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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-27-2012, 05:06 PM
ishaq ishaq is offline
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Unhappy Yellow gunk on dipstick and oil in tray - HELP!!!

Hi All,

1. When I parked up last night and switched the egnition off the oil light came on for 30-50seconds. I thought nothing of it as I had engine oil to top up the next morning.

Now this morning when I got the oil dipstick out I noticed some yellow cream on the top and bottom of the stick - I topped up engine oil and went for a short drive. Checked the dipstick again and the yellow cream was still there.

Took the car for a long 60 mile drive (as recommended on forum) to really warm up the car on the motorway, checked the dipstick again and the cream was still there!!!! I started to turn the dipstick around as if I am stering it - Got the dipstick out and the cream was there but covered in oil. Another point the car judders in first gear when engine cold after after the long drive the judder was gone and smooth take off at traffic lights.

2. I also noticed some oil on the left handside of the engine on a tray - There was no sign of oil below the car so I assume its just sitting on the tray, but ot seems like its fresh. Also there is no oil smell in the cabin with the fan on. - Dont know what this is and if it is related to the first problem??

I have had this E46 316i SE 1.8 Manual for about 2 months, I am in love with it as it has everything I wanted and the colour is Silver Grey and one I have been looking for a while, hope the problem I have mentioned is not too serious like "HEAD GASKET"

I have attached some photos, hope someone can help me. Also any procedures I can carry out before I pay ££££.... IF not then how much do you think I will need to pay for problem 1 Cream in oil and 2 Oil in pan on left of engine.

Thank you so much in adavance. - Sorry if my request is too long but if you need more info then please let me know.
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2012, 05:10 PM
ishaq ishaq is offline
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Oops forgot the pictures!! - Here they are

Sorry dont no how to upload the pictures as it asks me for url HTTP://
The picture is on my desktop!!!
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  #3  
Old 10-27-2012, 05:36 PM
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  #4  
Old 10-27-2012, 06:48 PM
leewtech leewtech is offline
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Milkshake like oil is usually water or coolant in the oil. You have a leak somewhere and since you are noticing oil around the head it could be a blown head gasket.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:10 PM
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For the sake of knowing, one way or the other, the safest bet would be to have a compression/leakdown test performed, which will confirm if there`s anything serious going on in your engine.
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  #6  
Old 10-27-2012, 07:44 PM
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Hi guys thank you so much for your reply.

A blown head gasket!!! does that mean my car is finished or can I still bring it to life if I take it to a garage.

Also do you know how much this should roughly cost. And another question can a diagnosis of blown head gasket be given without any test ie. compression, leak down test.

Thank you
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  #7  
Old 10-28-2012, 06:24 AM
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You won't be able to tell if you have a blown head gasket or other serious problem without the compression/leakdown test. (Unless you can see an actual hole in the block). Just get the test.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:01 AM
leewtech leewtech is offline
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A blown head gasket is not the end of the world. Check your coolant level too as I would guess that is probably low.

Sorry, no quick fixes....I would NOT drive the car unless it I was taking it directly to the shop for a proper diagnosis. Unless you can perform a leak down test your self (and understand the results) or are willing to pull the head yourself, it is time to break out the check book.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
You won't be able to tell if you have a blown head gasket or other serious problem without the compression/leakdown test. (Unless you can see an actual hole in the block). Just get the test.
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  #10  
Old 10-28-2012, 01:48 PM
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Thanks guys, will take it to a garage in a day or two as need to find a reputable one.

Done a few more checks:

1. NO white smoke from exhaust
2. No cream or gunk in water tank
3. No cream in engine or oil cover
4. No over heating radiator
5. Coolant levels are fine and looks clean

1. Yes cream on oil dipstick
2. Leak at engine on tray but none on floor
3. Slight loss of power on first gear when engine cold, like if I will stall the car but nothing when warmed up its very smooth.
4. Open water tank cap and water came gushing out, but I guess that is normal right coz its hot and lots of pressure.

Cheak out this link I found on Ebay for free:
http://reviews.ebay.co.uk/HOW-TO-TES...00000001891247

Will let you know how I get on and tjanks for all you help so far!!! Maybe I should call the guy I bought the car from a month ago as maybe he was hiding something!!!
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  #11  
Old 10-29-2012, 04:28 PM
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Hi Guys, Phoned around and few garages today and I need some advice.

1st Garage: Said because I have no creamy stuff in the engine block and no over heating then its best to do a CO2 test!!! - Dont know what this is

2nd Garage: Said bring it in and we will do a pressure/leakdown test. But also said that BMW have a breathing system (again dont know what this is and if true)

What will you say is best for me to do to get done...from above option and also looking at my comments above and seeing the pictures.

Thank you
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  #12  
Old 10-29-2012, 08:53 PM
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You already got three responses telling you to get a leakdown test.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:29 PM
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You already got three responses telling you to get a leakdown test.
Maybe he doesn`t quite grasp our brand of Engrish....
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  #14  
Old 10-30-2012, 08:20 AM
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While you usually think blown head gasket and that may very well be the case here, the "cream" on the dipstick could be discharge of gunk from the oil separator/crankcase vent CCV ("BMW breather") - since the CCV drains back to the pan through a hose to the lower end of the dipstick. I don't recall people posting much about this particular observation but I saw a youtube vid recently where a mechanic had an old CCV out of a 5 series and there was a good bit of creamy gunk coming out of it.

EDIT: I see now OP has a 316. CCV system will be different than e46s I was thinking of, but MAY still drain in dipstick area.

Last edited by ahull; 10-30-2012 at 08:24 AM.
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  #15  
Old 10-30-2012, 08:28 AM
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Not as familiar with the 316 but second pic looks like a leak on the valve cover gasket, which can be worsened by a clogged CCV. Leaky VCG is common on higher mileage engines and easy to replace for a mechanic or reasonably skilled DIYer.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahull View Post
Not as familiar with the 316 but second pic looks like a leak on the valve cover gasket, which can be worsened by a clogged CCV. Leaky VCG is common on higher mileage engines and easy to replace for a mechanic or reasonably skilled DIYer.
^^ This is what I was going to say, as an alternative to blown head gasket. Wouldn't the oil also land on that flange in the OP's second picture if the VCG is leaking? And I know folks have said that a failed crankcase ventilation valve (CVV) can cause the valve cover gasket (VCG) to pop a leak.

Just trying to come up with "less scary" scenarios. Still, a compression/leakdown test is supposed to be fairly routine and does not require a ton of labor so it should not cost a lot to have this done. Sounds like money well spent to get a definite answer.
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  #17  
Old 11-05-2012, 05:14 AM
ishaq ishaq is offline
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Thank you guys for all your help!!!

I have had a full pressure and leakdown test and they have confirmed that there is nothing wrong with the gasket - Thank god!!!

Had a engine flush, new oil and filter and also changed the thermostat. Also new drained the rad and filled with new coolant.

Still have a bit of cream on dipstick from the tube thou but garage said it is nothing to worry about and happens when driveing short distance and not letting engine warm up fully.



Thank you for all your help.
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  #18  
Old 11-05-2012, 05:15 AM
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  #19  
Old 11-05-2012, 09:45 PM
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I bet is CCV is trashed and the hose that return to the oil dip stick is just open to contamination from the elements. How u got that nasty looking dipstick....
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