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Dkellerqh 07-26-2012 05:19 AM

2004 x5 smoking out exhaust
Recently bought x5 with 85000 miles. It's a beautiful vehicle and looks great. I noticed it smokes some and dealer told me he put Rislone engine treatment in it and it would smoke for awhile. Changed oil still smokes. Any ideas

petriej 07-26-2012 10:35 AM

I've never heard of that treatment before, so I can't really comment on that. What color is the smoke? If it's white, then you might have a blown head gasket.

tchavera 07-26-2012 10:50 AM

With the engine running try and take off the oil cap. Is there any suction trying to keep the cap or does it come right off? Give update

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Dkellerqh 07-26-2012 01:57 PM

2004 x5 smoking
Will try the oil cap thing and let you know. The smoke is a bluish white color. I drove 1000 miles and had to add a quart of oil. Seemed like a bad thing to me. The engine sounds good and has alot of power. I don't hear any knocks or anything. The engine check button says all is okay but I'm concerned.

petriej 07-26-2012 01:59 PM

Check your coolant, it will probably have oil in it.

killaz05 08-01-2012 06:35 AM

It is your CVV (Crankcase Vent Valve) I thought the same thing with the blown head gasket but I towed it to the dealer and that's what it turned out to be. Then I looked around forums for CVV and found it to be a common issue with there vehicles. Hope this helps!

Dkellerqh 08-01-2012 10:44 AM

Thanks for input. Sad news though. It was at the dealer to have this checked and it was wrecked while on a test drive! So no more x5 for me.

petriej 08-01-2012 10:48 AM

The dealer wrecked your X5? I hope they made things right for you. Perhaps a newer X5 diesel?

tchavera 08-01-2012 11:42 AM

Ouch!! Post updates

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killaz05 08-01-2012 12:02 PM

Sounds like a new X5 to me. Especially if it is a dealer.

Franksauto 08-01-2012 07:19 PM

That may be a blessing in disguise if its a 4.8l! If it is a 4.8is it could be the valve stem seals and more. This seems to be a common problem and a very expensive fix. I have heard stories of $5000 with no gaurentee it will fix the problem. The valve guides wear and seals will not do it. in this case new heads are incolved costing upwards of $10K!
Now the 4.8 is a totally different animal than the 4.4's and the 3.0's. They usually have some type of CCV/crank case vent issue. Could be the CCV valves, plugged CCV hoses, plugged ports in the valve covers or many other simple fix issues.
I'm going through this right now in my 4.8is hoping for an inexpensive cure. Just joined this forun tonight trying to see what info is out there.

Westlotorn 04-07-2013 01:53 PM

X5 BMW Oil burning: I see many posts blaming Valve Stem Seals. I will suggest to you to check your PCV system. Crank Case Ventilation.

There are two hoses coming from your valve covers to the intake manifold. Pull these hoses one at a time. If there is oil in the hose and you can see oil in the manifold you have found your problem. Your PVC system has a leak allowing the intake to pull air and oil from under the valve covers into the intake manifold which feeds all 8 cylinders with fuel and air.
This has nothing at all to do with Valve stem seals. It us usually a leaking valve cover gasket, not leaking oil out but leaking Air in. If it is pulling air in it will pull oil into the manifold.
The crankcase ventilation on the valve cover can be rebuilt at the same time.
I think many will find this is the source of the BMW oil burning issue.

Note: People who do replace valve stem seals will often fix this same oil burning problem by putting in new gaskets and seals when they replace the valve stem seals.
Most likely they only needed the gaskets and seals/Orings and not the valve stem seals.
To rule out valve stem seals, pull your spark plugs and mark them as to what cylinder they come out of. Read the plugs, if one or two have carbon build up from burning oil you do have a valve stem seal issue. IF all 8 are normal you have a PVC issue. Positive Crankcase ventilation.
In the last month we fixed my son's 4.4L X5. 2005 model year. We did the pass side first because the pass side vent hose was showing lots of oil and shining a light into the manifold where the hose hooked up showed oil in there. The intake manifold should not have any oil in it!!! This pass side fix eliminated 80% of his smoke. He drove it 2 mos more and we just did the Drivers side. Now his smoking tail pipes and oil use are eliminated at 145,000 miles and No Valve Stem Seals were touched. All 8 of his spark plugs looked good when pulled before this work was started, none were oil soaked so I insisted he did not have a Valve Stem seal issue even though many posts he read told him his valve stem seals were shot. If you do not know how to read a spark plug go to NGK,Champion or Bosch websites and look at pictures to see how to read a spark plug.
I hope this helps and saves you money. Valve stem seals are not a common problem but they are getting blamed for a lot of oil use.

Westlotorn 04-16-2014 05:47 PM

Just a follow up a full year later. My son was home for the weekend. We did repair leaking Transmission hoses this trip but the 2005 4.4L V8 is purring better now than at any time he has owned it.
Zero Oil use, Zero Smoke from exhaust. Original and never replaced Valve stem seals are still working fine.
He drives in the City a lot and does some trips into the Lake Tahoe Area and his MPG is at nearly 20 Average, no reset in 5,000 miles. My 4.8L X5 is not that efficient. In town 13-14 with my wife driving, flat highway at best is 19 MPG at 70-75.

Sapphire68 08-01-2014 12:18 PM

'06 X5 Smoking Issue, E53 4.4i, 95k mi
Westlotorn, good info.

Sapphire68 08-01-2014 12:40 PM


jcsport1 08-03-2014 01:51 AM

Had mine done 2 weeks ago, ccv diagphrams then blew due to extra pressure so done at same time. All good now, runs like a dream.

Sapphire68 08-05-2014 03:03 PM


tolgatt 10-08-2014 09:55 AM

any updates on this ? It looks like I started having the same exact issue as crwarren11
replaced both ccv valves yesterday , didnt get a chance to test if it still smokes after long idle. but I have a feeling it still will.

Sapphire68 10-08-2014 10:06 AM

Brake booster?

tolgatt 10-08-2014 10:12 AM


Originally Posted by crwarren11 (Post 8634662)
Here's the update: I have thrown a lot of darts trying to do "easy" fixes to address the problem, but nothing has worked. I installed a dual catch can setup to try to contain the oil getting into the intake from the crankcases, but that did not work. Every time I tried something I would give it a couple of weeks to see if the "fix" worked, and nothing has. I have a vacuum leak somewhere. I can hear it whistle in the engine bay, especially on deceleration after revving up the engine. So, I finally got a shopping list together to replace all of the seals in the upper areas - valve cover gaskets, vanos o-rings, intake manifold gaskets, things like that. I can post the list if you want. The parts are here, but I have not had time to get on this project yet as it will probably take me a couple of weeks to complete. I did some vacuum testing at the CCV's and the intake, but no one could really tell me if what I was finding was indicative of any particular problem, so I just decided to go ahead and do the bigger job like Westolorn suggested. I have read many success stories of guys using the catch cans. For $50 and a couple hours of work I thought it was worth a try, but it did not work for me. Hopefully once I get into the job I will see where exactly the real problem is...there's nothing worse than doing all the work and not finding that smoking gun. There are several good threads on this issue in some related forums if you want to check them out. You will also see many of my posts there!

Thank you so much for the quick update , good luck with the project , I will check the links out and see if anything else applies to my situation

Nightmaren2 10-22-2014 09:51 AM

mine does that occasionally only when i top up the engine oil or when the battery is momentarily disconnected so after start up it sometimes smokes a bit until when i drive it for like 5-10 minutes then everything gets back to normal

XXXEsq 11-02-2014 10:15 AM

My E53 4.8is has only 62K on it. Started smoking a few weeks ago. Still runs like a scalded dog, but there is a very distinct unusual smell to the exhaust. It doesn't smoke all the time, but if it idles for a while and then i gun it, there is a puff of smoke. I checked the CCVs and they are both fine, so... its probably the valve seals. Dealers want stupid money to fix it. My local wrench (who's been servicing her since my CPO ran out a few years ago) says there are only really 2 intelligent options. Seals only (about 2500) which will likely cure the problem, but with no guarantee. Or, to be sure, pull the heads, change all the gaskets, and have the valves, seals and guides done while the heads are off for around 5000. I'm going to make a call on what to do in a few days.
But what really angers me is that I've spoken to 2 dealers and several other BMW wrenches I trust. All have said these motors have known valve seal issues. So I called BMW to ask WTF! This thing was over 70K in 2006. And a major engine component fails at 60K miles? Why was this not addressed under the original warranty; or under the CPO warranty. Their response was to "document" my concerns which translates to putting a note on the vehicle record that it has an unrepaired engine problem. I really like this vehicle. I've had it for 7 years, which is longer than any car I've ever owned. But I'm very annoyed by BMWs handling of this known problem.

Sapphire68 11-03-2014 08:36 AM

The valve stems seals in my E46 with nearly 200k miles have never failed!

tony745li 08-22-2015 08:19 AM

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Westlotorn 04-16-2016 12:03 AM

Guys this has been posted before but does not seem to sink in. Valve stem seal failure can certainly cause a smoking exhaust, BUT, valve stem seal failure can't put oil into your intake manifold. IF your engine has oil in the intake manifold, you can check by pulling off the vent hoses at the front of your intake and looking in, your crank case vent is not working correctly and you need to seal up the engine again. All new seals in the upper engine. Valve cover, Etc. Sorry it has been 3 or 4 years now since we fixed the 3 4.4L's I worked on and I don't remember all the correct terms.
All 3 are clean and dry today BTW. At 60K your valve stem seals are just fine. My son sold his X5 which he bought with 120K on in and fixed. He sold it to his Aunt so we still see it regularly. I think it is at 160K now and not a whiff of smoke out the exhaust and we did not change any valve stem seals because he had oil in his intake.
If your engine is able to suck air through any source in the upper engine it will pull oil into the intake manifold along with the air it is pulling.
Any of the items below can cause this.

The Valve cover gaskets and Spark Plug tubes. Might as well install new plugs while you are in there.
Your Dip stick for checking oil level has an Oring that needs replaced. The Cap where you fill the Oil can leak, get a new one they are cheap.
The controller for the variable Camshaft timing can leak
The Valve covers will leak, if you see oil seeping out you absolutely know you are also pulling air into the engine.
The Vacuum pump can leak.
There are two covers on the front of the heads below the valve covers that can leak
In the valve covers there are the vents that are supposed to hold oil in the engine and they leak
The Vent hoses from the valve covers to the intake manifold should have zero oil in them
The only time these hoses pull oil is when your crankcase vent system is not working properly, usually caused by a air leak at one of the sources above.
I may have missed one or two but most of these are new O Rings or Rubberized silicone gaskets and can be replaced.
Be aware that a gasket leaking oil out is most likely also leaking Air IN. Some gaskets may be sucking air and not leaking oil.

My Son's intake manifold was very wet inside with oil so we pulled it off and cleaned it thoroughly with warm soapy water. It is hard to clean by the way.

Fix the air leak and you will fix the oil burning if your problem is oil in the intake manifold. The BMW System works when it is totally air tight.
Another side benefit is the engine will get better MPG and the Tranny will shift smoother after you seal up the engine. It lets all the systems work better.
If it makes you feel better my wifes car now has 95,000 on her 4.8L X5 and I am starting to see Oil seeping. I will order parts soon because I know it will start smoking as these leaks progress but I will not be replacing Valve Stem Seals.

Any mechanic that does a valve stem seal job will replace all the parts mentioned above as part of a valve stem seal job so that repair does fix the smoking but is not necessary in 90% of these smoking engines.

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