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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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Old 07-18-2016, 03:22 PM
Pat212004 Pat212004 is offline
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Location: Fishers,IN
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2011 BMW 328i X Drive
Smoke from oil cap

I recently bought my first BMW. It's a 2011 BMW 328i X Drive. It has about 41k miles on it. I drove home from work today, about 40 minutes, and pulled into the garage. I noticed the hood was extremely hot as I accidentally touched it. I did some things outside and about 10 minutes later opened the hood. When I opened the oil cap white smoke started coming out. Is it normal for smoke to come out of oil cap area and for the hood to be so hot I almost burnt my hand touching it?

If the oil is toward the low side will this cause this to happen? The non BMW dealer I bought it from stated the changed the oil when they got the car. I checked the computer and it says to change by April 2017. So I believe it was reset in April 2016. However the thing I don't understand is if it was just changed how the oil read out is probably about 1/4 above the low Mark on the computer read out. I'm wondering if they just resert the computer or if they didn't fill it all the way. Either way I think I will change it myself to be sure. Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:27 AM
328iblack 328iblack is online now
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Location: Charleston,SC
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 566
Mein Auto: 335is 2011
Well, first of all I would not drive the car. You may have already done more damage to the car all ready by driving it . Let's talk about thermal energy for a second. Engines are cooled by airflow , water flow through the radiator and the oil that is in the engine. If your engine is so hot you cannot touch the hood, well I would have to say their is a problem with one of those methods of cooling your engine. If you notice that the engine is extremely hot and you continue to drive it, then you take responsibility for the damage done after that onto your own shoulders. Now all of that being said , I have added a oil to my 328 and when you remove the oil cap small amounts of fumes may come out of the oil cap. I would not say that it was white smoke . Have the car towed to a repair shop to get checked out before it's too late!!
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:23 AM
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jman103099 jman103099 is offline
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Location: Central IL
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 374
Mein Auto: f25 X3 e90 328i e46 330ci
These cars run hot.

My 2011 328i - hood is very hot to the touch after driving, especailly low speeds (less air to cool).

Dont forget, in 2010 they no longer had the hood pad insulation installed, so the hood will be hotter. It's been discussed before on this forum.
2004 330CiC (8/15 - present)
2011 X3 28i (1/12 - present)
2011 328i (5/11 - present)
2009 MINI Cooper (4/09 - 5/11)
2006 X3 (03/07 - 1/12)
1995 325i (05/06 - 3/09)
1985 325e (08/00 - 12/04)
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:03 AM
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Pilgrim Pilgrim is offline
Car guy since 1968
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,336
Mein Auto: 2008 E91 328xi Sportwagon
I'm not sure where the alarm in post #2 comes from. Cars get hot, and that isn't a fault. I see no particular reason to be alarmed.

Not sure what the "smoke" is about. It could be that the previous owner drove it only on short trips and there was a lot of condensation in the oil. You may have heated up the engine for the first time in a long time, and perhaps the water evaporated and you saw the result. Just a guess, but not improbable.

But if you had no warning lights, I'd fire it up, let it idle, watch the gauges and use the oil check function to see how your oil level is. If there's no problem, and you have no indication of low coolant, then you might as well drive it.

Since the car is new to you, I'd take it to an independent shop, have them change the oil and filter and tell you if they see any indication of contamination in the oil they drain out. While you're at it, have them change any other fluids you're inclined to refresh. BMW's service intervals are designed to cut down their costs under warranty, not to prolong the life of your car. It's always OK to change fluids early. Have them give it a good visual check from front to rear.

Then drive and enjoy.
1983 Datsun 280ZX Turbo
2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2008 BMW E91 328xi Sportswagon
2009 BMW E92 328ix Coupe
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:06 AM
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Location: Fog City, California
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Mein Auto: 09 E93 335i somewhat mod

Let's qualify - [first things first]

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Old 07-19-2016, 11:22 AM
Pat212004 Pat212004 is offline
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Location: Fishers,IN
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2011 BMW 328i X Drive
Thank you for all the feedback. I feel a little silly because the car also sat in the sun all yesterday before I drove home. I went out at lunch today just to check the hood because the car hasn't been run for 6 hours and hood was extremly hot from sitting out in the sun. I guess I under estimated the weather yesterday!!

I did notice no heat shields on bottom of hood. Checked coolant and it's good. Oil level has remained the same. It is towards the low side, but has been there since I got car.

I'm going to an independent shop and will get it checked out and change oil and filter. Also will have them check coolant and then I will monitor levels to confirm no leaks.

I have not got any warning lights at all. I wish there was a way to check temp, but from what I have read on these forums there is no gauge on this car. Only the warning light if it starts to over heat.
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