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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-05-2013, 02:30 AM
diddy123 diddy123 is offline
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Question smoke from exhaust

I have white smoke coming from my exhaust when starting my car up after a couple of minutes the smoke has gone and the car runs fine without any problems i have done a pressure test and its fine there is no 'gunk' please does anyone have ideas im stuck !!!!
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2013, 02:42 AM
1995BMW325i 1995BMW325i is offline
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You most likely have a blown head gasket.. The white smoke is coolant burning, does the car overheat?
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2013, 02:51 AM
diddy123 diddy123 is offline
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No it does not over heat i origanally thought head gasket but im not losing any water or oil and there is no gunk at all present i have also checked my plugs as i was told at least one of them would look clean but they all looked the same and they wasnt clean !!!! the smoke only appears on start up then vanishes some days there is no smoke but other days there is one big puff of smoke and once it clears it is fine !!
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  #4  
Old 06-05-2013, 03:00 AM
1995BMW325i 1995BMW325i is offline
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Check your coolant fluid level. Your plugs are probably fine. Your dipstick probably won't show a thing, make sure your RADIATOR is holding coolant. If the car is not overheating then that is weird...
You live in a bad area? The reason i ask is your gas could be junk.. Don't go to Arco...But generally white smoke is coolant burning. You probably don't want to here this but you more then likely have a small tear in your head gasket. You could try an additive but that will only last so long. It takes a small amount of coolant to puff out white smoke. DO NOT ACCELERATE your BMW hard, you will further damage it.



How many miles?


Btw do a compression test and cyl leak test..It could be but probably isn't your cat (do you have a check eng light..?).. You need engine tests done my friend.

Last edited by 1995BMW325i; 06-05-2013 at 03:47 AM.
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2013, 04:50 AM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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It is normal for your car to have white smoke come out of the exhaust on start up in the morning. It is the condensation in your exhaust system evaporating.
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  #6  
Old 06-05-2013, 05:08 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Originally Posted by Nicky3 View Post
It is normal for your car to have white smoke come out of the exhaust on start up in the morning. It is the condensation in your exhaust system evaporating.
Ding Ding Ding!!!

And if you remove the oil cap, sometimes you will see white stuff. It is a process called emulsion. It is just condensation. If you let your car sit for longer, you will have a lot of white stuff under the cap, which is what I see all the time with my M3 when it sits for one or two weeks.

Just start it up, let it smoke, drive around, and you're fine. Until you start seeing little globules in your coolant, just drive the car and have fun.
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  #7  
Old 06-05-2013, 07:17 AM
diddy123 diddy123 is offline
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Im 50 50 about it being head gasket because other than the white smoke there are no more signs !! i have had my bmw about 5 years and never had this problem but about 4 weeks ago a load of white smoke started coming from it when starting it up !! I have done all the tests you can think of and they are all fine ....If it is just condensation is there anything i can do to reduce or stop this as there is a fair bit of smoke
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  #8  
Old 06-05-2013, 07:21 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Originally Posted by diddy123 View Post
Im 50 50 about it being head gasket because other than the white smoke there are no more signs !! i have had my bmw about 5 years and never had this problem but about 4 weeks ago a load of white smoke started coming from it when starting it up !! I have done all the tests you can think of and they are all fine ....If it is just condensation is there anything i can do to reduce or stop this as there is a fair bit of smoke
Drive it more often and longer trips. Avoid stop and go traffic as best you can. You could also drive the car harder and clean up the catalytic converter and carbon deposits in the engine as well.
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  #9  
Old 06-05-2013, 07:40 AM
diddy123 diddy123 is offline
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Drive it more often and longer trips. Avoid stop and go traffic as best you can. You could also drive the car harder and clean up the catalytic converter and carbon deposits in the engine as well.
Thanks i drive it nearly every day for work which is about 15 miles each way i will give it a clean up and see if that helps thanks for your help
If that does not work would it be worth doing the head gasket just in case or would i be wasting my time and money !!
I have also thought of the option of putting a new engine in but not sure if this will be a good idea as its always a risk
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  #10  
Old 06-05-2013, 07:54 AM
hunter94 hunter94 is offline
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smoke from exhaust

If your not over heating, losing coolant, or losing oil, play it by ear. It sounds like water is building up in the exhaust system. Do you live in a humid/wet environment?

Did you get your engine compression tested?


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Last edited by hunter94; 06-05-2013 at 08:03 AM.
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  #11  
Old 06-05-2013, 08:49 AM
diddy123 diddy123 is offline
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Originally Posted by hunter94 View Post
If your not over heating, losing coolant, or losing oil, play it by ear. It sounds like water is building up in the exhaust system. Do you live in a humid/wet environment?

Did you get your engine compression tested?


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I live in the UK so weather is very odd !! one minute its hot then its cold !!!!
Yes had a compression test which was fine not losing any compression !!
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  #12  
Old 06-05-2013, 08:57 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Originally Posted by diddy123 View Post
I live in the UK so weather is very odd !! one minute its hot then its cold !!!!
Yes had a compression test which was fine not losing any compression !!
Ahhh yes, temperature changes do that too. It is like that here in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US as well, especially in my state. When it transitions from hot and cold and cold to hot (the weather that is), I notice condensation increases.

It is normal and you're fine. Don't worry about it. Just enjoy the drive!
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  #13  
Old 06-05-2013, 08:58 AM
hunter94 hunter94 is offline
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smoke from exhaust

Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy123 View Post
I live in the UK so weather is very odd !! one minute its hot then its cold !!!!
Yes had a compression test which was fine not losing any compression !!
Okay, that's a good sign.

I would recommend to keep driving the car and check the oil and coolant level often. And make sure to make note of both the fluids coloration. I'm positive your engine is fine but its better to be safe than sorry.

Oh yea, and welcome to the fest!




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Last edited by hunter94; 06-05-2013 at 09:01 AM.
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  #14  
Old 06-05-2013, 09:15 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky3 View Post
It is normal for your car to have white smoke come out of the exhaust on start up in the morning. It is the condensation in your exhaust system evaporating.
This. Condensation just builds up and burns off. As long as it goes away while driving, your head gasket is fine.
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  #15  
Old 06-05-2013, 09:50 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Even if it was a head gasket ... Just drive it , I drove my e30 with a broken head bolt for 6 years before I sold it to some crazy German Gus who put it on a track ... These motors take a beating just don't over heat it , they don't take that sort of beating . You'd be suprized what ou can really get away with for a prolonged period of time
Unless your super Anal about how your car looks or how ou feel about people's perception of you ?
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  #16  
Old 06-05-2013, 10:04 AM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky3 View Post
It is normal for your car to have white smoke come out of the exhaust on start up in the morning. It is the condensation in your exhaust system evaporating.
Right on..depends on where you are and temperature variances day to night, humidity etc.
It is also possible you have some water in the gas...fill the tank, add a "water removal chemical" (several reputable brands out there). If the white 'smoke' does not smell sweet it is condensate.
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  #17  
Old 06-05-2013, 10:39 AM
diddy123 diddy123 is offline
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Originally Posted by hunter94 View Post
Okay, that's a good sign.

I would recommend to keep driving the car and check the oil and coolant level often. And make sure to make note of both the fluids coloration. I'm positive your engine is fine but its better to be safe than sorry.

Oh yea, and welcome to the fest!




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Thankyou im not stressing as much now feel more reassured this is great for help and advice you guys have saved a lady a few quid Thankyou
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  #18  
Old 06-05-2013, 10:47 AM
diddy123 diddy123 is offline
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Thankyou all for your replies what is the water removal chemical i have never heard of this before !! Does my tank have to be completely full i normally have about half a tank of petrol would this be enough for the water remover to work ?? sorry if this sounds like a silly question !!
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  #19  
Old 06-05-2013, 11:08 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Although, as I mentioned above, I do not think you have a blown head gasket, I wanted to take a moment to respectfully disagree with the statement above which says that it is okay to continue driving with a blown head gasket (in case others read this thread and take his advice). If you continue driving an engine with a blown head gasket, you seriously run the risk of spinning a bearing and/or damaging the catalytic converter(s), 02 sensor(s), etc. You should never continue driving with an engine which has coolant & water mixed in with the oil. Doing so will take a very expensive HG repair bill and make it even MORE expensive.
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 06-05-2013 at 12:25 PM.
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  #20  
Old 06-05-2013, 11:39 AM
1995BMW325i 1995BMW325i is offline
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Don't do the head if you're not overheating or showing signs of a blown head.
Disregard what i said earlier these guys are right.
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  #21  
Old 06-05-2013, 01:52 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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As Z said, catastrophic failure will ensue shortly thereafter if you drive with a blown HG. That being said, you seem to exhibit no symptoms of a blown head. I think is is just moisture in your exhaust system. The only other thing I can think of as a possibility is a dropped valve seat but the car wouldn't run right. Just keep driving with a close eye on things.
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  #22  
Old 06-05-2013, 02:28 PM
evanwray evanwray is offline
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just a quick two penny from Johannesburg. If its blowing white smoke it would cost nothing to check your brake fluid level. If the vacuum seals are going, it will suck brake fluid into the cylinders and blow white smoke with no loss in performance.
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  #23  
Old 06-20-2013, 07:14 AM
myfirstbem myfirstbem is offline
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So I started here looking for solution to the white exhaust smoking during start up of my 330CI. It has 115,000 miles on it and just started having this problem within the last week. My oil levels and antifreeze levels were perfect. Car did start to run a little rough, nothing major. I started to look on the internet for possible causes and came across this forum. So as I read different threads, I read possible causes as:
Condensation..over and over again
Blown Head gasket
Valve problems
Water pumps
Leaking fluids

So I took my 330 to my mechanic to have it looked at. He had it diagnosed in 10 minutes. Said it was a bad CVV (CCV). Very common and after 115,000 should be replaced. Said he would look at the plugs to see if there was oil burns (which would cause the smoke) and if so would replace the plugs. Plugs were fine. He charged me 3 hours to replace it, which I thought was fair. No more smoke and it actually runs better. Search the forums for CVV or CCV and I think it will make sense why there was white exhaust smoke.

I liked this particular thread about CVV
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ht=cvv+failure

This is my two cents. I love this forum. Hope to be able to DIY my 330CI some day.
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  #24  
Old 06-20-2013, 08:43 AM
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ReillyM3 ReillyM3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Although, as I mentioned above, I do not think you have a blown head gasket, I wanted to take a moment to respectfully disagree with the statement above which says that it is okay to continue driving with a blown head gasket (in case others read this thread and take his advice). If you continue driving an engine with a blown head gasket, you seriously run the risk of spinning a bearing and/or damaging the catalytic converter(s), 02 sensor(s), etc. You should never continue driving with an engine which has coolant & water mixed in with the oil. Doing so will take a very expensive HG repair bill and make it even MORE expensive.
Completely agree with this. It is not pretentious or self absorbed to take good care of a car. Its an investment.
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