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Mystery Smoke from 2003 BMW 325i

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Von Schmitto
New User

Dec 16, 2016, 7:27 AM

Post #1 of 2 (896 views)
Mystery Smoke from 2003 BMW 325i Sign In

This is a new one on me and I haven't got a clue. The BWM has 131K on it and is in very good shape generally. Burns little to no oil (synthetic) uses a 16 oz bottle of water about once a month (I have a 35 mile 1 way commute in very heavy traffic). The issue is that maybe every other day, generally after driving hard and then slowing for an exit (but it happened today driving at a steady 65) it will blow white/light gray smoke for about 5-10 seconds and then taper off to no smoke at all.

It SEEMS to do it mostly after driving fast for 15-30 minutes and then either decelerating hard or even slowing to a stop. It's done it for several months. I had some other work done on it and I asked my mechanic (very reliable and have used him for all our cars for 10 years) to check the compression and he said that it was fine. I have not discussed the smoke issue with him yet but I can't replicate it on demand. If it was using very much oil I'd think it was valve or rings maybe but it isn't. When it happens it's completely undetectable except by seeing it. Temp gauge does not move in the slightest, no sound difference, no difference in power or anything else. It started doing it very, very occasionally months ago but in the last month I've had to use it to commute rather than locally around the burb for the grocery getter.

Any ideas at all?

I really appreciate any guidance here at all.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 16, 2016, 7:36 AM

Post #2 of 2 (894 views)
Re: Mystery Smoke from 2003 BMW 325i Sign In

Hope you meant adding an antifreeze mix not just water.

Tell your mechanic! That smacks of early stages of a head gasket if just corroded out a tiny bit. Catch it and prove it with mechanic's checks one or more cylinders probably have cleaner plugs or combustion chambers than the others would be enough for me and if I liked the car would go for it now before it could possibly really surprise you and get nasty,


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