E83 X3 3.0 Am I just being paranoid
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  1. #1
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    Am I just being paranoid

    Hi there, new the forum so apologies if I've posted in the wrong section.

    After much deliberation decided to buy an X3 E83 2006 3.0l Diesel as a family car and for towing our caravan. We've had it about year now and its just gone over 100k mile with upto date service history. Noticed a puff of smoke on cold start a while ago so started to investigate and read various forum posts about possible issue relating to this. And now I can't sleep!!!!

    To be honest all seems well with the car, it just lets out a gasp of whitish (maybe bluish) cloud on start up then it clears. Once its running there's not a trace of smoke or vapor coming from the exhaust. It did used to smell a bit oily when idling which I assumed to be the DPF (diesel particulate filter) being clogged due mainly to only doing short journeys every day. Took it for a good 3 hrs drive and now it smells fine.

    It doesn't use any oil what so ever or coolant. Haven't checked for a while and its used nothing if anything it looks like there's too much oil in there. There's a minute grey/brown residue under the filler cap and nothing on the dip stick. When I take the oil cap off (engine running) there's a cloudy/smoky vapor coming from the engine (does smell a little like burnt oil) and the engine sounds quite tappy like metal on metal. There's no noticeable vacuum when you put your hand over the oil filler.

    There's a bit of an oil leak but I can really see where its coming from, the engine does look a little wet/oily if you look down inside where the oil filter is.

    1) Is it the CCV?
    2) Is the head gasket going?
    3) Are the valve guides leaking
    4) Is there too much oil in the engine.

    At the end of the day its a ruddy great 6 cylinder oil burning diesel that's done 100k its bound to sound like a tractor and leak oil,,,,,,,ye?

    I've been reading all kinds of sh*t about this as you can see and its making me very nervous about whether my wallet can afford this kind of car. Would it be any cheaper to put a new head gasket on a Suzuki Vitara, probably not I imagine.

    Thanks for any advice on this one.

  2. #2
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    Mike320msport's Avatar
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    Not much experience on bmw diesel but I believe there is a breather filter which can cause excess smoke which isn't expensive to replace,
    If it doesn't use water or oil I wouldn't worry too much about a head gasket just check them more regularly.
    Keep an eye on the oil level, if it rises it could be diesel in the oil due to it not regenerating correctly.( dpf cleaning).
    Sometimes brownish residue under the oil filler Cap can be caused by condensation especially if your car does short journeys and never gets fully warmed up.
    I am sure someone who has a diesel will give you more info.

  3. #3
    simonsays's Avatar
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    The breather is meant to be maintenance free but plenty owners replace them as shown HERE
    At 100k it's virtually guaranteed the EGR will need cleaning out too, filthy job but well worth the time and effort.
    Certainly on the petrols the oil filter housing gasket are prone to leaking & your engine may have the same design? Will check tomorrow with realoem.

    edit:- The oil filter housing does have a similar profile gasket to that of the petrol engine so a bit more inspection around that area may be called for?
    but saying that the residue around the oil filter housing could be spillage from clumsy oil filter renewal or even leakage from the charged air pipework?
    Maybe a good clean up around the area & monitor regularly for leakage will help identify the issue?

    ***Part numbers below are on the assumption you have the M57N2 engine so if you are to order please check with BMW dealer they are correct to your vehicle***

    Breather is BMW Part Number 11127794597 , Indexed as Part No. 11 in diagram below

    Oil Filter Housing Gasket is BMW Part Number 11 42 7 788 455, Indexed as Part No. 8 in diagram below

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