube?
My dipstick tube rotated freely but would not budge outwards after an inch or so. I wasn't able to pull it out to clean it.
It felt as if I exerted any more force something will break so I inserted a hose and blew on it, not sure if that did anything lol...

edit: I just wanted to update (for future reference) that car's been perfect with no smoke/smell for past few weeks after some decent highway driving. 100% back to normal.

Last edited by im2stupid; 04-03-2013 at 11:21 AM.
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