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Old 09-18-2012, 10:39 AM   #1
dpk204
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changing valve cover gasket @42K, should I change plugs too?

I'm getting some white smoke from the passenger side of the engine compartment as well as a burning smell. Car runs fine so I think it is the valve cover gasket going bad.

I just want to know if you recommend I change the plugs while i'm down there? The car has only 42K.

I asked Bavauto and they said it's up to me but they recommend the BMW oem plug and not the NGK platinum.

What do you think?

Also, I'm not going to attempt to change the VANOS seals because the bavauto rep said it was more intensive work.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:45 AM   #2
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Well, if you consider changing your plugs "being down there" then you might as well just do it and forget about it. It's not really anything of an expense and you'll have some other things out of the way for the VCG. The real question should be why not.

BTW are you losing oil? Can you see oil on the passenger side of the block at all?
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:45 AM   #3
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No, don't waste money on changing plugs at such a low mileage. Plugs are rated for at least 100k before changing.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:48 AM   #4
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you can go another 40k with those plugs.


Its up to you really. Id prob spend that extra hundred on an oil change. fuel filter.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:48 AM   #5
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Vanos seals are easy. Just go to Beisan Systems and look at their DIY. Again, with such low mileage, I would wait until you have higher mileage or an actual problem.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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Spend money on your cooling system. Do preventative changes because your car is 8+ years old.

Thermostat, upper and lower hoses and the water pump.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:24 AM   #7
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Well, if you consider changing your plugs "being down there" then you might as well just do it and forget about it. It's not really anything of an expense and you'll have some other things out of the way for the VCG. The real question should be why not.

BTW are you losing oil? Can you see oil on the passenger side of the block at all?

No, I can't see any oil but I can see the white smoke and I can smell the burning oil. It was worse a few days ago but not too bad today. I just don't want to take any chances.

I will take your advice and leave the plugs.

Regarding the cooling system, is a coolant flush good enough?
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:27 AM   #8
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Wait... White smoke? That's typically coolant, not oil.
Where is the smoke coming from exactly? Any coolant loss? Any oil loss?
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:38 AM   #9
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you can go another 40k with those plugs.


Its up to you really. Id prob spend that extra hundred on an oil change. fuel filter.
Spark plugs shouldn't be any more than $50 or so
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:49 AM   #10
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I get iridium plugs about 87$ + tax
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:54 AM   #11
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OEM NGK's (I think BQ4EUP or something) work pretty good (4 pronged, laser platinum they call them)
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:02 PM   #12
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I get iridium plugs about 87$ + tax
Has anybody actually recorded a difference with these fancy and expensive plugs? I mean, if a plug ignites the fuel reliably and resists fouling, I don't know what else you could ask for. Combustion effciency really has more to do with proper mixing of the air and fuel coming into the cylinder than the spark that starts the chemical reaction.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:06 PM   #13
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I'm a technologist and I would go as far as to say that unless you know what the hell you are doing (and know better than dudes who designed the car) stick to OE specs Getting better plugs is like a dumb Systems administrator thinking he knows better about code than I do, throwing more money in to get better hardware which is actually incompatible with the code I wrote
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:06 PM   #14
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BKR6EQUP are the ones. and all six should be less than $60..
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:15 PM   #15
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I'm a technologist and I would go as far as to say that unless you know what the hell you are doing (and know better than dudes who designed the car) stick to OE specs Getting better plugs is like a dumb Systems administrator thinking he knows better about code than I do, throwing more money in to get better hardware which is actually incompatible with the code I wrote
I agree with this philosophy. When it comes to plugs it just doesn't matter, I think. If the plug works, it works. The sparks start the reaction and that is the end of that as far as I can tell. Maybe some of the quad plugs offer a larger spark or something, but I still can't see how that would help and I have studied engines. That doesm't mean I know everything about them, far from it, but I never even came across the topic of different spark plugs during the time I was studying them.

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Old 09-18-2012, 12:17 PM   #16
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Wait... White smoke? That's typically coolant, not oil.
Where is the smoke coming from exactly? Any coolant loss? Any oil loss?

It's coming from the passenger side. I was told that if it is coming from the driver's side then it is a coolant problem.

Regarding the spark plugs, the oem are $21 and the NGK platinum are $9.

Anybody know why that is?
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:25 PM   #17
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It's coming from the passenger side. I was told that if it is coming from the driver's side then it is a coolant problem.

Regarding the spark plugs, the oem are $21 and the NGK platinum are $9.

Anybody know why that is?
Because of namebrand mark-up.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by dpk204 View Post
It's coming from the passenger side. I was told that if it is coming from the driver's side then it is a coolant problem.

Regarding the spark plugs, the oem are $21 and the NGK platinum are $9.

Anybody know why that is?


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Old 12-09-2012, 08:01 AM   #19
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I'm getting this smoke and oil burning smell also on passenger side...i can see some oil just above the headers that appears to be the source. This is the valve cover gasket, right?
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:05 AM   #20
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I'm getting this smoke and oil burning smell also on passenger side...i can see some oil just above the headers that appears to be the source. This is the valve cover gasket, right?
Should be. Yes.

Op: i wouldn't replace them. They're a wear by mileage part. Not a wear by age. You should be good up to around 100k miles on those.
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