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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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Old 07-15-2009, 07:57 PM
ryanzak ryanzak is offline
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Location: Texas
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 186
Mein Auto: ED 07 328i, 96 Z3
Cloud of smoke on cold start

Hey all, Im new to this board as a good friend of mine has a 2004 E46.. It is a 2004 325 with 58K on the ticker.

When she started the car from rest, a few hours or more, a cloud of white smoke blows out the exhaust. It did it two times today, morning and then after work. We stopped it and started it over 1/2 a dozen times after it was warm and were unable to produce the problem. Seems to be a cold start problem. It is still under warranty until Sept thank goodness.. any ideas on what this could be linked to?

ooh, I checked the oil and it is totally within range, she is due for a change in 500 miles..
2007 E92 ED/ 2011 MINI R60 S All4/ 1996 Z3 play car, loving all the projects!
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:22 PM
galvinston galvinston is offline
Location: wyoming
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 175
Mein Auto: 02, 330ci
most likely her head gasket!! white smoke is caused by burning antifreeze.. the head gasket is a common problem.. when the car warms up the head expands slightly and is probaly closing the gap in the leak, that why it wont do it when its warm.
i would do a compression, if im right one or more or her cylinders will have a low reading!! (make sure to do the test when the engine is cold sense the leak seals when it hot)

hope this helps!
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:19 AM
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Nov99328i Nov99328i is offline
Location: Back in the great state of TEXAS!
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 516
Mein Auto: 99 E46 328i
I think it could be the oil separator failure (CCV) search those topics here and read up.

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Old 07-16-2009, 11:46 AM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
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Location: Baltimore, MD, USA
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,199
Mein Auto: 03 BMW 330ci
Sounds like classic head gasket. Check if the antifreeze is clear. If its mixing with oil, it will be milky.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:24 PM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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Location: In the woods. Santa Cruz County, CA
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 8,940
Mein Auto: 05 330ci 6MT
This question sure is coming up often these days.
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