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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-18-2011, 08:23 AM
wade_wilson530i wade_wilson530i is offline
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Smoke coming from the grill area?

I just recently parked my '07 530i coming into work. As I lock the car and do a walk around I notice smoke coming out in spurts of the grill area (I'm not sure "grill" is the correct term, it's the the area where the trademark, I guess grill is)....anyways, is that suppose to happen. I should note that, I'm in the NJ area where today's weather is really crappy (snow, sleet, and rain)....am I just paranoid or is this "smoke" something that should worry me. I should also note that the drive into work was fine, I didn't notice anything wrong with the car. Thanks guys.
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2011, 08:48 AM
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TerraSlug TerraSlug is offline
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My '07 530i did the same only once. I briefly saw it while stopped at a traffic light, following a several hundred mile trip on an Interstate. The outside temp was in the 50's. I lifted the hood at home, about 10 miles later. There was a very small amount of a white residue, which I'd never noticed before, on the top surface of the coolant expansion tank. After the engine was cold, I checked the coolant level and it was in the normal range. That was about 2,000 miles ago and the car has since been in to the dealer service dept for an unrelated issue, and the SA said the cooling system was normal.
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2011, 08:50 AM
omaralt omaralt is offline
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I noticed that once in my car as well. A few months later I had valve cover gaskets replaced as I was leaking small amounts of oil. Never saw it again
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2011, 12:35 PM
Timon5435 Timon5435 is offline
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Unless it actually smelled like smoke it was probably steam. Mine did it coming out of a car wash. I wouldn't worry about. She was probably just letting out a sigh of relief she was in a garage.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2011, 12:44 PM
fredderf4444 fredderf4444 is offline
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hah....Mine just did that on friday, right after I washed my car. I figured it was because of the difference in Temp, didn't see or smell anything leaking.

I will keep watch on it.

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  #6  
Old 01-18-2011, 02:04 PM
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Bart001 Bart001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wade_wilson530i View Post
I just recently parked my '07 530i coming into work. As I lock the car and do a walk around I notice smoke coming out in spurts of the grill area (I'm not sure "grill" is the correct term, it's the the area where the trademark, I guess grill is)....anyways, is that suppose to happen. I should note that, I'm in the NJ area where today's weather is really crappy (snow, sleet, and rain)....am I just paranoid or is this "smoke" something that should worry me. I should also note that the drive into work was fine, I didn't notice anything wrong with the car. Thanks guys.
You might be able to tell from the smell what it is. Steam coming from a coolant leak has a very characteristic smell. That's a good candidate for what it is.

If you didn't JUST go thru a carwash, there really shouldn't be steam coming from under the hood. And, it won't smell like coolant.
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2011, 11:37 AM
steveo90290 steveo90290 is offline
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Check your coolant return line, it is a small hard plastic pipe that has been known to crack on 545s, I don't know if it is a problem from other models,
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  #8  
Old 01-20-2011, 06:05 PM
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boramkiv boramkiv is offline
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I do notice that on mine as well, had to look twice as it was raining and cold out about 40F. Thought it was the tailpipe of the car in front, but as he sped off I could still see it lightly coming from the front of my car. I also see it after i spray water towards the grille to wash it. May just be the cooling lines of the radiator between the fins reacting to the difference in temperature.
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2011, 07:50 PM
TRS550 TRS550 is offline
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My 550 does it all the time in cold wet weather. It's simply steam created when the radiator gets wet externally.

Water + hot radiator = steam.
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2011, 07:59 PM
jesimmons jesimmons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRS550 View Post
My 550 does it all the time in cold wet weather. It's simply steam created when the radiator gets wet externally.

Water + hot radiator = steam.
+1 If water spray from cars in front of you gets sucked into the radiator through the grills, it will give off steam as it evaporates off the radiator once the engine and cooling fans shut off. Next time you see it, just pop the hood and make sure thats what it is.
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Last edited by jesimmons; 01-20-2011 at 10:21 PM.
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  #11  
Old 01-20-2011, 08:16 PM
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Slaymaster Slaymaster is offline
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Actually I thought you were having a BQ based on your title. I agree with the above posters, more then likely nothing to worry about. Cold spray from weather, car in front of you, and car washs will create steam from your grill......as so would a nice porterhouse!
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Last edited by Slaymaster; 01-20-2011 at 08:17 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2011, 07:42 AM
wade_wilson530i wade_wilson530i is offline
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so, i've been keeping an on eye on the grill and i think everyone is right, it was mostly likely from the rain and melting snow, as the day it did steam there was alot of snow and melting...anyways, all is good and i'm happy again...although this crappy North Eastern NJ weather is starting to suck. anyone for a porterhouse tonight, bring the steak and i'll grill em up
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2011, 10:16 AM
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Slaymaster Slaymaster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wade_wilson530i View Post
so, i've been keeping an on eye on the grill and i think everyone is right, it was mostly likely from the rain and melting snow, as the day it did steam there was alot of snow and melting...anyways, all is good and i'm happy again...although this crappy North Eastern NJ weather is starting to suck. anyone for a porterhouse tonight, bring the steak and i'll grill em up
Easy now, I may take you up on your offer being you're less then 30 minutes away! Looks like another dose of winter and steaming grills on Tuesday with a much worse storm in the forecast then last night.
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2011, 01:18 PM
richietherocket richietherocket is offline
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To the OP: do you smell anything coming from the vents like a candle has just been blown out? If so, you need to have the valve gasket replaced on the car. It is leaking oil onto the exhaust system and creates that smell.

I just saw smoke from the grill area and from under the hood on the drivers side and had that smell. Took it in and it was leaking. The dealer replaced the valve gasked and cover since the bolts were also broken. They have been the only ones to do any work on it. Covered under CPO to boot.
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