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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 04-09-2015, 01:45 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: May 2005
Location: UCLA/Bay Area
Posts: 50
My Ride: carbon black e46 m3
DIY: E46 M3 find ANY exhaust leaks easily using SEAFOAM white smoke


This DIY will tell you which vacuum hose to put SEAFOAM into to find exhaust leaks in the E46 M3 because SEAFOAM will create tons of white smoke in the exhaust system.

You can tell where the specific holes/leaks by finding looking for white smoke. This white smoke will be useful to identify leaks after changing headers/section 1/section 2/exhaust/etc.

Do this outside in well ventilated area. Park your car, so your exhaust tips are pointing downwind, so the white smoke does not blow back in your face while you are examining exhaust components.

Turn on your car and let it idle until warm, then follow the pictures:

Look here and find this area in your E46 M3 engine bay:

This is the hose you will pull out using your two hands.

Should look like this when disconnected.

Make the hose vertical. Test for vacuum suction by putting thumb or finger over the hole. You should feel suction.

Pour 1/3 bottle slowly into the hose. Let the gurgle noise occur. Relax.

Reconnect hose.

Turn off car and wait.

Wait 15 minutes.

Turn on car. Look for white smoke coming out of chimney/exhaust. This is good sign that it is working.

Look at all exhaust components with flashlight to identify leaks. If your car is healthy, then only white smoke will be coming out of exhaust. If your car is leaking, then your car will look like the following cars:

If no leaks, then at least you have just cleaned out the system.


All the best.

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