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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 01-28-2013, 07:13 PM   #21
Stryker336
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Quick update on my situation. I finally got it towed again to my local mechanic who looked at it for most of the day. He ran a compression test and it seems that only cylinder 6 got oil in it (the back most cylinder). He's going to open up the engine tomorrow and see if there's any damage. So far I'm hoping it's just needs some new plugs and a VCG. Already at $400 though.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:36 PM   #22
mcopenha
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did cylinder 6 have low compression? what are the #'s?

if compression is fine, I would avoid paying a mechanic to do anything further for right now. Just try getting the car started yourself and driving it.

Last edited by mcopenha; 01-28-2013 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Stryker336 View Post
Quick update on my situation. I finally got it towed again to my local mechanic who looked at it for most of the day. He ran a compression test and it seems that only cylinder 6 got oil in it (the back most cylinder). He's going to open up the engine tomorrow and see if there's any damage. So far I'm hoping it's just needs some new plugs and a VCG. Already at $400 though.
Forget opening up the engine at this point, this sounds like the mechanic is just trying to make money??

What were the compression figures??

Even if the compression was low, I would likely take the chance and have them put it back together and start the car and drive it.

Likely a connecting rod may have been bent, but maybe not. A bent rod could lead to low compression, spun rod bearing, engine vibration or possibly a knock.

BUT, I would chance it, what do you have to loose??

If a rod is bent, likely a junkyard engine would be a cheaper solution than trying to repair what you have. If you drive the car and the motor dies, then you are into a junkyard engine anyway. If you drive the car and notice no problem, even if there is a slightly bent rod, but no noise or performance issues, drive it into the ground for the $400 you have spent so far!
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:12 PM   #24
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Thanks for all the advice, it's really appreciated. I see where you're coming from, I should have mentioned that the $400 will be for him to open the engine and possibly the intake manifold and see where we are at and will be applied towards the cost of repair. I didn't ask for the numbers but I'll see if I can get them. I'm going to let him go through with it if only for peace of mind to see what I'm dealing with. I'm still suspecting the ccv after seeing all the gunk on my oil cap. He said it definitely wasn't coolant which is a minor relief and did get the car started.

Last edited by Stryker336; 01-28-2013 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:32 PM   #25
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Geezzz,

The intake does not need to come off. Any oil sucked into the engine comes via the CCV then the air distribution manifold.

If you have yellow/brown mayo/goo you likely need a thermostat and your CCV replaced and dipstick tube cleaned out.

The dipstick tube is almost ALWAYS overlooked and it is a VERY important part as this is where the liquid oil drains back into the crankcase.

I would call your mechanic first thing in the morning and tell him to hold off on anything major.

Your better off spending money on CCV replacement, dipstick tube clean up and a thermostat.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:46 AM   #26
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So the car is still in the shop but I'm hoping I just got some good news. Compression tests show 125 across the board after only 2 pumps.

There is no oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil (got it the fluids tested). The car has been running well for the past few days and both the water pump and CCV are operating well. He's still insisting that there is a leak in the head gasket but after a new vcg and spark plugs, it's running well.

I'm also going to tell him to put in a new water pump since I'm at 72k and still on the original. The car is not, and never in my ownership overheated. How likely is this to really be a broken head gasket? It's not adding up. I'm going to drive it for a few weeks and see what happens.

Last edited by Stryker336; 02-01-2013 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:56 AM   #27
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Get your basic work performed and get the car out of there.

If there is a head gasket problem, it will show up rather quickly with loss of coolant and/or running hot.

Likely this shop has never seen this amount of water vapor in the crankcase and thinks the only way this problem could have happened is if the head gasket was leaking.

Like I said, get your water pump but make sure the thermostat does not need to be replaced while they are in there. Soft stats cause this problem to be a bigger issue than it already is.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:24 AM   #28
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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.

This just happened to me. Noticed white smoke, loss of power, oil pressure light, car stalled before I could shut her down. Pulled to the side and got a tow. The shop explained it the same way and replaced CVV with the insulated one, 2.5 quarts of oil, and 6 spark plugs. About 4 hours of labor sucking out oil and trying to get the smoke out. When I got it back it still smoked and stunk really bad. A peppy drive on county roads and a nice interstate drive cleared it all out and it runs great!! Total cost $1150 not including tow.

They also mentioned they had 5 other e46s that week for the same thing. BMW has decided not to do a service bulletin because this is an "isolated issue" only affecting northern owners. :what:
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:17 PM   #29
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Stryker stated that he had 125 psi on all cylinders. Wouldn't this indicate that the head gasket is not blown? Or am I wrong in that assumption?
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:19 PM   #30
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Had a similar experience with an old motorcycle - exact circumstances - stalling at a red light. Took it to a mechanic - he told me the engine was blown...it was an older bike so I took it back to my gargage to play around...It was hydro locked, Oil and Gas had dumped into the cylinder...It would not crank at all...

I removed the plugs and covered the engine with old towels - cranked her and all of the oil and gas shot out...

Put everything back in place, cleaned he up and presto she started right up. I had found that the cause of the problem was the valve (called a petcock) from the gas tank to the carburetor was failing (dumping constant fuel). I am not even close to the the guys in this forum with mechanical knowledge, so is the frozen CVV similar in its function to the petcock?

Anyway, she smoked like h#ll for a while, but then cleared up and ran like a champ. No issues thereafter.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:25 PM   #31
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Stryker stated that he had 125 psi on all cylinders. Wouldn't this indicate that the head gasket is not blown? Or am I wrong in that assumption?
That's exactly what I asked and he said a smaller crack in the head away from the cylinders can still get coolant into the cylinder. Only time will tell if this is true, I'm going to drive it for a few weeks.

Last edited by Stryker336; 02-20-2013 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:38 PM   #32
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hi all, I had the same problem this morning. I am confused about the comments made in here.

When you say "pull the plugs out and crank the oil out of cylinders", do you mean try to start the car by turning the key without the spark plugs in the engine?
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:01 PM   #33
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hi all, I had the same problem this morning. I am confused about the comments made in here.

When you say "pull the plugs out and crank the oil out of cylinders", do you mean try to start the car by turning the key without the spark plugs in the engine?
Yes, from what I read when this happened to me that how to get all the oil out of the cylinders. I didn't personally do it but I understand that is the correct process.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:15 PM   #34
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I'm going to drive it for a few weeks and see what happens.
This. Don't change anything, just monitor your oil and coolant levels.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:14 PM   #35
hl325Ci
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So the car is still in the shop but I'm hoping I just got some good news. Compression tests show 125 across the board after only 2 pumps.

There is no oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil (got it the fluids tested). The car has been running well for the past few days and both the water pump and CCV are operating well. He's still insisting that there is a leak in the head gasket but after a new vcg and spark plugs, it's running well.

I'm also going to tell him to put in a new water pump since I'm at 72k and still on the original. The car is not, and never in my ownership overheated. How likely is this to really be a broken head gasket? It's not adding up. I'm going to drive it for a few weeks and see what happens.
Are you saying you didn't have to change the CCV system?
so purging oil from the cylinders, and putting on a new VCG/Plugs did the job?
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:26 PM   #36
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Yes, that's currently what I have done since this happened; still on the original ccv. I did buy a new cold weather version CCV but it's sitting in my trunk for warmer weather (and once I feel confident enough to try it). I had mine towed straight to the shop where he took apart the entire ccv and cleaned it out.

He said that it wasn't gunked up at all and it seems to me like my oil simply froze from the condensation. Once it thawed it's been working fine, although it did take 2 weeks to burn off the oil in my exhaust and I am getting some high fuel trims (3.4-5.4).
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:41 PM   #37
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Oil shouldn't freeze, even in Philly. I don't think those fuel trims sound "high" by any stretch.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:53 PM   #38
Stryker336
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No, the oil shouldn't have froze but condensation most likely did. My oil cap was covered in it when I was dead in the road. 3.4 -5.4 Long term fuel trims won't throw a code but I heard anything over 2.5 is less than ideal. But hey, it's better than the new engine my mechanic was telling me I was going to need.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:00 PM   #39
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Yes, that's currently what I have done since this happened; still on the original ccv. I did buy a new cold weather version CCV but it's sitting in my trunk for warmer weather (and once I feel confident enough to try it). I had mine towed straight to the shop where he took apart the entire ccv and cleaned it out.

He said that it wasn't gunked up at all and it seems to me like my oil simply froze from the condensation. Once it thawed it's been working fine, although it did take 2 weeks to burn off the oil in my exhaust and I am getting some high fuel trims (3.4-5.4).
Thanks for the answers.

You said your mechanic at least cleaned the CCV components. Now, this may be a stupid question, but I am still going to ask. Does it makes sense to try to crank the engine with the plugs out WITHOUT cleaning the components? Even if I am able to purge the oil out, once I put the plugs back on and start the car, this is basically repeating the same mistake I already made if the system is still clogged/frozen, right?
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:25 AM   #40
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Thanks to all of you, I was able to get my car running again.

I did what Stryker336 did. I purged out oil by cranking without the plugs and then changed the VCG (170,000 miles, no prior VCG job, so it was real bad in there...). As others suggested, I will eventually have to replace the CCV components too, but my car's CCV (cold weather version) is only 40,000 miles old so I am pushing my luck on this for the time being. Although, the spark plugs were soaked in oil, I decided to re-use them. It cranked up fine. While in there, I also installed Beisan VANOS seals. Hopefully, Beisan's reputation holds. I have a new set of spark plugs. After I burn out oil in the engine, I plan to install a new set.

H.
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