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ironman27 12-13-2012 06:10 AM

TONS of whits smoke
I recently went to a car wash and as soon as i pulled out tons of white smoke was comming from the muffler and the car was making a put put sound. I would not turn back on. When ever i would turn the key in the ignition the car would just make a ping sound. I took the car to a machanic and he just said i need a new engine. I am not satisfied with his diagnosis and think i should get a second opinion. Any suggestions? I am new to this site and thi sis my first bimmer. I dont want to be taken advantage of. I have a 2000

timfitz63 12-13-2012 01:42 PM

This sounds suspiciously like a blown head gasket to me, although the timing seems a bit odd (after exiting a car wash). Still, it could be just coincidental... Do you have an aftermarket air intake, like a 'bottom-breather...?'

A blown head gasket doesn't necessarily mean that you need a new engine -- but you could. If it is the gasket, and enough coolant leaked into the cylinders to cause hydrolock, you're looking at major repairs. Or if water was somehow ingested into the engine (as a result of being in the car wash), you may have hydrolocked the engine that way... Further investigation is warranted.

ironman27 12-13-2012 02:52 PM

i do have an after market air intake on my car.

timfitz63 12-14-2012 06:51 AM


Originally Posted by ironman27 (Post 7248252)
i do have an after market air intake on my car.

Hmm. Well, not being being able to see the setup for myself, I'd start by being suspicious of that... Aftermarket/cold-air-intakes (CAI's) can be much more susceptible to water ingestion than the OEM setup... Is the breather element low on the car; exposed; susceptible to standing/puddling water or water immersion; etc...? Was this an automated car wash, or one of those do-it-yourself-er's with a spray wand...?

There's at least a possibility that enough water got sprayed or sucked into the air intake to cause this problem. And because of it's incompressible nature, it takes surprisingly little liquid to hydrolock an engine -- even a larger-displacement V8 like you've got in your 540i... You don't have to fill the entire engine with water; maybe a cup or so in one or two cylinders... Once something like a connecting rod gets bent, the engine may run briefly (and poorly), but it's pretty-much done...

Sorry to be bringing doom and gloom to you for the holidays, but that's where my suspicions are at the moment... Granted, it's all pure speculation on my part, and I sincerely hope that I'm wrong. But either way, someone is probably going to have to take a closer look at your engine, I think; or provide some kind of evaluation of your aftermarket air intake setup at the very least...

bimmernut1 12-20-2012 06:44 PM

If a mechanic told me I needed a new engine, I'd get at least two more opinions. I think you just got water somewhere it should not be. I had water once get past a torn spark plug boot on my Porsche and I had similar symptoms. It's possible moisture in an electronic component could cause problems. Someone needs to read the codes as a starting point. I would be very surprised if a defunct engine would not cause the SES light to come on and you never mentioned that it did. I agree with Timfitz,hydro lock could be a possibility. Get several opinions from knowledgeable mechanics.

ard 12-28-2012 09:59 PM

OP is apparently a 'real communicator'...

My guess is he ingested water into the intake, hydrolocked the engine.

timfitz63 12-29-2012 02:16 PM


Originally Posted by ard (Post 7276818)
OP is apparently a 'real communicator'...

Indeed. I guess the engine really is toast...


Originally Posted by ard (Post 7276818)
... My guess is he ingested water into the intake, hydrolocked the engine.

Yeah, that's the odds-on favorite, I think.

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