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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 09-08-2014, 04:12 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Cranleigh
Posts: 3
My Ride: E46 318Ci Convertibl
N42 Engine smoke

Hi there - new to the forum! Let me bore you and explain a little bit about myself... I'm a 23 year old mechanic. And love my bmws! Usually I have been pretty good at working on them - used to have an old e30 which was wonderful.

I now own a 2004 318ci convertible with the n42 engine. Now I know these engines can be pretty problematic but I'm in desperate need of some advice or just pointing in the right direction.

Recently I have noticed once the car has warmed up - if I'm stuck in traffic for like 30 seconds and I pull away I get the blue smoke from the exhaust. The longer it idles the more and worse it gets. It's burning off oil (approx 1.5 litres every 350-400 miles). On startup the car has white smoke with some water in the tail pipe but I've put that down to condensation.

So I replaced my CCV unit and all the hoses, cleaned out the throttle body and air intake and gave it a good full service.

After doing all that I went for a drive the next day to work and it's still seems to be the same maybe slightly better. So now my question is the next step.. I'm gonna assume the only things to check for now unfortunately are valve stem seals, head off, piston rings etc? Is it even worth doing or is it easier to find another engine and put that in it? Or am I missing something else that can cause this on these engines?
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Old 09-14-2014, 02:04 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Hungary
Posts: 22
My Ride: BMW 320Cd
It's a common problem with N42's, my mechanic is repairing one now. He told me the car was burning off 1 litre oil every 450 miles. (approx.) With this specific car, the reason is: worn piston rings. (The engine was out of the car when I saw it.) Hope it helps.
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:20 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Cranleigh
Posts: 3
My Ride: E46 318Ci Convertibl
Yeah I hear these engines are known for it. I think I'm gonna end up taking the cylinder head off and doing a chain, rings, head gasket, valve stem seals and repair the vacuum pump as I think it's leaking a little bit. That way I cover pretty much everything I hope! Can't keep smoking people out behind me it's getting quite bad now!
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