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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 02-25-2014, 11:38 AM
bmw4te bmw4te is offline
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Unhappy Tailpipe smoke ... CCV again ?? Hopefully not the head gasket ...

Hi guys,

I have replaced my CCV about one year and a half ago and put in all new vacuum hoses, pipes, distribution piece, new oil dipstick guide tube (the one that catches the dipstick ) ... yeah, went the whole nine yards. Installed the "cold version" too, which is even harder PITA to install than the normal version because of all that insulating foam (which now I wonder whether it makes any difference).

Today, while taking off on the highway, I felt a sudden drop in power and heard a faint strange clatter (my cat being being overworked ??). Looking back there was a HUGE, and I mean HUGE cloud of smoke behind me. So dense I could not see the cars behind me, though they were many . It lasted about 10-15 seconds then it was gone (and so were all the cars behind me on my lane ... they've all switched to the other lane, maybe thinking I'll blow up). However, about a mile later I experienced another similar episode.

Cannot say for sure what color the smoke had - I think it was sort of a darkened white (I know it's better if it's blue-ish, and maybe it was).

Arrived at my destination couple of minutes later. Let the car cool down and checked the coolant level: no coolant was missing as far as I could tell.

The oil cap however had chunks of mayo on it and saw quite some of that inside the valve cover around the oil filer hole Ö.. Took the oil dipstick out, the tip was clean but the sides had traces of mayo as it scratched the guide tube.

To tell the truth, over the past few weeks I've spotted couple of times blue-ish smoke coming out of my tailpipe at startup but those were really short episodes and nowhere near the amount of smoke I released today.

Also, two weeks ago I changed my oil filter as I reached 5K on my oil (and planned to go up to 7.5K before changing it completely). However I somehow managed to overfill with oil afterwards (around ĺ of a quart ) and now I wonder if that hasn't had something to do with my current problem (maybe not causing it, but aggravating it). I only realized I had too much oil a week later and then I changed the oil immediately (the old oil seemed fine, no milky coloration).

So Ö.. I think (and hope) it's not the head gasket or cracked head but just a case of clogged CCV (although sooooo soon ??). What do you think ?

Can I still drive back home (about 13 miles from where I am, will be driving on the highway) without the fear of hidrolocking my engine ? The car will be grounded afterwards Ö..

Thank a LOT guys !

Last edited by bmw4te; 02-25-2014 at 11:42 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2014, 11:53 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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CCV failure is not directly related to the number of miles driven or time after repair. It is the type of miles driven and the driving environment that mostly matters. Is the climate you live in categorized as having a winter? Do you drive a lot of short distances on a cold engine in the winter? Do you rarely take it on long highway drives? If you answer is yes to two or more of the above, your style of driving is plugging up your your CCV. Can't say on the hydrolock. That is a function of how bad the condition your CCV is in. Good luck.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:17 PM
bmw4te bmw4te is offline
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Thanks very much Fudman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Is the climate you live in categorized as having a winter? Do you drive a lot of short distances on a cold engine in the winter? Do you rarely take it on long highway drives?
I can answer YES to all your questions, unfortunately . And NE VA area has a humid climate all year long basically, and cool/cold winters which might be the worst combination for a CCV (I know there are much colder winters up North but Iím not sure they are also humid).

I have already ordered new CCV and hoses and they came close to $180, all genuine though (I donít know how some say itís only $100 , it canít be Ė maybe they do not order all the hoses). I am disappointed and worried by the perspective of replacing the CCV annually though Ö

Should I replace the distributor too even if itís only one year old ? Typically they go hand in hand but itís nearly $50 bucks.

When I did my CCV last time I have also cleaned the ICV with truck loads of carb cleaner (was quite dirty hardly moving). Now that I will be working on that area again, should I consider replacing it (itís $150 at autohausaz.com Ö not cheap) or just give it another good ďcarbo bathĒ ? How long is ICV supposed to last ?

Iíll take my chances and drive her home. Iíll warm it up good before driving off though.

Thanks again !
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:47 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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I would replace just the CCV and hoses. Good luck. As you know, it is a HUGE PITA job. Clean the dipstick tube if it is plugged. Warm it up to loosen any mayo and then blast it out with compressed air. Too bad GAS has not released their replacement CCV yet. I may need to replace mine soon too.
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