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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-28-2014, 11:13 AM
icapture icapture is offline
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Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Mein Auto: 540i
Persistent White Smoke - Cracked head gasket? Clogged CCV? Bad Intake Man. seal?

Hey guys. I recently bought a 2003 540i M sport. God I love this car. But alas I have a problem.


Basically upon high load (Accelerating from a stop with aggressive RPM's or while driving up a steep hill) I first hear a slapping noise emanating from the engine bay and then a plume (and I mean PLUME) of what looks like white smoke comes out the exhaust.

Here are my symptoms:

1.) White Smoke Upon Start-Up - This happens almost everytime I start the car after it's been sitting for more than 6 hours. Goes away after about 10 seconds. I would say it is white in color.

2.) Rattle or Slapping Noise going up large hills or at w.o.p. (wide open throttle) - This is also accompanied by white smoke.

3.) Decent Oil Consumption - Couldn't tell you exactly how much seeing as in I am not really driving the car on a regular basis due to the fear of it being a major issue, but around 1/4 quart every week or so.

4.) Coolant Consumption - Also couldn't tell exact amount. It does show signs of what I can only imagine was an overheat. There is white coolant splatter residue around the coolant fill tank and on the side of the radiator. There is also a leak coming from the top of the coolant reservoir, not the cap, but where the top section of the reservoir is glued to the body. So I am not sure if the reduction of coolant in the system is due only to this external leak or both an internal and external leak.

5.) Heater Does Not Work - Didn't check this on my test drive on the car

6.) Heavy Vacuum at Oil Cap - And I mean HEAVY, it was basically trying to eat the bag I put over it.

7.) Lots of Oil in Intake Valley - When I replaced the CCV I took the throttle body off to inspect the valley and it was full of oil. Obviously throttle body had oil on it too.

8.) Car Throws Misfire Codes - I have gotten a CEL for a misfire with fuel cut off for cylinders 5,6,7 twice now.


I have been told that it does not sound like a cracked head or cracked head gasket because there is no presence of oil in the coolant nor coolant in the oil. But I do not know if this is a reliable test. I have read about doing a TK test to determine a cracked head gasket. Would you guys recommend I do this?

THINGS I HAVE REPLACED:
------------------------------------

1.) CCV - Replaced just the valve but none of the hoses. When I removed the old CCV I noticed that it looked new. After replacing it there were no signs of improvement. Did not replace or check any of the hoses for clogging or the oil dipstick.


So my King of Kings what do you think this sounds like? I know it's a lot of information, but I am at a loss.

According to the readings I have done it could be:

- Clogged CCV hoses and or oil dipstick
- Faulty Valve Seals
- Faulty Intake Manifold Gasket
- Cracked Head Gasket

I would appreciate SO SO much the advice of you knowledgeable gent's
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Garage:
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2003 BMW 540i M Sport
2004 Suzuki DZR400
1997 Mazda Miata
1995 Jeep Cherokee 4x4
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2014, 01:34 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is online now
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Location: Back in Oaktown, Yay Area
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6, '90 BMW k75s
Do a compression test or leak down test. If there's a significant difference in compression between cylinders (compression test) or drop in compression (leak down test), then you're looking at head or head gasket damage, in all likelihood. There are numerous threads discussing how to do this--probably YouTube videos as well. This should eliminate a lot of the unknowns and point you in the right direction. Good luck.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:39 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is online now
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Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6, '90 BMW k75s
By the way, if we ever put up a sticky about why pre-purchase inspections are important, this thread should be cited as one of the reasons.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:28 AM
icapture icapture is offline
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Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 540i
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
Do a compression test or leak down test. If there's a significant difference in compression between cylinders (compression test) or drop in compression (leak down test), then you're looking at head or head gasket damage, in all likelihood. There are numerous threads discussing how to do this--probably YouTube videos as well. This should eliminate a lot of the unknowns and point you in the right direction. Good luck.
Thanks for the reply bobdmac, I will do a compression check in the next few days and get back to you all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
By the way, if we ever put up a sticky about why pre-purchase inspections are important, this thread should be cited as one of the reasons.
Yea, this is one of those moments I wish I could go back in time...one of many
__________________
"The Gods are just. No Doubt. But their code of law is dictated, in the last resort, by the people who organize society; providence takes it cue from men."

-Aldous Huxley

Garage:
-----------
2003 BMW 540i M Sport
2004 Suzuki DZR400
1997 Mazda Miata
1995 Jeep Cherokee 4x4
No Kids
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acceleration, ccv, cel, gasket, head (gasket?), head gasket, intake manifold, misfire, smoke, white


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