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  #1  
Old 08-24-2011, 08:52 PM
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2004 X5 4.4 85K white smoke

After idleing for more than a minute or two, at take off I am getting one big cloud of white smoke but, it quickly clears up. four months ago I had the same problem and the dealer repaired both crank case vent valves and covers. They also replaced the head gasket ($3,000) The smoke is back and now the dealer is saying that they must repair the "valves stem seals" they didn't run any test and basically are basing this off of experience ($5,000). Why the heck didn't they find this 4 months ago? I am SICK right now! Car has been nothing but trouble since day one. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I don't know if I should fix it with a non dealer shop. In fact I have no clue where to bring a BMW for repair in NY other than my dealer. Is it worth it to fix this car? Should I just keep replenishing the oil and drive it until it dies? Will it die? Thanks in advance for any help you folks can offer me.
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2011, 11:18 PM
jdd jdd is offline
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Please bear in mind I have zero experience with this particular engine however…
White smoke in the manner you describe sounds more like there is water leaking into the cylinder(s) and what you are seeing is actually steam.
Common causes are blown head gasket, cracked head or in some cases a leaky inlet manifold gasket.
Driving a vehicle with this problem will usually lead to more serious issues, and if ignored can be catastrophic in some cases.

Worn valve guides/valve stem seals will cause blue smoke which is usually seen as a plume on initial startup or when the engine has been idling for a while and you accelerate away.
If the problem is valve guides, it won’t affect anything except use a little more oil, so as long as the correct oil level is maintained it shouldn’t cause any other issues.
Valve guide issues don’t usually start suddenly; they normally start a little (small puff of blue smoke on startup), and gradually get worse over time.
85K is a little young to be seeing valve guide issues.
I would try to find a reputable independent repair shop that should be able to diagnose the problem correctly. Others on here might be able to provide recommendations in your area.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:41 AM
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My 4.8is has the same problem. I initially took it in thinking it was something witht he crankcase ventilation system, but turned out to be the valve guides. 6 weeks and I still don't have my X back. They don't even know if replacing the valve guides will fix it. They said they may have to order a new head.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:31 PM
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Just back from the dealer. They did a full diagnostic, pressure and leak test. There saying it can be my valve stem seals ($8,000) or valve guides another ($13,000). I feel so sick. I still owe 3yrs on the loan. I refuse to fix the car! To top it off there saying it can even be the heads and may need a rebuild. Wtf FML!!!
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:14 PM
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SELL THE PIECE OF CRAP! It's only going to get worse. Trust me. It's a lose lose situation. Take this bavarian financial beat down as a learning experience and move on.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03BamaX5 View Post
SELL THE PIECE OF CRAP! It's only going to get worse. Trust me. It's a lose lose situation. Take this bavarian financial beat down as a learning experience and move on.
Have you gone to every post on this board and bitched?
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:32 PM
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Yep.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manfrmbklyn23 View Post
Just back from the dealer. They did a full diagnostic, pressure and leak test. There saying it can be my valve stem seals ($8,000) or valve guides another ($13,000). I feel so sick. I still owe 3yrs on the loan. I refuse to fix the car! To top it off there saying it can even be the heads and may need a rebuild. Wtf FML!!!

Wow! $8000 for valve stem seals! The seals are $140 on RealOEM for all the intake and exhaust valves. The rest is labour + valve cover gaskets?

I suggest you get another quote.

I don't know if it can be done on a N62 engine, but in the Ol days it was possible to replace the valve seals with the head in place. You were doing one cylinder at a time, piston at TDC, remove the spark plug, insert an adaptor and air hose to pressurize the chamber, compress the valve spring, remove the 'keeper' or retainer, remove the spring, pull the seal and insert a new one, and reassemble. The valve doesn't fall into the engine because it is held in place by the air pressure.
On a N62, the Valvetronic may need to be removed though, but I don't think it is a several thousand of $$ job.
I pesonnally never had to do that job, but heard of people doing it.
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manfrmbklyn23 View Post
Just back from the dealer. They did a full diagnostic, pressure and leak test. There saying it can be my valve stem seals ($8,000) or valve guides another ($13,000). I feel so sick. I still owe 3yrs on the loan. I refuse to fix the car! To top it off there saying it can even be the heads and may need a rebuild. Wtf FML!!!
It sounds like they dont want the job if they are quoting that much. As someone else has already said get a few more quotes from companies who actually want the work. But when you say 'Dealer' do you mean an official BMW dealer?, if so I would try an independent BMW workshop as you probably find their labour rates are well down on the official ones.
But dont forget if you do take the heads off to do the work then you will need more spares than the valve seals, but you can get a 'top end' gasket set a bit cheaper than buying everything seperately.
I did my 4.6 overhaul myself as I wasnt going to pay the labour costs. Good luck
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:53 PM
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That does sound rather excessive but after having a bit of a look in TIS there is a fair amount of work involved removing and refitting the heads, but that doesn’t justify the $8,000 or $13,000 quote.
It also appears these heads don’t have replaceable valve guides as far as BMW is concerned, although I note there are aftermarket valve guides available for the M62 & N62.

BMW use oversize valves (larger diameter stems) along with reaming out the valve guide to fit. This adds additional cost as you need to then purchase new valves of which there are 32 if you replace all of them plus the cost of reaming all the guides and re-cutting all the seats.

In my view, replacing just valve stem seals is a waste of money in most cases and will probably only be a temporary repair at best. There is usually a reason why the seals need replacing and that’s normally because the guides are worn.

If you intend keeping the car, I would look at taking it to a reputable independent shop with a view to getting aftermarket valve guides fitted. You will probably find these last longer and will be cheaper to replace the next time around.
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