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Old 06-13-2019, 07:13 PM
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X5 Random White Smoke incident

I bought my 2005 X5 4.4i about 3 weeks ago. 196k kms. It runs great and nothing wrong other than a few minor fix ups. However, I noticed just after I picked it up a random puff of blue smoke after a stop at a traffic light. It hasn't done it since. Then, about day 4, it started spewing white smoke for about 10 minutes or so. Like, a big cloud of it. I stopped and looked around a bit and it smelled like water vapour not oil. After 10 minutes or so it stopped. It hasn't done it since. I've put about 1500 kms on it since I bought it, including a couple of highway runs and lots of City driving. Thoughts?
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:15 AM
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Can be a number of things, check your CCV for rips in the orange liners and oil “sludge” in the tubes. If that’s not it let the car idle for 10/15 minutes and then give it a good rev and see if it puffs smoke which could indicate bad valve stem seals... ask me how I know...

Aside from that just search the forum for white smoke, car smoking, etc and you will find all kinds of things to check. Note... these cars are notorious for bad valve stem seals.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purplefade View Post
Note... these cars are notorious for bad valve stem seals.
Utter nonsense. They came from the factory with unobtanium-made VSS that are perfect in every way.
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:53 PM
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If smoke is:
  • Blue: oil
  • Black: gas
  • White: coolant

It’s often hard to differentiate the color. The most common cause of oil smoke is the CCV system, then the valve stem seals, then piston rings. Here’s a thread discussing it:


https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/...lem-fixed.html

Gas smoke is most often a stuck injector valve. Use an injector cleaner.

Coolant smoke is usually the result of a leak between the coolant passages and the combustion chamber. Usually a head gasket leak. It will show up as white smoke on start up, and may show during driving if it gets worse. Combustion gasses in the coolant are a sure indication.
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X5M-ISH View Post
Utter nonsense. They came from the factory with unobtanium-made VSS that are perfect in every way.


“Unobtanium” that is too funny! Suckers might as well have been play-doh. I should have taken a picture of mine when I swapped them at 115,000 miles, looked like someone ran them through a wood chipper... it was unbelievable!

But, I have to say, now that I have her back on the road - she’s running premo! AND, wait for it... I am totally smokeless
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:42 AM
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I totally neglected to mention I've already ruled out the CCV. I was really hoping that was the issue but I pulled both and no rips or tears. Appears to seat properly. There was some sludge which I cleaned off, but nothing major. I'm pretty sure the two incidents were different, only because I took a good sniff of the exhaust during the white smoke issue. It wasn't just some smoke, it was a major cloud and it didn't smell like your typical oil burner. I'm positive it was coolant. What has me stumped is that it lasted for 10 minutes or more, but it's never happened since. Given the size of the smoke cloud and the duration, I can't figure out how a head gasket would "heal" and stop letting that amount of coolant into the combustion chamber, even with a highway drive. I'll dig around, and I guess for now just keep an eye on things to see if it happens again. Thanks for the responses!
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:17 AM
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It’s prudent to keep an eye on it and see what develops.

Also, you can use a detection kit that checks for exhaust gas in the coolant.

Something like this:

https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BK_7001006
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiubhartach View Post
It’s prudent to keep an eye on it and see what develops.

Also, you can use a detection kit that checks for exhaust gas in the coolant.

Something like this:

https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BK_7001006
Yeah that's a good idea. I'll look into that kit.
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:48 PM
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X5 Random White Smoke incident

On my 3.0 I had a head gasket leak that put exhaust gases into the cooling system causing it to over pressurize resulting in a cracked coolant overflow tank. Never really experienced smoke at the tailpipe.

The Napa blocktest should reveal any gas but in my case the test was negative at idle but definitely getting exhaust in. If you do the test have a helper rev the engine even put it in gear and rev with the brakes on. Truer test. Be careful though.

Also, if exhaust is in the cooling system the radiator hoses will be tight and would maybe not “relax” once cooled. (Mine would stay tight for more than 24 hrs even after just a short drive.)

An unreliable test is to look under the oil filler cap for yellow goo (oil and coolant mixing). Pretty common if you only make short trips or live in cold climate but if all you see is oil residue and no “mayo” you’re probably good.
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