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Old 04-28-2015, 10:59 PM   #1
cwithbmw
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Unhappy Head gasket blown or PCV valve dirty?

Hey guys, just wanted a third plus opinion on something regarding my 2000 328i...

Pre-story: Overheated a few times on a drive to LA through the grapevine (30min wait between going again, I know I ****ed up here). Months before this, noticed coolant was continually low, so kept topping up. Should have overhauled at this point but continued to drive like a fool for over a thousand (or 2 even) miles.

Fast-forward to today, just completely overhauled cooling (Radiator, hoses, thermostat, water pump (metal), sensors, expansion tank). Bled everything fine, but now after starting engine, LOTS of white smoke comes out exhaust. Smells like coolant. Puffs out, pop pop pop pop pop; all the same rhythm, haven't tried revving nor do I want to.

My cousin who is a Chevy mechanic is sure it is a head gasket cylinder, but I also read this can be caused by a ****ed PCV valve. Is it possible to get that much smoke with just a busted PCV valve? Engine runs smooth but not great, is not a rough idle.

2000 BMW 328i Automatic 225k miles. Cooling system NEVER overhauled until today. CCV / PCV never replaced.

I'm certain its the gasket but I want to get some opinions before throwing the towel in. Thanks for your time guys, really appreciate it!

Edit: Oil looks FINE on dip stick. Not milky at all. Main reason I made this thread, I thought if gasket is blown, oil will look milky very quickly. Car sat for one month before doing the overhaul.

Last edited by cwithbmw; 04-28-2015 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:39 PM   #2
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I'm no expert but I'm thinking its the head gasket. Sorry to hear you spent so much money on the cooling overhaul parts before knowing for certain.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. It set me back $400 from partscontainer on eBay. I'm thinking now I will buy a $1,000 100k engine, swap my new water pump/thermostat in, and hopefully get another 100k miles.

Or lease a $10k 2002 m3.... ugh. Hate being carless all the sudden.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:50 PM   #4
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if it's that much smoke, it should be losing compression. run a compression test and be sure. post what you see.

fly me out and i'll help you change the HG for some lunches.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:52 PM   #5
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Could you possibly link a good DIY for a compression test? My understanding is you can rent the test kit?

And Indiana? ****, that might be cheaper than getting a new engine, ha!
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:59 PM   #6
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It could be the CCV.

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Old 04-29-2015, 12:01 AM   #7
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Hmm that actually is about twice as much smoke, and mine comes out like puff, puff, puff, puff, puff, puff, not a continuous stream like that. I will need to re-check tomorrow morning.

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Old 04-29-2015, 08:27 AM   #8
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Do a leak down test to confirm head gasket leaking and go from there.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:16 AM   #9
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I too overheated my motor and was confused on wether or not it was the ccv or a head gasket. Mine also made popping noises. It ended up being the ccv. One way to tell is if it blows lots of white smoke, drive it a few miles, and see of the volume of smoke decreases. Mine would stop smoking completely after a few miles, if it does this its absolutely a blown head gasket. The reason it does this is bc the is a tear/hole in the hg, and so when you drive, it burns off the coolant in the combustion chamber and pushes exhaust gases into the cooling system, then when you turn the car off, the pressurized coolant system rushes back into the cylinders, and this the cycle repeats.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:17 AM   #10
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As far as i know, a messed up ccv will only stop smoking when theres no more oil to burn, check the spark plugs and see if they are souled in coolant or oil.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:07 AM   #11
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If it was the CCV, you would lose oil, not coolant.
HG job can cost up to $1500, even if you DIY.
225K, might be a better idea to simply replace the car with a lower mileage one.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:18 AM   #12
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Smell your exhaust. Does it smell sweet, like coolant, or does it smell like burning oil? Place your hand near the exhaust tips and let some condensation build up on your palm, is it oily or watery?
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:22 AM   #13
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Take the guess work out and do a leak down. U will probably have bubbles in your coolant coming out
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:38 AM   #14
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Do not replace the HG, thermal damage has already been done to the head and block, i reccomend buying a new car or doing a motor swap, thats what i did
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:15 PM   #15
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thanks for the info gentlemen, it turns out one cylinder head is blown. I am going to purchase a <150k engine and swap it in.


What should an engine swap from a reputable indie bmw mechanic cost? Want to make sure I'm not getting yanked around on quotes.
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:35 PM   #16
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It'll cost more than the car is worth. You will need to replace the whole cooling system on the car, replace the ccv on the engine, I would do all gaskets, seals (rear main seal too), VANOs, etc.add plugs and probably coils and you'll have 3K in the replacement engine. Already more than the car is worth and you are having a shop do the labor. Another 2 grand. Buy a new car first.
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:13 PM   #17
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Thats not entirely true, i swapped my motor and did not replace any of those things you listed above, and my engine runs perfect, all you need is a long block and possibly a intake manifold gasket. Nothing else is needed
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:22 PM   #18
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As for costs and labor, a local shop quoted me $4600 for parts and labor, another $5200. And the motors they buy generally have between 80k-100k miles, but if you bought another car it may have 100k+ miles on it. So think about which path you wanna take, luckily i have a family friend install mine for $1000, and the engine cost me $2250, i bought it from powertrain parts. It has 74k miles on it and comes with a 2 year unlimited mile warranty on the head and block. So pick your poison
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajg999 View Post
It'll cost more than the car is worth. You will need to replace the whole cooling system on the car, replace the ccv on the engine, I would do all gaskets, seals (rear main seal too), VANOs, etc.add plugs and probably coils and you'll have 3K in the replacement engine. Already more than the car is worth and you are having a shop do the labor. Another 2 grand. Buy a new car first.
Isnt 3k for having an awesome shape engine in your car ... A LOT better than taking out a loan for $20,000 - 30,000 supposing you have the $5k for the downpayment. Repairing is okay.
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:09 PM   #20
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Hmm. Well I just replaced my cooling system and can swap the thermostat and water pump easily. And I can get a 125k engine for $850. It doesn't make sense a shop would charge that much for an engine swap (the $4k+ quote). I in total want to spend under $2000 to fix this car, or else it is not worth it.
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