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Billy
Billy, Trainer/Master tech.
Category: UK Car
Satisfied Customers: 3498
Experience:  Trainer - master tech., SAE member
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320i: , I have a 320i 2.2 tourer. 2002. Since I've had

Customer Question

Hello, I have a 320i 2.2 tourer. 2002. Since I've had it back from the garage for an oil leak (oil filter housing) I have had the intermittent belch of white smoke from the exhaust on acceleration. Another mechanic on here thinks it is the crank case breather valve. I haven't had chance to get one yet as I've been away but today, I've just come home and the engine is running lumpy and the engine management light is on now.....is this connected? All this has only happened since the car came back from the garage. Could they have caused this? Please help!
Many thanks, Fiona
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Car
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.
Hello Fiona and Welcome!
I'm Billy and i will assist you with your inquiry.
Feel free to ask if any further info is needed.

If the crankcase breather valve is stuck, it would cause smoke, and reduced engine performance. And sometimes the reduced performance might also cause the engine light to come on.

But to confirm, i would first check the breather valve, clean or replace as necessary, and then connect the vehicle on to the diagnostics computer, to retrieve the fault codes and confirm the fault.

Working on the oil filter housing should not cause any of this, unless they inadvertently touched something else (removed a connector, or such)

Kindly get back to me with your findings, or if further assistance is needed so we proceed accordingly.

Regards,
Billy
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Billy,
I have ordered that part from the main dealer so I will let you know if all is well and of course I will rate your service. If I have another question, do you mind if I ask again?
Many thanks,
Fiona
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.
Of course not...

what is it Fiona?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Billy. The ccv has been replaced but unfortunately the problem is still there.
Still belching white smoke intermittently and yesterday, from cold, I had to take off quickly onto a dual carriageway, the engine management light came on and the car went into limp mode (I think-lost power)
I switched off the ignition, turned it on and it was fine again.
Please help!
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.
Hello Fiona,

When a fault is detected by the computer it triggers the warning light and reduced performance (limp mode or safe mode) to prevent further damage.
Cycling the ignition off and back on, would reset the system if the fault is "secondary" (some are called hard codes which stay, and some soft codes which reset as in your case).
In either way fault codes will be stored in the engine management memory. These faults can (and should) be retrieved using a diagnostics computer (scan tool). As these faults should point out which components acted out, causing this. I my opinion this would be the way to go. If you get me the codes, i would be able to explain them, and point out what and how to check accordingly.

PS: as for the white smoke, which doesn't have to be related to the engine management light problem, kindly get back to me on the following:
- if you start the engine, let it idle, warm up, and then when you take off, you get white smoke for a few seconds?
- if you're cruising, or going downhill, or stuck in traffic etc..., when you take off, you get the white smoke temporarily?

Kindly get back to me on these, so we proceed as needed.

Regards,
Billy
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Billy,
In the past, I've had the smoke on startup from cold once or twice. Most commonly, it has always happened when I've driven up the nearby mountain, then go down the other side.....and when I slow down to turn left into my road, I will get the white smoke for a second or two. It never happens when driving at speed but when I slow down and then accelerate again.
As for the codes, I will need to get someone to read them for me so I will get back to you.
Many thanks,
Fiona
Expert:  Billy replied 2 years ago.
Hello Fiona,

For the white smoke issue, i think it's a problem with the valve guide seals would cause exactly the same symptoms. When having the diagnostic reading, ask the mechanic about this. Explain the symptoms, and ask if he thinks that the valve guide seals are worn (they usually dry out, causing oil to slowly leak on top of the valve, and when you depress on the accelerator pedal, the oil is vacuumed in the cylinder, it is burned and it causes the white smoke).

Waiting for the fault codes as well.

Regards,
Billy