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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > white smoke while idiling



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      11-16-2009, 12:01 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by ianthegreat View Post
You would smell antifreeze also. Nice and sweet.

and poisonous....keep your pets and children away from any that is spilled.....
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      11-16-2009, 04:39 PM   #24
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hmm, take a look at this...

(Notice customer complaint - white smoke on startup)
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File Type: pdf B122509N54_engine_diagnostic_fault_tree.pdf (117.2 KB, 813 views)
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      11-16-2009, 04:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdjafari View Post
hmm, take a look at this...

(Notice customer complaint - white smoke on startup)
Great document...thanks!
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      11-16-2009, 05:55 PM   #26
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I don't think antifreeze is getting into the engine. That would make a lot of smoke.

I blew the head gasket on my VR6 Turbo about a month ago and the amount of white smoke that came out of the exhaust was just ridiculous. Couldn't even see a foot in front of me when I got out of the car. Needless to say the engine hydrolocked and i cost me 8 grand to replace

I think it's just normal water vapor. Nothing to worry about.
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      11-20-2009, 10:23 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by MTV View Post
I don't think antifreeze is getting into the engine. That would make a lot of smoke.

I blew the head gasket on my VR6 Turbo about a month ago and the amount of white smoke that came out of the exhaust was just ridiculous. Couldn't even see a foot in front of me when I got out of the car. Needless to say the engine hydrolocked and i cost me 8 grand to replace

I think it's just normal water vapor. Nothing to worry about.
You're absolutely right. I learned that the amount of smoke due to the antifreeze burning is enough to cause a haze or fog around an entire city block! That's when you should be worried...otherwise, it is just water vapor.
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      11-20-2009, 11:26 AM   #28
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I was concerned about the white smoke too, but the other night I was stopped behind a BMW 550 and noticed he was exhausting just as much smoke as I was, and both of us had about twice as much smoke as the cars around us.

It's water vapour for sure.......guess some makes like BMW just have better emission systems and convert more of the exhaust gases into water.
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      11-21-2009, 03:47 PM   #29
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mines blowing white smoke sometimes at idle.. on the left muffler only and it smells like oil but its white? and the smoke is definitely noticeable while sitting inside the car.
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      11-21-2009, 07:40 PM   #30
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brought the car in the other day, but couldn't replicate the problem which i believe probably just water vapor. will keep an eye on it.
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      12-11-2009, 03:08 AM   #31
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As opposed to what a couple people have posted on this thread, white smoke can absolutely mean that the car is running lean. Blue/Grey smoke is a sign on the car running rich/burning oil. It is also common to have the water vapors burn off upon startup, but if you still see white smoke after the car has reached optimal opperating temperature then I suggest diagnoising the car with an A/F meter.
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      12-11-2009, 10:53 AM   #32
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As opposed to what a couple people have posted on this thread, white smoke can absolutely mean that the car is running lean. Blue/Grey smoke is a sign on the car running rich/burning oil. It is also common to have the water vapors burn off upon startup, but if you still see white smoke after the car has reached optimal opperating temperature then I suggest diagnoising the car with an A/F meter.
Coolant in combustion chamber = white smoke
Oil burning = blue smoke
Excess fuel (rich) = black smoke
Excess oxygen (lean) = no smoke (in my experience) because oxygen is colorless.

Where do you get lean = white smoke? Pls cite source and basis for info.

Dan
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      12-11-2009, 12:34 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR-Dad View Post
Coolant in combustion chamber = white smoke
Oil burning = blue smoke
Excess fuel (rich) = black smoke
Excess oxygen (lean) = no smoke (in my experience) because oxygen is colorless.

Where do you get lean = white smoke? Pls cite source and basis for info.

Dan
Good indicator of a lean condition is the engine running unusually hot, especially under WOT. It can be very destructive to the engine to run under this condition and should be diagnosed ASAP. As Dan has stated, there shouldn't be any obvious visual indications except maybe the exhaust smell will be usually very unpleasant. Its hard to describe but it doesn't smell anything like a car running stoich.
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      12-14-2009, 04:31 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GtiGyver View Post
except maybe the exhaust smell will be usually very unpleasant. Its hard to describe but it doesn't smell anything like a car running stoich.
High NOx levels will be indicated by exhaust gas analysis. Not helpful for describing the smell, but this is probably the main difference in the exhaust gas composition.

Dan
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      12-15-2009, 12:24 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR-Dad View Post
Coolant in combustion chamber = white smoke
Oil burning = blue smoke
Excess fuel (rich) = black smoke
Excess oxygen (lean) = no smoke (in my experience) because oxygen is colorless.

Where do you get lean = white smoke? Pls cite source and basis for info.

Dan
I've actually seen cars running pig rich blowing WHITE smoke, of all things.....
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      12-29-2009, 10:36 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WHITE-E92 View Post
mines blowing white smoke sometimes at idle.. on the left muffler only and it smells like oil but its white? and the smoke is definitely noticeable while sitting inside the car.

I've got this same problem after I went catless downpipes. White smoke comes out of the driver side muffler after about 3-5 minutes of letting the car idle. even at normal operating temperature. when I'm at a drive-thru, after a few minutes it will start shooting white smoke out the driver-side tailpipe. When my friend WOT my car, it came out a bluish/white smoke. Also, I felt a loss in power like there was not enough fuel.

I took it in for service today, they found a faulty O2 sensor, Bank 1, sensor 1. they replaced it and cleared the code of heater circuit fault and stuck lean fault on that same sensor (probably why my car felt sluggish). When I got home I decided to let it idle and again, it began to shoot out white smoke from the driver-side tailpipe again but no SES or power loss or anything.

The tech spoke to me and told me I'm going to need to install an oil catch-can because he said too much oil was getting into my front turbo due to some valve. I'm going to give it a few days to see if anything clears up.
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      12-30-2009, 07:54 AM   #37
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sometimes turbo piping is leaking or something is bent..
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      12-30-2009, 09:10 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilma View Post
I was concerned about the white smoke too, but the other night I was stopped behind a BMW 550 and noticed he was exhausting just as much smoke as I was, and both of us had about twice as much smoke as the cars around us.

It's water vapour for sure.......guess some makes like BMW just have better emission systems and convert more of the exhaust gases into water.
I hope you guys are talking about white smoke when the car is fully warmed up and not cold.

You can't tell about other cars if their white smoke is from the same issue as yours or because it's not fully warmed up.

My car and the loaner I have now always let out white smoke while ideling and driving for the first 5-10 minutes due to very cold temps. (20-30 degrees)
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      01-01-2010, 01:16 PM   #39
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So I put my car on the lift at my work last night and tried to find out why my car is puffing white smoke from the left tail pipe so much even at normal operating temp. As of now I'm suspecting oil burning in the turbo but I started up the car and raised it up. I noticed vapor/water puffing out between the gaskets of the downpipes to exhaust system. As I left the car sit for a bit longer the vapor/water went away and now there was a cloud of smoke coming out that driverside tailpipe again. I also noticed white smoke burning on the housing of the exhaust side of the front turbo but no burning on the rear turbo. hence the front turbo on my car does go to the driverside muffler with the way my exhaust system designed. any other ideas? I might just take it in to the dealership to have one of my buddy's take a closer look at the turbos because I'm really begining to suspect something there.
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      01-30-2011, 12:34 PM   #40
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I don't mean to bump an old thread, but, I am getting this same issue and was wondering if anyone has this issue or has seen a fix? When my car is warmed up and at a prolonged stop, I notice white smoke coming out from under the hood and out my driver's side exhaust after initial acceleration. This happens at random and my dealer could not replicate the issue (they told me nothing was wrong and I needed to remove my mods ) My best guess is that my front turbo bearings are leaking a little oil at times causing the under hood smoke which is near my passenger headlamp and the puff of smoke after pressing the accelerator. Any ideas or a possible fix? I'm thinking I'll start with a OCC then possibly RB/EPL/Helix turbo's in my near future.
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      02-01-2011, 07:09 PM   #41
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I also have white smoke in my car since I installed catless downpipes, someone had told me the car is running so rich because of the smell and inside the tailpipes there´s a certain kind of black carbon deposits...

Is this problem due to running cattless??
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      06-09-2011, 12:14 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yowhuddupb View Post
So I put my car on the lift at my work last night and tried to find out why my car is puffing white smoke from the left tail pipe so much even at normal operating temp. As of now I'm suspecting oil burning in the turbo but I started up the car and raised it up. I noticed vapor/water puffing out between the gaskets of the downpipes to exhaust system. As I left the car sit for a bit longer the vapor/water went away and now there was a cloud of smoke coming out that driverside tailpipe again. I also noticed white smoke burning on the housing of the exhaust side of the front turbo but no burning on the rear turbo. hence the front turbo on my car does go to the driverside muffler with the way my exhaust system designed. any other ideas? I might just take it in to the dealership to have one of my buddy's take a closer look at the turbos because I'm really begining to suspect something there.
what did you end up doing?
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      06-10-2011, 01:36 AM   #43
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Bump need answers guys I am having the same issue. I just installed cat less AA down pipes and have no secondary cats. The white smoke is coming from the drivers side exhaust. About 2-3 minutes after an idle. Help.
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      06-10-2011, 01:51 AM   #44
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Bump need answers guys I am having the same issue. I just installed cat less AA down pipes and have no secondary cats. The white smoke is coming from the drivers side exhaust. About 2-3 minutes after an idle. Help.
EXACT same issue!!! Only on drivers side. It has only happened twice, both times the car was at idle while car was warm. It went away by itself after a couple of minutes
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