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Old 12-11-2018, 11:57 AM   #1
tmay330i
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Head Gasket questions

so the other morning i noticed a lot of smoke in my cabin (it was dark out and saw it when i opened my door and the lights came on) and milky, yellow looking residue on the oil cap, which makes me believe i blew my head gasket, but unlike the typical blown head gasket, i don't have any thick smoke out of the tail pipe. i am pretty convinced it's the head gasket, but before i tear into it and order parts, i want to be 100% positive that it's my HG. so if anyone could confirm this, i would appreciate it!
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:19 PM   #2
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Usually burned oil smell in the cabin is a sign of a bad valve cover gasket, not head gasket.

Easy diy...and a good time to do plugs and coil boots (depending on your mileage).

The yellow 'mayo' is usually just your oil getting frothed up with the humidity in your system, since it's winter, cold, and you don't drive so much.

Check the level of your oil and take it for a nice longer drive to clear up the mayo some. For the burning...look on your exhaust manifold heat shield--the aluminum strip just below the engine cover on the passenger side. If you see brown on it, it's from dripping, burned up oil...and a failing valve cover gasket.
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tmay330i View Post
so the other morning i noticed a lot of smoke in my cabin (it was dark out and saw it when i opened my door and the lights came on) and milky, yellow looking residue on the oil cap, which makes me believe i blew my head gasket
Which cabin? Engine or human cabin?

None of what you saw is a proof for bad head gasket. Does it consume coolant like adding a cup in 2 or 3 weeks?
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:30 PM   #4
tmay330i
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well, that makes me feel much better. i will go fill'er up and take her on a drive. thanks for the input and i hope it's only the valve cover gasket!
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:31 PM   #5
tmay330i
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Which cabin? Engine or human cabin?

None of what you saw is a proof for bad head gasket. Does it consume coolant like adding a cup in 2 or 3 weeks?
it was the human cabin, even tho when i opened the hood, a good amount of stuck smoke came out.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:47 PM   #6
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it was the human cabin, even tho when i opened the hood, a good amount of stuck smoke came out.
I must assume the smoke was created in the engine compartment. You need to find out what had caused the smoke -- could be electrical shorted or burned oil on the hot manifolds.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:18 PM   #7
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It's the valve cover gasket. Take a picture of the engine bay, front of the engine, and left rear of the engine
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:48 PM   #8
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Take a picture of left rear of the engine
Left rear of engine is the starter.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:51 PM   #9
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Left rear of engine is the starter.
When facing from the front of the engine bay it isn't
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:07 PM   #10
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Could have been a frozen CCV and the crankcase pressure could have built up and blown the valve cover gasket.

Assuming it has not been above freezing in Wyoming for some time, these cars DO NOT like when there is too much water vapor built up in the crankcase.

Also verify the engine coolant temperature, this makes matters worse. Thermostat go soft and the engine temperature will drop. You CANNOT rely on the dash gauge, if it is not at 12 O'Clock then the temp is low, but you either need and OBDII tool/App or use the Hidden OBC Menu to check and verify the engine coolant temperature. 205F/96C is the "nominal" engine temperature.

Temp Info - https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:08 PM   #11
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You didn't say facing from front
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Old 12-11-2018, 06:28 PM   #12
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^ yes
unless specifically noted, to avoid confusion...
aft looking forward
or as you are on the driver seat
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