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Swoxy

Original Poster:

2,498 posts

93 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
I went to view a 330Ci for sale at an independent dealer today. It been shuffled around the showroom for over last few weeks.

When I first started it, it was emitting white smoke/steam from the exhaust pipe under acceleration. I noticed some light, brown coloured mayo under the oil filler cap.

I took it for a short drive and the oil light came on (it's due a service).

When I returned, it no longer emitted white smoke/steam but still had the mayo under the oil filler cap. I checked the dipstick, and the oil on there was the correct colour.

It has had the previous owner from nearly new and a full BMW service history.

I really like the car and the dealer has said that they will service it before I collect it. It is also being sold with a three month, third party warranty (I know, I know). I think that if the car had a problem that they were trying to cover up, they would have cleaned out the mayo before I came to view it?

I have done some research on Bimmerforums.co.uk and it seems that these cars emit white smoke/steam when they are cold and build up mayo when they are not used for long journeys..

Does anyone have any advice or comments? Thanks.

helix402

441 posts

65 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
Mayo on these is not always due to head gasket problems
It can be due to failed crankcase breather and hoses&sometimes thermostat failure. If the engine does not get hot enough vapour does not get burnt off.

rumple

4,343 posts

34 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
Did the temp gauge stay in the middle, it should, the mayo could be owing to it being shunted around for a couple of weeks, what colour was the oil light, if yellow it could be a sensor, make sure they do this, if red id seriously avoid, go back take it for a good drive and moniter that temperature gauge.

MattOz

3,310 posts

147 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
Don't ever recall mine smoking, but it did have the occasional bit of mayo on the filler cap if it was used for short journeys. Sounds normal(ish) to me.

Fox-

11,033 posts

129 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
Mine has had mayo under the filler cap when used for it's normal diet of short trips too and from work for 6 years now. It goes away on long runs and comes back again once I start doing short trips. Despite a garage 5 years ago trying to tell me it had head gasket failure.
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Swoxy

Original Poster:

2,498 posts

93 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
Fox- has spoken!

I consider Fox-'s comments to be equivalent to a pre-purchase inspection.

Gentlemen, thanks a lot. If I buy it, I'll let you know smile

gaz1234

3,804 posts

102 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
Swoxy said:
Fox- has spoken!

I consider Fox-'s comments to be equivalent to a pre-purchase inspection.

Gentlemen, thanks a lot. If I buy it, I'll let you know smile
smile ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
take it for a run, it will be fine

Fox-

11,033 posts

129 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
Swoxy said:
I consider Fox-'s comments to be equivalent to a pre-purchase inspection.
Please don't! laugh

Mave

2,754 posts

98 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
When does the oil light come on? If its a dodgy level sensor it should only come on (yellow) in the first few seconds, and then go out after about 10. I'd be worried if I got a red oil light at any time.

Gaygle

311 posts

91 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
I had the exact same thing when i bought my 330i. Just wiped it away and it never came back.

Fox-

11,033 posts

129 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
Mave said:
When does the oil light come on? If its a dodgy level sensor it should only come on (yellow) in the first few seconds, and then go out after about 10. I'd be worried if I got a red oil light at any time.
Didn't spot the oil light bit - thats worrying. It shouldn't come on whilst driving. If it does, there is an issue - either very low oil level or something more sinister. If the oil level is very low you need to ask why, as there is a first stage of 'oil light' where it comes on after driving which has been ignored.

Swoxy

Original Poster:

2,498 posts

93 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
It was amber. It appeared after driving for five minutes or so.

Fox-

11,033 posts

129 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
Swoxy said:
It was amber. It appeared after driving for five minutes or so.
Whilst the engine was running? This is the second stage of the low oil level warning. It means the oil is very low and you should top it up PDQ. For this to have illuminated, somebody has to have ignored the first stage light, which comes on once the engine is turned off. This would be offputting. Just what sort of person ignores that?

nottyash

4,183 posts

78 months

[news] 
Sunday 23rd September 2012 quote quote all
Fox- said:
Didn't spot the oil light bit - thats worrying. It shouldn't come on whilst driving. If it does, there is an issue - either very low oil level or something more sinister. If the oil level is very low you need to ask why, as there is a first stage of 'oil light' where it comes on after driving which has been ignored.
That was the most important bit!hehe

Swoxy

Original Poster:

2,498 posts

93 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
driving

roofer

2,462 posts

94 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
All perfectly normal and needs a litre of oil....

Rollcage

11,283 posts

75 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
Bought it then I take it? Fox is correct - mayo on the filler cap is not usually a sign of HG failure. Its when the oil itself looks lime mayo, then you have a problem! hehe

Fox-

11,033 posts

129 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
roofer said:
needs a litre of oil....
The average M54 owner can be found saying this numerous times per year hehe

Kong

1,480 posts

54 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
This is what my Z4 3.0i (identical engine) looked like shortly after I bought it.



35,000 miles later it's absolutely fine. I did have the crank case breather replaced but as mentioned it will still happen when you do short journeys, particularly in winter.

I wouldn't worry about the head gasket, failures on these engines are almost unhead of.

BorkFactor

5,849 posts

41 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
if the yellow oil warning light comes on when you first start the car (doesn't matter if it is hot or cold) and goes out after 10 seconds or so then it will be a faulty sensor - I think it is at the bottom of the sump. Fairly common on the E46, mine does this and so do 2 others that I know of.

Crankcase breather is a right PITA - I had mine done recently. Listen for any funny noises when moving off - mine was a sort of "squeaking" noise. Got it fixed for a shade under £300, and apparently it is due to the plastic flexi hoses in the engine getting brittle and splitting. Supposedly it can cause high oil consumption, not sure about the mayo.

Mine has never had any mayo under the filler cap (bear in mind mine has the M52), but it would make sense if it had appeared after lots of short trips.
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