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-   -   Z4 Roadster (E85) 2003 - Massive amounts of smoke, then engine died. (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671688)

merithynos 01-22-2013 02:17 PM

2003 - Massive amounts of smoke, then engine died.
 
Just got my Z4 back from the dealership after some routine service (oil change, etc). Drove home last night with no problems, parked it outside (no garage) as normal. Started it up this morning in the bitter cold (about 10 degrees F.) without any problems, let it idle for 5 minutes or so while I took out the trash and dropped off a letter at the mailbox.

5 miles down the road, on the interstate, the car started spewing copious amounts of white smoke from the tailpipe. I was going about 70. Since I was near an exit, I immediately moved over and took the exit (less than 1/4 mile). The engine stalled out halfway down the ramp, and I coasted the car off the exit. The car was running maybe 30 seconds from when I noticed the smoke and the engine stalling.

On a quick inspection, there was no oil visible on the engine block, and a small amount of oil residue in the muffler. I checked the oil level, and it was effectively empty (not good).

So now the car is at the dealership again (thanks for the two hours in the cold waiting for a tow truck), and I am waiting to hear back about a root cause. I am assuming either A) the cold caused something to jam shut and blew oil back into the engine or B) the dealership forgot a step in the oil change and the oil all leaked out, somewhere I couldn't see it.

Considering the engine seized due to lack of oil, is the engine salvageable, or am I looking at a dead Z4?

IgotBMW 01-22-2013 02:28 PM

My vote is B)

Hope you get it sorted out. Keep us updated.

Mikey48 01-23-2013 04:13 AM

Did you have the proper amout of antifreez in the cooling system ? In the bitter cold it is Very important to make sure of that. Sounds like you froze up the radiator. Going 70 in the bitter cold the temp droped a lot more for your cars cooling system. If you did not have enough antifreez in the cooling system it will freez up. Sounds like that is what happened to you. You may of blown out the rad or a hose. Hopefully not the head gasket. Good luck and please keep us posted.

Pinecone 01-23-2013 07:01 AM

White smoke is indicative of coolant. And coolant into the cylinder/exhaust. Typically blown head gasket.

Oil smoke is blueish.

vintage42 01-23-2013 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pinecone (Post 7332007)
White smoke is indicative of coolant. And coolant into the cylinder/exhaust. Typically blown head gasket. Oil smoke is blueish.

No oil on dipstick after an oil change would be dealer's fault. Bad head gasket would not be dealer's fault. But I think head gaskets fail slowly with gradual loss of coolant, and do not suddenly open up and blow clouds of smoke.

merithynos 01-23-2013 10:59 AM

Looks like option A). Dealership is saying a valve froze shut causing an overpressure situation which blew oil back into the engine. They're currently pulling the engine apart to clean everything out and see how much damage there is.

Crap crap crap.

shipkiller 01-23-2013 12:55 PM

That valve is most likely the BMW special wamadine PCV valve (not its real name of course). This valve has a history of this type of failure in extreme cold temperatures on M54 engines. They even have an upgraded 'cold weather option' upgraded valve....

Do a search, especially on the E46 chassis and you will see.


.

merithynos 01-23-2013 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shipkiller (Post 7332799)
That valve is most likely the BMW special wamadine PCV valve (not its real name of course). This valve has a history of this type of failure in extreme cold temperatures on M54 engines. They even have an upgraded 'cold weather option' upgraded valve....

Do a search, especially on the E46 chassis and you will see.


.

Yeah, that's what the issue was. $1949 later I am on my way to pick it back up...:thumbdwn:

Pinecone 01-24-2013 06:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vintage42 (Post 7332319)
No oil on dipstick after an oil change would be dealer's fault. Bad head gasket would not be dealer's fault. But I think head gaskets fail slowly with gradual loss of coolant, and do not suddenly open up and blow clouds of smoke.

Agreed with the first.

The second, nope, sometimes the fail suddenly. BT, DT, changed them in odd places (parking lots, side of the road). It is much easier on a non-overhead cam engine. :)

Mikey48 01-25-2013 04:05 AM

merithynos, sorry that happened to you. If I were you I would still double check that antifreeze when you get the car back. Better safe than sorry.

vintage42 01-25-2013 05:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pinecone (Post 7334456)
... nope, sometimes the fail suddenly. BT, DT, changed them in odd places (parking lots, side of the road). It is much easier on a non-overhead cam engine. :)

I know that some head gaskets can and have failed suddenly, but in my experience this is on vintage or racing engines. And I know that for a decade, the Subaru EJ model 2.5L engine, which I have, was notorious for developing a slow head gasket leak due to movement of the cylinder deck.
But I would be curious to know if anyone in the forum has heard of a Z3 engine whose head gasket suddenly and completely failed and blew out the coolant in a trail of steam.

shipkiller 01-25-2013 07:48 AM

Why are we talking about head gaskets? The issue was diagnosed and fixed.....

Zedfor 01-25-2013 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shipkiller (Post 7337097)
Why are we talking about head gaskets? The issue was diagnosed and fixed.....

Some people can't (or won't) read. :dunno:

Pinecone 01-27-2013 12:17 AM

Because it is an interesting topic.

It happens all the time.

amancuso 01-27-2013 05:29 AM

I bet you the valve that stuck closed was the CCV. Same thing happened to my 540i a few years back. I didn't drive it till it shut down though. I ended up having it towed to my indy and the total bill was $650.00. I guess you love paying dealer prices. :(.


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