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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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  #1  
Old 10-13-2012, 10:34 PM
Burnt My Wallet Burnt My Wallet is offline
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Question E46 325i Piston Rings?

Help!

My 325i was going fine. I just changed the oil and filter a couple of weeks before and it seemed fine... although I believe I may have overfilled it a little. Suddenly, I was driving along, just stopped in the traffic and as I drove off, it emitted an enormous cloud of blue smoke and it has continued to do so intermittently since.... It got to the point where it goes onto 4 or 5 cylinders and it's necessary to clean the front plug before it runs cleanly again.... So I think it's only one cylinder that has the problem(?)

I took it to four different mechanics. All said valve guides or seals. So I jumped in and got the most convincing guy to do the head. It was sent away to a reputable overhauler and now, $3k later, it's back, fitted and running great. Lots of power, smooth as a nut and quiet. Only one problem.... It still emits same massive clouds of blue smoke. (doh!) and that synthetic oil really produces some lovely acrid thick blue smoke, that just lingers.... Really, you can't even see the car behind its so thick! It's now got new oil again and the level is correct.

Mechanic can only suggest I spend another $3k and get the rings done.... Car just ain't worth it and I'm not convinced that would fix it anyway.

Any advice? Could it be that one of the oil control rings has failed? Could the overfilling have possibly been the cause? Car has about 75,000 miles and mostly BMW service history until I got it about a year ago.
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2012, 11:33 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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$5 bucks sez it`s the CVV....
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2012, 01:40 AM
Burnt My Wallet Burnt My Wallet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
$5 bucks sez it`s the CVV....
Thanks. Yeah, I've been reading about that. The only difference is that most folks seem to say they get the smoke at start up. This one is smoke free until its warmed up. From what I see, the CVV is quite a major job(?)
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:34 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnt My Wallet View Post
Thanks. Yeah, I've been reading about that. The only difference is that most folks seem to say they get the smoke at start up. This one is smoke free until its warmed up. From what I see, the CVV is quite a major job(?)
Ive seen it do just what you have. You wasted 3 grand on the head. The CVV isnt even remotely a major job. Can be done with a few basic tools and about 2 hours. 150 bucks in parts.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2012, 09:23 AM
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MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
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3k! Good lord. I could of built an amazing engine with that much. I spent 1k on piston rings and metal head gasket and did it myself w/ pro mechanic help. he just pointed and told me what to do and I just did it lol.Not easy by all means. But **** 3k I feel your pain.

P.s. it's your Crankcase ventilation valve and hoses.
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Last edited by MalibuMafiaV; 10-14-2012 at 09:26 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-14-2012, 01:43 PM
Burnt My Wallet Burnt My Wallet is offline
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Thanks folks... Advice is much appreciated.

The mechanic reckons all of that was checked... He did replace some hoses on the way also. I've read the posts about putting a balloon over the dipstick hole and a plastic bag over the oil filler etc .. Tried that too. Can't see it doing anything dramatic. Also it does not make any weird animal noises. and runs beautifully for maybe 20 miles till its hot.

I guess there's only one way to find out or sure.... I'll let you know.. Thanks again for responding.

Or I might just get rid of the damn thing... Lovely cars, but Oh dear....
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2012, 03:28 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnt My Wallet View Post
Thanks folks... Advice is much appreciated.

The mechanic reckons all of that was checked... He did replace some hoses on the way also. I've read the posts about putting a balloon over the dipstick hole and a plastic bag over the oil filler etc .. Tried that too. Can't see it doing anything dramatic. Also it does not make any weird animal noises. and runs beautifully for maybe 20 miles till its hot.

I guess there's only one way to find out or sure.... I'll let you know.. Thanks again for responding.

Or I might just get rid of the damn thing... Lovely cars, but Oh dear....
Fact Of BMW Life:

Certain components ALWAYS fail (you can take it to the bank):

Cooling systems
VANOS seals
CVV (and all associated hoses)
Window regulators
(and probably a few more)
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When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2012, 05:37 PM
Burnt My Wallet Burnt My Wallet is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....

Yeah, I'll do that. Had four of those things. Minimal maintenance and never a bit of bother with any of 'em! I have actually been close to death by boredom though.... I guess I've leaned a lesson. I love that Beamer but I can't treat it like a Toyota and get away with it. Well, not for long anyway. Why on earth did BMW hide that rediculously complex CVV system that inevitably will need attention, right under the manifold where you can't even see the screws? A blind mechanic would not be at a disadvantage! Wouldn't get that with a Toyota... but then it probably would not go wrong either. Yeah, funny that, when I ran Toyotas, I seem to remember having a life rather than a car!

Thanks again for your help and making me feel soooo much better Now, how do I get rid of this pesky Bimmer bug? I'm getting a terrible irresistable urge to go buy an early E90.... Please stop me before its too late!
(Ahhh! that's better, I just caught a glimpse of an IS250. - getting very sleepy tho')
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